“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

Shark Tank Wisdom

Shark Tank is the one reality show I really like to watch. As hopeful entrepreneurs make their presentations to potential investors, the creativity of ordinary people is inspiring. Many of them have some great ideas. Even the ones whose ideas are rejected have the advantage of having thousands of people who have watched the show become aware of their idea or product. That could only be a good thing.

One of my favorite investors on Shark Tank is Lori Greiner and now I know why. As the  “Queen of QVC”, she can afford to buy anything she wants, but she is exceedingly frugal! She said, “In the beginning I was really, really lean,” she says. “For the longest time I did it all. I played every hat. I was in the factory, doing the graphic design, the photography, the selling — literally everything. I saved money doing what I could myself. It was hard but I learned. I learned that nobody’s better than you to get your business off the ground. The experience you get is priceless.”

You and I may not have a business or patent inventions or be able to invest in others’ business ideas, but following Lori’s pattern of frugalness can save you money every day. When you do things yourself, you learn how to do it better and you save the money you would have spent to have someone else do it. It may be hard, but if you need to stretch your money, it is worth it.

Here are just a few things you could pay someone else to do, but you can stretch your money when you dolossy-page1-800px-No_original_caption._(Woman_cooking_in_a_kitchen.)_-_NARA_-_513406.tif it yourself.

  • Do your own yard work. Hiring someone to do your yard work often requires you to allow them to do it on a weekly schedule. The large companies contract to do yard work and may do it more often than needed. If you really can’t do it yourself, hiring a reliable young person may be the way to go.
  • Do your own ironing. Recently I heard someone say, “I could have bought a new pair of pants this month for the cost of having mine cleaned and pressed every week.” The $3 or more that it costs for sending a pair of pants to the cleaners adds up if you do it often.
  • Create your own website. There are now so many resources available for you to develop your own website free that I wonder if web design companies are going to be able to stay in business much longer.
  • Wash your car yourself. You will save the trip to the car wash and time wasted sitting in their waiting room.657px-Scene_at_car_wash_in_Summit_NJ
  • Cook your own meals. It is not only cheaper to cook than to purchase meals at even the fast food restaurants, it is much healthier.
  • Color and cut your own hair. This is where some of my friends tell me I have gone to meddling, but you can buy many packages of hair color for the cost of having your hair colored just once. If you learn to cut your own hair, that savings multiplies.
  • Do your own repairs. My husband is a handyman and has saved us many thousands of dollars over the years because he can do repairs himself – on the house, on vehicles, on tools, etc.

You can think of many more because Lori Greiner is right. You can definitely save money doing what you can do yourself.

Holiday Fun

easter-eggclipart-tn-3 Practically everyone loves to have special decorations around holidays. If you look at the calendar and anticipate New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day in America (July 4), Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can see just a few of the reasons why you could easily go broke purchasing special decorations for each holiday.

There is no reason to spend much extra money on decorations, however, as there are often deep, deep discounts right after the holiday on decorations. All you have to do is remember where you store those bargain decorations from year to year. The easier and cheaper thing to do, though, is to just add something extra to decorations you already have around the house.

For instance, in many countries they decorate just as much for Easter as they do for Christmas. Willow branches which a4th-of-july-clipart-tn-2re blooming at that time of year are placed in large vases or umbrella stands or any other tall container you have and colored ribbons are weaved throughout the branches. Or …decorated blown eggs are hung from branches of trees put in those same types of containers. You can spend tons of money on beautiful eggs or you can make them yourself. Or better still, include your children in the process.

I usfree-thanksgiving-pictures-6-tned to dress up my sons’ large Raggedy Andy dolls and place them on chairs outside the door at Halloween time. No expense – but it was an invitation to trick-or-treaters.

I have a friend who used to cover every one of her pictures hung throughout her house with Christmas wrap at Christmas time. She tied a ribbon around them and the entire house was decorated. Small expenditure – big impact.

I love to collect acorns, pinecones, etc. when I walk and place them in baskets I already have for use in the fall and through the Christmas season. No expense – just planning.

Magazines often have lots of hints in how to decorate for an upcoming holiday. You don’t need to subscribe to the magazine. Check out their website online and search for the holiday you’re interested in.

As usual, you can save lots of money by doing things yourself and have lots of fun in the process.

It’s Not Money That Makes Me Happy

DSC06583If I were to write a song about my favorite things, they would include spending time with my husband and my family, fresh vegetables cooked in sugar and bacon drippings, sunshine and roses, a walk in the woods, setting a table with pretty dishes, great Southern fried chicken and watching something like “Little House on the Prairie.”

