“Money: How to Be Rich Without It and How to Stretch It Using Ten Hints from the Past and the Technology of Today”

Since I have created this blog to help you stretch your money, I have decided to do just that and have put new pricing on my book.

Check out Amazon and Smashwords for new pricing. There are reviews and a sample chapter on this site. Check out tabs above.

I would love to hear from you after you read it. 41NydAJhNoL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

Here is a preview of Money: How to Be Rich Without It and How to Stretch It Using Ten Hints from the Past and the Technology of Today

“Money is often on my mind. Chances are it is on your mind, too. Whether we have a lot of it, just enough of it, not much of it or none at all, money is on our minds.”

With frugality in her DNA, the author explains her lengthy title in the foreword: “Since your perception of riches has a great deal with how you approach your handling of money, the best starting place is Money, How to Rich Without It. In this book, I talk about millionaires who don’t fit the profile you would normally expect as well as some people I know who are rich beyond description although they don’t have any money. In these two extremes, I found a common denominator: the right attitude toward money.

… perhaps it’s time to rethink the wisdom of those who have gone before us. A miserly attitude is not the answer, but because they survived during some very rough times, maybe their advice is worth another look, thus the reason for a look at Money: How to Stretch It Using 10 Hints from the Past.

We do, however, live in the 21st century and have advantages that our ancestors could not have even dreamed of, thus the addition of and the Technology of Today. The appendix has an abundance of websites and resources that will help you stretch your dollars.”

Written from a Christian perspective, the book also includes an overview of what the Bible says about money.

Order paperback and Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Money-Without-Stretch-Using-Technology/dp/1479389161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391084095&sr=8-1&keywords=money%3A+how+to+be+rich+without+it

Download available in all formats, including PDF and Sony Reader: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/221060

Are You Wasting Your Money?

I recently read a post on Dave Ramsey’s blog about ten things Americans waste money on - http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/10-things-americans-waste-money-on

Dave is right on, as usual, with his recommendation. What he is really saying is think before you spend your hard earned money.

We are inundated with the temptation to spend just a little here and a little there. It all adds up.

Here is my list of three things we waste money on – just in the food area.

1) Food we throw away

How many times have you put leftovers in your refrigerator just to throw them away when you can no longer remember when you put them in there? There are two solutions to this. Either get in the habit of examining your leftovers every day to see if you can serve them again – either for lunch or maybe in a new dish containing the food item – or freeze all leftovers the day you serve them. If you freeze small portions of vegetables in a container, you will soon have enough for a soup. For instance, I freeze small quantities of corn for use later in rice pilaf, save small bits of bread for bread crumbs, etc. Make sure you label each item well, use your creativity and you will no longer waste food.

2) Impulse Buying

Going to the store with a shopping list is always a good idea. Every store manager wants you to purchase more than what you have on your list. Most stores are arranged so that you can seldom go directly to the necessities. For instance, milk and bread are hardly ever at the front of a grocery store. You have to pass rows of other items first. Unless you find something that you will definitely use, is a bargain and you have a place to store it, stick to your list and resist impulse buying.

3) Emergency Trips to the Grocery Store

Queensland_State_Archives_1406_Eventide_Home_Sandgate_October_1949One of the reasons a grocery list is so important is that every pantry has essential items. For instance, if you make sure you always have flour, sugar, milk, bread and spices you normally use on hand, you will seldom have to make an emergency trip to the grocery store. That trip costs time and money and increases the temptation for impulse buying. Those who live a distance from the nearest grocery store train themselves to stock up when they go. You can train yourself to do that as well even if you live in town close to a store.

You are the one who decides whether you will spend your money wisely, save it for the “rainy day” (it seems to have been “raining” a lot lately!) or waste it.

