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Saturday Link Love: A Tale of 2 Jobs

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Future Chicken house. Pretty happy there were no ladies living in it this week. Next year though…

A week of being snowed in means The Husband doesn’t work. At all. Something as simple as the weather decreased his monthly income by 25%. Lame. And the nature of the beast.

It’s times like this I appreciate Corporate Servitude. Corporate Servitude that enables me to be at home all week, still filling my function, staying off the icy roads, and greatly lessening the blow of The Husbands sudden lack of employment. I may dislike it greatly, but it sure is a cushy place to land.

In further contrast, today I will end my week of quiet work at home with a shift at The Pet Store. I will chat up customers, stock bags of food and then carry it out to cars. I will bag and smile and straighten, like I would have been doing all week, icy roads and snow and all, if I hadn’t had the opportunities I did and made the choice I made. Work from home is a luxury I certainly would not have had. Such is the nature of that beast.

With all that on my mind, I have only 1 link to share today.

Originally found via Rowdy Kittens, NorCal Katie writes a thought provoking piece on life and death… and jobs, at least in reference to how we spend our time. My favorite quote is…

I didn’t want to spend the next 30 years working for someone else’s bottom line as a corporate servant in exchange for money and have little time to do what I really want to do with my life. I’d rather have time than money, but that’s just me. (I also really dislike being told what to do.) I want to write, take pictures, garden, be creative, and help people.

Amen, Sister!

My struggle is making my life match that desire. Without a momentous life changing deus ex machina, how does one transform their life into what they want to do? Vs. what they have to when there’s a little snow?

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Saturday Link Love: New Blogs

Barred Rock Hen

This is the first of many chicken pictures that will take over this blog and my life as we prepare for their impending arrival. Today I am at Chicken Class, hopefully learning all about how to keep baby chickens alive. Do you think they will cover the part on keeping them away from a pack o’ mutts?

This has been the week of new blogs for me. I’ve made some momentous discoveries. I love finding new voices I never knew existed.

Jenna at

, which she wrote. Yet, more chicken preparedness.

Frugally Sustainable. Seriously, how did I not know about this before? They are redefining frugality in a way I can very much get on board with. There’s even a 23 day Frugal Living challenge, if you are into that sort of thing.

Last and most awesome is NW Edibles. Another local-to-me blogger, I never knew I always wanted to. Look at her garden in freaking January. January! After that, please read about not being an urban homestead a$$hole, because its funny, and so true. Much like Portlandia.

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Saturday Link Love: A Full Schedule

January
This is not my calendar, but it totally could be. Photo credit goes to aperture_lag.

One week into the New Year, and January is looking busy, busy. What was wide open is now full to the brim with dinners and appointments, Grandmas visits, a concert and even Chicken Class. Woot! I am looking forward to my schedule, instead of dreading it. Bring it January!

Before, I continue with said schedule, which includes a final round of Birthday activities for The Husband, I’ll share a couple links I’ve been holding on to..

Eventhough, I’m not a minimalist, I’ve been perusing a couple minimalist blogs. One of which, Be More with Less gave me permission to stop now. This was actually a pre-Christmas message, but one I keep coming back to as an important reminder to myself. Sometimes you just gotta be done.

And now for something completely different, Mixed Greens, which I very much enjoy (the blog and the veggies) talks about eating less meat. As I struggle with the grocery spending, this is not something I’ve taken to heart. We eat a lot of ‘meat and a side’ kind of meals. Changing that requires some rumination. Food for thought. (Har!)

I am always so interested in what Van over at ThriftCore is doing, especially when she’s deploying the cutest version of the envelope system known to man. I’ve never gone the envelope route, technically I don’t “need to” since the mechanics of my Financial Empire are already in place. But, I’m considering a ‘Cash Only February Challenge’, just to put myself in touch with my money, where it goes, and when in a very literal sense. If I am going to do this, I’ll have to start prepping soon.

One last shout out to Wayward Dogs, who recently found me, and gave me a Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks Crystal! It looks like I’m in good company on that list. Documenting the dogs that wander into our lives, and what becomes of them is worthwhile, and makes for good reading. I’m enjoying getting to know this blog.

Happy reading! I am off! Busy schedule, here I come!

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Saturday Link Love: Use What You Have

As I embark on a Saturday of Conscientious Consumerism by finishing up Holiday shopping at some of my favorite local places with The Husband in tow, I feel like the blog-o-verse has been speaking to me this week. Reminding me to take a second or even third look at the things I already have when it comes to decorations and uses and maybe even gifts.

