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Interest Cancellation is Your Ticket to Financial Freedom

By | home, money | One Comment

“Interest cancellation is one of the secrets of financial freedom. What you’re about to read is unbelievable. It’s legal and the banks and mortgage companies are KEEPING this INFORMATION FROM you and your family,” says Kimberly Daly, a business developer in Silicon Valley.

The word mortgage is derived from two Latin words: mort which means death, and gage which means pledge. What many people have with a mortgage is a pledge until death.

“But don’t worry, I’m going to show you how easy it is to escape this pledge and manage your mortgage and other loans to your benefit. You can build equity in your property and own it in a shorter period of time,” Kimberly said.


Mortgage brokers know next to nothing about helping you manage your mortgage.


Banks and brokers are out to make sure that they get a big commission on your mortgage. What does this mean for you?

mortgage-rate-signature

Interest cancellation can help you save thousands of dollars on your mortgage.

Most people don’t spend as much time and attention learning about their mortgage loan as they do on the property they purchase. But the reality is that, in the end, the loan costs more money than the property itself.


After 15 years of paying off a 30 year loan, you still owe over 90% of the original amount borrowed. And after 24 years, you still owe 50% of the original amount you borrowed.


Few people realize that they make 120 unnecessary mortgage payments in a 30-year loan.

Would you like to slash your mortgage by as much as 80%?

The ordinary homeowner is locked into a crippling mortgage plan. This proven reduction system will help you build equity in your property and pay off your mortgage quickly.

“It’s not what you make, but what you keep. I’m giving you facts and information that banks and mortgage companies don’t want you to know. It’s guaranteed to save you tens of thousands of dollars on your existing mortgage. It’s perfectly legal, but there is a right and a wrong way of doing this. Those who do it right hardly ever talk about it. That’s why 99% of the people have no idea how to pull this off and remain a financial slave to their property for most of their lives,” Kimberly said.

This requires no refinancing of your first mortgage and no alteration to your current standard of living. Conventional banks only offer these options:

  • make biweekly mortgage payments
  • make extra payments
  • refinance to lower your interest rate

mortgage-refinance-cartoon-wise-aldrich-real-life-adventures

But with interest cancellation, you can eliminate next month’s interest now.

What is interest cancellation?

Here’s how it works. By working with the bank’s amortization schedule, you maximize the interest cancellation effect. You can work with the bank’s system to save yourself up to 120 unnecessary mortgage payments.

Here are some typical numbers for a closed-end mortgage. You take out a loan for $340,000 at 3.99% interest for 30 years. Here’s what it looks like:

credit-karma-amortization-calculator-loan-chart

CLICK HERE to calculate the loan amortization chart for your mortgage.

Here’s a new versus an old way to pay off your mortgage. In a closed-end loan, you can eliminate interest. This allows you to control your money so your money isn’t controlling you. This also allows you to get your money working for you instead of you working for the bank.

As long as you’re willing to manage your amortization schedule and principal balance, you can get reap the benefits of interest cancellation.


Let’s say you have a $340,000 loan at 3.99% interest for 30 years. In 20 years, you gave the bank $389,100, but they only applied $179,793 to your original loan. You still owe $160,207!


This is what makes the banker happy. In the first 20 years of your loan, all the damage has been done. The majority of your payments have gone to interest, not principal. Very few people live in a home for a full 30 years. Most people sell their house before the end of their mortgage. So most of their payments go toward paying off the bank, not their home.

With interest cancellation, you can gain control of your money. This is good news that will brighten up your day . . . and the rest of your life. This ONE FINANCIAL TIP can change your life for the better.

How can you apply interest cancellation to your loan?

You can run your numbers for free. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • your monthly mortgage amount
  • a copy of your last or current mortgage statement break down
  • your total finance amount, your principal
  • the length of the loan, or the term
  • your original finance date
  • your finance percentage %

Here’s how it works. Make this month’s payment, plus the principal amount for the following month. For example, in the month of October, you would make your payment of $1621, plus you would pay the $492 principal for the following month. See the amortization schedule below.

CLICK HERE to calculate the full amortization schedule on your loan.

CLICK HERE to calculate the full amortization schedule on your loan.

Check with your bank on their requirements to ensure that your payment of $492 is applied to principal only. And follow up to be sure that it’s applied appropriately. By doing this, you eliminate the expense of the interest payment of $1129 that would otherwise be applied to the following month’s payment.

Interest cancellation is your ticket to financial freedom.

Interest cancellation is your ticket to financial freedom.

In just six months you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the balance of your loan and the number of remaining payments. And you have additional benefits:

  • No refinancing is necessary.
  • This works for all mortgages except for balloons.
  • You don’t have to make extra payments.
  • You can apply additional principal payments at your discretion.
  • You learn how to keep your money in your pocket.
  • You now know how to pay off your loan quickly.
  • You can build equity effortlessly.

