New Year Challenge: Track All Spending for a Year

The time has come for me to throw down the gauntlet and issue a challenge to myself. Don’t call it a resolution – the timing as it relates to the new year is merely a coincidence, as I’ve been thinking about this for many months now. Still, the timing is impeccable as a year is an easy-to-measure chunk, so if you insist on calling it a resolution, [...] Read more

Green Living: Zero-Emission Yardwork

Last Saturday, after my customary cup of homemade iced coffee – as is typical for me on a hot Texas summer morning – I gazed out the window and decided it was high-time to attack the grass, which has been growing with reckless abandon since we actually had a few drops of rain recently. Rain can be a rarity in south TX, so I don’t begrudge the [...] Read more

Life Update – New Job, New Location, Old Lifestyle

Mr. IM is back! In the last few months, a lot has happened. When last I posted, I was Mr. IM – homeowner, starving artist, graduate student and teaching assistant at a major university in the Midwest, doing everything I could to keep the bills paid on an embarrassingly low TA salary. When I say low, I mean it: there are people who earn a lot more [...] Read more

Make Your Own Granola from Scratch: A Guide, plus Cost Breakdown

Ever since I was a small boy, granola has been one of my favorite cereals. My parents encouraged me to eat it for health reasons, but I just loved the taste. I’m sure my parents were thrilled to feed me granola rather than an onslaught of sugary, artificial cereals. Fast-forward 20 years or so, and I still like granola. It’s healthy, and it gives [...] Read more

Avoiding the Passport Photo Ripoff

My passport recently expired, and since I’m planning a European trip this summer, I need to renew it ASAP. I grabbed the passport application from the Post Office and zipped over to Kinko’s since I knew they took passport-approved photos there. It can’t cost more than a couple bucks for two small photos, right? Wrong! My local Kinko’s did not have [...] Read more