76 Ways To Save Money

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1. Move bank accounts to take advantage of perks and earn more interest
2. Turn off the television.
3. Stop collecting, and start selling
4. Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can.
5. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store.
6. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it.
7. Invite friends over instead of going out.
8. Repair clothing instead of tossing it.
9. Don’t spend big money entertaining your children.
10. Negotiate rates with your credit card company or complete a balance transfer.
11. Clean out those closets.
12. Drink more water and carry a water bottle.
13. Quit smoking.
14. Turn off the lights.
15. Swap books, music, and DVDs on the Internet or at the library.
16. Install CFLs or LEDs wherever it makes sense.
17. Install a programmable thermostat.
18. Buy quality appliances that will last.
19. Clean or change out your car’s air filter.
20. Quit using credit cards.
21. Do a price comparison – find a cheaper grocery store.
22. Make your own when you can.
23. Avoid stress-spending.
24. Share your dreams with people you love.
25. Do a maintenance run on your appliances.
26. Cancel unused club memberships.
27. Buy used when you can.
28. Keep your hands clean.
29. Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.
30. Give the gift of labor.
31. Do holiday shopping right after the holidays.
32. Join up with a volunteer program.
33. Declutter to save your sanity and some cash.
34. Try generic brands of items you buy regularly.
35. Stick to reliable, fuel-efficient cars.
36. Avoid the mall.
37. Rent out unused space in your home.
38. Create a visual reminder of your debt.
39. Cancel magazine subscriptions.
40. Eat breakfast.
41. Swap babysitting with neighbors.
42. Don’t fear leftovers – use them up instead.
43. Go through your clothes – all of them.
44. Carry your own lunch.
45. Learn how to dress minimally.
46. Ask for help and encouragement from your inner circle.
47. Try to fix things yourself.
48. Keep an idea notebook in your pocket.
49. Look for a cheaper place to live.
50. Check out free events in town.
51. Start a kitchen garden.
52. Take public transportation.
53. Carpool.
54. Do some basic home and auto maintenance on a regular schedule.
55. Buy staples in bulk.
56. Pack food for road trips.
57. Go through your cell phone bill, look for services you don’t use, and ditch them.
58. When buying a car, look only at used models.
59. Use a simple razor to shave.
60. Find daily inspiration for making intelligent moves.
61. Read books – a lot of them.
62. Make your own cleaning supplies instead of buying them.
63. Suggest cheap activities when meeting up with family and friends.
64. Don’t speed.
65. Buy a smaller house.
66. Always ask for fees to be waived.
67. Don’t overspend on hygiene products.
68. Make your own beer or wine.
69. Cut down on your vacation spending.
70. Cancel the cable or satellite channels you don’t watch.
71. Do more charity.
72. Exercise more.
73. Utilize online bill pay with your bank.
74. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
75. Always keep looking ahead.
76. Never give up.

Homeschooling: The New Age Learning Tool

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Homeschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning. Homeschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction. It encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children themselves, believing that the more personal learning is, the more meaningful, well-understood and therefore useful it is to the child. While courses may occasionally be taken, home-schooling questions the usefulness of standard curricula, conventional grading methods, and other features of traditional schooling in maximizing the education of each unique child.

While homeschooling has been subject to widespread public debate, little media attention has been given to homeschooling in particular. Critics of homeschooling see it as an extreme educational philosophy, with concerns that homeschooled children will lack the social skills, structure, and motivation of their peers, while proponents of homeschooling say exactly the opposite is true: self-directed education in a natural environment better equips a child to handle the real world.

Traditional home-schooling generally involves children following the same structured curriculum taught in schools, but from the comfort of their own homes, and at their own pace. Urmila Samson, Senior Guide at Indian Association of Homeschoolers.

Philosophy:

