wvlinz's Profile

Display Name: wvlinz
Member Since: 11/29/07

Latest Comments...

Nice--I especially love the window fence around the garden! I am definitely going to steal that idea!

Chris and Amber's Old + New Renovated Home House Tour
7/29/14 12:14 PM

CreativePhx, the programs available vary widely state by state. In some states, a single person cannot get food stamps regardless of income. In many states, a 40 hour minimum wage job would disqualify them. In my state, at least, applying for any of those programs requires a big commitment in terms of time and energy--exactly what you *don't* have if you can't afford to take off from work, or are afraid of losing your job if you need the time off. Medicaid is available in some states but not in others, which have refused to expand their programs even with the ACA subsidies.

Budget Living: Living On Minimum Wage
7/25/14 11:53 AM

Well, I really like the subject of this article, but even though you can't account for all variables, I think you're going to have to specify a few more, especially marital/family status. Is this minimum wage earner single or married? Children? That drastically changes the tax implications, as well as monthly expenses in nearly all categories.

I am not living on minimum wage now, but have been there, and I live in a state with many, many minimum wage jobs. As a single person, I could find housing for less than $700 a month (and this statistic, especially, skews the results, as most m.w. earners are going to pay less than median rent), and my electric bill is more like $30 a month, without much effort, but with limited or no use of air conditioning. Gas bill averages maybe $65 a month--cooking and hot water in summer, heat in winter. Water and sewer bills, about $45 combined, and that is the minimum. It would be possible, though inconvenient, to live without a car, which currently costs me about $100 a month for gas and insurance--no car payment, and with no allowance for maintenance. My cell phone bill is $45 a month, including data, and if I had to, I could use that as my primary source for the internet, supplementing at the library. Grocery bills--not sure, but I know I could definitely spend less than I do now, and I am not extravagant.

Bottom line, with a few changes, by myself, I could get by on minimum wage, but adding a partner without an income or children would make it very difficult.

Budget Living: Living On Minimum Wage
7/25/14 10:07 AM

I kind of hate this kind of article, because it's just too broad--so much depends on which city, which school district, family income, etc., etc., etc. OTOH, if an article in a national magazine can make people in some of the "worst" states think, gee, maybe we need to devote more time/energy/money to these issues...then I guess they serve a purpose. If, if, if...

The Best & Worst States to Raise a Kid Design News
7/24/14 12:35 PM

I used to do this all the time--amusing to find it as a *new* tip--I guess it's because salad spinners have become so common! I would think that any shower stall large enough to shower in would work--just use a smaller piece of fabric or hold the pillow case further down, closer to the closed end and swing it closer to your body. But if that doesn't work, I also have a collapsible salad spinner that takes up very little storage space, so perhaps that would be a better option in that situation.

Can You Really Use a Pillowcase to Dry Lettuce? Putting Tips to The Test in The Kitchn
7/18/14 11:10 AM

I've lived in big cities, small towns, even smaller towns, and currently live in a small city of about 50,000. It's a good fit--the pluses are: almost no rush hour traffic, low crime rate (almost NO random violent crime--almost all are domestic, friends/family, or drug deal related), but I still have access to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bookstores, and cultural events, all within walking distance.

Minuses are: no Trader Joe's, IKEA, or upscale grocery within a reasonable distance (as in, 3 to 4 hours of driving), and although it is possible to live without a car, it is not easy.

Life In The Country: The Stories The Pictures Don't Tell
7/17/14 01:01 PM

A fold-up dishdrainer mounted above the sink (ikea makes a couple) makes all the difference in counter space and makes it much easier to wash dishes right away. But if I could do it easily, I would replace the shelves in the cabinet above the sink with dish drainer shelves. I stayed in an apartment in Spain with this setup, and I could have stored ALL my dishes in it!

Our Best Tips for Life Without a Dishwasher
7/17/14 09:54 AM

Duty-free liquor is limited to one liter per US resident when entering the US--more than that you are supposed to declare and pay tax on, though I believe it is fairly minimal.

