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Frugal Should Not’s

I do the things you aren’t supposed to do. Not as a card carrying member of Team Frugal. Not if I ever wish to become Financially Independent. Not as a devout follower of Amy Dacyczyn. Cardinal Sins. Poor life choices. I’m screwed. With my 2012 car depreciating in my driveway, as I kick back and stream the last season of Girls via one of my many iPaidTooMuch Apple devices. Skipping, dancing, and latte drinking my way down the road to (financial) ruin. Or so they’d have you believe.

Who? The ‘they’. Internal or external Them. Collective wisdom. Bloggers (oops), commentators, talking heads, conventional advice. If you make THIS choice, you need not apply to our club. It’s a comfy clubhouse. Furnished with second hand furniture, featuring low-cost beverages (tap water), and a 24 hour beans and rice buffet. Read more

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Enough Already

I feel like I’ve written about this enough. Enough of the enough even. But, not specifically and not in awhile. Mostly because I haven’t written about much in a while. Furthermore, it still haunts me. This concept. Saturation. Satiation. When to call it good, or just when to call it. When enough is enough? How do you have the presence of mind to identify it? Without roaring right past into the land of excess? It’s a slippery slope. For me. It can’t be just me though. (Can I get an Amen?) Spending begets more spending, begets more and more and and and … Well, I’m great at hindsight. But, I tend to let my snowball gather great momentum before I deign to interrupt its path.

Currently? No such luxury. In the now, with one shaky income (The Husband’s), a little bit of paid maternity leave (and I do mean a little), and some of my much coveted savings (I am loath to spend), I need to become acquainted, face to face, first name basis, best-friend style, with Enough. I need him to call before he visits. I’d like to see him coming a mile away. Read more

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A Line Drying Revolution

Sometimes I’m a slow learner. I dismiss certain frugal doing as ‘too difficult’, ‘inconvenient’, or ‘not for me’. Someday I will learn, that short of separating my two-ply into single, well that’s just dumb. Clotheslines are one of those things. Specifically the outdoor variety. I’ve got a couple indoor models in use in my basement. As a resident of rainy, overcast, damp Seattle, we are lucky to be able to use those all year round. But frankly, they kinda suck. Limited and inefficient. They save our shirts from a trip through the money guzzling heat box (what I’ve taken to calling our dryer). For anything of substance though, towels, jeans, sheets, pet bedding it takes too long, and there is simply not enough real estate to put the accursed appliance completely out of commission.

Oh, for summer time! Or spring. Or even a breezy dry fall day. Any day without precipitation really. I’ll take it. So begins my love affair with outdoor drying. Clothesline! How I love thee! Read more

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Cheap + Expensive: A Nursery

My baby, (who isn’t here yet, a fact causing me all kinds of grief) has been suitably provided for. And then some. I’d go so far as to say I am pretty dang happy with how his digs have turned out. It’s not often one ‘plans a room’. At least not this ‘one’. In my world, decor evolves. Hand me downs and purchases, old and new, intentions and the inevitable. A hodge-podge. Screw you, Pinterest. The process is more interesting than any inspiration board.

But a room for a brand new person, where you have months to plan and plot and purchase, where to some degree it has to be done. Because, a kid is showing up (eventually). Starting from essentially zero. What’s the end result of that? Read more

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Buying into Baby

There’s so much Stuff to buy for your kid!! Welcome to the pressure I’ve felt for the last 7 months. And I’m not talking on my bladder. No. Some people call it ‘nesting’. I call it a prime opportunity for our consumer culture to hoist a bunch of unnecessary crap your way. Short term crap, most of it. With an expiration date of a few years, if not months or even weeks in the the case of those newborn clothes. This is stuff you gotta have. At least some of it, but we ain’t talking life and death and heirlooms here. Oh, I’m sure I’ll tuck away a couple outfits and blankets for posterity. When it comes to breast pumps, nursing pillows, and pack-n-plays though, what do I much care?

The problem is people get a little nutty about baby stuff. Read more

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Badassity: Re-Branding Frugality

I’m writing this post because I wanted to use that word. A word, I am not genius enough to take credit for. I should probably be paying the venerable Mr. Money Mustache five cents every time I use it. And I would gladly hand over a fist full of nickels for the pleasure. Badassity. Badassity. Badassity. Not just fun to say, but a call to arms.

Am I really going to dedicate a whole post to another blog? Potentially. But, no. Hang on. It could be worth it. Read more

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The Pinterest Trap

Do you follow me on Pinterest? Don’t worry if you don’t. I realize not everyone gets Pinterest. Just the other the day the BFF says to me “Yes, but what do I do with it?” As if the act of collecting other people’s ideas, images, hacks, decorating schemes, clothes, recipes, sayings, memes, and pictures of cats some how wasn’t actually doing something. Pah-shaw.

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A trio of items already owned that will make it into the baby room. Bookshelf, lamp, and fox. Although, the fox may have been a Christmas request with a specific purpose in mind.

Lucky me. I do get it. Online pin board. Pin your interests. I’ve always loved me a real life pin board. Pinterest is the online, instant gratification, manifestation of that love of collecting. And wanting. Pine-ing, even. Pine-terest? Read more

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The Two Income Requirement

Have I ever told you I think the whole dual income household thing is bullshit? No? Then I’m telling you now. Requiring two incomes to live is bullshit. Kids. No kids. Bullshit. It’s some great conspiracy we all bought into. That this is ‘the norm’. That two people should of course be employed outside the home. Of course, we should squeeze all the tasks and errands and general living of our real lives into evenings and weekends. Duh. Doesn’t it make sense that I should spend my ‘free time’ picking up clothes from the seamstress (because I don’t have time to sew them) or running to the bank (gotta make it before it closes). Then I’ll spend more money to pick up dinner on the way home, because yep, no time for cooking either.

Bullshit. When did we sign up for this?

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The constructs of the dual income lifestyle: A Corporate America lunch sack and one very dirty blue collar cooler.

I’ve never understood the work day/weekend split. 5 days on, 2 days off for most of us. Not a ratio in my favor. Read more

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Splurge: A New Strategy

I’ve been known to spend money on Stuff (aka junk, crap, Vikings, Yetis, and Owls). I’ve even admitted to a couple of those occasions since the inception of this blog. There’s nothing wrong with a little ‘off the reservation’ from time to time. Really, there’s not. However, for me it’s usually reactive. Not proactive. I stumble across some unanticipated awesomeness, and BOOM! Wallet aflame. Mental angst and situational remediation ensues.

Case in point: Back in December, the Urban Craft Uprising took me and my budget by storm. I was overwhelmed. Caught off guard. I was unaware such a venue for fabulous expenditure existed. I walked in blindly, and left overwhelmed and filled with regret.

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This would not happen a second time. This time if I wanted to buy a carnivorous plant terrarium, I would buy a carnivorous plant terrarium. Hold the side of guilt. Read more

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Clothing: An Argument for New

This feels like it should be a confession. That there is somehow shame in buying new clothes. Because I pay (mostly) full price. Because they are items (mostly) made overseas. Shame on me as a Conscientious Consumer. Or something. Because the more I think about it, and believe me I think things to absolute death, the more buying new clothes is a proper use of my time and resources.

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I do a fair amount of thrifting. As the holder of one full time job, the blogger of this here blog, the tender of one Ugly Garden, and the owner to too many dogs, fair is completely subjective. Read more

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