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so much for saving

October 26th, 2011 at 02:47 am

In case one wanted to know why interest rates are dropping ... and for some of us with a lot of money, soon it will get even worse.

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Haven't heard much about the mattress lately. I give it six more months before the jokes start.

Free museum day on the 24th

September 10th, 2011 at 06:00 am

For the last couple of years, DH and I participated in Free Museum day, inspired in part by the birthday of The Smithsonian. A couple of years ago, we went to the Museum of Glass - quite pricey generally at $20. Last year we went to the Seattle Museum of History and Industry. This year on the 24th, who knows? It might be Museum of Flight or SAM or Wing Luke.

The rules are pretty straightforward - check out the link, find a museum, print out a ticket for two at the museum, and show up with the ticket.

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anything but not everything

August 22nd, 2011 at 03:18 am

I read an insightful

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article about decision fatigue in the NYT Sunday magazine.

The basic point of the article is that decisions of any size require energy. The more you make during a day, the more likely you will either make a crappy one or that you will go with what is recommended to you ... and in a sales situation, its always going to cost.

Insightful to the frugalistas and frugalistas-in-training, for a number of reasons.

Remember the saying "you can have anything, but you can't have everything"? Of course, it means that you have to figure out what your anythings are in the whole universe of everything ... which means setting priorities .... which means decisions. Lots of decisions.

People sometimes consider my tactic of setting a routine to be ho-hum, but it means that I don't have to re-make routine decisions and I free myself for the biggies during the day.

Every so often the question, "what is the most frugal skill one can develop?" pops up. I thought it was math estimation skills but I might make the case that preventing decision fatigue might well be it.

Greenwood Art Walk, 2010

May 18th, 2010 at 04:02 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $15 brunch + $3 mocha + $23 piece of art
Found money - $0.03 (floor, parking lot, newspaper box)

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $10 for 10 Luna bars
Found money - $0.62 (road, planting strip & gutter, bus stop)

Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $8 lunch + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.03 (lotsa floors - food court, escalator, Safeway)

Thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Greenwood Art Walk, and saw many spectacles but I didn't take many pictures (matter of fact, really just one). I learned a lot about my neighbors.

Neighbor 1: A set designer for Hollywood - tv and film. Bought a bit of small commercial space and designed rooms to HIS liking...

I don't do justice, but being a renter and always looking at the tyranny of beige and white, seeing celandon green walls with yellow stencil, chinese sculpture and a wild chandelier...exciting. The basement of the place contained an art collective and I bought my $23 piece from them. It was a cute little leather monster - one-eyed and screaming. He looked like I feel in January or so.

Neighbor 2: I'm about a block north of the neighborhood park which has bought out two abutting properties. There is to be a meeting about what to do with them and how to integrate them with the park. I always like the idea of another P-patch, but it would be great to allow neighborhood restaurants to rent space also...several are only 3-4 blocks away. Another two cents I threw in was to create an entirely edible landscape, and a third is to commemorate the

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orchards that were here before the neighborhood was. Great ideas, the chair of the committee said - come to the meeting!

Neighbor 3: Lawyer. His flower photos made it through a juried art show, but I was excited that he specialized in wills and estate planning and he's in the neighborhood. I nabbed his card and a gift certificate.

Neighbor 4: (bringing it back to fiscal) A coin cutter. He pulled me aside and had me look at his
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work. He did the cutting, sanding, and spot plating of gold, palladium and rhodium of some of the elements. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the Secret Service and the Treasury isn't after him. Apparently cutting coins is
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legal if the intent is not to defraud. Here's a thought: a cut
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Wisconsin quarter for sister developing her organic farming at the farmette. I'll have to think about that.

venus has returned

September 30th, 2009 at 05:38 am

Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $7 salad fixings
Found money - $0.01 (gym floor) + $.26 (Safeway - another quarter by the Coinstar machine)

Fall has arrived in Seattle, today with a vengeance - cloudy, rainy, cold. After a day like today, as I walked to catch my bus tonight, I look to my little red fall beacon:

More good health news today - my cholesterol is a non-threatening 182. The big health issue is with V.I. - she hasn't been defecating in the litter box, and it turns out she has giardia. So our entertainment has been to catch her and give her her medicine to clear it. And wash our hands afterward. :P

DH sent me a highly entertaining

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sin link for a data geek like me. As you look, remember that Seattle is in the upper left corner. We hold our collective heads high!

duck very soon

September 24th, 2009 at 03:41 am

Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3 office supplies + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.03 (sidewalk three different places) + $0.20 (under Coinstar machine)

The barter for the duck and the fish is beginning - in package units, to trade we have 10 ground beef, 4 soup bone, 2 t-bone, 1 back rib, 1 chuck, 2 sirloin, 1 flank, and multiple links of german sausage. We've reserved a few pieces for ourselves.

