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January 2020
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Remodeling and Responsibility

We’re having an expensive week here at Chez Tayler. We finally called in a plumber because we got tired of an ever-filling bucket of garbage disposal water accumulating under the sink. While the plumber was here, he corrected a faulty tub drain, which has leaked at random intervals since we bought this house twenty years […]

One of the Realities of Uneven Year-to-Year Income

We had a financial boom year last year, which means we had a big tax bill this year. It also means that our estimated tax payments for this year are recommended at a rate that would cover us having a boom this year too. In theory this is setting us up for a tax return […]

Taming the Garden

Somewhere in the years, Mother’s Day became and emotionally complicated holiday. It didn’t used to be. I try not to make it so now, but sometimes it is because my children and husband want to do something nice for me and I want to let them, but I don’t want them to feel obligated. Sometimes […]

Learning to Divide the Load

At 2am this morning I had a brilliant opening sentence for this blog post. My brain worked, crafted, and whittled to make sure I had a sentence that was balanced and clever. Of course at that hour I was attempting to be asleep and so I did not get up and write it down. Naturally […]

Recalibrating the Finances

I’ve been co-managing a business for more than twelve years now. Since the business continues to support our family, evidence suggests that I have at least a minimal level of competence at the tasks that I must do. However I’m constantly aware that there are huge gaps in my knowledge, because I learn things as […]

Testing the Summer Schedule

I declared today a test run on my planned summer schedule even though it is Memorial day and thus a holiday. I set my alarm to go off at 6:30 and dragged myself out of bed at 7 after only three snoozes. I have discovered that summer days are really long when I do not […]

Things Which Help Me Be Happy

Based on the experimental evidence from the last month there are some things I need to make a more regular part of my life to increase my happiness. Spend more time with people who are glad to see me. This past weekend I got to see several people whom I like very much, but whom […]

Budgeting 101

The basic concept of budgeting is this: Dividing your estimated earnings into assigned categories for spending. If you are on a fixed salary this process is fairly simple. I’ll cover some basics, and then talk about some more difficult cases. I am addressing this primarily to people who are not in dire financial need or […]

Without financial considerations

What would I do with the next year if money were not a concern?

There are things I would buy (like new glasses or a replacement for the embarrassing front room couch) that have been waiting for a long time. There are home repairs I would pay someone else to do. But the most important […]

Opportunity cost and the digital recorder

I am pondering the usefulness of a digital voice recorder. I’ve actually pondered it for a long time. I do a lot of reading out loud to my kids and have thought that it would be nice to record some of that. I’ve also thought of the usefulness of letting kids record their spelling lists […]