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Introduction

Photo by Mathieu Turle on Unsplash

October 20, 2019

Mention the word frugal and all kinds of negative and frightening mental images come to mind with most people. The purpose of this blog is to offer principles, ideas and experiences that will bring you to the realization that being frugal is not about deprivation.

Living frugally simply means maximizing your hard-earned income and reducing wasteful spending so you can live well … regardless of how small or large your income is. It’s about you living better than you are now. It’s about living a less stressful and chaotic life resulting in a happier, more fulfilled life that is free of debt.


Being frugal will be a life-changing experience. It will require you to take charge over your financial well-being. It requires commitment and responsibility. It also requires honest assessments of your progress towards your goals.

The ideas and principles that I will share are from my own experience. What worked for me may not work for you due to differing financial circumstances, income level, savings and investment opportunities, level of debt and commitment.

That being said, the principles I’ll present are not theory. Rather, they are principles that have been implemented, tested and proven — through my own experience — to produce financial freedom.

There is one principle truth that will be included in any path you ultimately decide to take: you must spend less than you earn.

Your comments, questions and experience are important.

W.M. Brown

Frugal Plan’s Promise

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  • No product or service endorsements
  • No manufacturer or retail affiliations

Why Buying Local Really Matters

In recent decades, policy across the country has favored the biggest corporations. Yet a growing body of research is proving something that many people already know: small-scale, locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected, and generally better off across a wide range of measurable metrics.

Here’s a roundup of the important findings that are putting numbers to the harms of bigness and the benefits of local ownership, and that policymakers can use to craft better laws, business owners can use to rally support, and people can use to organize their communities.

Start-ups

These studies find that as the economy has become dominated by fewer and larger companies, there’s been a sharp decline in the formation of new businesses. Do we really want our choices to be limited to the large corporate box stores?

Jobs

These studies show that locally owned businesses employ more people per unit of sales, and retain more employees during economic downturns, while big-box retailers decrease the number of retail jobs in a community and surrounding areas.

Inequality

These studies find that the increasing size of corporations is driving inequality, while local and dispersed business ownership strengthens the middle class in the communities we live in.

Economic Returns

These studies find that local businesses recirculate a greater share of every dollar in the local economy, as they create locally owned supply chains and invest in their employees. Local small business owners often support local sports teams, help fund after-school programs, provide scholarships, and offer special benefits to students in their community’s schools.

Wages

These studies show that locally owned businesses are linked to higher income growth and lower levels of poverty, while big-box retailers, particularly Walmart, depress wages and benefits for retail employees. Studies in this section also quantify the costs of these big companies’ low wages to state healthcare programs and other forms of public assistance.

Social Well-Being

These studies find that a community’s level of social capital, civic engagement, and well-being is positively related to the share of its economy held by local businesses, while the presence of mega-retailers like Walmart undermines social capital and civic participation.

Public Subsidies

These studies document the massive public subsidies that overwhelmingly favor big businesses and have financed their expansion, and how this subsidized development has failed to produce real long-term economic benefits for communities.

Taxes

Building on the studies included in the previous category, “Public Subsidies,” these studies examine the differing impacts of locally owned businesses and big-box retailers on public finances. They find that large retailers systemically tilt the playing field in their favor by skirting their tax obligations, as well as that locally owned enterprises generate more tax revenue for cities, with less cost (financial and environmental) than sprawling big-box shopping centers.

Existing Businesses

These studies demonstrate how big-box retailers have significant negative effects on the number and vitality of nearby local businesses, in that they both lead to a loss of existing businesses, and contrary to the claims big-box retailers themselves often make, do not serve as a catalyst for new growth.

Study findings from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.


Personal Narrative

I try, as much as possible, to purchase products and services locally from a local, independent owner. I have the belief that building a relationship with the local owner is a “paying it forward” opportunity for I time I may need that owner’s help … desperately. I want to provide two examples of this paying off.

Gas Station With a Repair Garage

Before I retired, I typically drove just under 65,000 miles (ca. 104,607 km) a year in my business. I left home early in the morning a didn’t return home until late at night.

