Category Archives: Friends and Family

Saving Money

Early last year, Trish and I became increasingly aware that we needed to become more attune to our spending habits. I had been tracking my (then our) income and spending very carefully for a long time, and noticed that our total net worth was not-so-gradually decreasing.

Over the past nine months or so, Trish and I have taken actions to improve this situation. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed it would be, but we’ve now finally stopped the seemlingly perpetual downward motion. I feel very proud of the changes we have made in our lives in order to do this.

A lot of people think that they have to compromise a lot in order to save money, but we have found that to be not true. Through saving money in some areas and even spending more money in other areas, we have both balanced the budget and improved our lives.

We have a great home that we love extremely, in a much better location than the last place we lived. We have a wonderful car that gets great gas mileage and actually helps us save more (on gas and monthly payments) than when we drove two cars. By getting a thermostat to control our gas fireplace, our energy spending has decreased and the house is more comfortable. We eat a little healthier by making our own meals instead of buying them out of a box or at a restaurant. Not only does it taste better but it costs a lot less as well.

We have dropped our monthly grocery spending from $600 to $350. Our gasoline spending has gone from $120 to $50 per month. The car payment is now $390 instead of $410. We eat out only once a month, dropping dining out costs from $300 per month to $100 or less. We got rid of all the extras on our cell phone plan (Internet, text messaging, etc) and our cell phone bill dropped from $130 to $70.

And we rarely miss having two cars, or eating out, or having extra cell phone features. Overall I feel much better about the entire situation, and yet we’ve decreased our bills and essentials spending by over $700 per month! It was hard to do it at first, but now it has become natural and we don’t hardly think about it.

Woohoo.

Engagements, Kayaks, and Deep Bites

Well, I haven’t posted in a while again, but things have been going on… so I thought I’d provide an update and some insight and stuff.

As I previously posted, Trish and I got engaged last month. Everyone seems to be very happy for us. We’re happy that everyone is happy for us. 😉 Everyone asks, “What’s the date?” And we say, “In a couple years.” They often ask why, and we tell them why: Trish wants to be out of school so she can have time to deal with it; and there’s really no reason to hurry — we already live together and do everything together and all that — so not much is expected to change in our day-to-day activities or anything.

In other news, I went kayaking for the first time last weekend. Trish and I have a two-person “folding” kayak that her dad gave us a while back. We took it out on Lake Whatcom. It was pretty fun. We may do it again this weekend. It’s sort of annoying having to put together the kayak and take it back apart again afterward, but it’s convenient that it can fit in either of our cars and in the closet at home.

The only other big thing I can think of that’s going on right now: I got braces a couple weeks ago. Most people don’t say anything about it to me, but one common question is, “Why?” It seems that people didn’t think I needed them. Well, my teeth really don’t look that bad when I talk or anything, but I do have a moderate “deep bite”, which means my top front teeth hang down over my bottom front teeth too far. Plus my bottom teeth are a bit crowded and a little crooked. So I’m getting that fixed.

Since the top teeth overlap the bottom ones, they didn’t put braces on my bottom teeth yet, or I’d be biting them all the time. So it’s just top ones for now, until my top teeth are moved out of the way enough to make it safe for bottom ones. That should happen in about two months. And the entire treatment is expected to take 15 months.

I can’t think of anything else to write about now… so… yeah. Maybe I’ll think of more some other day.

Engaged

I haven’t written in a while… didn’t think of anything to write about, really.

But now I’m writing to let anyone who reads this know that Trish and I are now engaged! We’ll get married probably in 2009 or 2010.

Bye-bye.

Desire?

Some lives are guided by desire for fun.
Some lives are guided by desire for love.
Some lives are guided by desire for wealth.
Some lives are guided by desire for happiness.
Some lives are guided by desire for companionship.
Some lives are guided by desire for many of these things.

My life
Is not guided by Desire.
For I have everything I want.

My life
Is guided by Logic
       and True Love.

Every day

Every day for the past several months I have been asking myself the same question. The answer to that question, every day, is “Yes.”

Every day I wake up to find my wonderful girlfriend, Trish, sleeping quietly next to me.

Every day, before Trish wakes up, I give her a hug and a soft kiss on the cheek.

Every day, when it’s time for Trish to wake up, I rub her back with my hand and whisper sweetly to her until she looks up at me and smiles.

Every day, I eat breakfast with Trish at our kitchen table.

Every day, before I go to work, I give my girlfriend a big hug and we wish each other good days.

Every day, when I get home form work, Trish gives me a big hug and asks how my day went.

Every day, I eat dinner with Trish at our kitchen table.

Every day, I help Trish with her homework in the evening.

Every day, Trish and I talk in bed for hours until it’s way too late to be up anymore.

Every day, I love Trish more than each day before.

Every day, I ask myself, “Am I doing the right thing?”

Every day, I answer, “Yes.”