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Reel Lawn Mower – Lawn Woes No More

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I made a leap into relieving some of the on-going stress yesterday! My new “Hope”-powered lawn mower, otherwise known as a Reel Lawn Mower arrived.

I assembled it and immediately cut the front yard. Rested a bit (it was over 100 outside) and then cut the side yard. No more lawn woes for this girl!

Why I Choose a Reel Lawn Mower

If you remember from my post in June, I was leaning towards an electric mower. I hadn’t even thought of going with a reel mower then.

But with encouragement from the BAD community of slew of internet searches and some Home Depot visits – reel seemed to be the best option for me.

The determining factors were:

  • The upfront cost was significantly less.
  • We have a pretty small, mostly level yard.
  • Lawn mower maintenance has been the bane of my existence EVERY SINGLE WEEK since grass cutting season started.
  • No gas, no carburetor, no oil changes.
  • No plugging in, no cords.
  • American Lawn Mower seems to have a great reputation.
  • All I need is WD-40 for weekly maintenance!

I would like to add the “greener” advantage to that list, but it was not a factor I considered. I needed easy and reliable.

It’s really comical how excited I am about this new purchase. And how excited I am to finally be able to maintain my own yard as I have wanted to all year.

Finances of My New Lawn Mower

My grandmother called me right as I finished mowing yesterday, and when I told her I had just mowed her response was “with what?” I could hear the shock in her voice when I said “my brand new lawn mower!”

She graciously loaned me her lawn mower, one of the two FREE lawn mowers we have to use, that I cannot keep running.

new reel lawn mower by American Lawn Mower

The two gas powered lawn mowers have now been replaced by my handy, dandy American Lawn Mower Reel Mower

The new reel lawn mower cost $69 before tax. It is a 14″ wide version, with 5 blades and 10″ wheels. There was a slightly cheaper version with 4 blades and 8.5″ wheels. I decided the extra $5 was worth it.

While I would have preferred a wider option, the difference in cost was over $30+. I decided a few extra laps of the yard would pay off in healthy benefits more than spending more money right now.

Now I must acquire a bottle of WD-40, which I don’t think will cost me more than a few dollars and last a long time.

I am proud of myself. That is such a good feeling.

What decision have you made, that might be silly to others, but makes you feel good about yourself?


Taking Control

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Last week I wrote about how my recent research into single moms and money, single moms and debt and so forth had really hit home with me. It opened my eyes to so many things.

I pride myself on being pretty smart, book smart, that is. But I’ve come to realize I am far from healthy as far as mentally and emotionally. The history of abuse, living in crisis mode and just the personality I was born with have created an unhealthy Hope as far as that goes.

But I’m proud to say, my eyes are open now, I’m aware of the problems. And don’t they say, the first step in recovery is acknowledging the problem.

Taking Baby Steps

I’ve got a lot of work to do. Work on myself, work on my finances, work on my decision making and so on. And I know I can’t do it overnight, fix it overnight.

But I’ve begun with some baby steps, some which I think will have far reaching affects.

Physical Self

I have diabetes. This is not really news, it runs in my family and bloodwork last fall confirmed it. But I’ve been ignoring it.

In fact, other than going to a neurologist for unbearable pain last fall, I haven’t been to the doctor in 10 or so years, I guess. Taking care of myself has not been a priority at all. It’s always been about the kids.

I now realize that in order to take the best care of them, and set a good example, I need to take better care of myself. So today I went to the doctor. And I told her, I need help with my diabetes.

Blood work and labs ordered, follow up appointment set. (The good news is that I am officially down 12 lbs since January, and that’s without effort other than changing my eating a bit.)

I am determined to get my diabetes under control, my weight under control and take better care of my physical self.

Mental Self

While writing about everything going on have been very cathartic. Doing it alone is not healthy for anyone. I am seeking counseling to address a number of issues…and I’m sure they will find more.

Readers here at BAD have really been instrumental in getting me to this place. Pointing out things that I didn’t recognize in myself. The tough love.

Things I know I need to work on especially are my: aversion to confrontation, being reactive instead of proactive and a slew of other issues that I have buried deep. I saw this image on Facebook this past week, and had another “aha!” moment.

Financial Self

My reality is that we are a single income family. I didn’t choose it, I didn’t prepare for it. But it’s what we are, and I MUST start learning how to embrace that, choose that and most importantly live within the constraints of that. No one is coming to save us, no one is going to bail us out.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 48% of married couples are two income families. While single mom homes, only 21% have a second income and it doesn’t specify but that may part time. (Click on chart below to see full report.)

Bureau of Labor Statistics on employed household members

The point is that many choose to be single income families despite the hardships they may face in this economy. While I may not have had that choice, it is certainly not insurmountable.

With planning and sacrifice, I don’t have to keep living paycheck to paycheck. Barely making ends meet, and constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Make sense?

I need to study how they do it, succeed at it. I referenced my current studies in my recent post about Financial Realizations.

My question for you, BAD Community, is how do you prepare for something like this when you are already in the midst of it? While the experts say do X, Y and Z before you take the leap…I’m kind of working backwards from that.

What resources would you recommend as I continue to study how to live abundantly as a single income family?  They say knowledge is power and I am ready to be powerful, I have lived far too long feeling weak and in fear.