Many people are afraid of being responsible for their own money. Financiers and bankers are counting on your fear and lack of knowledge to keep you paying forever.

“Lots of people start doing this, but then they don’t continue. What else is going to pay you hundreds or thousands of dollars for just a few extra hours work each year?” Kimberly asked.

It is worth it to be persistent with your bank to figure this out. You have to be persistent. Once you learn this, you’ll wonder . . .

Why doesn’t everybody do this?

You have to be conscious and stay at the front of your mortgage. The bank doesn’t care. They hope you’re going to be late because they make more. Banks don’t want you to pay off your loan early. There’s no one out there promoting interest cancellation.

“I learned about interest cancellation in college, but I swept it under the table until I got my first home. I had forgotten all about it, but my father reminded me to do this. I started doing it on my own, and continued to do it from then on,” Kimberly said.

Make sure all your numbers match and once you get it, you’re pretty much ready to go.

money 100 rolls interest cancellation

By applying principal only payments to your mortgage, you can save thousands of dollars.

Whatever amortization tool you’re using, it’s important that your numbers match the bank’s numbers. You have to play their game. You can call the bank each month and ask for next month’s principal amount. You do have to care about your money and be proactive about this. If you take a few minutes on the phone each month, it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month. By making a principal only payment one month in advance, you eliminate the interest in that following month.

You can pay your principal down even faster by applying extra money when you get a bonus or tax return, for example. You can always pay more, but you have to make sure it applies to principal only. Look at the numbers for the next six months and calculate the amount. If you want to make extra payments, you can calculate the principal for the upcoming months you want to pay off and add it up for the upcoming months.

“I want to empower people to take care of their money. Finances aren’t scary. I have done presentations all over the US about this. I’ve shared this information in offices, homes and special events. I encourage you to share what you learned today with your family and friends. It’s simple to manage your money. It’s just a mathematical equation,” Kimberly said.


kimberly-daly-profile-interest-cancellation

Kimberly Daly helps companies acquire new customers and sell additional products or services to existing customers. Her role is a crucial one for any business with the ambition to expand or diversify its clientele. As an effective business developer, she listens to what you want and where you want to take your business, including business-to-business, business-to-customer, and even non-profit organizations.

If you’d like to learn more about interest cancellation, call Kimberly at 817-382-8375.

 

How to turn volunteer work into paid experiences

By | artists, BUSINESS, money | No Comments
Heward Jue with child in Rwanda, photographed by Wayne Kittelson.

Heward Jue with child in Rwanda. Photo by Wayne Kittelson.

Have you ever wished you could apply more time to a cause you believe in? Here’s some advice from a pro art director, designer and photographer who evolved his volunteer work into a more professional capacity.

“A lot of people donate their time and efforts to nonprofits in order to do some good and add more meaning to their lives. While volunteering is noble and altruistic, we all have a limited quantity of time to give to a cause. We all need to earn a living,” Heward says.

“Sometimes we can give more wholeheartedly of ourselves if we know our own needs are being met. One way to do this is to contribute your talents where there is grant funding set aside for a particular project. Corporations and wealthy individuals often sponsor humanitarian projects and need talented people to carry out the work,” Heward adds.

For over twenty years, Heward has worked for some of the country’s most creative ad agencies elevating countless brands.

“While working in advertising is a decent way to earn a living and can be fun, it often feels shallow in the larger scope of things,” claims Heward. “I don’t always agree with consumerism, so doing work for nonprofits gives me a sense of redemption.”

Today, Heward gravitates toward working with corporations or organizations on their altruistic projects. He recently traveled to Kenya and Tanzania for Asante Africa, and to Vietnam for Roots of Peace. Here’s how:

How Heward was introduced to Asante Africa Foundation and the Getty Images Creative Grant

Wamba Girl who will have the opportunity to get education through Asante Africa, photography by Heward Jue

A Kenyan preschooler photographed by Heward Jue while working with Asante Africa Foundation

Because of his work and personal interest in different cultures and developing countries, Heward has traveled to various parts of the world.

“I went to South Africa for a commercial wine project. But what captivated me was the sea of shanty towns I saw. I thought it would be interesting to visit the residents and take some portraits. The faces and spirits of the people I captured were absolutely wonderful, so I made large prints to hang in my office when I returned. One of my colleagues who knew the founder at Asante Africa Foundation saw the photos and introduced me to her. I started designing their annual reports and later became a Board Member,” Heward says.

“When I was at Asante Africa, I heard about the Getty Images Creative Grant. I decided to build a proposal and provided a portfolio to apply for this $20,000 grant. It was an international competition with 85 applicants from 23 different countries. We were one of the two awarded,” he states.

