So do you have a budget? Do you know when you power bill is due? Does your significant other?
Yes ~no~ maybe? While for many couples money is a point of contention. Each of you needs to know what is going on with and where your money is going. You both need to know how to access to your online accounts and at the very least how much money is coming in and going out.
Are you one paycheck away from disaster? If you are then you need to put the brakes on and talk to someone.
There are so many ways to dig you out of a hole. Such as cut up your credit cards, use cash, use the envelope system, Dave Ramsey’s, Suze Orman, or any number of other systems that are out there. They are easy to find. I am sure you can find one that you can work with. There is even the suggestion to keep only one credit card but freeze it in a freezer bowl of water for EMERGENCIES. That way you have to thaw the card and by having it frozen limits your access. It’s really not a good idea microwave your credit card.
Everyone needs an emergency fund.
Note new shoes or a new outfit, going out to dinner or big TV is not an emergency.
An emergency is tires for your vehicle, car repair, hospital or dental emergency, job loss or home repair.
Have you thought about how you might buy a house?
Are you are looking for a house, will you buy in the city or country? How long will your commute be? Are you willing to do that? Do you have money for a down payment? Can you handle the mortgage payment, insurance, taxes and maintenance? When you become the homeowner you also become the super. Oh no the hot water is out? That is your problem. Leak in the roof. Yep ~ that repair is on you. By the way these repairs are not covered by your standard homeowners insurance. You can purchase a separate home warranty plan that will cover some of these repairs.
So maybe you are in the market for a new vehicle. Can you tell me how much your car insurance is?
If you are in the market for a new car would you check to see how much your insurance will cost on the new vehicle before you purchase it? Did you know that your automobile insurance does NOT cover repairs unless it was as the result of an accident? Not because you didn’t check the oil and you blew up the engine or your drivetrain just wore out. WHAT THE WHAT.
Yes ~ this is why you need an emergency fund.
Do you have children? Are you making a college savings plan? Do you want it help your kids go to college or do you think that if they do it all themselves they will be more serious? But can they? Have you thought of this before?
Have you got a plan for retirement? Do you have a date you would like to retire? Do you know the earlier you start saving for this the less money you have to put in? Right AMAZING. If you have not started saving, now is a good time.
If you do have a retirement date in mind will you be debt free on that date? If you have less money coming in you need less money going out.
What about where will you live? Does your house allow you to age in place? Is there are bedroom and bathroom on the main floor? Stairs are not your friend when you get older. Your knees will thank you.
Do you have a will? Even if you are young you need a will. If you are young parents you need this more than ever. You want to provide for your children. Who will become their guardian?
Are you single? Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care? Lets say you are in an accident, you have a life threating injury and unable to communicate? Who speaks on your behalf? Who are they going to call?
Advanced Directive? Is a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, often including a living will, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor.
No financial or legal advice is being give here. I only want to make you think. Organize your finances and get your financial plan started. Take advantage of National Financial Planning Month.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ~ Benjamin Franklin
So do you have a plan? I love you comments. Please share this with your friends and family.
Maine is on my bucket list. I have traveled almost all of the United States but the upper east coast including the original 13 colonies remain on the yet to be explored list. But one day I am sure I will get there. In the mean time, I have found an amazing blog that will have to suffice. For now.
“The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea” Percy Bysshe Shelley This week my husband and I are enjoying time with family in Maine’s beautiful Acadia National Park and its surrounding towns. Since Erica’s challenge for the week asks us to demonstrate transition, I thought the awakening of sleepy Bar Harbor with […]
Oh, my goodness can you believe it is almost that time again? Ah, College Move in day. It’s right around the corner. Do you have a college freshman in your house or are you a college freshman? I know you are both looking forward to the day and a bit nervous. Not to fear I want to share some of the best tips to make your move in day the best it can be.
But how are you or your daughter going to make it in 114 square feet? The average dorm room is 12 x 19 feet (228 total square footage) to be shared.
In that space, there will be a bed, desk, dresser, probably a mini fridge and microwave not to mention all of those clothes, makeup, hair stuff, and toiletries.
EEK that is tiny living. So you are going to have to make the most of every foot.
Will you be coming home for the holidays? If so maybe you don’t need all of your winter clothes since it will be fall when school starts.
Also, think comfort for class clothes and shoes. Perfect examples are solid tanks, comfortable flats, and a comfy pair of jeans. Mix and match will be your friend. Remember that scarves can really change an outfit.
