The Yurt

The Yurt

About 8 years ago I came across an ad in the newspaper selling ‘authentic Mongolian yurts’.   Intrigued, I showed the ad to Molly.  It gets a little cramped in our 1,100 sf  home when we have visitors and a yurt sounded like it would make a perfect guesthouse for us.  ( A yurt is a large circular tent- about 300 square feet.  Nomads use them as their housing moving them as they follow their herds across the steppes of Asia.  They are actually called gers in Mongolia but we’ll stick with the term westerners are more familiar with.) » » »

Round Up-Money & Style

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. » » »

Are We Rich or Poor?

This year Molly started to notice a shift in the girls’ perception towards our standard of living.  Even with the two of us out of work for most of 2011 our spending has changed very little compared to the previous year.  When we cut our expenses back by 50% a few years ago they perceived us as a family who had money but chose not to spend it.  There’s an interesting interview Molly did with the girls 2 years ago about their take on our cutting back on Molly On Money.  In the interview they talk about their initial fears but in the end they were happy that we did cut back and paid off our debt.

Lately we’ve heard them make comments to the effect that we are ‘poor’ and cannot afford to have a nice things like so-and-so’s car.  So let us repeat…how we spend our money now compared to when we had much larger incomes has not changed but somehow we’ve become ‘poor’. » » »

Molly, The Tattooed Lady

Warning: There are pictures of Molly’s belly and a little bit of her ass-cheek.  If you feel funny, weird or uncomfortable about seeing that sort of thing we suggest you skip this post!

One day about 20 years ago I decided to get a tattoo.  I’ve always wanted to get a giant sunflower done on my armpit.  The center of the flower would be the actual armpit with the stalk going all the way down my side.  I couldn’t see going through that much discomfort for this glorious design so it just sat in my head for years…and years.

Last March I decided that 2011 was the year for the tattoo.  I ended up deciding on a departure from the sunflower in the armpit theme (I opted for a bunch of flowers winding up my side instead) and went to Dawn, the greatest tattoo artist EVER.  There was only one problem…she was booked all through 2011.  What did I care? I had already waited over 20 years.  What was 9 more months?  2012 is the year of the tattoo! » » »

Teens & Toys

My friend Juliette calls us the  ‘Little House on the Prairie’ home.  I don’t think we are all that out there but I do realize most of our friends don’t have ‘butcher day’ at their house.  On the other side of the pendulum we (Mike and Pistol) love technology.  My Dad got Pistol started with her first desktop computer at the age of 2.  Yes, she had a nicer computer than me.  They both love to figure stuff out in their own ways on the computer while Dumpling and I put in our IT requests of what we would like. “More music on my iTunes, please.”

The girls are both 13yrs old now.  Gone to the wasteside (Editors note from Mike:  unintentional Mollyism) are dolls, scooters, bouncy balls and dress up (unless we are talking the occasional fashion show in my clothes!).  Nowadays they want clothing and technology.  They have whittled their desires down to the essentials.  For two years both girls got the newest iPod nanos (they were gifts).  Last year they both wanted iTouches.  I’m the parent who says, ‘Why do you need that?’  Mike, on the other hand, is a technology enabler.  I’m outnumbered.  What they ended up doing this time was rather clever.  With the help of Mike (I’m yelling in the background, ’11 and 12 year old children don’t need iTouches!’) (Editors note from Mike: No she wasn’t, she was squealing with 8 other ladies in the living room because she was hosting “trashy book club” night.) they sold their iPods online and then bought refurbished iTouches, again, online.  They used some of their savings to make up the difference between their sales revenue and the cost of the iTouches. » » »

How to Make a Tablet Stand

Last year I got tablet fever.  An iPad with a starting price of $500 was out of the question for me.  If I was going to get anything I wanted to have internet access so I had refrained from buying a Kindle.  Color would be nice too.  I found out that you could convert a Pandigital book reader to an android tablet.  I didn’t really need another computer.  I have a laptop that works just fine.

Didn’t matter.

I wanted one. » » »

Money, Expenses and a Corrupted File

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. » » »

My Sewing Machine is a Wormhole into Another Dimension

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.

Molly's fabrics swatches

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. » » »

It’s Really Very Simple…Really

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! » » »

Remembering to Love What I Already Have

Today we have a guest post.  Cynthia is not only a fellow blogger but a neighbor and a friend.  If you haven’t already, check out her fabulous blog called Growing My Girls.  Today’s post explores the emotional side of spending, consuming and finding value in ‘things’.  It’s something Molly is always turning over and rethinking- What are the emotional triggers that push us to consume? 

When school started, I gave myself a never-before luxurious treat: uninterrupted immersion in my closet.

I did it before attacking the girls’ rooms, before touching the piles of laundry or the filthy floors, before looking at my desk, creating menus, or organizing carpools. Just me and my closet.

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