Want It & Can Afford It. But Not Buying.

Our ’99 Dodge Caravan has seen better days, but it’s still driving. DH = Dear Husband Ramsey’s indicator of financial wisdom In May of 2012, I read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover – the book that inspired us to start our journey out of debt. I remember a section in which Ramsey describes something that …

The Hot Mess of Lifestyle Change

DH = Dear husband Vegan panic-eating An unexpected thing has happened since our household embarked on plant-based eating a month ago: I gained weight. Ever since we started our vegan experiment, I’ve been panic-eating. Why the panic? With no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy to stick to my bones, I’m afraid I’ll get hungry. Why …

Our Vegan Experiment

My breakfast of choice these days. DH = Dear Husband DD2 = Dear Second Daughter DD3 = Dear Third Daughter “It’s not an experiment,” DH says. “And I don’t use the word ‘vegan’; it’s got connotations of religious radicalism. I just say I’ve switched to a plant-based diet.” I, on the other hand, can’t be …

In Praise of Snowshoeing: Physical, Financial, and Mental Health

Snowshoeing out from our backyard with my daughter (who took the photo). The personal finance bloggosphere is filled with comparisons between financial and physical fitness, and many FIRE bloggers are also marathon runners, tri-athletes, hikers… The “badass” way to go about physical fitness is to do it without paying a gym membership, but that presents …

When Young Adult Children Need Help: Rescue or Coach?

DD2 = Dear second daughter DD3 = Dear third daughter DH = Dear husband The phone call I woke up to the phone ringing. The bright digits of my old clock radio impressed the time upon me: 5:08 am. I got up swiftly, fully awake. Full of worry. “What’s happened?” I wondered. Our two youngest had …

Getting Away From “All-Or-Nothing” Compulsions

DH = Dear Husband A history of maxing out financially A month ago, I tried to explain one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2018: “A less S.M.A.R.T goal that I have is to fine-tune the self-discipline that I’ve been building over these last 5 years … I’d like to take another step away from …

Reading Aloud: An Old-Fashioned, Frugal Pastime

DD2 = Dear 2nd Daughter DD3 = Dear 3rd Daughter My mom’s odd practice of reading aloud My mother had the odd habit of reading aloud. On her own. I was able, as a tiny child, to identify “Mommy’s book,” and I knew somehow that when Mommy was reading out loud, I was not to …

Frugality, Housework, Household Dynamics

DH = Dear Husband DD3 = Dear Third Daughter Giving up cleaning service for debt-reduction When we first started our journey out of debt in June of 2012, one of the expenses we let go was a house cleaning service once every two weeks. It was a good frugal move, saving us $200 per month. …