Personal Balance Sheet – November 2013

November was a return to normalcy from the hectic phase of the home purchase. However, I think we’re still going to have some time until the finances establish a new normal. Property taxes have to be paid soon since we’re not currently impounding those in our payment. We also have lots of one-off items to buy for the house still.

Personal Balance Sheet November 2013

I will admit I’m surprised our net worth went up in November, but I’ll take it. I’ll be posting soon with some pics and tutorials about projects we’ve been doing. In the meantime, check out the easiest upgrade we’ve made so far.

DIY Cheap Kitchen Outlet Wallplate Remodel

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that this is a very liberal use of the term “remodel”. But don’t worry – I’ll soon have some posts of a few actual remodels that we’ve done in our new home. But I figured I’d start out with the easiest, cheapest thing that we did. I think it actually provided a lot of bang for our buck. Check out the below and after picture below.

Stainless Steel Outlet Wallplate

In our kitchen we have two outlets that are mounted in our granite. Previously, these were an off-white color and they kind of stuck out (not in a good way). So I decided to do what I usually do when I have a problem and I hopped on Amazon to see what I could find. During my search I stumbled upon the this Stainless Steel outlet wallplate for $4 (free shipping with PRIME!) and decided I had to give it a shot. So I ordered one and replaced one of our outlet wallplates with this stainless steel one and we loved the look so I ordered a second and replaced both of our outlet wallplates. So for $8 total we replaced our existing wallplates with these stainless steel ones. They add a great amount of class to a kitchen component that typically requires no thought and garners no attention. I haven’t tried them out in any other rooms or anything at this point since they made the most sense in our kitchen because of the fact that they’re mounted in the granite and didn’t really blend in. The stainless steel doesn’t help them blend in any more but I think they look a whole lot classier. I think it provided a whole lot of aesthetic appeal for just $8. Let me know what you think!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2013 Deals Are Upon Us

The deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year. Back in High School and early college I used to camp out on Thanksgiving night to score the deals at Best Buy. Our group of friends would set up chairs, a table, and play board games all night while waiting for the stores to open. I doubt I’ll ever do it again, but not because I didn’t have a blast – It’s just too easy to score great deals from the comfort of my couch.

Realistically, you can score a great deal at any point in the year. But it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the Black Friday frenzy. Luckily, I’ve gotten a lot better about only buying the items I need. I definitely have a few Black Fridays in the past where the next week was spent trying to figure out what to do with all of the new hard drives I’d bought.

No doubt you’ve heard about the various narratives that seem to play out each year. This year, just like last year, people are upset that Black Friday seems to be turning into Black Thursday. This is just the continuation of a trend that has been years in the making – retailers trying to jump ahead of the others in opening times to attract customers. It makes sense on the side of retailers – people who complain and say they’ll boycott shopping can go ahead and do that.

Okay, I’ll admit, I don’t really know why I made this post. I don’t have an end game in mind. I think I was just bored while waiting for deals to come around. So, to actually add some legitimacy to this post…

If you haven’t browsed the Black Friday ad scan leaks, check out

And if you really want some real-time fun monitoring the deals in a fast-paced environment, check out the forums over at

I guess that concludes this (almost) meaningless ramble.