  • Children are natural learners: A fundamental premise of homeschooling is that curiosity is innate and that children want to learn. From this an argument can be made that institutionalizing children in a so-called “one size fits all” or “factory model” school is an inefficient use of the children’s time, because it requires each child to learn a specific subject matter in a particular manner, at a particular pace, and at a specific time regardless of that individual’s present or future needs, interests, goals, or any pre-existing knowledge he or she might have about the topic.
  • Learning styles: Homeschoolers note that psychologists have documented many differences between children in the way they learn, and assert that homeschooling is better equipped to adapt to these differences. People vary in their learning styles, that is, how they acquire new information. Students have different learning needs. In a traditional school setting, teachers seldom evaluate an individual student differently from other students, and while teachers often use different methods, this is sometimes haphazard and not always with regard to an individual student.
  • Developmental differences: Developmental psychologists note that just as children reach growth milestones at different ages from each other, children are also prepared to learn different things at different ages. Just as some children learn to walk during a normal range of eight to fifteen months, and begin to talk across an even larger range, homeschoolers assert that they are also ready and able to read, for example, at different ages, girls usually earlier, boys later. Traditional education requires all children to begin reading at the same time and do multiplication at the same time; they believe that some children cannot help but be bored because this was something that they had been ready to learn earlier, and even worse, some children cannot help but fail, because they are not yet ready for this new information being taught.
  • The role of parents: Parents of homeschoolers provide resources, support, guidance, information, and advice to facilitate experiences that aid their children in accessing, navigating, and making sense of the world common parental activities include sharing interesting books, articles, and activities with their children, helping them find knowledgeable people to explore an interest with and helping them set goals and figure out what they need to do to meet their goals. Homeschooling’s interest-based nature does not mean that it is a hands-off approach to education.
  • Socialization: Concerns about socialization are often a factor in the decision to homeschool. Many homeschoolers believe that the conditions common in conventional schools, like age segregation, a low ratio of adults to children, a lack of contact with the community, a lack of people in professions other than teachers or school administration, an emphasis on the smarter children, shaming of the failing children, and an emphasis on sitting, create an unhealthy social environment.

Homeschooling in India:

  • स्वशिक्षण – Indian Association of Homeschoolers is a non-profit initiative of homeschooling children, parents, guardians and friends. The members of this association include homeschoolers residing in India, irrespective of nationality and homeschoolers of Indian origin, irrespective of location.
  • Swaraj University is India’s first university dedicated to regenerating local cultures, local economies and local ecologies.
  • Alternate Education India is an online resource that provides a list of some alternative schools in India.

How To Donate Like A Pro?

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Donating sound like a full-time job. I think it is!

  1. Be proactive: If you find yourself considering a gift to a charity that called you on the phone, you’ve already lost most of the battle to do as much good as possible. Your money will go furthest if you set time aside, think about all your options, and go find the best charity for your values. If you wait for charities to come to you, you’re just rewarding the ones that are most aggressive—not the ones that do the best.
  2. Be open minded about the cause you’re going to support: The amount you can accomplish with your donation varies widely from cause to cause to cause. But, even if you’re not ready to shift you’re giving that much, you can improve your impact just by broadening your scope. Consider organizations that work outside your community as opposed to just considering local ones. Are you interested in supporting your local community? Consider multiple different categories of organization—job training programs, schools, food banks, etc. The more you’re open to different options, the more likely you’ll be to find and support outstanding—not just acceptable—organizations.
  3. Ask organizations to make a case that their programs work: For example, if you pick a school, ask them why they think they’re improving academic performance for their students; ask them why they think they’re doing a better job than a similar school you could support; ask them for any data they have that supports their case.
  4. Ask organizations how they’d use additional funding: It’s one thing for an organization to have accomplished great things in the past. But, if you’re sharing today, you really need to focus on what they’ll do in the future and how your donation—and other future donations—will make a difference. Some organizations may have a pressing need for funds such that additional money this year will allow them to expand services. Others may already have enough in the bank such that your donation will only grow an already-safe level of reserves. Alternatively, the organization may be so small that money isn’t the bottleneck to expansion, and it can’t effectively expand even with more money.
  5. When you donate, donate cashno strings attached: You’re just a part-time donor, but the charity you’re supporting does this full-time and staff there probably know a lot more about how to do their job than you do. If you’ve found a charity that you feel is excellent —not just acceptable—then it makes sense to trust the charity to make good decisions about how to spend your money.
  6. Check back a year later and see whether the organization met its commitments: When asking about the organizations about their room for more funding or evidence of impact, you heard about plans they had for the coming year. Check back to see how their activities and results match up.

 

5 Ways to Find More Time in Your Overscheduled Day

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24 short hours—that’s all we’ve got in a day! And yet, in the mad rush of our lives, we are constantly trying to fit a zillion thing into its tiny package. Here are the 5 steps that set me free. I believe they can do the same for you!