One night at around 10PM, just before I made it home, I realized that my left front tire was loosing air. I needed to get it repaired or replaced because I needed to leave home the next morning by 6AM. I pulled into the gas station where I fill my gas tank every morning. The owner was there closing the station. I knocked on the door and since he knew me, opened the door and asked if I wanted a cup of hot coffee. I thanked him and proceeded to tell him about the nearly flat tire.

Even though the garage had been closed for two hours, he told me to drive the car in the repair garage to let him take a look at it. It turned out that I had a piece of metal in it. He repaired the tire for $12. He didn’t try to sell me a new tire … he fixed it for a measly $12.

This is exactly why I pay him an extra 5-cents per gallon of gasoline every morning when I fill the tank.

Local Mini Grocery

A bout a month ago I stopped at my neighborhood mini mercado (small grocery) for some fresh fruit, vegetables, and ice cream. When I went to pay, I discovered that I had left my wallet at home. The owner, from an isle away, heard my conversation with the cashier. He come over to me and told me to take everything home and to pay him for the merchandise the next time I was in the store.

I didn’t have to sign anything. All I had to do was stop back in and pay him on my next visit. Get your local Wal-Mart, Target or Kroger to do that!

While I don’t do my weekly grocery shopping at this little store, I typically spend $10 – $20 a week there to help assure its presence in my neighborhood. Having it handily available is well worth the extra buck or two for the week. Besides, they always have quality produce and eggs from free-range chickens.

We need to keep in mind that frugality isn’t always about dollars and cents.


Would you like to contact me privately? Email me at mbrown.ec@mail.com.


My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Keeping a Stash of Money at Home

Is it a good idea to keep a stash of money at home? If yes, how much and where?

When deciding if you should keep a stash of money at home, you need to consider how much money you want to stash, the reason(s) you want to keep a stash and how quickly you may need access to your money.

You also need to consider the risks inherent with keeping a stash of money at home. Does the benefit of having a stash of money at home outweigh the associated risks?

Legality of Keeping a Large Stash of Money at Home

It is legal for you to store large amounts of cash at home so long that the source of the money has been declared on your tax returns. There is no limit to the amount of cash a person can keep in their home, the important thing is properly securing it. 

Common Reasons to Keep a Stash of Money at Home

The reason many people keep a stash of money at home is for an emergency like:

  • A weather-related catastrophe.
  • There is a loss of electricity, water or gas to your community or neighborhood.
  • There is an out-of-town family-related emergency and you need to immediately leave home to provide assistance and support to this family member.

Many people like to keep a portion of their emergency fund at home. They feel more secure when they know they have cash on hand if they aren’t able to withdraw money from an ATM or their bank.

How Much Money to Stash Away

At a minimum, you’ll want to have enough cash to keep your household going for three days. Since a serious crisis might mean an evacuation on short notice, it’s a good idea to have enough money on hand to buy gas, food, and a couple of nights at a motel for your whole family.

For most people, $1,000 is enough to get them and their families through a short crisis. If you have a big family or unusual needs, such as a medical condition that requires special treatment, you’ll probably want to save more. Single folks without dependents can likely get by with a little less.

Where to Stash Your Money at Home

Keeping money under your mattress might sound like a good idea in the movies, but in reality, it’s one of the worst places to hide your cash. Not only is it the first place any burglar would look, but your mattress won’t protect your money from fire, tornado, flood or several other types of natural disasters. Here are some ideas:

  • A hidden safe securely bolted to the wall or in a slab.
  • In a hole in your yard. Protect your money in a double Ziploc bag, then put it in a jar or tin and dig it up outside. Make it as water-tight/ waterproof as possible so it doesn’t rot due to moisture.
  • Inside a sock or an article of clothing kept in a drawer with similar items.
  • Taped in an envelope under the cat’s litter box.
  • Taped in an envelope under a low shelf in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • In a crawl space. If your house burns, the crawl space is less likely to get damaged.
  • Inside a fake outlet. Make it look believable by putting it in a location where an outlet could go. You can hide the outlet with a piece of furniture. If you can’t hide it, make it more believable by plugging something to it.
  • In your bug-out-bag. Any go-bag should be equipped with some extra cash. A couple of hundred dollars in small bills should be plenty in case you need to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

