Recession Mama











{June 30, 2009}   Recession Rubble Part 2

 By: Heather

willowood demo 002

 

Make way for the new addition

There’s the back of my 40’s recession renovation. It looks like the Road Runner hooked it up to his neck and took off down the road.

“Beep… Beep…”

roadrunner

I’m sorta like Wile E. Coyote, suspended in the air, waiting for the big drop.

Splat!

This mess should strike some serious fear in me, but it doesn’t. I’m excited about turning this rubble into money some time in the future. Emphasis on future. (plus I’m grateful we have this option)

demo workers

 

The old garage, now a pile of bricks

The same day the very hardworking crew came to demolish the old garage and carport on the house , my sister text to ask when the “renovation” would be finished.

“It’s getting bigger.” I typed.

“What’s getting bigger?”

“The house. We’re adding on more square feet.”

Her response: “What the @#!*”

Exactly!

We’ve done the math mamas and papas. And this pile of bricks and wood must get bigger… so it can eventually turn a profit.

Here’s some of the logic behind this madness. If the house is bigger, we can ask more in rent…  Attract more interest… and  get more money in a possible sale.

 You’ve heard the expression “you’ve got to spend money to make money right?” Well… here we go a writing checks.

Instead of putting our money back into the stock market it’s going into this old house. It’s safer in the dirt, bricks, wood and mortar than with Dow Jones. Seriously! He sucks.

bricks

 

recycling old garage bricks

Besides no one is buying lots with tear down homes. So what else can we do?

Did I mention the value is in the location? It’s surrounded by some of the most expensive real estate in Dallas. It just happens to be the ugly, old gal on the block.

But not for too much longer. We’re going to whip ole “Gertrude” into shape. I’ve named her.

willow demo kitchen

 

The kitchen has been gutted

 She looks a little bare I know. But she’s really a rare gem y’all. Once we are finished, all of her 4-to-5 bedrooms will be on the first floor. That’s unusual in this area and super appealing to people who don’t want to schlep up and down stairs. She also features a good layout and some of the craftsmanship no one can afford anymore. (we just have to freshen her up a bit. OK a LOT)

She’s also a hard lady to read. I think families will want to rent her for the school district. But I see empty nesters or a divorced person buying her.

“Gertrude” is a long term commitment. She’ll be a part of the family for 3 to 5 years… or until she earns her keep.   Let’s just hope she’s not tricky like the Road Runner… and I fall on my face like The Coyote.

“Beep… beep…”

Stay Tuned.

coyote

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By Katy

Credit Crunching

Credit Crunching

How many people like doing expense reports? I am definitely not one of them. Luckily, I had just two expense reports to turn in for my current gig, and my boss told me to have my production assistant do them. But unlike the ones for work, I also had to fill out an expense report for a mentorship program I’m involved in.

Boy, did they add up!

When I looked at these expense reports, I realized that I charged everything onto my credit card! And when I looked at my credit card, I realized that I owed a HUGE amount of money. It’s not over $1000. But it is definitely high. And I know those two reimbursement checks won’t cover it all.

So what happened?

Now, normally, I like to operate on a cash basis. But this time, I used the credit card for my work-related and mentorship-related expenses because I thought that maybe it would buy me some time. I thought I wouldn’t have to pay off my expenses until my expense checks came in. Not use my own money for these expenses. Well you get it. Bad idea. For me. I think I’m one of those people that can’t be trusted with a credit card. Once I started charging for work and mentorship related expenses, I also started charging for regular life stuff — eating out, buying groceries, etc. Now, not only have I not received my reimbursement checks yet, I have to fork over even more money for other expenses. I can’t even remember what I charged!

I will, of course, pay this off.

I am a responsible adult, and I hate debt hanging over me as much as other people hate creepy crawly things that go bump in the night. But next time, I am going to use my cash or debit card so that when I receive my reimbursement checks, I can feel like I really got my money back.