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A Good Neighbor

In the biblical sense, a neighbor is anyone with whom you come in contact. In response to the question,  “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. Three people passed by a man who had been robbed and beaten. Two ignored him. One was compassionate and helped him. Jesus then asked the lawyer who had posed the question to Him, “Which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” He responded properly,”He who showed mercy.”

Stephanie, Sharon and TinaA neighbor is also – and more likely to be – defined as someone who lives close to your own dwelling.

A good neighbor is a treasure – figuratively and literally.

I am very blessed. I live in a neighborhood where neighbors look out for each other. We have had neighbors help us with all sorts of things – gathering mail when we are gone, informing us of unwanted animals around our house (raccoons in particular), notifying us of large packages that were delivered on our porch while we were out and other various things.

I live in a neighborhood where people share – vegetables from their gardens and pecans from their trees. Occasionally when a neighbor cooks a large dish for dinner, she will share a portion of it with us.

In our neighborhood, one can borrow a tool that is needed for a short-term project rather than buy one. That saves both money and time.

In turn, we try to be good neighbors as well. We have an alley – a common area in back of our home. There is no sense in measuring where our yard ends and another begins when mowing. If the overgrown grass cannot be seen by a neighbor even though it is on their side of the property, it takes me just a minute to mow it.

These principles are biblical. God knows that we benefit from good neighbors and being good neighbors ourselves.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you. Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake (Proverbs 3:28-29).

Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away (Proverbs 27:10).

Love does not harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10).

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).

 

 

 

Frugal Gardening

Gardening can be a very expensive hobby – or it can be fun and frugal.

It seems the more money I spend on a plant, the less likely it is to last. The things that have taken off in my garden are usually cuttings I have gotten from neighbors and friends – not plants purchased from the garden center.

Recently I bought plants for one of my window boxes. They drowned in the short rainy season that we had. The plants I transplanted in the other window box are still thriving.

When flowers or bushes have overgrown into the grass, I will often transplant them into a pot. Of all the planters in my yard (there are several), there is only one that has a plant in it that I purchased (and it is not doing well).

If you love a garden as I do, don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Ask neighbors and friends to let you know if they are cutting back their plants. An offer to help them would probably be appreciated. Transplant your own flowers into other areas or into planters and you will be able to multiple their beauty.

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You no longer have to buy expensive gardening books to learn more about gardening either. There are many resources online – blogs as well as free books. Just do a search for free gardening E-books.

If you use Pinterest, you can find lots of container ideas – old purses, shoes – the possibilities  are endless. Before you discard something old or outgrown, consider the possibility of using it for a planter. For instance, I had a ceramic tissue holder I was not using – turned it upside down, put rocks in the bottom and used it as a planter.

Creativity – not money – is the way to enjoy gardening!

 

Don’t Be Shy and Stretch Your Money

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800px-thumbnailOne reason many people may miss a discounted price is that they are too shy to ask for it. I’m not.

I am willing to pay what something is worth if I need the item, but if there is a discount available, I am frugal enough to ask for the discount. Occasionally, you can receive a discount even if it is not advertised. Most managers have leeway to do so.

Retailers know that if you are in their store, there is a good probability that you will purchase more than what you came into the store for. They may even advertise loss leaders – items that are sold below cost simply to attract you into their store. Often these advertised items do not ring up at the discounted price at the cash register. I watch closely to make sure they do. If I am not sure the right price was rung up while I was in line, I check the receipt before leaving the store to avoid having to do what I have done on rare occasions – return to the store with the item and the receipt to get the difference!

This also works with items that you already have and feel that you are not getting the value advertised. For instance, I recently paid a highly discounted price for a couple of magazine subscriptions. After receiving another introductory offer just like the one I had mailed in (several months later), I emailed the company and told them that I had already sent in my payment – giving them date and check number, but had not received my magazines yet. I started receiving one magazine, but not the other nor did I get the free tote that was promised with the subscription. So, I emailed them again reminding them of the original offer. I have since started receiving magazine subscription #2, but not the tote. I will give it some more time and then contact them again.

