that last post wasn’t really a conviction

seriously people, calm down. if you want to leave your Christmas decorations up for a couple more days, I’ll allow it. it’s actually ok. just don’t not take them down. I didn’t say you would become a redneck, I just said that every day was one step closer.

Secondly, it’s the beginning of the first week in this new year. Like most Americans, part of your New Year’s resolutions probably had at least a tiny bit to do with finances. Here’s a handy-dandy little budgeting tool for you. The neat thing about this online budget tool is that after you input your monthly income, it will give you suggested percentages for each category. That way, you can see if your budget is completely crazy (15% for food) or actually ok. Here you go. Even if you don’t end up using it, it’s still interesting to take a look at.

Thirdly (i love saying that), today i put my hand in my coat pocket and was greeted by the jingle of change. Not change like “change we can believe in” because I don’t give a hoot for unsubstantial rhetoric, but change like coins.

It reminded me of childhood. Everyone knows–homeless change is fair game. A dime on the sidewalk here, and quarter in the couch there. I remember the childhood competition with my siblings of amassing lost coins to show each other and carry in our pockets in hopes of a trip to the store. Any store. Retailers are geniuses, because no matter what the sign on the outside says, they allll sell candy.

Then it would happen, you would get singled out for a trip to the hardware store. Feverishly counting the coins in your pocket, you’d hop in the front seat (another huge bonus) and head out with Dad. For him–probably a routine stop to replace a tool one of his sons had lost; for you–the chance of a lifetime. Yes, I’m being melodramatic, but so is childhood.

You’d bide your time during the shopping, making sure to be extra helpful, until finally you were both standing in line–directly alongside the rows of gleaming candy wrappers.

“Hey, hey Dad, I have some of my money.”


“Um, can I maybe buy a pack of gum?”

pondering silence.

“Please Dad? I have a quarter and three dimes, and it only costs twenty-five cents, so I was thinking maybe I could buy it?”

not waiting for a response, you plunge ahead.

“I just found these coins on the ground a long time ago, and Mom said I could have them, so could I please buy some gum…please Dad? Please?”

Five minutes later. Sitting in the front passenger seat soaking in the glory of that yellow pack of juicy fruit chewing gum, and of course–sharing with Dad.


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