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Save Money So You Can Stop Working Full-Time!

Updated on July 6, 2015
Sylvia Leong profile image

Shake off the shackles of full-time work! Live a life that's freer, happier, environmental & that undermines the corporatocracy! Here's how.

Save Money So You Can Stop Working Full-Time!
Save Money So You Can Stop Working Full-Time! | Source

Save Money So You Can Stop Working Full-Time!

Since 1995 I've had the pleasure of working with some of the wealthiest people in Canada. And I have good news for you. Happiness does not come from money!

The wealthy are not necessarily happier. They have an equal amount of problems, just different problems.

The wealthy are not necessarily free. There is a certain lifestyle that they seem to be mired in (like quicksand). Even when circumstances dictate that they should choose a simpler lifestyle - they can't.

“The Money” is like a living family member that clamps huge shackles around their wrists. Shackled to a lifestyle that requires long work hours & overwhelming responsibility, spending time with people they don't like, making decisions that they really don't believe in, etc.

Happiness comes from being productive &/or creative, helping others & surrounding yourself with love. These are such positive experiences! But it's difficult to fill your life with creativity & love if you're overly focused on money & material possessions.

You don’t need to be rich. Because what you’re really after is happiness & freedom.

Yes, you need money to survive. Yes, we all need certain material possessions. But the fact is you don't really need much.

Rare, is the person who believes they have enough money. Unfortunately, how to make more is usually their prime concern. Many folks look for the quick fix. It doesn’t exist. If you want to get on top of your finances, you need to change your lifestyle. This actually means saving money.

Instead of focusing on making MORE money, focus on:

  • Saving money
  • Making money from multiple streams of income
  • Shedding time/money-sucking responsibilities.

The more you can shield yourself from advertising (brainwashing), the easier it’ll be to:

  • Change your desires to what’s really important in life
  • Change your lifestyle to what’s really important in life
  • Buy only what you really need
  • Start saving money

Usually not considered: by not buying that "widget" you are saving a certain dollar amount, you are also:

  • Accruing interest if that dollar amount is left in investments or a savings account
  • Saving the amount of income tax you’d have to pay to earn that same amount again
  • Saving the sales tax (depending on what you buy)
  • Saving money on the cleaning, repairing or whatever maintenance costs the item (that you didn’t buy) would require
  • Saving money on further purchases that the item (that you didn’t buy) would need for continual use

All those little bits of money can add up nicely! If this becomes a habit, the amount saved can be substantial.

We leave many unnecessary purchases on the store shelf so that we can enjoy afternoons together!
We leave many unnecessary purchases on the store shelf so that we can enjoy afternoons together! | Source

Our hometown is Vancouver, Canada. It's been voted one of the most expensive cities in the world. Meaning, the income that people make is not balanced with the cost of living. So, in order to live in this gorgeous city, one must get creative.

The following is a list of ideas on how to keep your expenses low enough that you can afford to work less than 40 hours per week. While it’s not exhaustive, it is what has worked for us. So, take what works for you & leave the rest behind, but most of all, please, enjoy!

Food

Make your own muffins & coffee!
Make your own muffins & coffee! | Source
  • Invest in a membership at a wholesale warehouse & buy in bulk. You don’t have the room to store it? Keep reading & you will.
  • Whether you're dining at a restaurant or shopping at the grocery store, never leave home without your coupons. They are abundant. Check on-line & in your local newspaper.
  • Eat a good meal first. Then grocery shop with a list & resist buying that which you don’t need just because it’s a good price.
  • Stay away from packaged & processed foods as they are both unhealthy & expensive. Instead, buy the real thing. If you stick to the unprocessed basics – fruit, vegetables, meat, brown rice, spices etc. your grocery bill will plummet.
  • Cereal is a total joke. It is processed & very expensive for what you get. Buy a bag of oatmeal instead – the slow-cook kind (Steel cut oats are the least processed). It is healthy & inexpensive. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, chopped up nuts, blueberries, flax seeds &/or maple syrup.
  • Ethnic stores will often have the same bulk supplies such as brown rice or whole grain flour or even spices, but they are usually less expensive.
  • Make your own muffins & coffee & prepare your own meals. Save yourself literally hundreds of dollars by staying out of the coffee shops, bistros & restaurants. I've created a healthy, yet incredibly tasty muffin recipe. Interested? Click here > Pumpkin Spice Muffins | Healthy Recipe
  • Make your own wine or beer at your local U-Brew. Ask them not to add the sulphites (preservatives) & save not only money, but your health with less hangovers too!

