Money, Money, Money

April 30, 2011

I’m a huge ABBA fan.

That statement alone is enough to make any article complete, but I have a few more minutes to write before my laptop battery dies, so let me expand.  One of ABBA’s biggest hits was a song called “Money, Money, Money.”  In the song, the singer is upset about their current financial position and is dreaming about marrying someone with money to make their life better.  (If you recall my article about the lotto a few months back, even I dream about having more money.)

While marrying someone rich or winning a lotto might make our days “Always sunny,” it is more likely that through practical financial planning that we will be wealthy (or at least wealthier) as we grow older.  So what is financial planning?  In short, it is looking at how much you spend compared to how much you earn.  The less you spend, the more you can save.  With the money you save, you can invest in different ways to grow your nest egg while protecting your financial future.  Much of this can be done by simply balancing your checkbook, using financial advisory tools from your bank, or even using a free budget planner online.

However you choose to track your spending and savings is up to you.  By simply seeing where your money goes can help you make smarter financial decisions.  The same holds true if you run a website and wish to make money off of it.  If you are earning less than what your are spending to run it, then you are on the wrong end of the business (financial) spectrum.  You can always look for hosts that offer lower rates or seek out better working relationships with your advertisers and sellers.

As the song goes:

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
That’s too bad

If you find yourself in that position, examine your finances and see what you can do to have more at the end of the month. The economy is tight right now, but it will get better. The improvements you make to your spending habits now can definitely help you win the future, and hopefully that will leave you with “Money, Money, Money” by the time you retire.

Heart’s Quest – a poem

April 18, 2011

I take one step, to begin my life’s quest,
Looking for answers to my hearts unrest.

Once more I step, as I try to find,
Validation to feelings that fill my mind.

Each step I take, Every answer obtained,
Yields new questions left to be explained.

One last step, my heart reveals to me, this
Underlying message for you to see.

Author unknown

The Landscapers Challenge

April 12, 2011

Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time to hit the outdoors.  I’ll be spending a lot of time over the next few weekends enjoying the fresh (pollen-filled) air, warm days, and the sound of the birds, but it’s not because of camping or hiking or sight-seeing.  No, it’s time to get out there and work on the yard again.

The work I did last year survived the Winter … except for my one trouble area.  After on season of sod and two seasons of seed, this is my last try before giving up and fill the area with mulch and flowers.  Below is what the area looked like last year after the grass seed took off and I landscaped around the sidewalk.

Looks lovely, doesn’t it?  Nice and lush and green?  There isn’t even any signs of pet grass stains.  Well, eight months later, this is what the same area looked like following a few snow storms (and some digging by the power company to replace a failed power line).

It is hard to believe that these pictures are from the same lawn.  Hopefully the improvements I am doing this year will pay off.  To combat the erosion problem, I have carved out a drain a few feet away from the edge of the driveway and graded the soil towards the drain.

I need about 3 or 4 more bags of gravel and then cover it up with a layer of soil as well.  In addition, where you see the erosion in the foreground, I will place a gravel drain in the planting bed as well.  This “should” resolve the problem.

This section of the lawn use to be the area with the thickest grass for years, so why it has become such a barren area now is beyond me.  One way or another, this is the last time I try to grow grass here.  HOPEFULLY it works.  I’ll keep you posted.