The Worst Places to Stash Your Money at Home

  • In plain sight. The catch-all mug on your kitchen counter or pencil cup on your desk could be a convenient place to keep some cash — and that’s just the problem. It’s convenient for thieves, even amateur ones, and possibly too much of a temptation for you and any sticky-fingered friends or family members. Don’t create the opportunity for someone to steal your money.
  • In your bedroom. That’s where most people keep their cash, jewelry, and other easily grabbed valuables and it’s the first place many burglars head. So forget about your dresser, nightstand, bedroom closets or even under the mattress. Burglars will flip the bed over almost every time. They may also overturn other furniture, knowing that people sometimes tape an envelope of cash underneath.
  • In the fridge. Hiding cash in a refrigerator or freezer might have once been a good idea, but it’s a familiar trick to burglars. Expect them to ransack your fridge and freezer and dump everything on the floor.
  • Anywhere you’ll forget about. Crime isn’t the only thing that can separate us from our money. Our own faulty memories can do the job as well. So, wherever you decide to bury your treasure, make sure you’ll remember the spot later. Consider writing a note to yourself, one that you’ll understand but a thief wouldn’t. Or tell a trusted friend or relative. Otherwise, you could find yourself flipping your mattress or dumping out all the cornflakes, wondering just where you stashed your money.

Most of the above information can be found on most websites addressing this topic. However, there is one type of financial emergency that is rarely discussed … cyber crime.

A Successful Cyberattack to the Global Money System

A criminal cyberattack to the global money system would be catastrophic and would create immediate social chaos. When people don’t have any cash on-hand, and they cannot access money via ATMs, credit and debit cards, or visiting their local bank … social anarchy will ensue.

Such an event may require you to have a sizeable amount of cash on-hand until the global money system is back online and functioning properly.

To put the potential crisis in perspective, consider how your government (at all levels) were prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • What technical systems and human service programs were in-place and ready to be immediately implemented and deployed?
  • Did the government agencies have adequate supplies and equipment in storage for easy access and ready for immediate disbursement?

If our governments are as prepared for a successful cyberattack to the global money system as they were for the coronavirus pandemic, how long could the resulting crisis last?


Feel free to contact me directly via email to: mbrown.ec@mail.com.


My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Envisioning Socialism

Being Frugal … Not Cheap!


What is the difference between being frugal and being cheap?

Frugality considers value … not cost alone. For many people, ethical standards are also a consideration. Frugal people know that, sometimes, it is better to pay more and get better overall value. These folks want to save money but not if there will be a detrimental cost to others or our planet.

Cheapskates are primarily concerned with paying the lowest price for a product or service with little concern for the long-term well-being of self, society or the environment.

As it turns out, cheapskates are typically less skilled at managing their money than frugal people due to their shortsightedness.

Being Frugal vs. Being Cheap

Cheap
A cheapskate may try to double-dip on rebates by using a second address. (Example: work address or post office box) Most rebates clearly state that the rebate is limited to one rebate per person. By doing this, the cheapskate is committing an illegal act … fraud.

Frugal
A frugal person will research a product or service based on expert and customer reviews and will wait for the product to go on sale before making the purchase. The frugal person will be buying a quality, well-reviewed product or service at a reduced price.

Cheap
Cheapskates believe everything is overpriced and that the seller is trying to rob him. It’s not unusual for a cheapskate to make a scene at the store with a clerk or cashier because he believes an item is overpriced and demands a price reduction.

Frugal
A frugal person frequently waits for an item to go on sale before buying it. They may also use a coupon or rebate. If a frugal person cannot afford something, she will wait for it goes on sale or do without. It’s no one else’s fault that she cannot afford the item she desires.

Cheap
A woman finds the perfect dress for an upcoming party. Unfortunately, the cost of the dress is far more than she can afford. She gets the great (unethical) idea to buy it and wear it to Saturday night’s party and then return it to the store on Monday.

