My Secret Financial Security Blanket If I had a dollar for every stupid purchase I've made in my life, I'd be a wealthy woman. My financial faux pas have been remarkable in both quantity and quality. I've made some real doozies. Take the above ground swimming pool. Its a-la-carte price …Read more. Using Regular Detergent in a High-Efficiency Washer Is Risky Business If you've ever wondered what's the difference between regular laundry detergent and those designated as "High Efficiency," if they are interchangeable and if you could possibly make your own HE detergent to cut the cost, you are not alone. Those are …Read more. Shrimp Sauce, Cloudy Glassware and Tire Inflators Dear Mary: Recently you gave us some fantastic recipes to make our own sauces at home ("It's All About That Sauce!") But you missed one! How about the shrimp sauce that only Japanese restaurants seem to have? Got a recipe for that? — Matthew …Read more. Every Home's Most Overlooked (Free!) Heating and Cooling Devices Who doesn't love learning about a money-saving tactic or investment that results in a net savings of thousands of dollars a year? I sure do! And I can count on maybe two fingers how many of those I've managed to deploy in my home in the past decade.… …Read more.more articles
Lessons From My Garden
There's something magical about dirt. Digging in it clears my mind. It's like hitting "refresh" on my computer screen. Things pop into proper perspective.
I experience nature's therapy in the solitude of my tiny garden. And I have learned some important lessons, too.
I've made feeble attempts to grow sweet peas in years past, always with the same disappointing results. Imagine my surprise when I read I was planting way too late. Sweet peas need to be sown into the ground long before winter — in the fall. I was months off.
The same is true for planting a financial nest egg. Starting early is the way to experience a spectacular harvest. Money needs the power of time for it to grow strong roots that run deep.
—Hang on tight.
I had no idea one fall when I planted my sweet peas what lay ahead for those tiny seeds. Not two months later, Southern California experienced months of record-breaking precipitation. We got rain in spades.
The storms were harsh, yet my sweet peas hung on for dear life. They refused to let go — and certainly not because they received encouragement from me. For all I knew, they were long gone, because the bed showed no signs of life. In their own quiet way, though, they were alive, burrowing down to ride it out.
Life's storms hit all of us from time to time. And when they do, we have a choice: We can either cave in and let the storms carry us out to sea or dig in and refuse to let go.
—Give or give up.
Once my sweet peas began to bloom, I was hesitant to cut them.
For many weeks, I faithfully cut as many long-stemmed blooms as my vines produced. If I cut one bouquet on Monday, I was sure to have two bouquets on Tuesday.
Giving is the secret of never running out. But it takes a leap of faith to cut that first harvest. Soon you realize you have more than you had before. So you give again, and you give more. And the more you give the more you have to give. The more you bless others the more blessed you become.
No matter how beautiful my garden is today, I know it won't last forever. So each day, I try to enjoy the garden for the moment and save a mental picture for the future. This way, when the days grow short and winter settles in, I know I can always reach back into my memory bank.
Being diligent to always save something for the future is the secret for how to come through the difficult seasons of life. It's nice to know you always will have sweet peas in December.
Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including her best-selling classic "Debt-Proof Living." You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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