Monthly Archives: August 2010

100% Organic

I was sadly disturbed to learn how pesticide health impacts on kids are likely underestimated and reportedly linked to ADHD

I know that eating organic food is still considered to be a luxury, but I think the price is worth it. I sure remember feeling the pinch when I first had to put my money where my mouth was. In case you are still in the process of phases out “conventional” foods, use the dirty dozen as a starting point to eliminating pesticides from your family diet. 

We try to eat as close to 100% organic as possible, although with eating out we’re probably closer to 85-90%.  I love spud for organic grocery delivery.  

Do you buy organic? 
How much do you think it impacts your budget?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

New Fridge!

Yes, I’m excited about our new fridge! Our estimated electricity with cost us   $43 a year, and our homemade pops won’t melt .

A few weeks ago I wrote about how our fridge was Melting Down, and thankfully we managed to buy a new one before anything catastrophic.

I found a great resource for choosing a green fridge, which helped compare many styles and features with energy efficiency. 

I shopped virtually before heading to the store, then I spoke with two different sales guys (most are paid by commission), and then I compared the deal online again after mostly making up my mind.

We ended up buying a Whirlpool Gold from Lowe’s. We got 10% off because another big box was having a sale, and got the price down to $1179. From my research, this was a really good price for a nice basic modern cooling unit.

Unfortunately, the freezer is a tad smaller and needs to be organized more efficiently, but that’s a different post…

Have you upgraded to an energy efficient refrigerator?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Income Gap

After our abysmal family leave policy, the thing that ruffles my feathers most is the income gap for working Mamas.

A new study by the University of Chicago shows that working mamas earn $.73 for every dollar a man earns, compared to a $.90 for childless career women. 

Moms’ Rising was interviewed on Good Morning America about pay discrimination for working mothers. The founder talks about the need to transform our 1950s workplace policies.

I was really excited to see the Moms’ video, so I searched to see what other coverage there has been recently. The Atlantic had a pretty disheartening article condoning paying men more because they care more about their careers, while working mothers are busier as caregivers.  I don’t dispute that mothers still have more parental responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean I deserve to be paid less.

In our household, I earn less money and I know somehow Hubby feels good about earning more. Yet, I do like to point out that I earn more than he did at my age, but there is a seven year age gap. I’d be very curious whether there is the same gap between comparable professionals in our graduating classes.

Do you feel the income gap?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Frugal Lessons

I’m catching up on few of my favorite blogs after being offline for over a week. Always more to learn from and reflect on. 

The Simple Dollar wrote about 48 Things Frugality has Taught Me . I would agree with many of his lessons. Here are my personal reflections on my favorite:

4. Young children are usually more interested in the free packaging or other freebies than any item you might buy them.
So true, we try to stick to simplicity with our gifts. Less is often better. Our kiddos b-days are in January, and we typically save a “Christmas” gifts for another month just so they aren’t overwhelmed.
5. A tall glass of pure water is the best first line of defense for many ailments.
Water, plus a neti pot and some tiger balm.
8. Fixing a toilet isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds.
I’m not afraid to say that Hubby has called me “toilet lady,” because I’m the first one to fix any leaks. In case you’re still intimidated, here are some easy instructions on fixing a leaky toilet.
10. You disagree with your spouse a lot less if you don’t have a pile of debt stressing you out.
As parents of young children, we know there’s enough stress already, why make life any harder?!
11. YouTube and a pile of old newspapers can entertain a four year old and a two year old for several hours.
Our kids also love sending/getting e-cards, way more fun and interactive than paper cards.
15. Every time I let go of something I used to like, I have more room for the things I enjoy now.
Note to self…purge closet!
21. Our city’s parks and recreation department has more fun stuff going on than our family has time to participate in.
We are park fans, and this summer has been packed with urban park adventures. Swim classes are our favorite and we love being able to walk five blocks to the pool.
22. Netflix streaming (at $9 a month) combined with free over-the-air digital television provides better television viewing options than a $50 monthly cable bill.
Absolutely, not having cable is worth every penny.
35. Getting rid of stuff you don’t use can be painful, but it feels exhilarating once you’ve started doing it.
This makes me want to purge more things, particular baby stuff that it no longer useful to us, but could bring others joy. Now I just need to find the time to go through it all…
38. Cloth diapering isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Really! It becomes just as routine as disposable diapering, although like all parents we are looking forward to being done with diaper duty .
40. The less activities you jam into a vacation, the more enjoyable and relaxing it usually is.
Going with the flow and relaxing is really the point of it all.
41. The more you talk to children about money and wise money decisions, the more they emulate those decisions with the money they have.
Money hang ups begin early and are hard to change, and I hope to share sustainable skills. 
44. Used paperbacks and books from the library are just as fun to read as new books from the bookstore.
After college I had a new book fetish, but I’ve gotten over it. I also don’t feel the need to hang on to more than a bookcase worth…need to purge some.
48. Most of the things that genuinely make me feel good – exercising, playing with my kids, holding my wife – don’t cost anything at all.
So true. I try to remind myself every day of all the free family fun we can make together.

What has frugality taught you and your family?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.