Weekly Roundup – Home Office Options Edition

A few weeks ago I moved my home office out of the utility room (where our washer and dryer are located) into the dining room. My wife was less than thrilled with my taking over the dining room table, but I was excited to upgrade my “office” from a 4-foot folding table to an entire room.

Without an extra bedroom available, I’ve started thinking through alternative home office locations around (and outside) the house. One idea I had was to convert our storage building in the backyard to an office. It wouldn’t take much – just add a window AC unit, run some ethernet cable for internet access, and maybe some cheap floor covering to hide the concrete. Who knows, this might become my fall project.

Frugal Roundup

What Is a Bug Out Bag? We have been slowly accumulating items for our own “bug out bag” over the last few weeks, and this list had a few things I had not thought to include. With September being National Preparedness Month, it’s a great time to take inventory of emergency supplies.

Who’s Better at Managing Money: Men or Women? Like all great questions in life I think the answer here is, it depends. Success with money management has more to do with personalities (who’s the detail oriented one, who’s the free spirit, etc.) than with gender. (@The Digerati Life)

PFBlogger Spotlight: Jason of Frugal Dad. Jim from Bargaineering.com interviewed me the other day. Read on to learn way more than you ever wanted to about the real “Frugal Dad.” (@Bargaineering)

If You’re Going to Consolidate Debt Then You Have to Stop Using Credit. One of the biggest pitfalls of debt consolidation is that many people leave paid-off accounts opened, and proceed to run the balances right back up again. (@Generation X Finance)

An Introduction to Making Jam. I’ve always been interested in canning, making jams and preserves, etc, but know absolutely nothing about how to do it. This post provides a great introduction. (@Simple Mom)

Five Ways I Disagree With Dave Ramsey. As a fan of Dave Ramsey, the title stung a little bit. But after reading Trent’s post, I have to say I have shared the same thoughts about elements of Ramsey’s plan. (@The Simple Dollar)

Learn Personal Finance from The Bible, not the Federal Government. In terms of choosing the right examples to live by, financially, choosing between the bible and the government is a no-brainer. (@Debt Free Adventure)

Best of the Rest

I mentioned earlier that September is National Preparedness Month. With a major hurricane spinning in the Atlantic, and wildfires on the west coast, now is the perfect time to make sure your family is ready for an emergency. Check your emergency kit. Talk through disaster scenarios, escape plans, rendezvous points, etc. to make sure everyone is on the same page.


  1. I have done a couple different things for office space in the past. Once I put a metal shed in the garage elevated on a short plywood wall to get the proper head-room. Then I ran a 4″ vent pipe in from the AC unit to stay cool.
    Another time I actually constructed a stud wall with sheetrock to make a 4 x 8 office inside the garage that was ‘easily’ removed by the people who got the house next. Both options take up car space, but better than making the family eat someplace else I always say.

  2. We just added on an office/studio for me this past summer. What DH did was add a 12′ X 16′ addition onto our attached garage on the backside, using the back outside wall of the garage as the back wall of the office. He built the addition “pole” style so it didn’t require a big concrete pad or foundation or excavating work. It is all insulated, two big windows, and a big french door let in a lot of light for painting, etc. I have plenty of space to kind of divide the room into computer graphics side and “real art” side. Instead of sheetrock (which I hate) he finished it off in OSB and I painted over that. I wanted something I could hang whatever I want to on the walls without getting in trouble for wrecking the sheetrock 🙂

    He put in a small AC unit and cove heating. I LOVE this. I can regulate the temp in my own little space without spending the bucks to temp control the whole house all day long.

    The french door opens out onto our patio and my other big summer project was to build a koi pond with all the left over boulders from when we built our house. I just got the waterfall running, so now I sit here in the new office and listen to the waterfall. It’s nice. I am not sure if I am going to like having to walk outside to get to the office in the winter, but it is a trade-off. I like having a separate space I can be messy in and not have to worry about it.

    I don’t think the whole project for the office cost over $3K and will certainly add much more than that in value to our house. It was done inexpensively because we were creative with our resources and we did it all ourselves. And bonus– I can write it off come tax time.

  3. Betsy and I have not been blessed with youngin’s yet so I am able to have my own room as an office… it is very nice. I used to just sit on the couch downstairs, but that was too distracting.

    Don’t you miss the sound of the washer & dryer running while writing your post? 😉

  4. In honor of National Preparedness Month, the Ad Council and FEMA are launching a new series of public service advertisements on behalf of the Ready Campaign.

    The goal of the Ready Campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. Ready is nationwide effort to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools.

    The campaign asks individuals to:
    (1) get an emergency supply kit
    (2) make a family emergency plan
    (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses

    I thought you might be interested in sharing this important information with your readers. Here is an interactive widget you can embed on your
    blog that provides updates on emergency situations, emergency kit checklists, and preparedness guidelines:

    Your readers also might be interested in using this interactive emergency family planning tool: http://ready.adcouncil.org/beprepared/

    Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. Thanks for your help in spreading this important message and encouraging your readers to be prepared!

  5. Ah yes, that’s right. Good luck against Mississippi State! Alabama is going to be tough come Nov 27!

    I think California will be in the title game this year. How about that prediction?

  6. @Financial Samurai: Which title game? If you are talking the nat’l championship, I’m not so sure. Florida will likely make up one half of the championship game, and it’s hard not to like USC or Texas. I personally lean towards Texas with experience at QB.

    I fully expect Alabama to be Auburn’s toughest opponent this season. Their line is just phenomenal, and we are young and a little undersized in the front seven. Actually, we’re young at every position on defense.

  7. Frugal Dad – California in the national title game for sure!

    I feel Tebow will be a big let down this year, and end up regretting not going to the NFL. He has nothing more to prove. Just downside!

    Cal will beat USC at Cal this year!