“Asante Africa Foundation helps to educate children in East Africa, where there are many obstacles besides poverty that hinder children from getting educated. For example, when girls start to menstruate, many stop attending school. Asante Africa Foundation helps by building girls’ toilets so that they have safe and private places to take care of the hygiene needs while at school,” Heward says.

Heward Jue adjusting microphone while working on project for Asante Africa

Heward Jue adjusting microphone while preparing to record a Maasai girl’s story for Asante Africa Foundation.

One of the main purposes of this project was to promote awareness for Asante Africa and the work they do. Utilizing his creative advertising background, Heward wrote, co-directed and shot this video for the foundation. It demonstrates the drastic differences between life with and without education:

A striking print campaign, as represented by this ad below, was also created to round out the campaign.

HewardJueAsanteAfricaIWantToShoot

How Heward got involved with Roots of Peace

“Back in 1999, I designed the Roots of Peace logo when their founder, Heidi Kuhn, was operating out of her living room. They’ve grown tremendously since then, and she recently contacted me to document their work in Vietnam,” Heward states.

Heward Jue capturing a story from a man in Vietnam

Photographer Heward Jue shooting while a Vietnamese farmer shares his story for Roots of Peace.

The ACE Group, a global insurer and one of Roots of Peace’s sponsors, provided the funding for this project.

 

RootsOfPeaceTurningMinesIntoVines

Photo by Tucker Kühn, Roots of Peace.

Roots of Peace’s mission is to restore economic vitality to war-torn regions by creating livelihood opportunities through agriculture. In Vietnam, where the war ended 40 years ago, there are still areas plagued with unexploded landmines, bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. Roots of Peace works with partners to remove these devices, turning what was once destructive land into productive, arable land.

Vietnamese victim family

A Vietnamese family empowered by the work of Roots of Peace. Photography by Heward Jue.

Can you turn your volunteer work into compensated opportunities?

Heward likes doing work for nonprofits that have noble causes. “Lots of people want to help nonprofits, but it doesn’t always have to be charity. There are funds out there, and you can do some research to find organizations that need your skill set. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions and finding the right avenues,” suggests Heward.

If you’re interested in getting paid to use your skills to support a nonprofit, here are a four suggestions from Heward:

1. Research to find opportunities you’re passionate about.

“It needs to first come from the heart,” Heward says. If you like and believe in what you’re doing, it’s better for everyone involved. Although Heward’s work often requires him to travel to far-out places, there are countless ways you can make a difference within the borders of your own country, state or city. You don’t have to go far to find people in need.

VolunteerMatch-Logo-Causerelatedmarketing.blogspot.com_Here are a few tools you can use to identify volunteer opportunities:

  • Use VolunteerMatch to “find a cause that lights you up.”
  • Search for “Volunteer Opportunities” on Yelp.
  • Use Facebook to “like” and get involved with nonprofits you believe in.

“Begin by giving a little of yourself,” Heward says.

You don’t have to be an expert to lend a helping hand. And you don’t have to put in long hours if you don’t want to. That’s the nature of the work. One of the advantages of volunteering is that you have the right say yes or no. But when you decide to say yes, you’ll find that there are endless possibilities to serve through nonprofits in almost any community in the world.

2. Get experience to build your credibility.

Get involved in small projects near or far. You need some experience and credibility before an organization will consider paying you. If you have a particular expertise or passion, it can be helpful to focus your work in this area.

New flood volunteer cartoon 1 Hills

There’s a website or app for nearly everything these days. If you’re a photographer, for example, you can look for opportunities on PhotoPhilanthropy. By providing a means for photographers and nonprofit organizations to come together, they champion social change, one photo at a time.

Take a big sip of water and speak up a little louder. 

“Once you get into the areas you’re interested in and become known, then opportunities start coming to you,” Heward says.

3. Build your reputation.

Whichever area of work you want to get into, start getting involved with people and projects in those areas. Document your experience along the way. Photos or videos can help, but they’re not always a necessity. Once you make connections and friends, they remember you and they can always be used as a reference.

Share your passion and volunteer experiences on social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or other social media tools. Then people start to get to know you.

FacebookCartoonBoss

4. Search for opportunities to get paid for your expertise.

Research the sponsors of these organizations. Some have the funds to carry out the projects and they often need people to do the work.

“Charitable projects are a good way for corporations to give back to the world to help elevate humanity, instead of just their bottom line,” Heward comments.

You can also apply for grants to fund your work, as Heward did with the Getty Images Creative Grant. Getting paid in volunteer organizations doesn’t come easily. It’s a bonus that you can work toward in the long-run.