{June 27, 2009}   Work Out for Less

By: Heather w/ guest post from Kevin Kelley

Mamas and Papas,

In an effort to keep my already brittle bones from turning to dust, I’ve been working out.

42-15530101

I have arthritis and osteopenia (the phase before osteoporosis), so I have to really work on keeping healthy and strong. I’m using a personal trainer, but I’m saving money by doing so.  He comes to my house and we use my home equipment. I only do 30 minute sessions three times a week. This is perfect for my short attention span and whimpiness. I can get the weights and cardio finished in about an hour. 

I’m feeling better already! My 36-year-old bones, that act like 70-year-old bones, will soon be thanking me too. Hopefully it’ll put a stop to my slumping and whining about the pain in my spine and hips.

My trainer, Kevin Kelley, has some great tips on how to workout for LESS! You don’t need expensive equipment or gym memberships to feel better. You just need a plan.

Check out his advice below.

$$$ Cash Friendly Home Workout Tips $$$:

 

  1. SMART INVESTMENT!  Make the initial investment.  Get a few cornerstone items that will never go out of style: an adjustable bench (flat/incline/decline), a set of inexpensive dumbbells, a nice exercise mat.  While it may seem like a lot of money on the front end – these items aren’t trendy and you will be able to get a good workout with them for many years to come.

  2. SMART INVESTMENT!  Get a great book on dumbbell training:

    1. Smart Girls do Dumbbells, by Judith Sherman-Wolin $11

    2. The New Rules of Lifting for Women, by Schuler, Forsythe, & Cosgrove $11

    3. Strength Training Anatomy, by Frederich Deliaver $15

  3. MONEY SAVER!  Avoid buying gimmick machines.  The machines you see on infomercials are usually made poorly and only allow you to perform one exercise.  You’re better off with multi-purpose equipment (see 2 above).  Save your money and invest in time-tested equipment that will last.  If you have one (or several) of these machines in your house, sell them and use that money to buy the stuff recommended in #1.

  4. SMART INVESTMENT!  Hire a personal trainer ($25-$300 per session).  It may sound strange to recommend hiring a trainer in a ‘budget’ column on fitness, but 1-2 sessions with a GOOD personal trainer can provide you with a couple of great routines, tips on proper form, and help you maximize the effectiveness of your home workout.  Do your homework first on your exercises, ask around about a good trainer (B.Sc. degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, etc., personal training certifications, and experience), and use a trainer who isn’t intimidated by questions.  If a trainer’s response to your question is “Because I said so.”  Fire them and look for a professional.

  5. SMART INVESTMENT!  Keep a journal.  Use a little spiral notepad to track your workouts.  Keeping track of your routines, weights, repetitions, workout time, etc. can really motivate you.  You’ll be able to look back at workouts from 3,6,12 months ago and use that information to plan new workouts based on what has worked in the past.

  6. MONEY SAVER!  Drop your fitness magazine subscription(s).  Most magazines are filled with ads for weight loss products that don’t work, exercise tips that you already know, and are just another expense you don’t need.  Get one of the books recommended in #2 above and cancel the subscription(s).

  7. MONEY SAVER!  Pass on the designer workout clothes.  Most of the people who I train that are serious, consistent, long-term, successful clients don’t worry about how they look at the gym or at home.  If you really want those shorts or top then use that as a motivational goal…  “When I lose 15 lbs. I’ll buy that top.” 

 42-15530059

How to SAVE $$$ on a Gym Membership:

 

  1. Most gyms inflate the ‘initiation fee’ so when they cut it down to 50% in the sales pitch the customer feels like they got a great deal.  Tell the sales person you don’t want to pay any initiation fee.  If they insist ‘everyone pays it,’ tell them ‘I don’t,’ and walk.  Next thing you know they’ll make an ‘exception in this one case.’

