Storms, Guilt and Emergency Preparedness

Posted by Marko on September 22, 2018 in Off Topic |

On Friday night, a wicked storm with winds up to 80mph whipped through the Columbus, OH area where I live. Trees were unrooted like weeds and lawn furniture was tossed around like leaves in the powerful gusts.

We were fortunate to only lose power for a short time, but many others are — and will — be without power until as late at July 9th.

I’m left feeling somewhat guilty about being spared the inconvenience and discomfort of losing power. And I’m realizing how swiftly electric-powered comforts like air conditioning and home-brewed coffee could be swept away.

The past two years have been peppered with my experiences in living with less. But even after paring down substantially in an effort to become more self-sufficient, I realize how utterly dependent I am. Read more…


Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

Posted by Marko on September 16, 2018 in Off Topic |

A recent power outage in my area that lasted up to nine days for many people prompted me to begin assembling an emergency kit of sorts. I realized that my family doesn’t keep any nonperishable food, and we never stock extra water. It’s become clear to me that having some basic supplies in case of an emergency is important.

There were so many great suggestions on my last post from many of you about what to keep in case of an emergency. Thank you!

In talking with others, I’ve discovered most everyone keeps some kind of emergency supplies. I know it can get out of hand (my cousin was telling me about her friend that has three years of dehydrated food stored!). But having at least a few days worth of food and water for you and your family just makes good sense. Read more…


Your Ideal Life

Posted by Marko on September 8, 2018 in Off Topic |

What is your ideal life? How far away is your ideal life from where you are today? What can you do this week to start closing the gap?

For me, the ideal life involves a flexible work schedule that allows for plenty of traveling and time with my family. It also involves doing work I’m passionate about.

What do you love to do? How could you turn your passion into your work? What’s in the way?

Beginning a couple of years ago, my husband and I lowered our living expenses by about 40%. We sold a lot of our crap and used the money to pay down our consumer debts faster. Last August we paid off the last of almost $26,000 in consumer debts. Read more…


Spend More on the Things You Love

Posted by Marko on September 1, 2018 in Off Topic |

There are many areas in my life where I practice frugality, or just do without. The funny thing is, those areas where I cut back are areas in which I don’t notice any kind of lack. In other words, I never feel like I’m missing out.

For example, we almost never eat out. This is no big deal because I like to cook and have my family gather around the kitchen table for meals. Sure, some nights it would be easier to just order take out, but I enjoy the challenge of making a meal out of what we have on hand. Read more…


What’s Your Ideal Work Arrangement?

Posted by Marko on August 24, 2018 in Off Topic |

The past few weeks have been a total whirlwind for me. Earlier this month I launched my first e-book, then awaited some changes looming in my full-time job. Late last week, I finally got the news. I am being switched from salary to hourly employment. While the details aren’t finalized, what’s certain is there are going to be some huge changes in my working life. Read more…


Wow. I Did Not See that Coming

Posted by Marko on August 17, 2018 in Off Topic |

There have been some exciting developments happening in my world lately. A couple of fantastic opportunities I’ve never before considered have presented themselves — and some of them have to do with this blog and my new e-book.

As things take shape, I’ll give you more details. For now I’ll just say, wow. I didn’t see that coming. 🙂

As I work through some of the transitions happening in my working life, I’m finding my time rather pinched. I’m hoping that will change in the coming weeks as well. Read more…


Why I Love Budgets. And You Should Too!

Posted by Marko on August 7, 2018 in Off Topic |

I’ve always kept a budget, but the method by which I keep track of my spending has evolved over the years. When I first started out, I budgeted by calculating my monthly expenses, and then dividing them by two. I got paid twice each month, so I would deduct half of my monthly expenses from my check register balance each time I got paid. That way, at the end of the month I’d be sure not to spend more than I had available. Doing this enabled me to easily meet all of my financial commitments, while socking away over $40,000 towards the down payment on my house.

I love budgets because they are the road map to organizing our personal finances. They make the journey fun, as they show us how we will successfully arrive at our desired financial destination. Read more…


Why I Love to Pay Bills

Posted by Marko on July 26, 2018 in Off Topic |

I guess I’m on a “why I love” kick this week. But the title is true. I really do love to pay bills.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t always loved to pay bills. In fact, there was a year-long period after my first son was born that even the thought of paying bills made me feel so overwhelmed that my husband grudgingly took over the task for one full year.

Part the reason I felt so overwhelmed was because having a newborn baby was a far more demanding round-the-clock task than I expected. Another part of the reason was because I was operating a small business (with long, retail hours), from which I hadn’t been drawing a paycheck in over a year and would soon be closing.

Paying bills when you’re — a) exhausted, and b) broke — is NOT fun. Thankfully, my life is much better now.

I have enough money to pay my bills, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband just landed a new job making 62% more than he used to. This definitely offers us some breathing room. Read more…


Too Many Commitments = Sickness

Posted by Marko on June 19, 2018 in Off Topic |

We try to keep a moderate schedule. My oldest son is typically in one or two extracurricular activities that never require more than a couple of hours one or two evenings each week. This spring, however, we agreed to let my son play soccer.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but my son also takes Taekwondo and participates in Cub Scouts. Now, in addition to three days a week for soccer practices and games, he has one Taekwondo session and many weeks he has a Cub Scout commitment as well. Throw in a random evening school concert, art show or skit and my son has an overpacked schedule. Read more…


Take this Job and Shove It!

Posted by Marko on June 12, 2018 in Off Topic |

Okay, so it didn’t go quite like that. But I did quit my job. Last Friday was my final day.

It wasn’t a sudden decision. I had been planning to leave for months. A change in company ownership created a new atmosphere in which I didn’t care to participate. But the reasons I left aren’t nearly as important as the circumstances that allowed me to make the leap.

If you’ve been following along for awhile, you probably know what I’m about to say. Read more…

Copyright © 2017-2019 Marko Aten All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com.