Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.
The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’
In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 – details of how you can participate are at the end of the post.
This is the first post from author and financial expert Sharon Marchisello with some very helpful advice about getting the most out of your money by wasting less, recycling and buying cleverly.
Squeeze the Most out of Your Money – Part 1 by Sharon Marchisello
To celebrate the audiobook release of my self-help, personal finance book, Live Well, Grow Wealth, I’ll be sharing excerpts each week on this blog.
This excerpt is from Chapter One, Live Within Your Means, and it discusses how to squeeze the most out of the money you have.
We live in a rich country, and most of us are guilty of waste: wasting food, wasting resources, wasting money. We overbuy, we overpack, and as a result of our wasteful habits, we overspend.
You have probably seen someone use half a roll of paper towels to clean up a small spill, ruin a half-full can of paint by not bothering to put the lid back on, leave good tools outside to rust. Walk through any restaurant and observe how much food is left on customers’ plates, ready to be thrown away.
Examine your own life to see if you can cut expenditures by wasting less, by recycling and re-purposing. Do you throw away a tube of toothpaste before squeezing out the last bit? Do you open a bottle of water, take a sip, set it down somewhere and forget about it? Instead of recapping it and putting it back in the refrigerator, do you just pour it down the drain? You could at least water the house plants or rinse a dirty dish with the contents if you’re not going to drink the rest of it.
I have neighbors who let their newspapers pile up on the driveway while they’re on vacation, and then throw them away when they return. Not only does the collection of newspapers send a signal to potential burglars that the residents aren’t home, they are paying for a service they aren’t using. With a quick phone call or online request, they could suspend their subscription and have their account credited for the time away, or perhaps have the papers donated to someone who might enjoy reading them.
Print on both sides of a sheet of paper when feasible—and don’t waste ink and paper to print out anything unnecessary. I worked with colleagues who printed out every email they received. Why? Learn to trust electronic storage. (But be sure to back up your data regularly.)
Excess copies, documents printed in error or no longer needed, and even junk mail and opened envelopes can be used as scratch paper. No need to ruin a clean sheet of paper to write yourself a note or make a grocery list.
Don’t mail anything you can pay online or hand-deliver. I’ve received Christmas cards, thank-you notes, and invitations from next-door neighbors that were stamped first-class and processed through the Post Office when the person could have walked over and handed it to me or slipped it under my door.
If you use a credit card that offers reward points, periodically check your balance and redeem your points as soon as you’ve earned enough to purchase something you want or need. Don’t let the points expire or become devalued by the company’s policy changes. And take a moment to compare your redemption options to ensure you’re getting the best value.
For example, when I first signed up for a Discover Card, I received a cash rebate once a year which equaled approximately one percent of my qualifying purchases. Now Discover has converted to a point system and added a lot of gift cards and products as redemption options. I still assumed I would prefer to receive the cash, which I usually applied to my current Discover Card bill. But after closer review, I found I needed fifty reward points to redeem fifty dollars in cash (or credit toward my bill). However, I could redeem only forty-five reward points for a fifty-dollar gift certificate at certain restaurants where we dined frequently. As long as I selected a gift certificate I knew I would use in its entirety, I was able to squeeze an extra five dollars from my reward points.
©Sharon Marchisello 2021
About Sharon Marchisello
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.
She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.
She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.
Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.
Books by Sharon Marchisello
My thanks to Sharon for sharing her expertise in this area… and I know she would be delighted to answer your questions.
How you can feature in the series?
- All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2021. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
- As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
- If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
- As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
- Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
- Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
- Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post.
- If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.
N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.