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Hidden Costs of Kindergarten

Two weeks of summer left and our five year old starts kindergarten. I used to laugh at those parents who got choked up when their kids started school, but I get it, and while I haven’t shed any tears, there is a little tug in the heart because she is growing up and becoming more independent. Sadly, I had to go back to work when she was six months old. For the first three years of her life, we paid $500 a a month to a private sitter during the school year. My husband is a teacher, so he’s home in the summer. At three years old, she started full day preschool to the tune of $385 per month, lunch included. I realize that day care costs in a rural area are much less than in the city, but it was still a big montly expense. Starting public school should be like gettting a raise, right? Well, maybe not. We’ve been discovering the hidden costs of kindergarten. Full Day Tuition In Colorado, the state only covers half day kindergarten. (Is it any wonder we are getting left behind by all the other developed nations who start learning Calculus in first grade?) If you ...

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August Goals

I’ve been working so hard to get this blog launched, that I haven’t taken the chance to put down my goals for this month. I always have tons of goals in my head, but I’m really bad about putting them in writing. I really want to be more accountable, so here goes. Blog Goals Publish content at least four times a week until I have 30 posts done. Comment on at least five blogs  each day, with three new ones per week. Learn at least one new thing on WordPress per week. Financial Goals Write a budget and stick to it. We have really slacked on this lately. Continue to save as much money as possible for our first rental property. We should close by the end of the month. Don’t buy any convenience store items. I am guilty of this if I am late for work sometimes. Life Goals Limit myself to one diet soda per day, not from the convenience store. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables at least five days per week. No eating out for the rest of the month. There you have it. I’ll update at the beginning of the month and see how I ...

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Should you use an emergency fund for your pets?

We spent a great weekend in the big city of Denver, but it was really wonderful to pull into the driveway today. Well, it was for the first five seconds until we noticed our dog, Mo, limping in the back yard. Our neighbors dog sit when we go out of town. We spoke to them the night before, and nothing was wrong, so what had she done? After inspection, two of her toes on her front paw were about twice the normal size. I am no veterinarian, but this couldn’t be good. A bit of background on Mo; she was a dog we decided to foster when her owner had to surrender her. We discovered we are terrible foster parents because after two days, there was no way we were letting this dog go. She snores like a freight train (why is that cute if it’s your dog, but maddening if it’s your husband?) She has a face only a mother could love (Sharpei, Boxer, Rotweiller mix), and she is a girl named Mo, but the sweetest dog you can imagine. She also has a “cherry eye” which requires all kinds of drops. Since I am an eye doctor and have all kinds of drops, it was ...

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How do you live in the city without being broke?

We live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Within a two hour radius,  you can be climbing a mountain, hiking in the desert, or visiting a national park. If you want to go shopping, though, you’re out of luck. We have a WalMart, which I despise, a couple of dollar stores, and a few specialty shops. Every few months we drive an hour to a bigger small town if we need to go to Target or TJ Maxx.  A couple of times a year, we make the pilgrimage to a big city. As I write this, we are in Denver. We came to visit relatives, but made a mini vacation out of it. Our five year old is starting kindergarten, so this was a good time to get school clothes and a backpack. We set out for the mall, and, wow, I felt like the country mouse goes to the city. There are so many stores! There were two stores for high end jeans alone. My husband grew up in Denver, and I lived in the city while I went to school, but we have been away for a long time. Also, when I was in the city, I was ...

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Selling the Business Part II:Owner Finance

One of the ways I hope to supplement my income after my optometry practice is sold is to carry a portion of the sale as an owner finance. The buyer will put down 10% and pay off the balance over a ten year period. To some this may sound like a gigantic roll of the dice, but I am not much of a gambler, so why do I think this will work? This practice has been in existence since 1941. We live in a rural area, and while growth is inevitable, it is not likely that tons of new optometry office are going to open up. It would be unlikely to fold unless the new owner does something really stupid. The buyer has worked with me for the past two years. He knows what he is getting into and how business decisions have been made. I will still be there part time and, as per our agreement, will have access to financial records as long as I carry the loan. If things start going south, I will be able to help correct problems. If it does all go down the drain, I will take the busines back and start over again. While ...

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