Budgeting came late to Husband and I. Not that we didn't watch over our funds carefully in years past, just that we found the years of self-employment to be quite challenging in setting careful budget categories. Now, I think in this season of life, we do much better with writing out a realistic budget each year. After setting monthly budget allocations, we work diligently at following our plan.
These yearly and monthly budget goals have not only helped us to try to make wise financial decisions but also assist us in making big life decisions. By setting goals so as to anticipate future needs and/or wants,and counting the financial cost of these goals, Husband and I are better prepared to make make life choices. Just checking to see if there is enough money in the checking account so we can participate in an exciting event or make a greatly desired purchase can be deceiving.
One of the things we have learned as we have sought to budget our funds carefully with forethought, is that the unexpected is rarely even that. Truth is Husband and I know our air-conditioner and roof more than likely will need to be replaced in the next five years. Our home will need painting, cars replacing and I could go on and on. Few surprises in life are really surprises.
Certainly, medical issues and unforeseen tragedies occur, but what I am really speaking of here is that it is wise to consider future expenses even when living in the here and now. I know that some seasons of incomes make future planning challenging, if not almost impossible. We just need to keep in mind that our hearts can distract us from being as prepared as possible for "Murphy's" visit.
By being very frugal with both our air-conditioning and heating use, and frequently coming in below our electric budget, Husband and I have been able to save $900.00 towards a replacement air-conditioner. This has not been an easy process. We have spent about five years often being hot in the summer and cold in the winter to make this happen. There has been many a time we could have used that money for something else we would have really have liked to do or replace. Remember when I wrote about our appliance fund and how we finally replaced our washer and dryer? Well, one week later, my dishwasher ended its life and mourning is still being practiced at my house. That $900.00 could really buy a great dishwasher. Yet Husband and I know that when the day comes to replace our air-conditioning (a need for us in South Texas,) having some monies saved will be of the utmost blessing and wisdom.
My point is that there will always be something that encourages us to spend money now for something that will be needed later. Sometimes that "now" is really not as important as later. A simple example is that eating out might be an enjoyable experience for the moment, but may wreck havoc on the monies needed to buy food for the rest of the month.
As a Christian, I know all about the blessings of a provider God. We have experienced so many blessings and have seen God work in ways we would have never imagined. Still, Husband and I know there can be a thin line between faith and presumption and have seen too many times God's people want to spend money on their wants and then have God provide their needs.
Truth is for Husband and myself, our paper and pencil budget really helps us to make big life decisions. Not that we seek to be selfish or hoard our funds, just to be careful to live with some foresight. Quite honestly, we are not as prepared for some of the "bumps in the road" that may come our way as we might like to be, but by keeping the future in mind, we are better able to count the cost for the decisions we make.
Husband calls and with emotion in his voice shares about his Mother's Day visit to a dear friend of ours. Having just completed a work assignment at a conference on the East Coast, Husband drives north to spend some time with a widow woman now stricken heavy with Alzheimer's. In her 90's, this dear woman was once the best friend of Husband's mother. As this woman had no children to call her own, Husband and his brothers became like family to her heart. When Husband's mother died many years ago, soon after the birth of Firstborn Son, this woman loved our children as her grandchildren and our family like her own.
Now, so far from us, she is well cared for in a home and watched over by her living family. Although not able to speak in full sentences, this beloved friend recognizes Husband and his visit blesses both of them. Youngest Son too is there and rejoices in this opportunity to visit with this woman who loved him much. My heart remembers this lady, one of my frugal heroes, as I also ponder a visit with other dear friends this past weekend.
Gazing into the beautiful blue eyes of a 16-year-old young lady as she hugs me tight, I remember her as a little girl of 7. In my mind she is again held close as her mother's body leaves their home in death. Cancer took this young lady's mother, leaving a grieving husband and four young children.
I still can hear my dying friend praying that God would bring a new wife and mother to her husband and children. How many times did I pray with the children and hear them do the same, I ask myself? Now these prayers have been answered and this young woman and her siblings have a new mom and the restoration and healing I see in her eyes brings such rejoicing to my heart.
As my memories and reflections find me in the past, I am amazed at how both of these visits Husband and I have tasted bring back memories of love and frugal living. My frugal hero, now so aged and mentally unhealthy, lived an amazing frugal life of choice. She would have called it good stewardship as she saw all the funds that came her way through marriage and inheritance, gifts of God to be used with the utmost care and generosity. Through all her frugal living, love is what shines most bright.
My little friend, now almost grown, has come from frugal stock. Her parents were a frugal family to be sure. Building their home from scratch and finding many a yard sale treasure, their lives spilled forth a frugal essence. It is the love, however, of mother for children, so sacrificial that she prayed another woman would someday receive her blessings, that fills my thoughts.
I muse on these things. How love and frugal do go well together. Both take a willingness to live sacrificially and make the best of what comes your way. My widow friend so willing to share of her love and resources with so many and my younger friend, with such joy on her face as she lives out the loving prayers of her first mother.
As I listen to this amazing interview of Ken and Joni Tada, I wonder if they too may have a frugal story to add to their legacy of love. They certainly know what it means to live sacrificially. May you be as blessed as you listen.
