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Lifestyle Creep + VG news

May 13th, 2011 at 06:35 am

I've said often that we have no plans to *permanently* increase our lifestyle. To that end we avoid payments and contracts (increased expenses that are hard to get out of). We prefer to focus on one-time splurges. For example, if I had a windfall, I may be open to a vacation or a toy, but not a more expensive car which would just be more expensive to maintain (more annual taxes and insurance). Buying up in home is absolutely out of the question!

But, apparently lifestyle creep shows itself in many ways. Recently, it was the cat litter box. I broke it a couple of weeks ago. A cat litter box should be cheap enough to replace, but we had a top-of-the-line model, and after much research decided to get a BIGGER top-of-the-line model. Final cost when all was said and done? $42. For a cat box!

Okay. So the story is that my dh is spoiled rotten and when I became pregnant and concerned with toxoplasmosis, his mommy couldn't bear the thought of him having to deal with the cat litter. So she bought us this litter box:

You just roll it over and the box is clean. Wala!

After checking some local stores and comparing online prices, I chose to pay more with amazon than some store I never heard of and had little in online reviews. I can't say I have ever made that decision before, but Amazon really won my loyalty, and I didn't have time to wait for a sale.

I decided to try the extra large model since my cat has been filling the litter box daily. It's been insane. Her health seems to be fine, but she is getting old. I clean the cat litter box 3-4 times more often than usual any more.

Funny thing is while I Waited for it to arrive I got out a cheap little box and I found it quite easy to maintain. I started to have second thoughts about bothering with the $42 cat box. Maybe I should just send it back?

But then, the cat began to drive me nuts. Since she has pretty much always had this COVER over the box, she seems to have no sense of boundary in an open box. There was a ring of pee all around the litter box. Rolleyes So as I clean clean clean all week, I was relieved when the box finally arrived.

The last box lasted 8 years. It was free. I can only hope this one lasts a little longer.


P.S. Did you hear? Vanguard lowered the minimum initial investment for their Target Date retirement funds. $1,000. Before, only STAR fund had a minimum $1k investment.


Bad timing for me. I put my kids' college money in the more conservative STAR fund since I did not have $3k per child. I believe it was last summer I had enough to transfer it into a Target Retirement fund (minimum $3k investment). OF course, maybe it works out because the market was rough before that time. Wink But I only have a short time-frame before the money gets more conservative - college investing is nothing like retirement investing for 40+ years. I've only got 10 years left to save, and will probably get pretty conservative in 5 years time.

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