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The Zeit Geist Movement

If you have not yet heard of or seen the documentary about the Zeit Geist Movement then I stronglyrecmmend that you go to their website and see what it is all about.

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Over a month ago it dawned on me that I never seemed to find the time to do much in the evenings during the week and even the weekends would fly by with very little accomplished. My hubby and I would barely have time to just talk with each other and it felt like anytime we had to do anything other than buying groceries on the weekend, that it just ate up all of our free time and by the time Monday rolled around, we felt like we barely had a weekend.

I was feeling lethergic and frustrated as life was just going at a too fast pace for both of us. We both work fultime outside the house in order to earn enough money to survive and save a little towards our future goals. However, it seemed we had so little quality time to enjoy. This started weighing heavily upon my mind, were we meant to go through the next 30 years like this; both of us working just to have what seemed like a few minutes of quality time each weekend together, then back to work?

Well, I started really thinking about this issue and realised that this was not a problem for everyone and realised that there must be something I’m not doing as well as I could. That there was something in my life that ate up all the free time me and my hubby had and then I realised. We’re both computer people. He likes to play games and watch the baseball online while I tend to spend alot of time reading up about the topic “du jour” online. We were doing this every evening and most of the weekend. It was amazing just how much of our time were dedicating to the computer. Especially damaging considering we both work 40 hours a week behind a computer.

Once I realised what the problem was, I had to find a way to start fixing the problem, after all it is not very easy to stop a habit 2 people have fallen into over a 4 year period. After some thought I came up with a plan and after discussing the idea with my hubby, we both agreed it would be worth a try. The plan was simply to have one evening a week where we did not spend more than half an hour on the computer and instead spent the evening doing something together. The challenge would be to come up something we would want to do together each week.

It worked, but we were wrong about one thing. After our first date night, we ended up having 2 full ate weeks before we returned to the computers. It was sooo much fun because we had forgotten how much we enjoyed just being around each other and talking, we just didn’t want to stop.

It’s amazing how taking just a small step in a new direction can lead to a totally new life, as now we often spend time together doing things which makes us feel as thought we have much more time than before. We’ve learned how to cook some new, healthier recipes and we’ve baked some delicious delights, we’ve taken up geo-caching as a new hobby and we’ve found some common dreams and goals which we are now using our new found time to achieve. I wish you all luck in rediscovering the time God has giving us to make the most of!

Love,
Mary

So last week I was sick 2 Thursday and Friday from work during quiet a critical time at work. To be honest I’ve been feeling quiet depressed lately and I beliveve my despression is making me feel sick. I wish it would go away as I’ve suffered from depression in the past ad I no longer want that to be part of my life. It is hard to fight once it sets in.

The reason I have been getting depressed is that I have decided that I really want to move to the US, but there are so many things which need to be done before I can even start thinking about moving. I started reading into the process at the end of last year and slowly started collecting the required paperwork. I’m much closer now than I was 5 months ago, but the toughest part has not yet arrived, so I keep knocking away at sending away paperwork and trying to handle it one step at a time. Like they say – the easier way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

I guess something else contributing to my feeling that we have a stopwatch ticking down on this issue is that both my boyfriend’s and my employment contracts are coming up for renewal : his at the end of July and mine mid-way October. In this economy it is very hard to say if they’ll be renewed or not and I feel it’ll be the perfect opportunity for us to pack up and go. Even though we have not saved up nearly as much money as we dicussed we would and the paperwork will take several more months to process at least.

I’m feeling so unreasonably impatient on one hand and on the other I feel if we go earlier we’ll be putting some of our other dreams on hold longer. Like buying a hobby farm. Once we immigrate to the States, it’ll take us much longer to save up the money to have a decent deposit on a country house. I need to stop being so impatient and I need to stop worrying about EVERYTHING. After all that is the whole reason we’ve consciously decided to live a simpler life. So that we learn to enjoy the every day instead of killing ourselves working for an uncertain future.

Someone once told me a story I’ll never forget. This woman and her husband had 3 kids and they decided one day to save every penny they had so that one day they could afford to build a their dream house. This goal motivated them so much that they hardly ever brought anything extra for the family, they scrimped and saved so much that they cut out nearly all “wants” in their lives. They only spent money on “needs” and put all the remainder of their money into savings for their dream house. Then finally the day came around where they could afford to build their dream house and they did. When it was finished, they were so happy with it, theirs kids were over the moon. It was a dream come true. 1 week after it was comepleted and they had moved in, the house was burnt to the ground with all their possessions inside.

True story with so much meaning and is quite appropriate to heal my current mood. I will meditate upon the truth of this story.
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So our online “high interest” savings account interest rate is dropping again from 3.75% to 3.5% as of May 20th. This makes it much less attractive to save our money in that account compared to our normal savings accounts as the difference in interest percentage is less than one full percent. We’ll keep our savings there for now, but I might have to start looking around for a better interest rate if it drops any further.

