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Archive for June, 2008

COST OF LIVING – BUDGET IN JULY– This was the headline on this week’s The Sun Newspaper, which continues to read “New budget day is sometime in July. Dominicans wait patiently for SANTA CLAUS for tax relief gifts.”

With all the attention on the 2008 Budget address, the price of fuel and the cost of living; today I’m going to ask you guys to reach deep down into your heart, to think of what’s the best decision(s) Prime Minister Skerrit can make in his Budget address – that will help curb the high prices Dominicans face everyday with the same salary.

In other words – What do want from the 2008 budget?

Let us know in the comments!

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Often we’re told at a very early age that we have to suffer now – give up want we want – so that we can succeed later in life, that in order to save we must prepared to make some sacrifices. Give up instant gratification to get delayed gratification down the line.

But you can do both, as I mention in the opening paragraph of this post – you must prepared to make some scarifies.

Forever since I can remember, I was confused about this, which sent me two different messages:

1.Pleasure later. The first message was that in order to be successful, in order to build wealth and make something of yourself, you have to delay gratification. As my mom will always say “you can’t have your cake and eat.” – I never really understood what she meant by that up until I started living on my own.
2.Pleasure now. The second message was usually from other sources on happiness, but sometimes from the same source: enjoy life now, while you can, because it’s short and you never know when your last day will come. Live every day like it’s your last.

The funny thing is, I agree with both messages. And if continue to read this post, you’ll see that I touch on both messages. Live sparingly and simply! But also enjoy life.

Liuda (fiancée) and I have come to a point in our lives, where we’ve decided to make the all necessary sacrifices in other for us to own our home; so we’ve reconciled the two ways of life into one: Live life now and enjoy it to the fullest — without destroying our future. we find ways to enjoy life completely, utterly, maximally … that don’t cost our future very much.

Here are some tips for actually living that philosophy:

Find free or cheap pleasures. Sparingly does not have to be boring or restrictive … if you use your imagination. Be creative and find ways to have fun — loads of it — without spending much money. Have a drink-ups at friends homes, go to the beach, board games, take field trips , make art, bake cookies 🙂 … there are maybe a hundred of different things you could come up with a few hundred more. Make a list of simple pleasures, and enjoy them to the maximum.

Make simplifying fun. I’m a big fan of simplifying my life in every way, from decluttering to creating a simple lifestyle. And to me, this is fun. I get rid of stuff (and possibly make money selling it) and have a blast doing it.

Rediscover what’s important. Too often we spend tons of money, shopping, going out, watching television, eating out … without really enjoying life. And when we stop to think about it, we never have time for the things we really want to do. Well, that’s probably because your life is filled with things that aren’t very important to you. Instead, take a few steps back and really think about what’s important to you. Then get rid of the other (expensive) stuff, and focus on what’s important.

Make people a priority. I thought I’d give it a little more emphasis, as this is related to the above point. If you give “stuff” a priority — stuff like gadgets, nice furnishings, nice clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc. — then you will spend a lot of money. But if you make people a priority — the people you love most, you close friends and family — you don’t need to spend a dime to enjoy life. Talk about books you’ve read, movies you’ve watched, new things going on in your life, your hopes and dreams. And make time for your kids or your significant other — really spend time with them, doing things that don’t cost money.

Track your successes. It doesn’t really matter how you track your success … you can use gold stars for creating a new simplifying habit, or use a spreadsheet chart to track your decreasing debt and increasing savings or investments. Tracking is a great way to not only provide motivation, but make the process of changing fun.

Reward yourself. And in order to make it more fun, celebrate every little success! Set rewards for yourself (hopefully not too expensive!) along your path to success.

Find time for yourself. Make time every day, and every week, to spend time alone. It really gives more meaning and enjoyment to your life, rather than rushing through life with no time to think, to breathe. You need some “me time” everyday.

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This post is dedicated to my grandma, who on June 13 turned 89 years old, and has suffered with Arthritis for the past 15 years of her life.

Anyone who knows me knows that my grandma and I have this special relationship, and this is why for the past five years I’ve been searching the internet on ways people can cope with arthritis while living an active life.

On average, 7 out off the 10 adults over the age of 60 within the Caribbean begin to experience arthritis pain.

Anyone living with arthritis should try to find new ways to cope. One great way to start is to plan most of your daily activities such as bathing, brushing your teeth, cooking, cleaning, working, shopping and relaxing, should all be examined with the goal of find ways to get organized and avoid unnecessary movements.

Organize you daily tasks. By organizing yourself and your day, you can accomplish goals more easily. Try these ways to get organized:

Each morning, take a few minutes to plan out your day. By listing all the things you need to do in order to importance, you get the most important things done earlier in the day in case you get tired early.

Organize your work space, such as your kitchen or living room, so all of your tools are nearby. Keep the television remote control in the same place so you can always find it. Store sewing supplies and cooking utensils in waist-level cabinets or shelves. Keep a notepad and pen on the table besides the telephone.

Arrange to have chairs so that you sit instead of stand while cooking, talking on the phone, ironing, cleaning, etc. That will take pressure off your joints. A high stool is useful in the kitchen for cooking or washings dishes.

Avoid overly soft, deep – cushioned Chairs. They can be hard to get out of, putting unnecessary strain on your arms and shoulders. Even in visiting friends at their homes, look for a chair that will allow you to sit down and get up easily.

Avoid tight grasping movements that may strain your hands. Learn how to install larger handles on house objects. One simple way is to use soft foam rubber and wide tape. By building up handles with foam padding you don’t have to grip so slightly.

Always use good posture to avoid unnecessary strain. Make sure work areas are at the right height. You should be able to work on a table with your arms comfortably at your sides, with your forearms at 90 degree angles from your upper arms. In the event that you have to lift an object off the floor, blend your knees, rather than your back, and keep you back straight as you go down and back up.

Don’t sit in the same position for a long time. Get up and move every once in a while so you don’t become stiff. Do a few range-of-motion movements to loosen up again.

Finally, find a balance between activity and rest. Alternate periods of work with periods of light activity or rest. Rest is just as important as keeping active both should be done in moderation.

Photo courtesy:Globe Staff Photo/Nancy Palmieri

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