The Art of Doing Stuff is one of my favorite new blogs. If you haven’t read it yet, Hilarious. Even this design maven whom I envy with a green eyed fury took a moment to show off some super classy decorating she did with items on hand. Makes me wonder what I have laying around. Hmmmm…

An old favorite, The Frugal Girl, tackled a very messy laundry room without the assistance of any ‘organizational equipment’. I’m a firm believer that the average household contains enough boxes, bins, containers, and baskets to tackle almost any organization project. No need to buy more Stuff to organize your existing Stuff.

Minting Nickels did some wardrobe shopping and planning, only to realize that she didn’t need anything else. It was much more about identifying winning combinations, than continuing to add to the mix.

Decoration, wardrobe, and laundry room challenges, all perfectly good excuses to go out and buy more. All handled with items on hand. I’ll try to keep these excellent examples in mind as I shop. Maybe the Stuff I have at home is just as good (or better) than whatever it is I’m seeing. And it won’t cost me a penny.

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Saturday Link Love: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

I worked from home yesterday. I begrudgingly admit this is a fringe benefit of my Corporate Servitude. A few times a month, I can spend the day at my desk at home. No commute, all the coffee I can drink, and a room full of happy sleeping dogs. Since we are in the midst of The Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, however, I refused to turn up the thermostat just because I’m home. My cubicle at work may be beige and blah, but its a heck of a lot warmer.

An interesting week’s worth of posts to share.

Speaking of dogs, my friend Miser Mom introduced us to her Miser Dog, and questions the nature of pet ownership and frugality. I’ve written about general ways to save money on pets, but by it’s very nature pet ownership isn’t really frugal, is it? It’s another one of those things I am all too happy to compromise on.

Sustainable Eats had a very thought provoking piece about Why Farmer’s Markets and CSA’s Aren’t Enough to fix our nation’s food problems. I agree. Although, I don’t know what the feasible solution is, other than growing more (all, as much as possible) of your own. Bulk buying is great, if you can swing it. But, there is extensive planning and some overhead which proves problematic. Farmer’s Markets are totally elitist. My grocery budget is living proof.

Lazy Man and Money is not a blog I usually read. However, I’m always drawn to the What Do You Want To Do With Your Life? question. Quotes I loved from this…

“The more I think about what I want to do with my life, the more I realize that I’m looking for an answer that isn’t there. I’ve found that if I do anything long enough it’ll get boring. “

Can I get an Amen? I’ve written before, that it’s about constantly asking the question, while realizing there is no finite answer. The hard part is keeping that process from being frustrating. I also like this…

“What do you want to do with your 8 hours?”

Now that is a good question. It’s not what I want to do with my life. Its how do I want to spend the 8 hours of my day everyday. Let me tell ya, even if the beige cubicle is cozy and warm, it’s not where I want to be.

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Saturday Link Love: A Slow Start

I’m still in the pajamas and coffee drinking portion of my morning. This is much beloved time round these parts. The morning we don’t leap out bed and run to the gym or start making lunches and dinners. Where we have the luxury of pushing the ‘to-do’ out just a little ways. Thoughts stew. I read. I write. The Husband watches some crap TV (Netflix) I have no interest in. Although, the dogs always seem to enjoy it.

It comes to a screeching halt much too soon. In approximately 30 minutes, actually. But, in the mean time, I’ll revel a bit. And wax philosophic.

I had a whole slew of links. I’m discarding them, and going with less is more.

Of course, the one I pick is Get Rich Slowly, because I love Get Rich Slowly.  This week JD revisited his do-what-works-for-you philosophy. As I stated in the comments, this is something I could read every day. In fact, wait a sec….Yup, even today.

I make a lot of references to not being “traditionally frugal”. In many cases, the “what?” and “from who?” of a purchase are more important to me than the “how much?”. I often choose to limit my spending, by cutting down on the quantity of the actual items purchased, rather than the cost of the items themselves. J.D. remind us, that that’s ok. We each  set our own goals, choose our own path, and define our own success. There is no singular right way.

The more important thing is that we are putting the thought into our decisions.

Ahhhhh. It was a like a breath of fresh air this week. As someone who tends to be very black and white, this was a nice reminder of the comfort and reality of gray.

My productive Saturday will commence in short order. Right now, I’m going to pretend it won’t.

