Monthly Archive: June 2014

62

Help Us Choose The Next Tikhvinskoe-mobile!

Mrs. Tikhvinskoe and I own one car: a cosmetically-challenged 1996 Honda Odyssey minivan. The Tikhvinskoe-mobile doesn’t have a name (other than somehow being a she?) but she does have 201,000 miles! Despite her advanced age and mileage, she gets us where we need to go with a modicum of trouble. In the 3 years we’ve owned her, we’ve only spent $350 on maintenance… and that was mostly for consumables like oil, filters, gaskets, and brakes. And then there’s...

14

Weekly Woot & Grumble: 1 Anniversary & 2 Flat Tires

Hey! I made it to two consecutive weeks of the Woot and Grumble! As I relished my boxed wine last night, I reflected on the stunning longevity of the Woot and Grumble–I mean, two weeks you guys. Amazing. Alright, alright now this week…I give you a Woot of love and a Grumble of flatness. Woot! Mr. Tikhvinskoe and I have been married for SIX YEARS! We celebrated our anniversary earlier this week (with a lovely dinner...

6

Hidden Perks of Frugality

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to commit to living frugally, not just for one uber frugal month as I wrote about, or even a year or two, but for the rest of our lives. And I gotta say, I feel really good about it. Mr. Tikhvinskoe and I like what frugality does for our marriage, our health, and our longterm outlook on life. Living the frugal life yields hidden perks because it also means living the...

33

How We Saved $2,120 by Buying a Mattress Online

“People buy shoes online even though you can’t try them on… a mattress is no different, right?” Faced with buying a new mattress two years ago, I uttered these words to Mrs. Tikhvinskoe and then embarked on a frugal slumber experiment. My goal was to see if my wife and I could buy a mattress online, save tons of money, and still get a great night’s sleep. Let’s start at the beginning. Mrs. Tikhvinskoe is what we...

4

Weekly Woot & Grumble: Of Parents & Dry Cleaners

Inspired by other intrepid folk who publish around a weekly theme (such as Mr. 1500’s Thursday Rants, which are an especial favorite of mine), I decided to try out a weekly column myself. It is called Woot and Grumble and I will talk about one (or more) of each, every week…unless I get bored of doing it, run out of woots and/or grumbles, or nobody likes reading them. So, for this inaugural week I give you…. Woot! Mr. Tikhvinskoe...

19

12 Ways to Get a Steal on Craigslist

When we bought our house two years ago, we had essentially no furniture. To give you an idea, I’d made my previous dresser out of cardboard boxes–so, we were faced with a pretty blank slate. Solution? Craigslist, make our own, garage sales, and the side of the road. But most especially, Craigslist–the font of incredible used goods. If you haven’t purchased new furniture recently (or ever), take a gander at the prices. Go ahead and look. Mortified? Horrified? I...

24

How to Give Home Haircuts in 8 Easy Steps

A recurring expense in many a budget: haircuts! Hair grows and unless you’re cultivating the Gandalf look, you’re gonna need to cut it. We save $40 a month ($480/year) on Mr. Tikhvinskoe by cutting his hair in-house (specifically in the bathtub). Disclaimer: some of my technique is based on the fact that Mr. Tikhvinskoe is 6’3″ and I’m 5’6,” so your approach may vary… Have the right tools for the job. I use: Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting...

39

Frugality Is Not Mainstream

A major factor in our ability to pursue financial independence and early retirement is the fact that Mr. Tikhvinskoe and I don’t care what you think. This is not to say that we don’t value your opinion, your advice or your guidance–we surely do!–we just don’t care if you judge us. Go ahead. We’ve mastered the art of letting go and surrendering. We accept, and announce, that we are officially unusual. Frugal weirdos. Contrary to the mainstream. I used...

16

7 Ways to Become A DIY Hero

Is your toilet making an ominous gurgling sound? Front door lock getting harder and harder to turn? Perhaps your doghouse lost a shingle or your light-switch no longer switches. The normal (non-FIRE) busy professional will confidently tell themselves, “Self, you’re important and have a full-time job!  It’s not worth your time to try and fix that. Plus, you’re a klutz and what if you make it worse?” Not worth your time. That’s a funny phrase. You’ll see people do...

10

May 2014 Expenditures

As my first foray into busting out our monthly breakdown for public consumption, I thought I’d ease into it by only enumerating our expenses. We did pretty well in May, especially considering we went on vacation (though we purchased our plane tickets several months prior). Not surprised to see that the bulk of our expenses other than our mortgage are groceries. Fellow frugal folks–how does this compare to your monthly sheet? Where are we spending more/less? Tips, frugal hacks, and...