Would you too, share how love meshes with your frugal life?
One of my domestic treasures is an old book formerly belonging to my great-grandmother. It is titled The Complete Home, An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Life and Affairs Embracing All the Interests of The Household, by Julia McNair Wright. Mrs. Wright wrote to help impoverished families economize during the economic crises of the 1870s, known as The Long Depression. She writes in the first person in the character of a delightful old biddy named Aunt Sophronia. She is giving advice to her three young nieces as they embark on adult life.
“Economy will be especially demanded of young people who have no fortunes but in themselves. Are you capable of self-denial and self-sacrifice? Can you be cheerful while others, your friends, make a greater display and have more showy pleasures? Can you be resolute to save a little every year, even if it is a very little indeed? This strength of character which can attain to self-denial, to perseverance, self-sacrifice, is fine capital…”
“Practise Economy as a Fine Art: make a duty and a pleasure of it; it is the mortar wherein you lay up the walls of home; if it is lacking, or is poor in quality, the home building will crumble. Don’t be ashamed of economy: study it, consult about it; don’t confound it with meanness: economy is the nurse of liberality. Meanness is going into debt for luxury: is keeping behind-hand the wages our work-people have earned [in other words being slow to pay obligations such as rent, plumber's bills, the internet bill, the propane, your lawyer, your babysitter, your paper boy, etc].: is making a show and the street and withholding charity: is presenting cake and confections ostentatiously to our callers, and stinting the kind or quantity of our servants’ food.”
In answer to a niece's question about the rules for getting rich, she says:
“All that has been said can be boiled to a very short and simple answer, ” I replied; “and all the difficulty in the work lies in the needful self-sacrifice. The question first is, What do you mean by getting rich? …Will you be content to call honest independence, enough to live upon tastefully without fear or favor, enough to keep away the wolves of debt and want, and to send out from your door, on your errands, the full-handed angels of benevolence, will you call that being rich?”
“…I will give you the rules, which are few and simple, and easily performed by self-sacrifice. Work hard; see and improve all small opportunities; keep out of debt and carefully economize. That is the best that all the wisdom of the world has been able to digest and formulate as rules for getting rich. The matter is simple and lies in a nutshell: have the end definitely before you; do your own work toward it and do it honestly, and don’t give up until you have reached your goal; the same plain, straight, unadorned and yet passable road is open to all.”
You can read more wisdom from this maiden aunt of yesteryear here.
Pondering the different discussions heard regarding the economy and the future, my heart is heavy. Change seems to come quickly and I for one am not overly fond of much of what I see. A recent phone call with my mother finds her recalling many years ago when I was but a child and her decision to make her way as a divorced woman with two children. Most of the time, her income was all we had to live on. She never even considered getting help from any government programs. Life was not easy. Clothes often came from church boxes, meals on the table were simple and at times lean, but we eked out an existence and made ends meet. I would not have wanted it any other way.
Frugal was not even a word I had heard at that time although I suppose we were living the frugal experience. A remarriage for my mother in the following years improved our financial state, but I learned to never take for granted the basics of life. Now, these many years later I marvel at expectations of what is to be provided to the masses and the attitude so often seen of entitlement. Sometimes I feel a sense of discouragement in what the future may hold.
Even though I rest strong in the mighty hands of a sovereign God, I also know consequences come for decisions made. In my house, when the money is used up, we stop spending and look for other ways to meet our needs or choose to do without. This concept seems to be becoming a remedy many would see as too demanding or limiting for a pleasant life.
So during these challenging times along with my faith in a mighty God, I reflect upon the frugal people I have known and the frugal blogs I read with hope. The dark days that may be ahead or even here for some, look brighter to me because of the many people in our land who purpose to live within their means and seek to pay their way.
I appreciate the fortitude and willingness of so many to sacrifice today so tomorrow will be better. To find ways to pay their debt and to set goals worthy of the cost of their implementation. Those frugal people willing to say no now to their children in hopes they will give them a better future. Those parents who eschew the materialistic society we live in and are teaching their families what is really of value and importance.
It is a blessing to me to have tasted of so many frugal ideas and ways to make ends meet, even those I seldom practice at this time. It is as if I have my own frugal arsenal ready at my disposal should circumstances challenge my present way of life. Something as simple as learning how to better use what is in my hand can provide unseen opportunities for success in endeavors that can at first appear hopeless.
It just seems to me that frugal people don't sit back and wait for others to make their lives better. They do what they can to change difficult situations and learn to make what cannot be changed work. Frugal people are willing to walk a rougher road if necessary.
Each and every generation have had unique and what may have seemed difficult and foreboding challenges. Certainly we can see some changes needed for the years ahead. I am encouraged though each and every time I read a blog, hear a tale of frugal living or meet someone who is willing to walk the narrow road to live within their means.
Frugal people and their stories really do give hope for dark days. I certainly am not advocating all the different decisions and lifestyles, but I find the resourcefulness of people and how they manage their circumstances encouraging:
For an extreme minimalism approach to frugal living check out Annie at Annienygma. If you are reading this on Tuesday, today is the last day to purchase her free book. Then there is Pat at corninmycoffee-pot.blogspot.com whose cheerful attitude makes the frugal life sing. Ruth at livingwellspendingless.com hosts a Thrifty Thursday which has some great ideas and Thriftyfun.com has a great Pinterest!