Heward Jue with ?? woman in city/area?, Africa

Heward Jue sharing his work with a Tanzanian villager.

How to make your vacation last a lifetime

As an art director and designer, Heward has won numerous awards for creative excellence including: The One Show, Communication Arts, Clio, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Graphis, The Art Directors Club, The ObiesThe Effies, The ANDYs, and The ADDYs.

His photography has been recognized for excellence by PDN, Planet Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, and the American Photographic Artists.

If you’re interested in having Heward shoot a project for your organization, contact him at HewardJue.com.

Heward Jue showing off his tan line after 10 days of shooting in Africa. Photo by Erna Grasz.

Heward Jue showing off his tan line after 10 days of shooting in Africa. Photo by Erna Grasz.

Looking for more ways to acquire, keep and produce more money? CLICK HERE now to start living your dream life!

Looking for more ways to acquire, keep and produce more money? CLICK HERE now to start living your dream life!

How to Save money: 7 Silly Secrets for Shopaholics

By | gifts, holidays, money | No Comments

You’ve already heard advice like “make a list before you shop,” or “pay cash for everything you buy,” but why bother with silly things like this when you can buy now and pay later? Not many people are willing to give up shopping for a year like Colin Beavan or Judith Levine, but most people can benefit from a few tips on how to save money when shopping. Here are a $even $illy $ecrets for $hopoholics:

1. Wear casual clothes when you shop. 

You know how some people get showered and all gussied up to go shopping? Don’t do that. If you go out in a pair of old sweats, your pajamas or your underwear, you’re more likely to shop faster. Millions of Walmart shoppers are using this strategy to help save money. Check out the People of Walmart website or the People of Walmart video to see how easy it is to pull together some minimalistic outfits for shopping. The worse you look, the quicker you’ll want to get back home.

shopping in underwear cartoon Tim Wyatt is a cartoonist who lives on a remote island
about 10,000 miles off the coast of New Jersey called Australia.

2. Avoid shopping in malls or stores that are larger than a football field. 

If you spend an entire day in shops and malls searching for shoes when you already own hundreds of pairs, you might be a shopaholic. This is just one of the many Confessions of a Shopaholic. Big name stores are set up to entice you into making impulse buys. Even when you have a shopping list, you have to pass by hundreds or possibly thousands of things you had no intention of buying. Bigger stores mean you’re going to waste more time wandering around and you’re more likely to purchase things you don’t need.

Whether you’re in a big box store or a mall, you’re forced to waste a lot of time getting to the few things you came for. Did you realize that American malls and stores have enough square footage to fit everyone in North America, South America and Europe inside all at one time? These glitzy mazes are full of hallways, aisles, fountains, slow escalators, endcap displays, music and smells, all designed to hypnotize and consumerize. Shopping atmospheres work so well that millions of people feel good about charging their way into debt.

3. Shop with two frugal friends.  

Some people use shopping as a way to zone out and forget their troubles. If you find that you lie about your purchases or hide them from family, you may need more frugal friends on your autodial. You need to shop with people who are so cheap that they wouldn’t even consider downloading a 99-cent app for deals. When you shop with frugal friends, you’re more likely to make fewer purchases.

Your frugal friends can help you decide whether you need To Buy or Not to Buy. If you get into a disagreement or have a shopping breakdown, they’ll outnumber you. They’ll win the argument and you’ll have one on each side of you to grab your arms and pull you out of the store. If your withdrawal symptoms are too bad, they might allow you to get something on Freecycle to help ease your discomfort. You can learn a lot from frugal people . . .

4. Listen to sermons by Reverend Billy’s Church of Stop Shopping.

Reverend Billy is seriously hilarious! He’s on a mission to $ave People from their $hopping addictions and their condemnation into eternal debt. “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans may be clinically addicted, compulsive shoppers,” he says. Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir are performance activists who have turned the First Amendment into the lyrics for a gospel tune.

Thank God kids go to school to learn how to sit still and pay attention, and to raise money holding bake sales and car washes, but unfortunately they don’t learn other practical things like how to prepare a budget or pay bills and taxes. “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money on things they don’t have for things they don’t need.” Will RogersWatch Reverend Bill’s film What Would Jesus Buy? for free on YouTube. Stop shopping! “The Shopocalypse is coming,” he warns . . .

5. Track the number of hours you spend shopping. 

If you can go into a clock shop for more than an hour and enjoy every minute of it, you might be a shopaholic. You may know how much money you’re spending, but you may not realize how much time you’re wasting until you actually keep track of it. Use your calendar or a journal to note how many hours you spend shopping in stores and online. Be sure to include the time it takes you to get to the store and back, wait in line, assemble products, store things and anything else associated with buying stuff.

