Loading...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Promising New Rock Band ‘Spirit X’ Drops Debut Single, Watch The Intense Music Video!

‘Spirit X’ is a promising new Kathmandu based Rock ‘n’ Roll band. The band formed in 2014 has Abhishek S. Mishra on vocals and lead guitars, Nikesh ‘Monster’ Joshi on drums and Gaurav Joshi on bass. The band that has been playing various gigs around the capital has finally released its first original single along with the official music video.

spirit x photo

The Band; Photo: Amar’s Photography

The song titled ‘Goodbye’ that is written by Abhishek is undoubtedly one of the finest songs to have come from a Nepali rock band in recent times. “Blues is kind of a genre that you can sit along with friends and make the music that appeals the most to you; and that’s what we did. And the result came out as Goodbye”, the lead vocalist told NeoStuffs. What adds to the awesomeness of this song is the retro style gangster music video created by Jazz Productions. The intense and gripping music video also has a cameo by the Tumbleweed Inc. lead guitarist Sarad Shrestha.

We are in love with this song. Give it a listen below and let us know what you think of it. Enjoy!

The post Promising New Rock Band ‘Spirit X’ Drops Debut Single, Watch The Intense Music Video! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

Pari Has A Song For ‘Suicide Squad’ & It Deserves To Be The Official Soundtrack Of The Film!

Despite of getting negative reviews from the critics, ‘Suicide Squad’ has been breaking all the records at the box-office and remains #1 for third weekend. The film recently passed the $500 million mark at the global box office.

Apart from the film, its soundtracks too are being loved by the fans. Prechya Bajracharya aka Pari has recently come up with a song dedicated to the film. The song titled ‘Let You Go’ is written and performed by herself and the beat is produced by Sujan Joshi. “Sujan and I were jamming in our studio a few days ago when he suggested me that I should make a new song dedicated to Joker as I was so obsessed with the character and the film. He made a beat within 15 minutes while I was working on the lyrics. We completed the song in around two hours”, she told NeoStuffs.

Well, we definitely liked the song and it won’t be unfair to say that it deserves to be one of the official soundtracks of the film. Give it a listen below and let us know what you think of it.

READ ALSO: Prechya Bajracharya aka Pari To Make Her Silver Screen Debut With ‘Jatra’

 

The post Pari Has A Song For ‘Suicide Squad’ & It Deserves To Be The Official Soundtrack Of The Film! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

Map Shows Average Penis Sizes Across The World, Nepalese & Indian Men Have The Smallest!

Map reveals average size of erect penises around the world.

In school, all of us learned to see different kinds of maps – topographic, political, thematic, physical and many more. But as far as we remember, we were never taught about a map that shows the average penis sizes across the world. Well, time changes and now there’s a map for just about everything these days. Target Map have created an interactive map with different colors coded graphic which shows the average size of men’s manhood depending on where they are from. Let us warn you in advance, if you’re from Asia, you’re not going to like what is in store for you.

The map shows African men are the proud owners of the world’s largest penises, with those from Congo (7.1 inches) on the first spot, followed by Ecuador (7), and Ghana (6.8).  Men from Venezuela (6.7), Cameroon (6.6), Colombia (6.6) and Lebanon (6.6) are not far behind. Jamaica (6.4), Panama (6.4) and Burkina Faso (6.3) too are at the fair spots on the chart.

Now talking about the smallest penises in the entire world; Nepalese, Indian and Thai men are leading from the bottom with an average penis size of 3.7 inches.; followed by Sri Lanka and South Korea with 3.8 inches of manhood; and Cambodia and Malaysia with the average size of 3.9 inches.

SEE THE MAP: Countries with red have the largest manhoods while erect, orange comes second, yellow is in the middle, light green is smaller and green is the smallest.

map

Australia comes just behind Africa as the average size there is greater than 5.8 inches and Mexico, Norway, Italy and Sweden too are in the same category. The UK, US, Germany and France are situated in the middle in the pact with the average size ranging from 5 to 5.8 inches. And Japan, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil are just above the other Asian countries, with the average sizes between 4.1 to 5 inches.

You can see the map and compare the sizes HERE.

As we are pretty sure that a lot of you guys are going to measure yourself after reading this, here’s the correct way to measure your manhood:

Measure from the pelvic bone to the tip of the erect penis along the top.

measure

Photo: Penis Sizes

Groin fat that you have can have a massive effect on the result. Therefore you should place the ruler/measuring tape right at the base of the shaft, pressing firmly into the groin. The length from the base of the shaft to the tip of the penis is in fact your penis length. Pressing hard into the groin for maximum length is justified by the fact that some men have more fat and more pubic hair.

Good luck with the measurement!

Cover Image: ShutterStock

The post Map Shows Average Penis Sizes Across The World, Nepalese & Indian Men Have The Smallest! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

‘Mr. 250’ Aayush Rimal Donates Rs. 1 Lakh To Charity, Let’s Make More Fun of Him

You do know Aayush Rimal, right? Even if you didn’t earlier, you know him now. All thanks to the ‘Rs. 250’ controversy. If you’re some kind of Kumbhakaran and woke up from your 6-month sleep recently; here’s what the controversy is all about.

One of the most popular Nepali YouTubers, Aayush Rimal who has been living in United States since a couple of years, came to Nepal in June this year.

aayush gif

As the YouTuber has over 50,000 subscribers on his channel; some of them actually happen to be his genuine fans unlike others who are just there to dislike his new video as soon as it is uploaded, of course, without even taking a look. So, for those genuine fans, he had organized a Meet And Greet event at Bajeko Sekuwa in Battishputali on July 30th. Everything was alright until the poster of the event hit the internet.

THIS ONE!

People went crazy that why should they pay to meet this YouTuber. Hmm? Nobody had actually forced anyone to attend the event to be clear. But who has got time to think about that and once they have such a wonderful chance to criticize, harass and troll someone, why would they back off, right? And that’s what happened. Aayush literally won the troll game against Rajesh Hamal, Rajnikant and Rishi Dhamala as his trolls and memes started to break the internet. He was also given a beautiful nick name: ‘Rs. 250’. Awww!

A couple of memes out of the millions.

rim con 1

 

rim con 2

 

rim con 3

But guess what, when the event took place, there were actually quite a lot of people who paid Rs. 250 to be there. Yes, paid Rs. 250. <<echo of 250….. 250….. 250… 250….>>

Some photographs from the event.

Courtesy: Ananta Poudel

rim 2

rim 3

rim 4

rim

Even until now, nobody had no freaking idea that why was raising all the money for. In the meantime, he did another event titled ‘How To Be A YouTuber With Aayush Rimal’ in collaboration with Edushala. And the registration fee this time was, guess yourself…. no, not Rs. 250…. <<tada…tada……. (suspense music)….>> Rs. 750. Yes, you read that right. His ‘bhau’ increased by a whopping Rs. 500. And there were actually some ‘real’ people who did pay the amount. See the pictures.

edu 1

edu

And the big question remained unanswered, “Why the hell was he raising all this money? Didn’t he have enough money to pay for his air ticket to return to the US? Or he just wanted to make some easy money? Hmm?

Well, seems like he had been raising all this money for a good cause. He donated an amount of Rs. 100,000 to Help Nepal Network. Rabindra Mishra, the Founder of this charity, took to his Facebook handle to inform about the same. Here’s his post.

Alright! Now there are two very important lessons to be learned from Aayush’ Nepal trip and the Rs. 250 controversy:

#1. Never judge a person without actually knowing them and their intentions.

Wait for the other one…

Even though Mr. Mishra has clearly stated that he was informed about the donation before the event was planned; after reading and knowing about Aayush’ donation, many people are going to be like, “Haha! It was not pre-planned and he just donated the money because he was being criticized.”

So fellas, here comes the second important lesson that we can all learn:

#2. Don’t give a sh*t about what people talk about you because no matter what you do, they are always going to be talking behind you. So, you know what, just f*ck it and keep doing your thing!

That’s it!

Talking about his Nepal trip and everything that followed, “It were some of the best days of my life. I met some of the most wonderful people, did some good things (or at least I thought so) and thoroughly enjoyed the trip“, he told Neostuffs. “About the controversy, I have taken this whole thing very lightly. People love to talk and so they will. Not a big deal, I guess. I just have love and respect for everyone in my heart.”

The YouTuber went back to the US earlier this week. Keep doing you thing, Aayush. Never stop!

