Monthly Archives: February 2017


This shirt recently popped up in my Facebook feed.  And I love it!

Everybody makes mistakes.  And every single mistake is proof positive that you are putting forth effort.  You are taking risks.  And from great risks come great rewards.  And sometimes great disappointments.  But if you never take the risks, you are guaranteed not to achieve the rewards.

There are a lot of risks involved with money.  And you always hope they lead to reward.  Should I borrow money to buy a house?  Should I buy a used car instead of a new one?  Should I buy stock?  How much should I put into my 401K plan? Can I take the lower paying job that I’ll enjoy instead of the higher paying job that I’ll hate?  Will the store brand product work as well as the name brand?  If I join the warehouse club, will I get my money’s worth?  Should I buy the extended warranty?  If I go to law school will I get a great job?

Every time you spend money, there is some level of risk involved.  You can’t predict anything with certainty.  And you will make mistakes.  It’s inevitable.  But mistakes, while they may feel bad at the time, teach us things. And mistakes are proof that you are trying.  The person who never tries never makes mistakes.  But they also never move forward or learn or grow.

Mistakes are proof that you are trying.  So keep making mistakes.  Keep trying!


Sharing is caring.  This is something my sister used to say to me when we were kids.  It usually meant she wanted one of my cookies or part of my cake or something to that effect.  And while sharing IS caring, it also is a great way to save a lot of money.

The most obvious way to save money sharing is by sharing an apartment.  You get a lot more space for the money with roommates, and you can usually each have your own private space in the shared apartment.

Wish you belonged to a warehouse club?  Memberships usually come with two member cards, so you and a friend can share the cost of a membership.

Want the savings of buying the jumbo pack of paper towels, but don’t want to store all of them?  Team up with a friend and split the cost!

The PILF auction is coming up soon.  Many of the “experience” items will go for a higher price than any one student wants to pay.  But if you team up with friends, it can become downright affordable to purchase dinner with your favorite professor (or drinks with the Financial Aid Director if you are so inclined).

The only limit to sharing is your imagination.  I remember a time that a friend and I both needed new glassware for our homes, but neither of us had much space.  We bought a set of glassware and split it.  Another time I was suit shopping with a friend (and separates were not yet pervasive).  I needed one size on top and a different size on bottom.  So did she, but the reverse of me.  We both bought the same suit and swapped parts.

Whenever I eat something sweet, my sister’s voice pops up in the back of my head saying, “Sharing is caring!”  But my life experience also tells me that sharing is a great way to save money.

If You’re Not Early, You’re Late

A much beloved music professor where I went to college was known among his students for the phrase, “If you’re not early, you’re late.”  This is a good thing to remember not just in terms of getting to the places you need to be in a timely fashion.  It applies to matters of money as well.

It occurred to me this weekend when I attended a couple of music concerts (as I am known to do).  I always order tickets to these things in advance.  The friend I was with said, “Oh…I just thought we’d buy them at the door.”  The thing about concert tickets is that if you buy them at the door, they are typically more expensive than if you buy in advance.  And also, you don’t have to worry about the potential for a sold out show.  A sold out show means you either miss out on the event you wanted to attend, or you pay even higher after market resale prices.  Neither is a good option in my opinion.  And when you are dealing with music festivals (my favorite summer pastime) the savings is even greater.  Festivals usually use tiered pricing, so the earlier you buy, the less your ticket will cost.  It is a little weird that I already hold tickets for four summer festivals…two of which haven’t announced a lineup yet?  Not in my mind.  I know the lineups will end up being something I will enjoy, and I purchased my tickets at the lowest available price.  And if something goes awry in my life, I’ll easily be able to sell the tickets at my cost after the price has gone up.  If you’re not early, you’re late.

This also applies to the purchase of food.  If you plan ahead, you can buy groceries and make healthy meals and pack a bag lunch.  If you don’t plan ahead, you end up buying fast food on the fly.  You end up with food that is not as good for you with a much higher cost.  If you’re not early, you’re late.

How about car maintenance?  Changing the oil regularly is a fact of life. A quick $25 maintenance every 5,000 miles, and it protects your engine from undue wear.  If you don’t change the oil regularly it can cause serious damage to the engine and cost you thousands of dollars.  Air pressure in the tires is the same concept.  You can fill your tires for free at your local Sheetz.  But if you don’t maintain proper pressure, your tires can wear unevenly and cause the need for new tires much faster than if you had just maintained the pressure regularly.  If you’re not early, you’re late.

I could go on and on about things that save you a lot of money if you are early rather than late.  Buying airline tickets.  Paying your bills on time.  Maintaining things in your house, like your water heater and your dryer vent and your gutters.  The list is endless.

I enjoy procrastination as much as anyone else.  But the reality of life is, if you’re not early, you’re late.