Frugal Friday: Diversifying Your Income

This is my life now. It's a little nuts, but that's ok.

This is my life now. It’s a little nuts, but that’s ok.

How fancy does “diversifying your income” sound? Super fancy, huh? Like I should be looking at you from over my Wall Street Journal while sipping tea on my veranda?! Yeah, super fancy.

A lot of times people talk about stocks and bonds and diversifying your portfolio, but diversifying your income doesn’t have to be fancy. (Although we all should have some investments.) This semester I took on a teaching gig where twice a week I teach students about “how to succeed in college.” It has been a lot of work, but rewarding mentally and emotionally. It also helps that I get paid extra to do it!

There’s all kinds of ways to diversify your income from taking surveys, to babysitting to cleaning. I know we all have full plates but sometimes taking on those extra streams of income will get us to our financial goals much faster.

How do you diversify your income? Let me know in the comments!

love (and happy Friday!),
melanie

Link Love: 5

rp_Link-Love-1024x10241.jpgI had something else planned for ye ol’ blog today, but life got in the way. Instead, here’s link love a day early! ‘Cuz sometimes you just need to pitter around the Internet for a while.

This architect built a home just 5 feet wide and squeezed between two buildings. 

Automated thanking machine. Sometimes banking, especially online banking can seem so harsh. This video ATM banking personal again.

Mike Rowe doesn’t live in a mansion.

Consider a budget for stupid mistakes, so you stop making them.

Pride and Prejudice Economics: Or Why a Single Man with a Fortune of £4,000 Per Year is a Desirable Husband.

The 10 best money saving apps.

I recently finished watching True Detective and can we talk about how likeable Matthew McConaughey is? He also owns an Airstream

How to build a (14 x 14) cabin for $2,000 or less.

This 600 square foot cabin a dream!

As always, I’d love to see your latest Internet finds in the comments!

love,
melanie

Adventures in Wine Making

wine makingI’m calling this post “Adventures in Wine Making” instead of “Homemade Wine Recipe” or “DIY Wine” because really, I can’t believe this wine turned out half-way decent. I also don’t want to share a recipe just yet because I may have just been lucky with my first batch. And I don’t want to be liable for poisoning you all. I tried using this recipe from All Recipes, but the portions were off, so I just heated up some sugar with water, threw in the yeast after it had cooled, mixed it with Aldi-brand fruit juice and went with it.

Five weeks later, the balloon deflated, I filtered out the yeast with coffee filters and BAM! I had drinkable wine. It was a little too sweet for my liking, but my friend, Gabby loved it. It also helped that we called it “toilet wine” and thoroughly researched “How to Make Prison Wine” while drinking it. Did you know prison wine can be made with fruit cocktail, ketchup and bread? I HAD NO IDEA. This wine would be perfect for an Orange is the New Black party.

Have you ever tried making your own wine? How did it turn out? When I perfect it, I’ll have a recipe to share!

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: I made it!

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 presetI made it through the first week of school! I’m starting to get in the groove of teaching twice a week in the morning and then going to work. It makes for a long day, but I need the extra money and I love teaching.

Early Saturday morning our air conditioning fan blew up. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. It woke me up, I was screaming and George (in his sleep-stupor) couldn’t talk. After visiting the flea market, we spent most of Saturday sleeping. veggiee

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOn Sunday we pulled weeds and some of the plants in my garden that had stopped producing. It was a little sad, but for a newbie gardener, I feel like I’ve done pretty well.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetWe also finally got our passports in the mail! We aren’t planning on going anywhere soon, but next year we’re planning on going to Canada for a wedding. I can’t wait for international travel!

Here’s to another week of hard work!

love,
melanie

 

Frugal Friday: On Making Hard Choices

Airstream in the woods copyHave you all seen the Living Wage Calculator from the MIT? I linked to it yesterday, but I wanted to talk about it in a bit more detail today. The calculator allows you to drill down to the living wage calculation for your U.S. county.

When I took a look, I was shocked at how very close I was to making the “living wage.” The bare minimum. The figures the living wage provide don’t include savings or emergencies or student loan repayment. I was shocked and angry and a little scared. If I barely make a living wage with a master’s degree, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for those that make the minimum wage (as I did for so many years, but also I lived in denial).

I’ve always said that living small was a choice for us. We want to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, but after seeing those calculations I started thinking “Is living small really a choice?!” “Did we even have a choice when we moved from that overpriced apartment to the Airstream?!” And woefully I thought: “We’re never going to save enough to buy a house! Waaaaaaaa!!!”

But after all that ho-humming and doubt, I still believe living small was a choice. We could have chosen to keep living in an overpriced apartment for another 10 years while we saved a measly $50 bucks a month for a down payment on a home. Then, we could have put ourselves into crippling debt for 30 years (or longer) when we decided it was time to own a home. We could have been average.

But we made the hard choice. And there’s power in that choice. We may need to live in the tin can longer than I had planned,  but it takes hard choices to live the life we want to live.

I’m ready to make those hard choices. Are you?

Happy weekend!

love,
melanie

Link Love: 4

rp_Link-Love-1024x10241.jpgThis week has been a total blur, but I’ve been able to squeeze in time to find a little bit of web goodness. Check it out below.

I’m loving this article about Unschooling. I’m also intensely jealous that I didn’t have that kind of childhood, can I be unschooled as an adult?!

The stores that will refund your money when a price drops.

The living wage calculator isn’t new, but I’ve been checking it quite a bit lately. It’s scary/sad to see those numbers.

How to make money selling junk from my girl, Anna.

I’m totally guilty of telling my friends that I’d love to help them fix up their houses. This article made me think twice and gave me some perspective.

How to wash and whiten pillows. I tried this over the weekend and man, does it work.

What links have you been loving this weekend? Leave ‘em for me in the comments!

love,
melanie

Refrigerator Pickles and Banana Peppers

refrigerator pickles and banana peppers

For someone who has a black thumb, I sure can grow banana peppers. I have them coming out of my ears, as they say. In fact, I had so many I couldn’t eat them fast enough. And although I had a bumper crop, it still wasn’t enough to make the effort and learn how to properly can. I also had a couple of large cucumbers that were looking less than fresh. So refrigerator canning seemed like the perfect way to eat up those veggies! Here’s the how to:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of white vinegar
  • 6 or so banana peppers
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp of minced, peeled garlic
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 jars with lids

refrigerator pickles and peppersWash veggies thoroughly. Slice. I used a pair of scissors to cut my banana peppers and that made it super easy. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes. Once brine has finished simmering, let cool. Ladle brine into jars, covering the cucumbers and peppers. Add the cloves. Brine for at least 24 hours in the fridge. Keep for up to a month.

How easy was that?! Have you ever made refrigerator pickles? Talk to me about it in the comments!

love,
melanie