You will not need lots of dressy outfits. Think a basic little black dress with a jacket and dressy outfit and shoes for more formal affairs like internship interviews, presentations or formals.
Work-out clothes, a bathing suit, bathrobe and shower shoes & sneakers
If you are going to an area where it gets chilly you will need a light jacket. Heavy coat, mittens, hat, and scarf *(if you’re going to a campus with a colder climate) Maybe rain boots and an umbrella. Don’t forget a comfy pair of slippers (for hanging out in the residence hall)
Remember your entire space will be small. So don’t bring lots of shoes. No more than 6 (1 of each: flats, dressy heels, sneakers, shower shoes, slippers, boots) It’s hard but really you will not wear every shoe in your home closet and more importantly, you don’t have room for them all.
Don’t over pack.
Whatever you think you need edit out 40% of it.
Mom can send it to you if you really need something. *If you are going home for Thanksgiving you can switch out your fall clothes for winter and pick up your winter coat then.
Oh, by the way, you will probably be sharing a bathroom with lots of other girls.
No leaving your stuff in the bathroom.
You will have to carry it from your room to the bathroom and back again. Bring your own shower supplies. You’ll want a small bag or carryall that is easy to hang up where you can reach your soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
What should you bring with you?
A waterproof shower caddy – either a plastic caddy or a mesh bag
Towels and wash cloths
A robe – for covering up after you shower – It might be a bit chilly in the halls even if you are not modest
Shower shoes – either flip-flops or crocs
Shampoo and conditioner – if you can use the 2-in-1 kind, you’ll save space
Razor and shaving cream
The shower gel is really easier than bar soap.
Which brings us to Laundry.
You will be doing your own. So you will need to bring your own laundry detergent, softener, stain remover and quarters. You will need a laundry basket or bag to get your stuff to the laundry.
A printer there should be a printer lab so you will not need one.
Toaster, hot plates, skillets, or toaster ovens
Halogen bulbs and/or lamps
Most schools do not allow you to put holes in the walls so no nails.
You will not need an alarm clock if you use your phone. Your phone will be your camera, calculator, calendar and address book. You are on your own to get to class. Mom will not be waking you up so if you need a loud alarm clock then, by all means, get one.
This is not by any means a complete list if you want more tips on what to bring check out this list from College Love to Know Things to Take to College Dorm
Good Luck and Enjoy every moment of your new adventure!! I love to hear your comments.
This is one of my favorite blog posts. So I am sharing it with you again. Enjoy and GO on VACATION!.
Should I stay or should I go was never a question in my family. The answer was always let’s go
I was reading comments on vacation memories and got to thinking about my own.
Our family motto is, “it was not a vacation until someone had a flat tire or ran out of gas”. I got to thinking about all the prior vacations. The memories ran from shortcuts that were not, in fact, shorter but may have involved some very narrow roads that may not have had guard rails that went on for miles with no place to turn around. Praying that you did not meet another vehicle since we were pulling an RV.
My granddad loved Colorado and we went there many times. I have traveled by vehicle all over the United States and parts of Canada with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and my husband. We have stayed in tents, a Scotty tiny trailer, fully functional RVs, hotels, and cabins.
I have seen lots of wild animals from bears, moose, and elk, to little ground squirrels. 45 years ago we fed a bear chewing gum one time. DO NOT DO THIS.
I have seen a rogue bear who he thought he could share a tent. The owners of the tent were willing to let him because who’s going to stop him.
We always went to the ranger talks. We learned about the parks we were visiting and heard some great stories. The walk back to the camp was amazing. No lights except for the stars and flashlights. If you have the opportunity to do this, do it. Take the time and take your kids.
I can’t tell you how many flat tires or times someone ran out of gas. Someone in my family has this thing about wanting to see how many miles they can get out of a tank of gas. There have been many other calamities such as the time the truck caught on fire – That was a bit too exciting! Then there was the time the mini-bike fell off the back of the RV. My uncle was following us and I think he had to change his pants after that experience. Of course, this is the same uncle whose short cuts were not shorter.
Of course, my parents will never forget the time they left me in South Dakota, which was 754 miles from home. First, you have to understand it was way before cell phones and there were 5 vehicles all traveling together. I was prone to ride with almost anyone of the 5. So it was just a matter of miscalculation on all our parts. I can tell you that now to this day. When I get out of the car to go to the restroom…I have the keys.
It was an adventure for me. Hours later when my parents stopped for the night and set up camp they discovered there was one less kid with them… Huh? What took hours to drive earlier did not take anywhere near as long back. I was fine. My parents got a few gray hair that day. But never the less vacation continued on as planned. It was an amazing time.
