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There are lot of people right now without a job throughout the USA and other parts of world. California where we live is one of the place that was hit hard in form of unemployment and foreclosures. According to the LA times, California’s unemployment rate is in the double digits, in some regions it is as high as 12%. Click here for the LA times article . It is tough and scary with no prospects of the economy improving anytime soon and foreclosures seem to be rising rapidly. As if, this was not bad enough, many necessary goods are getting expensive during this recession, I wrote about it earlier, please check out, Irony of Recession . Being kind and compassionate with your unemployed friends may help a lot, even if it is hard for you to relate to them. You can help in many ways even if you can not help financially. So, let’s look at a few ways to help them.
Interesting thing about this modern day Sadhu is, that he is being doing it since 2000, for past 9 years. He literally lives in a cave, near small town Moab, in Utah. He shares his small cave with insects and other small animals, as he says, it is their place too. They mostly do not harm him and he does not disturb them.
Many of us, do not have enough savings, and sometimes, we have too many accounts, banks, credit cards, it gets overwhelming and confusing, not to mention hard to keep track of it. How to get a sanity? We can start by starting a process of simplifying financial life.
You can not focus on other aspects of your life, if your financial life is not in balance. Many of us are living, doing okay surviving, paying bills, adjusting here and there however, if we lost one or both jobs, most of us are just month away from losing it all. Americans are worst in terms of saving rate compare to any other nation.
Money is not more important than health or family in our life, but we let it get out of control, it can cause a problems in other aspects of our lives, such as health, family, social and worse our self worth. Here are a few ways to get handle on it.
You may have heard about “Story of Stuff” video by Annie Leonard. It is 20 minutes long and shown mostly in cartoonish style and it packs so much hard hitting content in short time, that will make you think about buying things in new light.
Here is the blurb from her website Learn more here.
“Leonard examines the real costs of extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal, and she isolates the moment in history where she says the trend of consumption mania began. The Story of Stuff examines how economic policies of the post-World War II era ushered in notions of “planned obsolescence” and “perceived obsolescence” —and how these notions are still driving much of the U.S. and global economies today. Leonard’s inspiration for the film began as a personal musing over the question, “Where does all the stuff we buy come from, and where does it go when we throw it out?” She traveled the world in pursuit of the answer to this seemingly innocent question, and what she found along the way were some very guilty participants and their unfortunate victims. ”
You may have heard these, “Misery loves company”, “When it rains, it pours!”. Sometimes, when one trouble comes, other troubles/problems seemed to be right behind it. “When life give you a lemon, make lemonade”, strategy works sometimes, but other times, it is just too much effort to be cheerful or see positive side. I fall in to this trap often. Zenguy is natural at being positive and optimistic even in bad situation, while I learn from him a lot, seeing innocent smiles on my kids also lifts my spirits up.
Most people’s worry and concern seemed to be money related now a days. No matter how poor we think we are, we are still rich, because we have roof over our heads, health, family and friends and food to eat, clean water to drink. We have lot more compared to many folks in the world.
If you still feeling bit down about your financial outlook, here are a few ways to make you little bit more happy and content with yourself.
1. Help others in need. 2. Do one thing you really love, everyday at least for 10 minutes. 3. Get close to nature, be outside, gardening, walking in park, looking at birds. 4. Spend/give time each day to your 6 area for balanced life as seen 6 critical areas for life balance. 5. Practice silence everyday for 10 minutes: or meditate. 6. Be optimistic and positive. 7. Don’t dwell on decision making. Making wrong one is far better than indecision.
Don’t believe me? Check out Global Rich list calculator. Just type in your salary, it has choices of currency in Dollar, Pound, Yen etc., and see yourself in top percentage of world population. Your perspective will change!!!
How did you financially rate among the world’s population? How did it make you feel? Did your perspective change?
