There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.
Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….
The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.
For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.
There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials. In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:
- Live in a smaller place. Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
- If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company. All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
- Drive a smaller car. Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine. If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
- Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
- Learn some DIY skills. You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners. It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
- Cut out impulse purchases. On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like. All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
- Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place. A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Don’t try to buy love. It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
- Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies. You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
- Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
- Buy generic brands. Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content. Only the packaging is different.
- If you can, then buy in bulk.
- Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch. Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway. And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
- Don’t join a gym. Most of the people who have gym membership never go there. For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
- Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
- Don’t give to a big charity. (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves? The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
- Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.
And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest. Credit cards are NOT money. Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.
You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own. For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked. Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness. And that a fool and his money are soon parted. All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.
you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
These days ancient English City of York is full of bicycles, churches, tourists, and pubs ~ mostly pubs. And mostly not a lot of Shakespeare.
unless you are a very attractive American woman, don’t ask to taste a load of different beers before you buy a pint.
You can never get away from where you’ve been.
We cannot change the past, we can only change the ways feel think and feel about the past. Most people have brutal, painful, and regrettable memories of their past. Events from the past have created who we are today, and events from the past will affect us today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and maybe until the day we die and beyond…..
Some of us may say that we are OK with the past, that things that happened in our childhood and adolescence do not haunt us at all. But beware, even if you are not aware of it, everything that you have experienced in the past; good, bad, terrible, traumatic, joyful, boring….. is affecting your sub-conscious today.
Nobody, up to and including you and me, is completely at peace with their past. We cannot, and should not, forget the past. Our past creates in us feelings of anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, doubt, guilt, fear, frustration, hurt, regret, rejection, sadness….. and most of us recall and remember the negatives from our past more than we focus on the positives.
Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Some of us try to run away from our past; changing where we live, drifting from one relationship to another, changing jobs, drinking too much, taking drugs, attempting suicide, and metaphorically running away to join the circus. But none of that running away ever works, for wherever we go we take the past with us. (Even if a suicide attempt fails it will most likely do irreparable damage to the body, mind, and spirit.)
For some of us it’s even worse, because we are also affected by the past of someone who is very close to us, and emotions created by someone else’s past are incredibly difficult to deal with. This is doubly so if our ‘friend’ hasn’t themselves fully come to terms with their own past.
To be cool with the past we must first be motivated to deal with the past. We need to understand what really happened in the past, not just some biased half-memories that we use to fuel our negative emotions today. Try to find out what really happened in the past. Be willing to talk about and fully explore issues from the past. Stop pretending that everything from the past is fine, when most likely it isn’t. Acknowledge your true feelings, whether they be loss, hurt, shame, anger…..
You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. ~ Iyanla Vazant.
Depending how deeply the past affects us, we may need help to come to terms with what happened, how it affected us, and who we are today because of the past. Speaking to family and friends may help, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist, you may talk with your priest or spiritual adviser, you may need something like hypnosis, or you may just need to really meditate, read inspirational books, listen to motivational lectures, or just go for a long walk in the sunshine.
With any luck we may find out that the past is better than we feared. But, no matter if the past is better or worse than we think we remember, we cannot move on from something we don’t understand and we refuse to accept.
That’s the past for you. Not only does it come back at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it’s set in stone. ~ Jeffery Deaver.
There may well be things from the past that need resolution. This might be very difficult, but the longest journey starts with the first baby-step. Be honest. Be self-aware. Be kind with yourself. Seek to understand yourself. Be kind and understanding towards others. And, give yourself time to heal.
A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind. ~ Louis L’Amour
Some say that we can become cool with the past by keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination to succeed in finding joy instead of negative emotions. And, that the past only exists in our memories and imagination. All I know is that the past isn’t actually here.
If what you’re doing isn’t working,
then do something else instead.
Sometimes we search for one thing, but discover another.
These are not just weeknight dinners, these are Food on Friday weeknight dinners. These recipes also make great leftovers that you can take to work for lunch.
OK, I know that if you’ve had a busy day at work, the last thing you may feel like doing is cooking a meal for yourself ~ but hey! These are all healthy, tasty, and pretty damn easy recipes.
Go on, cook something, you may just find peace and contentment after a hectic day ~ cooking soothes the mind.
