Category Archives: Money

This is a good place to find many financial tips and tricks I have learned over the years

New project – Online yard sale


With the loss of my father in law, I have been working with my Mother in law to reconcile his belongings.  There are several Items that she and the family no longer have a need for and so… we started a online yard sale.. please read ALL of the details. we do not have a ton of time and are not really up for being bombarded by a ton of unexpected visitors..

On the menu bar at the top there is a new button “online yard sale” that will take you there or just follow the link below..  Please spread the word on Facebook or any other method as we would like to clean house quickly and move on.. anything not sold within about a month will be DISPOSED OF in other methods so ACT QUICK!

June 1, 2014 Just pay someone already!



Someday I will get a head of the timing.  After working such long hours for a little over a month I realize that it is no longer an option for me to do that anymore. Just imagine not balancing your check book for over a month.. putting off the “Honey Do’s” for over a month and letting all of the things you are supposed to do pile up for that long as well.. needless to say, I have no idea where we are financially and have a mountain of things that I need to do with the regular daily additions being piled on top of it every day.


So I do have a question, many people that have known me for, well, really any time at all, realize that I am tight. By tight I mean: “penny pincher”, Cheap, or as I like to consider it, Frugal, innovative.. really it has always come down to the fact that I really don’t like spending all my money in one place because I like to spend it in many places. I don’t like to believe that just because it is expensive or name brand that it is better than things that aren’t. As you follow this post, you will get a better idea as to what I mean because I will be reviewing these things that I consider cheap.  Now, getting to the point, as you know I recently had a new driveway put in and replaced my old sidewalk with a new curb, gutter and sidewalk. Initially the thought was to do as much as I could while still having the professionals do the critical installation of the concrete its self. The more we got into it the more I realized that it was not worth it to me to be “Frugal” This last Saturday made that even more evident as I tried to unload the trailer that contained the waste from the old sidewalk. When this project was in process, I had told them to load the waste on my heavy duty trailer (to save on the cost of getting a waste container) in the end my contractor went ahead and got one any way to haul off most all of it. By Most all of it, I mean that the stuff that was already in the trailer remained there. Saturday morning, I hooked up the trusty S10 Blazer to the trailer loaded to the heap and headed out. (now, Yes, I was fully aware that this was heavy and I needed to take it slow since it had no trailer brakes ) so That is exactly what I did. I took it slow and went on as many back roads as possible.. as I approached the dump the blazer was struggling.. there is a long steep hill that leads to the dump. As the engine bogged down I would manually shift it down to keep as much momentum up as possible, really I just ended up going to first and hoping that it would make it at all. At the weigh in, (after I received many odd looks) the gentleman there told me that I was within weight so I could use my pass. ( the limit was 1-TON)  but the look on his face indicated that he was really letting it slide since I was really over the limit. Keep in mind that this is a ¼-TON vehicle I was pulling it with. That is not the point though. As I pulled into place to unload and began working to get it off, it became evident that this was not going to be as easy as I thought I used a high lift jack to lift the first piece to near vertical, doing everything I could do to stay out of the “danger zone” if it were to fall.. once at near Vertical, I assumed  that I would be able to push it the remaining way over and thus off the trailer.. nope, it did not even move. This one piece of concrete had to weigh 500-1000lbs by its self. (I’m leaning more toward the 1000lbs as I can usually leg press over 400lbs and all I was trying to do was push it over.. .. to keep it short, after destroying every tie-down in my arsenal and with the great assistance of a front loader, the trailer was emptied.

(point? – sometimes it is worth a little extra to pay someone to do things that you “think” you can do yourself)

May 24, 2014 Family Matters

Family_MattersFor those of you who have not been following long enough to know. There has been a lot of things going on with my family.. I try not to talk about it much here but in light of some things this week. I wanted to say thanks offer an update.

Last year I lost my job of over 7 years. My father in law offered for me to work with him.. He could not offer a big paycheck but, he also offered to open his home for my wife and our 2 kids to move it with them. In July I was able to get a better paying job and about mid November we were ready to move back out. We started looking for a place to move to (with debates on moving back to the house that we owned for some time). A house near where I worked came available for about what we were willing to rent for. The day that my wife and I were scheduled to go and sigh the papers and make it official, I got a call from my wife saying her dad was in the hospital. (he had not been feeling well but nothing gave us a clue to what was really in store) we canceled the apt. and went to see what what going on. After some testing we found out that he had stage 4  Gleoblastoma (a really aggressive and terminal brain cancer). Because we knew that he would not be returning to work, we bought their house so that there would be no risk of them loosing it. Needless to say we stayed right where we were.

