A Wise Young Woman

I had to feature this young lady’s vlog on here since part of my blog content is about personal finance. I commented on this video and what she replied back really impressed me in terms of where she is on a maturity level. She is only 24 but in regards to her finances she has more sense than some of us almost 3 times her age. When I run across young people with this kind of level headedness and plain ole common sense I have to give them their props because what she is talking about in this video has been going on for quite some time. My comment to her was this is the main reason why we do not have any real wealth and nothing to pass down to future generations. Michelle Singletary has a great quote that I love. It is, “If it’s on your ass it is NOT an asset.

Why I don’t use A/C

I’ve been asked by Kicukalah why I don’t use A/C and is it unhealthy? So I thought I’d address that in a post instead of in a comment.

First off let me say that I don’t condemn anyone who uses A/C. That would be indicative of the saying “get the stone out of your own eye before teasing someone else about their stone”. Y’all, I used to have the A/C turned up in my house so high you could literally hang meat up in there and it would not go bad. Yeah, no joke.

Getting to this point of not using A/C has been a long process taking place over several years. About 7 or so as I’m going into the 3rd summer of not using A/C. The initial reason and generally always the first consideration for most choices I make are monetary. Monetary in considering the on going costs vs the value I’m getting. The other is that I hate being dependent on something that I have to earn money for especially when you factor in the income taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes and all the other taxes that have to paid. That’s only the beginning. To have $200 you’ve got to earn $250(an estimate)so that you actually have $200. If anyone doubts that just take a look at the gross amount on your pay stub, then take a look at the net amount. Big difference huh?! Then you gotta to pay your bills and buy all the stuff you need so that you can get to work to earn that x amount of money you need to pay for whatever. ***stepping down of the soapbox**** When I began what was to originally in be a reduction in A/C use that led to no A/C use experiment was that in 2001 when I started getting serious about getting debt free, I began looking for every which way to Sunday, up and down all around in which I could save money to apply toward my debts.

Here’s some background on how I got to no A/C use. This house is in an older neighborhood with many established trees. That helps greatly in reducing how hot the house gets. Also there are lots of windows for such a small house so I can take advantage of cross-ventilation when there is a breeze. After a while, I was finding while sitting down I was getting chilly with the A/C set on 78 degrees so I would turn it up to 79 or 80. Then gradually each summer I would turn the thermostat up till the summer where I was up to 86 degrees. There was a 1.5 year break when my mother was living with us. But when I got to that point I thought to myself, since you got the temp up this high lets try going without for a few days. Well that turned into 90% of the summer of 2007 which ended up being the hottest and driest summer on record for us and all of the summer of 2008.

As far as A/C being unhealthy, my take on it is this. A/C is a relatively recent thing available and affordable to the general public as in 1970s for some late 1980s for others. I fall in the later category. Most people could not afford to have central A/C in their homes. A/C is one of the largest users of electricity. The more watts an appliance uses the more it’s gonna cost you each month. I refuse to have a $300-700 electric bill in the summer. Yeah, there are people here in this area who pay that much on their electric bills in the summer. I ain’t one of ’em. It goes back to what I talked about in the third paragraph. I like being efficient with my time and money with time being much more valuable than money. That saying time is money is BS! You gotta have time in order to make money but time does not need money. Time goes on despite how much you have or don’t have and each person is only given so much of it, regardless of how monetarily wealthy you are or not. I personally don’t know of anyone who was on their death bed saying “I wish I spent more time at the office”. If I’ve got to spend more time at a job or multiple jobs that I hate because my expenses are high, then yes it’s unhealthy for me. I firmly believe stress is the #1 cause of weight gain, and all these dis-eases that are unheard of in cultures that have not been “civilized”. ***Ok, now I’m really stepping off the soapbox***

I’ve also found that my appetite has regulated itself back to where it was when I was younger, before having A/C. Back then in the summer my appetite would slow down because I’m just not as hungry when it’s hot. I’ve been able to maintain a 40 now 50lb weight loss and I know this is one of the contributing factors. And yes I’m in an area of the country where it’s hot and humid in the summer. I’m now much more adaptable to the heat. Being constantly under A/C makes your body much less tolerable of the heat. I only wish I would have done this when I bought the house. Would have saved myself thousands of dollars that I can really use right now.

So those are my reasons for not using A/C anymore. See what get when you ask me a question? lol

Stormy Weather and unexpected gifts

I was going through my post list looking for new comments to old posts and came across this draft that I completely forgot about dated 4/14/09. It’s still relevant even though it was done 3 months ago. lol

I hope that everything is OK where you live. Storms came through here, bringing with them high straight line winds early Monday morning so I’ve been without power for almost 2 days. It went out at 2:15 am and I just got power back about an hour ago around 4:45 pm. It’s reminded me how 1) Procrastination sometimes pays off, 2) Reducing/eliminating meat intake pays off in ways other than health and 3) how dependent we are on electricity.

