Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My First Pet

Humans are naturally attracted to watching and playing with animals. This fact is why we often want pets with us in our homes. I've always had a special love of animals. When I was seven years old I got my first pet. My first pet was a fish I named Rainbow. Rainbow was a male Betta Splendens (more commonly called a Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish). Betta's were trendy pets in the late 90's. You would often see them in bowls or vases with houseplants growing out of the top. The attention surrounding this species of fish attracted me and my parents to bringing one home. We only brought Rainbow home after we had made sure we had the necessary supplies to take care of him so he would live a healthy and long life. Even though it has been over 15 years I can remember feeding him and watching my mom do the maintenance of changing his water and cleaning his bowl. The experiences I had with my first pet grew my love of animals. Since then I've expanded my fish keeping hobby from having one 2.5 gallon bowl to having four aquariums! Having a pet also helped teach me responsibility. I learned that certain tasks needed to be completed at certain times for Rainbow to stay healthy. These tasks included feeding him and changing his water. Rainbow lived for over three years because my parents were involved with his care and I'm grateful for that. A child shouldn't be left to care for a pet without any oversight. While pets can teach responsibility we also have a responsibility to take care of them when we bring them home. I'd love to hear the story about your first pet! You can share your story in the comments below :)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Walking: A Beneficial Exercise

Walking is a beneficial exercise. Walking regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight. Walking can help you prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Walking can build bone strength over time. Walking can improve your balance and coordination. My favorite benefit of walking is that it makes you feel better and happier. With all those benefits you probably want to quit reading and walk right now. That sounds like a great idea! You can walk and come back to finish this article later.

Many people don't walk because they don't know where to walk. Usually you can walk around your neighborhood. However, if you don't have sidewalks or you live in a high traffic area you could consider other options. You don't have to buy a treadmill or gym membership to go walking. You can go to your City Hall and find a list of local parks. Usually a city park will contain a walking path. Every once in awhile you can mix things up and enjoy walking a nature trail at a state park or forest. (Some state parks may have a small entrance fee.)

The most important equipment you need when walking is your shoes. Make sure your shoes are sized correctly, not excessively worn, and support your feet. If you will be going on a long walk or the weather is warm consider taking a small water bottle to stay hydrated.

I like walking to relax. Here's a tip: Keep your phone in your pocket. I find that walking offers a nice time to collect your thoughts and disconnect from the high stress world that we live in. By being observant when you walk you'll get to enjoy the natural scenery. It's amazing how seeing a butterfly or a squirrel can brighten your day if you're feeling sad. If you are feeling really anxious listening to some easy listening music may help you as you walk. Be careful walking with noise cancelling headphones. You should always be aware of your surroundings to stay safe from any form of danger.

These are some basic suggestions I wanted to share so you can be happier and healthier by walking . I'd keep writing but... I'm lacing up my shoes to go walking. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Criminal (Podcast Pick)

I enjoy crime mysteries and if you do too Criminal is a podcast you should listen to. I've been binging out on Criminal and now I've listened to all 26 episodes. I completed this binge in less than two weeks (I enjoy it that much!). The production quality of Criminal is top notch and has been increasing ever since Criminal joined the Radiotopia network. Phoebe Judge narrates Criminal and even interviews people of interest. Phoebe Judge is easy to listen to and she asks excellent questions that make you think. What I like about Criminal is that most of the episodes resolve the mystery or case. However, even though a case may be resolved curiosity will move you to do more research to find what material didn't make it into the episode. I've enjoyed hours of free entertainment from listening to Criminal and doing further research on these cases. New episodes get released every three weeks and each episode is about 20 minutes long. Each episode covers a different case so you don't have to listen in order. My favorite episodes are 1,2,5,8, and 12. What's your favorite episode? You'll have to listen to find out! If you click the link you can go to the official website of the podcast and listen online, download episodes, or find links to subscribe in your podcast app.

Criminal (official website)

Monday, June 15, 2015

2 Questions to Consider Before Moving Out!

On August 1, 2015 I'll be moving out of my parents home and living on my own for the first time. I've talked to a lot of my friends and have spent months researching online to make this move as stress free as possible. Here are some things I had to consider:

How much can I afford to pay per month on a home?

This question is the most under examined budgeting question. One often cited figure for housing is the "30% rule". The "30% rule" is based around the assumption that you should not spend more than 30% of your income on housing. While the "30% rule" is often disputed I believe in it. I have five years experience in the Florida housing market and almost every time someone extends themselves past 30% (housing/income) a financial collapse shortly follows. Housing costs also include more than just your rent or house payment. Utility costs should be compared between potential dwellings. I often see a scenario where two houses of the same size can have drastically different utility bills under the same use scenario. If you are tempted to move into an older or less efficient home consider: Are you willing or allowed to make energy efficient upgrades to the dwelling you choose? Is it cost effective to make these upgrades? The cost of maintenance should also be considered. With home ownership you are responsible for maintenance costs that aren't covered under insurance. However, renting doesn't always mean that you are free from maintenance expenses. Often times air filters, lawn maintenance, and pest control are not paid for by landlords. Sometimes even small repairs are required to be paid by you. Thoroughly read over any application and lease before signing and compare it to the landlord/tenant law statutes governing your area.