If I were 19, my favorite things might include a smart phone, video games and food you eat on the run to the next appointment. I’m not 19.

The older I get, the more I know how blessed I am. Recently, I was asked, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how blessed do you feel?” My answer, “15.”

My favorite things don’t have to involve money. It costs me to visit my sons’ families because we don’t live close, but I would rather live down the street. The walk to their house would cost me nothing. I wish I had a garden, but I don’t (yet); however, sometimes someone with a garden gives me some surplus and those are usually the best tasting vegetables I eat all year. It doesn’t cost me anything to go out and enjoy the sunshine and my rose bushes were Kuykenhof and Delft, Holland May 2004 028already here when we moved into our house. I love a walk in the woods or the local park. Again, that costs me nothing. Setting a table with pretty dishes is such fun to me. Of course I have purchased dishes, but I have several sets that were either given to me or inherited. It may not be good for me but I love to eat fried chicken. Sometimes I fix it myself. Sometimes I pick it up, but it is not expensive either way. The episodes of “Little House on the Prairie” I have watched lately have been on the internet. I pay for internet service, of course, but nothing extra to watch my favorite show.

I do think a lot about money. Everyone does, but I am usually trying to come up with new ways to stretch it. I figure it is only good stewardship for the resources God has given me. When I find a quarter in the bottom of my purse, realize I can save $25 on a needed item because that store just sent me a coupon, or find I have just the right ingredients for a meal, I know God has given me another way to stretch my money. I am more excited about a bargain God has arranged for me than I am about having the money to buy the item at bargain prices.

It’s that God cares about the little things that means so much to me. If it matters to me, it matters to Him. I am His daughter.

…whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he (Proverbs 16:20b).

Those That Have Gone Before Us

This post was first published on my other blog: http://onefocusministries.com/2014/09/19/those-that-have-gone-before-us/

I am reposting it here as a reminder that it is not what we do with our money, but how we live our lives that ultimately really matters.

Those That Have Gone Before Us

I have members of my family and friends who have preceded me to heaven. I think of each of them often and the things they did and said.

When I clean up after a meal, I can hear my sister saying, “The kitchen is not clean until you have swept the floor.” When I think of my dad (which I do often), I remember him saying, “When God is through with me, He will take me home.” When I think of my close friend, I remember her life principle, “God is faithful.”

It does not need to be a single saying that brings back memories. The relationship I had with some of my loved ones continues to speak to me.

Frank Ballard, WWII photoMy dad and I were very close. He called me his “blessing in the Lord.” His mother, in days when divorces were rare, divorced her alcoholic husband and raised four children on her own teaching each one of them to love the Lord. His older brother took his position in the family seriously and looked after every member of the family. He taught his sons to do the same.

I often think of my father-in-law’s patience and love as he cared for my mother-in-law through her long bout with Alzheimer’s. I also remember how birthdays were so important to him. His calendar was filled with reminders to send cards to his family and friends. His mother was an amazing witness for the Lord and his wife’s mother was one of the sweetest Christians I have ever known. They both had a great influence on me.

I miss my sister by choice so much. She had an unconditional love for me. I never had to explain myself to her. She knew instinctively. There was no one else in my life like her.

Picture 458Although dead, they still speak to me.

God reminds us what we say and what we do in this life lives on. This reality is sobering. We all have done things and said things we would not like to be remembered for. While we are still here, though, there remains opportunities to be a positive influence and hopefully be remembered for our trust and faith in God.

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks (Hebrews 11:4).

Patience Can Stretch Your Money

Everyone knows the dangers of impulse buying. You can easily acquire things you don’t really need at prices you really shouldn’t have spent.

The antidote to impulse buying is patience. If there is an item that you really do need, comparison shopping online and in stores can be a great help. There are so many tools and apps available now that can help you do just that.

One tUSCurrency_Federal_Reservehing that is very helpful is to know cycles of when things go on sale. For instance, Christmas cards and decorations are sold at deep discounts after Christmas. It is easy to find out when something else is scheduled for discounted prices as well.

If you shop specific stores, you can get very familiar with not only their sale cycles, but the fact that they send their loyal customers great coupons to use. It is wise to sign up for mail notifications from every place you frequently shop. My husband and I look forward to discount coupons from our favorite supply stores since we are doing a lot of construction work. I watch out for the $5 off $15, $4 off $20 coupons from the drug store and dollar store I frequent the most. That is when I go in to stock up on toiletries, etc. I recently purchased an expensive item for our medicine cabinet for next to nothing because I waited – I had several drug store coupons I could use at once. That $24 item and a can of tomato soup cost me $.48!

