Showing posts from December, 2009


Daily I scour hundreds of articles and several books that span many different subjects. I'm on the lookout for useful information on how to plan for the future and how any particular info might affect our future. A fairly recent term is "crowdsourcing." That is, using the collaboration made possible by technology and the Internet, to amass a "crowd" of people to help solve a problem. Crowdsourcing has tremendous potential for the frugal prosumer and solving many of the worlds problems. One of the goals of The Frugal Prosumer is to harness the power of crowdsourcing by having frugal prosumer gatherings and using the internet. To start a movement that gets us back to the basics and helping each other make this world a better place. A major theme of our book The Frugal Prosumer Philosophy is balance. We talk about both good and bad changes that will come about and how we need to plan, prepare, and think through the implications of each new development that

Social Security and Ponzi schemes

Why Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme - Jan. 7, 2009 From Money CNN I always make an effort to read the opposite side of each argument. As a result in many cases I can win a argument on either side of an issue with most people. In my old age I'm not that interested in arguing any more. I'm more interested in discerning the truth. If one isn't interested in discovering truth so be it. I let them be. Anyway I saw the title of this article from CNN Money. This is a respected source for financial information. I was wondering if I was going to be proven wrong and already thinking how I would have to change my view and what I wrote in by book about Social Security being the ultimate Ponzi scheme. But this one takes the cake and they were really serious. I think. Their argument is : 1st: They state: " in the case of Social Security, no one is being misled. " It isn't a Ponzi scheme because by definition a Ponzi scheme is one in which a person is misled. Soc

The 12 Months Of Default (Christmas Song)

Not very funny but it is a clever way to teach the advantages of walking away from a house loan that has no equity and is underwater. For many that are going to lose it all anyway sometimes the best option may be to make that decision sooner. I have done counseling for hundreds of bankruptcies and a very large percent who took this route (bankruptcy) to save their house just postponed the inevitable for a few more years. This made it worse for them in the long run. True, the mental stress of walking away is hard, but the mental stress of years of trying not to walk away can be worse. Consult any bankruptcy attorney to explore your options. Walking away from a house that is ruining you or is under water (you owe more than it's worth) can be a tough moral decision. Some interesting things to think about? What are the moral obligations: Of a banker willing to lend money to someone who they knew could not afford the house? Of a banker lending money to someone not caring how ov

One of the most used books in our house.

. Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types has been used so much in our house the pages are falling out. The following quote is from our new book The Seven Pillars of The Frugal Prosumer. You can order it from our web site . Understanding personality types is a powerful tool to knowing yourself and others. It helps us understand: Who we will be attracted to and why. Who will be our best marriage partner and why. How to communicate to be understood and to understand others. How our children are wired and discovering the best way to raise them. What kind of job suits us best, our leadership style, and how to get along with coworkers and others. Our own preferred learning and teaching style. How to counsel and help others better. Over the centuries, the four personality types have been included in the writings of Greek mythology (around 800 BC), Plato in The Republic (around 380 BC), Aristotle (around 350 BC), the roman physician Galen (around 200AD), Paracelsus around (

How to negotiate with debt collectors

Here is an article by one of my favorite financial writers. If you are in the position to pay off some of your debt or are thinking of helping someone pay off their debt. I.e. An adult child or parent. Be sure and read this article first. (Click on link below) Liz Pulliam Weston - How to negotiate with debt collectors; making a deal - MSN Money

Harvesting Windows, Bricks, and Decks!

A pane in the deck? We have given titles to many of the things we do. Wild food foraging, feral fruit farming, grocery store foraging, garage sailing, Craigslist crawling, etc. But what do we call it when we harvest a hundred windows or a 600+ square foot deck? A pane in the deck? Sorry. Again it’s about relationships. A friend called us to say they were replacing all the windows and screens in the eight story apartment complex they lived in. Aaannd.. they had permission to take all they wanted. We finally stopped hauling at 200 windows. It was hard seeing dumpster load after dumpster load of good windows going to their doom. But out of respect for Mary and the “pretty factor” on the property, I let them go. We now have a good number of cold frames ready for early spring planting. We also extended our fall veggies under the mini green houses I constructed. Some parts of our land floods occasionally. Since it is futile to plant in that low area the reality of raised bed garden

What does “real” recycling look like?

Recycled banana box filled with sawdust and carrots Are you “doing” the politically correct current recycling fad of the day or are you really recycling? John believes in walking the walk here! Sometimes even I roll my eyes but here is his current recycling of recycling of recycling of recycling. This is how he recycles the sawdust left from his tree or pallet cutting. No landfill destination for that. Note, he doesn’t just go around cutting trees up to get this precious by-product. Only ones that are threatening mans existence. Ever have a tree fall on your house when you were sleeping. Man they’re heavy. Number one , he recycles the tree or discarded pallet to heat our home. For the “normal” recycler environmentalist this would be enough. No trucking fuel halfway across the world to heat your house. No adding more Co2 into the air (burning wood puts out the same carbon as when a tree dies and decomposes naturally). Local sustainable heating, good exercise, etc. etc. John how