First this week, for those of us who can’t decide between salad and pizza we have this Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread from Averie Cooks. San Diego girl Averie says this is both fast and easy ~ it should be ready for you and your special guest in 30 minutes.
Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has found these Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bowls at Foodie Crush. These should be delicious as an easy dinner, or an appitiser, or in a burrito, taco, or lettuce wrap. And just how fabulous does this shrimp bowl look! Foodie Crush also has a collection of 25 Super Healthy Bowl Recipes ~ how cool is that!
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bowl
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found us another quick and easy shrimp and pasta recipe. From Sheryl Julian we have a dish of Spring Shrimp with Peas and Mint ~ sounds and looks delicious.
Spring Shrimp with Peas and Mint
As if we all liked shrimp, Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this 30 minute recipe for Sweet Corn Chimichurri Butter Shrimp with Polenta. If you’re not so keen on polenta you could also make the dish with rice and quinoa. (I love shrimp recipes.)
Sweet Corn Chimichurri Butter Shrimp with Polenta
From Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb I have a 30 minute dish that should be popular with my American friends; Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. Mac and Cheese isn’t so popular in England ~ don’t ask me why….
Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
And now a cool collection from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have her 15 Best Family-Friendly Weeknight Dinners. All of these can be made in 30 minutes or less. Today I’m featuring Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup, and Chungah says this is the easiest, most comforting soup ~ ever. You should have this on your plate in only 20 minutes, and how great to take to work the following day!
Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup
Smoky Steak and Mushroom Stroganoff
luckily neither Marmaduke nor I have to actually work for a living these days
Paranoia; an extreme feeling that people are lying to me.
There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment. ~ Hunter S. Thompson.
We are all conditioned by our past. We have all been conditioned by society. We have all learned to be afraid. Our parents, our carers, our siblings, and all of society taught us to be afraid.
We learned negative thought, and we learned character defects like; anxiety, cowardice, denial, distrust, evasiveness, frustration, guilt, hatred, immorality, insecurity, pessimism, possessiveness, promiscuity, self-pity, and worry. All of these character defects are manifestations of fear.
It has been a massive shock to me to realise and accept just how afraid I have been for most of my life.
My greatest fear ~ fear of abandonment. I was a small, premature baby, placed in an incubator immediately after birth. Before I was five years old my maternal grandmother, my principal carer, left me. She had passed away.
My second greatest fear ~ that people are lying to me. My parents didn’t tell me that my nan had died, I thought she had abandoned me. My parents’ lying by omission, and telling me half-truths, destroyed my capacity to trust anyone.
Half a truth is often a great lie. ~ Benjamin Franklin
My third greatest fear ~ that I am not good enough, that I do everything wrong, that I am useless. I thought my nan had left me because I had been a bad boy, that I just wasn’t good enough for her anymore. Since then I have always felt second-best.
Because of that trauma in my formative years I have always been afraid of getting things wrong, and of being mocked for making mistakes. I have been morbidly afraid of rejection, which has resulted in all of my relationships with women becoming utterly dysfunctional. I am deeply afraid of developing a close relationship with an attractive and sexual woman.
Good girls go to heaven, Bad girls go everywhere. ~ Mae West
Because of my childhood trauma, I believe that every women I have had a close relationship with has lied to me, and I am afraid that negative belief also means that I cannot even know truth from falsehoods. In my own life I attempt to be dedicated to the truth, but to be a truthful man in a world of liars is to live in a very scary place. And, as we all know, everybody lies all the time.
Keeping secrets from someone is no different from lying to them. It’s still dishonest. And I am deeply afraid of dishonesty.
Perhaps due to the traumas I experienced before I was 5 years old, for most of my life I have suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a serious mental illness that brings with it it’s very own set of fears. Happily, I am mostly in recovery from BPD.
Some say that we are all afraid of change because we fear the unknown. And that our fears are there to protect us from really bad things happening to us. All I know is that if I keep on doing what I’ve always done, then I’ll get what I always got.
I don’t believe in fate or destiny. I believe in various degrees of fear, paranoia, and abandonment. ~ Henry Rollins.
To recover from paranoia and fear I am working on healing the causes of my problems, rather than the symptoms.
no matter how much you deceive yourself,
you have to know that she has always lied to you.
