Saturday Sprinkle #3

I don’t know about you, but this has just been a long week.  I am happy it’s Saturday!  Here are a few things happening and some great articles that I’ve read over the last couple of weeks.

  • So Much For That – Last week I wrote about how Thursdays had turned into pizza nights as a result of our kids having swim lessons.  And, wouldn’t you know it we already switched days!  One of our kids moved up to a more advanced level, and they didn’t offer both kids classes at the same time on Thursdays, so Fridays it is!  Still planning on pizza after swim lessons, though!
  • When Not To Be Cheap – There are a lot of different ideas on when it’s OK to buy the ‘cheaper’ brand and when you want to avoid it.  I am always fascinated by the different perspectives.  Kayla at Eyes on the Dollar gives her thoughts here.
  • Make Food Last Longer – There are few things more frustrating than buying something at the grocery store only to have it go bad before you get to using it.  The Penny Hoarder lists 21 foods and how to store them, and some of these I definitely didn’t know!
  • When Kids Outgrow Pools – We have a small kiddie pool for our kids and it’ll definitely be coming out this summer.  But what do you do when the kids get too big?  How about create a garden?  I know, I never thought of it either!
  • Fixing Kitchen Mistakes – Have you ever cooked something and ended up with more of it on the bottom of the pan than you actually got out of it?  It happens!  Here are some tips to get the food off that burnt off pan.
  • Is The American Dream Dead? – I’ve lamented a few times that I think the American Dream, where each generation can hope to do better than the last from a financial perspective, is dead or dying.  Stefanie O’Connell wonders if maybe, now that the dream is a few generations old, it’s time to re-write just what we expect that dream to deliver.  Very interesting idea!
  • April Fool’s Get You? – I didn’t get sucked into any big April Fool’s jokes this year.  Maybe that’s good, or maybe it just means nobody tried hard enough!  LOL.  What about you, did you get taken by any pranks yesterday?
  • Follow Your Dreams – You can reach your goals.  If you find that you’re not reaching your goals, here are a few things you might want to look at that could be holding you back.


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Saturday Sprinkle #2

Happy Saturday!  Hope you had a great week.  Here’s the second of what I hope to be regular installments in my weekly roundup of great blogs I’ve read recently and mish-mash of thoughts that don’t fit in anywhere else.

  • Action Pack Week – An unexpected medical situation involving someone close took place this week.  Thankfully everything turned out OK in the end, but it was wild.  Come back Monday for more details.
  • Allowance – We recently started giving our kids an allowance.  Right now we’re doing it as they get half their age every week, so our 6 and 4 year olds get $3 and $2 respectively.  The only problem I’ve had is remembering to give it consistently, so some weeks we’re doing ‘make up’ duty.  Speaking of kids and money, Harmony at Creating Your Kaleidoscope had a great article about the one lesson she wants to teach her kids about money.
  • Baseball Draft – Tomorrow evening is my annual baseball draft.  I’ve been in this league (it’s a keeper league) for about ten years now and it’s one of my favorite things over the summer. It helped that I finished in third place last summer, which was good enough to win some money.  This was after a pretty rough stretch that lasted a few years, so it was nice to be back in contention.
  • To Freeze or not to freeze – I always love information that surprises you.  Some of the items on Joyce’s list of 24 Items You Didn’t Know You Can Freeze  over at My Stay At Home Adventure were definitely eye opening.
  • Your Biggest Investment – If you own a home, you might be tempted to think of it as your biggest investment, but Kevin at Money Under 30 advises a different approach to thinking.  It’s the exact way I have always thought of my home in terms of ‘investment status’ and I think is something that every homeowner or potential home buyer should ponder.
  • No – Who likes to ask a question and be told no?  Certainly not my kids, that’s for sure!  And that’s probably true for many of us as well, so we also don’t like to say it.  But, Michelle at the Shop My Closet Project wrote a great post about the importance of saying ‘no‘ during certain situations.
  • Stock Market – A few weeks ago when the stock market opened the year on a nosedive, who would have predicted that it would recover in a month?  Not me, but that’s exactly what’s happened.  It is concerning to me that the gyrations that have seemed to taken over the market have continued to persist, and seem to be getting more and more pronounced with each one.  Traders must love this market, but as a long term investor, it’s starting to get a tad concerning.  What do you think?

What are your plans for the weekend?  I hope it’s a good one for you!

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Saturday Sprinkle #1

I’m going to try something new and post some random thoughts that aren’t big enough to justify their own blog posts, as well as mix in some links to other blog articles that I’ve enjoyed over the past few weeks.

