Description:Most people believe that money saving is about seeking substitutes for lower prices in order to achieve the money saving goal. It's NOT entirely correct!
I always see my parents discussing about money saving. Their strategies are to seeking substitutes for lower prices, such as taking a cheaper transports, only buying discounted food and goods and more. Do they really work? They work if you can stand dissatisfaction and low quality life-style for a long time.
I tried to study each of them deeply and have found that every suggestion has a disadvantage, such as taking a cheaper transports, you need to pay more on the time cost. Only buying discounted food, you may not keep the food for a long time because it will be expired soon. Also, discounted goods may not be in good quality.
How to save money? I searched on Google, it displays countless money saving posts, most of the advises are about seeking substitutes and not waste any kind of supplies, plus using coupons and credit cards to take advantages. I suspected my parents also found suggestions on Google.
I wonder why there is lack of suggestions about studying the money spending behaviour first, then find out an improvement based on it.
Two years ago, I developed the Simple Budget a free Android App for jotting down what I buy so that I can study my money spending behaviour. Eventually, I found that I spent too much money on soda and computer programming books. If I just buy both items less, I could save up to 30% of my total spending. Drinking too much soda isn't good, but computer programming books for learning, is it really a bad behaviour which I need to have a change? I took out those books and reviewed them carefully, one third of them I have never read, because I still don't have time. If I buy them when have spare time to read, it should be better than wasting money to purchase them for barely occupying my living space. After then, I really buy less and I don't feel that I have to sacrifice something in exchange of saving money.
Of course, if I would like to save more money, I have to seek alternatives, as well as changing my life-style. But, I recognised the most significant step is to understand the money spending behaviour. Otherwise, you will still waste money on useless things.
I have also found you 2 relevant books, hope you enjoy them!
1. The Total Money Makeover
You CAN take control of your money. Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.
"Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition."
Are you really aware of what you spend? Do you know how to value things beyond their price? For the answer to these questions and more, look no further than Kakebo - the budgeting journal used by millions every day in Japan to manage their household spending. The Japanese believe that tidiness in one's finances is as important as tidiness in one's house - indeed for them, the act of thinking mindfully about where one's money goes is in itself a recipe for calm and wellbeing.
Gifts From The Devil or God
Description:The smartphone and video game are so evil to harm people. These are gifts from Devil. No, they aren’t. The evilest thing is people who don’t have good self-control...
When Gavin was a kid, he was lazy to study. Gavin just wanted to play! His parents tried to make the study as fun as they could. Initially, Gavin was willing to do homework, read some story books. His school result was quite good. One day, he found a smartphone on a table, which was able to give him much more amusement.
Gavin discovered the smartphone was a container that held many joyful things. He could use it to watch cartoons, play video games and talk with friends. Video game apps were the most attractive ones. The characteristic of video games is to stimulate all senses of a human. Teenagers are extremely easy to get addicted to.
When Gavin was in primary school, parents still could control him from touching the smartphone. Though the kid grew up to be a teenager, he was out of control. It was impossible for his parents to send him to school anymore, this meant he had more chance to play video games on a smartphone during travelling to school and back home.
You must know Gavin’s school result dropped seriously. He entirely gave up study, only the plots of video games were in his mind. He had got few friends only, the friends were also addicted to playing video games.
After a year, his parents got and hid his smartphone, attempted to stop him from playing video games. This decision wasn’t easy to be made, parents had to consider what would have happened after Gavin lost his smartphone. Anyway, his parents did it finally. Gavin became irritable and tended to use violence, he still had no impatient and not interested to do anything.
Gavin was eventually willing to do revisions just before tests and examinations. However, his parents found Gavin had a difficulty to memorise the textbook contents. Gavin needed to take 7 or 8 hours to memories 10-sentence poem, he even forgot a lot of high-frequency words. Additionally, Gavin couldn’t speak clearly, he felt hard to construct a short sentence to express himself. Gavin seemed like to lose his spirit!
The smartphone and video game are so evil to harm people. These are gifts from Devil. No, they aren’t. The evilest thing is people who don’t have good self-control. Once people lose self-control, they can get addicted to anything, such as watching T.V., gambling, alcoholic and so on. Everything can be either a gift from the Devil or God.
Description:One drop, two drops, then countless drops of rain falling down on the ground. Johnson was all wet in the rain, but he didn't go inside the house. He was excitedly jumping in his paddy field. Johnson was no different from a child at that moment...
Next day in the evening, Johnson packed 10-cup of rice in a transparent plastic bag, carried it to visit alchemist again.
