The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Invasion Edition

The extended family starts invading today. They don’t all leave until next Wednesday. Seriously. It could be a long week.

An Annoying Email A person, who sounds almost exactly like me in a lot of ways (30, married, has two kids, makes a good wage, has two cars in the driveway, pays for daycare), is sending out some rather bitter emails about a lack of advice for people in his situation (I’ve gotta assume he’s never read The Simple Dollar). This is how one person responded. (@ i will teach you to be rich)

What Is Frugality and Are We Frugal? This person codifies a lot of definitions of frugality – and finds that they don’t always match up. (@ gather little by little)

11 Ways We Are Going To Save On Heating Costs This Winter A programmable thermostat is key. (@ blogging away debt)

The Simple Dollar Retro: I’m Making All The Right Moves, But I’m Still Unhappy Even if you have your life on the right financial path, it’s not all happiness and rainbows and puppies.

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  1. Laura says:

    After reading Nathan’s problems, I was reminded that choices we make now could help us immensely in the future. I found interetsing how he mention he didn’t say ‘no’ to requests by family. I’m not saying that you should live like a monk and say no to everything, but there has to be some amount of limits if you want some financial security in the future.

    Ramit make a great comment that ordinary results come from ordinary choices. Many people choose to remain in a lifestyle of debt. How they got there can either be by choice (spending more than you earn) or by cirmcumstance (disaster, illness strickes, etc), but what you try to do relies, in large part, to what you do from there.

    My mother had tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Some of her doing and some by my father who put so much much on the department store credit card that interest (24%) made it near impossible to pay off. She managed to cut down on expenses and had a payment plan. Finally after looking at the situation, she made the tough decision to sell her townhome while the market was hot and move to a smaller city 4 hours away.

    She managed to pay off her all credit card debts and her car loan, with still having a chunk for a mortagage that is now lower with a bigger house. She found her dream job as an ESL teacher and she is less stressed.

    Life’s not perfect, but she is glad about her decision now.

    There has to be a balance in making decisions. Are you willing to change some now to have a better future?

  2. Emily says:

    I just wanted to say that we love our programmable thermostat but by far the vinyl windows we put in save us much more money – Upwards of 20% on our heating cost.
    We moved into our house in the middle of winter the very next summer we replaced all the aluminum windows with vinyl – my husband did all the labor so that was a huge savings for us (replacing a window is not as hard as it sounds).
    Other must are insulating your crawl space and attic. A lot of attics have old insulation that has packed down over the years this is totally inefficient. Replacing the insulation is an easy enough weekend project. You can rent the insulation blower and buy bags of insulation at the hardware store. It takes two people to complete the job efficiently, one to do the blowing and one to empty the bags of insulation into the machine.
    Beware that if you have an older home the existing insulation in your attic may contain asbestos.

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