The Duvall friends, the other end of the muscovy duck trade, are going to be sending at least 8 of their ducks to "freezer camp" (euphemism theirs) starting this weekend. They're thinking about the chuck, sirloin, and t-bone, so I weigh my pieces, they weigh their cleaned duck carcasses, and we pound for pound trade.

Got the results of my mammogram back: normal.

Not much else - discovered that the Coinstar machine can be a rich source of change. Not surprising - easy to imagine a bit of change dropping out of the bin, and if you are doing this with the iPod on, you wouldn't hear the ching.

This weekend is the Greek festival, I saved to stock up on olive oil, feta, tarama, olives, and maybe a bit of wine. Saturday is also national

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free museum day, sponsored by the Smithsonian. Tough choice.

please let it not be mine

December 3rd, 2008 at 04:36 am

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $7.47 groceries (the checker exclaimed that my bill was a plane)

Had another nearly no spend day - with the brown bagging, and the home brew coffee I only spent at the grocery store this evening. Breakfast bars and a head of raw garlic. I felt like I staved off a couple of colds last month by a raw clove of garlic chopped in a salad.

Over lunch today, I caught the PC World's 11 Lamest blogs. Well, I blog, and thankfully this is not one of them. However

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number 6 has a very familiar format.

I also picked up this
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useful article. The next time someone asks me about how to be frugal, that they have to be frugal, and yet somehow can't be frugal, well, I can be torn between two responses:
1. Well, that's quite a problem, but you are smart and you can figure it out!
2. Wow, you are screwed! Where's my coffee cup?

Oh, and I found two pennies today. I'm moving another $4K back to ING. It would have earned 13 cents as a T-bill.

2 performances

November 24th, 2008 at 02:39 am

Spending log - $15 gloves, hoodie + $21 groceries

Realized as I began my six mile walk that it was far colder than I was dressed, so I picked up gloves and a medium (cut large) grey hoodie at Walgreens. It was a toasty warm hoodie, but it also seems to be lucky in another way: I found change on the sidewalk within a block of putting it on. I also found 11 cents as I cut through the Safeway. Basic gray lucky recession hoodie.

On my walk toward Fremont I saw this performance:

Coming back, I walked past them again. No babies in the baby buggies, all had enigmatic smiles.

The second performance? My blog. For laughs, I put in my blog address into

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Typealyzer - which analyzes your blog according to Myers-Briggs.

My blog: ESFP.

They got the feeling, perceiving bit right. I'm flattered a bit - I just don't think of myself as a performer in any sort of way. Typealyzer seems to do a very quick analysis. I think its checking for verbs and active/passive voice on the first screen of posts it sees. Methinks for laughs I'll bore you all with a couple of heavy duty analysis type posts and see if it changes thinks a bit.

must read article about thrift

June 11th, 2008 at 03:48 am

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.70 coffee + $10 lunch

This is the best article on saving that I've read in weeks. It really is true in 2008 that one "spends together, but saves alone". But even 30 years ago it didn't used to be that way.

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I will warn you that the piece above is a tad long, so here's an op ed neatly summarizing the original from the New York Times.

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April 3rd, 2008 at 02:51 am

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $11 lunch

Found a very interesting article on willpower in the paper today.

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The high points:

Willpower appears to wax and wane depending on your other activities.

People appear to have a willpower 'budget'. Showing self control in one area of your life (eg controlling eating) can limit your willpower in other areas.

Willpower can be strengthened with use and challenge.

Learning about 'money management' (not really defined in the article) can help strengthen willpower.

I wonder if we, the Saving Advice community of bloggers, help strengthen willpower or are we a distraction to willpower? Does it matter if you are a blogger, sometime blogger, reader, or lurker?

watch your bank

March 26th, 2008 at 04:29 am

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.19 coffee + $8 lunch + $.50 apple

(Yippie - finally a decent apple price - $1.19/lb.)

Speaking of the devil in "What a recession can teach you about money...". The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is watching your bank too, and they are making plans so that they don't get caught short.

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To better watch the FDIC. If your bank fails they're not shy about announcing it and who has bought your bank out.

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Check out the quality of your bank.
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