Smorgasbord Daily Blogger – Wednesday April 21st 2021 – #Treasure Mary Smith, #Finance Sharon Marchisello, #Kindness Jane Sturgeon


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full…thanks Sally.

The first post is good news from Mary Smith who lost a very special earring a week ago of a pair sent to her by Sue Vincent. It was lost somewhere in the garden and although there were many kind offers to replace if possible, a neighbour equipped with a metal detector kindly offered to attempt a treasure hunt.  A lovely feel good post with a great photo of the knight in shining armour.

MarySmith’sPlace – Cancer Diary#32 #earring #lost&found

Sunday, 18 April: I recently told the world how devastated I was when I lost one of a pair of earrings gifted by my friend Sue Vincent. As always, the response was overwhelming with many people sharing heart-warming stories of treasures lost and found, hopes, wishes, prayers and practical tips for finding the earring.

One friend, jeweller Amanda Hunter, said she’d try to make a replacement for me if I sent her the remaining earring and another, retired farmer (they never actually do retire, though!) John Nelson said he’d bring his metal detector round.

Around 4.30pm on Friday John appeared with the metal detector. Until I lost a tiny earring I’ve always thought of my garden as being small but it suddenly looked dauntingly enormous.

Head over to follow the treasure hunt in full and share the good news: MarySmith’sPlace – Cancer Diary#32 #earring #lost&found

The next post is from Sharon Marchisello who is marking the release of the audio version of Live Well, Grow Wealth with some excerpts. Do you prefer to use credit or debit cards or cash.. and have you a pot of coins that might be out of date.. or even worth more than their face value…

Cash, Credit, or Debit

In preparation for the release of the audiobook version of 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 the pros and cons of various forms of payment.

Many financial consultants will tell you to cut up your credit cards, or to never apply for credit at all. I won’t tell you that. I love my three credit cards; they are a secure alternative to carrying a lot of cash. I use them for groceries, gasoline, and even some utilities; I pay by credit card whenever one is accepted without an additional charge for the convenience. The secret is to remit the balance in full every month, on time, so you never pay one penny of interest. For me, a credit card is a convenient form of payment, and a side benefit is that I get to use other people’s money for a short while. Additionally, many credit cards offer rewards like frequent flyer mileage, gift cards, or even cash back. If you think of a credit card as a magic plastic wand that enables you to buy something you cannot otherwise afford, perhaps cutting yours up is a good idea.

Head over to read Sharon’s advice on the use of cards and cash: Cash, Credit, or Debit by Sharon Marchisello

Although Easter was a couple of weeks ago there is no time limit on kindness and thoughtfulness and here is a lovely heart-warming post from Jane Sturgeon about both.

Moments of thoughtfulness…

I crafted my monthly newsletter today and I apologise to those of you that read it, as I am sharing the same pictures here. My heart lifted as I visited the post office yesterday and I saw the egg tree outside our library. The village in bloom group has decorated the tops of our letterboxes, the trellis next to the cottage garden planters on our main road and some small trees and their thoughtfulness is much appreciated.

Thoughtfulness keeps us all going and brings uplift into our days. Thank goodness.

Head over to read the rest of Jane’s delightful post:  Jane Sturgeon – Moments of thoughtfulness

 

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will head over to enjoy these posts in full… Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 23rd March 2021 – #Accounting Jim Borden, #Ireland Claire Fullerton, #Finance Sharon Marchisello


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days.

The first post today is from the entertaining Jim Borden sharing an alternative method of remembering the basics of accounting.. with two videos and some remarks that will brighten your day.

Music Monday: A Unique Way to Teach the Basics of Accounting 

If you came here thinking you were going to see me sing something related to accounting, you are mistaken.

But, that’s a good thing. Accounting might be painful enough for many people, but then hearing me sing about accounting could push people right over the edge.

So I came across this video that some students in a high school accounting class put together. If you took an accounting class a long time ago, this may bring back some memories nightmares. 

Head over to watch the videos and enjoy the post: Music Mondays – A Unique Way to Teach the Basics of Accounting – Jim Borden

Claire Fullerton pays tribute to St. Patrick’s Day by sharing some images and a story of Irish attitude to strangers during the time she lived here in the Emerald Isles..

You’ll see in this photographs that I’m standing against a gray stone wall on a windswept day in the middle of an Irish field, with what are obviously the ruins of a monastery behind me.

Observant people might ask why the monastery is behind me, and I am holding a set of keys in my hand as if it were the bigger focal point. Here’s the story.

Head over to enjoy this lovely post of everyday hospitality and ancient places of worship: Happy St. Patrick’s Day with Claire Fullerton

Sharon Marchisello has some news about the audio version of her financial guide Live Well, Grow Wealth which is being released shortly and in preparation she is sharing an excerpt.

How to Reduce Discretionary Expenses

In preparation for the release of the audiobook version of Live Well, Grow Wealth, I’ll be sharing excerpts each week on this blog.

This excerpt is from Chapter One, Live Within Your Means. I suggest categorizing your expenses as absolutely necessary, necessary but reducible, discretionary but important, and totally unnecessary. This post discusses discretionary expenses.

Chapter Two will delve into deriving the most value from your money and deciding what discretionary expenditures bring you the most happiness. But if you’re spending more than you earn, this category is a logical place to look for reduction. Do you subscribe to magazines or newspapers you never read? If so, cancel them.