Where do you find some frugal encouragement?
My day at home catching up on the many tasks before me now had changed. A new cardiologist had eliminated a medication from Husband's pill regime and as a precaution was doubling his blood pressure medication. With prescription in hand and Costco, our usual place for purchasing pills a forty minute drive, I decided to head out to our local grocery store chain with hopes of filling this prescription there. A coupon for a haircut in the same direction as the grocery store seemed to make this plan a wise one.
As the cost of the single dose medication was around $10.00 at Costco, I assumed the cost would be somewhat higher at the grocery store, but comforted myself that the saved time and gas would justify the expenditure. Imagine my surprise when I asked the cost of this drug before committing the prescription to the grocery store pharmacist, and I was told the doubled strength medication would cost me $55.00! However, I was assured that a three month supply, which was what the prescription was for, would only be $145.00.
Thanking the young woman for her time, I made an easy decision to look elsewhere. Still not wanting to make the Costco trip I headed to another discount chain with a pharmacy well known for reasonable generics. Cheaper yes, but $42.00 for one month made no frugal sense to me.
Off I drove to Costco and let me tell you that when I received their price for a three month supply of Husband's doubled medication at less than $20.00 I was most pleased to have made the trip. So if anyone out there needs to purchase medication on a regular basis and has thought Costco's annual charge too steep for your budget, the difference in just the cost of the one prescription more than paid for the executive annual charge. Oh, and if I am correct, one doesn't even need a membership to use the pharmacy. Yes, I did receive an added discount as a member, but the discount was minimal compared to the cost difference between Costco medication prices and the other places I tried.
Just so you know, I have no affiliation with Costco and receive no personal benefit for sharing this information. Just want to be sure to pass on what is to me a budget saver.
If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers. Our youngest two have a Kindle for school. Theirs does not have 3G, although it does have access to the internet if you are near a wireless and have a lot of patience.
One of the positive reviews on Amazon:
I really did enjoy reading this book. i think the ideas were fairly common for the experienced housewife, but it never hurts to get reminded about the basics. i think a young family that is just starting and not as experienced would benefit a great deal from this book.
From a 3 star review:
As a failed tomato guru I grabbed this book with both hands, well one actually, since the other was holding my Kindle. The first section deals with the history of the Tomato and the fear and loathing it propagated initially. This was due to the belief that the Tomato was poisonous; a notion that took several centuries to dispel. Now of course we all eat tomatoes by the bucketful, thanks in no small part to a certain Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson who conducted a clinical trial much to the horror of his doctor.
The book contains some good basic instructions for becoming a tomato growing expert even if you don't know your way around your greenhouse yet. Of particular importance is the weather in your part of the world and the need to be aware of frost patterns. Soil preparation is covered in depth with several illustrations and photos to help the novice.
Having unsuccessfully raised a brood of tomatoes last year I was hoping for a more detailed level of instruction on feeding procedures. While all the photos show outside cultivation there is no coverage of growing tomatoes in Pots, Greenhouses or Grow bags. While it did mention the fertilisation of plants in the beginning of the book, this turned out not to be covered at all. This was the most disappointing aspect for this reviewer.
There are many spelling errors which downgrade this book in my opinion. A good edit and some more information, together with an improved table of contents would make this book more popular and gain a higher rating.
From a five star review:
The frugal guide to cord cutting is a comprehensive overview of cutting out cable and replacing it with hardware and online alternatives. I have some experience with a few of the options reviewed but not to the depth and breadth the book details. It uncovers quite a few gems of functionality that I wasn't aware and explored technologies I've heard about but never quite understood. . This was easy to read and I was never blown away by terms that were too 'techie'. I enjoyed the comparison tables provided to show features of hardware, cost and functionality. I'd recommend the book to anyone interesting in saving a few bucks a month and dropping cable but still enjoying their favorite shows or movies, well worth the time to read.
"Money always gets in the way. What can I do to improve my quality of life?" "How do I get more out of life with a limited income?" "My money never seems to go far enough." "Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?" Money doesn't usually come with instructions, but you can learn how to make your money work for you with The Happy Low-Cost Lifestyle: Managing money to improve your quality of life.
Managing money often seems complicated and, at times, frightening. However, the skills to manage your money aren't hard to learn and, with The Happy Low-Cost Lifestyle, you can quickly gain the knowledge you need to use your money more effectively and efficiently. With The Happy Low-Cost Lifestyle, you can take necessary steps to improve your quality of life overnight.
Most money management books demand that readers must make sacrifices to grow financially. The Happy Low-Cost Lifestyle focuses on using your limited financial resources efficiently to avoid needless waste.. By eliminating expenditures that diminish quality of life, this book aids readers with improving their lifestyles while minimizing sacrifice. The Happy Low-Cost Lifestyle is a life-changing must-read for anyone who wants to enjoy life in spite of limited financial resources.