Yes, I procrastinate sometimes though I’m looking at it in a positive way or maybe trying to justify it. lol What I mean by looking at it in a positive way is that I being an Aries, have a tendency to be impatient, make snap decisions and charge forward without thinking. Basically leaping without looking first. This characteristic was very prominent when I was younger. Now that I’m more seasoned lol I think a bit more, sometimes too much. That’s my Virgo rising which has become much more pronounced in my persona. What does that have to do with stormy weather or anything for that matter you ask or for some of you other Sun/Rising signs not known for patience ahem, Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius, Scorpio, you’re probably saying get to the point already!?! lol OK, I was planning on going grocery shopping this past Friday and for one reason or another, probably laziness, I did not go.
Since I did not go grocery I did not have extra stuff that had to be refrigerated and with this 38 hour power outage that could have been longer, I did not have to worry about loosing food that I just spent hard earned money on.

That leads me to the second point of reducing/eliminating meat intake. I’ve significantly reduced the amount of meat that my husband and I eat over the last 3-5 years. Since we still like to eat out on occasion, I’ve decided to cook very little meat at home. We still eat salmon. That translates into having very little meat in the freezer that could have spoiled in this prolonged power outage. The goal is to get to 100% vegetarian in the next year or two.

Lastly, we have become very dependent on electricity for day to day living. Now admittedly, I really enjoy the Internet as I’ve met some wonderful people in just the last year or so and missed not being able to go online for almost 2 days. However, I enjoyed the sounds of nature and things other than electronic noises. I went back to my first love of reading books. Some people were complaining about the loss of electricity but it got neighbors outside talking to each other. Though for the most part it was the neighbors that usually talk to one another anyway but still it got people… out of the house and into nature. Since hubby & I canceled satellite TV a couple of weeks ago and we do not use A/C, the power outage was just a minor inconvenience. That’s another way my procrastination paid off. I was looking into go with bare bones basic cable TV service since they were offering a package with the broadband I already have with them that was cheaper than what I was paying with satellite and broadband service. Well on my birthday, hubby surprised me by saying he was not going to watch network/cable TV anymore. What?! Who are you and what have you done with my husband? Y’all I love this man but this is the same man who complained the last time the satellite was out because the dish had gotten misaligned and they could not come out for 2 days to fix it?! Whew, I’m so glad I had not already called to change over to cable because having to cancel that soon after starting it I’m sure they would have charged me a cancellation fee.

Well, that’s my 2 cents for the day.

Aloe Vera Gel/Juice, Peppermint and Cedarwood Essential Oils

Ok I had this bottle of Aloe Vera Gel that I bought 2 years ago when I first went natural that was about to expire in July in this year. I was using this in the shealoe mixture consisting of shea butter, coconut oil and of course the aloe vera gel. Well now that I’m locking I did not want to risk using that mix in my locs though I still use it as a face and body moisturizer. Anyway, there was oh probably 1/4 left in the bottle that I did not want to go to waste and for those of you that have seen my You Tube videos know I don’t like to waste anything, especially hard earned dollars. So I thought I’d pour the rest of the aloe vera gel in my shampoo mixture since it was almost empty. I then added a bit more Dr. Bronner’s, peppermint & cedarwood essential oils. Wow, you talk about even softer locs after they’ve dried than before for me! Now part of that may also be because it has been raining here at least once a day for the past 3 weeks therefore the humidity in the air has been minimum 70%. But the sheen has been kicked up a notch, even the locs in the back that are doing their thing. I’ve also oiled my scalp only with coconut oil and a couple drops of cedarwood and peppermint EOs each.

Motowngirl has info on a few essential oils so that’s where I got the idea to try the cedarwood and peppermint oils. On another website (click here) mentioned that peppermint oil was for dry hair & helps promote growth. As far as the peppermint I can understand growth but I would not have thought is was for dry hair. However it really does make sense in that the mint family of plants thrive in drier growing conditions. Dry conditions… dry hair, maybe there is a connection. The other reason for trying this combination of essential oils is that I’ve had issues with high blood pressure in the past, so I thought it might be a good idea to look for an alternative. So to clarify (no pun intended), I am no longer using rosemary or sage essential oils in my shampoo mix or spritz.

Aloe Vera, I’ve found in my research is strengthening for the hair, soothing for the scalp, aids in hair growth and has amino acids. One lady on the LongHairForum says uses it as a strengthener since it has protein in it, using it like Aphogee I would assume. I’m gonna try it that way, since that will be a whole lot easier to deal with than henna.

If you use the aromatherapy kind of essential oils that are for external use only, which is probably what you’re getting at the health food store and use them a lot check out this site the http://www.thecatalog.com. I ordered the EOs that I’m using at quite a bit of savings than if I purchased the same ones at the health food store. I was very pleased with how the order arrived.

I got the big bottle of lavender, peppermint & eucalyptus oils and quite a few other oils since I like to make air fresheners out of these in addition to using them for my hair and future concoctions. Here’s an example of the savings. The lavender EO was $47.19 for a 16oz bottle with sales tax (which they did charge for my state by the way at 10 %) is $51.91 and with shipping (if you ordered less than $75.00), grand total $56.91. That means that each ounce, which is the size of the bottles that you purchase at the health food store or GNC is $ 3.56. I don’t know about y’all but where I live even at GNC, I paid $8.79 for that 1 oz bottle. Buy 16 of those and you’ve paid (sit down b4 you read any further ’cause you may have already done this) $140.64 sales tax included. Which is better $56.91 or $140.64 especially if you are purchasing/using the same product/thing whatever on a regular basis?! This is an illustration/reason to have liquid savings aside from your emergency savings to take advantage of things like this and how we unconsciously dribble away our money. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.