  2. Ask about the cancellation policy.  Most gyms make it really easy to sign up, but then when you need to cancel they require you to visit their corporate office in Istanbul… in person… with 27 forms of identification, a retina scan, your firstborn child, and a polygraph test.  If it isn’t easy to cancel, something stinks.

  3. Avoid giving your credit card number.  Once a company has your credit card on file they can charge you for anything & forever – even if you cancel your membership.  You’ll end up wasting precious time trying to contact someone to get $$$ credited back to your account.  The tremendous headache isn’t worth the ‘convenience.’  If they’re not okay with a check or cash then go to another gym.

  4. Ask about a discount for paying for a year up front.  Most gyms love the customer who pays for a year up front.  This way you have made the investment, you don’t need to give out your card number, and everyone comes out a winner.

  5. Ask about a family discount.  Most gyms make their money on the initial member, so they are willing to ‘add on’ a spouse or family member for a fraction of the individual rate.  Of course if your family member isn’t going to use the gym then you’re only throwing that money away.

 Kevin M. Kelley

Personal Trainer

If you have more questions feel free to email Kevin at  Ivnfit68@yahoo.com

Here’s a link to the NSCA’s website where you can watch video clips of the proper exercise form.

http://www.nsca-lift.org/videos/displayvideos.asp



{June 26, 2009}   Say What?

–by Carla

no whine 

Something hit me the other day while I was sniffing my 7-month-old son’s hair, wondering why it smelled like a pet store: I really loved Katy’s post this week about being super busy at work and not even thinking about complaining about it.  Ok, sure, we are Recession Mama, “where you can whine about your dwindling dime”. Dwindling dimes is what I’m all about. Honey, I have had a dime dwindling kind of week, so I know all about that. Whine away. But as the resident “person who got laid off”, I can tell you that it is a little nerve wracking hearing people (even my close friends and relatives) whine about “work being such a beating” or about having to pick up a weekend shift “again”. That sort of whining does sort of get under my skin these days.

As many of you know, it is in my nature to give people an honest piece of my mind, but not in this situation. I never felt like I should be correcting someone who is truly not happy about their job, even in this economy. Plus, I never ever want to be that Debbie Downer who is constantly complaining about how people should act. I just sucked it up and moved on…all the while thinking, “Man, if they didn’t HAVE that job, they’d be singing a different tune.”

So, when Katy put those exact words on paper (so to speak) earlier this week, I felt a real sense of relief. Because if you are employed right now, even if you’re doing quite well, things could change in an instant, as we’ve all seen over the last 6 or 8 months or so.

It’s really OK to be thankful for your income and that pain-in-the-ass job of yours and the piece of mind it brings you and your family. We’ve all complained about work, believe me, I’m not the exception, but maybe we could take a second to think about what things might be like if you had nothing to complain about.

** And then yesterday, with the deaths of Farrah and Michael, I know more than ever before that life is short and our time here is precious. I’ll be keeping my whining in check from now on. Now, to go hug the husband, who is working more than ever before, and has never complained once.



By: Heather

Instead of paying bills, sorting laundry and writing my latest post yesterday, I made an ice cream sundae and watched a silly kids show.

Why would a grown up do such a thing? Because my 5-year-old son and  3 1/2 year old daughter asked me to do it. And I can’t resist these cute little faces and pleading  voices.

 

bobby and maddie

“Pleeeeaaaassseee…. mommy.”

“Well… I’ve got a lot to do.”

“Say pretty please with a cherry on top.” I request. They oblige.

I’m learning that sometimes the best “gifts” you can give your children are moments like these. And they cost nothing, but your time. Kids really don’t need all of the toys and junk we give them. They just want your attention.

They honestly want to soak you in, ask you questions, cuddle with you on the couch and give you random hugs and kisses.

 This won’t last long, so you better enjoy it I tell myself. But too often I get bogged down in the minutia of life. I’m running around taking care of this and that…. and that and this. It has to get done, but I really just need to stop and “hang out” with my kids. They NEED it. But “chilling out” seems almost impossible sometimes.