Economic times are hard. In some cases, awful. Having been laid off five times in my life and have suffered through a few periods of bleakness in my life, I recently lost a job I dearly loved after 15 years. I spent many months wondering how I would recover, especially at my age now. I was no longer a kid out of college. I'm a middle-aged man buried in college bills and a big mortgage, afraid of how I would ever find another job in the field I love.
I saw this book featured on the social networks. While I try to create another career for myself, I felt reading this book was an important step to motivating myself to believe again.
I'm glad I found this book. It's an important book, too. Everyone suffers through tough times and questions about our job stability and future. The author, Paul Rega, does a great job in outlining with details how one should get back on their feet and believe in themselves again.
Mr. Rega focuses also on the external factors that affect our outlook and there are many to consider. I like he is always pushing the worker, no matter what field or experience one has, to keep looking for ways to improve our skill set.
As I said, an important book for all of us, for all ages.
I highly recommend those seeking a job and those with one to read this information packed book.
The ABC's of Budgeting is a no-nonsense guide to personal financial fitness. It covers the fundamentals, starting with budgets and moving on to saving and frugal living tips. The guide also includes real case studies, budget makeovers and practical tips on how to solve your own money worries.
Learn the ways of the supersavers with practical tips from grocery shopping to buying a used car to living within your means while still in school. The last sections on emergency funds and debt reduction are brief, but they are eye-openers for those who believe they are financially invulnerable.
Saving for Retirement will relieve confusion and barriers to action for Americans who are increasingly worried about retirement. The book removes everything from the readers’ path that typically trips people up and hits the sweet spot for everyone aged 18 to 60. Using new figures (including troubling new projections of healthcare and long-term care costs), Gail MarkJarvis helps readers calculate exactly how much money they’ll need and how to get there. She presents easy, proven investing strategies for anyone at any age that will transform pocket change into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Packed with her readers’ personal stories, this book teaches powerful professional financial planning principles — but makes them simple enough for anyone to apply on their own.
Do you want to earn money without feeling like you're working?
Would you love to have a job that truly changes people's lives?
Are you the kind of person who loves learning new things and thrives when showing others how to reach their "AH HA" moment?
Have you ever considered working with children or young adults?
Would you love to work when you want, on your own terms and earn the income you deserve?
If you answered "YES" to any of the above, this book is for you!
One of the amazon reader reviews:
In the last year I have gone from making $50k a year to over $100k a year and I am in more debt now than I was then. I didn't know what to do or how to do it. This book really has helped me stop the bleeding and start rebuilding my financial future. I recommend it for anyone who needs help dealing with mounting debt.
If you are considering planting a small garden for the first time, this book will offer you many options and ideas. If it does nothing else, it will convince you to get going in the garden, something we all need encouragement to do.
Don't have space for a garden? Just use a container. Want to keep your weeds to a minimum? Use newspaper and cardboard. These and many other ideas will spark your imagination.
This is not a fully detailed book, it talks about drip irrigation, for example, without going into great detail of telling you how to put together a system. It discusses companion planting while giving a few examples, but without providing a full list. But it will set you along the way, and it will give you much to think about.
If you want a more detailed book, they are out there, but this one is well worth starting with.
For anyone that has already cleared the physical clutter from their homes. This book then gives you the principles to live by. It's a 12-step program for everyone. Keep it simple and live one day at a time. Make your home and your life a place you can really enjoy. Loved the book.
This is a quick, fluff-free read that gives you exactly what you need to know in order to find quality tenants for your rental. I've been a landlord since 2001, am currently looking for a new tenant in one of my properties, and am glad that I picked this up. It's a reminder that I can always find new tips and resources to help with my business. For 99 cents, it's a no brainer!
I have a serious problem ...
Somehow, everything that should be neatly put away ends up on the floor, in my way, ready for me to fall over and break my leg!
Declutter Home in 10 Days gave me a step-by-step plan to get everything neat and organized. Now that my living room is clean, I can work through the other chapters to get my house decluttered which will give me peace of mind ... and keep me safe!
This book is a good overview about vertical gardening and such options, where and why to do this. I like this idea in general because not everyone of us can do a regular garden due to not much available space.
But I'd like to see more detailed how-to steps; pictures would be very helpful.
This is a very good gardening book if you are looking to plant flowers inside your house or start you seeds inside. Lots of beautiful pictures. Even shows you how to grow food in your apartment. I am going to grow some strawberries. The vertical gardens looked very interesting too.
A small book with big ideas on clearing up all the cluttered areas of your life. What was really good about this book is the discussion of mental clutter and the stress it brings.
This book contains 19 recipes plus links to several more on the author's website. There are quite a few Mexican recipes (which is good for our family since we love Mexican food) as well as slow cooker recipes (also good for us since we're often so busy!). I really like that the recipes don't call for unusual ingredients, so I don't have to make special trips to the grocery store.
All I can say is, if my picky eater, daughter likes these wonderful looking treats - then ANYONE will like them! I am amazed at how these snacks have changed her way of eating - and not to mention how this new way of eating has changed her body! I personally know that the guacamole recipe is to die for! I am looking forward to trying more of these tasty morsels myself!!
These recipes are easy to read and prepare. You do need to have some special kitchen toys to prepare some of them. If you have been looking for an "excuse" to get some new "toys" - this book is a GREAT reason!
