The Year of Free Entertainment Experiment

My family usually receives annual passes to places like the zoo, aquarium, or children’s museum. Last year we had passes to a theme park. After going a few times my oldest child asked, “Do we have to go?” (first world problems, I know).

This year, I decided to forgo passes and avoid most places where tourists would go. Instead, we looked up the free (or nearly free ) events in our area and went to as many as we could. So how did our year of free entertainment experiment go? Continue reading The Year of Free Entertainment Experiment

10 Things I Don’t Buy My Kids (and 10 Things I Do Buy Them)

Personal finance is one of my loves, minimalism is another. And I kind of like my kids, too. But I don’t express my love by buying things. In fact, fewer toys is associated with more creative play and longer play time. I focus more on healthful habits, family time, and skill development.

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3 Most Inspirational Personal Finance Posts on the Internet

You’ve been thinking about making changes to save more money. Getting motivated to actually take action, and knowing how to start, those are the hard parts. Here are 3 of the most inspirational personal finance posts on the internet. They are guaranteed to make you think differently about money, and open your eyes to how small changes can make a HUGE impact on your life and your finances. Continue reading 3 Most Inspirational Personal Finance Posts on the Internet

How to Make More Money

After you’ve cut back all the expenses you can (or are willing to), you may still need to make more money. Whether you’re looking to reduce debt, or just add things to your life that move you closer to your values (e.g., travel, wedding, fun activities), there comes a time when it may be helpful to switch mindsets from “what else can I cut?” to “how can I make more money?”

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How to Spend $100 per Person per Month on Food

The #1 question I received from readers is how to spend $100 per person per month on food. Many think it can’t be done. But you may recall that we average $400 a month for food for a family of five. Here is how my family keeps our expenses down (and without clipping coupons or shopping at a warehouse club).

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My Friend Has A Stalker!

A friend confided that one of her patients is stalking her. In addition to knowing where she worked, he found out her home address and cell phone number. A restraining order is in effect, but that doesn’t help to reduce her fear.

This got me thinking, if I found out someone was stalking me, what would I do different? Why wait until after someone has already begun stalking me to make those changes? By that time, it might be too late. Continue reading My Friend Has A Stalker!

Expenses from Post-Doc to Current Day

In the last post, I shared my family’s actual expenses for Q1 and Q2 of this year. For the current post, I compared some of my basic expenses from my first year of post-doc to my current expenses 8 years later. Within that time, our family grew from 3 people to 5, and we moved from a two-bed/one-bath apartment to a four-bed/two-bath house.

So how did I do at avoiding lifestyle inflation? Here are my numbers as a percent of take-home pay.

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