Category: Everyday Life

ways to save moneyOne of the hardest habits to kick is an overspending habit. Most Americans spend as if there is no tomorrow and try to save the little that is left over setting themselves up for disaster. I’m going to show you how to spend less and save more.

The first and most important step is to cut up all of your credit cards and pay off your credit card debt. If you can, stick to using cash and a checking account for all your expenses.

Next, use three separate accounts that you fund with money. One should be for bills and expenses, another for savings, and the other for shopping and entertainment. You should devote most your money in this order to savings, bills and expenses, and then luxuries and entertainment.

Now, decide what items you don’t need in your life. Maybe you don’t need a house phone since everyone has cell phones in your household, or maybe you can carpool with one of your co-workers to work thus saving money on gas, and a car. These are the type of things that you can cut out expenses and put more money in your pockets.

If you don’t already have one, you should consider devoting any extra money you have left over from paying off bills and expenses, to a rainy day savings account. This account should be used in the event that you lose your job. You should keep about 6 months worth of your current salary in this account as a rule of thumb.

Upgrade your house with more efficient windows, more energy efficient appliances, to save on your bills. Also, be conscious of cutting off lights when they are not being used, televisions, and not to leave faucets running. All of these can reduce your monthly bills.

Reduce property taxes. Check your local property tax office and see if there are tax cuts you can use. For example, there is a major tax cut in Florida if you simply live there in your house for more than 6 months a year. What are some tax cuts for your state?

Consider eating at home more and packing your lunch for work rather than dining out at lunch everyday. This money right here can add up over time to equal hundreds of dollars that you can be saving.

Lastly, find free activities and events that you and your family can do around town. There are plenty of activities that are free of charge, like a poetry session, or a play, or going to the library to read books. You do not always have to come out of the pockets to be entertained. This will also help save you money.

These tips won’t make you rich or solve all of your financial problems, but if you follow them, they will definitely put a lot more cash in your pockets.

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my petsA pet becomes part of the family, it offers companionship, loyalty and affection. It can be very difficult to deal with the loss of a much loved pet, but sadly it is something that all pet owners will eventually have to face.

The death of a pet can be devastating for children and adults alike, but it may be difficult for friends and colleagues who do not have pets to understand why you feel so sad.

This may in turn cause you to feel more isolated and it may make the sadness harder to cope with.

As well as losing your pet, you may also lack structure to your day as there is no longer a need to go for walks, to prepare food or to observe other familiar routines.

Facing The Death of a Pet…

Decision Time.

If your pet has a serious health problem you will will hope to prolong his life with medication or treatment, but a time will come when you have to think seriously about the animal’s quality of life and you may reach the reluctant decision that euthanasia is the kindest option.

I faced this decision when my dog Jimmy developed cancer of the jaw, it was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but however painful I knew it was the kindest option.

Express your Grief

Do not feel ashamed of your feelings, we are all different, some people cry and feel better for it, others find it harder to shed tears and they prefer to talk about their feelings or to express them through poetry or music. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

If there are children in the family, it may be their first encounter with death and they will need your support to understand and accept the finality of their loss.

My daughter was nine when Jimmy died and she expressed her feelings in a poem, it was a very sad, but it helped her to make sense of her feelings.

Understand Your Feelings

We all experience and express grief differently, but it is important to understand that you will experience many jumbled emotions including denial, anger, guilt and sorrow before you come to a gradual acceptance of your loss.

Pets Have Feelings Too

If you have other pets they may react to the absence of the pet that has died, animals form strong attachments and it will take time and reassurance from you for the remaining pet to adjust.

Do Something Practical

You may want to bury the animal (if local laws allow this) or you may choose to arrange with your vet to have the animal cremated. We chose to have Jimmy cremated by a pet cremation service, some of his ashes were scattered on some beautiful parkland and I also had some shot into space on Heritage memorial spaceflights 2017. Yes, it may seem extravagant and it was expensive, but it’s what I needed to heal.

Some people like to remember the animal by planting a special tree or shrub or by making a donation to an animal charity.

Do whatever helps you to deal with your loss.

Moving On

In time you may consider taking on a new pet. It will not replace the old one, it will have it’s own personality and it’s own needs. Remember that you will be making a long term commitment to the new pet, so take your time and don’t let well meaning friends rush you into making a decision.

If you decide on a new pet, please think seriously about adopting one of the many animals in need of rehoming.

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