Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Opening Doors

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to begin to dabble in the world of freelance writing. Over the holidays I had some extra time to build a profile on Elance, a website that allows freelance contractors to connect with individuals or companies who need work completed, and to actually seek out jobs to enter bids for. I was awarded my first job on January 9th. Since then, I have completed an additional job for the first person I worked for and have begun to work on another assignment (hence the absence of posts). While I am not making an extraordinary amount of money, I am bring in enough to replace the part-time retail job that I gave up right before Christmas. Obviously, I would prefer to work while sitting on my couch with my husband than in a smelly store in the mall.

Right now, freelance writing is a great way for me to make some extra cash on the side; however, this could be an important opening door for future employment. Specifically, I view freelancing as a great backup plan if I were to lose my job or unexpectedly become pregnant. Lately, Cody and I have had several off-handed discussions about our desire to travel extensively and the possibility of long-term travel...I can bring my laptop anywhere, right?

Bargain Hunting

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Value of Travel

Check out the following link. Excellent video.

Monday, January 2, 2012


I'm a fan of New Year's Resolutions. In an attempt to keep mine, I'm going to post the ones that are relevant to the content of this blog.
  1. Make daily progress towards saving money
  2. Practice frugality, thrift, and perseverance
  3. Purchase no clothing for myself except from thrift stores, Goodwill, yard sales, etc.
  4. Actively pursue freelance writing as a means of making extra money
  5. Travel extensively, preferably using flights earned from my new travel hacking hobby
  6. Pay tuition with cash
  7. Reorganize my coupons and do something about my grocery budget
  8. Try not to buy crap
  9. Following a weekly cleaning schedule to keep our home looking spiffy
  10. Post at least twice a week

Watch this!

Below is a link to a video of Adam Baker from Man vs. Debt (links for his and his wife's blogs are under the resources tab). I highly recommend Adam's blog. Cody and I have had several deep discussions recently after watching this video. Pay special attention to his explanation of the trap set in place by societal expectations about your personal financial life.

Starting the Year Off Right

First, I need to confess. On New Year's Eve night, we ate a steak dinner than cost almost as much as we paid for our room that night. This will never, ever, ever happen again. The fillet mignon was excellent, but I'd rather have A1 sauce with my steak instead of a slathering of guilt.

Our trip to the Opryland Hotel was great! Cody bought some fishing tackle with his Christmas money at the Bass Pro Shop, we saw amazing light displays, and there was a bathtub in our room (this was one of the best parts for me... our house has only a small shower). Best of all, we came back with cash to spare and I received a $7.31 refund for the rate adjustment I requested several weeks ago (this was after the extra amount paid for our parking and resort fee).

My absolute favorite part of this trip was the drive back home on Sunday morning. Cody and I had three hours to talk about how we are doing in general and our specific goals and plans for the future. In my opinion, talks like these are essential to...well, everything. We discussed our financial goals, upcoming plans for our travels, how are jobs are going, our plan to purchase a home, as well as what we really want to do with our lives (I'm about to post the video that spurred this part of the conversation). Overall, this trip was a great start for 2012. Happy New Year to you and Happy Second Anniversary to us!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My perception of credit cards has changed...

Here's the plan:
  1. Sign-up for credit cards that offer generous frequent flier mile bonuses
  2. Use said cards to pay everyday expenses such as bills and gas (not new clothes, vacations, etc.)
  3. Pay balance in full each month so no interest accrues
  4. Reap rewards including free flights, rental cars, hotel rooms
  5. Go to and sign-up for the Travel Hacking Cartel for a better explanation (and I'll get bonus miles for referring you)
Cody now has a Delta Gold Visa and I have a American Express Citi Mastercard for this purpose. I feel that we have proven ourselves responsible enough with our finances to have credit cards for one explicit purpose and not go insane with them. In fact, they stay neatly glued to their acceptance letters inside page protectors inside our budget binder. I'll update on our progress periodically. If all goes well, I'm hoping for a free flight by the end of summer 2012.