Monday, August 18, 2008

Article about Modest Young Millionaires

I read a book a while back called "The Millionaire Next Door". A couple of guys did a study of millionaires--what kinds of cars they drove, houses they lived in, if their parents were rich, how they made their money. It turns out that a lot of us live next door to millionaires and never know it, because they look just like "normal" people. They drive used cars, live in modest houses, and a lot of them are first generation-wealthy. Many of them are immigrants to the U.S. In short, they stayed out of debt and instead of putting their money into luxuries, they put their money into businesses or investments that MADE them money.

I read this article this morning about Modest 20-something millionaires. Our goal isn't necessarily to be millionaires, but we would like to retire well and not have to worry about money later in life

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Don't throw that away!

I swear I'm not a packrat! I think packrats are people who love to buy things and squirrel them away with no real intention of ever using them. I try to come up with creative ways to use less, and ways to use up things that people usually throw away. Some recent attempts to use less:

Sour milk---Makes the BEST pancakes! Anytime milk or half/half starts to get a little funky, I use it for baking. Homemade pancakes is a great breakfast, but we really love them for dinner. You can also use it in muffins, or to make my homemade "cream of anything soup".

Ziploc bags--I wash and re-use ziplocs all the time. The only ones I won't re-use are those that were used to store meat--those get tossed. I use foil to separate meat and I had been putting the meat in a ziploc bag so it wouldn't get water logged while it thawed. Lately I've started using leftover grocery store produce bags for this task. I usually wash out the ziploc bag inside out and hang it on my clothesline to dry.

Moldy/hard cheese--cut off the moldy part, grate the rest and put it in the freezer. Works really well in casseroles.

Old clothes--once they are just beyond repair or so stained that they can't be worn anymore, of course. I took an old flannel shirt and made Mama pads for me. You can cut apart old T-shirts to make cleaning rags or baby wipes.

Bubble Wrap--when I order textbooks or other things online, I save anything useful from the packaging. I NEVER buy packaging to ship books or stuff that I sell online.

Gift bags/tissue paper--I also save these so I never have to buy them to wrap presents.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Personal Training

I had my first free personal training session this morning. There is a personal trainer-in-training (sheesh, that's redundant!) at my Y who is trying to get his certification, and he needs to get 100 hours for his externship. I'll be training with him a few times a week for free throughout August. Today he said that he doesn't plan to leave those of us who have signed up during his externship, but I wasn't sure what that means as far as having to pay him after August. Either way, I'm just going to take advantage of it while it lasts!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

#432 in line

I requested the movie "Juno" from my library back in April. My husband laughed because my hold queue position was 432. I sent him to the library yesterday to pick up my stuff on hold and lo and behold, there it was, a mere four months later! It was definitely a lot sooner than I expected it, and I didn't have to pay anything to see it :D

The library has become our biggest source of free entertainment. It's rare that I want to read a book or watch a certain movie, and my library doesn't have it. Michael is a teacher, and we have a lot of free time in the summer, so we really utilize it this time of year. One day last year I was cooking in my kitchen and the theme song to the old show "Dallas" came on. I remember my Mom watching it when I was little, and I always loved the theme song and the way they flew over Texas Stadium. I realized I had actually never seen the show, so I checked to see if my library had it, and sure enough, they had the first five seasons. We spend a lot of last summer snuggled up on the couch watching it. I was the only person in 2007 who couldn't wait to find out who shot J.R., but I only had to wait three days to get the next DVD to find out. (It was Kristin, btw, for those of you not cool enough to know). This summer we've been watching '24'. We're mid-way through the third season and we love it!

I also borrow tons of books for me and the kids. I just got my paralegal certificate, so I picked up three books about paralegal careers. My library also has software, like the expensive Rosetta Stone language learning software. You can access it from home. I borrow cookbooks and make copies of recipes so I don't have to buy the whole book for 1-2 recipes. I also borrow all my favorite magazines instead of having magazine subscriptions.