Photo source: Long Beach city college Newsletter at http://fina.lbcc.edu
Many times, we often are busy with many non important and non-urgent tasks and life gets out of balance. If we focus on following six areas, we can be balanced. All of these six areas need attention in order for our life to be in balance. One can be healthy, wealthy but yet lonely,that will not be a true balanced life, you get the picture.
1. Money: Money is one of the biggest issue we all face, if it is ignored, it can destroy happiness and harmony in any relationship, including one with yourself. Did you know, many married couple or family members fight about money and it is #1 cause for divorces. Not to mention sleepless nights and constant worries that will wreak all other aspects of one’s life. Best way to deal with this issue is to spend less then you earn, pay off debts via snowball and automate your financial life, so you will need to spend little time maintaining it and more time enjoying it.
2. Health: Some one has said ” True wealth is health”, which is so true. We will realize it only after being sick often that how easy we had it and how we abused our bodies by eating unhealthy and not exercising. Health problems can make us feel miserable, cut our social and financial life short. It is good to spend little time cooking, eating healthy food, drinking water and exercising your body and staying right weight. Doing little changes everyday will have a major impact on your health, slow and steady wins the health race too.
3. Family time: If this list was based on priorities, it will be at the top. If we are so busy making money and exercising but not spending enough time with family, our life… Continue reading
In our recent downturn economy, certain things have became more expensive and other things have became cheaper to purchase. Irony is most basic necessities such as food, medicine, education items have become more expensive while, more want items such as electronics, cars have become a little cheaper. Read on and you be the judge!
Information on statistics of percentage increased and/or decreased is taken from MSN money article here . Analysis and thoughts are mine. For further reading check out 12 ways to help your unemployed friends and family
7 things that are getting cheaper:
1. Homes Although not quite so cheap, house prices have fallen way down in many part of the country, leaving many home owners upside down in their mortgages.
2. Electronics Electronic gadgets such as flat screen TV, DVD players, camcorders and camera, computer seemed to be getting smaller and cheaper.
3. Clothing Prices of cheaply made clothes have decreased so much. Many people have to replace their not so well made clothes almost every year. I doubt that it is cost effective in long run.
4. Cars With recent program “Cash for clunkers” success, car prices seems to be down and making many people believe they can afford newer model of car, and prices of used cars have plunged even more.
5. Air fare Air fare have decreased but additional fees for baggage, food, seat selections have increased. So it actually makes illusion of reduced price while actual total prices have increased for flying. I even heard that Ryan air planning to make coin operated restrooms!! I am not sure that will go well with most of the travelers.
6. Alternative energy Although MSN article mentions alternative energy as getting cheap, I am not quite sure if solar panels are affordable for most average… Continue reading
Black Friday is one of the most busiest and most commercial shopping day in the USA, shopping frenzy is unbelievable. Some of our friends and relatives are big in to shopping Black Friday and has so many strategies to get best deals. There are many websites that promote “leaked” deals and how to get best shopping deals and how to stay safe while you are out there. If you are looking for tips to make a best shopping experience, you will not find it here.
All these tips and wisdom are lost on me. I am too lazy to wake up 4 AM to shop and too frugal to buy things that we do not need. I wrote about how about holidays were hectic in past Stress free Thanksgiving and how we are changing it to be more enjoyable by doing less and buying less and doing more things for inner joy instead.
So, as a part of enjoying holidays more, we are having a what I call, a White Friday on November 27, 2009, meaning, we are getting up late, staying in, and not going anywhere near shopping malls or stores.
Actually, we avoid all terms of shopping (other than groceries, and gas filling) from November 20th until January 15th. Why so long? Because, stores are busy with people buying Christmas gifts for themselves and others until December 24th and then going again in store to return/exchange gifts they received and did not like, from December 26th-January 10ish. Staying in long lines to purchase and return items nor getting pushed and shoved while shopping is not my idea of enjoyable holidays, although that is exactly what I have done in past. Not anymore.
About a few years ago,… Continue reading