"Mr Alchemist, I am Johnson. Open the door please!"
"Johnson? Who is Johnson?"
"You have already forgotten me! I visited you yesterday morning."
"Okay! Come in"
The alchemy looked much better than yesterday. He seemed to be much younger.
"This is a bag of 10-cup of rice for you."
Johnson handed in it to the alchemist. Alchemist inspected the rice carefully!
"Hey! What's that?"
"What have you found?" Johnson was looking at the rice closely, "This is Weevil, a kind of bugs living in rice."
"RICE WEEVIL! The bugs have already told you we-evil. Why you keep evil in your rice?"
"I don't keep them in rice, but they jumped into it. You know, I gave you the best of the best rice which I have already kept for a few years."
"You wait here for a moment. Don't go anywhere!" Alchemist said, then he went somewhere.
Johnson was sitting still in the sofa, he felt bored so that he closed eyes to take a nap. His ears and noise were more sensible after eyes closed. He detected pleasant rice smell, he thought, "My rice is really in high quality." Meanwhile, he heard, "Sa...sa...sa..." sounds. He was listening to the sounds concentratedly.
One drop, two drops, then countless drops of rain falling down on the ground. Johnson was all wet in the rain, but he didn't go inside the house. He was excitedly jumping in his paddy field. Johnson was no different from a child at that moment. He suddenly heard someone said, "Wake up baby, wake up!" Johnson smiled. "Do you want me to kiss you wake you?" He scared by the croaky voice. Johnson opened his eyes, saw a big face of the alchemist. Alchemist's eyes were staring into Johnson's. Alchemist touched his right chin gently with his left hand, "Wake up baby, come with me!"
"No! No! Don't sexually assault me! No!"
"What are you talking about?' Alchemist frowned his eyebrows together, "I just want you to taste the rice."
"Don't need. I taste it every day."
Alchemist picked up a bowl of rice, used a pair of chopsticks to hold a mouth of rice, then, sending the rice to Johnson's mouth. "Open your mouth, baby!"
"Don't call me baby anymore!"
"You looked like a baby while sleeping," said Alchemist. "Open your mouth."
Johnson succumbed eventually. He found the taste of rice was very nice!
Alchemist put the bowl of rice down on a small square wooden table. Then, he picked up another bowl of rice, fed Johnson a mouth of it. "Oh no, this one isn't good!" Johnson said.
"Good! You can distinguish the difference!"
"Of course, I am a farmer. My rice must be the best."
"But! You have just said your rice that isn't good!"
"No, it's impossible," Johnson yelled.
"You know, the raw rice I cooked for the first bowl, that I bought from a supermarket in the city." Alchemist said, "your rice is actually not bad. Except it has Evils." Alchemist held up the transparent plastic bag, the Rice Weevils occupied 1/5 of the room in the plastic bag.
"Starting from today, you have to do meditation every night before sleep," said Alchemist. "While doing meditation, you need to speak 'How to improve the quality of my rice' silently until you have got the answer."
"I think my rice is nice! Isn't it?"
"You think so because you grow it. Also, you don't compare your product with others. If you really want to be rich, you have to improve its quality."
The alchemy gave the farmer a small red pocket, reminded him to put it under his pillow. "There are 3 things you have to remember:
1. Don't open this red pocket. Once you open it, the magic will be gone.
2. Do 1-hour meditate alone before sleep every night! While doing meditation, you need to sit in front of your crop and have self-talk with speaking silently, 'How can I improve the quality of rice.' The magic of alchemy will tell you what to do.
3. Don't tell anyone what I taught you, even your wife!
Once you have got an answer, you come back the next day in the evening. The process may take you more than one month to complete."
The farmer promised the alchemy, but he wondered, "I want to learn alchemy, that is the one I can turn anything into gold. Why do I need to figure out how to improve my rice's quality?"
"I am now teaching you the alchemy of agriculture. It is for turning any kinds of the crop into gold. Do you still want to learn it?"
"Of course, I want!"
Description:Since I was a kid. I started to find my way to escape from reality. Initially, I escaped by watching cartoons on T.V. Until I was 10, I liked watching movies more. I found both of them could not fully satisfy me for some reasons, so, I tried to read novels. Once I was caught by the magic of novels, I couldn’t rip out of reading.
When I was a little kid, I liked watching cartoons. Cartoon characters spoke in a funny way, their actions were similar to us, but exaggerated. Watching T.V. was my habit. However, I found T.V. programs that didn’t fully satisfy me since I was about 10-year-old. It wasn’t a problem if a T.V. serial drama wasn’t interesting, I could abandon to watch it. It was a big problem only if a T.V. serial drama that was interesting. After one episode finished, I needed to wait at least one day, sometimes a week for the next. Waiting for a day was acceptable, a week, it was too long, I generally forgot the last episode, my emotion was already gone.
