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Life and Financial Lessons from a Five Year Old

When you have children, sometimes you feel as if you are always walking uphill just to make it from  work to school to activities on time. It is often easy to be on automatic pilot, but if you pay attention, sometimes you can learn life lessons from the smallest people. Our daughter started gymnastics a year ago when she was four years old. It was a new program in our area, and was offered through the city recreation center, so it was very affordable. Her class consisted of 4-6 year olds, and she absolutely loved it.  When we began kindergarten, we had to stop the classes because we are attennding an out of district school. We just couldn’t make it in time.  The gymnastics program has taken off like a rocket, and the earlier, younger classes are now averaging 50-60 kids. To spread the load, the coaches decided to offer three classes, mixing all ages together but separating like ages into groups within the class. We were able to make the later class, so we tried it out last week. When we arrived, it was obvious that my daughter was the youngest and smallest one there. There were a couple of ...

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Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #5

Where does the time go? Another week has flown by. It’s beginning to feel like fall with the cooler mornings and evenings that Colorado does so well. I’m kind of excited about today. Daughter and I are going to pick apples and peaches at the Colorado State University orchard near our area. It’s really cheap and nice to show her where food comes from.  For her kindergarten homework, she brings home a letter every day and we have to find five things that start with that letter. On the day for the letter T, I was trying to get her to say tree. Me: “Apples come from a ………” Daughter: “Store!” Maybe it’s time to get back to nature. I’m also glad to report that our tomato plant has a semi-ripening tomato. My first one ever! I can get them to grow, but they never ripen. I can’ t wait to eat it. Eyes on the Dollar certainly had lots of love this week thanks to all you wondeful readers. I really appreciate everyone who stops by and leaves a comment or shares a post. This week thanks to these blogs for mentions. Mr. CBB’s Weekly Blog Post Picks September ...

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Grocery Game Saved Our Budget

I have never been a great grocery planner.  For years, we went to the grocery almost daily to buy food for that day. This lack of planning also resulted in eating out or getting fast food quite often. After a long day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was go home to cook. My husband had a minor health issue a few years ago. If you’d like to read about it, I wrote a guest post for Budgeting in the Fun Stuff before I even had a blog. His need for improved eating coincided with our effort to pay off debt and live a more frugal, rewarding life.  We radically changed the way we shop and eat. It has been tons better for our health and wallet, but I still have a hard time meeting my grocery budget.  Ultimately, even if I am using cash, I know I have a debit card to catch me if I spend too much. My husband certainly is not going to complain if I buy too many groceries.  I’m not even sure he knows that you have to shop, but thinks the food just magically appears.  I had no one but myself to  ...

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Rental Property Series: Renovating Our Rental Property

For the past two and a half weeks, we have been working double duty, doing renovations to get our first rental property ready for a tenant. If you missed the first post in this series, check it out here. Brief Recap We purchased this property on August 24, 2012 for $63,000, with 25% down. We didn’t get to take possession until the following Monday because the seller lived out of town and papers couldn’t be filed until then (lost weekend, bummer). We plan on spending $3000-$5000 on renovations. We hope to be done and have a renter by October 1. We are using a property management company and are asking $750/mo for rent. What We’ve Done So Far The day after closing, we made a Herculean trip to Home Depot. It is an hour drive from where we live. We hoped to get almost everything at once to avoid a second trip. My husband and I both work full time, making us weekend warriors on this project. He is a teacher, and it would have been a little too easy if we’d been able to close during the summer when he had every day off. We really like challenges! Weekend #1 Labor ...

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The Low Income Clinic Experiment

Working as an optometrist, I see the realities of people who are uninsured or under insured. Most people wouldn’t consider eyecare in the top categories as far as need. Obviously if you have cancer or need a heart transplant, that would take presidence, but eye care can be quite complex as well. If you are diabetic, have high blood pressure, or take a number of high risk medications, eye health can be severely impacted with few symptoms until the condition is advanced. If you can’t see, it is very hard to perform at your full capacity at work or school. I run a for profit business. If you don’t have insurance or the ability to self pay, you don’t get an examination. My thoughts on this issue began to change a few years back when I received a letter from a patient. She had a friend who had very poor vision. He worked construction for a roofing company. After falling off a couple of roofs, his employer realized he couldn’t see and had to let him go. She explained that he had made some poor life choices, but was trying to do better when he lost this job and had no insurance or extra money to ...

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