“Mommy that ice cream looks like poop!” My daughter shouts as I drop a blob of frozen chocolate yogurt into a small bowl.

“Appetizing. But it’s chocolate sweetie,” I say.

“Oh! I’m just joking me,” says the little one.

“You mean you’re joking me,” I correct.

“Yeah. I’m joking me,” she fires back.

This begins to feel like the “Who’s on first” joke. So I just say that’s nice and get out the whipped cream. My son joins the ice cream sundae party and asks for his cherries and “those sprinkle things he picked out.”

I fetch those as well. And we are in full Martha Stewart mode.

whipped cream

The fascination with ice cream sundaes began during father’s day weekend. We went to the grocery store, picked out the ingredients and made a surprise for dad.

Now let me point out that I HATE taking my kids to the grocery store. They always get locked into the “can we get that, we need that” mode. It’s always an ordeal. And someone usually has a meltdown.

There was no “meltdown” scene this time,  just a little flashing. My daughter lifted my skirt in the produce department and gave everyone by the bagged lettuce a good shot of my booty. I was so distracted I didn’t notice for a few moments. Thank goodness I wasn’t wearing granny panties.

We left with the busy store with ice cream sundae supplies, two fly swatters (their pick) and with me feeling slighty humiliated.

They LOVED going to the store. It was a thrill and didn’t cost much except some of my dignity. Again they NEED these moments.

“Let’s put on more whipped cream!” The kids demand.

They dig in before I can grab the spoons.

maddie licking whipped cream

“Mommy I need 64 cherries right there,” my son says as he points to a large mound of whipped cream.

He gets three cherries on top. My daughter gets one.

“Yuck!” she screams as she throws the cherry across the room.

 We finish up and watch a mind numbing kid’s show. They sit on either side of me and I kiss their sweet little heads. It’s now past bedtime.

They NEED these moments, but really so do I. The calm, funny, amazing moments don’t last long. But they’re yours to keep and enjoy.

The kids soon get tired, we head to bed and I stay with each of them for “two songs each.” By now I’m too tired to write a recession mama post, so I opt for bed.

But before I crawl to my mattress, I check on the kids one more time. I watch for the rise and fall of their chests and listen for their peaceful breathing. It’s beautiful and perfect.

I love these moments. For me, it’s the cherry on top.

cherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



{June 23, 2009}   What’s Going On?

by Katy

I don't really work behind a desk, and I hope I don't look like this man.

I don't really work behind a desk, and I hope I don't look like this man.

You may have noticed that we’re a bit MIA these days.  Well, I can’t speak for my other Recession Mamas, but for me, LIFE just got really, really busy lately.  I have been finishing up a show, and I’ve worked 12-15 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week.  I missed my cheap dad‘s Father’s Day dinner on Sunday because I had to go to work.  Fortunately, my dad doesn’t think I’m now the world’s worst daughter, but he did joke that I was working so much, I was probably making minimum wage.  Well, I did the math, and I’m not.  But you know what is so different about me today?  I’m not complaining AND no one is commiserating.  Instead, if I even mention that I’m working…everyone just says to me… “well, at least you’re working” or “it’s good to be working.”  And I completely agree.  I’m extremely grateful to have a job in this recession.  I love what I do.  I like the people I am working with and for (I know ending a sentence with a preposition…or dangling participles…or whatever it’s called.  I’m tired…what do you want from me?).  And at the end of the day, I am able to pay my mortgage and put food in my stomach.  Life is good.



