Our New Tile Epitomizes Much Of Our DIY Experience

Low quality tile and an even worse install job.

Low quality tile and an even worse install job.

Six months past the official start of this grand kitchen renovation project, I just placed the order for our tile. It’ll be another month or so until it arrives at our door. This isn’t really what we had in mind in terms of our original project schedule.  Originally Mr PoP was planning on taking this week off of work in order to do some long stretches of installing tile. But as we keep learning again and again, part of DIY-ing is accepting that no matter how much you plan, you’re unlikely to be able to stick to that plan 100%.

Our Search For The Right Flooring

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I Have No Idea How Much My Spouse Earns… And I’m Cool With That

As long as you earn enough to keep the kibble coming, we're good.

As long as you guys earn enough to keep the kibble coming, we’re good.

According to a recent study by Fidelity, 43% of couples don’t know how much their partner earns.

“While the majority of couples (72%) say they communicate exceptionally or very well, more than four in 10 (43%) failed to correctly identify how much their partner makes.”

I’m not 100% of the wording of the question that generated Fidelity’s result, but I’m pretty sure that I’d count us among the 43%.

But unlike the undercurrent in Fidelity’s report (that this is a sign that we’re not on the same page financially and will impact our expectations and preparations for retirement), being in the 43% on this doesn’t really concern us. We genuinely don’t think the lack of insight into our spouse’s earnings is indicative of us not being on the same page financially in the least. And we don’t think it should be for most people.

So About That Wording…

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Happy Friday – It’s A Miracle (Berry)!

Miracle Berries!  (Not a picture of my plant...)

Miracle Berries! (Not a picture of my plant…)

Nearly a year and a half ago, I mentioned on our February 2014 Income Statement post that the best purchase made that month was a small Miracle Fruit cutting that I picked up at a local Tropical Fruit club sale.  That purchase is paying some happiness dividends these days.

I first tried miracle berries about eight years ago on a visit to the Fruit and Spice Park, an awesome botanical garden in Homestead, south of Miami.  Back then, I saved the seeds of the berries that I ate and tried to grow my own plants so I could enjoy even more miracle berries.  Sadly, I failed.

What Are Miracle Fruit?

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Mint – Keeping Track Of Our Finances In 15 Minutes Per Month

Know what that is? A ceiling! Walls to follow soon. =)

I’ve been getting more questions lately about the mechanics of how we keep “such meticulous” (kindof sarcasm since I don’t think it’s particularly meticulous) track of our spending and balance sheets. This is the first post in what may become a short series on how we use Mint and other financial tools to keep us informed about our finances with minimal effort.

Every month when we publish our income statements and balance sheets, we inevitably hear from readers incredulous at the amount of detail that we know when it comes to our finances, and convinced it must take forever or that I must be absolutely obsessed with our budgets and spending to be able to compile all that information. But that’s just not true at all. In fact, though Mr PoP and I used to do weekly and monthly check-ins on spending together, we’ve fallen off the wagon there and are spending less time than ever thinking about and tracking our spending. (We’ve kindof got other things on our mind – like putting up walls and a ceiling!)

We’re not at an anything goes point in our spending, and our frugality isn’t so ingrained that we don’t ever need to think about it. We’ve just got it streamlined so well it probably takes less than 15 minutes per month. Total. Here’s how we do it.

Use Pockets Of Time To Categorize

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Making Do – What It’s Like Living In A Construction Zone

IMG_5422.JPGWe’re at an inflection point in our kitchen remodel in that we think we’re finally done with the “destruction” part of our project, and are moving forward into the “construction” part of our project. But right here, right now, marks what we’re thinking of as the point of “maximal chaos” here in the PoP household (or at least pretty close to it).

While enduring chaos has been a non-trivial part of growing our net worth, these past six months have pushed the boundaries of what we’ve lived through before we started this kitchen renovation. Since already some of the worse parts of what we endured are starting to fade quickly from memory, I just want to take a few minutes to record some of the craziness that is living in a construction zone and just how adaptable we can be if we choose to be.

Survived without laundry for about a month while the plumbing for our laundry was moved (including moving the water pipes and the drain that ran through the foundation). At the time, this felt ridiculously hard. I had to trek over to Mr PoP’s parents’ house 15 minutes away (the nearest laundromat isn’t much closer than this) and spend several hours there doing laundry every weekend. How spoiled I’ve become since becoming a homeowner by having laundry in our house!

But that was just a taste of what was to come…  Continue reading Making Do – What It’s Like Living In A Construction Zone