"Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money." - W. J. Cameron

What I’ve Learned About You

By , August 22nd, 2009 | 13 Comments »

It’s hard to believe that I have been writing here for the past year. I thank you for visiting these pages and reading my thoughts on money and saving. I hope you have enjoyed what I have had to offer as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.

Over the past year, I have learned quite a bit about you, through your comments and through the articles that you return to long after they have been published. As a group, you are very opinionated when it comes to dining out and the costs associated with going to restaurants. Articles on eating out and on tipping are always sure to generate interesting commentary. Indeed, as a group you can be quite passionate whenever a topic touches on the failures of any kind of service provider.

I’ve also learned that many of you are service providers of sorts. You have taken your talents and skills and created home businesses out of them. I’ve learned this because you have so kindly included your web addresses as links when you have posted comments and I do try to visit all of those links.

Ann, a very regular commentator, appears to be a master wood carver. If you have any doubts about that, make sure you visit her studios’ website and prepare to be blown away by the power of her work. As my wife has told me on occasion, we will know that we are truly successful when we can have a Christmas tree decorated only with Ann’s carvings.

Gail, another reliable contributor, has an excellent website from which she offers sewing patterns and a tremendous amount of sewing-related information. Complete with links, book reviews and a sewing blog, Gail has taken a talent with needle and thread and turned it into an outstanding resource for other people who craft with needle and thread.

Many of you have excellent financial blogs, including RB at Rich by 30 Retire by 40, John at Hard Work = Money, Neil at Debt Advice 4 Free, Steven at Hundred Goals, and so many more.

Indeed, as a community, our collective knowledge of frugality far and away exceeds any insight that I have to offer. Nevertheless, since I have the podium at the moment, I am happy to continue to offer what little I can to help you to look at finances differently.

It is interesting to note that among the many things I have learned this year is the importance of writing down goals and sharing them with an audience, whether the audience numbers only one friend or thousands of readers. I know that I find it much harder to go against my own advice after I have published. Indeed, I indulged in a decaf iced coffee at a Starbucks today and felt that I was committing sacrilege. This year, I also started going to the gym, religiously, after having written on more than one occasion about the saving value of regular exercise.

And so today, my messages are very simple:

  • First, I thank you for your interest in what I have presented over the past year, and I hope that I justify your investment of time in reading my future articles over the coming year.
  • Second, I ask that you post at least one personal financial goal as a comment to this article and use that as motivation to meet your goal over the coming twelve months.
  • Last, when you read any article on this site, take the time to click through the links provided by other readers. You may find knowledge or services that you will rely upon for years to come.

We need all the help we can get to satisfy our objectives, and this is a great community in which to find support.

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  • Greg says:

    My current goal is a reduction of grocery bills. After years of ignoring coupons and cost comparisons out of convenience I’ve now seen the light.
    Last week my wife and I went on a price reconnaissance to get a feel for what we might find.

    This week the battle continues. Today’s target: pricing comparisons at a Walmart Super Store.

  • Thanks for the mention. Many of my financial goals were put on hold due to unemployment. It did create a new goal of finding a job in Information Technology (not just a job at Walmart – i can find those) by year end.

  • Ann says:

    Thanks, David! 🙂

    My money goal is to shop Goodwill until I get down to what I refer to as “fighting” weight! Why pay $25 – $125 for a pair of bluejeans when I don’t expect them to fit me in 2 months? Plus, I happen to like men’s long-sleeved shirts (or sweatshirts when it’s colder) when I’m working in my shop. Seems silly to spend a lot for stuff that’s going to be abused! I’ve even found really nice dress slacks and a couple of nicer tops for when I have lunch/dinner with friends there. I just don’t see any sense in investing money in a short-term wardrobe… particularly now that I’m back to watching what I eat!

    My other “adjustment” is to stop buying enough veggies to feed a family of four. LOL I’m now hooked on the local farmer’s market and am learning to buy quality instead of quantity — all part of eating more healthfully. Buy too much and it gets wasted!


  • Two of my most important financial goals are to finish paying off my car loan & eliminating my student loans, even though I’m still adding to those for the time being.

    Thanks for the mention!

  • Broken Arrow says:

    In a word?


  • My goal is to finish up the little projects that need to be done in order to put our house on the market and hopefully have it sold within the next 12 months. This house is a ‘flip’ for us and after selling it, we’ll be able to pay off a much smaller, less energy-consuming house and live debt-free forEVAH!

  • spicoli says:

    Thanks for your first year!

    I have only one goal for the year and that is to find a job!

  • persephone says:

    My goal for the year is to find a way to re-landscape my yard without spending more than $200.

  • Gail says:

    I agree about goals. I remember my first year setting goals for my online business (thanks for the mention :)), my hubby tried to let me down easy as he didn’t want me disappointed. Afterall I was very ill most of the time (and still am). Funny thing though with written goals you tend to meet them. This year as I again set goals for our new selling venue, ecrater, he apologized for earilier doubt and was happy to congratulate me (us) when we hit one of those goals last month, several months earilier than I expected!

    As to future goals, I just balanced my checkbooks and today is bill paying day. One of the things I will be writing is a big check for (and this has been a goal for a long time)to prepay for our propane for the winter. We figure the savings will be about $700 over the course of the winter if fuel prices do what they usually do, but paying that much money up front is scarey, but there is no way that tucking it in the bank to pay on a monthly basis will ever earn us in interest the $700 in savings. One of the reasons it is scarey is my hubby is self-employed, and our income is cobbled together from many small sources, so anything that means writing big checks without knowing how other bills down the road will be handled is hard.

    I have found though that more I set money goals and manage to meet them, the easier it is the next time to meet goals for the same type thing.

    Wishing everyone success!

  • Hazel Watson says:

    For some years, I had a home business making custom clothing and doing alterations and repairs. Unfortunately, arthritis has pretty much slowed me down. I can’t get up and down as I did, and my hands cramp rather viciously when I’m doing close work.

    But I have a new goal!

    I now live with my daughter who has about 3 acres just outside a small town, and have resumed gardening, but this time not just for home use. It’s just a beginning, but I’ve begun donating organic seedlings to groups that sell them as money raisers. By next spring I intend to place a small ad in our local paper offering organic seedlings, hardened and ready for transplanting. I will also offer limited quantities of organic, homegrown produce.

    I don’t know how this will turn out, but I’m looking foward to trying!

  • Gail says:

    Hazel what a great goal and best wishes with it. I too suffer from arthritis and wish I could do more, much more!

  • Ann says:

    Hazel, part of what I love about my local farmers’ market is that I can pick up organic beef, veggies and plants there! The difference is taste is unbelievable!!!

    You go, girl!

  • Hazel Watson says:

    Thanx, Gail and Ann for your good wishes. My fall garden (experimental and just for family) is doing well, I think. Anyway, my fall plantings are showing leaves!


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