We’re weird. I’m okay with that. No, really, I mean it. I’m glad we’re weird. It is one of the big reasons you check us out every day. But why are we that way? Why do we choose to look at “normal” and go the other way? Why do we drive cars we can actually afford instead of having payments? Why do we do most of our own construction projects? In other words – why do we do things that “normal” people don’t do? Today, I’ll fill you in.[Read more…]
I’ve been making Overnight Oats for many years. At first, I started because it was a cool breakfast to eat in the summer months when it’s HOT as soon as your feet hit the floor and you just want to sit in the nude and eat cold food. What? Oh, that’s just me? Oh well.
And then, my kids fell in love with them so I found myself making them all the time.[Read more…]
I recently took some training at my day job on giving and receiving feedback, the psychology of high performance, and some HR and hiring issues. Over the course of that training, a few major things really stuck out to me, but one of the biggest was how terrible we are at dealing with conflict. My ears perked up when the instructor gave a simple model of dealing with conflict that actually makes sense. More on that shortly.
A part of our challenge with conflict is because we are so terrible at listening. We all took training to learn to communicate our thoughts and ideas – reading, writing, math, speech, etc. all are focused on helping us learn to formulate and share our thoughts – but how many of us took any training on listening? I know I didn’t, except for some on-the-job training when I worked at a call center years ago. The point is, we haven’t been taught how to listen, and we generally are pretty awful at it because our main goal is to get our point(s) across instead of understanding someone else’s.[Read more…]
As a dad of four young kids, I’m in awe of what it takes to be a mom. I’m definitely not capable of doing what most of you moms out there accomplish. I regularly tell people that Stacy is a superhero…and I mean it. But here’s the thing, ladies – you are way too hard on yourself. Every mom fail matters!
However, using someone’s cheery social media feed as your standard, you’ve decided that you can’t measure up and that you’re a complete disaster. In doing that, you’ve set an unrealistic expectation that you literally will never be able to live up to.
Here’s the thing: we need you to fail.[Read more…]
As you probably already know, our family loves to shop online and we love to save money. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know most of the benefits of shopping online already, but humor me for a bit because I may teach you a thing or two about simplifying your online shopping experience and save you some money along the way. [Read more…]
We all know we should eat healthy, get plenty of sleep at night, exercise, and be proactive with managing our finances. And yet we’re a society that hits the drive thru, stays up too late to get up early, sits on the couch Netflix binge watching and lives on credit cards. We want all the benefits without being disciplined enough to earn them. Wouldn’t it be nice if just one thing in our life could be easy?!
I’m at least 20 lbs. overweight, sleep and 4 small children don’t mix, and I only run if being chased…so don’t look for my expertise on the first three of those items above. However, we’ve done pretty well with our finances. In fact, we were able to become 100% debt free in 2011 (including our home) and have never looked back. That means one of two things: 1) we make a ton of money and can blow it all at will, or 2) we make a budget every month and stick to it. Trust me…it is #2. [Read more…]
Health insurance has become a hot topic of discussion around these parts lately. One of the things that has come up more and more for those fed up with traditional health insurance is the concept of health sharing plans in lieu of traditional health insurance. The idea isn’t new – faith-based “health sharing arrangements” have been around since the early 80’s as an alternative to standard health insurance plans.
The thing I’ve long hailed is that no matter what your lot in life, health insurance is a necessity. I believe you take too big a risk of sinking your financial ship if you do not carry at least basic major medical coverage of some sort, and I even dedicated a portion of my book to that very notion. [Read more…]
Let’s start off with a joke: what do you get when you combine a pregnant woman suffering from all-day “morning sickness,” three kids aged six, three and one, a small dog who is almost blind and a husband who works full time and is in a season of busy travel for work? Give up? You get the perfect time to do a kitchen remodel, that’s what you get! [Read more…]
Here’s the deal – unless you have some superhuman powers I’m not aware of, you probably have a bunch of junk laying around your house. You may not classify it as junk, but if you don’t absolutely love it and it isn’t useful to you today or in the near and known future – it might as well be classified to you as junk. The “I might need it one day” syndrome is rampant in American culture…and I could be the poster child for that syndrome! I get it – I grew up in a home where we had plenty of “I might need it one day” items or “that was too good of a deal to pass up” stuff.
With our latest motivation to declutter and embrace the KonMari approach to get rid of a bunch of stuff we didn’t need, Stacy took on her natural role of organizer and went at the decluttering with a vengeance. Each day we’d chat off and on about what to do with the things we decided we didn’t love and were ready to part with. Everything basically fell into three categories: donate, sell, and trash. [Read more…]
Stacy has long been bothered by her smile, feeling self-conscious about it and trying to hide her teeth. I personally have never been concerned by this and yet “fixing her smile” has been on Stacy’s wish list for a very long while. A couple of years ago she went to the orthodontist and got a price quote on braces. Sticker shock caused her to put it off then. Fast forward to a few months ago and we finally agreed that if she was ever going to get braces, she just needed to go for it. We had some savings and so we fully expected to pay cash for the entire thing, but after discussing and considering it, we decided to not pay cash up front. Why? Here are the four big reasons we didn’t pay cash for braces. [Read more…]