Keep a supply of rubber bands or bracelets on hand and put one around your wrist for every hour you shop. Let them accumulate for a week. Keep them on all day and night as a reminder. Then start over the next week and see if you can reduce the time. When you’re pulling out your credit card or cash for something you know you don’t need, you might want to tug on the the rubber bands to remind yourself of the sting of spending money.

Once you have a better idea of how many hours you spend shopping, you can brainstorm better ways you could be using your time. Challenge yourself to have fewer rubber bands on your wrist each week. As you become more like Miss Minimalist, you’ll have more money and free time to enjoy life in new ways.

There’s no such thing as bad habits 

 

shopping online cartoon

 

6. Spend time instead of money. 

If you go into grocery stores and take other people’s full carts when they aren’t looking just because you’re in a hurry, you might be a shopaholic. Many people feel the urge to shop before they go to a party or family gathering. Some people use the excuse that they need to spend large sums of money to show the depth of their love.

Some people have turned their holiday gatherings into ceremonies focused on how well the house is decorated and how well the gifts are wrapped. All the time you spent shopping, decorating and wrapping is time that you could have spent with family or friends doing more meaningful things.

The media glorifies gift-giving as if the cost of the gift is the measure of your love. But as Reverend Billy says, “you don’t have to buy a gift to give a gift.” When you’re shopping it’s easy to lose your sense of time. During store hours, there’s no past or future. You won’t find clocks in stores. The system is designed to make you believe that you need to buy more stuff now in order to live life to the fullest in the present moment. It’s a fantastical world of make believe. Next time plan to spend time instead of money, and if you feel you must provide a gift, give a gift card . . .


7. Get help from Shopaholics Anonymous.

Terry Schulman of Shopaholics Anonymous is a specialist in shopping addictions such as overspending, hoarding, shoplifting and employee theft. He recently helped a man who got caught stealing ice skates from a sports shop. The guy is making some progress. At least he knows now that he should have waited until he left the store before he put them on.

Here are a few facts from Schulman’s book Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Stealing, Spending and Hoarding. Over 10%, or 30 million Americans, are shoplifters. About 75% of people repeatedly steal from their employers. Check out what he has to say about compulsive shopping . . .

Many of the shiny and beautiful new things in stores are made in sweatshops by people living in poverty. Happiness can’t be bought this way. In the long run, it’s bad business for the makers and the buyers. It’s is an evil cycle that’s coming back to bite those who have profited as others have suffered. As Americans continue to buy cheap things made abroad, it’s only fair that they’re now giving up retirement benefits, jobs and in some cases even homes in their homeland.

The average American is $225,238 in debt and about $16,000 of that is credit card debt. The problem with credit card debt is that “the amount you owe increases almost as fast as you can pay it off. In fact, the credit card companies plan it that way,” says Douglas Adams, an accountant who helps people sort out their finances and deal with credit card issues.

Money can buy a clock . . . but not time.
Money can buy a bed . . . but not sleep.
Money can buy a book . . . but not knowledge.
Money can buy medicine . . . but not health.
Prem Rawat

But enough of this serious stuff. I’m sure you’re ready to get back to shopping. Before you leave, please be sure to buy everything mentioned in this post. It just might be the smartest buying decision you make all year! Good buy.

Looking for more ways to acquire, keep and produce more money? CLICK HERE now to start living your dream life!

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? You have the power to improve your finances and develop financial fitness. CLICK ON IMAGE now to learn the offense, defense and playing field of money. You can become financially free!

 

The Top Secret to Identifying Spoiled Meat

By | cooking, eating, money, restaurants | No Comments

no meatWhy should you never tell a pig a secret? Because they squeal. Jokes4Us

Do you want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what you’re eating? Well, you may need to talk to a pig to find out.

Of course you want to eat safe food. But can you trust “the system” to ensure that all your meat is safe for consumption? It would be great if all the growers, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)slaughterhouses, processors, packers, transporters, grocers and FDA were are all looking out for us, the customers, but are they really?

A little red or white meat may not be bad for you, but a little yellowish or brownish meat is definitely bad for you! Gwizfunny

We live in a capitalistic society where money is a top priority. Each time to take a bite, you’re eating food “as is,” which encompasses everything that happened to it all along the way before it ended up on your fork. Buyer beware. When in doubt, check it out. Yogitastic

Michael Anthony offers some good tips on how you can know if you have spoiled meat . . .

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood? If you’re willing to fork out enough money, you can go on a back stage studio tour of Universal Studios to see how they make fire, blow things up and kill people. You have the opportunity to see how frivolous movies are made, so doesn’t it seem to make sense that you can see how your foods, so essential to life, are made?

To see how organic food is grown, you can go to a farm like Tara Firma for free any weekend to see how they raise healthy animals. Some farms, like Hidden Villa, are specially designed to teach people of all ages about sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry.

