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Lifestyle

Do Your Purchases Reflect Your Values?

Today I am very excited to be doing a Blog Swap. Be sure to head over to Mandy’s site to read about my first real passport trip and what it taught me.  Also, don’t miss out on your chance to win $100. My name is Mandy and I’m the author of a blog called Money Master Mom.  I’d like to help you align your spending, time and energy with your values. Back in the day when we had satellite TV (we cut it because it was providing us little value, and was costing us a lot of time) I watched Survivor.  I enjoyed the episode where they brought food in front of the starving contestants and then auctioned it off.  Some items provided little value for the contestants and resulted in low bids, but other items, like a cheeseburger, provided high value and bidding wars ensued.  It was an interesting display how value and cost can sometimes vary a great deal. If you want to make the most of your money you need to match your spending with your personal values.  Take some time to consider what purchases provide you with a great deal of satisfaction; these purchases are high value buys. ...

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Halloween Humor: Random Things I’m Scared Of

If you read my weekly roundups, you might have seen a few of these already. I never know whether to do a serious post for holidays or not, so for Halloween, this is what you get. If you need a dose of personal finance, go read something at Work Save Live. Jason always has great stuff and is hosting a giveaway for his one year blogiversary! Things That Really Scare Me Spiders. I know they eat flies, and I have a soft spot for Charlotte’s Web, but still. Log Trucks. Afraid the logs will roll off into my car. Anything that Turns from a Liquid to a Solid at Room Temperature. I had to leave the South because I was scared of gravy.  Birds. I have been bitten by a parrot, attacked by a chicken, and pooped on by some exotic bird in Florida. They are all out to get me. Neurologists. It is scary that anyone can be that smart, and if I need to go see one, that is scary in another way. Running out of Toilet Paper. If I don’t have at least a four pack, I honestly get anxious. Teenagers. I will have one in 8 years. I better get over this. The Fiscal ...

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Being a Boss, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

There were a couple of posts recently about the benefits of being an employee. For that point of view, check out DC’s post at Young Adult Money or Holly’s post  at Club Thrifty. I have not been an employee for over ten years. I bought my optometry practice in 2002 and have been the boss ever since. I’d like to share my opinion on the ups and downs from my time as the head honcho. Maybe you can gain some prospective in determining if you would like to be in charge or if it makes sense to remain an employee. This is my experience of being a boss; the good, the bad, and the ulgy. The Good Making my Own Schedule. While my office is open five days per week, I can determine when I want to be there. I’ve changed my hours several times over the years. If I want time off, I can work  longer on another day. As long as I see enough patients, it doesn’t really matter what day or times. Vacation. I can take vacation whenever I want. I don’t have to get it approved or see who has seniority before I ask for time off. Dividend Income. I pay myself a salary, ...

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What You Need and Don’t Need For New Baby

If you are planning on having a child, it can be confusing with all the gadgets that are available for newborns. When I was pregnant, we took a trip to Babies R Us, and I literally had to leave the store because it was so overwhelming with all the furniture, clothes, and items the store says you can’t live without. Actually, we found that babies really don’t need that much stuff. Obviously, you need diapers, food,  a carseat, and clothes. In a primitive sense you could get by just fine with those things only, but there are some baby items that make life easier. Here is my top five list of  new baby items you  might need and ones you surely don’t. Things We Couldn’t Live Without Pack ‘N’ Play. We used this  every day. These are especially useful after your baby starts moving around. If you need somewhere safe to put them down for a few minutes, the playpen is perfect. These also make great travel beds and changing tables. Boppy. This is a u-shaped pillow that you can lay a newborn on for feeding or naps. It supports their head. When they take forever to eat and it’s two in the morning, your arm ...

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Why You Should Visit a National Park

Arches National Park

  One of my life goals is to visit every single national park in the United States. Whether it is the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, the gentle giant trees in Redwood NP, or the stalactites and stalagmites of Mammoth Cave, natural wonders abound. I admit that I am not well traveled. I got a late start. My husband’s and my parents rarely left town. As a result, there are lots of places we hope to see, and we are trying to give our daughter great life experiences. National parks offer something special.  With the right planning, they can make a very affordable vacation or weekend trip as well. National Park Costs National park entrance fees vary, but are usually around $10. Admission is usually good for seven days and is per car load, not per person.  The most expensive entrance fee I’ve seen is for the Grand Canyon at $25. I imagine the more popular parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite are similar. The National Parks Service offers several free admission days throughout the year. For 2012, the remaining days are this Saturday, September 29th and Veterans Day weekend, November 10-12.  In some parks, there is a volunteer program where you can earn ...

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