Frugal
A frugal woman will look at consignment stores where she can buy a beautiful dress that might have been worn once at a steep discount off its original cost. She can afford the dress, and she will have it to wear in the future. This is a frugal and ethical purchase.


Cheap
You have a habit of swiping paper, staples, paper clips folders, toilet paper, paper towels, condiment packets and trash bags from work. You don’t have any qualms about this because you feel you are underpaid anyway.

Frugal
A frugal person doesn’t steal … even if it is just petty theft. If something is being discarded, that’s a different scenario. It makes frugal sense to help yourself to items being thrown away and you have a use for it.

Cheap
You need to get a birthday present for aunt. Since you are on a tight budget, you decide to give your aunt a jacket out of your closet that no longer fits you.

Unfortunately, you forgot that she complimented you on it when you last wore it at a family member’s graduation party.

Frugal
Secondhand gifts don’t need to be thoughtless gifts just because you are on a tight budget. Upscale thrift stores and consignment shops typically have a selection of like-new merchandise that you can purchase for a good price. Clean and wrap the item up nicely and your aunt won’t care if it was secondhand if you selected something you know she’ll just love.

The difference may between being frugal and cheap may not be obvious if the “cost” of the item or service is the sole determining factor. In these cases, it may come down to doing what your sense of right and wrong is telling you to do.

Deep down inside ourselves most of us know the difference between being frugal and being just plain cheap. Being frugal makes us feel good about ourselves. Being cheap makes us feel dirty … inside and out.



My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Stages of Life Money Management

The stage of life you are in will determine the financial management strategies you should employ. A financial management strategy for a 30-year-old single person will be different from a 30-year-old married person.

Likewise, the 30-year-old has vastly different financial goals and responsibilities compared to a 65-year-old.

There is never, nor can there ever be, a one-size-fits-all financial management strategy or plan. Stages of life, lifestyle differences, individual circumstances and objectives require a personalized strategy.

Early Career Years

Typically, this will begin after graduating from college or some other type of specialized training. During this time, it is common for your expenses to exceed income. As a result, you can easily become burdened with debt that take you years to pay off. Obviously, you don’t want debt to control your life. Some goals for this life stage may include:

  • Paying off student or specialized training loans
  • Buying a car
  • Buying all the household furnishings needed for your rented home or apartment
  • Starting a savings and investment plan
  • Developing a good credit history and score

Right from the start you need to track your expenses and have a budget. This is the only way you can really learn financial discipline.

You must establish an Emergency Fund equal to 3 – 6 months of your expenses. This will be your cash reserve to pay for any number of unforeseen financial setbacks that will come your way … and they will come.

This is also the stage in life when you will most likely be looking for a life partner. Both partners need to be fully aware of the financial situation of the other partner including income, personal expenses and debt. It is also important to know the financial philosophy of each other. (Is one and saver while the other one is a spender?) There needs to be some brutally honest discussions so both parties know exactly the philosophy and spending habits of the other partner.

If you are single and it appears you will remain single for a few years ahead, you are in a perfect position to aggressively save and invest. Doing this will put you decades ahead of your peers. I promise that you’ll never regret it.

Career Advancement and Family Years

This stage in life will be your most challenging in maintaining financial discipline. As you grow in your career, your income will grow. Your financial responsibilities will never be greater. This time in your life will provide you with memories you will never forget. Some financial objectives at this stage of your life may include:

  • Saving for a down payment for your first home
  • Buying a home
  • Growing your savings and investment accounts
  • Building an education fund for your children
  • Putting money aside to start a business

If you have a family, you must have:

  • A will
  • Life insurance

If you are single, you need to have a will and a plan if you become seriously disabled or of your premature death. Someone needs to be appointed to handle and disburse your estate. I recommend using an estate attorney.

