This blog has moved. You can find all the content from this site, as well as many new posts, at http://thelighthouseonline.com/blog/. Thanks!
I am so happy that people are still coming to this blog. I know there are links from others that lead here and not to the new version, so if you have come here recently, please know that I have a new location for this blog. I moved the entire content to that new location, so everything that is here is now there, plus there are new posts at the location, which is http://thelighthouseonline.com/blog/. Please come visit me there. Thanks!
“Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.” (Quote possibly originating from Maela.)
Another way to save money in the food department is to take a look at what you are drinking and make some healthy adjustments. People in America drink way too many soft drinks, and soft drinks are nothing but flavored, carbonated water, usually sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (very bad for you), often with phosphoric acid, with caffeine thrown in just to add insult to injury. And don’t get me started on aspartame/NutraSweet/whatever they are changing its name to so you won’t know you are ingesting poison.
Instead, save yourself money and try something different. Water is great! If you can’t consume sugar because of diabetes or some similar difficulty, you are better off drinking water than drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners.
Or try tea. Remember when we were all told that tea was bad for us? Nutritionists and scientists have done a 180 on that one. Oh, and it doesn’t matter whether you like black or green tea—they both have great health benefits. Which makes sense, since they are all made from the same plant. Tea has no calories or sugar, but it tastes great and is very good for you. Continue reading
A great way to save money, improve your health, and possibly even lose weight is to cook at home rather than eating fast food or dining out. There are many excellent, delicious, and healthy meals you can make for very little money. Even if you don’t think you have many cooking skills, there are a lot of meals that are easy to make.
Yes, I know how much easier it is to go out and pay someone else to fix your food. But when money is tight, for the price of a fast food meal or a meal at even a moderately priced restaurant, you can buy enough food to fix several meals at home. Even if you can only cook simple meals, simple meals can be quite tasty. Continue reading
This one is very simple. A lot of us buy a lot of things on impulse, only to later wonder why we bought it, or to not use it or eat it after all, and then we realize it was just a waste of money. Multiply these impulse purchases by however many times you make them and by the dollar(s) they cost, and they can add up quickly.
Let’s say you make impulse purchases of $3 to $5 or $10 five times a week. Averaging that out, it could add up to $30 or more a week spent on items or food you really didn’t want or need.
So here’s the technique to practice. Set yourself a threshold amount of money. Anything that costs more than that, you wait a certain period of time (the cooling-off period) before you allow yourself to buy it.
One purpose of this technique is to prevent impulse purchases. If even some portion of your money is spent on impulse purchases, giving yourself a cooling off period can keep you from making a number of those purchases. By giving yourself a cooling-off period, you give yourself a chance to evaluate whether you really need that item. You might end up amazed at how many things you do not purchase simply because you waited. Continue reading
I had a dream Friday morning about being in the future. In this future, humanity had gotten its act together and had arrived at a place of peace, harmony, and wisdom, such that we were no longer trying to coerce each other or force each other into thinking or believing or being certain ways. We also had interstellar travel, and I had been sent to another planet as an envoy to present our offer of friendship and help. Continue reading
Although it can be satisfying to have a large video collection, most people don’t ever watch a movie again after purchasing it. That constitutes a waste of money—sometimes, a lot of money. I have seen struggling young couples with children to care for who have trouble making ends meet, yet they own hundreds of DVDs. At $20 to $30 or more per DVD, that adds up pretty quickly to thousands of dollars they could have better spent on other things.
What can you do instead? In order from least costly to most costly, you can
- Ask for it free from your local Freecycle group
- Use your local library
- Buy used instead of new
- Subscribe to Netflix
- Use the rental cost rule of thumb before buying
This is the second entry in my series on ways to save money. Unlike the first entry, which proposed that you stop subscribing to television service, this one is much easier to do. Join your local freecycle group.
A freecycle group is a group of people who very simply do one of two things: They offer items for free, or they ask for items for free. Because of its nature, although all groups fall under the umbrella of the national Freecycle.org group, each freecycle group has to be local.
I have gotten rid of CD cases, DVD cases, supplements, partially used shampoos, and a host of other things that I might otherwise have had to throw out. Although I rarely am on the asking end, and although I have had much less success getting items I ask for, many people get exactly what they want. I’ve seen people ask for cell phones, computers, and even cars.