Blogtober 16th – Budgets and Shutdowns


Halloween on a Budget “Wolverine” Costume Idea. Yeah!

No. No. I’m not going to talk about the government. I know. Its disappointing. There’s just not enough talk about the government. Maybe another day. 🙂

So, anyway, budgeting. Let’s see…Well, today, I was looking through our bills to pay what I could until next payday. Mark had handed me a stack of medical bills with small balances. There were several and I was logging the bills into our bill pay software. Derek sat down next to me on the couch and I handed him the bills.

Me: Name?

Derek: Smiley Dental

Me: Amount due?

Derek: $16.03

Me: Okay, write the date and pd. $16.03

We got through several and he helped me a lot. He was happy when we paid any of the bills in full. He said he has a little video game that celebrates when the character pays his bills in full. I like this game. 🙂 Anyway, the more I worked with Derek today, the more I liked to work with him. He is 12, but he pays a lot of attention to detail. He’s always been good about saving his money. He has saved money over a long period of time and been able to buy larger items. All of the kids seem to be very practical about money, in different ways. This could be thanks to our circumstances over the years and not necessarily because we were diligent in specifically teaching money management. I didn’t buy a money management curriculum, although I considered it. I just didn’t want to spend the money. 😀

One of the byproducts of not wanting to spend extra money on things is the tendency to not want to throw things away. As demonstrated in the photo at the top of this blog, there’s often a way to avoid spending money when you need something. Instead, look around the house for materials to meet the need. I love to repurpose junk. I hate to just throw stuff away and fill the landfills. Consequently, we are pretty much overrun by clutter. I’ve been on vacation this week and have spent my time cleaning and trying to manage the clutter. I believe I’ve written about clutter in the past. I may have mentioned Don Aslett’s book Clutter’s Last Stand. It is a hilarious book that I want for my own personal collection, but I’ve had it on my wishlist at paperbackswap forever and haven’t received one yet. I tried to borrow it from the library, but it’s been checked out by someone equally forever and never returned. On a side note, I’ve done that before. I’ve lost books from the library or damaged them and had to pay for them. Terrible. I hate having to pay for something like that when it could have been avoided if I had been more careful. I still have a book around here that had a few page edges slightly damaged while in my possession. The library made me buy the whole book. I’ve checked out books before that have damage noted in the book itself or on the page in the online card catalog. The library kept those books. Why did I have to buy the whole book? Its still readable…completely readable…if you like that kind of story. You know, it’s one of those Amish love stories.

So, I got a little sidetracked there for a minute, but I was talking about budgeting and then I was talking about finding creative ways to meet needs. I didn’t mention shutdowns yet. We’ve had things shut down before  because we missed a payment deadline. Like utilities that persuade you urgently to go green and choose paperless billing, which works great if you remember to pay the bill anyway without a paper bill. Oh sure, email. But I didn’t realize my email service was spamming the bills! After the shutdown, I had to pay the bill and then investigate. Sure enough in the spam folder, right after the most urgent email from “The His Hyness The Prince of Zmaqzaway” was my paperless bill. So, the shutdown was fixed without so much as a barricade or furlough.

  • In all seriousness though, for a gentle and direct take on the Affordable Care Act, listen to Dave Ramsey talk about the math:
  • Trying to pay off your own personal debt? Try the debt snowball:

Debt Snowball

  • Clutter?

“Most of us never taste the new, the fresh, the zestful, because we have our heads and our hearts gripped clear to the quick in clutter” – Don Aslett, Clutter’s Last Stand

  • Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose?


Have a great night!