Esthetics

  • Simplify your skin care routine: all you need is Dove soap (dermatologist recommended), use baking soda as an exfoliant, coconut oil as a moisturizing night cream & a daytime moisturizer with at least SPF 30.
  • Never use foundation – it’s expensive, clogs your pores & looks terrible.
  • Skip the toothpaste. Use baking soda instead. My husband & I have been doing this for about five years now & since then we've had stellar dental checkups with zero cavities!

CDC3320084104 Baking Soda, 16 oz Box
CDC3320084104 Baking Soda, 16 oz Box

* Dump the shampoo. Baking soda dissolved in water works much better (no, I'm sorry it doesn't lather - you'll quickly get used to it). But you have to tweak the recipe so that it's right for you. I use 2 tbsp of baking soda per 3 cups of water.

- If it dries your hair out too much (dandruff) cut down on the baking soda.

- If your hair isn't getting clean enough - up the amount of baking soda.

I've always lamented my thin, fine hair. Now, two years after my no-poo commitment, my hair is thicker than it's ever been in my life!

 
Tea Tree - LARGE 4 OUNCE - 100% Pure Essential Oil (Best 4 fl oz / 118 ml)
Tea Tree - LARGE 4 OUNCE - 100% Pure Essential Oil (Best 4 fl oz / 118 ml)

* Ever read the ingredients of underarm deodorant? We have! We found something better.

Play with the strength by adding a few drops of water to the few drops of tea tree oil. We usually make a mixture right on the counter top, rub two fingers in the solution and apply to directly to the armpit.

This works to suppress under arm odour up to a day (depending on how much physical work you do).

 
  • Dye your own hair (if you only do root touch-ups, you may even be able to cut the box in half)
  • Let your hair grow really long (that means you as well guys). Then you'll only have to visit the hairdresser a couple of times a year to trim the ends
  • Trim & paint your own nails
  • Buy all the same socks in the same style & colour. After laundering, you never have to match them up. As well, if one gets a hole, it's mate can still be used.
  • Buy only black shoes. That way you can pair down your accessories (belts, purses, gloves etc.) because you'll only need black

Transportation

* Take public transit.
* Take public transit. | Source
  • Take public transit.
  • Ride your bike.
  • Walk, walk, walk & walk.
  • Drive a fuel-efficient car.
  • Sell any extra cars you may have.
  • Sell the boat (rent one when you want to go for a boat-ride).

At Home

* Make those little changes to your home that will cut your heating, electricity & water bill.
* Make those little changes to your home that will cut your heating, electricity & water bill. | Source
  • Get rid of your land-line based telephone. Most cellular phones do more than just act as phones. Your options most likely include, voice mail, telephone book, calculator, calendar, alarm clock, If you fully utilize your cellular phone, then you won’t need a land-line, answering machine, address book, calculator, day-timer/calendar & that "so damn ugly", bed-side alarm clock.
  • Replace your appliances with energy star models. Our electricity company actually paid us to take away our old, energy-sucking appliances. Yours might too!

Universal Power Strip 6 Outlets - 100V to 220V/250V and 2500 Watts Surge Protector - With circuit breaker - For Worldwide Use
Universal Power Strip 6 Outlets - 100V to 220V/250V and 2500 Watts Surge Protector - With circuit breaker - For Worldwide Use

* Use power strips between your electrical outlets & your electronics, appliances & even your internet. This saves your electronics & appliances from power spikes. It also stops the trickle of electricity that most devices continue to suck even when they're turned off allowing you to save on electricity.

 
  • It is funny that people worry so much about germs. The human body has an entire system dedicated to battling unwanted bacteria – it’s called your immune system. On the other hand, your body does not have any way to deal with toxins. My point … Cleaning products are a farce. They are expensive. They contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment & your health. Do not use them. Do not even buy them. Most are not even permitted to be applied in a commercial, office environment due to chemical off-gassing effects. Save your health & save yourself a bundle of money. You can meet most of your cleaning needs with baking soda, lemon juice & vinegar. All are inexpensive & environmental.
  • Return the recyclables that earn you money.
  • Stop buying garbage bags. Find a small wastepaper basket or one of those small garbage cans. The key word is small. Keep it under your kitchen sink behind closed cupboard doors. Then you can reuse any unrecyclable bread bags, produce bags & other food packaging for your garbage. Of course you won't have any plastic shopping bags because you always use reusable cloth shopping bags... right? Most folks leave the house once per day. Take the garbage out while you’re at it.