  1. Stop Believing in Busyness: Believing that we need to fill each moment of our day with action to feel productive is a fallacy of our times. We evolved to benefit from ample breaks, variety and connection. Even our hunter-gatherer ancestors spent no more than 3-4 hours per day in the active pursuit of prey or plant material. Consider the time for recovery, socialization and artistic expression as essential to your well-being.
  2. Use a Long-Term Lens: There are times when everything on our lists seems equally compelling. However, when we’re connected to our true selves, we become aware of the direction that really speaks to us. Connect to the things that you want to be remembered by, and it will be easier to shed everything that’s simply creating needless noise in your mind and in your life.
  3. Plot Your Goals on a Time Ladder: Even so, we are multi-faceted creatures and there is certainly more than one goal we wish to pursue. And yet, operating on too many fronts simultaneously means that we do justice to none. Our attention gets frazzled, our energy becomes scattered and we leave most things incomplete. Instead, make a list of all that you want to accomplish and prioritize it on a time ladder. (Literally, try drawing an item on each rung of a ladder on a piece of paper!) By focusing on one goal at a time, you’ll organize your time and reclaim the energy that was strewn in all directions.
  4. Draw a Relationships Circle: When we fill our agenda with urgent items all day, we leave little space for the important relationships in our lives. Worse, when we do connect, we feel guilty about the work we could’ve been doing. It’s ironic, given that we’re the most social animals on the planet and our strength and success lies in the relationships we nurture. Make a pie chart of all the important relationships in your life and honor each one with the time they deserve. Your journey will be far more fulfilling.
  5. The Two-Column Action Plan: Once you’ve identified and prioritized important goals and acknowledged the relationships you need to nurture, you’re ready for action. Take a sheet of paper and draw 2 columns. Now write down the three things you can do more of in one column and the three things you can do less of in the other. Implementing these small and simple changes will begin to move you steadily in the direction of your goals. Then go ahead and take the first step. Action is the best way to create momentum.

Space is not a waste of our day. Rushing around in mindless pursuits often is. I know that I will never rush to fill it in again, treasuring the moments where I can hang onto that hug just a little longer, gaze at the summer stars just a little deeper, and perhaps, one special day, build in an after-lunch siesta to bide the afternoon away. Now it’s your turn.

Tips For Successful Marriage

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After years of a what people call fictional successful marriage life, I have come to the conclusion for an awesome married life, a true successful one. Here’s my secret formula:
  • Not too much dependency, not too much freedom. Right combination is inter-dependency.
  • Marriage is not a battlefield to prove supremacy over each other.
  • Compassion is the key. If you don’t have in you, you cannot give it.
  • Replace marriage by the concept of soul-mate.
  • Learn something from marriage. Marriage represents the whole world in a miniature form: it teaches you many things.
  • The ordinary marriage is an unconscious bondage
  • Marriage is beyond bondage. It gives freedom. Love is freedom. Freedom is not dependency.
  • Marriage is not an effort to legalize love. It goes far beyond and higher.
  • Man, and woman are not opposite, they’re complementary. The complete each other.
  • SSS—Simplicity, Service, Stillness.

Recession Mantra: How To Cut Down And Still Feel Proud About It

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Recession is around the corner for some industries. Lots of people will be thrown out from their jobs because of strong competition. I am no expert in business management but I am learning human management and the trick is to encourage cooperation rather than competition.

An age-old solution is that if the fortunate employees can reduce a little bit of their income, and share it with the less fortunate ones. The least fortunate ones can be asked to leave but the less fortunate ones can be requested to sacrifice a little of their income; for a certain period. This may save many jobs, may homes, many dreams rather than just showing door to many loyal workers. Definitely, some people can support some people and save their world; at least for a while.

Just imagine what love, respect and community living will be created and these positive vibrations will take the company to another level altogether. Everyone will want to work in a company like this for sure because running a company is not only the boss’s responsibility, it’s everyone responsibility.

This sharing can solve problems of competition and hatred and build a gift economy and strengthen not only the employee-employer relation but built a healthy economy and a beautiful world. Transaction can turn into trust, isolation can be turned into community, and scarcity can turn into abundance.

Some might say “This is not practical at the moment.” To this my answer will be that many years ago no one thought that human could fly, or see images through skin or connect the world on a gadget, today airplane, X-ray and internet are history. Someone has to start it and as Mahatma Gandhi said Be The Change, when you blame other people or situations, you surrender your power to change.

We’re the world, we’re the children. We’re the ones who can make the world a better place so let us start giving. Michael Jackson.

Self-centered minds may not understand or love this model, but my heart says that it can do wonders! Whatever is the question, love is the answer and business is all about people, isn’t it?