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Miracle Vacuums and Resale Bargains Dear Mary: Back in 2012, you posted an article in Everyday Cheapskate regarding blowing out your third Hoover Wind Tunnel and electing to go with the Shark Navigator. At the time, I wasn't in need of a vacuum, but I printed off the article and …Read more. 12 Steps to Take the Minute Your Identity Is Stolen While it's not something most of us choose to think about, the truth is that identity theft remains the fastest growing crime in America. The number of identity theft incidents has reached 9.9 million a year, according to the Federal Trade …Read more. Join a CSA for Your Health and Wealth Being a savvy consumer can mean a lot of things. It can refer to a person who knows how to get the lowest price on whatever he or she is buying. It can also mean finding the best value — the highest quality product — for the most …Read more. Shopping for Back-to-School Clothes Your money is limited and time is short. Here is my best advice to make sure shopping for back-to-school clothes doesn't send you to the poorhouse. Set spending limits. Time to get real. How much money (not credit) do you have available for school …Read more.
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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.

—Start early.

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.

They just looked so pretty on the trellis. But here's the deal with sweet peas: If you do not cut them regularly, they stop blooming altogether.

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.

—Winter's coming.

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 and author of 18 books, including her best-selling classic "Debt-Proof Living." You can email her at, 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



1 Comments | Post Comment
I wish I liked to garden, but I grew up on a farm. I hate gardening. If I had my way, I'd live in a loft with maybe a few flowerpots. Astroturf would be fine for the yard, too.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:32 PM
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