Since then we have watched as his body functions slowly stopped working from motor skills, ability to speak, the ability to move, until today (Sunday the 18th of May) we went to give him a Priesthood Blessing. The realization that his time here is short, is apparent. His ability to eat is almost gone and we are told, once he is no longer able to eat, it is only a matter of a few days.  As much as a part of us wish he would get better and he would return home, we all know that it is not going to happen. In reality we all hope that he will pass quickly since we all know he was never the type to handle staying in bed very well. He was always very fit and unable to slow down.  Now he mostly sleeps.

It is interesting going through this though, it has shown me a lot about myself, and how I feel about people. I have always been introverted so my outlook on social aspects of life has always been a little off. Without getting too sidetrack, you see a lot of “mean wells” and then there are the ones that understand. Although loosing a loved one is hard, being constantly asked about feelings or to do something for a mourning person does not help. It is all a person can do to put things like this aside and continue to live.  Being a friend and doing fun things and distracting from the negative is the key. A realization is that unless there was already a friendship there, there is not much that can be done.  We have a neighbor (who I am sure reads these posts) who has always been there with the understanding that times are tough, sure, but that life still moves on so they have had the kids doing sidewalk chalk, slip-n-slides, role playing and so many more activities with the kids while offering real adult conversation about interests real adults have and being there even when it is not so convenient.

In this case, it has gone on for some time, we cannot sit around all day weeping and whaling. Life is still moving, there are still bills to pay, jobs to keep there are still things that can allow a mourning person to be happy. On a cold winter day, there is still warmth from the sun if you can just focus your energy on the warmth over the cold. The same applies here. My upbringing has taught me that there is so much more than this life. Yes it is sad to see a loved on pass from this life to the next but in the eternal perspective, there is so much more, not just more but better.


(My Father in Law passed away this week. The funeral was held 5/23/2014 thought on that will be posted soon)

May 21, 2014 A day of rest

KcjeXMkBiAs this last week progressed and the pressure to complete the project became greater I told my boss that I would be taking time off to get a grasp on my personal and family time since there has not been a break at all for the last 3-4 weeks. Come Thursday Night, I had had enough! We spent all day Friday running errands with the wife, and trying to get things that had been put off for over a month wrapped up.

Saturday we rented a mini front loader to re-distribute the dirt that was displaced by the new drive way..  we started at 7am and did not stop until after I was violently thrown off the machine while going over a bump (at about 3:30pm). It was time to stop. I was tired and dealing with heat exhaustion. Don’t worry though, only minor scrapes and bruises. We took the front loaded back (a $200 well spent by the way) I will say this.. that is an awkward machine to operate  since you stand on the back and there is nothing to hold you to the machine. One hand controls the direction and movement while the other controls the bucket leaving nothing to hold on with. Every bump would act like a catapult because of the balance point of it. I cheated and used a tie down to secure my waist to it so that I would not randomly fall off.. what did me in was going down a lip, it decided to rock forward more than I was expecting me throwing me forward. The instincts kicked in and I somehow managed to force myself off the side so that in the case it went all the way over, I would not be caught under it.. ( gotta love reflexes). once I got cleaned up and had a chance to cool down. I went to work cleaning all of the dirt back off the driveway. It only took several hours and was worth every moment to relax as the sun was beginning to set and a cool breeze was coming through.

(only one more post this week – don’t miss it)

May 18, 2014 Seeking A promotion

seeking_indexThis week, the craziness continued as the project I was working on was reaching its deadline. As it was completing, the fear of empty and shallow promises began to set in with the thought that they were for the mere purpose of having me complete something no one else was able or willing to do, with no intention of coming through or, sure they will give me a title promotion with not monetary compensation for the additional stress and responsibilities. Now I don’t say this lightly as it is something that scares a lot of people. I really don’t make much now, in fact, when I took this job; I explained that I am used to moving up the ladder quickly and that was  the only reason I would accept as low of a pay as they were offering. (keeping in mind that I was taking a pay cut from what my last job was paying and I was extremely under paid there as well) After taking the job there was a lot of talk around the company that they did not give raises or “real” promotions, the only way you made more was to work more and after several weeks of working 80+ hours with a record of 117 hours in one week, it started to sink in. “Is it time to start looking for another job or focusing on my own business again?” it is scary to think about not being financially secure.. I know I could make it on my own but the early stages of a small business scare me the most. As this project wrapped up, the promises got bigger with the title of Manufacturing Engineer.  Sure, it sounds great but will the pay match.. Probably not..  the last title they talked about giving me was about $20K more a year (at a starting pay)  than I am making now. At this stage in the game Doubts run rampant.

