Monday, August 24, 2009

Training puppies

I learned how to train dogs when I worked for Canine Companions for Independence back in high school. I guess I didn't really work for them, but volunteered. They use volunteers to train dogs for handicapped people, as service dogs. I did some foster care, taking care of little puppies until they were matched with trainers, and caring for older dogs in various stages of training while the trainers took a pup-less vacation. I loved learning about dog training, and as a result I was able to train our dog we have now pretty well. Like children, dogs need consistency. I'm a big fan of 'teathering' and crate training. If you see puppies for sale at some place like you can get one with confidence if you know how to train them. To teather, you literally teather a new puppy to my waist with a leash. Then I can correct every misbehavior immediately, and this speeds up the training process. If puppy can't be with you, you can put him in his crate. Due to the dog's DNA, he's designed to be just fine in a secure area. He might not like it at first, but eventually he will like his 'den' (crate) or point of refuge from the world. These are the two training methods that I use the most with dogs.

Local places have dogs for sale too, which might be a better option if you want older dogs so you don't have to mess with the chew up everything puppy stage.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Web Hosting

I've found that a good website can actually be profitable enough to make it worth doing, especially if you are staying home with kids. It's something that can be done during nap time, and with scheduled posting a good long nap for both kids can yield a week's worth of content. I use website hosting because I'm not technologically savvy enough to do it myself. Check out if you're looking into paid blogging or another website that makes money. Paying someone to host your site that really knows what they're doing helps you to look more professional.

Dave Ramsey is always trying to get people to think outside the box and find unusual places to make a little extra money. While he does support moms staying home with the children, or just to be homemakers after the children are gone, he also encourages us who are in Baby Step 2 and 3 to be gazelle intense, and squeeze a little extra out of everything. For me that means doing some crafts and selling them online, and doing money making blogs. When you trim your budget down to nothing but the essentials, and then follow through on your budget, it's easy to see that even a little money here and there makes a huge difference. Back when we had no plan, I made substantially more money than I do now, but we never had any. Now we're living on 2/3 of my hubby's income, and the other 1/3 of his income and all of mine goes towards debt. It's nice to see some progress being made when we get those card statements in the mail.


Dumping Debt

We reserved Dave Ramsey's dumping debt DVD from the library, and it came in. But the librarian forgot to undo the lock on it, total bummer. We looked online and it looks like you can undo the locks with really strong magnets, but we didn't have any strong enough.

We're still working the baby steps, and enjoying envelope budgeting. Especially since we came to terms with how much we really need to spend on groceries. Dave said on the air when I was listening a while back that a family of 4 can't eat for less than $600/month. That's good to know, since sometimes you read about people spending $25/week on groceries and I felt like I should be able to do that, as a homemaker. We spend $425/month, which does include a few nonessentials, like chips and one 18-pack of beer. But after cutting out sodas, fruit juice, and using dry beans from scratch a few times a week, this is just fine for us.


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