Last week I needed to venture into my attic to check on some rat traps, so I grabbed my flashlight to help me navigate my way through the rafters. As luck would have it, the flashlight wasn’t working; the last person who used it forgot to turn the darn thing off, so the batteries died.
Anyway, with no spare C-cells in the drawer and an unplanned trip to the store in
Continue reading 9 ‘Oops’ Moments That I Ultimately Paid For (One Way or Another)
I’m very fortunate that the Honeybee and I rarely have a disagreement regarding money. In fact, I can only remember it happening once in over 16 years of marriage — and it was all due to a silly misunderstanding.
A recent study affirmed the conventional wisdom that says money is the most likely point of conflict in a marriage. This is especially true when one spouse tends to be a spender
Continue reading How to Tell If You’re Dating a Deadbeat
My son, Matthew, is quickly approaching his 16th birthday and so I’ve been giving him a few driving tutorials.
I haven’t let him get behind the wheel just yet — that’s on next month’s agenda — but it’s gotten to the point now where every time Matthew and I are in the car together, I take a few moments to pass along a tip or two regarding the rules of the
Continue reading The Unconventional Wisdom of Household Strategic Planning
Going through the mortgage process can be an intimidating, overwhelming experience, even for people who have done it before.
For newcomers, it can be especially difficult. It’s easy to understand why: you’re facing the prospect of entering into an agreement that puts you on the hook for huge amounts of money over a very long period of time.
Mortgage contracts are long, complicated and filled with minutiae. The entire process can be
Continue reading 3 Essential Tips for Finding the Best Home Loan
This is another post in an occasional series from my dear nonagenarian Aunt Doris.
Aunt Doris (circa the good ol' days)
A dog will always greet you with eyes glazed with love, and a tail that nearly wags itself off.
A cat merely tolerates you.
My family has always loved cats; I’ve had some great ones too.
The one I remember fondly was an orange colored cat named Taffy.
Every afternoon, when school was in
Continue reading A Few Thoughts from Aunt Doris: A Cat’s a Cat and That’s That
Sometimes it’s not easy being an ant. Especially when you’re living among a bunch of grasshoppers.
There’s a well-known Aesop fable about an oblivious grasshopper who spent his summer days living the high life and mocking an industrious ant, who was busy building a shelter and storing food for the coming winter.
Of course, we all know how that worked out for the grasshopper. After winter arrived, the well-prepared ant found himself
Continue reading Economic Collapse 101: Comparing Costs of Emergency Food Supply Options
(Readers: In February 2012, I received a heart-breaking message in my inbox from Spedie, a long-time reader and frequent commenter here at Len Penzo dot Com. Her husband abandoned her and their marriage — but not before he callously drained the household checking and savings accounts of every last penny. This is her story.)
I’d always considered myself pretty street smart. You know, the kind of girl that didn’t have an
Continue reading True Story: How to Cope When Your Spouse Skips Out with All the Cash
Recently the Honeybee alerted me to the fact that our hot water heater was making popping and cracking sounds that she had never heard before.
This got me a bit worried because the heater was 12-years-old and I knew it was on its last legs. When a water heater dies it’s not a pretty sight.
Trust me when I say it is always better to put an old heater out to pasture
Continue reading Dear Diary: How I Fixed My Water Heater Without a Plumber and Saved $400
This is final post in my three-part series outlining essential tips that the Penzo household follows for keeping our grocery bills under control.
Of course, there are many methods for cutting the grocery bill that go way beyond shopping at discount grocery stores, taking advantage of in-store specials, and using coupons. However, there are several areas that I tend to focus on in order to ensure my grocery costs stay as
Continue reading Essential Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill (Part 3)
Food isn’t cheap.
Want proof? Then chew on this: I spent almost $12,000 in groceries last year for my four-person family, including two teenagers.
And what’s really scary is that I work very hard to keep my food bill as low as possible every year. I shudder to think how much more I’d expend on groceries every year if I didn’t try to control costs.
There are many methods for cutting your grocery
Continue reading Essential Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill (Part 2)