(more to come this week. stay tuned)




April 20, 2014 It is never what it seems to be


Well, as the title suggests, what we thought was the situation last week was no where near what the situation really was. There was a lot of “discovery” going on this last week as I spoke to people concerned in the matter. If you recall we were of the understanding that the sidewalk was stopped due to a complaint from the neighbor. As soon as I was able, I spoke to the said neighbor (who is super cool by the way) and asked him what the story was from his side.. He said that the city came to him asking to put in new sidewalk and gutters as well. He told me that he refused for fear that the city would make him cut down his trees.. At that point I figured that was the problem. Later that day I got a text from my contractor indicating that he had a meeting with the city Tuesday morning and that he wanted me to attend. I figured at that point they would give me the details.. In that meeting I found out that the city was the one holding things up because they waned me to do a type of sidewalk that I did not want. After some negotiations.. we got what we wanted.

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A little comparison there for ya.. Other than that I will admit, not much happened this week after averaging 12 hrs a day for the past 6 days at work. Right now we are looking at a REALLY cheap way to harden the driveway we were not able to do concrete in.. We were looking at Asphalt, but I am wondering if there is still something even cheaper like re-spreading the gravely dirt and getting asphalt sealer to spread over the top since it will all be just temporary (for aprox. 1 year).


As for this week and probably next. It is official, I am going to Mexico.. No where all that pretty (San Luis Potosi) and it will be just me and some co-workers, although it is just down the street from the GM manufacturing plant… we’ll see how it goes.. hopefully I can get some good pics to share next week and the week after..

April 13, 2014 Working on vacation

This is probably my favorite part of this week.. yup, working while on vacation.. although you will likely see this post on Sunday I am sitting here on Wednesday typing it, and yes, I am on vacation. I guess there is something even better than me sitting and typing while on vacation, there is still a lot of working going on at the house! yup, that is part of the reason we are on vacation. Our new Driveway and sidewalk are going in. Most of the driveway was complete before we left but, they were starting on the sidewalk when we left. Because of the amount and location of the sidewalk we would not be able to have parked anywhere near the house making it difficult to live even somewhat normally so… we left!

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(Friday Night) This week has left me with a lot of time to think.. It seems that as we get the careers that we always wanted, the more I realize that it really is not what it seems.. I did get the chance this week to meet up with Everide this week (it was totally awesome to see such a good friend after such a long time) and as we talked, this very subject came up. Having the dream job partially has a lot to do with having time to fulfill personal aspirations and the ability to feel like you are “growing”.  Somehow our generation just missed the gravy train on this.. Worked hard to get experience and education so that we could get that great career we always wanted then. BAM! the economy collapsed and now sure, you can get a good job but, you’ll probably make more bagging groceries at the local store.. oh yea and you are gonna work your guts out so long that you will learn to hate what you do just because there is always someone else out there desperate for a job that will replace you once your burnt out.. so how do you avoid this paradox?…. be your own boss.  how? you may say… I’m really not sure I guess that is part of the adventure.  but I did come across this statistic… something to think about!

income ratio


Well, OK, We arrived home last night just before 10:30 PM and found out that nothing more was done after we left. Apparently something was said between the neighbor and the city that upset my neighbor and in return there was an upset that caused the city to put a stop on our new sidewalk. As of now, we are not sure what will happen or when it will happen.. the problem is, until this is worked out, we cannot drive our cars into our driveway. Not really a problem for me and my family but my father-in-law who is in a wheelchair.. this is just not cool..

on a better note, our vacation was a hoot. tons of gun.. lots of time to relax  here are just a few pictures of the awesome stuff we saw!

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March 30, 2014 A dog’s purpose?

Chug enjoying a day out on a walk
Chug enjoying a day out on a walk

Yep, the side thought is the main subject this week. Reason being, this Last week was one with a very time consuming schedule.  On top of a 60 hr work week not much was able to be completed.

So, for my thought provoking intro. Do dogs have a purpose? I cannot say for sure one way or another but I can tell you this.. As I had mentioned last week, we got our first dog in a long time last Sunday and after a week of acquainting ourselves with the ‘ol Girl and spending a fair amount of change on vet checkups, shots, food and supplies, it makes you question, why have a dog? Don’t get me wrong I am not saying it is a bad thing, in fact I am saying just the opposite. Dogs are a great animal to have around.. So far in just the first week she has already started defending the family. She is not aggressive but she will give out a single solid bark when someone knocks on the door. She checks on everyone regularly and makes her rounds at night when everyone else is sleeping.. I will say, she is more “Friendly” than we thought initially. Over the past week she is more willing to lick, jump, run and play.. That said, she is still super mild and stays in “her place” which is so awesome. I will give one big tip to getting a dog (just in case you are looking) Look for a free dog. I don’t say that to be cheap I say that because someone willing to give away a family pet is in one of 2 circumstances: 1- the dog is completely out of control or 2- they truly cannot keep them due to some other circumstance.. 2 being the one you want to look for.. a well loved dog that would otherwise go to the pound or be put down due to crappy family circumstances. That is where I feel “Chug” came from.. she seems like she was a super good dog in a bad situation (not abusive but not feeling at home)  and now she is just happy.. (I am thinking I need to give more thought on how to express this)  there will be more on this subject later….