.... Each chapter focuses on a different farm, and then explores the farmers' practices, products and the restaurants and markets that they sell to. Anna Blessing has really exposed the deep connections between the farmers, their food and the chefs that cook with it. Reading about the enthusiasm that the farmers and chefs have for locally grown food, will make you run out to your local farmers markets to taste the difference in quality that their hard work and passion ensures. Each chapter also features recipes from both the farmers and the chefs, using the farm's ingredients. I have already tried several of the recipes and am VERY pleased with them (which isn't always the case with other books that focus on farming and include recipes). ....
a Lonely Planet guide
The Bible arguably contains the greatest stories of all time. It is the most-printed and most-distributed book in the world making it a must-read for all people. Taste and See is an interactive prequel to the Bible to help make it more accessible to anyone who has not read the Bible before.
Taste and See:
• Provides an overview of the main Bible story
• An introduction to 12 short sections of the Bible; 5 Old Testament readings and 7 New Testament readings
• Identifies key themes found in the Bible and in the sections above
Study guide/commentary on the book of 1 Peter by Warren Wiersbe. I first read his commentary on James in high school and found it very readable and useful.
Excerpted from Biblical Studies, Student Edition --
Who are the Essenes? Where is the Nag Hammadi Library? Can sacred texts be found in a desert dump? What does an island in the Nile have to do with Ezra and Nehemiah? Was Miles Coverdale the Main Man of the Age of English Bible translations? Follow the history of the Bible, its translations and manuscripts, from Cuneiform Tablets to the Spanish inquisition and see the miraculous preservation of God's Word.
Lugging water to pour in my composter, digging up rocks to add to my frugal landscape and walking around my almost one acre property to water my little garden, trees and rosebushes, I chuckle to myself when thoughts come to mind that again I forgot to exercise.
These same thoughts also seem to assail my mind when vacuuming the carpets, scrubbing floors and rearranging furniture. I remind myself that the frugal life is exercise. On the days my bones feel weary, I tell myself that if I could afford a landscaper and cleaning help, my health may actually suffer. Okay, so maybe I do not fully convince myself of this fact, but at least I try to keep a bit of a sense of humor.
You see, I have a theory. This theory is not based on any scientific data or research, just on the realities of my own life and that of my friends. I offer for your consideration that frugal people may be more fit than the general population. Most likely it is not because we are spending time in the gyms, (although I am not in any way being critical of such,) just because frugal people need to keep moving to make a frugal life successful. At least I do.
Husband and I try to walk three or four times a week. We do not always achieve this goal, but it is a most frugal way to get exercise. Husband also looks for every opportunity to walk during his lunch break, does push-ups and also rides an exercise bike when weather is uncooperative. (We purchased the exercise bike off of Amazon and got a great deal due to damaged packaging.)
As a good portion of my life seems to be lived in the kitchen when I am home, I keep an exercise stretch band and a three pound weight in my pantry. Now I am sure those exercise aficionados may laugh at these simple items, but for aging grandmothers like myself, grabbing a few minutes between cooking and washing dishes to keep my arms strong, pays off mighty dividends. I can carry my grandbabies whenever needed and plan to continue to do so for years to come.
My point in all of this is to say that exercise does not need to become another expense in already tight budgets. In fact, exercise can even save us money when we provide our own yard and cleaning services. I have also found that by attaching something I should be doing to something I already am doing (like having weights in the kitchen) works well.
How about you? Any interesting ways you get frugal exercise?
These books are free at the time of listing. This can change, so be sure to check the cost first, before you download. You do not need a Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers. But then, I bought mine used from a friend for fifty dollars. Won’t see that bargain again.
Are you tired of paying full price for your groceries every month?
Do you feel like you just dump money into your grocery cart every week with nothing to show for it?
Would you like to save $10, $20 or even $50 on your next grocery bill?
If you answered yes, you are going to love this book. It will teach you quick and easy ways to save big money on your groceries without a lot of hassle or changes in your lifestyle.
It doesn’t promise "magical coupon guru secrets" that will make you a millionaire by cutting coupons, but it will give you quick, easy-to-do, practical tips (some of which might surprise you) for saving big money on your normal grocery bill every time you go to the store.
The strategies in this book will leave you with more money in your wallet and more food in your kitchen.
• Where to find coupons
• How to use them to get the biggest discounts
• How to get groceries for cheap and even free
• Words you’ll fall in love with like, doubling, tripling, stacking, overage and stockpiling
• Staying organized to save tons of time and money every time you go to the store
Also includes Online Shopping Money Saving Tips.
Plus a special Bonus chapter with 5 extra time, money and stress saving shopping tips to make your life easier.
So, if you’re ready to reduce your shopping stress, and save your family big money every week, then you’re ready for this book!
Trash picking is illegal in my short-sighted town. But for those of you who don't have such bizarrely short sighted lawmakers on your city council, here's The blurb:
Have you ever cruised by a house and seen tons of trash piled up for the garbage truck? Do you ever find yourself wondering- “Why would they just toss that?” Do you walk through Goodwill and Salvation Army shops looking for deals? Maybe you prefer browsing consignment stores, vintage shops or yard sales on a regular basis? Do you have a creative mind? Do you have any spare time? And the ultimate question- Could you use some extra cash?