At one time, a certain brand of ceramic cookware had a lifetime guarantee against breakage (they don’t anymore). When one of my pieces did crack in my oven, I took it to the store to get it replaced (which is what the warranty said to do). The sales person refused to replace it. When I took a piece from her display and showed her on the box what it said and asked to talk to the manager, she changed her mind. I left with my replacement cookware.

Retailers count on the fact that most people will not ask for a discount, check their receipt or make a company stand good for their warranty. Think of it this way. That’s like asking a store to keep YOUR money.

The possibilities of this are endless. Don’t lose out on what a retailer has promised because you are too shy to ask for it. I don’t.

Safely Store Valuables at No Cost

Do you need a place to store valuables but don’t have money for a safe? I have noticed there are quite a few fake storage containers for sale online. These are hollowed out books, vegetable and pet food cans and any other number of items. I even saw sneakers made with hollowed out soles so that you can put items in them.

None of these would protect against fire damage, but they would possibly be an item that a burglar would not notice. When thieves are in your home, they will want to get in and out quickly grabbing items of value that they can see.

KINDLE_CAMERA_1396352432000 (1)You can easily store cash, coins, jewelry and other valuables in items you have around the house. You can hollow out the insides of an old book yourself.  A family photo album that has insert pages can be used to hide paper valuables if you put the paper between two of the sheets and glue the top together. Coins and paper can be hidden behind a clock face. Spice jars, once empty, can hold valuables in ziplock bags and more of the same spice can be placed on top. Even things stored in the refrigerator such as raisin containers, parmesan cheese containers, etc. can be used the same way. If you have an old pair of sneakers – the older and smellier the better (they would certainly deter thieves), you can place money in the sneaker underneath the insole.

The most important thing to remember if you decide to store your valuables in any of these hiding places is not to throw the item away!!

Want to Save Money on Healthcare – Try Humor!

Doctor’s visits and medicines can consume a great deal of your time and expenditures – especially if you don’t have medical insurance.

Preventing disease is not always possible, but some physicians truly believe laughter is good medicine. For instance, cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to others in the same age group without heart disease. Michael Miller, M.D. concluded:

“The ability to laugh – either naturally or as learned behavior – may have important implications in societies such as the U.S. where heart disease remains the number one killer. We know that exercising, not smoking and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list.” (Source: Laughter is the Best Medicine for Your Heart/ University of Maryland Medical Center)

This is not the only medical article about the benefit of laughter. WebMD has an article entitled “Give Your Body a Boost – With Laughter.” Helpguide.org’s “Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter” lists physical, mental and social benefits of laughter. In that article, Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. says, “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”

This principle is solidly biblical. Solomon (known as the wisest man who ever lived), says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV). The Good News Translation puts it this way, “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.”

My son recently sent me a picture that made me smile. If you don’t get it, try watching this YouTube link and see if you can keep from laughing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTcRRaXV-fg&feature=kpFinally

Good Advice from An Expert

Remodeling and renovating television programs are all the rage now – and they should be!

Knowing how to do something yourself not only saves money, but a great deal of pride goes along with the accomplishment.

Nate Berkus, host of American Dream Builders, had some great advice:

BIG IDEAS TRUMP BIG MONEY

We’d all love to have an endless money supply, but that isn’t reality. That doesn’t mean a small budget can’t result in big style. You just have to be creative….

Your budget limits your wallet – not your thinking….

Truth is, each of us has the same chance to build a truly happy home.

While researching Money: How to Be Rich Without It and How to Stretch It Using Ten Hints from the Past and the Technology of Today, I discovered scores of people who have created comfortable havens of rest for their families and attractive, inviting places for friends to visit. They didn’t have a lot of money and in most cases, no money at all, but they were able to make their homes inviting places to be because they were creative.

Nate is so right. Creativity is the key. Your budget limits your wallet – not your thinking.

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