Cover Photo: Anant Poudel

 

The post ‘Mr. 250’ Aayush Rimal Donates Rs. 1 Lakh To Charity, Let’s Make More Fun of Him appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

20 Strategies for Radically Cutting Your Food Expenses

The average American family spends $151 a week on food, according to this Gallup poll. That’s actually quite a lot of money when you consider that the average week contains just 21 meals and that it’s relatively easy to eat a meal that costs less than $1.

The truth of the matter is that people often spend far more on their food than they realize and that those food expenses really add up over time. Even if you’re spending just the average amount on food, a typical family ends up spending almost $8,000 a year on food.

Within that $8,000 in annual spending comes a lot of little choices. You make food spending choices every time you visit the grocery store. You make food spending choices every time you eat out, every time you order takeout, every time you think about eating something in your home, every time you visit a coffee shop.

All of those choices are made as the result of a set of “rules” that you have in your head. You have a certain internal logic as to why you make the choices that you do. Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that if you change a few of those internal “rules,” you can end up saving a ton on food expenses over the course of a year.

Here are twenty such strategies you can apply to change your food spending habits. Some of these strategies will be familiar to long-time readers of The Simple Dollar, while others will be new ones that Sarah and I have learned over the years.

Strategy #1 – Make Simple Meals That You Like

The single biggest money saver when it comes to a family’s food budget is eating at home, and the simplest strategy for eating at home is to get over one’s fear of the kitchen and simply make your own meals.

Many, many people have the perspective that making one’s own meals at home is difficult and messy and, for the sake of convenience, they just order food, whether takeout or delivery or going to a restaurant.

It’s simply not true.

There are many, many meals that are incredibly easy to make. Pasta meals take ten minutes and require little more than boiling water and pouring some sauce on top of noodles. You can make wraps and burritos by wrapping a few things in a tortilla, and sandwiches by putting some things between slices of bread. Soups involve putting things in a big pot with water and boiling it for a while. Stir fry means tossing some veggies and some protein in a skillet over really high heat and then serving it over rice. Most of those things require maybe ten minutes worth of effort at home. They’re also far cheaper than eating out.

The thing with simple dishes, though, is that the more you do them, the more confident you become in branching out and the easier it all seems. Burritos seem easy? Make grilled burritos on a grill or in a skillet with a bit of oil. Basic soup seem easy? Try caramelizing onions before you put them into the soup. Pasta meals seem easy? Try making your own sauce out of just things you like (I like sauteed mushrooms and onions and green peppers and garlic and black peppers in just a bit of olive oil, for instance, and putting that right on top).

Make really, really simple meals at home, things that you’re sure to like. Make them until it seems comically easy, to the point that you could do it with your eyes closed. Then slowly branch out into more complex stuff.

Before you know it, you’ll be able to make tons of tasty things at home really quickly, really cheaply, and with such ease you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it for yourself from the start.

Strategy #2 – Base Meals Around On-Sale Meats and Produce

Once you’re comfortable with cooking at home, the most valuable strategy that you can take on is to cook with the things that are inexpensive at the store – namely, the items that happen to be on sale that week.

Just grab the flyer from your local grocery store (online, preferably, before you even head out to the store) and look at what’s on discount this week. Chicken breasts? Avocados? Tomatoes? Steak? Potatoes? Whatever happens to be on sale, use that as your starting point for meals.

What I typically do is go look for recipes and ideas for how to use those on-sale items as centerpieces for meals, then sketch out a meal plan where I slot in those items for meals for my family throughout the week. I’ll try to use the cheap ingredients as often as possible, so I might plan three or four meals that use tomatoes if they’re on sale, for example.

Centering everything around things that are really cheap this week lets you vary your meals significantly from week to week. You don’t have to eat the same things over and over again in order to eat cheap!

Strategy #3 – Use a Grocery List

The best time to make a decision about what foods and household products you need to buy is before you set foot in the grocery store. You should do this at home, where you can figure out which household items you actually need and which food items you need to fulfill your meal plan for the week.

So, before you even head to the grocery store, make a grocery list. Include everything on it that you would need to make meals for the next week, as well as any household supplies you anticipate needing in the next week. Ideally, if you looked at the grocery flyer first and planned some meals using those items, a significant chunk of the items on your list are already on sale.

Then, head to the store and trust your list. Stick to it. Keep your head down and focus on grabbing just the things on the list. Scratch those items out as you go.

What you’ll end up with is a cart full of stuff you actually need, much of which is already on sale, and very few things that you don’t actually need. Your grocery bill is going to be cheap!

Strategy #4 – Shop at the Local Discount Grocer

If you typically shop at a more expensive food retailer, you really should try out a discount food retailer. Substitute your Whole Foods for a chain like Aldi or Fareway instead, where many of the items are the same but the prices are much lower.

Some people are picky about specific food items and it’s okay if you only buy some of your groceries at the discount grocer, but the more you buy there, the lower your overall food bill will be.

Other discount grocer chains besides Aldi and Fareway include PriceRite, Save-A-Lot, and Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. There are many, many discount grocers that operate only at the local level, so be sure to look around your town and see what’s available.

Strategy #5 – Take Advantage of “Cheaper” Meat Cuts

Many people assume that the higher the price of a meat cut, the better it must be for all purposes. That’s rarely true. Many “cheap” meat cuts work just fine for many purposes and, in fact, work better for some purposes.

Take hamburgers, for instance. If you’re grilling a hamburger, a lower-cost ground beef usually works better as the excess fat tends to cook away during the grilling process, leaving a burger that’s actually tastier if you use 80/20 ground beef instead of the much more expensive 95/5 beef.

If you’re making a soup, buy the much less expensive stew meat cuts instead of the pricier cuts of meat, as the stew meat will cook into exquisite tenderness during the soup cooking process and will actually add more flavor to the soup. If you want to make a chicken soup, use thighs instead of breasts, for example, as it will make the soup much more savory and cost far less.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that the expensive cuts are best for everything; they rarely are. Instead, learn more about what you’re actually making and you’ll find that you save money and end up with better tasting meals.

Strategy #6 – Make 2-4 Batches of Most Meals, Freeze the Extras

If you’re making a meal that can possibly be frozen for easy finishing later, such as a soup, stew, or casserole, make multiple batches of it at once and save the extras in a state just prior to the final heating.

For example, let’s say you’re making lasagna. Rather than making just one pan of lasagna, make several pans at once and freeze the extra pans at the point just before you’d stick them in the oven. Then, at a later date, you can pull a pan out of the freezer, let it thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two, then cook it with minimal effort.

Doing this serves several purposes at once. For one, it reduces the average time needed to actually make each pan of lasagna, as you’re merging all of the prep work together into one batch and cutting down on the average cleanup and preparation time. For another, you’ll have convenient foods in the freezer at home, making it easier to choose to eat at home on a busy night. For another, you’ll be able to buy ingredients in bulk, which will make each batch cheaper than it otherwise would be.

You can apply this strategy with many different meals. We often make extra batches of soups and stews this way, freezing them in containers designed for liquids. We’ll even make batches of burritos and freeze those in individual containers.

Strategy #7 – Buy Store Brand Staples

When you’re buying staple items, such as flour or sugar, or condiments like pepper or ketchup, consider buying the store brand version. Quite often, the store brand is identical to the name brand, with the only difference being the label on the outside of the package. It’s pretty wasteful to spend extra money on a label.

The vast majority of the time, you’ll be unable to tell the difference between the two. That’s because, the vast majority of the time, there is no difference between the store brand and the name brand, and even when there is a difference, it’s a minor one that you’ll scarcely notice.

If you do happen to notice a difference and prefer the name brand, don’t hesitate to switch back to the name brand with your next purchase. At least, at that point, you’ll know why you prefer the name brand. Sometimes, you may even find that you prefer the store brand if there’s a difference, and when they’re identical, it makes complete sense to prefer the less expensive option.

Strategy #8 – Don’t Overbuy Fresh Produce

When you find a great sale on fresh produce, like a sale I recently found that enabled us to buy tomatoes for pennies on the dollar compared to their normal price, you want to buy a lot of it to get your money’s worth. After all, great bargains don’t come around all that often.

There’s a catch, though, when it comes to fresh produce. Quite often, if you buy too much of it, some of it goes bad before you can use it. We’ve all seen fruits and vegetables that have gone bad because they’ve sat around for too long, rendering them (at best) unpalatable or (at worst) utterly rotten.