Empty Nest Years

These are the years after your last child has moved out of the household and retirement. This is the stage that you (and your spouse) focus all your financial strategies and resources towards a financially secure retirement. Some areas to consider are:

  • Aggressively increase your deposits to your savings and investment accounts. It is far better to run out of life before you run out of money than to run out of money before you run out of life.
  • Pay off all debts before you actually retire
  • Develop a plan for long-term care (insurance, savings, etc.)
  • Make sure your will(s) are in order based on your wishes

Two years before your planned retirement date, you should develop a budget based on your anticipated monthly retirement income. The purpose is to have all the “kinks” worked out of your budget so you can confidently enter retirement knowing that you can comfortably live the lifestyle you worked all your life for.

Retirement Years

You made it! This is the stage when the money you saved and invested throughout your working life will take care of you. Some considerations at this life stage are:

  • Minimizing taxes
  • Finalize your will(s) and estate planning

With your financial advisor, annually review and make any needed changes to your savings and investments to make sure they will continue to provide the needed income for as long as you live.

“We work all our lives so we can retire – so we can do what we want with our time – and the way we define or spend our time defines who we are and what we value.”
– Bruce Linton


My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate on Savings and Investments

“It’s not how much money you make,
but how much money you keep,
how hard it works for you,
and how many generations you keep it for.
— Robert Kiyosaki


Will your savings and investment plan make more money in 5 years with a fixed (guaranteed) rate of return or a variable rate of return when the fixed rate equals the 5-year average rate of return?

Shouldn’t the results be the same in 5 years? Let’s take a look at a comparison.

Example Assumptions
Beginning Balance: $0
Monthly Deposit: $500
Accumulation Period: 5 Years
Average 5-Year Rate of Return: 5.2%
Withdrawals: None
Taxes: Not Included
Inflation: Not Included

Fixed (Guaranteed) Rate of Return Result (5.2%)
Account Balance at the end of 5 Years: $34,257

Variable Rate of Return (Average = 5.2%)
End of Year 1 at 5% Rate of Return: $6,300
End of Year 2 at 3.5% Rate of Return: $12,731
End of Year 3 at 7% Rate of Return: $20,042
End of Year 4 at 4.5% Rate of Return: $27,214
End of Year 5 at 6% Rate of Return: $35,207

Your money will earn $950 more with a Variable Rate plan.

This example clearly shows that while a guarantee provides safety, accepting some risk will typically earn a higher Rate of Return over a period time.


The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half
and put it in your back pocket.”
– Will Rogers


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Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

What Is Your “Real” Rate of Return?

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

“The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind.”
— T.T. Munger


Definitions and Example

Rate of Return is the ratio of the annual income from an investment to the original investment, often expressed as a percentage.

Real Rate of Return, also known as the “net” rate of return, is the gross annual income from your savings and investments (S&I) less taxes and inflation. The equation looks like this:

Income from S&I – Taxes – Inflation = Real (Net) Income and expressed as a percentage.

Example
S&I Beginning Year Balance: $100,000
S&I Ending Year Balance: $107,500
Gross Income Earned : $7,500
Gross Rate of Return on S&I: 7.5%

Taxes of 20% on income earned: $1,500
Inflation of 2% applied to year-end balance: $2,150
Real (Net) Income for the year: $3,850
Real (Net) Rate of Return on S&I: 3.85%


The above example clearly shows why you need to use Real (Net) Rates of Return when making long-term S&I plans and commitments. You also need to set a “target” for your real rate of return in your funding and planning strategies.

Your target Real (Net) Rate of Return will help you determine what types of savings and investment products to utilize. In general, the higher your target, the more risk you must be willing to take.


Risk, Reward and Balance

Types of Savings and Investment products

High risk: Below investment grade bonds or bond mutual funds. Stocks or stock mutual funds of start-up businesses. These offer the potential of high rates of return. You also stand the risk losing some or all of your money.

Average risk: Stocks, stock mutual fund, S&P 500 indexed funds, investment grade bonds and bond mutual funds. Returns are not guaranteed. However, over periods of 15 years or more, stocks and stock mutual funds have performed quite well against all other types of investments. S&P 500 indexed funds offer some stability over individually owned stocks because of the number and diversity of the companies included in the S&P 500.

Real estate also has the potential to provide good returns.