When you plan to leave town, do you fail to place a vacation stop on your deliveries and ask that your subscription be extended? Do you buy books or movies you could have checked out of the library? Do you watch all those premium cable channels you’re paying for?  

Head over to read this excerpt from the book which provides useful strategies on how to reduce expenses: How to reduce discretionary expenses by Sharon Marchisello

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – ‘Pot Luck’ #Finance – Reversal of Fortune by Sharon Marchisello


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 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.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from author and finance expert Sharon Marcisello with a post that is relevant for most of us in the uncertain financial climate we have been experiencing in the last ten months.

Reversal of Fortune by Sharon Marchisello

Even though stock market indexes have almost returned to pre-pandemic levels and unemployment rates are declining again, all is not well. While some industries are thriving, others are a long way from recovery.

Only time will tell if they’ll go the way of buggy-whip manufacturers after the invention of the automobile.

Event planners and owners of conference halls and theatres are still hurting. With so many free Zoom webinars now available, can organizers really charge as much for a virtual experience? All the businesses that supported large events are now scrambling for customers, and the smart ones are reinventing themselves. Could we see the return of drive-in movies?

My husband works in the airline industry, which has been hit particularly hard. In February, employees received record-breaking profit-sharing checks. In March, the airline cut its schedule by 90% and was burning through $50 million a day. Thousands of employees were encouraged—or forced—to take voluntary leaves or exit packages. Government assistance was the only reason the airline didn’t immediately furlough most of its workforce and demand pay cuts from those who remained. We all know that’s coming once the assistance runs out.

We used to take a lot of cruise vacations; in 2019, we took four. This year, none. We’d scheduled a cruise for April, but then the cruise line suspended its voyages ahead of the no-sail order. I still receive weekly emails from travel agencies touting enticing sailings—first for fall and winter of 2020, now for spring and summer of 2021—but I’m not biting. It took us over 60 days to get our refund from our April cruise that got canceled, and the no-sail order keeps being extended. I feel sorry for owners of travel agencies and people who work in the tour industry. I believe demand will return one day, but how long can they hang on until that happens?

Stocks in these industries have suffered accordingly. Investors have made money through short-term speculation, but if you purchased these stocks before March, you’re still in the red.

No one can predict the future, determine tomorrow’s winners and losers, so how do you prepare?

If you’re an investor, diversify. Tech stocks are hot now but don’t put all your money there. Remember the tech bubble at the turn of the century? If your nest egg is spread out among different baskets, you’re unlikely to lose it all if one sector tanks. As I mentioned, the Dow is soaring again, but a different mix is driving the averages.

If you’re an employee or a business owner, build expertise that will transfer across industries. Take advantage of downtime to learn new skills or update proficiency. Never stop networking and don’t burn bridges.

Having emergency cash is essential. I’ve done several posts about the value of accumulating and maintaining an emergency fund—at least three to six months’ living expenses in a liquid, low-risk account. The only reason most of the airlines are still in business was that they had billions of dollars in cash on hand, accumulated when business was booming. Even so, only government assistance saved them from burning through all that cash before revenues could return. Such a reversal of fortune!

Look for ways to shrink your financial footprint. Cut unnecessary spending, reduce debt. The less money it takes to sustain your lifestyle, the longer your emergency funds will last, and the less likely you are to suffer a reversal of fortune.

What are your thoughts about preparing for the unexpected? I’d love to hear your comments.

©Sharon Marchisello 2020

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 review for Secrets of the Galapagos November 10th 2020

What an amazing location to set this novel which rapidly turns a cruise of a lifetime into a murder scene, and a deepening mystery about the star of the Galapagos islands, a giant tortoise called Tio Armando.

These celebrated islands are heavily reliant on tourism for the funding of conservation projects involving the unique flora and fauna, some of which is near extinction. There are several interested parties in maintaining this lucrative business opportunity and some are therefore keen to cover up discrepancies and even murder.

Things are not adding up on board the luxury cruise liner and the mystery deepens as one of the passengers appears to have disappeared under suspicious circumstances. This is followed as the passengers disembark for guided tours of the various conservation projects to find that promised exhibits are missing.

Giovanna is not only there to take in the sights and is on a mission to expose and get justice after being fleeced by a habitual conman, discovering in the processs that she is not the only one aboard the ship who has been taken to the cleaners. The subject of her investigation however has his own agenda, with prospective victims already  drawn into his schemes. Lives are at risk as well as fortunes and the action heats up in a race against time.

The author has written articles on her visit to the Galapagos Islands and clearly spent her time well on researching the various islands and conservation efforts. This gives the novel a very authentic  feel.

The action is played out on the ship, in the waters rich with marine life surrounding the islands and ashore as the group of sightseers visit scientific projects and the capital of the Galapagos.

The players are diverse and some of them you wouldn’t necessarily want to be trapped on a cruise liner with, but all have a part to play as the mystery unravels. There are some lovely interludes as we tag along with the passengers exploring this incredible region, where we are introduced to the wonders of the nature to be found there. And there is also the burgeoning romance between Giovanna and the young detective, who may be the only person who can bring all the threads of this mystery together to provide us with a satisfactory conclusion.

This is an exciting adventure as well as a murder mystery with the bonus of being a wonderful introduction to the Galapagos Islands.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Sharon: Goodreadsblog: Sharon Blogspot – Twitter: @SLMarchisello

 

Thank you for joining us today and I know that Sharon would love your feedback.. another post from her archives in two weeks.. thanks Sally.