The solution is to stick to your meal plan. If you have a meal plan, you know how much of this produce you’re going to use, so only buy enough to cover your meal plan. That way, none of it goes to waste.

If you find yourself stuck with excess due to an unexpected change in plans, freeze it or preserve it in some other fashion before it goes bad. Just do a quick Google search with regards to freezing the item in question and see what you need to do.

Strategy #9 – Use Scraps Smartly (for Stock)

When you prepare meat or fresh vegetables for meals, you’re often left with scraps. Maybe you have a handful of chopped onion left over, or a quarter of a bell pepper, or a chicken bone. Throw it away, right?

Wrong.

Take any leftover vegetables and put them in a gallon freezer Ziploc bag marked “veggies.” Put that baggie in the freezer and keep adding to it until it’s full. Do the same with chicken leftovers (labeling it “chicken”) and beef leftovers and so on.

Then, when the bag is full, fill up a slow cooker (we’ll get to slow cookers in a minute) in the morning with those scraps, add a dozen peppercorns and a bay leaf, and then fill it with water until there’s about an inch or so until you reach the top. Let it cook on low all day, then come home and strain the contents, saving the liquid. Freeze that liquid that you saved.

That stuff is stock. It’s magical. You can use it as the liquid component of a soup or a stew or a casserole – basically anything that uses water. It amps up the flavor of anything and costs you nothing. Homemade stock is incredibly easy to make, is incredibly cheap, and is incredibly tasty.

Strategy #10 – Develop a Smart Leftover Strategy (for Subsequent Lunches)

When you’re done with dinner and have some leftovers, instead of just tossing the pan in the fridge, repackage it immediately into meal-sized containers. We keep a healthy supply of reusable meal-sized plastic containers in the cupboard and package a meal in each one.

Then, the next day, all you have to do is open the fridge and grab a container and you’re ready for lunch. You can grab it in the morning before you leave or, if you’re at home, pull it straight from the fridge and directly microwave it.

It’s a very convenient lunch. Not only that, if you don’t think you’ll get through all of the leftover meal containers before they go bad, freeze the extras (put a piece of masking tape on it so you can note the contents and the date). That way, you can grab containers out of the freezer for lunches as well.

Moving leftovers into individual meal containers makes it so easy to just grab them and go that you’ll never look back, and a leftover lunch is a very, very cheap lunch indeed. (There are other uses, too… just keep reading!)

Strategy #11 – Have a Regular Leftover Smorgasbord Night

You may find yourself with several leftover lunches in the fridge after a few days, and that’s fine. At your family dinnertime, just pull them all out, sit them on the table with a spoon or fork in each one, and stack some plates and/or bowls. Let everyone make their own plates and microwave them for dinner.

This is an extremely easy, extremely quick, and extremely cheap family dinner. We often do this on Thursday nights at our house (because Thursdays are virtually always busy).

Another smart idea is to simply have a seasoning shaker or three out on the table. Salt and pepper are good starters, but so are red pepper flakes. Some sauces, like Sriracha, are also a good idea. This allows people to amp up the flavor of their foods as they wish.

Strategy #12 – Have a Handful of Cheap, Tasty, and Simple Recipes on Standby

There are some recipes that Sarah and I can just make on a moment’s notice. We almost always have the items on hand for them and can just make them almost on autopilot. Pasta marinara. Stir fry. Vegetable soup. Grilled black bean burgers. I can throw those things together without even thinking due to many years of practice.

Have a few of these “standby” recipes and make sure you have the stuff on hand to make them all the time. Meals that can rely on pantry (meaning nonperishable) ingredients are quite useful.

Why is this so important? There are going to be inevitable evenings where plans fall apart and it’s very tempting to just go out to eat or get takeout and blow $20 or $30 or $40 (if you have a family). Having a standby meal like this reduces that $20/$30/$40 to more like $4/$6/$8 for that meal.

It’s not perfect. It’s pretty standard. But it’s something that everyone likes, it can be made quickly even when you’re distracted, and it’s really inexpensive.

Strategy #13 – Hit the Library

Part of what makes all of this work is simply having a bunch of recipes floating around. I store many recipes in Paprika, my mother uses index cards, and I have a friend that uses notebooks. They all boil down to the same idea – a collection of recipes that we either know we like or want to make in the future so that we have something to turn to when making meal plans for the week, plus they can easily be modified to meet our needs and tastes.

How do I refresh this collection of recipes? Sure, there are a lot of websites to look at online, but I also hit the library and check out their abundant cookbook collection every once in a while. I’ll copy down a recipe or two that I find that looks interesting and suddenly I have new options. Honestly, most of my favorite recipes are modifications of recipes I originally found in cookbooks at the library.

I like Paprika because it’s really easy to search by ingredient, which means that it’s an essential part of weekly meal planning. I look for ingredients that are on sale in the grocery flyer, then search for them in Paprika to find some ideas on how to use them.

Strategy #14 – Know Some “Fill in the Blank” Recipes

One other great idea is to have some “fill in the blank” recipes in the back of your head – more general recipes that work well with almost anything you add to them.

For example, I have a standard “stir fry” that I often make. I’ll cook up almost any green vegetable along with some black pepper and a protein (usually tofu for us, but you can use chicken or steak or whatever you prefer) in a very hot skillet, add a little bit of soy sauce near the end, and serve it over rice. Boom – a recipe that works with almost any green vegetable that’s on sale.

With root vegetables, I make a standard root vegetable soup that works with turnips or potatoes or leeks or radishes or onions or anything like that. It cooks slowly all day until the root vegetables are soft and delicious (mostly, it’s just a few bay leaves, whatever seasonings I can find, and ample black pepper and salt).

I can turn almost any protein, any vegetable, rice, and cheese into a passable meal by cooking the protein, the vegetable, and the rice together, then combining them with the cheese and heating until consistent and adding a few spices (again, black pepper and salt are my friends). It’s my “anything” casserole.

These recipes are easy. They work with almost anything that’s on sale. Thus, they save a lot of money.

Strategy #15 – Choose Dry Beans Over Canned

You can get about four times as many dried beans for the same price as canned beans and they’re both really easy to work with.

Sure, all you have to do is pop open a can of beans and drain them, right? Well, for dried beans, just put them in a slow cooker on low all day with water filled up about two inches above the beans and you’re ready to use them, too.

The difference? The dry beans taste better and they’re about 70% cheaper, based on my own experience. Plus, you can season them a bit by throwing in some salt or a ham bone or something like that, depending on what additional flavor you want the beans to take on.

If there’s any chance I’m going to use beans in the next few days, I go ahead and cook them in the slow cooker during the day, drain them, and save the beans in a container in the fridge for a day or two until they’re needed. So easy, so tasty, so cheap.

Strategy #16 – Own a Slow Cooker and Know How to Use It

So many of the tips above have mentioned a slow cooker. Why? It makes many, many things possible that would be very difficult for a working family.

I can prepare beans and stock while I’m at work by tossing the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and letting it cook on low all day. I can prepare lots of full meals in the same way – everything from soups and stews to lasagnas and roasts.

When we’re done, the full crock and the lid go straight in the dishwasher to be used again, often the very next day.

This is my preferred slow cooker that I recommend to almost everyone. It does a great job with almost every kind of food and practically runs itself. You can program it if needed, but it mostly just sits and does its thing with minimal fuss.

The best part is when you come home to the aromas of some freshly-made stock or a complete meal that’s ready to eat.

Strategy #17 – Make Friends with Gardeners

We have several friends who are avid gardeners and we’ve learned over the years that during August and September, they usually have an abundance of vegetables that they have no idea what to do with.

So what do they do with them? They give those extras to us!

Of course, throughout the year, we’re good neighbors and friends. We help them with little tasks throughout the year, like helping them move furniture or watching their children or watching their house while they’re traveling. Giving away their extra produce is just part of that relationship. (We also garden ourselves, so we give away produce sometimes, too.)

Because of that, we often don’t buy any produce at all in the late summer and early fall. Between the bounty of our own garden and those of our neighbors, we’re often flooded in produce. Thus, our meal plans often center around all of this great free produce rather than the grocery store flyer, making meals this time of the year dirt cheap!

