thoughts on life

How to Create a Gallery Wall

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Several years ago I wrote this post about the big giant (12’ wide by 16’ tall in the center—in other words, HUGE) wall, the focal point of our great room.  For nearly eleven years now, this space has overwhelmed me with its sheer big-ness.  And so, for most of the time we’ve lived here, I have [...]

10 Simple Habits That Might Just Change Your Life

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It’s easy to think of all of the good habits we wish we had: putting money away each month, getting up earlier, working out every day.  As it turns out, setting good habits can be a powerful way to achieve our goals and help keep us focused and organized. Once a good habit is etched our brain, [...]

7 Secrets of Following Your Dreams (Without Going Broke)

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Today I am very happy to introduce you to my friend Jeff Goins, a person I have admired for a long time.  I first heard Jeff speak about writing at blogging conference called Blissdom, back in 2012.  In that session, he challenged us to write about the thing that scared us, and it was that [...]

How to Think Like a Millionaire

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This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of Creative Savings Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke; broke people stay broke by living like they're rich." - Anonymous While I'm nowhere near millionaire status, I am always inspired by the stories of ordinary people who manage to work their way into a wealthy lifestyle. Some of them [...]

Undone is Beautiful

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I hate cancer. Ten years ago, while I was in law school, a friend asked me to join her Relay for Life team. I had never heard of Relay for Life, had no idea what it was all about, but agreed to participate. That night my soon-to-be husband Chuck and I walked around the track, [...]

7 Lies People in Debt Tell Themselves

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Today I am happy to welcome back my friend Cherie Lowe from the Queen of Free, who will be joining us here at LWSL as a regular monthly contributor.  Cherie is the author of the amazing book, Slaying the Debt Dragon, which she wrote after paying off more than $127,000 in debt!  I am so excited to [...]

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 [...]

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