thoughts on life

What to Buy at Wholesale Club Stores (and What to Avoid)

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Way back in the days before I started this blog and learned all the secrets of cutting my grocery bill in half, I regularly shopped at warehouse club stores such as Sam’s Club, BJ’s, and Costco.  I always thought I was saving money. Oh sure, there were occasionally a few impulse buys (those samples are [...]

How to Get a Part Time Job

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Today I am thrilled to be introducing you to a young woman who blew me away when I met her last September.  She started her blog, Teens Got Cents, when she was just 15 years old, after listening to Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover audiobook with her mom.  She decided to get serious about learning how [...]

Just One

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It's been a long week.  In fact, by this point, you might even be a little sick of hearing me talk about Compassion and the Dominican Republic and all the reasons why you should sponsor a child. I get it.  I really do.  Extreme poverty is heavy, and it is overwhelming. It feels so big.  So [...]

Everything We Have

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I hit the snooze button twice this morning, not wanting to get out of bed, the thought of facing another emotionally grueling day weighing heavily on my heart. I pull the blankets over my head. I can’t do it, I think, my heart can’t take any more. I don’t have anything left to give. And [...]

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

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It almost felt intrusive, being there, filling up her tiny living room with our questions, some of them incredibly personal. And “tiny” doesn’t even begin to describe the very cramped space. My arms could span the width of one end to the other, and between the threadbare couch, 2 chairs, a cloth-covered crate serving as a coffee [...]

The Last Thing I Expected to Find

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I'm not quite sure what I was expecting today, but I know it wasn't what I found. As we made our way through the snarled traffic of Santo Domingo, and the neighborhoods slowly devolved from the upscale business district to the down-and-out neighborhoods closer to our destination, my heart slowly sank.  I took it all [...]

The Week That Could Change Everything

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This week is going to be a little different here at Living Well Spending Less. But I hope you won't mind. In fact, I hope you will embrace this little shift in focus with me knowing that a.) it is only temporary and b.) it is a week that could change everything, not just for [...]

How to Illness Proof Your Home

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One of my biggest goals this year has been to keep myself and my family illness-free.  After a couple of really bad, illness-prone years, where it felt like all of us--and especially me--were constantly getting sick, I have been much more vigilant and proactive about staying healthy. We've already talked about some great ways to [...]

9 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have

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Marriage is....well, it is a million different things at once. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking and comforting and difficult. It can be invigorating and infuriating, peaceful and tumultuous, good and bad, exciting and dull—sometimes all at the very same time. It takes a lot of hard work to make a marriage work.  During the honeymoon phase [...]

10 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues

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This is the time of year when winter just gets OLD!  The holidays are a distant memory, the thrill of the New Year has worn off, and even the Super Bowl is now over (and your favorite team may or may not have just suffered a crushingly heartbreaking defeat.) While I live in Florida now, [...]

5 Habits of Successful Debt Slayers

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 Today I am absolutely honored to welcome the Queen of Free herself, Cherie Lowe.  Cherie shares her wisdom and frugal adventures daily on her blog, Queen of Free, and she is also the author of the incredibly inspiring book, Slaying the Debt Dragon, which chronicles Cherie and her husband's journey of knocking out more than $127,000 [...]

5 Things to do Right Now to Prepare for a Catastrophe

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I’m not really one for conspiracy theories, and I don’t generally tend to panic or automatically assume the worst.  I wouldn’t call myself a “prepper,” and we don’t have a secret bunker built in our basement, an arsenal of supplies on hand in the event of a zombie apocalypse, or plans to go off the grid. [...]

3 Ways to Let Go of Mom Guilt

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Today I am so happy to welcome my sweet (and very wise) friends, Kathy Helgemo & Melinda Means, from Mothering from Scratch.  Not only do they live right here in my same small town of Punta Gorda, Florida, they are bloggers and moms who love to share their insight, struggles and parenting wins.  Last year we commiserated [...]

5 Tips for Taming Your Tongue

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Chances are that we've all done it at one point or another.  Whether it be during a moment of anger or nervousness or insecurity, we've all said something that we later regret or wish we could take back.  We've stuck our foot in our mouths or let our words get the best of us.  It's a sinking [...]

5 Ways to Stay in Shape Without Going Broke

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 This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of Creative Savings The New Year has begun and with it, at least for many of us, come resolutions for a better life -- the most popular being a new and improved health routine, combined with eating right and finally losing that extra weight. Will this finally be the year of [...]

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