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Please Stay – Suicide is Too Final #EndtheStigma #DebtDrop

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This blog post is part of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour in partnership with Debt Drop.  If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.  #EndtheStigma #DebtDrop Last year around this time for #WSPD16, I posted about my own depression and the steps I take to feel less shitty.  But suicide isn’t just considered by people who are depressed.  It’s the ultimate out from anything.  The problem is that once that path is taken, you never get a chance to see what would have happened next.  So before it even gets to that point, how can we avoid wanting to escape? What do you need?  How can we all best be there for you?  What I Need For me, it’s my people – my “tribe”.  My husband, our parents, and our friends make it possible to make it through anything.  My tribe is full of caring, dependable people.  Granted, my support network grows and shrinks and changes with time, but that is okay too.  The key is simply being part of something bigger than yourself. Creating Your Support Network If you don’t have a tribe, reach out to … Read more

Our New Dog and Other Life Updates

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I’m so far behind on keeping y’all updated that it feels overwhelming.  Here…let me unload in sections and then see where we can go from there! We’re Welcoming a New Doggy! We’re finally adopting a pup again!  Her name is Khaleesi (no, we didn’t pick that…I would have gone with Xena, hehehe).  She’s a sweet mutt who is medium-sized (35-45 pounds), 8-10 years old, seems pretty mellow, and likes all humans and other animals. In May, she was near death thanks to starvation and a bad skin condition, so she was about to be euthanized at an animal shelter.  They called one of my Chow-rescuing pet sitting clients, Valory, about the “chow that needs to be saved”.  Well upon arrival, Khaleesi was definitely not a Chow but Valory couldn’t leave her to die, so she has been recovering for a few months.  Now she’ll be part of our family for the rest of her life. We’re excited; though a little worried she may like the cats more than us.  She’s tried licking Miss Rachel’s face multiple times now…and seems to think hissing is an interesting form of showing love.  Len has been calling her Pepe Le Pew since that is … Read more

Online Payment Services you Might Not Have Heard About

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Online money transfer services have been around since the 1990s, and have gained a lot of traction in the last decade. PayPal, perhaps the best-known online money transfer service, is hugely popular partly because of its ties to eBay… and that’s about as much the average internet user knows about these services. While PayPal is certainly the most widely used online payment and money transfer service used by merchants and private individuals alike, it’s by far not the only such service available today. Different markets have different methods available, and some of them have a vast and flexible set of services everyone should at least know about. NETELLER NETELLER might not be the most widespread – or cheapest – online wallet of them all, but it’s pretty widespread, especially among those involved in online gambling. For years, it was the go-to provider of safe and secure transactions for online gambling venues and players. What most people don’t know about NETELLER is that it has a very flexible feature set that not many other similar services can offer. It can be – and is – used as a web wallet like all others, perfect for making deposits and claiming winnings at … Read more

We Cruised Through Hurricane Harvey…Others Weren’t as Lucky

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You may have noticed that I’m from Houston, Texas and haven’t posted for more than 2 weeks.  We are safe.  Heck, we were more than safe during Hurricane Harvey’s flooding because we were on a 7 day cruise that lasted 13 days. We Were Extremely Spoiled Hurricane Harvey Refugees Hurricane Harvey closed the port of Galveston, so the Carnival Freedom sailed around the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River to New Orleans a couple of times while we waited for it to be safe to go home.  The first time on Saturday, August 26, was a quick day trip.  The second time, August 29-30, was an overnight stay in that port.  So our Western Caribbean cruise turned into a Mississippi River Boat cruise to New Orleans for the second half.  😉   We had tons of food, lots of fun with Dive-In movies like La La Land and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, enjoyed a couple of hilarious comedians, and had all the regular cruise fun. Our Total Cruise Cost The total cost for our 13 day cruise ended up being less than $2000. $1500 for the 7 day cruise tickets, taxes, fees, and insurance (more than usual … Read more

Our Income Shell Game to Avoid Tax Drama

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Disclosure:  This is a personal story from my point of view.  Don’t mistake this for advice.  Ask a professional for tax advice.  I’m not a professional. In short, don’t be an asshole and blame me for anything.  😉 We DIDN’T Owe the IRS $67,000 If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that we went through a 2 year saga from 2014-2016 with the IRS to prove we DIDN’T owe them nearly $70,000.  To summarize – after some tears, shit tons of frustration, some sleepless nights, and a classically AWFUL experience with a tax lawyer, the IRS agreed with us.  Yep, cost the IRS some paper and stamps for automated scary letters.  Cost us unnecessary stress and $5600 of expenses between the money-hungry lawyer (somehow magically was able to use ALL but $112 of our $5000 retainer to literally file two sets of papers and take 2-3 phone calls) and our new, actually helpful, CPA. Our New System After that total bullshit, we started paying that CPA to file our taxes every year (CPA-filed taxes get picked on less).  We also pulled the trigger to set up both of our main businesses officially (Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and … Read more

6 Things Couples Can Do To Fix a ‘Broken’ Relationship

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It is common for couples to face problems in their relationship brought on by misunderstandings, a crisis or some other reason.  Ask yourself if you want to spend some time away from each other to rethink your relationship or simply give up. If you feel that your relationship deserves a second chance here are six things you can do to mend it and start afresh. Recall the Humour you Shared in the Past Remembering the good times you shared in the past is bound to release the tension between you and your partner. Have a frank discussion with your partner about the issues you are facing. Time and again, relationships hit a rough patch due to a lack of adequate communication. Have Faith Anguish with the state of affairs at hand does not in any way indicate that you or your partner is a flawed or intolerable person. Even if the current problem is undermining your relationship it does not mean that your partner is unworthy of your basic respect or affection. Spot and then strengthen the strong aspects in your relationship. If you are unable to identify them by yourself why not ask a proficient observer (it could be … Read more

10 Budget-Friendly Moving Tips

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Today’s post is from writer and commenter here on BFS, Kate (Mrs. COD).  Thanks to slaying her debt demons, she’s now able to stay at home raising her two rambunctious little boys. Kate blogs about lifelong habit changes and “finangelism” at Changing Our Default, which she started early in 2016. Hi, BFS readers! Since my family and I recently moved from Illinois to Kentucky for my husband to pursue his university teaching career, I’ve got several great tips for moving on a budget. Here’s what we learned during the moving process about keeping the budget in line! Research Before even deciding to move anywhere, do some research! Check out the new town or area online or in person. Learn about its faults as well as its attractive features. For example, if your prospective job there will pay more, but the location also brings a hefty cost-of-living increase, you might want to think twice about it. For us, the housing prices in our new city were MUCH more reasonable than where we previously lived. Ask About Relocation Funding If doing on-location job interviews, be sure to ask about travel or relocation funding. Some employers reimburse travel expenses (hotel, gas, flight, etc.), … Read more