Strategy #18 – Make Low Offers at the End of Farmers Markets

We often shop at farmers markets and we’ve learned that some of the best bargains come at the end of the market, when people are about to close up shop. If you walk up to a booth that’s about to close and they still have a ton of unsold produce, you’ll almost always get a huge deal if you make them an offer.

I’ve walked out of farmers markets with tons of vegetables of all kinds that I paid very little for just by making an offer near the end of the market.

The important thing to note is that when you do this, you won’t get your choice of items. You’re relying on what’s left behind that others didn’t buy and the items that the seller is willing to part with at a discount.

Still, it’s a great time to haggle, especially if you’re willing to take home ten pounds of cabbage (I’ve done this very thing, which turned into a large batch of homemade sauerkraut).

Strategy #19 – Host Potluck Dinner Parties

Many people lament eating at home because eating out often means a social engagement. They like eating out with friends and family because it’s so social, even though it’s expensive.

The best way to turn that social engagement into a meal that’s not as pricy is to simply host a dinner party. Invite a few people over and encourage them to bring a drink or a simple side dish while you just focus on the main course.

Doing this makes the meal pretty inexpensive for everyone involved and allows for a meal to be eaten in your home where people can stay around the table for as long as they’d like without being rushed out.

We often have potluck dinner parties where we serve grilled foods, homemade pizza, pasta, or other items, and the guests tend to bring beverages or dinner rolls or a very simple side dish. It makes for a great dinner and a great time with friends without pinching anyone’s budget at all.

Strategy #20 – Try Community Dinners

Another option that we often use on busy nights is to go to community dinners.

In our area, many community organizations host freewill community dinners on weekday evenings that often target busy families. You can simply go there, get a freshly prepared meal, and pay whatever you wish.

Let’s assume you’re paying $5 per person. It’s still far cheaper than eating out elsewhere, you get to interact with people in your community, and the money goes toward a good cause or toward financing future community meals.

Look around your community and see if any organizations host such community dinners. Not only are they often a bargain, they’re a great way to get involved and meet people.

Final Thoughts

The average person won’t wholeheartedly adopt all twenty of these strategies at once – I know I certainly wouldn’t. A much better approach is to just choose a few that seem like they would work well with your life and integrate them into what you’re doing.

Even just choosing a few of these, like a smarter meal planning system or smart slow cooker use, can end up saving you a bundle in terms of your annual food costs. Remember, if you can trim the average American family’s food bill by even 25%, you’ve suddenly freed up enough money to make a car payment or a student loan payment, and that can make an enormous difference.

Good luck!

The post 20 Strategies for Radically Cutting Your Food Expenses appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Continue Reading…

Friday, August 19, 2016

‘Gaatho’ Looks Like A Promising Suspense Thriller, Watch The Trailer!

The theatrical trailer of upcoming Nepali film ‘Gaatho’ has been released and we must say, it looks absolutely promising. The film starring the much loved ‘Hostel Returns’ actors Najir Husen and Abhay Baral will mark the debut of model Namrata Shreshta. The film produced under the banner of But-Wall Entertainment is directed by ‘Maun’ and ‘Hostel Returns’ fame Suraj Bhushal.

The 2-minute-trailer looks intense and gripping and more particularly, Husen’s character looks quite shady and interesting. This one looks like a thrilling suspense drama and we can’t wait to watch it when it releases on September 16th.

Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think of it.

 

The post ‘Gaatho’ Looks Like A Promising Suspense Thriller, Watch The Trailer! appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

It’s Your Journey, Not Theirs

Earlier this month, I was traveling with my family in Toronto. I was waiting outside of the CN Tower for my family to meet up as my parents had gone in one direction, my wife and children had gone in a second direction, and I was using the bathroom, so I was standing at our meetup point.

While standing there, I was leaning next to a guy in a Blue Jays jersey who was waiting for the Rogers Centre to open up the gates for that day’s Blue Jays’ home game. Being friendly, I commented on his jersey and we talked about baseball for a bit, and gradually the conversation dipped into some general small talk. He asked what I did for a living and I mentioned The Simple Dollar.

The guy had heard of the site and he was almost gobsmacked by the realization that it was actually the author of The Simple Dollar standing there outside of Rogers Centre. He actually pulled up the site on his phone and found an older picture of me in the archives to verify it.

We ended up getting into a very long conversation about personal finance. He was almost like a firehose of questions, both about personal finance and about the history of the site, and eventually he gave me his business card and asked if it was okay if he emailed me later, which he did a couple of days later. (He actually okayed me talking about our conversations in this post, provided I didn’t mention his name.)

It turns out that the guy is a very high income earner, earning substantially more in an average year than I typically earn. With strong financial discipline, he could easily blow away my net worth in just a few years – and honestly, he probably already can.

To be honest, I’m a bit envious of his income level. It would not take me long at all with that kind of income to build a very secure life that I would be incredibly happy with.

This fellow happens to work in what I would consider a very stressful career path, one I would not enjoy at all, even for a short while. He’s involved in upper level management of a business in a market where I would be stressed out constantly by the demands on me.

He’s also struggling financially. He’s wearing what I call the “golden handcuffs,” a term I actually used while talking to him. (“Golden handcuffs” means that you’ve made a series of lifestyle choices that put you in a situation where you need a substantial income to maintain it. If you lose some of your income, it’s likely that many aspects of your life will be ripped right out of your hands either due to foreclosure or due to emergency selling of assets.)

When I compare our career paths, I’m pretty happy with my own path compared to his. I’m also pretty happy with my relative state of financial security.

The truth, though? The truth is that we’re each on our own journey. What someone else is doing really doesn’t matter. Those comparisons I made, where I compared my income and my financial state and my career path to his? They don’t matter.

It doesn’t matter what someone else earns. What matters is what you earn. Could you earn more without adding excess stress and responsibility to your life? Could you find ways to add a side gig? Or, maybe, you want to step back from working and earn less to achieve other things in life. What you earn is your own business. It’s part of your own story. It does not matter what someone else is earning or what they think.

Similarly, it doesn’t matter how someone else chooses to budget or spend their money. I spend my money in a different way than this fellow does. Even if I shared his income level, I’d make different choices. That’s because we happen to care about different things. We have different lives and different values. We can learn from each other, but our differences aren’t judgments on each other.

What matters is what you make and what you choose to do with every dime of your income. What do you do with each dollar that comes into your life? Do you use it on things that you really value? Do you use it to secure those things into the future? Or do you spend it on things that aren’t really all that important to you? Those are choices you make, not what anyone else makes.

So why should we care about the stories of others at all? The reason is that we can harvest ideas from what other people are doing to make your own path better. His situation inspires me to do what I can to earn more income. My situation inspired him to do what he could to earn a little more freedom and independence.

Along that same track, we can learn tactics from each other. Part of the reason he achieved his position is an ability to negotiate and a pretty good mind for statistics. I achieved my situation through a lot of frugal tactics and careful consideration of how I spend my money.

We can learn from each other without having to abandon what works for us. We can learn from each other without jealousy or without comparison.

In fact, the only comparison worth making is where you were a month ago or a year ago. Are you in a better position than you were a month ago or a year ago? Has your net worth gone up? Has your income level gone up? Has your debt level gone down? Have you accumulated some money in your savings or your retirement accounts?

I can learn things from the guy that I met in Toronto about how to improve one’s income, how to negotiate for better wages, how to set up side gigs, and so on. Similarly, he can learn things from me about how to separate needs from wants, how to make good spending choices oriented toward what you really care about, and so on.

Those factoids do not mean that his journey is better and I should measure myself against his journey, nor does it mean that my journey is better and I should measure myself against his journey.

What it does mean is that we can learn from each other to make both of our journeys better. It also means that if we do actually learn from each other, we’ll improve against the one measuring stick that actually matters – ourselves.

This philosophy holds true no matter who the other person is. Comparing your financial success to that person is a waste of time. What matters is that you compare your financial success to where you were in the past, and that you learn from what worked for that other person to bring them success.

It’s your journey, not theirs.

Don’t worry about what that guy you just met outside of the baseball stadium makes each year and how it compares to what you make.

Don’t worry about what percentage of annual income that guy who writes for an internet site manages to save.

Those people aren’t you. They’re going through their own journey.

Instead, focus on where you want to go, and make sure that you’re a step closer to that destination than you were a month ago, and hopefully several steps closer to that destination than you were a year ago.

Talk to that guy outside of the baseball stadium. Read the stories that the guy on the internet shares. Steal their ideas and use the ones that make the most sense for you, on your journey, and discard the ones that don’t really fit.

