Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Updated "About Me" For the Blog

After literally 9 years of not updating my about page on my blog, and people nudging me to update the extremely outdated about me section, I finally did it today. I thought about just linking to it within this post but then this post would be incredibly short, so I just copied it here as well.

For those that are new to my blog, this may help you learn a bit more about me. For those who've been here a while, maybe you'll learn something new?

Hello there and welcome to my about page. It has been far too long since I updated it last (9 years ago!!!!), and it was about time. If you've been reading my blog a while you will probably know about most of these updates already, but for the newbies I wanted to introduce myself and share what this blog is about.

This blog was started 11 years ago when I was in a time of great financial crisis. I had heard about a woman who blogged about her extreme frugality and made money from her blog and I loved writing and felt I had a lot of great ideas to share so took a gamble and started this blog. I was truly penniless then- the 10 dollars to buy the domain name was 10 dollars I didn't have, but I took the risk and I'm so glad I have. 

4 Points To Help You Decide Whether It’s Time To Relocate

I abhor moving. Absolutely detest it. If there were a list of the absolute most horrid things a person might have to do, moving is high up on that list for me. Yes, that much. I'm so happy I own my house so I don't have to move. But sometimes moving is a necessity. Sometimes not just moving houses but locations. Sometimes where you live just isn't right for you anymore. But how do you make the decision? Here are some points from a reader to help you decide.

This planet is huge and full of so many different opportunities. Whether we’re talking about professional life, recreational life, or personal life, Earth can give us so many different options. Plenty of people will want to stay in the same place every single day for the rest of their lives. For whatever reason, the idea of moving around just doesn’t seem attractive at all. That’s fine, of course, but humans are meant to travel around – it’s in our nature.

When you get the itch to move abroad or to a place hundreds of miles away, it can be easy to doubt whether it’s a good idea. The brain likes to play tricks on us, doesn’t it? If you’re in this predicament right now, then perhaps these four thoughts can help you out a little and make the answer a little clearer

Exciting News to Share

You know what that face is?

It's genuine happiness.

A feeling of freedom.


I asked Mike 2 years and 8 months ago for a divorce. 

Mike moved out 2 years and 5 months ago.

Paying for Child Care: When Does it Make Sense?

When my kids were little, the obvious choice for me was to stay home with them, not just from an ideological perspective but also from a monetary one- I wouldn't make enough money to make paying child care worthwhile. So instead I worked from home so the kids could be with me. This is something that many parents debate- is it actually worthwhile to pay for childcare? Here are some thoughts on the subject from a reader. Hope you find it as interesting as I did!

Child care services offer parents a lot of freedom and flexibility, but the costs can be substantial. For many parents living on minimum wage or a single income, paying for a full-time child care program is out of reach. Although costs can vary depending on where you live, they take up a large chunk of an average salary almost everywhere. This situation causes many parents to wonder if it makes any financial sense to pay for child care. It often seems more cost-effective for one of the parents to give up their job and stay at home.

So, when does it make sense to pay for child care?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

What To Do When You Flop Your Rice

Usually I am good at cooking rice.

Ok, I take that back.

I used to be more or less fine cooking rice, but occasionally I'd burn it because I'd get distracted.

So I started cooking rice in the oven because it doesn't matter as much when you take it out; it's more forgiving that way. 

Cooking rice in the oven is supposed to be simple. And it usually is. 2 cups water for every cup of rice, cover it, bake it for 30-45 minutes or until ready. If you leave it for 15 minutes longer it's not a big deal.

But yesterday I had really, really bad luck with rice. And it sucked because my daughter was hungry and she asked specifically for rice because I hadn't made it in some time and rice is one of her favorite foods (I know, right?). 

I specifically put in two pans of rice. I put the rice in the oven but -TMI warning- I had to use the bathroom badly so I didn't cover it right away, and I wonder if that was the issue here... 

Because half an hour later, the water was all gone but the rice looked and tasted dry and gritty. I added an extra cup of water to it and baked it for longer but it was still dry and gritty. So I added more water. And when the water was absorbed I had pasty rice.


