Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Time to eat crow. Pass the Tabasco, please.

*Your picture here*

Okay, I've already made fun of New Year's resolutions saying nobody ever follows through, but I'm having second thoughts about the subject.  For the past year my friend Pixel has been updating us on her "54 by 54" project....54 things she wants to do/try before her 54th birthday.  Now Bug wants to do something similar and has listed a few things on her blog.  One of them struck a nerve with me:  She wants to pay off a considerable chunk of her debt.

K and I need to do the same.  I say "need", which isn't true.  We can easily afford our lifestyle and service our debt, but still, it's debt.  Ewwww!  If we didn't have that debt we could perhaps take some of those exotic vacations we've dreamed of.  Other than that I don't really want for anything.  

K, on the other hand, has dropped hints recently about us buying/building a home.  I have no burning desire for one, but I'm not opposed, either.  I've had many homes over the past 35 years and what I remember most is the work that comes with them.  All K sees is decorating it just the way she wants, with all the features she's seen on Pintrest (?) and in magazines.  If I could find a suitable property I could probably build one for what we're paying now in monthly rent, so financially it makes sense.  And of course I want her to be happy....a pretty powerful argument.

Still, that debt (much of it medical related) complicates either travel or a new home.  Our big vices are dining out and buying books/magazines.  As things are now we can't walk out our apartment door without dropping $20-$40.  It would be quite a shock to stay in more and eat "Helper", but it would probably be a good exercise in self-control.  I think we need to do this.




  1. My problem is I stay in and buy too many books and such from Amazon and comic books from DC Online. All those little charges start to add up after a while.

  2. Maybe a town yard work.

    1. Dallas is not a condo/town home market, Joe. We have so much land to build on we build "out", not "up". Except right downtown they are a guaranteed money loser.

  3. Oh good! I'm glad you're joining me in being more careful with money. I'm like PT though - I spend more from the comfort of my computer chair at home than I do outside the home. That 1-Click thing on Amazon is a killer!

  4. Sure the decorating the way I want/build it the way I want is a very inviting proposition BUT I am not sure that is my main desire....and I am not even sure I can accurately describe the main point...which may be more of a feeling.

    I think it has to do with a feeling of "home" They say "home is where the heart is" I do not think many ppl feel this way really or NONE of us would want our own place. Everyone would just live in apartments.

    A "Home" should have a feeling of history I think. When I go to my parents home I feel the history in the walls. There's a permanance there ... a feeling of coming home to a history that I have been a part of.

    Apartments, a least ones you rent, feel transient. Even now we are considering moving to a cheaper place - we only lasted here a year. I don't know my neighbors - they come and go every weekend, a uhaul here a uhaul there.

    I dream of a home in colors I adore and twinkle lights that make me smile. Of a small yard or garden - that yes will be work but good work getting me just a bit closer to God who created that dirt, those trees and flowers. And yes I am a crappy gardener right now but it's a learned thing that requires little math (which I can't do at all).

    And I also know that it's a longshot and may never happen and if that's the direction God wants me to take I will find an apartment with a balconey or a porch and plant some flowers.


  5. Good luck. It's surprising how little money you can get by on if you don't have any debt. Mrs. C. and i don't bring in very much money but we don't owe anyone anything---except a few apologies for my twisted sense of humor.

  6. Oh...I'm all about this! Being frugal is what allowed us to pay off our house in five years. We are now finally debt free, even though we've never made "a lot" of money.

    What you need to remember is that "frugal" does not equal "cheap" or "depravation" - frugal means that you spend consciously. If you like to go out for dinner, do so - as long as you realize how long you have to work for that dinner. It's all about the choices. We have a set budget for food, so if we eat inexpensive bean soups at home, we can afford the restaurant meals out.

    We drive inexpensive economy cars and keep them for 10+ years - but we buy them new, because we don't want to hassle with used cars.

    I understand about books and's easy to spend too much money on these. A friend of mine once said cheerfully, "Oh, I store all my books at the library." LOL.

    I'm with K on apartment living - it's fine for certain periods of time during your life. It's perfect if your life is in transition or just busy, but in the long run, most people want that "home" feeling.

    I hope you document some of your frugal adventures in your blog!

  7. Spend it, Scott! It'll only go to your kids if it kills you!

  8. Try a zero lot house. I have a very small yard that takes minimal upkeep - K you're welcome to come learn gardening here as long as I don't have to do it too. Most zeros are older and have older house issues but they aren't bad price wise & fairly inexpensive on utilities. I only owe on the house, car & can payoff AMEX every month. It took a very long time to get to this point & I definitely intend to keep it that way.


  9. Our choices have been to either make regular car payment and rock along on a couple of bills and enjoy ourselves with our disposable income or double down on the bills and get them paid off. We chose the former. Now we'll choose the latter.


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