Only out of suffering emerges the strongest souls.
jealousy and doubt
the demon soul eaters
visit in the blackest night
darkness lonely frightfulness
another run around nightmares
of lying half-truths dishonest deceit
she was a dark witch circling the firelight
she made it so very easy, and my soul was lost
not all women are witches
but all witches are enchanted women
never accept a kiss from a witch at midnight
True realism is a willingness to reveal and accept the truth.
Scientific studies, and my own bitter experiences, have shown me that one of the character traits necessary for a man / person to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, stable, and resilient is Realism.
Being too pessimistic is depressing, being too optimistic means that you are easily disappointed and crushed, and being too idealistic is to search for unrealistic perfection. Being realistic means that you accept the reality of the world as it is, rather than as you imagine it to be.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects the wind to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~ William Arthur Ward.
It seems that being realistic tends to mean that you’re also deep, grounded, mindful, compassionate, able to deal with adversity, are not easily disappointed, and recover quickly from whatever shit the world throws your way.
To be realistic is to be self-aware and be fully cognisant of your own wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Being fully self-aware means that you do not easily fall prey to self-deceit ~ you don’t much lie to yourself, nor to others.
Realistic people also have good situational awareness, they are grounded in the truth of any given situation, seeing things for what they actually are, rather than they would wish them to be. They have a solid sense of time and place. They read people easily, and they are not reliant on a specific other person for their happiness. Most people don’t have your happiness at the top of their agenda.
It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished. ~ Criss Jami
There are 3.2 billion women in the world, so why should a realistic guy tie their happiness to just one particular uncaring and unavailable woman ~ no matter what.
One key feature of a realistic person is that they will always have some sort of written plan / plans in place to achieve their wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Realists know that unless they do something then nothing happens. To live life you first have to show up. Realists make the very most of any opportunity that comes their way. Realists take action to make things happen, they do not wait for things to happen to them. Realists tend to devote enough time and effort to whatever task lies in front of them.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln.
A realist will also have more free will than any other type of person. This is because they are prepared to say ‘No’. Every time you blindly agree with other people means that you have taken away your own free will.
Realists have a particular type of personality ~ they are physical, sceptical, jealous of their own time and space, independent, practical, clear-headed, good in an emergency, objective, non-judgmental, taciturn, and easy going.
But you don’t have to possess all of those character traits to be a realist ~ perhaps they are attributes we should aspire to.
Some say that a realist believes that some things are worth fighting for. And, that a realist will have a flexible plan for winning their battles. All I know is that to be a realist means showing up for the fight ~ it means showing up for Life.
Practical Realism 1.01 ~ First Know Yourself.
remember you’re supposed to be draining the swamp, not fighting with the alligators
Nevada, famous for Vegas, Area 51 ~ and a lot of desert.
after all, Absinthe is a potent female aphrodisiac
the angst of solitude, where you’re alone with the cosmos.
I have just been through the Dark Night of the Soul.
Last evening I felt very strange ~ for no readily apparent reason.
Mentally I was quite depressed and melancholy, with a feeling of deep angst thrown in.
My thoughts were wandering into dark places I didn’t want to go ~ places that in the past would certainly have driven me towards strong drink as a way of escape from my own tortured mind.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. ~ George Bernard Shaw.
Physically I felt weak, my arms and legs were as heavy as lead, and I had severe peripheral neuropathy in my hands and forearms.
It is said that our feelings are kept in our body, and that if we don’t deal with those feelings they will surface as physical symptoms ~ particularly if those feelings are causing undue stress.
Overall, this was extremely painful and mentally uncomfortable ~ I had to reach out to a close friend for support.
I believe that what is going on with me, both mentally and physically, is due to all the introspection I’ve experienced through diligently working through the Hay House World Summit programme. And let me tell you, twenty hours of this in a week is a lot of work.
This is all to the good. It means that I’m not wasting my time with all these audio lessons and films. It means that deep down in my subconscious I’m turning over the dead earth of my past traumas, character defects, and negativity. It means that I am creating a new and better view of myself, my relationships, the world, and the cosmos.
It may be that I am truly walking the warrior’s path.
At least I sincerely hope and believe that’s what is happening to me.
Spiritually, mentally, and physically I still feel like crap today. However, sometimes there has to be a little pain along the way before we get to those sunlit meadows of inner peace.