My First Two Weeks At The Gym

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how I was considering a gym membership.  Well, I decided to take the plunge and have been going for two weeks now.  The first week was on a trial membership, and last week was my first full week on the paid membership that I purchased.

Here are a few things that went into the decision to purchase and how it’s gone so far:

Price

I checked around and after immediately eliminating the high priced options (up to $50 per month, yikes) I was left with two different pricing plans.

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Our Broken Promise Is Now Broken

It was seven months ago that I posted about how I broke a promise regarding a new TV, specifically that I decided to replace our 15 year old 32″ tube TV with a new flat screen TV, even though I’d said a while back that I’d keep the tube TV until it died (my guess, that TV is still out there somewhere, as good as ever).

For seven months I had no regrets.  Until I turned it on the other day and saw some lines running up the center of the TV.  And a surefire spot at the bottom where it had likely suffered a crack.

Crap.

I still have no idea what happened, although my guess is that the kids may have been playing with something and hit it.  I have seen our two year old throw some toys, and unfortunately she has thrown some ‘hard’ toys as well as the typical toys that are OK to toss around (balloons, soft balls and the like).

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A Tribute To Grandparents

Last week, my wife’s grandmother passed away peacefully.  She was 90 years old and had been in poor health leading up, so her passing was not a surprise.  She will be greatly missed by many.  She was married to her husband for many years (he passed in 2004), and together they raised eight children, which I can’t even imagine.  I was proud to have gotten to know her for the years that I’ve been with my wife.  She’s going to be very, very missed.

mb-201309chairAfter hearing the news, it hit me that with her passing, my wife and I are now without any living grandparents.  That’s something that really stops and gives you pause.  Even though I lost my last remaining grandparent several years ago, there was always her grandma to talk about, think about, and know was there as part of that generation.

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How Hard Should I Press To Get Last Month’s Discount?

Last month, I wrote about how I am considering a gym membership.  I’m happy to report that I have made progress.

mb-201309treadmillI did some checking around, and pretty much narrowed it down to one gym that I want to attend.  I looked at all the gyms in a five mile radius, and eliminated the super-expensive gyms (Lifetime, LA Fitness), and started with the gym that was closest to my house, as location is a huge thing when it comes to me actually getting my butt out the door and into the gym.

As it turns out, the one that was closest is also the one with the best pricing.   Sort of.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, let me touch on some of the other things I’ve found.

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7 Times To Look At The Calendar To Get The Best Deal

I’m sure you know that there are many items that you can get cheaper if you wait to buy until the right time.  What  you may not know is how to time those items.  Here are a few tips on when to buy, tips that range from a particular day of the week to an exact month of the year.  Simple understanding of these tips can save you big time.

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A Solid Auto Industry Bodes Well For The Economy

It’s amazing what a difference five years can make.  Five years ago, the domestic auto industry was a mess.  General Motors and Chrysler were spiraling toward insolvency, resulting in the need for eventual assistance from the government.  Ford, the other member of the ‘Big Three’ had recently mortgaged all company assets to secure credit in an effort to turnaround and stay afloat.

mb-201309trucksBottom line, things were not well and there was a lot of doom and gloom.

Things hit bottom in 2009 when GM and Chrysler did take bailouts.  By this point, Ford had started to show signs of turning around, but their stuck was still mired in the low single digits.  Across the board, the auto industry was in shambles.

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Are You Doing The Right Thing The Wrong Way?

For years, I’ve undertaken a strategy to make sure that I was getting enough water.

For years, I was doing it the wrong way.

At work, I have a cup that I keep at my desk that gets filled from a container that I keep in the fridge.  I like cold water, so I pour water from the container in the fridge into my cup, then fill the other container and allow it cool off.  Both containers held about 2.5 cups of water, so if I drank three containers worth per day, I was getting a good intake of water.

mb-201309waterThis seemed to be working, until one day I realized that I was going about the right idea (staying hydrated) the wrong way.

What was wrong?

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The Costco Rule of $10 And Other Bulk Buying Tips

If you’re given $100 to go grocery shopping, you can normally get quite a large number of items.  Of course it all depends on what you need for your shopping list, as a bag of chicken or other high priced item can take away part of your budget, but usually those are balanced out by smaller priced items.

A loaf of bread.  Some cups of yogurt.  Cheese.  Lunch meat, whatever you will, you can generally get a pretty good number of items at Costco.

Not so much at Costco.

I love Costco.  We’ve been members at Costco for many years and I truly believe that in spite of the $55 membership fee, we still come away saving money throughout the year.

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Great Read Friday: I Jinxed Myself – September 6, 2013

I had a feeling when I posted last month that our net worth had made positive gains for fourteen months that I was probably jinxing myself.  Sure enough, the streak came to an end as our net worth fell for the first time since June 2012.  Largely driven by the stock market taking a breather, our net worth fell by 1.5%.

mb-pennyI guess that can only mean one thing: It’s time to start another streak!

Here are some great posts I’ve read over the past few weeks.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

A buffer of cash in your checking account can help in many ways, as pointed out by How I Save Money.  My favorite positive reason is simple: peace of mind!

Read moreGreat Read Friday: I Jinxed Myself – September 6, 2013

I’m Ready To Be Out Of Diapers

OK, so I’m not actually in diapers.  I did just cross over to my 39th birthday, but I’m not the one in diapers.  However, both of our kids are still in some form of diapers, and I’m so ready to be done.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m hopeful we’re just a few months away.  But, you never know with these sort of things.

Little Boy Beagle

mb-201309signOur oldest is 4 years and 3 months old.  He successfully potty trained in 2011 at the age of two and a half.  However, he has not successfully transitioned to staying dry while he sleeps.  He still takes regular naps, and he’s usually dry for about 75% of the time during naps, which is good, but he still comes up wet in the mornings.

We’ve transitioned him to pull-ups, so that he can get out of bed and use the bathroom anytime during the overnight hours.  Which he does occasionally, but he sleeps very hard and just hasn’t trained his body to waking up enough to stay dry.

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