The Desert Homestead Blog
Urban and rural sustainable homesteading in the desert southwest

Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

A bird in the hand …

October 7, 2010

I’m still mulling my options in terms of employment. When my company let me go, they gave me the option of keeping it if I would relocate to … well, a midwestern industrial state. A state that — if you can believe this — receives mountains of frozen white stuff from the sky for six […]

Laid Off – Now What? Ten Tips to Get Through Your Job Loss

October 6, 2010

The call came last Thursday morning. I, along with two dozen of my colleagues, had just been laid off. I’m not alone, of course. The US unemployment rate has been hovering around 10% for quite some time, and some states — like Nevada — are as high as 14%. Some claim the figures are even […]

Credit Score: Now that’s just funny right there

September 21, 2010

My credit card company recently started displaying my Transunion credit score when I log into my online account. It’s in the “good” range, but being an over-achiever, I was curious as to why it wasn’t in the “totally fabulous” range.  TransUnion helpfully provides the following: Yeah, you’re reading that right. Let’s translate, shall we? No […]

To borrow, or not to borrow?

September 16, 2010

I’ve been hit with a few unexpected expenses this past month that has pushed back my repayment plan slightly. First, my daughter needed to borrow $500 for textbooks because her financial aid payment was delayed. Then my roof came in at $700 more than anticipated. Finally, I spent $300 on a chop saw, since I […]

Gifts from the neighbors

July 23, 2010

My city neighbors — with whom I’ve gotten along fairly well — are moving. They had asked for assistance in hauling some trash to the dump (the joys of having a pickup!) in exchange for letting us dig through the detritus beforehand. I got 2 large bags of potting soil, several large planters, a couple […]

Debt Update

June 2, 2010

I managed to pay off a little over $4300 in debt last month, thanks in part to getting a small loan paid back from a friend. On May 1 my debt (excluding my condo mortgage) was $49,456.05; today it’s $45,122.00. That’s a lot, I know. Part of the problem is my retirement property — when […]

Whoo-hoo! Money!

March 16, 2010

After two long months, I finally received my income tax refund … a hefty chunk of change due to the $8000 home-buyer tax credit for my purchase of a condo last year. The first thing I did is pay off my credit card balance: I am now free of credit card debt! To maintain this […]

Snowballs and Avalanches

August 8, 2009

After buying my condo, I’ve managed to accumulate some debt. In addition to the mortgage, I have about $7000 in credit cards, a school loan, a car loan, and the loan on my retirement property. That’s about $143K if you include the mortgage. I’ve never been a big fan of carrying debt, so it’s time […]

Budgets and Goals

August 8, 2009

It’s something of a running joke among my friends that I’m obsessed with planning. I’ll probably be buried with my spreadsheets and Gantt charts. This is helpful, though, when it comes to finances. One important aspect of getting your personal finances under control is planning for the future. Saving’s all well and good, but without […]

My Electronic Envelope System

August 6, 2009

The “envelope” system of budgeting is fairly well-known. You simply divide your pay into envelopes according to your budget. For example, say you have a monthly income of $1000. Separate that $1000 into envelopes: $400 rent/mortgage$100 utilities$100 groceries$200 car payment$100 car insurance$ 50 gasoline$ 50 miscellaneous—-$1000 Obviously the above is very simplistic (and optimistic). But […]