If you want to see how organic fruits or vegetables are grown, the majority of organic farmers will welcome you with open arms to take on-site pictures with your friends and family. Some U-pick farms, like Swanton Berry Farm, encourage their customers to check out the farm and pick their own berries.

Lots of people are proud of the way they do business. They’re tickled when you take pictures and share your experiences with your social networks.

Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres

Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Do you like Eating Animals? Even if you do, ag gag laws make it illegal for you to see what’s going on behind the scenes in factory farms. The people who work there can’t show you the horrendous conditions either. If they do, these “whistleblowers” face challenges that can affect their work and personal life for years. If you do something as simple as take pictures of a CAFO or slaughterhouse, you risk being charged with a crime!

Why do the CAFO workers call the animals “Ink?” Because they keep trying to run out of the pens. Jokes4Us

If the meat in your local grocery store came out of one of these top secret facilities, doesn’t this make you a little suspicious? What’s the big secret? Bill Moyers warns Americans in this Huffington Post Green story that these ag gag laws are making people sick! Who takes care of the farm when the farmer is sick? The pharmacist. AJokeADay

According to the CDC, about 1 in 6 people in the US get sick each year after eating contaminated food. CDC Foodborne OutbreaksAnd the number is much higher if you take into account the cumulative health effects of eating meat tainted with drugs, hormones and chemicals. Your risk is lower when you eat at home, and even lower when you’re conscientious about where you get your food.

For the sake of your health and well-being, think about whether you want to eat anything that’s coming out of a top secret mill. If a food facility is too dangerous and unsightly for a kids’ field trip, do you really want to support these companies by buying their questionable consumables? Check out this article by Joby Warrick before you before your next visit to the meat department in your local grocery store: Do You Want Urine, Feces and Pus In Your Beef?

McDonald’s announced it’s considering a more humane way of slaughtering its animals. They fatten up the animals until they’re so uncomfortable that they want to die. It’s the same thing they do to their customers. HappyCow

 

Mercy for Animals

Four Great Ways to Solve Your Garage Storage Issue

By | Biking, health, money | 2 Comments
images

BIKE RACKS

Do you really need more shelves and hooks for stuff you rarely use? Before you pull out your wallet to buy garage storage systems, think for a minute. Consider the following suggestions:

1. Downsize before you organize

Most of the time, garage storage isn’t the only issue. Running out of space is often a clutter issue. Don’t throw more money at the problem by buying  shelving units that only add to the problem. Chances are, you can get rid of more than half the stuff in your garage. The more often you clean out your garage, the more likely you’ll be able to Organize Your Garage In No Time.

When you have a free day, get the family together and remove everything from the garage. Yes, everything! Not only does this give you a chance to clean the garage, it also forces you to go through things and determine what you need to keep. If you have children, they’ll moan an groan on garage-cleaning day, but if they keep stuff in the garage, they need to be involved. They don’t like going through piles of clutter any more than you do. Be sure to give them an incentive for their participation.

If you haven’t used something for the past month, you probably don’t need to keep it. If you haven’t used something for the past year, it’s definitely time to sell it or give it away. At the end of the day, call your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to schedule a pickup.

Your Commute is Now Your Gym sign (1)

Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking About Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives

2. Downsize a vehicle

If you have an SUV, trade it in for something smaller. If you have a car, trade it in for a Smart car, a motorcycle or scooter. When you decrease the size of your vehicle, you make more room for other things in your garage.

 

3. Sell a vehicle

Selling a vehicle has several big advantages. You can save money, get more exercise, and have more time to build relationships and get work done.

You’ll save a lot of money in the long run. On average, Americans spend more than $9,100/year for each vehicle they own. And those are after tax dollars! FairTax estimates that most Americans are paying 23% or more toward taxes. That means you need to use about $11,000 of your earnings each year just to pay for one car. Don’t get too hung up on the accuracy of this estimate. Instead, take time to calculate the specific cost of your own vehicle(s). See for yourself how much you’ll save.

When you spend more time walking and biking, your health will improve and you’ll find it easier to sleep at night. It’s no coincidence that the USA has one of the highest ratios of vehicles per capita and is also the most obese country in the world. If you need a car every now and then, you can rent a car for a few days or use a car-sharing service, such as ZipCar, for a few hours.

Commute with a colleague or look for carpool buddies through eRideShare or CarpoolWorld, or take public transportation, ride a bike or walk. You can also combine various forms of transportation. In many cities, you can take your bike on the bus or train. Whether you’re carpooling or waiting at a bus stop, you have more time to socialize and build relationships. When you commute via public transportation, you can work, listen to music, or nap while your driver is paying attention to the road.

