- I've been reading many freebies from Amazon.com for my Kindle. Most of them I'll read the first few chapters and, if it hasn't captured my interest by then, I delete them. But this one (presently free as I write this) is a well-written mystery. It reminds me of the Stiegg Larsson books. Looking back at my download history, I'm batting about 1 book out of 7 that I actually read all the way through. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to matter whether I got the book for free, got it at a steep discount, or paid full price. Most of them suffer the delete button.
- The past few months, I've been unrelentingly focused on fine-tuning our household budget. It all started when I changed my role at work for a bit of a cut in pay, and then pretty much cut out all of the overtime I usually work. If I had to guess, the combination of the two has made about at 12% cut in my gross pay, and it got me to wonder how much of that is being burned up for absolutely nothing. We're actually not doing too bad, but I've gotten us accustomed to a more disciplined saving plan, and we've found a lot of crap items we've been paying for and not getting much use of, and cutting those out.
One thing I've started to do is to itemize as much as I can on a per-paycheck basis. I get paid every other Thursday, and I plotted these out on a spreadsheet, one column for each paycheck, for the rest of the year. And then I looked at the activity on our checking account and plotted out when every bill is paid (just about everything is either an automatic draft or a bill pay from the same account) and entered that item for each paycheck. I tried to capture just about everything that we pay/purchase on a regular basis (right down to the cat food we buy every two weeks). The spreadsheet figures out how much cash is left after everything is paid for. It's been very eye-opening, but has helped get us back on track for saving a higher amount now than we did prior to my cut in pay. We've even started thinking about taking more out-of-town vacations, which we never do (not because we couldn't afford them but because we are such stay-at-home folks).
- We've been watching Veronica Mars on Netflix. I just love her.