Design Dilemma

This is what it's like today. The white door leads to the garage, and the cabinet built into the wall is a shallow spice cabinet built between the wall studs.

This is what it’s like today. The white door leads to the garage, and the cabinet built into the wall is a shallow spice cabinet built between the wall studs.  The broom closet is the void without a door.

Due to my foot being sliced open about a month ago, I’m still largely benched when it comes to helping out with our ongoing remodel. (Recovery definitely progressing, but slower than some of the optimistic estimates, sadly.)  Nonetheless, I did help Mr PoP hold a measuring tape this weekend, though. Twice!  So yay for progress!

While I’m in no shape to be helping Mr PoP lift or flip our countertop – definitely a two-person job since it’s heavy solid wood over 1.5″ thick, I have been trying to use the time I’ve been spending sitting on my butt thinking through some of the remaining decisions we need to make.  There’s one decision that I can’t seem to come up with a solution to, though. So while I absolutely HATE when people offer unsolicited design advice, today it’s completely solicited.   At least with the caveat that I offer no guarantees that I will like what I hear or follow any of your suggestions.  =P

Today’s Problem: The Broom Closet

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How Much Does Burning Man Cost?

As Mrs. PoP and I get closer to FIRE, we’re slightly more inclined to loosen the purse strings when it comes to awesome travel destinations and interesting experiences. Going to Burning Man this year checked both of those boxes for me, and it’s been something that I’ve had on my bucket list for at bm2016least a decade now. True to the purpose of this blog, here is a complete run down of how much it was for a first timer like myself to get to Burning Man and back.

So What Is Burning Man Anyhow?

There are as many answers to that question as there are people at the event, but here goes. Burning Man is a temporary camp/art installation/party of 70,000 people erected every year in the middle of the Nevada Desert. It lasts for 7 days, relies on a “gift economy” to exchange goods and services, and involves more fire, art, drugs, music and just plain weirdness than anything else that I know of.* You are completely responsible for your own safety and are expected to leave no trace when you leave the desert-this means bringing your own food, water, shelter, transportation and packing it all back out when you go.


It’s basically magic.

Temperatures range from 100F during the day to 40F at night; sandstorms cause white-out conditions most afternoons and the EDM music shakes the whole playa from sunset to sunrise, making the whole event look like a cross between Mad Max and a rave. If this sounds like your thing, congratulations, you’re probably as sick of your office job as I am of mine.

Everybody’s trip to BM is different; mine involved flying across the country to San Francisco and prepping for 3 days with a good friend before renting a U-haul van and being at the event for 4 days/3 nights. Included are all expenses, including those incurred in San Francisco while getting our proverbial shit together.   Continue reading How Much Does Burning Man Cost?

Lessons Learned From Bed…

Have you ever seen the movie My Left Foot? If you haven’t, you should. In the meantime, I will tell you that in this excellent movie, Daniel Day Lewis plays Christy Brown, a role which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award. Christy Brown was an Irish man with cerebral palsy who learned how to write and paint, and live a full life with just a single controllable limb – his left foot. It is a true story, and the movie is based on Christy Brown’s memoir (which I am just now realizing I should have read ages ago).

I am currently in the complete opposite scenario as Christy Brown. For the past 2.5 weeks, I have basically been down one left foot as I’m still in the non-weight bearing portion of my recovery from foot surgery. And I have to say, Christy Brown probably had way more perseverance and fortitude in his left foot than I have in the remainder of my body, because the past couple of weeks haven’t been ideal. Nonetheless, I have learned a few things about myself.

Item 1: I’m More Acerbic When I’m In Pain…

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Happy Friday – Lucky This Time

We don’t talk much about exactly where we live (ya know, privacy and all). But we’re in one of the areas that people are evacuating to (not from!) with Hurricane Matthew.  Mr PoP’s office is all working remotely, and mine is playing it more by ear since we’ll probably get some outer bands.  But given the alternative that so many others are facing, we know we are very lucky.

Today, at least.  Hopefully we’ll be writing another post saying we’re lucky again next Friday since it’s looking like Matthew is going to loop around and take another swing at south Florida.

That said, for now, our thoughts are with friends and other Floridians (and Georgians, and South and North Carolinians) that are in the direct path. Stay safe!

PoP Balance Sheet – September 2016

Welcome to our September 2016 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

The main action on our balance sheet this month was updating the values of our real estate since it had been over a year for all of them, and it was getting really overdue.  All at once, the changes look pretty big, so when you’re looking at the “pop” (hehehe…) in the graphs this month, try and remember that those changes were actually much more gradual than the way we are representing them here (and I’m too lazy to update our property values with current comps every month).

The updates have also gotten Mr PoP and I talking about how useful different parts of our financial tracking are to us, so I think we’ll continue with this structure at least through the end of the year, but will probably change it up a bit after that.  (Open to suggestions if you have favorite personal finance metrics that you find useful to track!)

Here are the numbers for September:

  • Our total assets went up by $158.6K, most of which is due to those 3 long overdue updates to our property valuations
  • Our total liabilities went down by $0.3K 
  • Net worth went up by $158.8K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of September is $1,239.5K, which represents a 14.69% increase this month.

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – September 2016