4. Convert your garage to living space

A 2-car garage is typically 400-600 square foot. After traveling and living throughout Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Asia, I can tell you that millions of American cars have better housing than millions of humans on the planet. And housing is a problem for many people in the US as well.

According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, millions of families and children in the US go homeless each year. And according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, on any given night more than 60,000 veterans are sleeping in the streets. When you convert your garage space to living space, not only do you increase the square footage and potential value of your home, you could also create a small, affordable living space to rent out to people who can’t afford more. Doesn’t it make more sense to invest in people or your home instead of shelving?

Are Your Muffin Pans Safe Enough for Imaginary Pets?

By | BUSINESS, cooking, eating, money | One Comment

Recently, I purchased a Wilton non-stick muffin pan. After I baked a batch of muffins, I realized they fell out too easily, in a Teflon-like kind of way. So I went to the Wilton Facebook page and asked if their baking pans were safe for birds.

Are your muffin pans safe for imaginary birds?

Are your muffin pans safe enough for your imaginary birds?

They responded quickly, but didn’t publicly answer my question. Instead, they gave me their customer service number. When I called, the nice lady said that they “don’t test their products on animals,” so she couldn’t assure me that my (make-believe) pets would survive.

My real question was, “Is this pan harmful to my health?” In case you want to know too, please call and let me know what they say. Perhaps they’ll say they “don’t test their products on humans.”

If you have  questionable non-stick-ish products in your kitchen, I urge you to return or recycle them. While you’re at it, consider removing another dozen dangerous chemicals that may be lurking in your home.

One of the things I like most about Target is their no-fuss return policy. When the nice lady at the return counter asked me why I didn’t want it, I told her, “it might kill my imaginary birds.” She opened her eyes real wide, giving me an are-you-crazy-or-just-confused kind of look. Without asking any more questions, she refunded my money.

A safer alternative is cast iron. From now on, I’ll stick to making muffins in my Lodge pans!

 

Vote for Triple Bottom Line Companies

By | money | No Comments

America is the land of the free and the home of the impatient. Check out this video where Dr. Lorraine Haataia encourages viewers to pay attention to the companies they’re supporting, and to choose to buy from CSR triple bottom line companies like Patagonia, Whole Foods Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill, and to think twice before making too many purchases at large, low-price stores like Walmart.

Dr. Lorraine encourages buyers to slow down just a bit to “Google” the companies and manufacturers they’re voting for with their dollars.

If you’re interested in having Dr. Lorraine Haataia speak at your organization, contact her at www.DrLorraine.net.

No Impact Man Enlightens World

By | dream, eating, gardening, health, love, money, Movies | No Comments

No Impact Man is one of the most inspiring documentaries I’ve ever seen!

Colin Beavan and his wife, Michelle Conlin, inspire the world by changing their way of life in the Big Apple. Colin believes that we all have a voice and we all need to take responsibility for our own actions. But Colin and Michelle aren’t just preaching; they’re the real thing! They phased in big changes in their own lives over a one year period to reduce their impact.

Colin and Michelle show how individual customers can make daily decisions that can also change corporations. Sometime in the near future, I hope to meet this couple I respect very much.

Get to know them in their reality-TV-like documentary where they welcome the world into their New York City home:

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Michelle says the no impact way of life gave her the following benefits:

  • time slowed down
  • she felt like she lived more in the moment
  • she was much happier
  • her family became much closer

Change yourself to change the world with the No Impact Project.

Free Things You Don’t Want When Shopping

By | money | One Comment

Seems like there’s always a catch to free offers. It’s always a good idea to read the fine print before saying yes to free stuff.

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I saw this sign today in a clothing consignment store. It gave me a good idea about how this establishment feels about its customers. Although I found it somewhat offensive, I was also impressed with the layout and simplicity of it. It’s eye-catching and it communicates a clear message.

What I’d like suggest to this store is that they ask the police to give first time offenders a free ride to a Scared Straight program that’s set up as a daily or weekly event hosted by local prisoners. Convicts have the power not only to take lives, but also to save them. Check out this Scared Straight clip . . .

If you care about your community enough to sell them clothes, go the extra mile and take care of the few who come in looking for something else. Who knows, you might turn their life around and turn them into upstanding customers.

Want to Smell Like Michael Jordan?

By | money, transportation | No Comments

Today I was behind Michael Jordan and smelled toxic exhaust. But just in case you want to smell like the backside of Michael, you can buy some of this bottled fragrance at Perfumania.

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Advertising on the back of trucks is such a good idea. I never knew that this NBA All-Star who nailed an average of 30 points per game did this with crooked ears. No one ever talked about his disability, but things always come out in the end. I don’t think this was a nice thing to do to Michael, but this is just one customer’s opinion.