Then, when it comes time to think about progress, about how well you’re doing, don’t think about those other people for a second. Think about you. Think about where you started, where you came from, and where you’re headed. Think about the progress you’ve made from the beginning and how far along you are.

The stories of others are only useful for inspiration and for the tactics you can take to apply to your own story. When they inspire jealousy or they inspire a sense that you’ll never be able to achieve anything, you’re taking home the wrong message. You achieve something every single moment that you’re in better shape than you used to be in. That’s the real measure of success.

It’s your journey, not theirs. Stop worrying about what other people are doing. Focus on what you’re doing.

Good luck!

The post It’s Your Journey, Not Theirs appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Continue Reading…

Why These Vehicles Are the Cheapest Cars to Insure

You’re probably familiar with the urban legend that auto insurance companies charge higher rates for red cars. In fact, your insurance company probably doesn’t even know what color your car is. But it is true that some cars are cheaper to insure than others.

Often, the final determination isn’t even the value of the car — that’s only an important factor if you’re insuring the car against theft. So why are some cars cheaper to insure than others?

The Main Factor Is You

First, it’s worth pointing out that the main variable when it comes to how much your auto insurance costs isn’t the car itself — it’s you. How safely you drive — as documented by how many claims you’ve filed (or other people have filed against you) or how many moving violations you’ve received — is a much bigger factor when it comes to how much you’ll pay for insurance. So is your location.

Still, the type of car you own does have something to do with your insurance premiums. So how are cars a factor – and which cars cost more to insure?

Why Some Cars Cost More to Insure Than Others

Remember what we said about red cars? That particular piece of urban lore isn’t accurate — but there is a kernel of truth behind it. Sports cars cost more to insure simply because insurance companies have found that people who drive them tend to be riskier-than-average drivers. To a data-driven insurance company, the mere fact that you own a sports car is evidence enough that you’re probably not as careful on the road as you ought to be.

Luxury cars also come standard with high insurance rates, for two reasons: First, if you get into an accident, replacement parts tend to be pricey. The second reason is that if the accident is really bad and the car needs to be totaled out, there’s no way to do that on the cheap.

In fact, among the top 10 most expensive cars to insure in 2016, according to Insure.com, every one of them was either a luxury car, sports car, or both. Three models of Mercedes made the top 10, as well as two Porsches. The most expensive car to insure — the Dodge GT Viper — costs $4,048 a year in premiums, more than three times as much as the cheapest models below.

But don’t think that just because you bought an inexpensive car that’s necessarily going to save you on insurance. All told, one-third of insurance payouts go toward theft, and the most stolen cars in America are Honda Accords and Civics. Others in the top 10 include Toyota Corollas and Nissan Altimas — not exactly luxury cars. And while Chevy Silverados, Ford F-150s, Dodge Ram pickups, and Jeep Grand Cherokees aren’t what you’d call discount cars, they, too are among the most stolen vehicles. If you’ve got one of these popular targets for car thieves, you can expect to pay a bit more for car insurance.

Finally, when it comes to auto insurance, bigger isn’t always better. Despite the feeling of safety you might get from driving a giant SUV, your insurance company may consider a bigger car to be costlier than a smaller one. That’s because while a huge vehicle might actually make you safer, it’s less safe for anything else you might crash into. Remember that your insurance isn’t just covering you — it’s covering you and the damage that you do to others. So when you drive a vehicle that’s likely to cause more damage, that can cost more every month to insure.

The Cheapest Cars to Insure

In that same survey, the 10 cheapest cars to insure (for a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record) were, unsurprisingly, the family-mobiles you’ve probably seen carting kids around in your neighborhood, led by the Honda Odyssey minivan and a variety of compact and mid-sized SUVs.

Make and Model
Estimated Annual Premium
1. Honda Odyssey LX $1,113
2. Honda CR-V LX $1,170
3. Dodge Grand Caravan AVP 2WD $1,174
4. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD $1,180
5. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD $1,181
6. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD $1,190
7. Ford Escape S 2WD $1,194
8. Buick Encore Sport Tour 2WD $1,200
9. Jeep Cherokee Sport Utility 2WD $1,203
10. Nissan Frontier S King Cab Pickup $1,204

If you’re looking for a car that’s cheaper to insure, the main thing you should look for is safety features. Remember that insurance premiums are largely a function of risk. The only way you can lower your statistical risk — other than not driving like a maniac for a number of years in a row — is to get cars that test well in crashes and have other safety features. While you’re at it, some kind of theft deterrent would be a good investment, especially if you’re driving one of the cars on the most-stolen list.

It might mean you’re not driving the sexiest car on the road. But when you get your cheap car insurance bill every month, you’ll be happy to have more money to spend on yourself and your savings.

And of course, the number one thing you can do to lower your car insurance premiums, no matter what kind of car you drive, is to shop around for better rates. To that end, you can get started by comparing rates using our car insurance quote tool below:

Find the Best Car Insurance Rates

Enter your zip code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

Related Articles

The post Why These Vehicles Are the Cheapest Cars to Insure appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Continue Reading…

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This ‘Kahile Timro Pachhyaurima’ Parody Will Leave You In Splits

“Kaile Timro Pachhyaurima Aljhe’ was one of the most beautiful songs to have released in 2000s. The music for the song written by Raman Ghimire was composed by Alok Shree. Udit Narayan Jha and Dipa Jha had sung the song from the album ‘Upahar’. Not only the song but its music video too was equally beautiful. The video starring Usha Khadgi was directed by Bhusan Dahal.

Everything was alright until a YouTube artist Ujjwal Poudel decided to make a parody of the song. So, he watched the video for dozens of times non-stop and wrote exactly what he saw. This is what it would be like if the lyrics of a song were literally written according to what is happening in the music video.

This parody might ruin the original song for you but we must admit, it’s hilarious. Give it a watch and let us know what you think of it.

The post This ‘Kahile Timro Pachhyaurima’ Parody Will Leave You In Splits appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

This French Lady Is Missing In Western Nepal. Internet, Let’s Find Her.

Mélanie Guérin, a 35-year-old French national, has been missing since August 7 from around Pokhara. She was reportedly last seen at a point along the Siddhartha Highway that connects Pokhara to Lumbini. She was reported to be somewhere around Lumbini region on August 6. Her luggage that had her passport, identity card and clothes were found in the Highway.

Also known by her Nepali name Tara, she speaks basic Nepali. She stands 160 cm tall, has a pierced nose and some tattoos on her body. She has green eyes and brown curly hair. She was supposed to return to France last week on 11th.

The police have been looking for her with the help of sniffer dogs. Her missing phone too is being searched to locate her. Her friends have been also trying to find her with the help of the internet by constantly posting information regarding her. Here’s a Facebook post shared by a friend of hers, Lea Lat.

If you have any information regarding her or any clue that might help the police in finding her, contact the French Embassy in Kathmandu in following address:

Lazimpat, BP 452, Kathmandu
Phone: +977-1-4412332 or 4422774

Let’s do it, internet!

 

The post This French Lady Is Missing In Western Nepal. Internet, Let’s Find Her. appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

31 Days to Financial Independence (Intro and Day 1): The Shallows and the Deep

“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appears every Thursday on The Simple Dollar.

Introduction

One of the earliest collections of articles to appear on The Simple Dollar shortly after its launch was 31 Days to Fix Your Finances (you can read it in full here), which was a culmination of everything I had learned about personal finance up to that point, organized in a series of posts that walked people through the organization of their finances in a way that was centered around their own personal values with a goal of being able to achieve one’s life ambitions.

I was extremely proud of that series and I still am.

Today, I’m launching a revision of that original series. This time around, it’s entitled 31 Days to Financial Independence, but it still has the same main goal as the original: to help people organize their finances in a way that’s centered around their core values and helps them achieve their life ambitions.

This begs the question: if I’m so proud of the original, why am I revisiting it?

For starters, some aspects of the world have changed since I originally wrote the series. There are many specific points in that series of articles that are very much locked into the world as it was in the late ’00s. While some elements have the “timeless” quality that I look for in great financial writing, other elements rely heavily on things that existed at that time but don’t necessarily exist now, like online savings accounts that offered 6% interest.