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Saturday Link Love: Nothing to See Here

Well, not much anyway. I’m spending my early morning hours drinking coffee and managing the financial empire, before we go to the gym, then pick up a just a few groceries, then drop off 2 dogs at the groomer, then run to a friends house to help her with projects, then, then, then…. You get the picture. Busy Saturday. Off to the races.

The good news is, as I’m reviewing budgets for the next two months, I discovered that December is a 3 paycheck month. Woot! Woot! That means an extra infusion into the Emergency Funds and an extra chunk on the mortgage principle just in time for 2012. Seems like a good way to start the new year.

Onward to reading of note.

The Non-Consumer Advocate posted a link to a great NY Times article this week about occupying your checkbook. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart, about personal responsibility and personal finance. Worth reading. I’ve been stewing on it all week.

More food for thought, as we approach the Christmas Season. Get Rich Slowly did an Ask the Readers: How Much Do You Spend of Gifts. I’m planning to spend very, very little this year. This has been great food for thought as I mentally prepare myself NOT to spend.

Last, but not least, The 60K Project warmed my heart this week in her October Budget Review. Why? She overspent on vet care for their dog. Something I am all to familiar with. Vet expenses are so often under emphasized in potential pet ownership costs. As our companions age, this can be a very real deal. It’s why as I manage the financial empire, I diligently put money into the Vet Savings account. Most of my mutts, aren’t spring chickens. If something happens, I will move heaven and earth to take care of them. I’d like to make that moving a little easier on myself.

Productive Saturday, here I come.

 

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Saturday Link Love: Conscientious Consumerism

A subject near and dear to my heart. This week, a couple of my favorite blogs had some great posts, followed by thoughtful (and heated) discussions about just that topic.

The Frugal Girl answered some questions about her feeling on sweatshops, and where we procure our clothes.

Over at Get Rich slowly, there was a very interesting discussion about the true cost of Halloween Candy.

I’m all about the big effects of small purchases, and how they impact our lives and the world around us. Both of these debates have spurred me to write my own guide to conscientious consumerism. What are my criteria? How do you balance it?

Last, but not least, I’ve been following the journey into a Tiny House over at Rowdy Kittens. This week they finally did it! I can’t help but be excited for them. Even if a tiny house isn’t on my horizon (no garden or room for pack o’ Mutts), I’ve found their journey very thought provoking. What would go into my own tiny house? What process would I go through to cull, and downsize and cull some more? It’s something I reflect on when I’m putting things into Stuff Purgatory, and certainly when I’m planning to bring some other new thing into my own not-so-tiny house.

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Saturday Link Love: First Ever

I usually read on Saturdays, not write.

Some of that reading, however, is on the interwebs. I thought I’d share the particular items of interest currently stirring around in my noodle. Since, this is the first ever edition, I’m utilizing the way back machine to reference some not all that current stuff. Things I’ve been hanging on to, and perhaps re-reading from time to time.

Get Rich Slowly remains my favorite PF Blog of all time. At this point its like an old friend. One I still find endlessly interesting. Two of my most recent faves…

Intro to the new Staff Writer, Tim Sullivan. This contains a line that I’ve found myself returning to several times this week.

Finding the balance between planning and risk is usually the roadblock that forces most into inaction.

Things that make you go Hmmmmmm.

And a slightly older post about turning paranoia into Plan B, in which we are introduced to my new favorite term and familiar past time; Awfulizing.

 

Both of these posts make me reflect on my own recent journey, and how I behaved during it. Awfulized? Yes. Stuck between risk and in action? Definitely. How do you accept uncertainty? No answer to that yet.

Throw in Trent’s recent words about crossroads over at the Simple Dollar, and the blogosphere seems to be speaking to me. Certainly helping me process and ‘get over’ some of this experience.

Moving on to some new friends, Well Heeled wrote a great post about expenses that are judged the most, for whatever reason. I like to call them Personal Finance Sins. Having just purchased a brand new car, this has been on my mind. It helped put things into perspective. Yes, we Americans are generally bad with money, but there is no always right solution. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes and all that. An appreciated reminder.

Last, but not least, Miser Mom wrote about her Waffle Iron woes. Another welcome reminder. Sometime it takes a chopstick, perseverance, and a call to the manufacturer to keep something out of the landfill and the money in your wallet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prolonged the life of an item (mostly vacuums for some reason) by months or even years, with free replacement parts from the manufacturer. Its almost always worth a Google and a phone call.

 

 

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