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Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

DIY Dog Training

We were planning to do an obedience course with Oscar, but now I’m thinking we’ll just continue training him on our own for the time being. We’ve taught him sit, down, shake, roll over, and up (stand up on hind legs), and he’s a quick study and seems to enjoy learning. Or maybe he just enjoys the treats he gets when we’re training. In any case, we’re now down to one income, and $150 for obedience school doesn’t seem the wisest use of money at the moment.

We’ll start working on “stay” and “come” next. I bet there are plenty of YouTube videos on dog training. Maybe even some DVDs at the library. “Free” is definitely the keyword of the moment.

That reminds me – recently we aquired an animal hair trimmer (for free from a friend who repairs and rebuilds trimmers, as luck would have it), so we’re going to try grooming Oscar ourselves. Should be very interesting, seeing as how neither of us has any dog-trimming experience. If we can manage do it, that’s another 35 bucks a month saved.

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Minus One Income

D is getting laid off at the end of May. The family-owned company he works for has been bought by a large corporation based in France, and D’s department will be absorbed by facilities in other cities. His job isn’t one with any long-term potential – he’s working on a degree right now – but still, it was a decent job with a pretty good paycheck considering the type of work. It’s a little daunting to think about being down to a single income – mine.

It’s not all bad, though. In some ways, the timing couldn’t be better. Now D can focus on finishing his program in the fall ’09 and spring ’10 semesters, whereas with a job it would have taken him 3 semesters to get through it. And once he’s finished his degree, I hope he’ll be able to get into a job with more potential and maybe more money than his current one. I know the market’s ugly right now, but his new career will be in health care, so fingers crossed, there will be something for him when he graduates. So that part’s good. He can plow through school and get it done.

Also on the plus side, D is taking 1 summer class, but aside from that he will have loads of free time this summer. Know what that means? PROJECTS!! I have a mental list of about 10 projects for him to work on, and you can bet your bippy  there’s more where those came from. Everything from installing some blinds and valances to painting a couple rooms to putting up some fencing. AND, he will be able to take over many of my duties – cleaning, grocery shopping, miscellaneous errands, tending to Oscar, and the like. Which will make me very, very happy.

Then of course there’s the money part. Money is always kind of nervous-making. More so when you know there’s going to be less of it. But as long as I don’t lose my income, I think we’ll be okay. D expects some severance money, and combined with unemployment we should be able to manage. He’s already on my insurance, so he’s not really losing anything but his wages. Unless things get really, really bad, I don’t expect I’ll lose my job. A pay cut in the next year is a very real possibility, but we’ll deal with that when or if it comes.

So, amazingly, D losing his job could be… a really good thing. Who would have thought? In the worst market in my lifetime (or that I can remember, anyway), for us this may be for the best.

I’m a little envious he’s going to have the summer off, but he’s worked like a dog – full-time job and full class load this semester – for long enough. I didn’t have to worry about working to make rent when I was an undergrad, and I think it’s great that he’ll get a year of the same. Plus, I’m SUPER-STOKED about writing out a list of projects for him to do this summer!

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We pay someone to clean our house. It’s a luxury, but not one I would give up unless I truly had no other choice. I’m very frugal in most respects, but when it comes to this, it’s worth the $100 every 3 weeks (it’d be every 2 weeks if I could afford it).

During our first three months in our house, I did most of the cleaning. I  have a bit of clutter in my life and I’m okay with it as long as it stays somewhat contained, but I can’t tolerate dirt and grime. Dirty floors and dusty furniture make me feel like a less worthy person, somehow. (Don’t even talk to me about stained toilet bowls or grimy bathtubs. shudder) In our 2000 square-foot home, I was spending a significant amount of time scrubbing and dusting each weekend. My husband helped if I asked, but didn’t do any cleaning without prompting from me. I felt like I was losing hours and hours of my life to the Swiffer and the sponge.

I value a clean house, but I also value the precious little free time I have. In this case, the free time is more valuable than the money. I’ll find other areas where I can cut back expenses, if I have to. Plus, was able to let go of the resentment I felt back when I was the one doing nearly all of the work.

I’m think it’s safe to conclude that paying someone to clean our house is good for our marriage.

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