By Pam

Pam on her free vacay

Pam on her free vacay

As I wrote a few months ago…my husband and I redeemed our Starwood points and American Airline miles for a trip to the St. Regis resort in Punta Mita, Mexico. We were very proud of ourselves for organizing such a recession-friendly vacation and were counting the days (literally) until we would be lounging in the hot Mexican sun. Then, the pandemic, media blitz known as swine flu hit and all hell broke loose. A few weeks before what was to be our departure date, the top story on every single news station, everyday, all day, was the outbreak and subsequent panic around the swine flu. As I’m sure you all remember, you could not turn on the TV without one media outlet or another saturating the airwaves with tales of gloom and doom, portraying this to be the end of the world as we know it. I am not ashamed to say that our panic alarm began to sound. I mean, our Vice President declared that he would not let his family members anywhere near an airplane, let alone one headed to Mexico. So…reluctantly we were ready to cancel our trip. But as days passed, the coverage became less dire and the swine flu which at first sounded like a death sentence began to look like nothing more than the common flu. Maybe it was safe to go, could it be? We decided to take our chances and instead of canceling our trip, we simply rescheduled it for three weeks later. I am happy to report that neither myself nor Scott got the least bit sick during our six day stay. In fact, the manager of the hotel told us that although the resort had been hit hard financially by the swine flu scare, there was not a single case reported in Punta Mita or the surrounding areas. As we sipped cocktails beside the sparkling infinity pool that overlooked the spectacular beach in the perfect 80 degree weather with not a cloud in the sky…I couldn’t help but feel sorry for all of the people who cancelled their Mexican getaways and missed out on their vacations because of the overblown news coverage that instilled the fear of you know who in all of us. While I do feel bad for the weary travelers who cancelled their trips…those that are truly suffering are the Mexican people who rely on tourism for their livelihood. It is estimated that that nationwide much-needed revenue from tourists could fall by 43 percent this year as a result of the outbreak. With literally tens of thousands of service employees being laid off from their jobs until business is back up which they are hoping will be in December. At our resort, we were literally one of maybe ten to fifteen guests in the whole place. (the resort has 120 rooms). Granted, it is also the beginning of the off-season-but according to the staff; the numbers were way down even for the summer months. Scott and I loved it because it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. Needless to say, the service was unbelievable and we took advantage of every day of our vacation. Since the room and flight were essentially “free” we didn’t feel guilty about indulging in a few spa treatments, amazing meals a snorkeling expedition and even surf lessons and of course golf for Scott. But even with these extras, our trip was a third of what it would have been had we not taken advantage of our credit card rewards. In closing, while I am all for being well-informed and cautious about a potential infectious disease supposedly sweeping a nation…I hope that in the future, for the sake of tourists and proprietors everywhere, that the news media will take a beat and a breath before scaring the living daylights out of the entire world. Be smart, be careful and go out there and use your reward points!



–By Carla

education_lg

I love to learn. I may not have been the best student in high school/the early years, but I really thrived in college and continue to be fascinated with new things, new ideas and new people. A few weeks ago, I told you that I had enlisted the help of the fabu moms in my fabu mom’s group, asking them how they budget and save (since I’m such an obvious idiot in that department). I loved what Erin wrote. She’s passionate about saving money, “I love to save money!”. See? I told you. She says when she became a stay-at-home mom after her (adorable!) daughter was born, she started to look for ways to cut back since they were going to start living off of just one income.

Erin says, “At first it was challenging, but before I knew it I was addicted! I would save my receipts so I could see how much money I had saved over a month’s time. I know, total dork, but it worked! I can’t believe how much money we were wasting!”

Erin is on-top of her family’s finances and she does so by using Quicken Online, which is free, to set up her budget. “It links to your accounts (banks, credit cards, loans etc) and categorizes each transaction, so you know where every penny is going, and tracks your income. You can set an over all budget, and budgets within each category. I know when I’m over spending in one area or where I’m saving the most.”

