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Is Living in a Small Town Better?

small town farmer

Every time we go to spend time in the city, it makes me wonder if living in a small town is better financially and otherwise. While it’s always fun to visit other places, would living somewhere else actually improve our quality of life? Why We Live in a Small Town When I say small town, I mean small. The town where we live has a population of about 10,000 people. We are not close to an interstate highway, major airport, or even a Target. What we do have is diversity in landscapes. From my house, you can drive an hour north and be in the mountains, or an hour south and be in the desert. Growing up in the southern US, we had lots of humidity and bugs. My parents philosophy was why go outside when you have a perfectly good air conditioned house to sit around in? I never really fit into the south because I always wanted to go somewhere or find another adventure that didn’t involve a mall or increasing the volume of my hair. My husband grew up in metropolitan Denver. He is an outdoor sports nut, and was tired of lift lines and too many ...

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March Madness: How Much it Costs to Follow Your Team in the NCAA Tournament

Warning-If you don’t follow NCAA basketball and March Madness, you might be better off reading about something like The A-Z of Saving Money! Today is the start of NCAA March Madness. I have to admit, this year’s tournament is a bit melancholy for me. My beloved Kentucky Wildcats have fallen all the way from being 2012 NCAA champions to not making the tournament this year. One and done really sucks. What 19 year old needs to be playing in the NBA?  I digress. Another reason it sucks is for retailers, because Kentucky Wildcat fans travel in droves and spend all kinds of money. SEC tournament host cities always pray that Kentucky makes the final because the wildcat fans are crazy and will buy anything blue in sight. One of my goals someday is to follow my team through the tournament or at least attend a Final Four. How much would it cost to follow your team in the NCAA tournament?

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6 Money Tips for College Graduates

In another couple of months, universities and colleges will be turning out another fine graduating class. It’s been well over a decade since I left the halls of higher education. I would say that I’ve had my share of successes, but I certainly could be tons more successful if I’d followed these six tips for college graduates. Start Your Budget Right Now Assuming you have a job and are not moving back in with Mom and Dad, start tracking your monthly expenses vs income. It’s the only way to know what you can afford and what you might be wasting money on. You’ve graduated. There is no need to be cool anymore. Get out the spreadsheets.

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A Week in the Life of An Optometrist

I had some really serious topics last week with sequestration, taxes, and selling out. Today I thought I’d share a little bit of the lighter side of my work. While I’ve been frustrated with some of the business aspects of being in private practice, I truly love most of my patients. I’ll give you a glimpse into a week in the life of an optometrist. These are all honest to God patients and true stories. Monday: A gentleman shows up and marks on his history form that he has glaucoma. He was not under treatment because he though his diabetes medicine would work for glaucoma as well. I appreciate dual uses for products but since his pressure was 26 and 47 (normal is under 21), we can safely conclude that diabetes medicine doesn’t work for glaucoma. After a long discussion about vision loss from untreated glaucoma, how to take drops, how he can get assistance if he can’t afford his drops, and how important follow up is, I asked if he had any questions. Like a good patient, he did. Mr. Glaucoma: “Can you do anything about the scratches on my glasses?” That sound you heard Monday afternoon was me ...

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Is Poverty in the United States an Excuse to do Poorly in School?

poverty in schools

For the most part I love the rural area of the country where we’ve chosen to live. It fits our needs and desires, and we’ve been able to make a good living here.  However, there is a large percentage of the population that lives below the poverty line. My husband will be completing a master’s degree in education administration this summer. Recently, as a practicum requirement, he has been observing parent conference at the middle school. Instead of accepting responsibility and working toward a better the situation, all of the parents blamed being poor in some way for why their child was having difficulty in schools. It leads to the question, is poverty in the United States an excuse to do poorly in school?

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