Retail Masturbating My Way To Financial Responsibility

A few weeks ago, I began to yen for a new jacket. A quilted one to be exact. It was going to “MAKE” my winter wardrobe. I had just buckled and added a pair of those duck boots to my wardrobe, and this was the next essential item… So, as you can see, I was already tripping down the slippery slope to a retail orgy when I stumbled on fashionista catnip. The blog Classy Girls Wear Pearls exemplifies everything I want to look like. A modern day Jackie O, who…

Getting Back on After Falling Off the No Spend November Wagon

So almost exactly half-way through the month, we fell off the No Spend November Wagon. Womp Womp. I can’t feel too bad about it though because it was a Baby G kind of expense. Days are getting colder, and it will soon get wetter. It was time for Baby G to get a pair of new winter boots. We tried to do this responsibly by visiting the local Stride Rite store to have her feet measured and eyeball the merchandise on sale. But no cigar. There were no boots on…

Every breath you take; every decision you make, you should be watching you.

Remember reading those books where you get to choose the ending. I was always crap at those books. I read every ending. Unfortunately, in life you only get to see the path that you choose. If you really thought about it, you’d realize how very exciting, overwhelming, and empowering that is. You might also realize (all things being equal) how incredibly difficult it would be for you to go astray or screw up your life. For those of you whose lives are like ships in a storm because of a health crisis, or…

Mindful-ling My Way To Frugality

Truth is, I’ve never really understood mindfullness, but I think I may be on the way to getting it. On the other hand, I may not and if that’s the case, just humor the crazy lady with the blog. Since the Grasshoppers hopped on the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) wagon, I have found myself pondering ways to channel more money into my savings. In most cases that includes trimming the fat from our pre-Journey lifestyle (remember the maids?), or finding innovative ways to cut down expenses (goodbye toilet paper).…

Watching the Bottom Line: The Grasshoppers Say Ta-Ta To Toilet Paper

I feel like we’ve known each other long enough for a rather personal confession. Here it is: The Grasshoppers have bid adieu to toilet paper for environmental, health-based, but mostly economic reasons. I grew up in a culture that doesn’t do toilet paper. My people use water instead. So, while I have traveled extensively and was certainly no stranger to the concept of toilet paper, I did not embrace it as the sole means of (*ahem*) my toilette until I was in my late teens. Grasshopper Evolution There are times in…

Housecleaning & How I Got Off the Habit Carousel

Grasshopper Confessional: Sooo, when I graduated from school and got my first high paying job, I did not immediately buy a car, or a Gucci purse. Nope. I began to pay for a cleaning service (yes. Maids!) to come to my house and clean for me every two weeks. Decadent. I know. And, I LOVED it. I figured that I was working full-time, and earning a lot of money. Ergo, I was entitled to use my free time to do fun stuff. And “fun stuff” did not (and for the…

Frugal Foodie: When Life Gives You Bananas; Make Pancakes

For every gorgeous bowl of fruit decorating your kitchen counter, its overripe cousin likely got thrown in the trash. In fact, some basic Google-fu taught me that “Every year, consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons).” http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts In fact, “in the USA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.” Yikes! I really can’t judge. I have been just as bad a food waster as anyone. Sometimes…

No Spend November With the Grasshoppers

No Spend November sounded like an awesome idea until I realized the spending freeze would coincide with my birthday and Thanksgiving. Well poop! On the other hand, go big or go home, right? Also, the Grasshoppers are planning a winter road trip to visit family, and this month-long spending freeze will make us feel better about any money we spend during that trip. For all of my readers who are scrambling to get a foothold on the concept of No Spend November: It is a whole month where you avoid spending any of…

Frugal Fashionista: How To Shop In Your Own Closet

Fall brings out the fashion plate in me. Well, Fall and the higher probability of being inadvertently caught in a photograph during the Holiday Season. Mr. Grasshopper is our trusty family photographer, who captures our every memory with a near-religious fervor. So, it’s not like we are ever paparazzi free. But, it seems perfectly acceptable to be caught romping around the yard, or frolicking on the beach in Spring/Summer wearing a threadbare band tee. Carefree even! On the other hand, Fall and Winter with their packed holiday/birthday/anniversary schedule seem to engender…

Know the Cost of Everything and Everyone You Add to Your Box Of Life

I have often thought of life as a box…No, not a box of chocolates (thanks Forest Gump), but an empty box we are all given at birth that we fill with the stuff of life. It’s the wisdom of how we pick and choose those additions that determines how heavy the box is, and how far we can walk with it. My box, for example, contains an education, a job, education loans, some family members, Mr. Grasshopper, Baby G, a few friends, a house (with a mortgage), a car (fully paid…