  • Weather – I don’t know about you, but we have had a heck of a warm finish to winter.  Here in Michigan, we did have a couple of February snowstorms, but that was about it for the year.  Now, our temps have been 10-25 degrees warmer than average for awhile.  No complaints, but just keeping our fingers crossed that this doesn’t come at the expense of warm summer days!
  • Income Loss – Not many people would find it in them to write an inspirational post after losing half of their household income, but Kristen at Joyfully Thriving does so, which is why this is one of my new favorite blogs to read!
  • Frugal Moment of the week – Last Saturday, we wanted to get the kids out of the house and go do something. The kids couldn’t agree on an activity, so we split up.  I took my son to a local place where he could build Lego for a couple hours.  Since we have a membership, it was free.  My wife took my daughter to a movie. The local theater has a thing going on in March where they show a second run kids movie all weekend, and it’s free for kids and $1 for adults.  Our grand total for a couple of hours of entertainment was $1.
  • Self-Escrow – Megan at Counting You Pennies wrote about something that I do but have never been able to mb-2016-03-springcome up with a good name for.  Assigning your money to particular funds is a technique I’ve employed for years, so this was a great read for me.
  • Water and RVs – We’ve had our RV for a few years now and the one thing that constantly terrifies me is water.  Water and RVs just don’t mix.  Last year we had a leak in our storage compartment that got under the flooring and ran all the way down to the other side of the unit, leaving a floorboard that’s softer than I like.  This year, when I went to check on it, no leak, but a tarp that I’d left in there had condensation underneath, which I now understand the reason for.  Not as big of a deal, as it was on top of the linoleum only, but it keeps that nagging fear alive!
  • Entitlement – Aaron at Three Thrifty Guys noticed a trend in a recent traffic situation that made him wonder if having more money leads to people acting poorly.
  • Dating – It’s been over ten years since I was out of the dating pool, but Christina at Adventures in Frugal gives a great idea that I had to share for any single guys reading.  This is a move I definitely might have tried (well, I’d have talked about doing it anyway) had I read this ten years sooner!
  • Weekend Plans – This weekend is supposed to be in the 60’s here in Michigan, so we are planning a trip to the zoo.  They’ve got a brand new $20 million dollar penguin exhibit that’s set to open soon, so we’re hoping that maybe we can catch a glimpse if they try a soft opening.  We also have to work on a project for my son’s spring fair.  He has a great imagination, so I know that once we get started, this is going to be awesome.

Hope you have a great weekend!


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What’s New This Week? (Plus A Roundup)

A few updates and random thoughts, followed by some great posts I hope you check out:

  • A few weeks ago I wrote about how our IT department is being insourced.  We have received a few more details.  Our official offer letters should be arriving any day now.  They were promised by the 15th, so if that still holds, I’ll know what’s what in a week.  We did find out that our years of service will be credited from when we started, so I’ll come in with six years of service.  This means I’ll get roughly the same amount of time off as I do today, and has a few implications for benefits and such.  There is a lot of nervousness that they’ll be coming in offering less pay than we make today.  I think that’s just normal jitters, and I’m staying optimistic that it’ll be the same or better as what I am getting today.
  • Did you hear about the Walmart glitch on Wednesday where the website had prices mb-201311mistakeof various items at outrageously low prices?  I sure did.  I found a 55″ TV for $329, and while it was sold out online, it said that my local store had one.  Which, when I called, they confirmed that they did.  But, they were already aware by that point that the prices were a mistake (they had $800 treadmills ringing up for $33, computer monitors for $9, and new release video games for $17), and were not honoring those prices.  I read a few forums where people said they got in and picked up stuff right away, so it sounds like a lucky few were able to take advantage of the glitch, but sadly, we did not find an easy way to replace our damaged TV.
  • As a Ford stockholder, I’m a little annoyed at the activity on the stock.  Ford beat earnings a couple of weeks ago, and hit over $18 per share.  Since then it’s been on a somewhat steady decline, around the mid-$16 range, all on virtually no news.  I think institutional investors want a dividend increase, and are passively letting Ford know that they need to increase the payout.  Hopefully the stock reverses course soon!

Here are some great articles I thought you’d enjoy as well as listing a few carnivals I’ve been included in recently:

  • Money and Potatoes has been making some side money by selling plasma and blogs about all aspects involved, financial and otherwise.
  • Monica on Money lists eight warning signs that you might be living beyond your means.
  • Krantcents outlines a subtle difference between a wish and a dream, then goes on to illustrate how one can lead to big rewards if you take hold of it.
  • I’ve often thought that Baby Boomers, in addition to working hard, had a good set of circumstances in terms of some of the benefits associated with their careers.  Little House in the Valley expands on this and compares it to the Gen X and Gen Y groups.
  • Reach Financial Independence – Carnival of Personal Finance
  • According to Athena – Carnival of Personal Finance
  • Bite The Bullet Investing – Carnival of Retirement
  • Frugal Rules – Yakezie Carnival
  • Save Spend Splurge – Carnival of Personal Finance
  • Wealth Note – Yakezie Carnival
  • Figuring Money Out – Yakezie Carnival
  • Money Wise Pastor – Yakezie Carnival

Hope you have a great weekend!

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