5 Benefits (I Guess) To A Wet And Cool Early Summer

I don’t know about anywhere else, but Michigan was pretty wet and cool from May to mid-June.  That’s late spring and early summer.  At least it is normally around here.  This year, it felt like we were about a month behind.  Only now, as of June 26th, are we coming to a stretch of mid-80s temps.  We usually have a good stretch on or near Memorial Day.  This has been a wet and cool early summer and spring.

The rain hasn’t been overwhelming in terms of volume.  In fact, we’re actually slightly below average in terms of the amount of rainfall we should have by now. Where we are really up there is the number of days it rained.  I think we had measurable rainfall for 25 of 31 days in May.  I haven’t checked June, but I’d guess at least half.

I always like to look on the bright side of things. Although we prefer a warmer and drier start to summer, I figured there must be a few benefits.  So, here’s my best shot at finding the silver lining in the (many) clouds.

Lower Water Bill

Usually I turn the sprinkler system on and start running it in early to mid May.  I manually turn it off when we get rain, but it still runs pretty regularly.  This year, I didn’t set it to run for the first time until this past weekend.  That’s over a month of saving on water bills.  That probably saved around $50 or so.

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Aretha Franklin’s Estate Is A Mess & Nobody Is Surprised

Aretha Franklin was a local legend around these parts.  Raised in Detroit, she became famous and was one of the most famous and influential singers of her time.  Her records sold millions, and she was popular from the 1960’s all the way through her death in 2018.  Her impact on the music industry is without question.  However, following her death, details on Aretha Franklin’s estate started to come out.  And, boy, it was a mess.  That’s about the only way to describe it.

Unfortunately, that would come as no surprise to those that knew or followed her.

estate
Aretha Franklin’s estate will be like a complicated maze with many questions.

A History Of Money Related Lawsuits

One of the things that often came out about Aretha is that she was usually involved in some sort of legal turmoil.  As can be reasonably expected with someone of her celebrity and wealth, a lot of the turmoil centered around money.  As far back as 1999, she was reported to have a history of not paying her bills.  Even more recently, she was sued for not paying association fees for a condo she owned.  Any condo owner usually considers this a fairly simple task.

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Shopping At Multiple Grocery Stores: Our Breakdown

Our family is lucky in that my wife has time to go shopping at multiple grocery stores.  Many people are limited by time to one trip per week.  This can mean having to pay more for groceries with some items not on sale. But, our situation allows my wife to find the best deals.  She spends more time shopping at multiple grocery stores, but is able to buy more items on sale.

I always track our spending and I had a hunch that our breakdown by store might have changed.  So, I went through our last few months of charges and came up with the following breakdown.

grocery store shopping
Shopping at multiple grocery stores can lead to big savings if you have time.

Breakdown In Spending – Shopping At Multiple Grocery Stores

This is our data from our credit card statement. It’s not scientific at all. I would say it’s fairly accurate, but there are definitely some issues.  For example we buy some staples at Costco.  But I didn’t include any of our Costco spending in here.  It’s simply too hard to figure out (or guess) the allocation that goes towards groceries.  At least at the grocery store, it’s fairly safe to assume you’re buying groceries.

With no further ado, here is our grocery store breakdown.

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Commercial Real Estate Risk Signaled By For Sale Signs?

My office is located in a office / manufacturing park.  There are probably 30-40 buildings clustered.  Recently, I couldn’t help but notice many For Sale signs.  I drive past about twelve buildings on my way to my office, and there were recently six for sale.

On the For Sale sign for every building, there was a common item.  They each indicated that the business was moving to a bigger location.

construction real estate for sale signs
Do for sale signs tied to growth mean additional risks to the economy or the companies themselves?

That’s a lot of growth.  It got me wondering, is this anything to worry about?

For Sale Signs Are Good, Right?

Many would argue that for sale signs are good in this context.  After all, the businesses are all moving.  That means they’re growing.  Ten years ago, we saw a large number of For Sale signs, but for a different reason.  During those times, businesses were folding or shrinking.

Growth means many positive things.

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Tipping On Carryout Orders – Yay Or Nay?

Lines on credit card receipts for tips have popped up everywhere.  It used to be that sit-down service was the only place where a tip applied.  Now, that is not so much.  Tipping on carryout orders is now a fairly common practice.  At least, if you believe how often the tipping lines appear.

So, what is the expectation for tipping on carryout orders?

tipping on carryout orders
Tipping on carryout orders is more common now than ever.

The Case For Tipping On Carryout Orders

While some would say that restaurants are being greedy looking for tips on carryout orders, many workers would likely disagree.

In many cases, workers are dedicated to the carryout section of a restaurant.  There is a local pizza place that we love, but we’ve started doing carryout only.  It’s so popular that waits for tables are usually at least 30 minutes, even on the least busy day of the week.  So, the solution is to purchase carryout.

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10 Great Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is just around the corner.  I don’t know about you, but it seems like dads are the hardest to buy for.  I’ve found that about my dad, and I’ve been told it applies to me.  I guess either we have simple needs or we just buy things ourselves.  It’s probably a combination of the two!  Regardless, here are some Father’s Day gift ideas that I think could help.  They’ll definitely help my wife if she happens to be looking for ideas.  But, I’m pretty sure these would apply for many dads out there.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Grill Accessories

Every dad has a barbecue grill, right?  Mine is sitting on the deck as we speak.  I don’t care how fancy a grill it is.  It doesn’t matter how much it might look fully stocked.  There is always something that a dad could use.  I’ve received multiple Father’s Day gifts tied to my grill.  One year, I got a grill cover (which is now falling apart).  Another year I got a flipper with an indentation of my favorite football team.  Go Lions!  There’s always something that a dad could use for his grill.

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