In a Daily Money Shot first, I’ve swapped posts with So Over Debt. I’m honored to have a guest post from So Over Debt, who writes about money matters as a single mom getting out of debt, and I’m thrilled to have a guest post over on her site. In fact, her site is one of the ones that prompted me to start blogging (you can either send her either thank you notes or hate mail. I’m sure she’d appreciate it).
Today was payday in my house. Actually, it was one of the 2 “extra” paychecks we get each fiscal year. No bills get paid out of these paychecks. We use 24 out of our 26 paychecks, plus the majority of our second income, to pay bills and pay off debt. We’ve decided, together, that for these 2 “extra” paychecks, we let ourselves have a little breathing room. For these paychecks, we spend the money on the absolute necessities like gas, food, savings, and daycare but also use it to give ourselves a little bonus.
For instance, we each get a small allowance out of every paycheck ($20 every 2 weeks). From our extra paychecks, we bump that up to $100. We will usually treat ourselves to a nice dinner. We may each buy one special item and then we kind of let the rest sit. But this summer’s extra paycheck bonus is filled with all kinds of good stuff:
- $300 for our vacation (accommodations are free and food is separate. This is just for activities)
- $100 to take our daughter to see the Laurie Berkner Band (of the children’s performers, she is probably the most tolerable)
- around $300 for my plane ticket to the Financial Blogger conference
- $150 for my husband’s yearly fishing trip
I will also be using some money to buy this:
It’s nice to have some extra income every once and awhile to spend on fun stuff rather than bills and debt. While we do a pretty good job budgeting money for smaller ticket fun stuff items, buying the bigger things guilt free is a good feeling.
Do you ever use extra income to splurge? What do you like to buy?
You may have seen this listing: Scenic, South Dakota
That’s right. The whole town is for sale. For just under $800K. That’s less than the cost of a lot of houses. It’s less than the cost of paying Derek Jeter for a year. Heck, it’s less than the amount inherited from cousin Bertha! But is the town worth it? Would you buy it?
In a dream world, I would. Who wouldn’t want to own her own town? Just the thought of owning my own town makes me giddy with anticipation for what I would do with it. Bear with me for a few minutes as I indulge my imagination (and bottomless wallet).
Priority #1: Hire a good contractor to do the work. I have a neighbor/friend who not only is a contractor but his partner is an architect. I’m pretty sure I’d get a good rate, and I’ve seen his work first hand, so he’s at the top of my list to do the work.
Priority #2: Now that I’ve got the contractor and architect in place, it’s time to start attracting businesses. Since the town is only 46 acres, I’m not looking for big box stores. I want mom and pop shops. I want a small, independent book store. I want an ice cream shop. I want a hardware store a la Teen Wolf (the good, Michael J. Fox version, not the crappy MTV show). I want a diner that also serves vegetarian fare, grocery store, a clothing store and a gas station (fortunately, the bones for a grocery store and gas station are already there). There will also be a coffee/gourmet hot chocolate shop that boasts free wireless Internet; sort of like a Starbucks but again, a mom and pop shop. And I want to restore the local saloon and dancehall.
Priority #3: The restoration of the saloon and the dancehall. I think this could be the centerpiece of the town. Not just as a bar, but as a place for entertainment for the whole town. We’re talking concerts, movies, speakers, book fairs, pictures with Santa and the Easter bunny, charity events…pretty much one central place to hold these events.
Priority #4: Hire a great advertising/public relations firm for a huge advertising campaign. Since the town is on the way to Badlands National Park and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, it’s sure to draw some attention with the right marketing strategy. The fact that town was owned by a rodeo legend (from what I’ve read) can definitely be a key element in this strategy. Sort of like what Lightening McQueen did for Radiator Springs.
Priority #5: Get the town on the public transportation line. Make it easier for people to get there from other locations. This is how the town will maintain an influx of visitors beyond those who are passing through on the way to other locations. Also, there will be free parking for those who chose to drive.
Priority #6: Hire a competent, qualified town manager. The town will collapse without proper management. Once it’s up and running, I want someone to oversee the day-to-day affairs of the town, work with the shop owners, visitors, public officials and anyone else involved with the town. Other hires, most likely on a part-time basis: a web designer for the town’s website, a blogger to keep the website flush with fresh information, and one law enforcement officer. Maybe two. I want to at least give the illusion of order.
Priority #7: Rename the town Janatown. This one is still up for debate.
So that would be my strategy should I purchase Scenic, SD. What would you do?
Rob Base was wrong. It does not take two to make a thing go right. It only takes one.
What the heck am I talking about? In order to clear that up, I’ll have to start with a personal philosophy that I have:
“Changing the entirely too daunting. So I aim to impact one person. Because if I’ve impacted one person, I’ve done my job.”
This week’s installment of Money Tune Tuesday is a bit different. Rather than a song about money, it’s a song that represents perhaps one of the best concerts I have ever seen. Ever. Oh, and it was free.
Last Friday, I saw Better Than Ezra for free at Baltimore’s Power Plant Live. Sure, it was hotter than the sun and I had to pay for a hotel room and my Jeremiah Weed crush got warm before I could finish it but it didn’t matter because I got to see BTE. I had been wanting to see them for more years than I can count and when I saw that they were playing for free in my favorite city, there was no way I was not going. I called my parents, got them to babysit and off I went.
I wish there was a word for how infinitely amazing this show was. It was perfect. And I can’t believe it was free. A show that good should not be free. I am over the moon that it was, in fact, free but I would have gladly paid money to go. It was so good I forgot that I was melting into my flip flops (I only remembered that later, back at the hotel).
So, in honor of this unbelievable show, and it’s homage to the frugal, today’s money tune is Better Than Ezra’s “Absolutely Still”. I chose this instead of their more well known songs like “Good”, “Desperately Wanting” or “Breathless” (apparently this one has been covered by Taylor Swift) because, well, it’s incredible and lots of people need to hear it: