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Posts tagged with: construction

Learning to Barter…


Over the weekend, my husband was reburying some electrical lines because they were dangerously close to the surface when he stumbled across a mysterious concrete pad in the middle of our backyard. Rather than recover the pad with dirt and walk away, he wanted to jackhammer it out.

Heaven forbid a concrete pad dare to exist two inches under the dirt in our yard.

‘Hey hon, I’d like to rent a jackhammer to take out that pad’ he said over dinner on Sunday. He went on to explain that it would be difficult to always try to remember where it was and it would instantly kill his mechanical gardening tools. All I count think was… we don’t have enough long term disability or life insurance.

‘Sweetheart, it’s not in our budget and it’s not a necessity. Could it wait until next year?’ I asked.

He dejectedly nodded yes as if I had taken his ‘man card’.

If there is one thing I’ve discovered since we made the choice to live without debt, it’s this… you will learn to get creative.

Last evening, my husband showed up with a free borrowed jackhammer. He has become a master at bartering. It seems like each time I say no, he seems to figure out a way to make things happen.

What was your best barter? And has your decision to rid yourself of debt made you barter more?

Choosing Permanent Over Temporary…


Our back fence bit the dust. The tie wire, plastic sheeting, and chicken wire mess we like to call a ‘fence’ finally gave out after fighting a treacherous battle with a glorious 5mph gust of wind.

It creaked. It groaned. It fell. I cried.

We have a couple options:

a. We can leave the fence broken, give away our dogs, and hope nothing larger than a hippo wants in or out of our yard.

b. We can do yet another band-aid fix – i.e. buy more chicken wire, bazooka bubble gum, and a load of hope and prayer.

c. We can construct what I consider a perfectly acceptable but perhaps not aesthetically pleasing Preskool bubbly plastic play gate in a rainbow of colors available at garage sales everywhere.


d. We can build a real fence.

Now is not a good time for this to happen (when is?). My husband started his job on Tuesday and won’t receive a paycheck until next week. Fortunately, those of us who are paid bi-weekly receive three paychecks in one month two times per year. January just happens to be my three paycheck month.

Sniff. Goodbye extra car payment.

We decided to build a new fence with my third check. Over the last three years, we could have paid for a new fence several times over but never seemed to have enough to do anything more than band-aid fix after band-aid fix. My husband is constructing the fence and stringing it with power so we can add lighting in the future. Looking at the perfectly dug trenches in our back yard, it appears as though I am haunted by a 170 pound gopher who looks a lot like my husband.

It’s time to stretch ourselves. I’m tired of continuing to make bad temporary financial decisions.