Every episode of a serial drama was a new and individual drama. Thus, T.V. serial dramas were not actually a serial drama, they were not a long story. Instead, they consisted of several short stories with the same characters. Eventually, I realised the real meaning of a long story, that is, a long story has countless individual short stories, those individual short stories are related to one another. I often find T.V. serial dramas which have unrelated short stories, such as Sherlock Homles. So, I need to amend my definition of a long story. A long story has several short stories, they can be related or unrelated to one another. Only one component is unchanged, that is the characters. Once I like a story, of course, I don’t want it to be finished fast and I also don’t want to wait for a week. Thus, T.V. dramas cannot satisfy me.
Since I didn’t have full satisfaction with T.V. dramas, I started to watch movies once or twice a month. A movie is a longer story comparing with T.V. drama. Generally, the duration of a movie is 1.5 to 2-hour. This means, I can have 1.5 to 2-hour to live in a coherent story. It’s totally correct to say that a story is for me to escape from reality. However, I don’t have good patience to watch a 3-hour movie, I am also unwilling to consume 3-hour for entertainment. Although I don’t like reality, I still have to live in this real world. Also, a movie is impossible to be paused while watching it in a cinema. It’s like a train carrying passengers to their destination. No anyone can freely require the train to stop at an unplanned location. Passengers can only get off the train at one of a station on its planned route. Nevertheless, a movie doesn’t have any stations for you to get off. It runs nonstop from the starting point to the end. Certainly, I can pause a movie while watching it at home, I still don’t like to do so. A movie contains motions, sounds, actions and speeches of characters, to bring you to travel in the story, to experience incidents that characters are encountering. Pausing a movie is like to cut a whole flawless thing into pieces, scars would be left on it.
As T.V. dramas and movies have their own limitations, what else is good for me to escape from reality? Reading is a perfect option. I can buy a pile of novels and keep them at home. Once I have spare time, I can grip a novel to read for a while. Reading is like riding on a bicycle, I can start to read as I want, I can stop as I like. There are no limitations. The most important thing is that a bicycle cannot run fast, I can have more time to taste the plots in a story. Reading is also like listening to my friends’ stories. Those friends stay with me until the story ends. So, I love to read slowly if I like those friends to stay with me for a longer time.
I have already fallen in love with reading for a long time, it inspires me a lot. Initially, I hold the inspirations with hands, the inspirations are gone from my finger gaps like water. So, I try to use a bowl to hold them. The bowl can be full in a day, it is not big enough. After then, I use a tank to keep the inspirations. The tank can be full in a month. I look at the tank, “What can I do with the inspirations?” Writing should be a good method to thoroughly utilise them. Consequently, I start writing stories and prose.
Besides reading and writing, I have another good way to escape from reality, that’s having a daydream and sleeping to make a nice dream!
Description:Recreational fishing is also an activity for having fun by killing lives. The fish catchers drag the fish out of the water to the land, the fish catchers seem to be enjoyable while looking at the fish struggling distressingly.
Yesterday, I strolled along the waterfront walkway in the afternoon. It was a cloudy day with cool weather. There were only few people, most of them were elderly. Fishing is the most popular activity for them, it is also an activity that I hate seriously!
Fishing is the same as hunting, both are to kill animals for having fun. I watched a video which showed a hunter hiding in a forest, a rifle was fixed on a stand aiming for a direction. The hunter was excited to wait for his preys coming out. Few minutes later, a giant bear appeared, it was walking casually. "Bang~bang~" two loudly gun-shot sounds spread over the forest. A flock of birds was flying out from trees into the sky. The giant bear immediately fell down on the ground without a piece of sound. The hunter cheered excitedly. He ran quickly towards the giant bear. He kicked it for few times, to make sure the bear was dead. Afterwards, he couldn't suppress his laughter and took photos with that dead animal. The giant bear didn't attack anyone, why should it have got killed? I felt disgusting!
Wild animals only hunt for food, I have never seen wild animals hunting for having fun, but humans would.
Recreational fishing is also an activity for having fun by killing lives. The fish catchers drag the fish out of the water to the land, the fish catchers seem to be enjoyable while looking at the fish struggling distressingly. Do the fish catchers really catch for food? Of course not, fish is available at wet markets and supermarkets. The main purpose of recreational fishing is for having fun by killing animals.
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