    "Update: Since our city implemented a program where compostable garbage must be separated from "persistent matter" (garbage that takes decades or even centuries to break down in a landfill), we found that every 2 -3 weeks we take out one, very small package of persistent matter. Yes, most of our garbage is compostable (onion skins, carrot tops, fish heads, bones, wilted flowers from our balcony garden, food soiled parchment paper, etc.). We roll these up in old newspapers before dumping them into the compost bin. No, we do not own a garburator nor do we want one!"

"The more possessions we own, the more we become owned."

— Tony Leong

Get Rid of Most of Your Belongings

Our possessions own us. They tie us down & take up precious time. We must work to keep them. They have to be:

  • Cleaned
  • Maintained
  • Stored
  • Insured (we live in an earthquake zone)

Is that really how you want to spend your time? Earning more money just so you can store more stuff?

Stuff takes up valuable space in your home. Space costs money! Self-storage units are big business. Real estate prices have gone through the roof!

Get into the habit of wanting to own as little as possible. Owning only the things you need & use. The freedom is exhilarating!

Go through everything; I mean everything. The process is called de-cluttering. Your goal is to keep only the items you absolutely need. This could get emotional. So go slow, take your time & keep something only if it passes most of the following criteria:

  • I am in love with it
  • It’s practical & will be used everyday
  • It has more than one purpose
  • It has history (perhaps even within your family & has been handed down)
  • It’s a symbol of something or someone who means a lot to me
  • It’s a quality piece
  • I know exactly where I’m going to put it

If you'd like more in-depth information on how to go about de-cluttering, click here > De-clutter Room By Room | Small Homes

It helps me to let go of unneeded belongings the most if I consider:

See results

Sell or Donate

Sell, sell, sell! It’s easier to part with belongings if you know you’re going to make money. Garage sales do not usually net much profit. People just aren’t willing to pay as much. Consignment stores are another way to go, but you’ll have to give away up to 60% of your earnings. Try Craigslist, Ebay, Kijiji or whatever website is used most in your local area & your audience will be much bigger.

If it's not sale-worthy, give to a charity that you believe in. It's easier to part with belongings if you know that it will benefit someone less fortunate. Plus, a selfish perk, you’ll feel good about yourself.

Here’s just a sample of charity organizations we've used in our community: Salvation Army, SPCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Canadian Diabetes Association, Developmental Disabilities Association & the city library.

Research which charities accept donations in your area, prepare to part with your cast-offs & lose the weight of all those possessions.

Be mindful when you purchase. The possessions you own should be exactly what you want & of the best quality you can afford so you won’t have to replace them later.
Be mindful when you purchase. The possessions you own should be exactly what you want & of the best quality you can afford so you won’t have to replace them later. | Source

If You Must Buy Something, Here Are The Rules

Be mindful when you purchase. The possessions you own should be exactly what you want & of the best quality you can afford so you won’t have to replace them later.

Choose objects that follow as much of the below criteria as possible:

  • I am in love with it
  • It’s practical & will be used everyday
  • It has more than one purpose
  • It’s a quality piece
  • It has great value for my dollar (it’s on sale)
  • I know exactly where I’m going to put it

Make a Deal With Those Whom You Exchange Gifts:

You don’t have the finances to buy people gifts they don’t need & you don’t want their gifts to you either. You need to sit down with the friends & the family with whom you tend to exchange gifts. Explain to them that you’re going minimalist, which means living with only the possessions that you need.

Give them a choice:

  • Cease exchanging gifts altogether because your relationship doesn’t require it
  • Exchange taking each other out for meals (use a coupon)
  • Exchange gifts that are experiences (like tickets to a play) & spend that time together
  • Give the same gift back & forth
  • All your friends & family can pool their savings & buy you a massive house in which to keep all their gifts

If you put it like that they’ll probably understand. Let them make the choice & you’ll most likely get cooperation. You may still get the odd material possession, but it will be well thought out & perhaps even something handed down & sentimental.

Stop Renting! Buy Your Own Home

There’s been some talk/articles recently stating that it makes more financial sense to rent rather than own. Over the long term, this is ridiculous! My neighbour, a quiet guy, has rented his same apartment for 15 years. He could have owned it by now & stopped paying rent years ago.

Don’t be fooled. When you rent, you’re still paying a mortgage. It’s just someone else’s.

Don’t have enough money for a down payment? Get creative:

  • Buy a studio apartment in a high density area of your city & rent it out.
  • Buy a small income property with a partner.
  • Rent out a room in your home or take in exchange students & save the income toward a down payment.

