This shit gets real…

From time to time I write about money. Saving, spending, splurging, and thinking about the future. My childhood and lack of having many things as a child has created a passion inside of me that forces me to make sure that we never have a moment in our life where we have to wonder if there will be food on the table. Chris and I always try to have a back up plan. A Plan A, B, C…Part of the passion I have for living within our means, and saving for the future means that I stay interested in current personal finance trends and different ways of thinking about what you might need to do now to prepare for retirement.

This recent article from LearnVest shows an interesting infographic depicting what giving up a few things can mean for someone thirty years from now. If you scroll down to the middle of the page you will see an image of a pack of gum, with the description that if you cut back on a $2 pack of gum a week you would have $16,652 more for retirement. A $10 glass of wine on the weekend would be to the tune of $83,260 at retirement. The last one is mind-blowing (Chris are you reading this)? If you cut back $100 of your cable bill per month it would be $832,597 at retirement. It makes you think, right?

Thinking about retirement at 20, 25, 30, 35 and up is a very real and crucial aspect of our life. Often though we are barely paying our bills or student loans in our 20’s to 30’s and so retirement is the last thing on our list. I can imagine that many of us could cut back on paying $100 on cable each month, or get rid of it entirely. There are so many online options for entertainment. Regardless of what “thing” you could cut back (or eliminate) from a material consumption standpoint, the key is really to make a focused effort to think about what and how you are preparing for retirement. Have you thought about it? Will you be able to support yourself when you retire? Long gone are the days when your company supported you after you retire. These days a 401(k), IRA, and other options are the basic ways we kickstart our path towards retirement.

While retirement, saving money, and cutting back is not the most glamorous of topics, in 10, 20, or 30 years you may just realize how much you will need to put away each year for retirement and how much time you have lost. A good reminder that pertaining to money: this shit gets real… fast.

Your first Drive-In?

Do you remember the first movie you saw at the Drive-In? I do. It did not happen often, but I do remember my mom popping popcorn, and bringing Cokes (one of the rare occasions when we were allowed soda, or my midwestern roots would say “pop”). We would get into our paneled, yellow Buick station wagon and head to the Drive-In. My sister and I would get to lay down in the back-end of the station wagon to watch the movie. So, ready for my first Drive-In flick? Ghostbusters. Remember Slimer?

When I came across Honda’s current campaign to save the Drive-In, I was interested. Honda has started “Project Drive-In.” A campaign to reignite and support local Drive-Ins. As the movie industry moves from film to digital, most Drive-Ins will be impacted. Since most Drive-Ins today still have older projectors, Honda has launched this campaign to help replace the film projectors in Drive-Ins to digital, a $80,000 cost. They are putting up a vote to see which Drive-In should be next.

I am a bit partial because the 99W Drive-In in Newberg, OR is my closest Drive-In, so of course I was excited to see that people voted to save them — and they are a winner! I looked up the one from my childhood and it looks like it is not listed (bummer)! When I tried to find a full article at the newspaper I used to deliver papers for, I would have had to pay for the excerpt, and quite frankly, I was not interested. So I guess I will have to wonder what happened to the Ski-Hi Drive-In.

I encourage you to check out the Project Drive-In website and vote to save your local Drive-In, or one from your past. Of course, Honda is also taking donations for individuals to support saving more Drive-Ins. Voting has been extended to September 21. While yes I raise my eyebrows when I wonder about the motives of Honda, I do think it is a landmark of the past that should be preserved.

Do you remember your first Drive-In? Was it as a kid, with your family, or on a first date?

I Am A Sucker For…

…kid videos. I am still catching up on our episodes of Ellen Degeneres. Ellen often shows videos of kids and I have a few I want to re-share as they made me laugh, smile, and laugh again. The first one is of a little boy that she found on YouTube that would get upset because he couldn’t sing the “explicit” Nicki Minaj song. Ellen showed that video on her show a few weeks ago and asked for the parents of the boy to contact her as she wanted him on the show. The video below is when he is on her show, and shows his original video, and then his interview and he sings live for her. Too cute!

This video is of a kid who will not eat unless the newly popular “Gangnam” song is playing. When his father stops the video, the kid will not eat.

Like I said, I am a sucker for kid videos. Enjoy!