We said we’d be gone a couple weeks. It’s been a month and we’re leaving on Thursday for a vacation. Oh nuts! We’d better put something up before y’all figure we’ve given up the ghost (at least bloggingly).
Molly:Weeee’re BaAAAack Peeps!!
Mike: That’s right! We needed some time to get some perspective on what we’re doing here at Mike and Molly’s House in internetland but we’re back with a sackful of stuff to share with you guys.
We both really like what we’ve created and love the feedback we keep getting from the community of like minded people that we’ve discovered through blogging and going out into the world as “Mike and Molly”. It truly has changed our lives for the better (much better… a heartfelt thanks everyone). We’re also realizing that full time blogging as an income plan is probably not all that realistic.
Pistol & Dumpling (in unison): Told you so!
Mike & Molly: Dang it!
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Three years ago Mike and I were in a very different picture financially. We were entrenched in debt (about $45,000 down from $70,000 at that point) and slowly paying it down….very…slowly. Our income was probably more than double what it will be this year and so was our spending. I’m bringing this up because I realize many of you don’t know this about Mike and I. You just came on board and we don’t talk about it anymore since it isn’t news. It was a real pivotal point in our lives. We took drastic moves in the summer of 2009 to change our path around spending. It changed us. It made us happier… and not the kind of happy like we are skipping-down-the-lane-happy but a deep contentment. It didn’t just happen though. The transition was bumpy. I was really pissy about it. Today I thought it would be interesting to revisit that transitional time so I’m reposting something I wrote back in November 2009. At this point we had cut back on our spending for about 3 months.
After five years of paying on $70,000 of debt we still had $35,000 left. Mike, my husband, had sold me on the idea of paying off the rest as fast as we possible could rather than as slow as the credit card companies would allow us. We began planning how to implement this goal. In the last four years we have not taken on any more debt (good thing) but we have only been making the minimum payments on what we owed (not so good). We were on the right track but we needed to learn to live within our means rather than buying stuff on credit and borrowing from our future selves. Presently we’re pissed at our past selves for putting us in the position we are in now. Covering the minimum payments on our credit cards is a large burden on our monthly budget. » » »
Both of us love chocolate and only Andrew over at 101 Centavos could take that love and break down the investment strategies behind it. Very good article…
Squirreler pipes up all about the Girl Scout cookie. His attitude about selling cookies in the workplace have changed now that his daughter is a Girl Scout- it’s very humorous.
Molly: When I was a Girl Scout there was this one girl that sold the most cookies every year. I hated her because her mom would sell them out of her beauty salon-she didn’t have to do any work! While I trudged door to door this girl sat on her ass and did nothing!!
Mike: We just sold light bulbs in the Boy Scouts. Lots of trudging and you couldn’t even eat them. » » »
We’ve been writing Mike and Molly’s House for 5 months now. We skipped reporting on December- the month went a little faster than expected. How does that happen? We have continued to grow which is always exciting.
Posts: 20! Our goal is to write at least 20 each month.
Visitors: 3,519-out of those 2,374 were ‘unique’ visitors (AKA- new readers)
December we had 3,199 visitors and 2,058 were unique
Since December 1st (yes this is over two months) all of you helped us to go from:
88 Facebook fans to 123!
154 Twitter followers to 197!
131 subscribers to 176! (email and RSS)
Our Alexa ranking went from 188,454 (and 29,961 in the US) to 161,915 (and 28,270 in the US)
Are we making money? No. Have we tried in the last two months? No.
Molly: CRYSTAL!! HELP US!!
Mike: Yikes! That was a li-ttle screechy. Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff will be taking over our advertising. She’s our gal now! » » »
On Molly On Money I would occasionally update my readers on our spending. We track our expenses in Quicken and post updates on our whiteboard in the kitchen. I like sharing the information. I feel it keeps our spending in the foreground rather than letting it slide into the background. I mean come on, where your money goes tells a story about you. It’s interesting!
So…have you noticed we have no updates here? Well, we don’t because I haven’t tracked our spending since the beginning of June. (Hello guilt and shame come sit down next to me on the couch. How have we been?) It’s not because I haven’t wanted to it’s because I’ve become dependent on a piece of software called Quicken. » » »
Molly’s newest fave blog is Impluse Save. They have a great animation video with pigs, turkeys and gold coins.
Molly: I’m in the midst of my own animation and this one inspired me!
Turkey Talks from ImpulseSave on Vimeo.
Molly: They have a writing contest going. The winner gets a $500- 10 post contract. Any takers? » » »
Years ago, back in 2005, Mike and I were newlyweds. Pistol and I had just moved up to Santa Fe from Albuquerque and I had closed my design business. I was looking for a way to make a living in a new town. The housing market was hot – flipping houses seemed like a good fit. Mike had years of construction under his belt and I was a scrappy DIYer with a background in building theater sets and welding. Mike was going to school at the time so I took the helm relying on him to help me on the weekends.
After shopping the Santa Fe fixer-uppers it was clear that this market was out of my budget. I drove down to Albuquerque which hadn’t quite caught on to the housing bubble yet. We found a great fixer-upper on Saint street. It had everything you could want in a house to flip; good bones, only cosmetic damage and the eye watering stench of years of cat pee. The best part was that it had a bomb shelter-who doesn’t want their own bomb shelter?? It had potential. It was in a good neighborhood on a street where people kept their lawns mowed and trash in the containers. The layout of the house was decent, it just needed was a make-over. We spent the next few months ripping out the old cat pee carpets, re-tiling everywhere, painting, landscaping and generally fixing the place up.
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Today we are participating in First Gen American’s Coffee Talk writer’s challenge. The challenge today is to use a household item as a metaphor in a blog post that teaches a life or personal finance lesson. Note that this is a post from Molly’s perspective but written by Mike.
When I (Molly) start a project it typically begins with this thought: “I’m going to save so much money by making this- new set of curtains, seasonally appropriate bedspread, little black dress… rather than buying it at the store.” Picture me receiving a gold start for my thrifty ways.
I start out with the best intentions. » » »
Spending within your means is really very simple (and yet so dang hard to do.) There is nothing complicated about getting and keeping your financial house in order. It’s straightforward, simple and doesn’t contain a convoluted formula.
Spend less than you take in!
Yep, that’s it, people!
I’m done with this post!
Mike: No you’re not…
Dang! » » »
Here’s what we’ve been reading, listening too and playing with this week:
Molly: You know I just can’t help but love a great chicken story!
Mike: We’re both jealous of this woman’s art…Check out her amazing birds.
Molly: Mike, what about your new ‘girlfriend’?
Molly: Ya know!
Mike: Oh, Tara…she’s so snarky and funny! Come on, Honey! You like the way she twitters. Admit it. » » »