Ok, that part does seem a little daunting, especially for a girl who still has yet to master the computer, but I have managed to pay everything online thanks to repeated prodding from Heather a few years back (thanks, mama!!). I am officially adding that step to my financial “to-do” list just as soon as Baby Boy is weened. (TMI, right? Sorry)

shoppingcart

I honestly do enjoy bragging about saving money at the grocery store. (This, from the same woman who used to toss coupons in the trash) And just a couple of weeks ago,  you could have seen my gigantic smile from Mars when the checkout dude told me, “Ma’am (and please stop calling me that), you saved $27 today.” Twenty seven dollars? I saved that much just now? Oh how times have changed, but man that was huge for me.  

There was a major theme that kept coming up over and over when asking my fellow moms about tips on savings: Menu planning. Erin writes, “Couponing can be a little tricky and time consuming, but when I considered I cut my grocery bill by 60% it was worth it for me. I plan my weekly meals around the items I am getting discounts on, and we eat the same things we always have for a lot less money!”

Did I mention that I saved $27 at the store the other day? Ok, just wanted to make sure I got that out there. NOT the biggest deal in the world for most people, but hey, baby steps for this Recession Mama. Yes!



{June 17, 2009}   Big = Expensive

By: Heather

 

Mamas and Papas,

 I love to take walks in my neighborhood. I like looking at all of the different architecture and landscaping of the homes. They’re really beautiful and BIG.

hp house

I used to wonder what it would be like living in a large home, filled with nice furniture, artwork, a pool and manicured lawn. I can now tell you it’s expensive. Really expensive!!!

willowood 055

We are blessed and fortunate enough to have our dream home. It  has everything we’ve ever wanted. I could walk a few blocks away and ask a very famous former Dallas Cowboys football player for a cup of sugar. But I imagine that his maid would slam the door in my face and call the police.  I can also show you Dick Cheney’s old crib.

Dick Cheney

 

 I’m not trying to brag. I just want to point out– be careful what you wish for. You just might get it… and then some. Along with all of the extras and the prestigious neighborhood comes high property tax and lots of expense.

taxes

Let me give you an example. Just last week we had two big storms in as many days. The kids, dogs and I hunkered down in the wine cellar while the tornado sirens blared. The power was out, the weather radio was missing and we had just one flashlight. I used my cell phone to track the weather while the kids watched “Kung Fu Panda” on the laptop . Ally, our 55 pound dog, sat on my lap and nervously panted in our faces. Bella, the 45 pound dog, took a nap under the bottles of Merlot. Storms do not phase her.

 Bella 001

“Gross Ally!” “Your breath is stinky!” my daughter chokes out.

“Mommy Ally is scared, Bella is brave and I’m smart.” My son remarks after declaring that “a meteorologist could tell us what’s happening if the power would just come back on.”

I admire his use of the word “meteorologist” and  pray that we’ll get through the storm without any damage.

Finally the power comes back on and the weather clears. The excitement is over. But the expensive repairs are approaching.

 smoke

 Just as we crawl in bed the fire alarm goes off and a smoke detector gets stuck in panic mode. 

 “Perfect!”

Lots of screaming and calming down later. I discover that I can’t reach the offended smoke detector, so I call for help. (my husband was stuck on a plane trying to get home)

“I don’t see any fire, so PLEASE don’t turn on the sirens.” I tell the fire department. “But I want to make sure my house doesn’t burn to the ground.” 

 cartoon truck

Firefighters and a cop show up about 45 seconds later (they’re located on the same block) with the lights flashing and the sirens singing. The neighbors come out to investigate.

“Mommy that fire truck is cool. Can I have one?”

“No.”

At least the firefighter is cute and cordial. The cop answers my curious son’s questions. 

They leave about 45 minutes later with an “all clear.” The smoke detector is now dangling from the ceiling, but at least it’s  quiet. 

This will require a call to the alarm company. And I begin to wonder how much this will cost.

The next morning it rains buckets and buckets. The streets flood, the power is out and more problems and more bad news knocks on our door.

“What’s that on the floor?” my sons asks as we watch the storm from the window.

“Water!” The roof, that was just repaired, is leaking onto the “fine” artwork.