You’re still renting yourself, but building equity at the same time. It’s a place to start.

Stop Renting! Buy Your Own Home.
Stop Renting! Buy Your Own Home. | Source

If Your Home is More Than 1000 Square Feet, Sell It!

Now that you've effectively gotten rid of the belongings that you don't use, you must be wondering what to do with all that extra space in your home.

I read somewhere that the average family of four only uses 800 square feet of their home. Okay, I’ll give you 1000 square feet if you have kids. If you’re childless, stick with the 800.

We live comfortably within 670 square feet plus a 100 square foot balcony.

Why pay for a mortgage, interest, heat, insurance & maintenance for square footage that you don’t use. If you have extra money to invest, buy more property & rent it out.

If selling your property doesn’t make sense, convert part of your home into a rental suite & put that extra space to work earning you an income.

Would you like more information on living in a small home? Here is a cheeky article on the benefits: click here > Small Homes | 7 Enormous Benefits

If Your Home is More Than 1000 Square Feet, Sell It!
If Your Home is More Than 1000 Square Feet, Sell It! | Source

How many televisions are currently in your home?

See results

Sell Your Television(s)

Seriously! You’ll start saving money immediately. In most households, the television is on for hours & hours per day. Hours of commercials telling you what you need to buy. Oh, I know. You’re now able to block out the commercials, aren’t you. Hours of programming informing you on the proper way to live happily. Oh, I know, you understand how silly some of the shows are, so of course, they don’t affect you.

Nope! Sorry! Television programming still infiltrates your subconscious – which is the whole point anyway. Television dumbs down our population, wastes our time, encourages complacency, makes us impatient for immediate gratification, encourages us to spend & worst of all, promotes laziness & mediocrity.

It also desensitizes us to the joy of the small things in life & truly, to the whole experience of living.

Remember to cancel your cable service.

Now that you don’t have a television(s) you won’t believe the extra time you’ll have!

Sell your television & start enjoying YOUR life!
Sell your television & start enjoying YOUR life! | Source
Books are invaluable as they provide stories, information & pictures.
Books are invaluable as they provide stories, information & pictures. | Source

Partake in Inexpensive, Yet Intelligent Entertainment

  • Some folks go shopping for entertainment. Resist! Stay out of the shopping mall.
  • Go for a walk / to the gym / x country skiing – improve your fitness.
  • Play board games like chess, Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit.
  • Non-fiction books – learn about something you’re interested in.
  • Fiction books – gain improved insight into human nature.
  • Use your local library. You can take out books, audio-books & videos for free!
  • Stay out of the movie theatres. Watch movies on your computer.
  • Play computer games that require intelligent interaction & strategy.
  • Curious? Look up everything! The computer is right there at the heart of your home. Just don’t click on the ads.

Quit Working 40 Hours Per Week

What a waste. Working for a corporation that more than likely is sending profits offshore. Making someone else rich off your hard work.

Oh, but you need the security, right? I have news for you. The most insecure living you can make is being employed. Someone else decides if you get the job, get promoted, get a raise & get fired. That doesn’t sound very secure to me.

I realize that quitting the employment addiction cold turkey isn’t financially viable. If there is a way to cut back your employed hours then do so. If not, well, you’ve gotten rid of the television so you should have the extra time to set up more efficient ways to make money.

Invest in Yourself: Take a Course Each Semester

You’ll never regret improving your skills & talents. Find something you’re passionate about & learn everything you can.

Otherwise, research some interests on the Internet & enjoy the journey.

Once you become established at your given passion. It’s time to make use of your improved skills & talents…

Start Your Own Business

Start small. Start part-time. Build from there. You won’t believe the financial benefits of being self-employed! The write-offs alone are staggering - you won't get these by being an employee.

Budget, Save, Invest!

  • Create a budget. Keep it on you. Constantly look for ways to lower each expense.
  • Review your life/disability/auto/home insurance plans, cell phone plan & mortgage & look for ways to lower costs.
  • Simplify your banking & your banking fees. You need only one checking account & only one credit card with a loyalty program with a yearly fee attached to it.
  • Forget about full-on retirement. It's a farce. People are at their happiest when they are being productive.

Regardless of whether your employed or self-employed, usually a profession will only earn you enough money to live on, along with some left over to save. You need to take your savings & invest it properly. Learn how. That’s the way to get ahead & the road to freedom.