Low risk: Includes bank or credit union savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Accounts (up to a certain amount) are insured. Interest rates on certificates of deposit are guaranteed. Unfortunately, the current interest rates for these accounts are typically less than the inflation rate. This means you are guaranteed a loss of the purchasing power of your money.

Balanced S&I Portfolio

The surest way to get caught with your financial pants down is to:

  • Seek the highest interest rate
  • Seek the highest rate of return
  • Putting all of your money in one basket

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t compare products and services. Just remember that if it looks too good to be true … it probably is. Do your due diligence research.

Your savings and investment portfolio needs to be balanced between high-risk and low-risk products. Your S&I portfolio should contain guaranteed and non guaranteed products.

Don’t be greedy. Don’t get starry-eyed. Rather, have a balanced, well-funded and planned S&I portfolio. Review it annually and make any needed adjustments.

Disclaimer
I am not a financial planner or investment advisor. Please seek professional counsel for personal advice and recommendations based on your specific, personal objectives.


My Other Websites

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Does Your Financial Savings Plan Account for Inflation?

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

“We should be disciplined and responsible and then our prosperity will be stable despite any economic crisis, inflation or a change of government”
― Sunday Adelaja


Let’s assume you have established a savings plan to reach a specified amount of money down the road. You have it all planned out as to how much money you need to save each month to have that amount of money in 15 years based on a realistic interest rate or rate of return after taxes.

I congratulate you on your savings commitment!

There is a problem, however. Due to inflation, your savings target for 15 years down the road will not be enough.

Inflation will erode the purchasing power value of your money … year after year. Let’s say there is an inflation rate of 2% this year. This means that next year your dollars will be worth 2% less than this year. To make up for the deflated value of your dollars, the item that costs $100 this year will require you to fork over $102 next year.

A dollar still equals a dollar. You will simply have to allocate more dollars for the same item or service next year.


Let’s take a look at a hypothetical illustration. The components like the assumed interest rate and the inflation rate in the illustration aren’t all that important as the purpose is to simply illustrate the concept. All assumptions are for illustrative purposes only and may not be relevant in today’s marketplace.

Assumptions
Initial savings …. $10,000
Monthly deposits …. $499
Annual interest rate (APR) …. 2.5%
Years to target date …. 15
Average annual rate of inflation …. 2%

Summary Results
Total deposits …. $99,620
Interest earned …. $24,724
Gross future value …. $124,544
Purchasing power value …. $92,538

Over the next 15 years, you will lose $32,006 in the purchasing power value of your money!

If you don’t increase your monthly contributions each year to offset inflation, the amount of money you will accumulate will be substantially less than you hoped for or need.


My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

The Value of Quality

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

“Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.”    
Peter F. Drucker


Being frugal isn’t limited to just saving money — it also means not wasting your money and spending your money wisely. Some things may be cheap now, but actually cost you more in the long run. There are times when it just makes sense to spend more now for a long-lasting, dependable, well-made product. To help you determine this, you might want to ask yourself some questions:

  • How long do you need the product to perform based on the frequency you will use it?
  • Will this product actually be able to do what you intend to use it for?
  • Do you need a larger, sturdier product to make the work easier?
  • Based on the price of the product, is the cost vs. the use value (including the ease-of-use) worth it to you?
  • Are you skilled to use the product for the work you will be doing?
  • Are you safely comfortable in using/handling the product?
  • Is there any training available if you need it?
  • What is the guarantee/warranty of the product?

Balancing Quality and Cost

Rarely is it advisable to purchase (and use) a poor quality product. In most cases, you will become frustrated in getting the product to perform to a reasonable degree of satisfaction. You also stand the risk of the product breaking down or falling apart before your job is completed.

That leaves us with choice of either buying a good quality product or a high quality product. Certainly, the cost difference will be a determining factor. Hence, taking a look at how important the product is to your life and how often you will use it needs to be a determining factor as well.

If you will use the product a couple of times a month, a good quality product will probably suffice. If you will use the product daily and it is important to your daily life, you need to buy the highest quality product you can afford.