More companies should take advantage of the opportunity to advertise on these mobile placards. Millions of trucks are rolling on our Interstates everyday and many of them have nothing to say. Here are a just a few ideas:

National Federation of the Blind)

  • Got a splitting headache? (ad for Bayer Aspirin) This one would make the most sense to the guys loading and unloading the truck.

 

I’m really on a roll with this mobile billboard idea.  If you have more ideas for ads on the back of trucks, I’d love to hear them.

Wanted: People Who Don’t Care

By | money | No Comments

“How about up there?” I asked.

“For a minute, I thought it might be in the right place,”  he said as he opened another inventory door for me.

That’s all he had to do to clue me in that he was working for a company that needed improvement in some form. By his words and actions, he demonstrated that the store inventory was not in good order. I wanted to buy a desk lamp that was on display, but the one I wanted wasn’t on the shelf in a box among all the other lamps. I couldn’t find one so I walked around the aisles for a while until I finally found someone who worked there.

“How may I help you ma’am?” he asked with a smile.

“I’d like to buy one of the lamps on display, but I can’t find one on the shelf.”

“Let’s see what I can do for you,” he said in a very calming voice. He immediately struck me as someone who likes to help people–the type of person any CEO would want on their floor.

He looked at all the boxed lamps on the shelves, just as I did, but there was no lamp. Then he started opening doors on top of the shelves, looking at inventory numbers hand-written on the boxes. He opened two doors where the overstock inventory would logically be stored, just above the lamps, but none of the boxes had the magic number. I asked him to look in a few more nearby areas, and he agreed, saying that the inventory often wasn’t in its most logical place.

He was an older gentleman, so I made the assumption that he probably had other jobs in the past.

“What did you do before you worked here?” I wondered.

“Social work, but I couldn’t take it anymore. Saw too many kids from families that have to choose between clothing or food. Then their school teachers failed them because they didn’t print out their homework on a computer. Some of those kids come from families who can’t even afford the electric to power the computer. So I started building computers for kids, on the side. Built 346 of them over the years, but finally burnt out. I worked day and night to try to help them, and never saw the state give a kid a computer so they could do their homework.”

“Wow, that’s amazing.” I started imagining that this man might not see his reward until he’s in heaven. “So what brought you here?”

“Just needed to do something different–something completely different.” He kept scanning the shelves.

“Have you ever made a suggestion to improve the inventory here?” I was baffled that such a major corporation was blind to their employees’ day-to-day frustrations. I was thinking that I should contact the CEO and ask him if he knows what kind of conversations are going on between his employees and his customers!

“Management doesn’t want to hear anything we have to say. Corporate sends us inventory whether we need it or not and we find a place to put it. Sometimes we have too much of one product and sometimes we’re completely out of another, but they’re not too concerned about it.”

“So you went from one organization that didn’t understand its customer to a company in a different industry who cares little for its employees and customers.”

“That’s right, but it’s easier to say ‘no’ to a customer with a car and a cell phone than to a kid who didn’t have breakfast or lunch.”

“Seems like you know something about quality and inventory management.”

“Yes, before the social work, I worked for a company that followed Deming principles.”

“It must be hard to walk around all day knowing how you can improve the business and the service to the customer, but have your hands tied.”

He nodded. “Everything I say here falls on deaf ears. Management doesn’t want to hear it. They tell us what to do and we’re supposed to obey.”

As an advocate for continuous improvement, I find this troubling on several levels. The company is missing out on great suggestions that could come from employees. I’ve never been given a customer survey at this store, so I imagine they’re also missing out on customer feedback. It amazes me that companies like this can stay in business for years, and this is a well known company with stores all over the United States! I definitely wouldn’t buy stock in this company, and I’m going to start paying closer attention to their competition, just to see how they stand up to their competition in the upcoming years.

We couldn’t locate the lamp in the store inventory or in their warehouse, so he sold me the display at a discount. Shouldn’t they have a better process for out-of-stock inventory, I wondered?

If you work for a company where top management wants to hear the voice of the employees and the customers, you are fortunate. If you later go to a company that doesn’t want your input, you will likely feel belittled and probably won’t want to stay very long. I’ve been in this store many times before and I didn’t see this nice, helpful man. I’m wondering how long he will last in this culture. Will this good worker burn out here? Will I see him here in a few months? In a way, I hope I don’t, because he deserves better. He’s too smart and too nice to last in this top-down driven culture.

If you’re in control of your business, but your business is going down, you may be able to capture ideas from your employees and customers to help turn it around. If you’re interested in more ideas on how to continuously improve your business, contact Dr. Lorraine for a consultation. You don’t know what you might be missing. If you’re not careful, you may be running out of lamps. It’s not easy to work in the dark!