Six Ways to Save Money on Gas

6 Ways to Save Money on Gas

Gas is one of the most unpredictable and challenging budget items to control. We’re all at the mercy of fluctuating world markets. Just when you think you have a handle on your gas expenditures, prices jump 50 cents per gallon and there goes the budget. However, there are definitely ways you can save money on gas. In 2016, our household’s average monthly gas spend for two cars was $218. In 2017 we brought it down 26% to $162 a month, despite an increase of average gas prices from $2.18 in 2016 to $2.45 in 2017. If prices had remained at 2016 levels our raw gains would have been more like 32%. As it was, we saved close to $700 on gas in 2017. Of course, today gas is closer to $4 a gallon than $2. However the tips we share here still apply.

How did we do it? Well, buying a more efficient car was clearly the key. However, we also used a number of other strategies that really solidified our savings: Read More

Throwdown Thursday: Cutting the Cord

Throwdown Thursday: Cutting the Cord (Or Not)

Throwdown Thursday is a place where we debate anything that comes into our heads. This week we consider the idea of cutting the cord and getting rid of cable for the thousandth time.

Paul and I look in horror upon our monthly cable bill. Both children of the 70s, we remember the days when television was free (unless you count the labor costs of physically turning the channel knob and constantly rearranging the antennae). We keep trying to get that bill down, but over time it pops back up again. We regularly contemplate just cutting the cable and living a better life. A life of the mind (cue bluebirds fluttering above the couch).

Only we like TV. We really like TV. We love and worship TV like the pagan god it is. To the extent that we have to put hourly limits on ourselves as if we were thirteen-year-olds who would watch 24-7 if given the chance (yes). While we have scaled back from having all the channels, we still co-dependently cling to HBO and Showtime in a tight rotation. We’ve pondered at least dropping the premium channels, but then we remember that no Showtime means no Billions, and no Shameless. And no HBO means no Last Week Tonight, and no access to The Wire which we are finally watching about 15 years late. We say to each other “we could just wait until these things get to Netflix.” And then we laugh and laugh.

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4 Tips to Staying Positive When Motivation Lags

4 Tricks to Recapturing Self Motivation When Energy Flags

Sometimes Paul and I have a bit of trouble keeping up our motivation over the course of a long day. If you read Paul’s post on Stumbling Toward Optimism, you know that a positive attitude is not in our DNA. However, we have a lot of important goals and very busy lives. We have four (adult) kids, full-time jobs, multiple side hustles, and our many poker trips to plan and experience. So when our motivation hits a low point, we need to figure out how to bring it back up quickly. And, sadly, motivation often hits a low point.

Fortunately, through our years together, Paul and I have identified some tricks to remedy the problem. We’ve tried a lot of different methods to throw off the gloom and get back to work. Below are the four measures we have found to be most effective at recapturing our mojo when we hit a rough patch. Read More

Borgata Cash Poker Activity Mid-Atlantic

The Borgata Poker Room Review

The Borgata is widely thought of as one of the East Coast’s premier poker destinations. I think this is primarily because… it’s true!

The Borgata Poker room is an attractive, spacious 80+ table venue that is quite comfortable and professionally run. To remain top dog in the Northeast, the Borgata must withstand pressure from newer venues like Maryland Live! and National Harbor. It is up to the challenge.

Setting

The poker room occupies such a large space within the Borgata that it almost feels like a separate venue. When playing there you likely will not hear the clatter of the slot machines or hubbub of table games. For those of us focused solely on poker, this is Nirvana.

Add to that very high ceilings and wide spaces between tables, and you have the perfect spot to play poker. I usually do not care about decor in poker rooms. However, the Borgata poker room’s thick carpet, soft tan hues and stately columns render the room quite pleasant. The chairs are comfortable, but not so large you knock into your neighbors. Extras like charger ports at your seat are a plus for those of use whose cell phones are always near death.

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Habitat 67 in Montreal

Montreal: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Montreal is one of the most complex cities I have ever visited. It is culturally rich, steeped in history, and ground zero for French-English bi-culturalism and its attendant debates. It is also an industrial port, forged by its strategic location on the St. Lawrence river. It’s modern and international, yet traditional and insular. The beautiful and ugly co-exist in single perspective views of Montreal as in few other places.

I have been to Montreal probably ten times in my life and at least six times within the past five years with Heather. Our Canadian sojourns were driven by curiosity about the poker scene after seeing the Playground Poker Club in a televised tournament. It turns out that the Casino Montreal also has a decent poker room (albeit still closed after the pandemic). Enjoying both, and the fact that Montreal is only a 5-hour drive from our house, we have returned both in the summer and most recently over a New Year’s weekend.

While we have come to love Montreal and its two poker rooms, the city definitely has its detractions. Let’s start with the positives.

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