Low to moderate use — Buy good quality
Frequent use — Buy high quality

Personal Examples

  • Before I retired, I typically drove about 65,000 miles a year for the business. I usually drove my car for 3-4 years before buying a new one. I was often on the road late at night. Because of this, I drove highly dependable Japanese cars with top-of-line tires. The last thing I needed was to broken down on the interstate at 11:30PM out in the middle of nowhere.
  • Computers and printers where critical tools in my business. I learned the hard way that personal use computers and printers (even top-of-the-line) where not designed for heavy office use. They didn’t last a year. From that point on, I purchased commercial-duty computers and printers.
  • In 1969 when I was 12 years old, I started mowing lawns to earn money. I mowed 10-12 lawns a week. One of the tools I used was grass shears to do the trimming and edging. I can remember today, just like it was yesterday, buying the only pair of grass shears I ever purchased. They cost $12.49! That was a major expense for me. I had to mow and trim two lawns (about 2.5 hours each of work) to pay for them.

    As it turned out, they were worth every penny I paid for them. I’ve used these Corona grass shears for 51 years every time I mowed a lawn. These grass shears were an important part of my little lawn mowing business. I bought the best. As promised when I bought them, they will last me for life!

Other articles you may enjoy….

Reasons You Constantly Miss Your Financial Goals

When Can You Retire?

Small Businesses Need an Emergency Fund


My Other Websites

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Procrastination: Killer of Financial Dreams

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

If you’re saving, you’re succeeding.
― Steve Burkholder


Everyone wants to save money. Few actually get around to it. Of those who do, they wish they had started sooner. Let’s see what happens when you procrastinate:

Age: 35
Amount saved: $500 per month to age 65
Average interest rate or rate of return: 7.5%
Accumulated value at age 65: $677,933.48

Age: 40
Amount saved: $500 per month to age 65
Average interest rate or rate of return: 7.5%
Accumulated value at age 65: $441,371.88

Age: 45
Amount saved: $500 per month to age 65
Average interest rate or rate of return: 7.5%
Accumulated value at age 65: $278,595.77

Age: 50
Amount saved: $500 per month to age 65
Average interest rate or rate of return: 7.5%
Accumulated value at age 65: $166,590.86

Age: 55
Amount saved: $500 per month to age 65
Average interest rate or rate of return: 7.5%
Accumulated value at age 65: $89,521.20

Procrastination kills financial dreams. Make your financial dreams come true by starting to save early in life and by being consistent throughout the years.


My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life (Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

Making it Personal

It took a personal financial disaster for me to realize that I had to get my finances in order. Forty-two years ago I had a family friend who took on the chore of giving me the swift kick in the ass I needed. There were five truths pounded into me in that session that provided me with the motivation I needed to get on the right financial path.

The financial position I was in at the time was exactly where I had planned to be. The reality was that by not having a plan (budget and a financial goal), I had taken on life’s default plan of financial failure. Only by changing the way I handled (spent) money could I get on the right path.

My spending was the source of my financial troubles .. not that I didn’t earn more money. It was pointed out to me that there were others who had a lower income than I did who were not living paycheck to paycheck and buried in debt. In fact, many of these people had managed to accumulate a decent amount of savings.

I was going to earn a fortune in my lifetime and I would have nothing to show for it if I didn’t change my actions. Clearly, I couldn’t be saving and investing for my future when I was spending more than I earned. Living within my means and saving money would require conscience, determined actions.

My mentor brought me to the realization that if I saved the next 5 years like I had for the previous 5 years, then I would be in the same place and I would have financially wasted 5 years of my life. Then he asked me how many 5-year periods I was planning on wasting.

I had to pay myself first out of every paycheck. I had to put money in my savings before I paid my other bills. If I paid myself after I paid all bills and living expenses, I would never have any money to put in my savings. My past experience provided all the proof needed of this truth.


Every person’s situation is different. What motivated me, will probably not motivate you. That’s fine. But … please find what will motivate you to become a financial success story!

You deserve the benefits of being financially secure!


“When money realizes that it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.”
― Idowu Koyenikan


My Other Websites

Perspectives on Life
(Blog)

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate and challenge us.