False Frugality

My wife and I are fairly frugal people. Many in our family think we’re nuts, but we like to be intentional about how and where we spend. We don’t like to fritter away our hard earned cash on silly little things. Instead, we like to live frugally until such time as we decided to take a nice vacation or buy a different car. Correction: I hate to fritter money away.

That being said, when and how to spend money is a distinctly individual decision. There is more than one way to live life. We do not have cable, or a television for that matter. It’s not for everyone, but we aren’t big TV watchers. Several neighbors and friends buy elaborate cable-phone-internet bundles because of the perceived value. Or, how about buying a extra freezer to stockpile food…..when it’s on sale. I guess a case could be made for buying durable consumer staples (like toilet paper or soap) in bulk, but frankly I’d rather not have a 10 year supply of such things. How many people do you know that buy various extra insurances on phones (or electronics, cars, etc) without doing a financial calculation? These insurances are sold because they are profitable, which means they are a waste of money for many people. Continue reading

The Job Switch-A-Roo

Earlier this week I wrote a post about the changes and new opportunities in my life. Included in there, is my return to traditional employment. I took a project management job with a local municipality, and I started on August 18th. Below is an account of how my first day went tragically wrong. I mean, as in Office Space wrong. Continue reading

Change and Opportunities

Where does the time go? How can it really be Monday morning again? By the time you are reading this, I will have begun my new project management job. I have mixed feelings about returning to the engineering field. I will work as a project manager for a local municipality, responsible for their several of their capital improvement projects. It’s different work, which should provide several new learning opportunities. Several years ago I worked as a consultant to this same municipality, so it will be interesting to sit on the other side of the table. Some of you may be wondering, what happened to the contracting business I was helping turn around…? Well, I’ve written more on that in the next paragraph. Right now, I’m going to enjoy this job while keeping my eyes open to future opportunities……one of which is the investing partnership detailed in the last paragraph. Continue reading