Who couldn’t, right?
Would you like to make cash without putting in any investment dollars? Can you imagine starting up your own business with zero in your bank account? If you answered yes to any of the above, then Trash Picking for Profit, is created with you in mind.
I will show you how to make money from other people’s rubbish. Real treasures are thrown away every day. Some trash can be easily recognized as valuable art, rare antiques, or beautiful furniture. Other cast-offs might look like junk, but with a little imagination and creativity you have a new trendy item to sell. Inside this book, Trash Picking for Profit, I’ll give you all the tips and insider information you need to make pure profit. I’ll show you results and have you making money TODAY from nothing! You read that right- You don’t even need a dollar to get started.
Trash Picking for Profit tells you exactly where to look for free items, how to find buyers, and even how to become an Expert in your field. You’ll find yourself loving your job (it’s a new adventure every day), and feel good about helping the environment. You’re saving landfills and trash dumps while recycling beautiful items; all while getting paid for it. It’s like getting green for going green!
And did I mention you don’t need cash to get started? I sure didn’t have any when I began. Many of the money-making plans I show you don’t even require a vehicle to get around. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home. And this book isn’t about finding investors or getting quick loans or even get-rich schemes. It’s nothing like that! That’s why so many people find it hard to believe that all the money earned is yours and yours alone, and strictly profit.
I always try to follow successful people who can prove that what they’re doing works. If someone offered to show you how to make an extra 60 dollars a day and thousands more a month, you’d probably take a minute to listen. This book has those answers. Trash Picking for Profit, shows you step by step how to make money! In today’s poor economy, more and more people are unemployed, living in foreclosure, or barely getting by in a dead-end job. There are many hard-working individuals looking for ways to generate income. Unfortunately, in a recession, more and more people are looking for work while less and less jobs are being offered. So what’s the solution? Bills are still coming in, even if the money isn’t.
I realized quickly that I needed to generate income. Even though my husband had a job (he’s one of the lucky ones), I found myself strapped at home unemployed with two young daughters. I have a college degree, a creative mind, and a superb resume. But the market is full of overqualified individuals pushing a broom at McDonalds.
Nothing paid enough to justify leaving my kids with strangers in daycare every day, while barely covering the cost to get to and from work. Yet the problem remained- I needed more money to cover the ever-rising bills of an ever-growing family.
My husband’s salary is fixed, like many homes. So no matter how many more hours he worked in a week- it still didn’t change his paycheck. We had cut every “luxury” imaginable- from cable to eating out, to vacations. Still, we were short every month and credit cards were being used to “get by.” I realized something had to change. That’s how this book came to happen. Everything in here is tried and true. If I can make money from nothing- which I did, (and still do!) -Then so can you.
Facing real-world expenses on a Ramen-noodle budget is tough for anyone, but if you’re just starting out, it can feel overwhelming. Before you can develop what will be your personal approach to finances, you need to know what God’s purpose is for the money he has entrusted to you. The Grad’s Guide to Money explains how to have real-world and spiritual financial habits that align with God’s will.
100 Tips You Need To Know For Backpacking In Australia
13 five star reviews. Here's one:
Mr. Messeroff does a fantastic job of detailing the necessary steps for any unknowing Down Under traveler. He outlines all the frequently asked yet never answered questions an Aussie backbacker could have. It outlines all the important factors one must consider (currency, room and board, safety, etc.) when traveling abroad in an easy-to-read and organized format. I found the Aussie grammer section to be informative so one doesn't make an idiot of themselves in conversation. His writing techniques are easy to read and not drawn out like those B.S. Frommers books. He is very knowledgable and direct in his tips on exploring Australia. Cheers, Mike.
The title and blurb are all about raising rabbits for meat and profit, but the reviews are for a book about chickens in the backyard. Hmmm?
This is the first in a series of eBooks written for women who are too young to ignore technology, but too old to have grown up with it. The books are written for beginners or as so many middle age women describe themselves, the technically challenged.
This first book is an overview of the changes in technology since the early 90's.The book is very general and outlines the topics future books will discuss in detail including: hardware, applications, media files, communication, the internet, social media and how people are making money online.
The book is fun, easy to read and features a recipe for a cocktail at the end of each chapter.
9 five star reviews. Here's one of them:
Our house doesn't exactly look like the ones in the TV series "Hoarders," but it does get pretty cluttered and disorganized. Our clutter isn't trash, it's just stuff my wife and I kind of forget to put back in its proper place, so we spend way too much time looking for things. We've tried to straighten up and organize things, even reading books and watching videos on the subject, but we need a refresher course every now and then. So when I saw Secrets of Quick Decluttering, I downloaded it.
Obviously, in our case, as author R. Kishore notes, organization is the key to decluttering. It doesn't just happen - it has to be planned. The book gives some good ideas for making a plan, recommending that you start small and simple, recognizing that you will be getting rid of some things, moving some things, and rearranging other things. For a plan to work, everyone in the home must be onboard with the plan. For things that are not to be recycled, sold, or trashed, determine who it can be donated to. Special pointers for organizing and optimizing the space in specific rooms are included, particularly a home office, the kitchen, and bathrooms. Organizing the garage is covered, also. There are some helpful ideas for selling your unwanted things at sellers' sites like Craigslist, Etsy, eBay, and others, even including Amazon.