Another reason is that I’ve learned a lot in the last eight and a half years since I wrote the original series. I’ve experienced countless things. I’ve explored countless avenues of personal finance. I’ve read countless books and studied countless whitepapers and research briefs. I’ve interacted with literally thousands of readers in one-on-one conversations (probably tens of thousands). I’ve learned some things along the way, and I believe that many of the things I’ve learned can really only make this series better.

The goal of this series is simple. It’s a series of practical and philosophical exercises that can help anyone who is dissatisfied with their financial state in any way to improve their financial path going forward, orienting it closer to their personal life goals and getting rid of plenty of unnecessary baggage. It’s helpful to the person making an entry-level wage and juggling student loan debt. It’s helpful for the overly busy person juggling a career, children, and aging parents. It’s helpful for people who are looking ahead toward retirement and wondering what that means.

When this series is finished several months down the road, I hope that it will be on par with the quality of personal finance books you’d find on the shelf of any bookstore or library, except that it’s all freely available for anyone right here at The Simple Dollar.

Let’s get started!

Day 1: The Shallows and the Deep

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

You have a lot of interests and distractions on your time. You have a bunch of hobbies that you’d love to spend more time on – some that you actually do spend time on but not as much as you like, and quite a few more that you don’t devote time to but you have stuff in case you ever do find the time.

You follow a ton of television shows and perhaps online video series, so you have a healthy home internet connection and a cable package and/or subscriptions to a bunch of video streaming services. You read a bunch of different websites and constantly find cool stuff on them. You follow social media, too. You like to eat at nice restaurants. You like to have good foods in the fridge. You like to have nice clothes. You have a nice car – or dream about having one. You have a nice house – or dream about having one – and you want to fill it with amazing decor.

Yet you rarely have time for all of this stuff. Often, in the evenings, when you’ve taken care of your work, your sleep, your personal care, and keeping up your home and other personal responsibilities, you don’t have very much time at all for those things, so you fall into just one or two things you do in the evenings. Maybe you watch television, or browse the web, or read a book. And then the cycle repeats itself.

You have a closet or two and/or a garage full of scarcely used stuff, and yet you sometimes add to it. You have tons of channels and infinite online resources, yet you just watch one or two channels and return to the same few websites over and over. You have tons of books and movies on your shelves, but you accumulate them faster than you read.

Does this sound at least something like you, at least in parts? This is actually an amalgamation of the internal lives of a lot of people in America today.

Including myself.

The above text is a frighteningly accurate look at my internal daily life in the years before my financial turnaround. Take my personal journal entry from September 23, 2005, in which I describe a typical day.

That typical day was filled with interests and distractions and responsibilities, pushing and pulling me in a lot of different directions. In the end, though, it left me feeling deeply unhappy.

Why? In the process of chasing the infinite things that I might care about a little, I left myself little time, money, and energy to feed the things I actually cared about a lot.

Because of that, I was financially broke and my life felt pretty empty. I felt deeply unhappy, yet I kept moving through the same cycles – going out to eat constantly, buying more and more things for my hobbies that I often wasn’t really using or deeply enjoying, and burning time and energy in ways that were spread out over lots of things, many of which I didn’t care about nearly as much as others.

Here’s the truth: Every single one of us out there has a set of values by which we live our lives. Most of us have a lot of values and a lot of things we deeply care about and we try our best to spread ourselves across all of those things.

The problem is that when we spread ourselves wide, we become shallow. The phrase “an ocean wide, an inch deep” comes right to mind. We’re able to touch gently on all of the things we believe we care about, but there’s no depth there. The things we really, truly care about – the ones that deserve a lot of depth and attention in order to bring us joy in life – are treated in a shallow fashion just like everything else, because there’s only so much time and energy and money to spread around.

What’s the solution? The solution is to recognize the points in our life that deserve depth, then drain the ocean a little. In other words, we walk away from all of those things that we care about in only a shallow way and leave our money, time, and energy just for the things we care about in a deep way.

The first step, of course, is figuring out what those areas that deserve depth in your life really are. I find that, for most people, there are really just a small number of areas in their life that deserve authentic depth – things that they genuinely care about and want to give significant amounts of time and attention and energy and money to.

I’m going to list a few of them. Some are hobbies, some are life elements, some are artistic passions.

Raising children
Getting in great physical shape
Reading books, or perhaps reading a specific subgenre of books
Watching movies or television shows
Achieving complete financial independence and retiring early
Playing video games
Cooking gourmet meals
Getting involved in a religious organization
Building your own spirituality
Landscaping
Hunting
Being a good spouse
Hiking
Fishing
Writing computer programs
Writing novels
Volunteeering for a specific cause
Learning about a specific topic
Playing board games
Debating current events

There are probably two or three things on that list that chime with you, or maybe just one. Reading through it, though, you probably came up with two or three more that really matter to you. You also probably read through a lot of things and discovered you just didn’t care about it. For me, raising children, reading books, learning about a specific topic, playing board games, and being a good spouse stand out, with being a good spouse and parent and reading bubbling to the very top.

Here’s the interesting part: there were also probably some that you thought were mildly interesting and that you could see yourself devoting time and energy to. Quite a few stand out to me in this way: getting in great physical shape, watching movies, playing video games, building spirituality, hiking, writing novels, writing computer programs, and debating current events are all what I would call mildly interesting. I’d come close to elevating “hiking” to being one of those core things.

I’m going to make another list. When you read through these, ask yourself how many deeply, truly matter to you.

Driving an expensive car that wows the neighbors
Buying name-brand food items at the grocery store
Wearing expensive clothing
Shopping at the upscale grocery store
Owning and using the latest tablet computer
Owning a huge house to impress all of your friends
Wearing expensive perfumes
Buying name-brand household items at the department store
Traveling all over the world
Owning and using the latest smartphone
Eating out at fine restaurants

This list likely has a number of things that you’d describe as mildly interesting – and they’re all deeply expensive. There are probably a few that you just shrug your shoulders at because you don’t care. Maybe one of them really hit a nerve with you as something you deeply value.

Here’s the thing, though: All of us find ourselves devoting time, energy, and especially money to those things that we would only call “mildly interesting.” We spend money on name-brand food items. We eat out at fine restaurants. We wear relatively expensive clothing. We spend money on name-brand items of all kinds. We likely have a fairly new smartphone or tablet, with the services that such a device requires of us. We dabble in tons of hobbies.

Yet, by doing that, we leave behind some of those core things. When you look at those core things – the two or three or four things that really, really matter to you – you’re probably feeling a strong sense that you don’t do those things enough, that you don’t spend enough time or energy or maybe even money on those things.

We end up spending a lot of time and money and energy spread across things that we only mildly care about at best, and we end up spending not enough time or money or energy on the things we care about most.

That, in my eyes, is the absolute core of why people find themselves in financial trouble today, wondering where all of the money and time has gone while also feeling that there are big empty holes in their lives. They’ve spread their money and time across things of low importance in their lives and then left a big deficit of money and time and energy for the things that are truly important and fulfilling for them, which leaves that big, empty, gaping hole.

This brings us right back to that generalized solution I mentioned above: choosing a few areas to go deep on and leaving the other areas high and dry. To put this in simpler terms, it means focusing in on a handful of areas in your life with your time, attention, and money, and simply walking away from the multitude of areas that you “somewhat” care about.

So, what are those areas that you do care about? Here’s my recommendation.

Exercise #1: Making Your ‘Deep’ List

What you’re essentially going to do here is consider all of the things that you spend money or energy or time on in your life and ask yourself how important they really are to you. Do you spend enough time/money/energy on those areas? Not enough? Too much?

The easiest way to do this is to simply make a time diary for a week or two in which you keep track of how you spend your time. I find a pocket notebook really works well for this. Every so often – say, every hour or so – make a note of what you’ve been doing for the last hour, breaking it down into little pieces. This means even keeping track of mundane things like brushing your teeth.

At the same time, keep a grip on your bank and credit card statements.

After you have a week or two of entries in your time diary, sit down with your current bank and credit card statements and figure out where all of your time and money is actually going. Go through your bank and credit card statements and group them all into sensible activities. Did you spend this money on basic food items? Gourmet food items? Household supplies? You might have to break some of the entries apart a little bit – just do your best. Break things like food and household spending into basic essentials and “name brand” or gourmet expenses. Group money spent on hobbies or entertainment into groups that make clear sense to you.

Do the same thing with your time budget – you’ll have a lot of time spent sleeping, some time spent on basic personal care, and likely some significant time spent working. What about the rest of it? What did you do with that time?