As for the project updates.. we are still waiting on the Concrete work to get done. Our City/Town is horrible at getting paper work done but as soon as it is.. a driveway to the shop as well as the front sidewalk will go in and make life really nice, and projects so much easier. On the inside of the shop, one quarter was cleared, sealed and permanent fixtures moved into place and the second quarter is starting to be cleared. Here are a few pics to show what has been done.

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Granted there is still a lot to do in the first area but the finishing details will not be done until the whole shop is sealed and starting to go together but, this will make space to start getting more done.

March 3,2014 boy does time fly

Wow, I cannot believe that I have missed 2 Sundays worth of posts.. how on earth did any of you let me do that.. I guess I better get caught up on the happenings around here.

In the past 2 weeks we have made tons of progress on the room, In fact we are doing floor patch today and carpet tomorrow! but enough teaser. lets start from where we left off!

The garage was left off with one light and one receptacle and one light.. not much has happened more there but we did get 2 more lights up and started plans for how it will be laid out. The goal is to get a lift and be able to “lift” a full size vehicle for under side and major repairs.. First things first.. on the Bottom (south) of the garage there will be a 4′ shelf for long term storage mounted about 6’6″ high.. once that is up we will be able to start some serious cleaning and preping.

preliminary ideas on how to lay out the garage
preliminary ideas on how to lay out the garage

Wow the house on the other hand has made much progress.  Final preperations were made for the tile including and entire day chipping away old flooring and adding new mesh and sandmix

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Then the fun began.. Laying the tile. It seemed easy at first until we realized that this house was just as un-square on the floor as it was on the walls..  but in the end I believe it turned out fine.. the only BooBoo’s there are will only likely be noticed by those who put them in .

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As I mentioned.. we are down to patching the floor in the bed room.. this was an interesting thing to see….2014-03-11 11.17.10we are not sure what this was for, we are suspecting it was some kind of septic tank  so we filled it with rocks from the vast supply our yard offers us and have filled the remainder with concrete.. Then we will be using sand mix to do the final touches.

OK so, on a fun note. This last weekend I went and was helping a neighbor tear down an old chicken coop with a group of fellow neighbors. When we saw how horribly wobbly it was we figured hooking a cable to it and pulling it down would surly disintegrate the structure and make clean up go faster but to our surprise. it was a lot more strong than we though.. here is what happened.

Feb 23, 2014 So close and yet so far!

Well, I suppose I could say that this was a productive week. After a very trying weekend dealing with millions of rocks, it was hard to be motivated but we did it anyway.. Through out the week we completed the conduit to the garage (wires and all) and just yesterday we wired up the Garage breaker box with 1 receptacle and 1 light. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but that is a real milestone with this garage. Now we have the ability to work in the garage (Limited but still) with light.. Also if we need any sort of power we can use a short extension cord and go at it rather than dragging a 50′ cord from the house. The next step on the garage is to CLEAN IT OUT! There is soo much stuff that has accumulated in there because of the lack of lighting. Everyone was literally opening the door and setting stuff just inside because you could not see the proper location or even a safe path to it.. The garage started its life full with half full of my father-in-laws wood working tools and the other half crammed with my Mechanical tools and motorcycles, then when my Father-In-Law was diagnosed with Cancer, more stuff was put there in an attempt to remove “past life thoughts” such as his hunting gear and all the other what not’s.  That plus, we liquidated the Flooring company and the person that was buying most of the supplies and tools left what he did not want/ could not afford.. Needless to say it is extremely full and even more un-organised.

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I did get to pull “Zuki” out into the light, more to get it out of the way but it was nice to see it in the sun light.. kinda helped to get motivated to get it going more.

2014-02-22 14.42.09

As for the house project… we finished the last of the interior electrical as well as the remainder of the Sheetrock.. Some of the mudding still needs some attention where the ceiling transitions into the older part of the house. The bedroom ceiling is primed and completely painted. and all of the rest of the Sheetrock is primed just not painted.. I am sure with the girls impatience, they will be all over that tomorrow in a push to get it done.. we are really hoping to at least start on the flooring side of things before the end of the week.

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With so many projects getting so close to completion, we can feel the strain of the push catching up to us.. now it is all we can do to get the house done, wrap up the underground electrical line, cleaning the garage and getting the Zuki going..