As a bonus, the book includes 20 natural cleaning solutions you can make at home.
Two previous clean-ups resulted in yard sales that paid off pretty well. Based on what we've learned from this book, I think yard sale #3 is coming up.
33 five star reviews:
Natalie does her research and has studied these subjects well. She has experience working with money, analyzing the stock market, and teaching others how to do it themselves.
This is a book everyone should study, it has plain language explanations of the economic system we deal with on a daily basis and more importantly where the traps and pitfalls are and how to avoid them. Reading this book can help you take the mystery out of managing your finances.
Those who follow her advise will find managing their income easier, and see their way towards a more prosperous future.
Entering the San Antonio Riverwalk at a northern entrance, Husband and I revel in the beauty. It is early and the walk almost empty. We specifically have chosen a section with few stores or eating areas. The hibiscus, Mexican sage and plumbago are all in bloom. Trailing rosemary, purple heart and roses grace the paths as well.
This lovely, frugal date has cost us the gas we used to drive from our home, about 35 minutes away. This city and the Texas beauty it exhibits has won our hearts. As Texas transplants from the east coast, historic Philadelphia plays a big part in many of our past memories and Bar Harbor, Maine would top the list of other cities our feet like to travel. Yet we are blessed to live so close to a city with many frugal opportunities to enjoy.
As we walk, I am thinking of people throughout the years who have lived in picturesque, well visited by tourists, areas, who have shared they seldom partake of those sites enjoyed by visitors. I am sure part of the reason may be the expense of so many of these tourist attractions. Yet, for many of us, we can easily let the familiar become just that and lose sight of the benefit of pleasure found under our noses, so to speak.
If anyone is looking for a vacation spot, fairly self-contained but with gulf coast, hills and history close by, I highly recommend the city of San Antonio, Texas. Just be sure to know it does get hot here. Although as "locals" we chose the area of the Riverwalk with few hotels, eating establishments or stores, the Riverwalk is known for providing enough interest to be a destination of its own. If you come to visit, be sure to stop in and see the Alamo, donations are appreciated but admission is free.
Compared to many other cities, San Antonio can be a frugal place to vacation and for those of us who live close by a great spot to spend a day without needing to blow a alot of money.
How about you? Any pleasant places you would recommend for frugal dates or vacations?
These books are free at the time of listing. This can change, so be sure to check the cost first, before you download.
If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.
Most of these are about budgeting, gardening, or homemaking:
Lonely Planet Across Asia on the Cheap
Lonely Planet Across Asia on the Cheap is a reprint of the very first Lonely Planet guide, originally published in 1973. It gives anyone interested in travel a unique insight into how Lonely Planet began and an idea of what it was like to travel overland from Europe to Asia, 40 years ago.
Do you dress your children in thrift store finds? Share your experience here, and glean a few ideas for yourself.
Here's a food that doesn't get nearly enough attention- cabbage can really aid your grocery budget.
And have you thought of about the accidental burdens our middle class churches (and other organizations) place on members who do not have a middle class income?
Recently driving in my car to spend some time visiting with BlissBoy, my almost two year old grandson, my thoughts focused on the desire of Husband and myself to provide memories and pleasures for our grandchildren. In my car was a basket packed with finger foods so my grandson and I could "picnic" on his back deck. A bag of books was with me as well and a little dollar store football he likes to play with. My grandson is too young to remember this day, but I will.
Making memories is an important part of both the parenting and grandparenting process. Certainly we seem to prefer making the kind that speak of good times and heartfelt moments, but what about those made during the challenging seasons of life? Perhaps these thoughts were on my mind as our family had just celebrated the birthday of Blissboy's dad, my firstborn son. My now 29 year son's hug on that special day brought tears to my eyes and and memories flooded my mind in ways that surprised me. These memories were not of vacations and big life events, but of easily forgotten moments now ripe with meaning.
In my mind's eye, I saw a younger me walking through a little neighborhood with my son's hand in mine. Me, with so much still to learn, feeling kind of sorry for myself with Husband working long hours and no second car. The daily daytime walk of two year old FirstbornSon and myself, when everyone appeared to be working and not at home, seemed so barren with no other faces to greet. Loneliness can hit hard. Now though, this memory is precious and brings back the hours Firstborn Son and I spent together and the closeness those days fostered.
Another thought comes clear and I see myself prone on the couch after barely limping through a day. FirstbornSon's sister-to-be is in my womb and I am in the throes of misery. Almost totally incapacitated through much of my pregnancy, this day I am visited by a well meaning but not well discerning aunt. She tells me how horrible I look. And if that is not enough, she goes on to tell me if I would just get off the couch and get moving I would feel much better. My heart breaks with her words as it is the deepest desire of my heart to be able again to care for my family. Yet now this memory is precious and worth the careless words of my aunt as my almost age of three, FirstbornSon, looked my aunt in the eye and defended his mama with words of grace." I think my mommy is bee-u-ti-ful," my little hero proclaimed. Now so many years later, the recollection of those difficult days is like gold to my heart.