Buy Everything Using Your Credit Card

Charge everything. When your statement comes in, staple all your receipts, in order of date, to the back. This makes sure that once per month you are reviewing the detailed list of exactly where your money is going.

Another advantage: while you’ve already bought the things you need, your money remains in the bank that much longer earning interest.

Yet another advantage: the reward points/miles that you rack up on your credit card can be really useful – think free items, gift cards & travel. Last year, I was able to convert my credit card reward points into an RRSP (tax deductible) contribution.

However, this system is only beneficial if you pay off your credit card balance on time, each month. Can’t do that? Still living beyond your means? Sell your television(s).

Do you have anything to add? I'd love to read your ideas on how to save money!

All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without prior permission. Copyright 2011 - 2015.

If you liked this article, please share it!

© 2011 Sylvia Leong

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    • Sylvia Leong profile image
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      Sylvia Leong 2 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Wow! DebMartin, you have a point. Thank you for this comment & the insight on internet/cable options when living in a rural area. We live in a very urban area.

      I'm always on the lookout for practical ways to save. We recently got smart phones & I broached the idea of ditching our internet & just using our smart phone's internet with our computers. But it's just like you said, my husband told me how that worked & that it's super expensive.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 2 years ago

      Words to live by. A quite excellent hub. Interestingly, it is cheaper for me to have a television than a computer, although I have both. No cost for the TV because I cannot get cable in my area. And 2 of the 3 channels my antenna brings in are PBS so I get some quality viewing without commercials. And the very reason I must use an antenna for the TV is the same reason I cannot get less-expensive internet service. I must use a cellular service to be on the internet, which is expensive. I'd never be able to watch a movie on my computer. That would be a $20-$30 movie! So for those of us in very rural areas, TV's are a blessing. I just rent (for free) movies from the library. Having said that, this is one of the more inspiring hubs I've read in awhile. Makes one want to get off their butt and get out there and enjoy the world! Thanks.

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 2 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Thank you for your comment mySuccess8. Love that quote! I may use it in an up & coming Hub!

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      These are many great and practical tips on saving money at home to pick, depending on which ones suit each person best. They are also about activating the mind for the financial freedom that each and every one of us deserves. I am glad you have added eating oatmeal as one the tips, because it also has many health benefits, which I have explained in one of my Hubs. One popular quote is “Remember, either you control your money or it will control you.” Thanks for sharing.

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 3 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Thanks for the comment & the ratings MarloByDesign! And congratulations on getting rid of your cable.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 3 years ago from United States

      Rated "Useful" and "Interesting". We have not had cable in over 8 yrs. We bought an antenna (dish shaped) and get 15+ channels. You place the antenna in the highest part of your home (indoors). It works great! I tell so many people this, and they seem to be comfortable paying for basic cable (the same number of channels). Not me!

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 3 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      chef-de-jour, you've read my mind! Thanks for the comment.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 3 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Fascinating article. You know it's incredible to think that my old grandmother lived and worked on a farm for near on 50 years with a minimum of 'stuff' and she was one of the happiest people I've ever known. I realise you're not advocating a return to the simple life - turning back the clock so to speak - but the message is virtually the same. Disentangle oneself from the rat race as much as one can but stay sane!.

      Perhaps lasting inner happiness comes from having fewer material possessions and more contact with true friends, loved ones, the Arts and Nature.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You live in a beautiful area and I really do need to drive north again soon and re-visit Vancouver. I've written a whole series of articles about living simply, and finding happiness without money...good to see this hub and the message that money really does not buy happiness.

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 3 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Thank you for your comment, Iris Draak! It's about time I overhauled this hub & I will add your ideas when I do. Thanks again!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Fantastic article. Voted it up. Since you asked I would add: get rid of your smart phone, open windows for cooling at night and whenever the weather is accommodating, keep the thermostat in the mid 70s in the summer and run fans, keep the thermostat around 65 (or less if you can stand it) in the winter, keep a blanket handy and wear slippers in the house...those are a few of the things we do to save money.

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
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      Sylvia Leong 5 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Hello MarloByDesign, I hope you are still enjoying your oatmeal & I'll be heading over to your site to read your credit card article.

      Good luck with your goal, Magdaleine. Thank you for your comment!

    • Magdaleine profile image

      Magdaleine 5 years ago

      very good article, Sylvia.. going minimalist is one of my goal

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent Hub "Paint your own nails" - agreed. I also will stop buying cereal and buy oatmeal only. Great tips as they are so refreshing. Regarding "Buy Everything Using Your Credit Card" - I wrote a Hub to your exact point and I agree wholeheartedly!

    • profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago

      Love it Sylvia..we sure think alike!

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 6 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      @ Soon,

      Going to the hairdresser for hair-colour costs $180 - $190 & three hours in the chair. At home, hair-colour costs $10 for the box & less than an hour to complete. My hair looks amazing! Sorry, Soon, there isn't any competition.

      But don't fret! No one is asking for a discount. Good business is simply providing people with what they want/need. For instance, I know of a hairdresser who started mixing up & selling hair-colour for her clients to use at home. Attach the word "natural" or somehow make it environmental & you'd have a hit! I challenge you to be creative & come up a new twist on what you already do & sell a product/service that is needed & affordable.

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 6 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      @ Nautical Nicole, Kevin Moye, fucsia & nighthag,

      Thank you for the kind comments & glad I could be of help!

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 6 years ago from Australia

      wow this is full of good sound advice, thank you

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 6 years ago

      I very like your advice! Some of these I am already following, such as do not watch television ( I did not sell it: it is too old and I think that no one can buy it!!) and some others I have to decide to follow, such as buy a house and stop to pay the rent.

      I have learned something new about how to save my money. Thank you very much to sharing this page!

    • profile image

      Kevin Moye 6 years ago

      Great article - Well done!

    • profile image

      Soon 6 years ago

      Do your own hair color? Hey That is against my religion. (haha) No seriously, I have nothing against people doing their own colors as long as they know their products and can apply it properly, meaning only at regrowth and no over lappings. I have seen enough disasters of home color jobs coming into salon for help. Color correction can run anywhere from $100 to $300+. And sometimes, in the worst case, you would had had a chemical haircut from all the overlapping and using wrong products.

      Probably, the best advice would be STOP coloring your hair. haha.

      (is that what you are doing now.... I have not seen you coming in to get your hair colored! :))

      Finally, what are you going to do with all the money that you have saved up?

      Love some of your tips.

    • profile image

      nautical nicole 6 years ago

      great article syl... you are living how living is meant to be :)

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 6 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Thank you for the comment, KimberlyAnn26!

      Cereals are definitely processed!

      Food processing typically takes clean, harvested crops or butchered animal products and uses these to produce attractive, marketable and often long shelf-life food products (wikipedia).

      Most of what is available at the grocery store is processed to some degree. The more processed & packaged a food product is, the longer shelf life & the more they can charge for it.

      Here is a list of increasingly processed apple products:

      • Apples from your backyard (as unprocessed as it gets)

      • Organic apples from grocery store

      • Conventional apples from the grocery store (grown with pesticides, waxed & injected with dye to make them more red)

      • Apple juice

      • Applesauce with added sugar

      • Canned apple pie filling

      • Fruit roll ups (Is there even a trace of apple in these products?)

      As for cereal:

      (From wikipedia) Grains in their natural form (as in whole grain), they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. However, when refined by the removal of the bran and germ, the remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate and lacks the majority of the other nutrients. A breakfast cereal (or just cereal) is a food made more or less from processed grains.

      The more processed a food is, the less nutrients it has. It’s better to use the grain as directly as possible – hence my oatmeal comment. However, having said that, there is a world of difference between Fruit Loops & Fiber One.

      The healthiest, least expensive & most environmental choice is getting as close as you can to using clean, harvested crops & butchered animal products when putting your meals together in your own kitchen. These choices will be different for each of us – depending upon our lifestyle constraints.

    • KimberlyAnn26 profile image

      KimberlyAnn26 6 years ago

      Great tips. I never knew that cereals are processed? Or just some? I eat Fiber One every morning. Thank you!

    • Sylvia Leong profile image
      Author

      Sylvia Leong 6 years ago from North Vancouver (Canada)

      Thanks for the comment, Susan. Too bad about the garbage bags - but you can only do what makes sense.

      Congratulations on cancelling your extra channels! Good for you!

      I know it's a bit extreme, but we've been without a television in the house for about 20 years now. We don't miss it. When we happen to be at friends/family, I can't believe the crap I see on their screens. I'll never have one of those "boob-tubes" in my home again.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Good article. I have to disagree with get rid of garbage bags though. In the city where I live the garbage will not be picked up unless it is in a large garbage bag. Cable is a big expensive as well that many people do not need. I am not talking about your regular cable but the boxes with all the extra channels. I am thinking about getting rid of ours as it costs about 130.00 per month and I think we could live without it.

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 6 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Good article!