Where will I live?

Which location is convenient to locations that matter the most to you? Is the neighborhood safe? Before settling on a location drive through the area at different times during the day. Does the area around your dwelling flood when it rains? Once you settle on general location you can start finding which dwelling fits inside your financial requirements.

My Decision

I chose to rent a three bedroom/two bathroom home. This house gives me plenty of space for my home office and has a guest bedroom. The house has been remodeled and is EnergyStar and WaterSense compliant. The property has an attached garage along with a fenced yard for security. Due to maintaining my own privacy I won't share the address or the rent amount. The rent amount does follow the "30% rule" and I look forward to saving towards owning my own home in the future. Housing is the first issue (after employment) to consider when moving out. As I encounter more experiences I'll post about them. I hope this post helps you if you're considering moving or  moving out. Please comment to share your experiences with me!

Friday, May 8, 2015

How to Reduce Water Use in the Shower by 50% for ONLY $8

Are you trying to conserve water or are the increasing utility rates putting a strain on your budget? A families showering can use and WASTE thousands of gallons of water per month. I've found a product that can really help conserve water and your hard earned money. The Niagara Earth Massage 1.25 gallon per minute low flow shower head will reduce the amount of water you use in the shower by 50% or more (based on a traditional 2.5 gallon per minute shower head). You will also conserve whatever energy you use to heat your water because you'll use half as much water as before! If you sometimes run out of hot water in the shower this product will double the amount of showering time before your hot water runs out. I purchased the Niagara Earth Massage shower head a few weeks ago and I've been so pleased with the results that I purchased one for my parents. Both of my parents endorse this product. But the real question is...

How much money can you save?

In my circumstance we are using this shower head as a family of 3. The shower head costs about $8.50 after tax (depending on where you live). Water costs $8.74 per 1,000 gallons where I live.There are approximately 45 minutes of shower use per day in my household. Using this shower head saves my family 1,687.5 gallons of water per month (compared to using our old 2.5 GPM shower heads). This equals a savings of $14.75 per month (plus the taxes that would be charged on that usage) on my water bill and a 50% reduction in water heating expenses (Natural Gas). This shower head pays for itself in only 2 weeks! My family will save over $200 this year alone from this inexpensive upgrade that only cost about $8.

Want to watch a review?

Here's an in-depth video review. You can see how the product and how it performs!

Where can you buy this shower head? has the best distribution for this product and it has consistently been in stock.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My New Web Address!

I love my new address! I'm not talking about my mailing address; I'm talking about my web address. Now you can read my blog by simply going to I think everyone should pursue owning a domain, and especially the domain of their name if it is available. Leo Laporte "The Tech Guy" has recommended owning your own domain for years. Why? When you own your domain you have ownership and control of the content you create. You don't have to worry about a website changing its privacy policy or terms of service on you. Also, you can prevent being confused with someone who shares the same name as you. Have you ever tried to tell someone your username on a social media site and they can't find you? By linking to your social accounts from your website you can ensure that followers find YOUR account! I was able to purchase my domain through Google Domains for $12/a year. The interface is simple and you can be up and running in 5 minutes. I'm considering moving to a more rich site design by Squarespace, but for now I'm using Blogger to host my site for free. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Simpler Happier Life (Podcast Pick)

Are you stressed out by your financial situation? The media tries to tell us that we have to be rich and have lots of material things to be happy. I've learned that living a simpler life is much more rewarding. I have been listening to The Simpler Happier Life podcast and I really enjoy it. The podcast is updated weekly by hosts Mark and Lauren Greutman. Mark and Lauren have seen first hand how debt saps your happiness and how family values are what make you truly happy. Each Wednesday you'll learn about real ways to save money, get out of debt, and get financial independence. Here is a link to their site where you can see if this podcast is for you. I can't wait for Wednesday to come so I can listen to their next episode!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Podcasts: FREE entertainment

Have you ever got tired of listening to the same old songs on Pandora and wanted something else FREE to listen to? I introduce you to the world of podcasts. Podcasts are audio recordings which are released in episodes. Some podcasts are as simple as cut together versions of radio shows (NPR has many podcasts). The amazing thing about podcasts is that you can find niche content that caters to your interests. Whether you like aquariums, gardening, golf, sewing, or and endless number of other genres I guarantee there is a podcast for you. I love listening to several podcasts every week! So how do you get started listening?

First, grab your smartphone and go to the store where you download apps

Then, search for "Podcast"

Download a free or inexpensive client.

(Many use Stitcher Radio [Android and iOS]) I use Pocket Casts $3.99 [Android and iOS])

When the application installs browse the categories section. When you find a podcast you like tap subscribe. Then when a new episode comes out you will be notified!

You're all set now! There's a reason I didn't show any screenshots of my podcast app... Come back tomorrow to find out what my favorite podcast is at the moment!


It looks like you found my first post. Maybe one day this blog will have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of readers. But right now I just want to share my interests with everyone and to have an archive of my thoughts. I do enjoy posting to social media but long form and rich content doesn't fit on those platforms. I'm working on lots of different posts now so you can follow this page or follow me on Google+ or Twitter to see my new content.