When you look at all of that, what stands out to you? What things do you feel like you didn’t spend enough time or money on? What things did you spend too much on?

What you’ll probably find is that you’ll feel as though you didn’t spend enough time (and perhaps money) on the things that really matter the most to you, and there will be several areas that you’re shocked you spent so much time and money on.

I’ll use myself as an example. When I’ve done this in the past, I have lamented the time I spent being a focused parent and on reading books (not as much as I would have liked). I spent too much time reading random websites and watching useless television. I was really shocked as to how much money I spent on gourmet foods and extra junk foods (like energy drinks from the convenience store nearby). Those were the big standouts, but there were lots and lots of little realizations in that process.

After doing this, make a formal list of the three or four core things you want to be doing in your life. What are the core things that really matter to you, the ones you really should be spending more time on and don’t begrudge the money you spent on it? For me, it’s being a good husband and father, reading, learning new things, and playing board games. Your list is going to almost assuredly be different than mine.

After that, make a list of five or so things that you would also like to devote some time to, but relatively limited amounts of money to. These are minor interests – our lives aren’t monolithic, after all. For me, that’s hiking, writing, getting in better shape, having a rich network of friends, and being involved in a couple of community groups. Again, your list is going to be different than mine, and that’s fine.

You should minimize your spending and time use in virtually every other area of your life.

If you didn’t include wearing nice clothes on that list, then your clothes shopping should revolve around a minimal functional wardrobe and should take up minimal time.

If you didn’t put “buying name brand household supplies” on that list, then you should be buying store brand items from discount stores unless there are very specific reasons not to.

If you didn’t put owning a huge house on that list, then you should be living in a fairly small modest home in a modest neighborhood.

If you didn’t put eating out on that list, then you shouldn’t eat out unless it’s heavily tied to something else you value (we eat out rarely, usually tied to a family activity where it simply allots us more family time).

If you didn’t put gourmet coffee on either list, you can still drink coffee, but it shouldn’t be at a coffee shop. Make it at home or at work, as inexpensively as you can and as quickly and efficiently as you can.

If some element of life isn’t part of the key things that you value, then you should be devoting absolute minimal time and energy and money to it.

This can be hard, especially at first. Just because they didn’t list something as being one of the core things that they care about doesn’t mean that they don’t care about it. What you’ll find, though, is that when you start exploring some of the things you do care about more deeply, you’ll find that you don’t miss a lot of those other things.

The key thing is to be honest with yourself and listen to yourself. The things on your list might seem silly to others and you might feel “ashamed” to share them. Don’t. Stop worrying about what other people think. This is about building a fulfilling life for you. You may feel that you need more space in your life for

Now, over time, people do change. They have new experiences. They grow in new ways. It’s fine to rethink those core things you care about and shift them over time. The trick is to not add to the list, but substitute. If you want to find adequate room for something new, something else is going to be starved for money or attention, so what are you stepping back from?

The purpose of all of this is to ensure that you have the time, money, and energy for the core things you do care about, and you harvest that from the time, money, and energy from the things that you care about less than that. It’s actually a pretty radical change from modern life, which tends to overstuff us with minor interests and distractions, all of which pull money out of our wallets and pull us away from the things we care the most about, leaving us dissatisfied and unhappy and even more prone to spending time and money in less-than-sensible ways.

A lot to think about on day one, eh? Don’t be afraid to take some time and really think about these issues and really cultivate your list of the core things you care about. Give it time and real thought.

Next time, we’re going to take a look at goal setting. These goals won’t necessarily be hard and fast ones, but they’re meant to really dig into those things you care about as well as find ways to really support those things in a meaningful fashion (which is going to set the stage for the real nuts-and-bolts financial material we’ll get to later on).

Related Articles:

The post 31 Days to Financial Independence (Intro and Day 1): The Shallows and the Deep appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Continue Reading…

Don’t Try This at Home: You Are Not Going to Make Money With These Five Side Hustles

Side hustles represent the new American dream: making more money, without going through the trauma of the job search process, or retraining for an entirely new career. But not every side gig is created equal. Pick the wrong one, and you could watch your time and money go down the drain, without a thing to show for it except frustration.

The good news is that once you know what you’re looking for, most bogus side hustles start to look a lot alike. In short, your grandmother was right:

  1. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. If you have a bad feeling about it, you’re probably right.
  3. If ethically flexible people are engaging in it, it’s an ethically dubious activity.

After a while, you’ll recognize a bad bet when you see one. To get you started developing your nose for bad-news gigs, we present these side hustles that rarely lead to riches:

1. The Super-Cheapo Freelancing Gig

Sure, this guy might have made $900 bucks in 10 days on Fiverr, and your cousin’s best friend’s babysitter claims to keep her lights on with proofreading gigs she scored on Upwork and Freelancer.com, but you can bet they’re working their fingers to the bone to make it happen.

It’s hard to make (or even supplement) a living when clients are bidding on your services for a few bucks. Plus, you’ll have to pay the site its cut – as much as 20% of your earnings, depending on which service you use.

Better to use your existing network to score some higher-paying freelance work. You’ll put in more effort beforehand, but your rate will almost certainly be much higher.

2. The Multi-Level Marketing Scheme

If you’re on Facebook, you’re probably familiar with multi-level marketing programs, which pay participants not only for selling goods like makeup, essential oils, or supplements, but also for bringing new sellers into their network.

Not every MLM scheme is an outright scam, but all demand a commitment not just to selling stuff, but to selling your friends and neighbors on selling stuff. Chances are, if you had the time to do that, you’d have time to get a second job.

3. The Online Yard Sale

Before you head to the comments to tell us about the fortune you made selling things on eBay or Etsy, a caveat: You absolutely can make decent money selling stuff online, provided that you have a constant supply of stuff to sell.

The reason this one makes the list is that many people think their basement or attic will provide an endless supply of money-making items, only to discover that their 1980s-era Star Wars toys went pretty fast, but no one wants a broken Holly Hobby mug or a pile of half-melted Crayolas from the same era.

Selling off your old keepsakes and unwanted items is a great way to generate a one-time cash infusion you can use to pay down debts. However, it’s unlikely to be a reliable, ongoing income source.

4. The Unskilled (But Suspiciously Well-Paying) Task

Stuffing envelopes. Product assembly. Processing rebates. All scams, and all well-documented by the FTC, which maintains a page on common work-from home scams, along with a link that allows people to report the same.

Bottom line: If a machine can do a task more cheaply and efficiently than a human, no legitimate organization will pay you top dollar to do it instead.

Best-case scenario, it’s a waste of your time. Worst-case scenario, you wind up with your identity stolen. Which brings us to our final bad-news side hustle…

5. The Gig You Pay to Start Doing

If you need to buy a kit to get started, it’s a bad deal, at the very least, and maybe an outright scam. Just as real modeling agents don’t require “discoveries” to cough up cash for test shots, real employers don’t ask contractors to pay before they earn.

If you’re asked to invest before you can make money, your investment is almost certainly the major revenue stream of the company. If you’re asked to share your bank account information, Social Security number, or other personal data, turn tail and run, before the scammers get a chance to put their real business plan into action: stealing and selling your identity.

Related Articles:

The post Don’t Try This at Home: You Are Not Going to Make Money With These Five Side Hustles appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Continue Reading…

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Jolly Amatya Becomes First Nepalese To Be Appointed ‘Youth Chair’ For Youth Assembly At UN

Jolly Amatya has created history by becoming the first ever Nepalese to be appointed as the ‘Youth Chair’ for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations.

Amatya successfully led the recent Youth Assembly that is the largest and the longest running youth conference at the United Nations. The event that started on August 10th and concluded on the International Youth Day on 12th at the United Nations headquarters in New York witnessed a participation of 1000 youth representatives from 97 countries. The conference served as a unique platform which fostered dialogue and generated partnerships between exceptional youths, UN high officials and staff, the private sector, and civil society. One of the major objectives of the event was to empower youth leaders and young professionals in the implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Jolly addressing the UNGA.

Addressing the UNGA.

Addressing the delegates at United Nations General Assembly Hall, the newly appointed Youth Chair said, “I’ve always believed that when your passion and your purpose collide, there is an explosion that ignites the light in you forever. I want you to find that passion and your purpose.” Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon too had extended a special message to the youth delegates in the event.