Continuing my drive through the Texas hills, I considered my thoughts and realized that for me, it often tends to be the memories that come associated with hard or challenging times that wax most precious. These recollections of difficult times and the relationship that ensue now really do feed my soul and continue to give purpose to my days.
So I share these thoughts for those who just might be feeling the pinch of frugal days and wondering if all the sacrifice is worth the cost. The day will come when some of these challenging moments will become fuel for your reflections and hopefully bring back precious memories of sacrifice and battles won.
So do keep in mind that hard days can one day become precious memories.
Do you find this to be true as well?
We had four teens at once in our household. It would have been five if there were just a few months less between our first and our fifth daughters. I was recently asked how we managed to afford insurance for teen drivers in a family our size with children as close together as our first five are. The short answer is.... we don't.
Our kids do not get their licenses at 16. The FYG, our sixth child, started driving younger than all her older sisters, and at 17, she still just has her permit. At least one of the other girls didn’t even begin driving until she was 20. That's just the way it worked out. Keep in mind that 16 year olds driving is not a requirement, it’s just a cultural expectation, one not shared by all developed countries.
Those who do get licenses (or even permits) have to pay their own insurance costs. My brothers and I had to do the same when we were teen drivers. We do shop around for rates. However, bear in mind that the rates for teen drivers vary from state to state. In some states, it’s totally cost prohibitive. It might pay to own a beater car because rates are often cheaper for beaters, so much less, in fact, that once when we finally got rid of our beater (because it was totaled in a flood), our insurance actually went up.
In most states your rates for teen drivers are lower if your teens take a driver's ed class. This is easy enough if your kids are in government schools. It can be harder if you homeschool. We used a privately owned driver training school for our youngest girl. Our fourth and fifth girls took the local high school course for a fee.
To pay the increased insurance rates, the girls earned money various ways. Jenny earned money by her sewing. The Equuschick shoveled stalls, babysat, and did some riding lessons. Pip used her library job and things like mastering the use of CVS rewards so they pay her to shop.
The HG sold stuff online and resold goods at consignment stores- She started doing this when she was 13. She shares ideas and tips for finding what sells and being as efficient as possible with her Thrifty Tuesday posts:
Do you have teen drivers? How do you handle insurance?
Have you seen the emphasis on designing or sharing about your dream home lately? Might be the influence of Spring being in the air. Now house dreaming can be fun or it can be fodder for discontent; one really needs to keep the proper perspective. Dreams can be a form of goal setting, but one really needs to count the cost when turning dreams into reality. I have known too many well meaning people who saw their dream homes become a nightmare.
So seeking to keep a proper perspective for my dream home cogitation, the following list of desires would be top priority:
1. Location, location, location or so the saying goes. Most dream homes include a gorgeous setting of some kind. For me, however, the location most desired would be as close to children and grandchildren as possible. No view or lush paradise is of more importance to me than the faces of my loved ones.
2. Conducive to hospitality would be my second consideration. This Biblical command and life giving experience is a priority of Husband and myself and so I would want our dream home to be a welcoming domicile. One which would be a place of refreshment for strangers and those close to our hearts.
3. Debt-free would also be a important factor in any dream home I would desire. I am not saying this would be a necessity for all as I totally understand the difficulty of paying rent and trying to save for a house. Just that at our stage of life, Husband and I never want to have to honor a mortgage again.
4. A safe haven where memories can be made, discipline dispensed when needed and life lived with grace and humility would also be a necessity in my dream home plan.
5. Truly it would be sheer delight to have a dream home that is maintenance free, with landscaping that cares for itself. And not too big so I can keep it up with little effort.
Rereading my list of desired dream home characteristics, I must say I think I live in my dream home. My double-wide mobile home meets all my criteria except for #5. No, my home is not maintenance free and my landscaping is far from being kept up with little effort, but who gets everything they want , I ask?
Guess you could say I have a "frugal" dream home where I have learned one of the most important frugal life lessons. Bloom where you are planted and find satisfaction in your many blessings.
How about you? What do you hold dear in a frugal dream home?
My daughter is continuing her series on selling online with thrift store finds. Recently she and several readers discussed whether or not this is ethical.
There are some outstanding free resources for educating yourself about just about everything under the sun- from Yale, to MIT, to others you may not have heard of. Here are some of our favorites.
Baking Chocolate: This is the substitute I have used for squares of baking chocolate since 1978, when I received a cookbook for Christmas with this substitute. I was 14 years old.
Add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 Tablespoon of butter for every square of unsweetened baking chocolate called for.
Eggs: I've shared several substitutes for eggs here.
Golden mushroom soup: There's a recipe here. It's not really much cheaper, but it is healthier.
Sour Cream: tofu based substitute here.
Large Family, Single Income:
We have seven kids and often have two extras over weekends and holidays. But we have always been a single income family. I have gotten a lot of variations on this question:
“Hi there! Please excuse my intrusiveness, but could you please share with me how you and your hubby bring in enough income to raise such a large family? I ask because I am a newly wed and we are hoping for a family…but I have been wondering how people handle it all financially.”
Free: Quick Budget Meals