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Free land

December 2nd, 2010 at 07:42 am

Not the usual, everyday freebies you hear, but evidently, there's free land out there!

The down side? Most are open land with little or no municipal services, and all of them are areas in need of "revitalization".

Still though, it's interesting to read about at the very least.

snapgoods.com

November 3rd, 2010 at 09:02 am

I'm not a part of this, but I do want to pass on this interesting and provocative idea.

Basically, people sign on this website and loan each other stuff for a price. In other words, if you have stuff but you don't use it all the time, you can loan it out and make a little bit of money. Conversely, if you need something only occasionally, and wish you could just rent it instead of paying full price to buy it, you can do so with a site like this.

Again though, I'm not a part of this, and haven't tried this out myself. So, I can't be sure how well this works, and how it compares with some retail shops that offer similar goods and services. Still, it's an interesting idea.

Pumpkin stats

October 19th, 2010 at 01:19 pm

Not really financially-related, but very interesting just the same.

Everything you need to know about personal finance

October 14th, 2010 at 08:20 am

This gave me a chuckle.

Garden Pool

September 29th, 2010 at 01:04 pm

This is interesting. Someone turned their old swimming pool into a self-sustaining greenhouse. According to the website, they get unlimited tilipia fish, about 8 eggs, veggies, and herbs daily!



Check it out!

The nature of frugality

September 27th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Once in a while, I will get questions like, "What do you like to do? What are your goals or ambitions? Do you even have hobbies?" When pressed, I often times tell them that my hobby is saving money. It's the truth, and yet, I will get quizzical looks in return.

I guess it's understandable in that the nature of frugality is paradoxical in many ways. It's not like chopping down a tree, where you would see a lot of physical effort being exerted with a concrete end-result. Rather, it's largely mental.

In short, I think frugality is meditative. Unlike many other activities, the goal is largely achieved through deliberate and decisive inaction. And it's not even self-deprivation really. It's also a way to search within yourself what is really important to you in this world, and focusing your money towards those things.

But I also want to stress that frugality isn't literally doing nothing either. Like many others, my money is limited too, and sometimes, I have to get very creative about making the budget stretch. Creativity, I think, is the hallmark of any true fruggie. It's not about blasting something with more money until it works. It's about being savvy, being determined, and minimizing frivolous waste.

Alas, for a man in a western society, this sort of quality is not often noticed. In many ways, my life would be simpler if I was a lumberjack, chopping trees. But... that would not be me.

And besides, I can't imagine why there would be anything more important than building actual financial safety. Do people really not know just how much of a financial danger they are in? Thin ice and egg shells does not a sound foundation make, and yet, many seems content building their house and future on it....

In the end, I will continue to do what I do because I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. When you know that, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks.

Still though, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try out a hedge trimmer eh? It's not quite the same as a chainsaw, but at least it will get the HoA off my back. Big Grin

Plastic island

September 15th, 2010 at 06:47 pm

I think I may have blogged about this in the past, but basically, there's this guy who has built himself a floating island out of discarded plastic bottles.

I've stumbled across a more recent video of him, this time in much more detail, and it appears that he's made some major additions since I last saw it!

Check it out!

Internet switch

September 13th, 2010 at 07:47 am

In a typical household, it's normal to have a landline phone, cellphones, cable, and internet.

For some time now, I've managed to consolidate all of my phone needs into one Tracfone, for an average of about $5 a month. I've been very happy with that, and for some time now, I've been looking for ways to do the same with my internet.

Unfortunately, while I rarely use a phone at all, I am a complete internet junkie. In my own defense however, I do not have cable or even Netflix. So, my only source of entertainment centers around being online somehow.

Recently, I've been experimenting with a mobile 4G hot spot device from clear.com. It is unlimited 4G data for $40 a month, my home and most areas near work have coverage, and the speeds can rival my DSL, which I am currently paying $50 a month. Best of all, because the device is portable, it means that my iPod Touch has data access similar to an iPhone, except with 4G speeds!

In other words, for the price of shaving $10 a month off my internet bill, I also gain mobility with it! A typical iPhone alone would cost a minimum of about $55 a month. Home broadband would be a separate bill. However, with this one device, I am able to do it all for just $40 a month! Combined with the Tracfone, all of my household bills are only $45 a month (not including gas, electric, and water bills).

There is one minor downside: I now carry three devices on my belt: The cellphone, iPod Touch, and now, the hot spot device. I feel like Batman. Big Grin

On love and money

August 23rd, 2010 at 06:04 am

Now, here are two words that can provide an endless well of interesting conversations.

I was reading this rather interesting article that states that while frugality may be an admirable trait, to the general population, it's still viewed mostly as either boring or even stingy. Well, there goes my chances. Big Grin

What I find particularly interesting is that money used to play a much more prominent role in marriage prospects in the yesteryear. According to the article, an old ad from the 1860s reads, "A young lady, rather good looking, and of good address, desires the acquaintance of a gentleman of wealth (none other need apply), with a view to matrimony." The article ruminates, "Several generations back, personal ads could not have been more explicit about finances, since everyone knew that women generally had no income and a marriage involving a man of means was the only way to live comfortably."

As a result, financial fitness was once seen as a very important trait in men, and the ads from men back then blatantly reflected that. "'There was this idea that men were very frugal,' said Ms. Epstein, 33, who posts copies of some of the ads she’s dug up at advertisingforlove.com. 'You were going to work hard and save your money, and then by doing so, you would be able to support a wife in comfort.'"

Whatever happened to the good ole days. Big Grin Actually, I shouldn't say that because I probably would not be able to compete in the sense that I don't make a lot of money right now. But I digress....

Either way, the article continues on with what I thought was a refreshingly direct shot at the truth about love and money. "'Frugality may or may not have anything to do with how much he loves you,' said BJ Gallagher, 61, an experienced online dater and author of several self-help books for women. 'But for a lot of women, love looks like 'Take care of me and give me things.''" Now, I'm not saying that generalizations like this will conveniently apply to every woman today, but I think there is quite a bit of truth to that statement. In the end, we all still want a sense of stability and comfort. Even as a guy, I do too (though, I am expected to make the money to provide, not be provided for).

Or, maybe she's wrong, or that there's more to this? What do you think, you ladies, rather good looking, and of good address? Big Grin

The man who lives without money

August 19th, 2010 at 09:31 am

Just came across this interesting article.

I have mixed feelings about this. To me, money is just a representation of value. He has a laptop, for example, and it doesn't matter to me if he worked for the laptop in a barter, or if he worked for money, and then bought the laptop. The result is the same. So, why avoid money?

On the other hand, I do admire the fact that he not only tries, but actually enjoys a very simple form of living. Even if we don't strive to live without money, there are some useful tips that I think we can learn from his experiences. He also has a forum that I am reading through right now. Looks interesting.