Saturday, February 17, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Our Lemon Tree


Thanks to the people who lived in our house before us, we have a fabulous lemon tree in our backyard.  It has been producing lemons since late December and it has saved us a lot of money (we tend to use lemons almost daily).  We also have an apricot tree (it didn't bloom last year for some reason) and a bunch of other ornamental shrubs.  I may be taking out the shrubs and replacing them with fruit trees (grapefruit, avocado maybe) which makes more sense than just having ornamental trees.  I mean, if you have to water and tend the shrubs anyway, you might as well be tending plants that will provide some sort of sustenance (fruit, nuts, etc)!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crypto-Currency

I am decidedly a late bloomer.  I didn't get on Facebook until it had been going for about a decade, I totally skipped over MySpace, and while I blog all the time, I don't really do it right (minimal ads that bring in a pittance, no effort to promote my blogs, etc).  So now that crypto-currency is all the rage, I am yet again not taking any steps towards participating in this thing that will either be the wave or the future or the downfall of the currency markets (I have no idea which).

At Christmas, all my nieces and nephews could talk about was their BitCoin and I don't blame they as they had made many thousands of dollars on their earlier BitCoin purchases (they are all in the tech industry so this wasn't much of a reach for them).  I, meanwhile, am pretty leery about any sort of unbacked currency that is not FDIC insured, any financial instrument that only exists in the ethers, and especially something of value that can be heisted with the click of a keyboard.  Call me old fashioned because I probably am.

So while everyone and their brother seems to be getting into the crypto-currency craze (even strippers in Vegas now take BitCoin!), these reasons keep me from "investing" in this newfangled monetary experiment.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Frugal Valentine


Happy Valentine's Day!!!  Our holidays are usually pretty low key.  I never want to go out to dinner for Valentine's Day (lines are too long) and flowers are just meh (they die so quickly) so almost since the hubby and I got together, he has made me cards for every holiday.  He is pretty clever and artistic and I absolutely LOVE the cards he makes me as they are both frugal as well as very personal!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

No Spend Update

It's the middle of February and I have yet to spend any money!  In fact, I just realized today that the few hundred dollars of spending money I put in my wallet at the beginning of the year was still there (a record, since I used to spend every bit of cash I had).  So far this is working out really well and even hubby has commented several times that he can't believe I haven't been spending like I usually do.

The reasons this has worked out so well are several:

  • I took all of the shopping apps off my cell phone, tablet, and laptop.  No more DealNews, Tech Bargains, Amazon Deal of the Day, Steep and Cheap alerts, etc.  If I don't know what the great deals are, I won't be tempted to buy them.
  • I really do have everything I need.  Clothes, yes.  Food, yes.  Shoes, yes.  Tech stuff, yes.  I would like a drone so my deal with myself is to get one after I am completely out of debt.
  • Hubby is helping so much.  Any time we eat out, it is free with his casino comps.  Any time we go to the grocery store, he pays.  That is a big help.
  • Speaking of stores, I simply don't go into them lest I feel like I want to buy something.  I did go into an REI a few weeks ago because I happened to be walking by the store.  Everything seemed so overpriced that I walked right back out.  We went to Ikea today because I was out of jam (my favorite is their organic lingonberry jam and buying food during my no spend year is fine).  We didn't even walk through the store, just went straight for the jam and straight out.
  • I am keeping myself super busy so I don't go shopping just because I am bored.  I did the Washington list and then the Las Vegas list which were both many hours of work.
  • I am pretty psyched because I have been able to pay down several thousand dollars on my debts so far this year.  I should be completely out of debt by the end of the year.  The thought of running up debt while I have been making such good strides at paying it down makes me stop and realize I don't NEED anything.
  • Finally, a few months ago I realized how close I had come to having hardly any income coming in.  I love the freelance work I do but the lady I do the bulk of my work for (and get the bulk of my money from) came a hairsbreadth from being fired by her Board of Directors.  If she goes, I will most likely go to and that would mean I would have to get a "real" job and there is no way I want to do that so it just reinforced the idea that I need to be completely debt free ASAP.  Once again, I realized that buying stuff and expecting to pay for it with future earning is idiotic.  There is no guarantee of future earnings!

Monday, February 12, 2018

1000 Things to Do in Las Vegas


At the beginning of the year, it was one of my goals to write a few books.  I realized that updating one of the books that I had published a while back wasn't such a great idea because the information changes so often that once the book is published and listed for sale, something that I put in the book could now be incorrect!  So I decided to make a website to list the information that was in the book (1000 Things to Do in Washington State) and finished that last month.  Hopefully it will make a bit of money with the few ads I put on the site.

The second book I wanted to write was similar to the first but focusing on Las Vegas.  Again, things change so fast here--businesses open, businesses close, businesses change names, etc--that putting the information in book format was pretty much a guarantee that the book would be outdated by the time it got published.  So I added another page to the website and wrote a list of "1000 Things to Do In Las Vegas".  After copious amounts of research and work the list is complete!  You can find it here and hopefully if you ever come to Las Vegas it will give you some ideas of activities to do here.

I told hubby that our task for the next while (year or more!) will be to do all of these activities and I will blog about them and attach the blog post to the list on the website.  He already said a flat "no way" to cliff jumping however...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cleaning Out the Pantry


Today my task was to clean out the pantry.  I do this about every three or four months to ensure that everything in the pantry gets rotated (I have a habit of food shopping then just tossing the things I buy into the pantry in a clump), that we use up small packages of opened things (like noodles), and so I can easily restock the pantry by making a list of things that are missing (ie: I put all of the soup together and it the soup area is looking low I add that item to my shopping list, ditto baking items, spaghetti sauce, etc).  Since I do this every few months it is a pretty quick process and it makes finding stuff when I am cooking dinner easier to find!