Also--if you are relying on the duty-free airport shop because your checked luggage is full, be aware that if you have a connecting flight within the US, you *will* be required to check any liquids, gels, etc. over 3.4 ounces. Even when they are in a sealed bag and labeled as purchased in a duty free shop, you will not be able to take them through the security line for your connecting flight.

10 Treats I Brought Home from Burgundy, France Travel Treasures
7/16/14 01:11 PM

house tour, please!!

Janine's Beautiful Baltimore Home House Call
7/2/14 05:28 PM

I previously lived in a third floor apartment with a roof terrace in back, off the kitchen. Although I closed my front door at night (only apartment at the top of the flight of stairs) I always left the kitchen door open with just a screen to keep the bugs out. That is until one night when I woke up to a noise, got up, and saw a raccoon heading out the door...it had climbed up the tree and come in and helped itself to a bowl of cat food I had in the bathroom for a visiting cat. The next night the kitchen door was shut, but the raccoon had come back and pushed through a screen in the bathroom window looking for more cat food. I never once worried about people breaking in, but that raccoon...brother!

Would You Sleep With The Doors Open?
6/27/14 09:56 AM

I haven't had cable in years. I have DSL internet through my phone company (Frontier)--my internet plus a minimum service landline runs about $55 a month. I've been able to find almost anything I want to watch online, and I have a flat hd antenna for local channels.

Doing it Your Way: Saving Money on TV and Internet
6/5/14 09:02 AM

Beautiful job of instilling personality into a new house! Love the colors and the collections--and wish I could meet Emily's mom! Not only is she the source of some of my favorites, but...around the world trip when Emily was 9--wonderful!

Emily & Andrew's Colorful New Orleans Home House Tour
4/26/14 10:39 AM

I have never even considered doing this, which is not to say it's a bad idea...! But I have found that even the really cheap clear vinyl/plastic liners can be thrown in the washer on the gentle cycle and just hung back up on the shower rod to dry.

Clean Shower Tip: Do You Trim Your Curtain Liner?
3/24/14 12:08 PM

BTW I have an LG phone, Optimus F3, I think, or something like that. It was on sale at Best Buy, I did not have to purchase it directly from VM.

6 Tips for Saving Money on Everyday Expenses Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/18/14 12:54 PM

I switched to Virgin Mobile a couple of years ago from AT&T--even though I had a 25% discount with the latter, my monthly bill stayed about the same, BUT with Virgin I had unlimited texting and data, which I did not previously. The main reason I switched was because in order to have a smartphone with AT&T I was required to buy a data plan that I did not want. I am very happy with VM. My bill is $45 a month, I have a phone I like that I bought on sale for about $80, I have an automatic monthly payment set up, and if I am ever unhappy with them, I have no contract to consider.

6 Tips for Saving Money on Everyday Expenses Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/18/14 12:53 PM

Check the entries on the blog How About Orange at


the author had a fireplace with similar tile and had similar ambivalence, and a solution that worked well for her, and might work for you as well.

Congratulations on your home purchase! My house is from the same era, and I love the style!

Original Mantel Tile - Tacky or Classic? Good Questions
3/7/14 09:34 AM

Agree about the placeholder furniture--sometimes you just need something to sit on! I spent over a year eating dinner at the coffee table sitting on the floor because I couldn't find dining room chairs I liked and could afford--but I could have picked up four chairs for under $50, either used or inexpensive folding chairs, and been much more comfortable.

What I Wish I Knew About Home Decor When I Was 22
2/28/14 08:14 AM

More, please!

Benne's Cantina Turned Casa in the Yucatan House Call
2/24/14 08:25 PM

Thank you for this comment. Unfortunately, the AT headline referred to it AS a meth house when in fact it was not.

This House is Broken-Bad: How Not to Buy a Meth House MSN Real Estate
2/18/14 09:41 PM

Corggirl, I sure hope you're wrong! If three quarters of your fun with your (theoretical) kids came from spending money on them, it would be really tough on all of you should you then be unable to do so for any reason...

Could You Go A Year Without Spending Money On Your Kids?
2/18/14 12:18 PM