How To Avoid Debt (and What To Do If You Can’t)

Debt avoidance is much better than debt management. Here are some tips from a reader on how to act to prevent getting into debt and the best course of action to follow if taking a loan is inevitable.

Debt is one of the most dangerous financial situations you can find yourself in. There are several causes of debt: unexpected costs, expensive life events (like moving house), or poor money management. Some of these causes are unavoidable, while others can be planned for. Either way, you want to avoid debt at all costs.

If you go into debt, you will find your lifestyle changed. In the short term, debt can lower your credit score, remove your ability for financing, and even cause creditors to bring lawsuits against you.

In the long term, the effects can be even more disastrous. It can take years to pay off debt, which means years of restriction, tight budgeting and poor emotional health from the strain. If a lawsuit is brought against you successfully, the consequences you may face could follow you around for years.

In summary - avoiding debt is paramount.

DIY Carpet Stain Removal Tips

I used to have a carpet in my kids' room and I needed to throw it out because the kids got slime in it and I couldn't get it out. (Slime has since been banned from my house.) Too bad I didn't have these tips that a reader sent me or I might have been able to save the carpet!

Smart tips to keep your carpet looking pristine 

Getting stains on your carpet is inevitable. You may accidentally spill your drink or drop your food. Then, you rush to rinse it off with water but still find a spot on your carpet. Just like that, your carpet is already stained. 

Even without kids or pets, a carpet disaster can happen anytime. When this happens, a DIY solution to remove the stain is usually the first thing that comes to one’s mind.   

The experts from No1 Carpet Cleaning Melbourne, a local carpet cleaning company based in Southern Victoria, share some easy-to-follow carpet stain removal tips that will make your carpet look spotless again.    

Monday, April 5, 2021

Buying New Chairs and The Importance of Sinking Funds

I haven't had a lot of success with appliances and furniture lately, to put it mildly, as I mentioned recently. Fridge, stove, and hot water all stopped working at once. And I didn't even write in my posts about my issues with my dishwasher and needing to call a repairman out because of a massive flood it was causing in my kitchen. When it rains, it certainly does pour.

But it didn't end there.

Three years ago we bought a table and chair set and we were quite excited about them. But they were cheap and not the best quality and the chairs have really been problematic lately. Like they were wobbly and not so great to sit on. The legs on some chairs bent a bit. And when I stood on one time I felt the seat break a bit.

But they worked.

And while the chairs weren't great and I wanted to replace them, I told myself that that was a want, not a need, and there were enough other expenses that I had that it wasn't right to just buy new chairs- that would be a sign of my being spoiled. I could wait with that, especially since I was having fridge and hot water issues and I was getting a new oven anyhow and paid a little more for a giant oven, which is a bit of a splurge.

It wasn't the right time for me to indulge my "petty" desire for nicer chairs.

And then my friends came over for dinner. And in the middle of dinner two of the chairs around the table literally split in half. Not screws loosening as had been happening for a while with these chairs. Nope, the metal snapped where it was soldered together. Definitely not fixable.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Family's Finances

Debt sucks. Unfortunately thanks to college many adults start out their life with significant debt. Another large percentage of people have credit card debt because of their income being less than their expenses. Debt is tough because each month the payments can eat up a sizable amount of your income, making you have even less disposable income. If you're in that situation, here are some suggestions from a reader on what you can do to improve your family's finances.

When you graduate from college with a four-year degree in hand, you leave the hallowed halls of learning behind and are suddenly thrust into the world of adult responsibilities. It's now time to get a full-time job, where you will work endless hours as you try to handle your projects and lengthy to do list. You'll also have to find a place to rent and then you'll have to buy all of the things you need to set up your first home. Once you get settled in, you'll have some time to start exploring your new town and hanging out with friends again.

While the change from college student to adult is a big transition, nothing prepares you for being a parent and strapping on all of those new demands. Suddenly, everything you do has to be considered in terms of how it helps take care of your family. You can't just live anywhere, you have to get in a good neighborhood where your family will be safe and the schools are great too. When you have kids, you quickly find out it's even harder to make ends meet. Your finances take a hit, because it takes money to raise a child.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Parenting Tips: How to Communicate With Teenagers

Raising teenagers is considered to be quite hard. That is the common consensus. Many teens and their parents do not get along. I am lucky that my teen son and I have a good relationship. However, these things are not a given. Here are some tips from a reader on how to better communicate with your teens, so that you can have a better relationship.