After joining Youth Assembly in 2013 as a youth representative of Nepal, within a short period of less than three years, she made it to the top most coveted and prestigious leadership role. After displaying a tremendous performance as the Co-Chair for the Youth Assembly in 2015, she was appointed as the Youth Chair this year.

Jolly moderating High Level Panel, UN

Moderating High Level Panel at UN.

During her seven years of professional experience in the United States, she has worked with diverse administrations and bodies such as the United Nations, UN Women, WFUNA, the World Bank, Habitat for Humanity and ActionAid International. She has also been working with various other organizations in the US and Nepal for the betterment of the status of women and youth.

Amatya has also been serving on the board of US National Committee for UN Women in the Executive Finance Committee for the past three years. She has represented Nepal at the White House AAPI Youth Forum, White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. She was also nominated to attend the United State of Women Summit in 2016 at the White House. Last year in 2015, she was awarded with the prestigious “Young Global Leader Achievement” Award by Global Connections for Women Foundation in New York.

Getting award at the UN.

Receiving her award at the UN.

Born and raised in Nepal, Amatya finished her higher secondary level education from St. Mary’s School. She then went to United States for her higher education and pursued her undergraduate studies in Finance/Accounting from Coe College, Iowa and from Harvard University, Boston.

When asked what she feels about a major population of Nepal leaving the nation, “I believe that even though many of us, young people are abroad for studies and employment, we can still contribute a lot back Nepal in many ways, more than we can ever imagine“, she told NeoStuffs. “The young people in Nepal have amazing potential and they need the right exposure, guidance, and mentorship. Young people, if given the right skills and knowledge, can be the key agents of change. We are not the leaders of tomorrow, we are the leaders of today.”

Amatya will be visiting Nepal later this year.

Such a spectacular and inspiring lady she is. Here’s raising a toast to this young Nepalese woman leader who is making the entire nation proud.

The post Jolly Amatya Becomes First Nepalese To Be Appointed ‘Youth Chair’ For Youth Assembly At UN appeared first on NeoStuffs.

Continue Reading…

The Small Bag Experiment

For years, I’ve enjoyed the writings of James Altucher (recommended reading: his book Choose Yourself). Although the man has made millions over the years, in part through a very successful web design company, I recently learned that he is now living out of a small bag with about 15 items in it – by choice, not by financial need. He no longer has a permanent residence and is essentially a vagabond, living with friends and staying at hotels and hostels and through AirBNB.

The piece of this story that I find interesting is that not too long ago, Altucher had a 4,000 square foot flat filled with possessions. Over the course of several months, he sold off almost all of those possessions (including the flat) and moved out.

Some people might find this story strange. I find it fascinating and really, really valuable, even if you have no intentions whatsoever of doing anything similar. Let’s walk through why.

My Small Bag

I have this very nice duffel bag that I use every time I travel. What exactly would I put in there if I were going to live just out of that bag?

I’d start with three or four days of clothes. I’d probably include three decent everyday outfits – three pairs of nice chinos, three button-up shirts, three t-shirts, three pairs of underwear, and three pairs of socks, along with an extra t-shirt and sweatpants for exercise or messy things. When one of those started to look worn, I’d donate it and replace it. Easy enough.

I’d include my laptop, iPad, and Kindle and their chargers. I use those devices for such drastically different things. I use my laptop for writing and podcast recording and video editing. I use my iPad for reading magazines and watching videos and Netflix and the like. I use my Kindle for reading books. I’d also carry around an external mouse, some headphones, a good podcasting mic, and a document scanner because I’d just scan most paper documents and I often prefer to use an external mouse than a laptop trackpad when I’m working at a table. I could see myself replacing the laptop and iPad with a single iPad Pro at some point.

I’d include a good small flashlight and a package of batteries for it. This is my favorite flashlight I’ve ever tried.

I’d include my toiletry bag, with basic things like a toothbrush, a razor, some toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, dental floss, and so on.

I’d include a few ready-to-eat foods, like a bag of nuts or some of the better nutritional bars, so I could eat something nutritional anywhere. This wouldn’t take up a lot of space, but it would be in there.

I’d include a notebook and some pens. I take notes constantly and sketch out ideas on paper. I’d probably keep my last filled notebook or two with me because I look back through them. I’d digitize older notebooks.

I’d include a few small card games that I really love to play and some gaming dice. The rules for most games would already be on my iPad, so I’d just need the equipment to play. I’d basically have a small dice bag and an 800 count card box, which would easily fit.

I’d include a water bottle and a cooking cup (a cooking cup is a metal cup you can basically sit over a fire or a stove to cook anything in) and a few water flavoring packets and tea bags.

I could honestly fit all of this stuff in a good-sized backpack, but I’d probably still use the larger bag anyway in case other things came along.

I’m not counting things I’d keep in my pockets, like basic identification, keys, and so forth, and there are probably a few little things I’m skipping, but that’s what I would carry. I’d have a pretty content life with the things in that bag, honestly, assuming I was suddenly single again.

Why?

The question you might be asking yourself is why? Why would I even engage in such a thought experiment?

For me, the question is still why? However, my “why” points in a different direction.

When I look around our home, I see lots and lots and lots and lots of different possessions. I have a more-than-healthy board game collection. I have a lot of books. I have several boxes with items for occasionally-tackled hobbies. I have tons of cooking equipment.

If I could really live a happy life with the contents of that bag, why do I have all of this other stuff? Furthermore, why do I sometimes buy stuff to add to it?

This is all stuff that I rarely use when it comes right down to it. This is all stuff that someone, at some point, is going to have to deal with, whether it’s trying to resell it or give it away or throw it away.

Now, why am I keeping all of that other stuff? Really? It’s all extraneous. Why am I buying things that wouldn’t fit in that bag?

The contents of that bag are genuinely important to me. Everything else, less so. Why buy things that aren’t important to me?

Sure, there are some items that make sense to purchase because I’m a homeowner. I need a few cooking instruments, for example, and some basic tools for eating. Basic furniture makes sense. A few tools for home repair make sense. I do have a closet, so a somewhat larger wardrobe makes sense, too.

Everything else, though? Why?

The truth is that I don’t need the vast majority of things in our house, and quite a few of them are wants that I could have entirely done without.

This leads me straight to a very simple question.

The Real Question

Whenever I buy something new, I should be asking myself this question: would this item take up a place in my small bag, and if not, why on Earth am I buying it?

As I’ve noted, my bag has enough space for my core items for living, my core items for working, and my core items for my main hobbies (reading, writing, playing tabletop games).

Every possession of mine beyond what fits in that bag is essentially extraneous. It occupies only a small sliver of my time, as the contents of that bag manage a large portion of it. Sleeping, self-care and hygiene, work, and my two main hobbies are covered by the contents of that bag. Every other possession I have is either an unnecessary expansion on one or another of those categories or is something that I rarely use and could easily borrow or substitute.

This observation really brings me to two conclusions.

First, it encourages me to continue to pare down my possessions. I can see the forward progress in certain places in my home. Closets that were once full to the brim are now half-empty. The only thing I can point to that takes up more space than it once did is my board game collection, and I could honestly pare that down significantly if I wanted to.

Second, it encourages me to ask very, very hard questions about each purchase going forward. Is this purchase something that would honestly go in my bag? If not, why am I really purchasing this? If it doesn’t go in my bag, it’s something that I’m not going to be devoting much of my time to. Period. 80% or 90% of the time, I’m either using a possession from my bag or sleeping. Everything else fits into the 10% or 20% remainder of my life.

These two conclusions have one thing in common: they put money in my pocket, make my life simpler, and don’t take away anything of real value in my life. Fewer possessions means fewer things to take care of. Fewer possessions means less money spent on stuff. Fewer possessions means that I’ve flipped some of that unused stuff in the closet to put even more money in my pockets.

I can save that money for the future and retire earlier. I can use it for life experiences rather than new things. I can use it to build a better life for my children and give them opportunities I can scarcely dream of having.

What would be in your bag? Why do you own things that wouldn’t go in your bag? Why would you buy things that wouldn’t go in your bag?

Thinking about those questions will bring you to some powerful conclusions about your money and your life.

Good luck.

The post The Small Bag Experiment appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

Continue Reading…


Loading...


Loading...

Latest Bla Bla's on Fun2Sh

Popular Bla Bla's

Powered by Blogger.
Copyright © Funtoosh Blog