My cousin’s birthday was always celebrated while on vacation. One year we couldn’t find a cake so she got a cookie with pine needles candles on it. She still talks about her birthday cookie.
My husband and I took a trip with my parents to Yellowstone a few years ago. There was a forest fire blocking our way back to the DNR Dude ranch (yes, that was the name) where we were staying. So we had to take a detour of 163 miles. We almost out of gas but we saw the most amazing sunset I had ever seen. All I am saying is sometimes the detour brings a wonderful surprise just around the bend.
If you are on the fence about taking a vacation let me say, GO! They are your vacation days. Take them. Spend time with your family. Unplug and go. There are only so many summers when your kids will be little. They are growing up and you need to make memories.
So go make memories. Good or bad they will be the things you will talk about for years and years to come.
Heck, maybe one of your kids will write about it someday.
Thanks to Ingrid for spotlighting a common Arizona summer problem. Hot water. Friday our high was 117 degrees. Let me tell you there is no such thing as cold water this week. Even our commodes are steaming. Nothing like a sauna on your rear. I am not complaining because you never have to shovel the sunshine and most of the time we spend outside with wonderful weather. We treat summer like northerners treat winter.
Living a minimalist mobile lifestyle can be enlightening, fun, and rewarding but it can also present challenges. Last summer, Al and I meandered around Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado and although we had a fantastic time, the transient way of life can be stressful at times. Wanting to keep our schedule flexible, we didn’t make any […]
Today I spent a little time learning about the Cassion horses which are housed at Fort Myer Caisson Barn. They perform a somber and revered part of military funerals at Arlington National Cemetary. If you have never been it is more than 600 acres of hallowed ground. The Caisson horses are cared for by the U.S. Army’s 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
I stumbled upon some photos taken by LIFE MAGAZINE while they visited the Old Guard stables.
A Caisson horse is one of the 6 horses that is hooked to the caisson which is the cart that holds the casket of a fallen and ranked soldier. You’ve probably seen the image of a Caisson.
What is a caisson or how did the name come into play? Here is an explanation:
“The caissons were built in 1918, and used for 75mm cannons. They were originally equipped with ammunition chests, spare wheels, and tools used for the cannons. Today these have been removed and replaced with the flat deck on which the casket rests.”
The silence of the procession is broken only by the rhythmic clip-clop of the seven handsome horses. Astride four of the horses, Soldiers sit ramrod straight. The horses, head erect, bodies taut and controlled, seem to imitate the solemn military bearing of the men and women who sit quietly in the saddles.
Six of the horses pull a flag draped casket on a black artillery caisson. Both Soldiers and horses are conscious that this is no ordinary ride through a cool, shady country lane. They have the honor of carrying a comrade for his last ride to Arlington National Cemetery, where he will rest in peace with other honored dead.
That ritual starts with these soldiers, up at 4 a.m. to prep the horses and equipment. There are 61 horses in the team, with some on rest at Fort Belvoir and some at work at Fort Myer. The horses rotate between forts, working one week and off the next. There are currently 49 soldiers who care for them, but there are positions for 56.
Saddles must be cleaned, horses too — whether they like it or not. Like their human counterparts, some are rather grumpy as they get hosed down. After the showers, the horses are dried off and brushed down. Shoes are checked and horses are dressed.
Special funerals have a caparisoned, or “cap” horse, where empty boots are positioned backward in the stirrups. This horse would follow the caisson with the casket and was usually led by a single foot soldier. At Arlington, that happens when an Army or Marine Corps officer was ranked a colonel or above. The most famous cap horse at Fort Myer is Sgt. York — named after the World War I soldier Alvin C. York — who walked behind President Ronald Reagan’s caisson.
According to the small museum in the stables at Fort Myer, one of the earliest examples of a cap horse in the United States was the funeral of George Washington. His horse, carrying his saddle, holsters, and pistols, was led behind the procession. Abraham Lincoln, however, was the first president to be honored with a caparisoned horse in a state funeral.
This is not my normal type of post but I was so moved by the Caisson Platoon and Arlington I had to share it with you. I hope you enjoyed it. Come back for tips to help you get and stay organized.
Maybe it’s stuff? Do you have so much stuff you can’t find your stuff? Do you rent a storage unit for your stuff? Have extra rooms in your house for your stuff? Are your closets, cabinets, and drawers stuffed to overflowing?
So my question to you is what is the one thing you can let go of to simplify your life?