When shopping online, I have noticed that if I get as far as the checkout and decide against the purchase, that I get an email offering me an even deeper discount if I go back and complete the purchase. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t complete the purchase, but it lets me know that it is a common practice for online shopping.


Plates I got for free at the close of an “antique alley” sale. I didn’t pass them up!

The only exception to impulse buying is when you see something you want or need at a yard sale or a thrift store. The one-of-a-kind thing you had been looking for may well disappear if you wait. At those prices, it is better to snap them up when you see them.

Money Stretching Ideas from WWI

Recently I downloaded a free ebook, Foods That Will Win The War and How to Cook Them (1918). There are several places you can download this book.

Some of the suggestions are a little outdated since this was written in 1918, but surprisingly many of the principles mentioned can still be applied today to help each of us stretch our dollars.

Here is an excerpt which is helpful:

When we come to waste caused by careless preparation we may be reminded of the miracle of the loaves and fishes – how all the guests were fed and then twelve baskets were gathered up. Often after preparation that which is gathered up to be thrown away  is as large in quantity and as high in food value as the portions used.

640px-Cucumber_soupVegetables are wasted in preparation by too thick paring, the discarding of coarse leaves such as are found on lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower, discarding wilted parts which can be saved by soaking, throwing away tips and roots of celery and the roots and ends of spinach and dandelions. All these waste products can be cooked tender, rubbed through a sieve and used with stock for vegetable soup, or with skimmed milk for cream soup. Such products are being conserved by the enemy, even to the onion skin, which is ground into bread-making material.

Throwing away the water in which vegetables have been cooked wastes their characteristic and valuable element – the mineral salts. Cooking them so much that they become watery; under-cooking so that they are hard and indigestible; cooking more than is required for a meal; failing to use left-over potions promptly as an entree or for cream soups or scalloped dishes – all these things mean an appalling waste of valuable food material. Good food material is also lost when the water in which rice or macaroni or other starchy food has been boiled is poured down the kitchen sink. Such453px--Save_Food_for_World_Relief._That_crust_of_bread_you_wasted-_That_bit_of_meat_you_nibbled_and_left-_That_plate_of_left-_-_NARA_-_512529 water should be used for soup making.

Fruits are wasted by throwing away the cores and skins, which can be used for making sauces, jams and jellies, the latter being sweetened with corn syrup instead of sugar.

Rhubarb is wasted by removing the pink skin from young rhubarb, which should be retained to add flavor and color-attractiveness to the dish.

Raw food in quantity is frequently left in the mixing bowl, while by the use of a good flexible knife or spatula every particle can be saved. A large palette knife is as good in the kitchen as in the studio.

This book was not written to save money, but to save things that were needed for the war effort. Saving money was a side product of the book. I enjoyed reading it for its historical value as well as the hints for stretching your money.

The Perfect Recipe

The post below was first posted on my other website: http://onefocusministries.com/

The recipe for the sourdough biscuits referred to in this post was posted on this website on September 27, 2012


I like to cook. Although my husband doesn’t believe it, sometimes I follow a recipe but I often like to make something from what I have on hand. If I use the right ingredients, it does not matter whether it is my recipe or someone else’s. The perfect dish is a combination of ingredients that blend together well, tastes good and brings nourishment to our bodies.

I may mix up those good ingredients, however, and not finish the task. If I never put them in the oven and bake the dish, it is never completed – no matter how perfect the ingredients are.

IMG_1013 IMG_1015For instance, I love to cook breads. Sourdough biscuits are my favorite. I take great care to always have the right (perfect) ingredients on hand so that I may cook them at any time. When I am ready to fix these biscuits, I put together a combination of flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, oil and sourdough starter in a bowl. Those are the perfect ingredients. I didn’t make those ingredients. I just use them.

If I leave that mixture in the bowl on the counter, we will never have biscuits for breakfast. In fact, it would at some point become a smelly mess. I must put it in the oven to complete the process. Only then are my biscuits perfect AND complete.

I’m not sure if that’s exactly what God meant when He talked about the process of perfection and completion in us, but I think it might be a little like that.

The ingredients God provides for us are perfect. Those are the resources He makes available to us: salvation through His Son Jesus, mixed with the guidance and gifts of His Holy Spirit along with the blessings and trials we need in order to complete our walk with Him. Throughout our lives, we must be faithful and patient to use these resources wisely. If we do, the result of His perfect work in us will enable us to stand “perfect and complete” before Him.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4). Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12).


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