It’s a pity that we could not place our cash in CDs. We’re so shakey at the moment with the economy and our plans to move that I don’t want to tie up our money for any length of time. We need it as accessible as possible.

I hope you all keep well during the next few days, especially my friends who are facing a company reorganisation announcement on Monday.

Love,
Mary.

Outside our retirement accounts the only stock that my hubby and I own are some Nike stocks. We brought them when we had a good opportunity to buy them and since that happened to be in September last year, just before the stock market really crashed ( from our point of view) we have been following the ups and downs of the stock value. Niether of us have ever had experience with following stock values before and we have discovered that due to the low value in proportion to our overall net worth that we have invested in these stocks, that it is actually quite fun to have this on-going bet.

As we have already discussed, we would not sell these stocks unless we absolutely needed the money or we made a decent profit. This hopefully means that we have a few years to sit around and watch the value of these stocks go up and down and to accumulate dividends. Currently the stock value is experiencing an overall upwards trend and sits at 52.93 USD per share. this isn’t as yet higher than what we brought them for but is much closer than the value has been for quite a few months.

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Recently I have been trying out new recipes in our kitchen to try and increase the variety in our staple meal menus. I was quite successful with this simple pizza recipe. It is light and tasty and depending on your selection toppings quite healthy!

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars

Today I’m going to try get our cupboard situation sorted out…let’s see how that goes.

Recession Relief: Part II

Shortly before the effects of the economic crisis started reaching my personal life, my parents who are from the baby boomer generation retired. When they retired, their disposable income dropped dramatically due to poor retirement planning coupled with the bad stock market.

With all the talk in the media about how it would be possible for economies to recover from this recession, I am still shocked at the little amount of discussion that has gone on about the effect of the baby boomer generation retiring has had on economies around the world. It has been widely discussed that this generation had not saved enough to maintain their spending into retirement and that they made up a large proportion of the population and therefore accounted for much of the demand. Now that they are retiring surely this two factors mean that the demand for goods and services has decreased dramatically as they adjust to their new financial situation?

To kick start the world economies the demand ofor goods and services needs to increase again. with the high levels of unemployment, decreased spending power of the average person and the huge national debts keeping most governments from increasing government spending to a level which could kick start economies again I would like to dare epople to come up with ways in which economies could be kick started again. What actions could be undertaken in order to improve the world’s financial situation?

– Those who have money need to spend it.
– Governments could forgive each other for their debts.
– The IMF could use the amounts each country donates to good causes or developing countries and write off that amount form their overall debt.

Things need to be done to simulate our economies again. Please share any ideas you have about how to do this with me and any other forum who’ll listen. It is time for the world to join together and share creative solutions with one another. We are all in this together.

Love,
Mary

Recession Relief: Part I

Seems like recently that the economic recession is the prevalent topic in the collective conciousness. Companies are announcing daily bad figures and layoffs, governments are concentrating on the increasing unemployment rates and putting together bailout packages and people are discussing their newly acquired war wounds. During all this commotion I find the only way I can keep myself calm and positive is to concentrate on my personal life and try to not let all this panic infect my thoughts.

I have therefore come up with a plan of action to help keep me from concentrating too much on the negative and to instead see this situation for what it is: part of the process of life.

1. Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise to keep myself feeling healthy because I handle things better if I am feeling

2. Be aware of the current situation, but do not ponder on it too much.

3. Work hard at my current job keeping in mind that it is not secure and there is nothing I can do about that. I am developing my network and concentrating some extra effort in growing my skillset.

4. I have updated my resume and am thinking about what sort of work I might want to do if I have to leave my job. Part of this is that I am doing occasional research online to see what type of jobs are avaliable in the current climate and which companies are hiring.

5. Keep adding to the emergency fund and finding ways to reduce our monthly bills.

6. Spend quality time with my loved ones doing things which do not cost alot of money but will provide good memories for years to come.

7. If I have to leave my job, I will dedicate at least 2-4 hours a day to a job search and the remaining 4-6 hours I will use to either do some volunteer work, start a small business or learn a new skill ( in other words I will do something constructive with that time). This will keep my involved in society, give me something positve to concentrate on and perhaps open up new doors.

8. Keeping dreaming about a bright future filled with love, health and happiness!

So there you have my action plan to survive the recession. I may add some things to this as I go along.

May God keep you all safe!

Love,
Mary.

Credit Quiz

I found this little quiz on another blog and decided to take it. I guess it’s nice to know that I’m responsible when it comes to credit.

I am 42
in credit years!
Credit Curious

Credit Age Quiz by SpendOnLife.com

In the meantime, my interest rate will drop from 5% to 4.5% on Feb 18. I’m happy it’s not dropping lower given the current economic situation.

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