I’m afraid of getting sick. Not in the sense that I’m actually afraid of germs. Goodness knows how many germs pass through my fingers (literally) on any given school day. Normally, the concept of illness lurks in the back of my mind and then lurches to the forefront when a student gets sick (literally). I’m afraid of getting sick in the sense that I don’t know how well we can afford it, especially in the future. Let me explain. Continue reading “Illness, Expenses, & $12 Cherry Juice”
No, this isn’t going to be a post about how I put breakfast and booze in my suitcase to save money. That kind of packing isn’t necessary here. We’re taking Mr. P’s favorite kind of trip where he can eat so much that people marvel at his ability to not throw up: an international all-inclusive vacation. Now let’s talk packing. Continue reading “Pack Smarter to Save at All-Inclusives”
No, I don’t have a crystal ball or a super power. I have a salary schedule. In addition to revealing exactly how much money my coworkers make, a salary schedule also lets me predict the future in the sense that I know exactly when I’ll crack the six-figure salary mark.
I imagine there are a lot of people working in different sectors that would love to have this information at their fingertips. There’s no guessing. There’s no wishing. There are no bonuses, no commissions, no extra effort, no deal closings to be calculated or approximated. There’s just a 20×20 grid with time of service on one side and advanced degree hours on the other. And after almost a decade of staring at this chart, I’ve realized exactly one thing: it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is. Continue reading “I Know When I’ll Make 6 Figures”
Growing up, I celebrated nearly every birthday at an arcade. It was magical: bumper cars, skeeball, Bozo Buckets, Whac-a-Mole, and more. The lights and bells that signaled a win delighted me almost as much as the sound of the mechanism churning out tickets. Ever so gently, I would remove my winnings from the ticket dispenser, careful not to rip the last ticket. Then, I would delicately fold them up, trot over to the redemption counter, request that my tickets be counted, and promptly buy…nothing.
For the better part of a decade, I squirreled away tickets in my nightstand drawer. When that got too full, my mom helped me take them in and have them transferred onto a single certificate that could be redeemed at a later date. I didn’t know what I was saving up for, but it was going to be something big. Something meaningful. Something infinitely greater that any of the Fun Dip and plastic tchotchkes that my friends chose. I could buy a lava lamp, a microwave, a speaker system for my Discman. Yes, I would buy something important. Continue reading “Do Your Savings Make Sense?”
This week, we paid off Mr. P’s car loan. Approximately 56 minutes after clicking “submit” on the payment, our furnace started squawking. I had a morning appointment to keep, but Mr. P promised to stand at the ready in the basement. I’m not entirely sure what that entailed, but I like to imagine him with a fire extinguisher and the HVAC guy on speed dial.
When I returned home an hour later, I was assaulted with the smell of burnt toast. Since Mr. P isn’t much of a breakfast eater, I could only assume things went from noisy to worse. Sure enough, there was nary a squawk or a squeak to be heard. Silence filled the house. Mr. P had turned off the furnace and put in a call for the repairman. Continue reading “E-Funds & Anchors: The Cheapest $600 Ever Spent”
Like most bloggers, I have a variety of goals and milestones that I hope to achieve. I also have a carefully crafted timeline (read: spreadsheet) upon which these ambitions are judiciously plotted. One month, six months, one year, five years, and on down the line.
My situation is not unique. Think back to the five most recent blog posts you read. Were they about monthly budgets or net worth updates? Compound interests or dividends? IRAs or pension plans? As a society, we are incredibly future driven. The future is where we store our dreams, our passions, our goals. Yet, the present is what matters most.
Continue reading “Today Matters Most”
Last month, we slashed our grocery budget–including household items–to $200. At first, it seemed like an ambitious, if not unlikely, goal. However, with some strategic planning and careful shopping, we came in at just under $193 for two people. For an entire month of groceries. One of the best strategies I used throughout the month was to overhaul not where I shopped, but what I shopped from–namely, I had been using the wrong grocery list. Continue reading “You Might Be Grocery Shopping from the Wrong List”