November 26, 2016

No-Spending Year

Imagine going for a year without spending money on anything you would consider optional. What would happen? Michelle McGagh writing at The Guardian tried this and reports that life got simpler — after she adapted — and that she paid down her mortgage loan by 10 percent.

September 27, 2016

Self-Discipline Doesn’t Do the Work

Which should you do first: the things you know you have to do, or the one thing you feel like doing right now?

Before you answer, consider this: you’ll feel more disciplined if you address the things you know you have to do, but you’ll be more productive if you work on the thing that has captured your imagination at the moment.

August 11, 2016

July 31, 2016

Paying Off a Mortgage

I paid off my mortgage. I have the letter from the mortgage bank to make it official. The letter is about step five in the process. My friends are more interested in this story than I had expected, but it makes sense when I think about it. In a world where perpetual debt has become the norm, who do I know who paid off their house while still living there? Sure, people are constantly selling houses, buying new ones, paying off the old mortgage, and taking out a new one, but that’s a different process. What is it like, in the Internet mortgage servicing era, if you are going to pay off a mortgage and keep living in the house? Friends are looking to my story to find out.

July 04, 2016

Independence, Debt, and Clutter

The four big forms of everyday suspense in America are clutter, a busy schedule, debt, and excess body fat. More often than you would think, they go together. This makes sense when you consider the effect of a person’s time and energy — when you don’t have the time and energy to solve one problem, you won’t have it for the next problem either. The positive side of this is that when you break free from suspense in one form, you are probably well on your way to solving it in its other forms too.

Today, Independence Day, has me thinking about the link between money and clutter. I’ve been spending the day going through my house, taking away some of my excess possessions.

May 08, 2016

Stamp Out Hunger 2016

If spring cleaning includes cleaning out your pantry, you may have perfectly good food to give away. For most U.S. postal customers, that’s especially easy to do during the Stamp Out Hunger drive on Saturday — just leave grocery bags of food near your mailbox or mail slot before your letter carrier arrives. Donations go directly to local food charities.

Stamp Out Hunger 2016 postcard

April 05, 2016

Branson on Sleep and Success

Most people will agree that sleep feels good but may be surprised to hear that sleep is a key to success. On the occasion of the release of the new Arianna Huffington book The Sleep Revolution, Richard Branson writes about the value of sleep in his blog:

March 31, 2016

Tons of Trash

During March of Trash we repaired, recycled, gave away, sold, composted, burned, and trashed tons of stuff. The pickup truck I saw, said to be on its last legs and on its way out, must have weighed at least two tons by itself. We put things away. We found stuff we had lost or forgotten. We upgraded our lives by throwing away worn-out shoes, chairs, cooking pots, sheets, and towels, replacing the worn-out items with better ones we already had. Tons of obsolete paper files were recycled. Neglected equipment found its way back into the flow after being given away or sold. This list included hair cutting shears, a bread machine, a carpet cleaner, a typewriter, and a guitar game controller. A strobe light and a snow shovel were repaired and returned to use. At least one participant has set aside stacks of boxes for a tag sale in April.