Tag Archives: money

Announcing: Smalltopia

small-square-ad-for-smalltopiaI was very excited when I saw that Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens has published another e-book.

Smalltopia is for everyone who is interested in generating their own income.  Bloggers, freelancers, artists….  It’s full of tips on how to make a living online.

Much of the focus is on downsizing your expenses, starting small and manageable and building from there.  I bought the book yesterday afternoon and read it straight through.  We even postponed dinner, which hardly ever happens in this house!

My small and manageable office space

And after reading all the hints and tips and how-to’s as well as the inspirational stories from the likes of Leo Babauta, Chris Guillebeau and Everett Bogue I felt really excited and empowered.  Like maybe these ideas that Alan and I have been kicking around aren’t so crazy after all.  And maybe quitting my job last month because the stress was making my gallbladder swell up alarmingly (it’s coming out in two weeks – I envision the surgical team showing up in bomb disposal gear) was less of a cop-out and possibly, maybe a decent career move.

There are even sections for people who aren’t quite ready to chuck the 9 to 5 just yet, ways that you can try out a new path while still going into work every day, steps you can put in place to make your transition a whole lot smoother than mine has been.

I’ve decided to become and affiliate seller for this book – it’s just that good.  So if you’re interested, please click on the Smalltopia book cover in my side bar.  If you decide to buy, a portion of the price goes to supporting HappySimple.


It's a Matter of Trust

Clutter.  Weight gain.  Financial insecurity.  What do they have in common?

Well, looked at from a certain angle, they can be seen to come down to the question of trust.

I don’t know about you, but I like to have things pretty much sewn up.  I like to know what’s happening and when.   I like to know, for sure, that everything will be OK.  Because anything else involves trust, and I ‘m not very good at that.  So I stockpile supplies a bit.  I eat a little more than I should.  I worry about the money.

And it occurs to me that I and anyone else wrestling with these issues might be better served talking to a competent therapist and learning how to trust, how to let go of the belief that we live in a dangerous and malevolent world and can only be safe if we’re armed to the teeth with spare staplers, outgrown clothes, snack foods and three year old issues of our favourite magazines.  That we need a million dollars in savings just to be able to get out of bed in the morning.  We’ll probably be further ahead spending our money on that than on yet another organizer or gym membership or productivity system.

I find it so much easier to clean up and get things done when I’m able to  believe in the people around me and their willingness to help out should I ever need it.   I can declutter like the best of them when I’m secure in the belief that there is plenty of stuff to go around and should I ever need another one of these things, chances are I’ll be able to find it.  And I can say no to seconds when I remind myself that the fridge works and there’s always tomorrow’s lunch to finish this tasty, tasty meal.

But the biggest hurdle to get over, the one that gives the biggest reward (isn’t that always the way?) is learning to trust myself. To trust, not that the Universe will provide whatever I need whenever I need it, cuz, seriously, I just can’t swallow that one.  I mean, it might.  It often does.  But if it doesn’t?  I need to learn to trust that I’ll be able to use my brains to come up with a decent alternative.  I’ll invent, improvise, make do or move on.

How about you?  Where do you stand on the trust question?

Celebrating Jammie Days

Future Blogger enjoying a Jammie Day

I spent most of  Tuesday in my jammies, lazing about and reading.  Alan had the day off and took it easy, too.  It was great.

On Wednesday, I was telling some friends about my laziness and they nodded enthusiastically and agreed that Jammie Days are the best.  “It’s like you’ve stolen a day back from time!”

So I’m not alone in my enjoyment of these days of rest and non-productivity.

When my brother’s kids were in school, they were allowed to take one day off a month, no questions asked.  As long as it wasn’t a test day.  And they weren’t allowed to bank them.  I thought that was brilliant.  It saved the kids from having to manufacture vague symptoms that could keep them home, but out of the doctor’s office.  When I was a kid, half my creativity was spent trying to come up with just such symptoms.

I read somewhere that, if you ever think that you’d like to get whatever’s going around, just so you could have a day to lie around and take care of yourself, you should just take a day to lie around and take care of yourself.  All the fun of a sick day, without the piles of Kleenex and occasional race to the bathroom.

It can be hard to make the time to do that, especially if your work doesn’t allow for personal days.  You may just have to give notice to your family and significant other that this Saturday, you are off-limits.  Maybe swap child-care with a friend.  Or agree to give your spouse next Saturday off.   Or make Jammie Day a family event.  Don’t answer the phone, snooze a lot, catch up on your reading, snooze some more…

This is a great way to get started on a more minimal, debt-averse lifestyle, too.  If you’re home in your jammies, you’re not out spending money (you might want to hide the credit card if you’re going to be spending time with the internet) and you’re not getting things done.   There’s just something about being in your favourite pair of giraffe pajamas that makes it impossible to be professional and productive.

No, on Jammie Day, the focus is not on doing, but rather on being. And it’s gorgeous!

Hmmm… I have some commitments for tomorrow.  But most of Sunday’s free….

Time or Money – How I Found My Priority

Time or Money

Time or Money

I was recently laid off.

It was from a job I mostly liked, so I was surprised to discover how truly happy I am to be away from  it.

I have free time now.  Lots and lots of it.  I can read, I can blog, I can spend time with my husband (when he’s not at work). It’s amazing and wonderful and I love it.

I do have to be more careful with the expenses, of course, but I don’t mind that at all.  Which has me wondering why, if it’s so obvious that time is what I value most in this life, have I spent so much of my adult life worrying about money?

There is no good answer to that question, except ‘Stop!’  Which is exactly what I’ve decided to do.

This lay-off has been just the jostling I needed, one of those fortuitous potholes on the road of life, that left me winded, but smarter.

I was helped along by this post from 43 Folders, in which he posits the claim that priorities cannot be set, they can only be observed.  It’s a brilliant piece and I highly recommend you take the time to read it.  I keep rereading it.   And reordering my life according the few priorities I have observed in myself: Time and People.

And yes, I will need to find ways to make enough money to keep body and soul together to meet that Time thing.  And to be able to afford to feed some of the People in my life (yeah, Food always has a way of sneaking in there as a priority in itself).  But when making the Money precludes being able to spend the Time with the People (with or without the Food), then I’ve screwed things up and need to give it all another try.

And I think most of us actually feel that way.  Most of us if given the impossible, theoretical choices of, say, being a millionaire but dying at 50, or having enough to get by and living to,  80, would plump for the long life.

Or, given the choice between spending a long luxurious afternoon in bed with the one we love the most or an extra, unnecessary, five hundred bucks would, I hope, opt for the afternoon in bed.  I know I would.

So why do we get so caught up in chasing money?  Why do I?  Why do you?

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