Raising children is fraught with many challenges. After all, no one wants a child to get into bad company, start smoking, gamble at nationalcasino.com/en_au, and the like. And it is natural that the older the child becomes, the more difficult it is to find a common language with him. The greatest difficulties, as a rule, begin with the onset of adolescence.

Let's take a look at tips on how to communicate with your teen children properly.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Buying an Exciting Giant Oven and Rearranging My Living Room and Dining Room

I mentioned in my recent post that I had so many things breaking at a time. What I didn't mention, though, is that my stove had been breaking for a long time, and it wasn't a new thing. I was just suffering with a barely working stove, making everything take longer since I could only cook two pots at a time, and one of those pots cooked very slowly, and the other burner sometimes would either try to explode or flutter out. The oven was problematic from when I got it. For some reason the steam dripping down the inside of the oven made the bottom of the oven rust and flake off from the very beginning. It was gross and I couldn't justify getting rid of it just for the aesthetic, so I kept my nasty looking oven for far too long. It was only after the burners were really affecting my life negatively that I decided I'd get a new oven. (And only once I was able to ascertain that I didn't need to buy a new fridge. I could live with two not so great functioning burners; I do not ever want to live without a fridge again- 8 days was far more than enough!!!)

When I was looking for an oven, I decided to see if I could find a larger one than what I had before. Because even when the burners were working, if I had a larger pot or a wok it often took up half the stovetop and I could maybe cook one other thing on it. As someone who does a lot of cooking and dabbled in catering for a few weeks last year (before my health issues didn't let me continue), I saw how much extra time it took me to cook when I was not able to use all my burners in one go. More burners, I knew, would be very, very useful for me even just cooking for my family, but especially if my body starts cooperating more and I want to attempt catering again. I'd seen stoves with five burners on them but the fifth burner is a small one in the middle of the other four, and it still has the same surface area as the standard stovetop, so it wouldn't help me at all, because you can't use them at the same time. So I decided to look for a stove/oven that had 6 burners, but all of them were ridiculously expensive, at least 3 or 4 times the price of a standard stove/oven, even the cheapest ones that existed. Then I looked on the price comparison website for a 5 burner stove, attempting to see if one existed that wasn't with overlapping burners and I found quite a few that were only about 75 dollars more than the standard one. I was shocked at how little extra five-burner stoves cost, even when they were extra wide. With only that different of a price, I knew I had to get it. 

The only thing was the width. My house is great, but it is small. The kitchen is combined with a living room and dining room, and I had to make sure that everything would fit. There is no nook for my oven, it just goes next to the counter, so I had no actual limitations in terms of size. I did, however, need to be able to fit my furniture into the room. My dining room table was next to the oven and I measured- at 90 cm (30 cm wider than my old oven, I think) it still gave enough room to have my dining room table there. But just barely.

I ordered it. So it would be tight. That's fine. I pull the table out anyhow for meals, more towards the center of the room, so I'd do that whenever our family would have a meal, I thought.

The oven arrived. It was beautiful! So big and wide and with so much room to cook! Exactly what I wanted!

But when I put my table next to it, I saw just how difficult it would be to have the table there. So I decided to switch it all up, and reconfigure my entire space.

The best money-saving apps available to download right now

I love money saving. I love applications on my phone. Apps that save me money are the best kind. Here are some suggestions on money saving apps sent to me by a reader.

Saving money isn’t the easiest of goals to smash, particularly at the moment during these difficult and financially testing times for a lot of people. Fancy dinners can be made on a budget, or the occasional bargain can be found online. Still, overall the cost of living can catch up with people and lead to the rare stressful moment or two further down the line.

As is the way of the world now, there is pretty much an app for everything. That includes money-saving apps also, with an array of popular apps helping people all around the globe to make savings here and there wherever possible. Alongside this, sometimes your finances can feel overwhelming to manage and knowing exactly how much you should put aside for something can cause a headache. We have all been there.

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