Mary Beth Writes

I regularly read blogs about being frugal.  I like them because they are about people taking as much control of the quality of their life as they can within the many different circumstances in which people live.  I especially love the letters people write listing what they did in the past few days to be careful and thoughtful about what they spend and how they save.

But frankly, if I tell you what I do, its gets weirdly personal and repetitive really fast.  Um, I didn’t eat meals out, made the laundry detergent, and bought some cool stuff at Goodwill that I am trying – without much luck lately – to sell on eBay. Yah, that’s gonna change anybody’s day….

Instead of listing what I do – let me tell you some of the things I have read and learned from other people’s letters and articles.

1. Len read this, this morning and pointed it out.   http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-dementia-prevention...

“The most disturbing thing I heard recently about the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and dementia was … : "I was speaking to the head of neurology up at Stanford who said 'My waiting room is filled with 70-year-olds with the bodies of 40-year-olds and no minds.'"

Not exactly how to save some dollars today, but a powerful way to save our minds.  This is so incredibly true; there are always and will always be so many things to accomplish in a day – but we are spending our future if we don’t make the time to eat well and MOVE.

2. Add a small amount of water - a tablespoon or two - to a nearly empty hand lotion bottle. Shake and use for another week or two.

3. Cut empty toothpaste tubes open half way down the tube, stick your toothbrush in there and get another week of toothpaste.

4. I’ve not done this, to me it sounds like a fun project to do with kids but... when you finish celery, green onions, leeks, carrots… put the root end in a glass of water. When new roots begin to grow, you can plant that plant outside and get another round of that veggie for free.

If the squirrels, robins, and bunnies don’t eat them.

5. Look at the website before you go to a movie, restaurant, theater, store, park, or whatever.  There are often deals and coupons at the website.

6. Try this for a week.  Write down (or save the receipts and go through regularly) every single thing you buy in a day; bottles of water and sodas, lunch, the stop in at Target for Band-Aids and how you leave $63 later.  Add it up.

What are your goals? Save more towards owning your own home? Save towards retirement. Waste less? Simplify the stuff in your house? Live more kindly and lightly on the planet?

Yes?

A. Figure out how much money you spent that was not exactly necessary. Let’s say you could find a way to “save instead of spend” $25 every week.  In 20 years you would have spent $26,000. But if you had saved it, you will have $40,000.

Or use the calculator to see that $25 invested for 20 years at 5.25% equals - $70.   

https://www.budgetworksheets.org/invest/

B. Places to give $25 that will make a strong different. Google this question: “Where can I give $25 that will help the world?”

Oh the places the internet can take you.

Here are some of Nick Kristof’s recommendations

https://twitter.com/nickkristof/status/276519215354236930?lang=en

 

Comments

I love to punch different numbers into a retirement calculator and see how the numbers change. If I add $10 a week, what if it $15. I know, I'm a nerd. I do most of the above. I think posting about it keeps bloggers accountable. Sometimes something new pops up and I have the DUH moment where I'm like why didn't I think of that.

Thanks! We keep looking at it from the other end - we are recently retired and we still need to be smart about this, but we have enough to live securely (knock on wood). And how did this happen? We started saving modestly 30 years ago - whammo, this works!

I do learn a lot from you. Does putting new handles and knobs on 60 year old cabinets, instead of buying new - count as being frugal ? Smiling.

You betcha!

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Mindful Chickens/ The "Before its Too Late" Edition 5-14-2019

Mindful Chickens   5/14/2019

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

These are things we have thought, attempted, and done in the past month to live more lightly and frugally on our City Plot of Planet Earth.

We have to change how we live ...

We can’t go on like this.  Our everyday Western/American lifestyle -- is utterly unsustainable. 

Bread, Tortillas, and Chocolate

 As many of you know, I follow a website called The Non-Consumer Advocate, written by Katy Wolk-Stanley who defines herself as “… library patron, leftovers technician, Goodwill enthusiast, utility bill scholar, labor and delivery nurse, laundry hanger-upper, mother and citizen.” She has purchased very little newly-manufactured consumer goods since she joined The Compact; a movement of people who choose to rethink mindless consumption. http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/

The Money for Our Brother is Raised

We got the balls rolling!

Irony of the universe here.  I have written a lot this week but none of it turned into writing I wanted to post on this website.  Just awkward, mawkish, rambly writing.

I was hard-thinking why I do this and it wasn’t self-pitying thinking.  (I know how to do that, too, but this wasn’t that.) 

Then late yesterday afternoon Helle said Our Brother needs help and the total of what he needs is more than she could support him with. I said I would think about it.

April 15th is a Rough Day for Many

Here’s something I bet many of you of the “white privilege” class are not aware.

I sure wasn’t thinking about this until yesterday.

Monday is April 15th. All of us know what that means, don’t we?  Ha-ha. Time to get our taxes posted or an extension applied for!

Know what else it is?

Utility cut-off date.  Monday is the last day for people who owe money to their utility companies to pay those bills. If they don’t, their heat and lights go off Tuesday.

Mindful Chickens – Carrot & Grape Oatmeal 3/23/2019

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

... 

1. I’ve spent hours lately working on two self-inflicted writing projects. One is about the Midwest in the 1600-1800’s. Why do I care? I don’t know but I’ve been working at it for a long time and I still am.

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