We find another leak in a fireplace and the dollar signs start falling like the rain. Buckets and Buckets.

“Mommy if it keeps raining we’re going to turn into an OCEAN.” My son determines.

I call the roofer and the alarm company.

Finally the rain lets up, the sun begins to shine. But a dark money cloud settles over our house.

j0189255

A few hours later the roofer arrives and tells me that “leaves” are to blame for the leaking and that our chimney needs a cap.

Chimney’s wear hats?  I ponder to myself.

“How much will that cost?” I ask the roofer

“Not sure. We’ll have to get a number together,” he says.

This is never good.

The alarm company comes to the scene to replace the smoke detector and fix the alarm.

Problem solved. I write a check. 

But he recommends that I replace all of them. (There are more than I can count.)

“Why? Don’t they work?” I ask.

“Yes. But now they won’t match.”He says.

“We’ll live.” I assure him.

The AC guy, who had been previously scheduled, shows up to give me an estimate on replacing the unit in the pool cabana. (this is a problem unrelated to the storm.)

“By the way it’s hot in my bedroom. Can you check it first?”

“Sure.”

More problems… repairs will be needed. I prepare to write more checks and contemplate pouring myself a drink. I opt for coffee instead.

The pest control guy soon joins the party and tells me all is well.

“Finally!” “Something is going right.”

The ants in the pantry are history. Yeah. Everything else is fine…   EXCEPT he can’t  spray the cabana because it’s flooded.

“FLOODED!” More mopping… more money down the drain. I make a panicked call to a friend to bring over a wet vacuum.

What in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is going on? My house is less than 10 years old.

Meanwhile, my 1941 fixer upper home is weathering the storm. No problem. 

I had slightly hoped a tornado would blow that old house away, but it stood tall and defiant. It has earned a make-over. (see post “Recession Rubble in the Bubble” for more on that.)

 

summer '09 001

We feel really fortunate to have a beautiful home and we really enjoy it. But WOW when it rains trouble it literally pours. There’s a LOT to maintain. Sometimes it feels like a full time job.

I’m still adding up the current maintenance and repairs… plus waiting for estimates. But I think we are looking at upwards of $10,000 to fix, repair and replace everything. I can’t blame the storm for all of the trouble either. Insurance won’t cover it either.

I’d just like to add that I’m pretty certain that whenever a company drives up to my address it automatically adds on 10 to 15 percent. It really irritates me. This is why I stay loyal to companies that do a good job, give me a good deal and are honest. 

Some people call our neighborhood “the bubble”” because life seems pretty idyllic here. It is pretty wonderful, so I don’t mean to complain. But trust me we’ve got trouble right here in River City too. And that starts with “T” and ends with “E”xpensive.

 price tag 



By Katy

I know…this commercial is annoying.  But it really has a point.  Getting a credit check may save your marriage.

Now, back in the day, couples would have to get blood tests before they were legally married.  These days, you show up at city hall, hold up your right hand, sign a bunch of paperwork, and it’s, hopefully, till death do you part.  (Unless you’re of the same sex.  Then, you really don’t have that right pretty much anywhere in the U.S.)

I believe in knowing your partner’s credit score before you tie the knot.  I know it’s not romantic.  But I also think that two people can be in love and not necessarily get married.  Love doesn’t necessarily need to lead to marriage.  When you’re deciding on the rest of your life together, you have to think beyond love.  Love will hopefully help when you seem to hit rock bottom, and if you remember you once loved each other, it might carry you though immensely tough times.  And like I’ve said in a previous post, I also don’t think just having money is the answer either.  But before anyone gets married, shouldn’t there be a more stringent checklist?

Wants children?  Yes or No

Believes in God?  Yes or No

Sexually compatible?  Yes or No

Similar goals?  Yes or No

Long term ambitions?  Yes or No

Financially stable?  Yes or No

Credit score of 650 or above?  Yes or No

What do you think?



et cetera