Next week’s shopping list and Xmas lights

I put a couple of tools on layaway at the local pawn shop. I got a Skill reciprocating saw and a Black & Decker plunge router. Both tools feel solid and this pawn shop works with contractor type folks so the tools tend to be heavy duty compared to the your Harbor Freight cheap tools.  There is nothing wrong getting some tools cheap, but in the long run you should try to get the best quality you can afford. You can use your first set cheap tools as a barter item and keep the better quality tools for yourself, if you start on the low end of quality and prices. Sometimes the the cheap stuff is good quality and you can save a bit of money rather than paying for a “Brand Name” tool.  You might be betting your life on that tool doing what you want to do, so plan accordingly. What is very cool working with a local pawn shop is I don’t get charged for my layaway.  I have a personnel relationship with these folks and I pay off quickly.  I don’t haggle prices much as they are reasonable and they need to maintain a little profit margin to stay in business.  The pawn shop has a couple of concealed carry pistols I’m interested in and they are really stocked up on silver. So I’m working the budget to allow a a few long term purchases.

Called a local be keeper about buying a chunk of Beeswax. I’m down to my last couple of oz. and that is not a good thing for my pain relief salve and my dry skin salve is getting a few followers.  Natural beeswax is great and the beekeeper does a very simple cleaning and I run the wax through a finer cleaning but I don’t bleach the wax so it retains it’s slightly sweet aroma and I think a few of the natural healing properties.  Plus I think natural beeswax just smells nice!

We hung a few Xmas lights today.  Nothing fancy, just a few white and multicolored light strings in order to be festive. I never hung Xmas lights on the front of the house as I never had a ladder I felt confident using. The new Costco 5-1 ladder has changed that feeling. I was darned impressed how the white lights lit up my stairs, no porch light needed. I need to try out a couple of solar string lights to light the entry way in the future. Mom and I also stung up some colored lights and I have to say the new ladder rocks for a a safe and secure platform.

The chicken run and shed are working out well though Mom is only getting a couple of eggs per day. I think once the birds get used to their habitat egg production will go up and in a week or two we can let the birds free range in the backyard once they get used to their new home.

Dad stopped by and covered the roof of my RV with a tarp until I can buy some snow roof and seal it. My step Dad is wonderful man in many ways and has helped me from splitting wood to fixing my water main this year. We have sort of different mindsets about the future but that does not mean he is a bad person and I hope I’m not correct in my  prepping for “Doom & Gloom” at times.  We sort of disagree , I am preparing for the worst and he hopes things will stay the same.  It does not make him a bad person. Financially speaking he is about cash flow and I’m all about paying cash and getting out of debt. I think I’m correct in my outlook and he thinks outlook is best.  I can’t say he is wrong but I think my financial outlook works better no matter what happens. His financial depends on thing staying the same.  Like it or hate it change happens!


7 Responses to Next week’s shopping list and Xmas lights

  1. JD says:

    I honestly think you and your step-dad have good ideas just different. I am all for having an emergency fund and getting rid of debt, my husband prefers cash flow. See, it happens!

  2. Jamie says:

    JD: Its sort of that people think “if a little is good, more must be better!”
    My idea is you should never have than 30% of your monthly income paying on debt and 25% or less is even better. I put in my woodstove with a small signature loan from my local credit union at 8.25% much better rate than you get with your average credit card. The savings on my electric bill in winter helps pay part of the loan.

    I actually have better cash flow than most that have double or triple my income, because I’m not one missed debt payment or overdraft from disaster.

    I’m not against all debt. I’m just against the idea that making the monthly payments makes you rich or you are “maintaining an appropriate lifestyle”.

    I suck at using credit cards as it is just to darn easy for me to rationalize why I need something I can’t afford today. By going cash or free layaway on most items I find I get what I want and I own it free and clear. Some people work credit cards great! They pay it off every month and gain the points or other goodies. I just am not one of those people.

    One thing I have learned prepping and getting self-reliant is there are a few things I’m not good at! Credit cards is one of those items. So I simply don’t have credit cards. It’s not all that big of deal for me.

    I know some see me as a bit odd (nothing new) but this system works for me. I see many people that work “cash flow” and they never own anything and they are always stressed about money.

    I “screwed the pooch” when I got sick/disabled and my parents saved my home and my car. I paid most of that money back on that intrest free loan they gave me and I got hardcore about saving money and paying off debt. In less than 5 years I became “credit worthy” again and now I have a rating in the high 700’s with no credit cards or new car loans. It takes time but I think it is worth the effort.

    • JD says:

      That is super. Yes, we do not use credit cards either, way too tempting and I would be bad. If the past is an indicator it is better for me to save and pay cash then I have no bill.

      Do you think you will post a picture of the chicken coop one of these days?

  3. Jamie says:

    I need to start doing that JD. I really slack on pics for this blog and sometimes a picture can bring therory and practice into focus.

  4. TOR says:

    As to fiscal philosophies. We do not borrow as a general rule. The exceptions would be reasonable homes at a fixed rate or potentially continued education. This means not borrowing for cars/ trucks or big screen tv’s or furniture or the like. We do use a credit card for most purchases. Wifey got us signed up to have it for airline miles. It pays for about every other trip home via miles. We pay it off regularly. So far in my whole life I have paid $1.62 in credit card interest (forgot to pay off a balance once) so I don’t think having a card is making us lose our control.

    • Jamie says:

      TOR: I wish I could do that but Credit cards are to big of a temptation for me and pretty soon I would do the min. payment and be all screwed up again finacially. By going mostly cash I avoid that temptation.

  5. Jamie says:

    My thing is, I can’t use credit cards! I simply can’t discipline myself over the long term to use them correctly and pay them off each month. If you can pay them off each month good for you as you screw the banksters that look for “marks” like me that get sucked into making min. payments!

    A person should look at themselves honestly and evaluate what they can and can not do financially. I can’t do credit cards and that does not make me a failure as a human being. Others can and do work credit cards and that does not make them superior just disciplined compared to me. Goodness know I ain’t normal so that might be a very good thing!

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