Eyes on the Dollar 20/20 Roundup #29-Gotta Love the Neighbors

My backyard this morning!
My backyard this morning!

Less than 48 hours ago, it was 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Today it’s 30 degrees, and we are having a winter storm warning. Normally I wouldn’t care, but my husband had to drive 60 miles to take a test for his master’s degree at 7:30 AM this morning. He made it OK, and is taking the test right now. If he passes, this is essentially the last step before he can move up the ranks from teacher to administrator. While I don’t quite understand why, he really wants to do that, so send good thoughts his way!

It reminds me of another snowy day thirteen years ago when he took his first state exam for his teaching license. It is only offered twice a year, and if he didn’t pass the January test, there was no way he could get a job in the fall. It was about an hour’s drive to the test site, and of course, we woke up to a foot of new snow. We had just moved into our starter home. I had been working at my first real job for about 6 months, but we were still pretty poor, and he drove an old Civic. It got stuck in the driveway, and while frantically trying to unstick it, I slipped. My kneecap went around to the side of my leg. While I was laying in the driveway, writhing in pain, we pondered what to do. We came up with the following options.

  1. He could take me to the local emergency room, and skip the test. No job for hubby!
  2. He could drop me in the emergency room in the town where he was taking the test, but I’d have to sit there all day until he could come pick me up.
  3. I could forget the ER, but the knee was really freaking me out.
  4. We could see if the neighbors would take me to the hospital.

In the end, we called on the neighbors. Mr. Chermak shoveled out his old, but trusty, truck, locked in the hubs, and we set off for the ER. He sat with me for 3 hours while I was X-rayed, splinted, and given crutches. Mr. Chermak passed a few years ago, but we were thinking about his kindness last night on our trip down memory lane. Bless his soul! With all the drama, my husband still passed his test. Hopefully it will be even easier this time around.


Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a sweet Canon Rebel Camera.

 Guest Post

I had a guest post this week at Debt Roundup. Budget Fail: Redecorating a Kid’s Bedroom. Go over and read about my ignorance at the cost of creating a perfect princess bedroom. Since this post, I found out that a friend has an old, probably antique, desk she’s willing to give me. It will need lots of TLC, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for! My failure isn’t so huge anymore.


One Smart Dollar, and Reach Financial Independence, and Frugal Rules know what do do if they can’t pay income taxes.

I Heart Budgets shared things I miss about overspending.

Life and My Finances, My Financial Independence Journey, Average Joe’s Money Blog mentioned poverty and how it affects school performance.

Money Smart Guides, Fearless Men and The Heavy Purse mentioned my post about sequestration.

Frugal Rules also mentioned my post about Things That Make Me go Hmm when he was figuring out Things That Make Me Scratch My Head.

Fun Search Terms

hidden costs for salad bar at school-Those sneaky croutons will get you every time.

michelle’s girl scout cookie prices-On top of all her other extra income, is Michelle at Making Sense of Cents now selling cookies?

european vacation with euro ass– I’m not touching that one.

he made so much money selling snow cones– Who doesn’t love snow cones!

good down payment on 30k cat I’m pretty sure you can get a cheaper one at the Humane Society.

20/20 Posts of the Week

The blog world is really Twilight Zonish. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a really unique post ready to go the next day and then find the exact same topic went live the day before.  I had decided to drastically shorten my favorite post links this week, and it appears everyone else did as well. I’m going to post only my top 5 from now on. If you’re included,  know you’re probably better than 20/20!

Another great installment in the Frugal Rules Series: Taking the Plunge: How to Build a Client Base for Your Small Business. Donuts are really the key to any successful business.

Laurie at the Frugal Farmer tells How a Family of Six Keep Health Care Costs Low. What would happen if more people ate better and didn’t look for a pill at every turn?

Planning for Financial Success at Reach Financial Independence was a guest post by Justin at The Frugal Path. I love the GPS vs map analogy.

Stop Hating and Start Changing was a fabulous guest post from Jesse Michelson for Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Jesse shows it’s much better to work hard to reach success rather than try to wreck those who are already successful.

One Step at a Time Part 1 at Budget and the Beach. You’ll have to go on and read Part 2 as well to see if Tonya escaped the 405 in one piece and how she found a positive in almost getting squished like Frogger.

Any great neighbor stories?

Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, hiking.


  1. No snow here (Los Angeles)! I have been a teacher for the last 12 years with no desire to be an administrator. Then again, I only have less than 5 years left to retirement. I am lucky to have good neighbors and friends that are very supportive.

    1. I think he has a desire to move up the ladder. He has a great aunt who was superintendent of the Cherry Creeek School district near Denver, and I think he’s always sort of used her as a role model. He’s been teaching for about 12 years now. You can only do so much. I know he has ideas and wants to better the district, but also is aware how hard it is to change a system and get a group of people to agree on anything. It will certainly be like swimming upstream, but I’m glad there are people who want to try.

  2. That was so sweet of your neighbor! And I hope your hubby does OK on the test! My neighbor Erika was the one who picked me up at the service station, so I was very grateful for that, although in all fairness we were good friends first before she decided to rent the apartment next door. It’s just nice to know she’s there. And my other next door neighbor left a bouquet of flowers on my doorstep because she gets extra from work and texted me to let me know it was there. This is why I love living here. Thanks for the blog mention! As you can see, I made it out alive (I loved that game Frogger BTW!)

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