Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vegetable Gardening Can Save Big Bucks

Our basement is loaded with little seedlings of tomatoes and peppers of different kinds. I love the whole process of planting the seeds, waiting impatiently for them to sprout, watching them grow, re-potting them, and finally transplanting them to the garden. This week, we decided to add broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts to the mix. Talk about tiny seeds! But it was hard to resist when a packet of seeds, which cost less than $1.50 will give us a whole season's worth of yummy fresh veggies.

We only bought small packets of these new vegetables to see how they do. If they perform well, we'll increase the number next year.

As I've mentioned before, there is some initial expense in setting up a garden, but maintenance is not expensive, if you're willing to put in the work to make your own compost instead of buying it. Seeds cost far less than buying the fruit in the supermarket and fresh vegetables, or even home canned and frozen taste way better than anything you buy from those big stores.

The biggest expenses are time and 'sweat equity'. It is real work. But the results are worth it. I know I've blogged about it before, but I don't think I can over state the case. It's one of those things I encourage everyone to try. Even if it's just a few plants. For Brittan and me, it's about taking control of all areas of our lives. We hate the amount we have to spend at the grocery store. And we've found a way to fight back and develop a hobby at the same time.

To be sure, we're not perfect at it. This is only our second year of doing this seriously. We're expanding dramatically over last year, but we have a ways to go, to be considered authorities. We're beginners hoping to enthuse others to win in tough times and prosper in good ones.

And........ I need to start adding some pics to these posts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taking Responsibility

Recently, I heard the President say, "Only Government" can fix our current financial woes. Poppycock! He may mean well, but he is terribly off the mark. He missed the broad side of the barn by a mile.

We can fix our problems ourselves. Sure, we may need the help of professional advisers and the cooperation of banks, etc. But we can take control of our own financial situations, both present and future.

And it's simple. Not easy, maybe, but simple. We create a plan and follow it. We stop borrowing. We live within our means. It can be done and we can prosper.

The media would have us believe that all is dark. I beg to differ. It's cloudy, yes, but not dark. Even if its storming, it's not the apocalypse. I call on all Americans, to stand up, take responsibility for their own lives.......... and prosper. We're here to help.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Counting My Blessings

I've complained recently about not getting a bonus I was counting on and therefore I'm not able to finish my basement. While I'm still disappointed, I had quite a reality check as a result of a story I heard this week. It was a tale of of a 90 year old man, who had to return to work in a 'big box store', because he lost his once sizable retirement (virtually all of it) in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Folks, that rips. And it certainly puts my little setback into perspective.

Lessons learned: Diversify. Nothing is certain in this life. Stop whining.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Financial Setbacks Big and Small

In these tough financial times, many, maybe most, people are facing financial setbacks of one kind or another. We've all read about how thousands have lost everything to scams and schemes. Many thousands of others have lost work as their employers cut back or shut down. It's hard.

In that context, it is somewhat petty of me to blog my disappointment regarding my own recent setback, but I'm going to anyway.

Brittan and I have been planning to finish our basement. It's a project that will allow us to expand our living space, spend more time with our dogs and increase the value and sales appeal of our house (once the housing mess ends). We have it all planned out. But the financing for the job fell through when I learned that I am not going to be receiving a bonus I have been counting on. Small potatoes in the great economic meltdown, but painful to me none the less. And it has a ripple effect. My own income is hit (and it was a fairly nice bonus), the govt. gets less taxes, the contractor loses a job and income (more taxes lost to Uncle govt.), Home Depot, misses out on a nice series of material and appliance purchases, and so on.

Cause and effect. That's the name of the game. So, I'm bummed. To be sure, I could use a Home Equity Line of Credit to do the work, but that violates the very foundations of Recession Proof Living and IOU NO MORE. We were tempted. But because B and I make these decisions together, 2 are stronger (and wiser) than one, and we have decided to postpone the improvements. Well, we're still going to put the bathroom in and do some of the prep work. All is not lost. Merely setback. In the end, we still win.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Buyers Remorse

I went clothes shopping yesterday. I hate it. I resent spending money at all, but especially on clothes. And I spent a bunch! That always brings out the worst in me. I needed the clothes, to be sure. I'm a professional, but often dress like a vagabond. I'm hard on clothes and tend to keep them long past their shelf life. Then, all at once I realize how badly I need some new kit, and, bang, there goes the nest egg. Aw, it's not really that bad, but back in the late fall, I bought some new suits which cost a pretty penny and now I need new dress trousers and some shirts.

We budget for clothes, but I still hate spending money for them. I don't mind Brittan getting new duds, only me. Weird, huh?

But the deed is done, now. So be it. Now I have to buy new shoes. I should have done it yesterday, too, but simply couldn't bring myself to do it. My pain threshold has it's limits.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Over the last few days there has been a sudden surge in the number of requests for our FREE Basic Spending Plan budget form. While I'd rather it was a surge in book sales, I'm still encouraged that people still want to win with their personal finances. I keep saying that IOU NO MORE is the Simplest Money Management Plan on Earth and I mean it.

If you know folk who are needing help, please point them to the website. We're always delighted to be of assistance.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Coupon Websites

No time to write this morning, but saw this and wanted to spread the word. Wall Street Journal has some good news about places to go online to get coupons. Saving Money...... Woo Hoo! I'm in. Read it HERE.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Love it When Other Writers Make My Job Easier

While some people hate seeing blog entries that contain links to other articles, I find it quite useful. I see my job as doing the research and linking readers to the good stuff. Oh, sure, once in a while I have an original idea myself. But with the entire internet at my fingertips, I can provide access to some really good thinking. Today, I saw a very nice article on that came originally from It has some great tips about saving money and building wealth. Read it HERE.