Archive for the ‘Cutting Spending’ Category

Health food that’s half the price of fast food

January 23, 2013 7 comments

Healthy and Cheap

I am a bit of a health nut, so I’ve had numerous conversations with friends about how ridiculously unhealthy fast food tends to be, and why people keep going back to it.

I’m no saint.  I’ll indulge in an Egg McMuffin a few times a year, but I tend to treat fast food like an exotic delicacy, because you’d be crazy to spend money to eat that sugar and salt infused goodness every day.

Yet millions Americans do just that; it’s damaging to their life expediencies and their wallets.  Well I’m here to tell you, nay, prove to you that anyone can eat for less than half of what you’d spend at McDonalds and still have healthy, delicious, and quick meals all week long.

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Driving my gas costs into the ground!

January 9, 2013 2 comments
Gas Costs
The IRS recently increased the business mileage reimbursement rate to 56.5 cents/mile.  A few months back, I showed that the marginal cost for driving my vehicle is more like 30.88 cents/mile.  Although this is cheaper than the IRS average, it’s still not great.
It got me thinking about my cost of driving, and how much I’m still spending on my car.  As you can see by my fuel costs over the past few years, I’ve made some progress but I’ve got a long way to go.

It’s because I spend less, not because I make more

December 23, 2012 2 comments


I have a dear friend named Sam who enjoys chatting about money when we get together every week or so.  Whenever I lend some advice about how to handle her financial issues, she swipes aside my comments because in her words, “Of course it’s easy for you because you make so much more than me”.  Sam happens to be a teacher and I’m an engineer, so I do make a bit more than her, but the point I’ve been unable to get across is that my finances are sound because I spend less than her, not just because I make more than her.

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My 2013 “Boring Financial Topics” Action Plan

December 6, 2012 1 comment


When was the last time you go jazzed about tax withholding, or talked about your liability coverage at a party.  Sometimes I tend to avoid boring topics, and since these are fairly major costs to my budget, I decided it’s time to change.  So Here’s my plan.

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Categories: Cutting Spending Tags: ,

Is my leisure time worth $40/hr?

December 5, 2012 4 comments

In 2011 my net worth was increasing at about $600/mo like clockwork.  I had a good job, and I was spending most of what I made, and saving just a little each month.  See my cash analysis for more details.

Since January 2012, I began learning more about my cash, I started spending, saving it, and investing it more wisely.  At the end of 2012, I now have $14,400 more than I would have otherwise.  Thus the time I spent learning about my cash was worth at least $40/hr.

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Just when I thought I was immune to impulse shopping…

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Over the past 12 months, I have developed an almost monk-like discipline when it comes to buying unnecessary consumer goods.  I purchase only what I need and have room for in the budget.  Each time I resist a purchase I give myself man-points for not letting silly desires control my actions.

I purchased the “Fitbit One” the other day in a moment of budget-busting weakness.  It’s a great product (more about that later), yet I’m unable to financially justify my purchase…

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The Total Cost of Lightbulb ownership

November 28, 2012 5 comments

Want to accomplish a quick home project that will bring you a 3,000% return on your investment?  Of course you do!  It’s time to look at your lighting and decide what makes sense.  It gets really simple once you’ve had someone like me run the numbers for you…

When it comes to residential energy costs, lighting accounts for about 10%-15% of your home energy costs, so it’s worth reviewing.  The majority of home lighting consists of A19 type screw-in bulbs or replacement CFLs like the one shown above.

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