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money

money; photo by ALJ
Money on my mind

    Blessings in disguise? The economy is --along with erratic weather and dysfunctional government-- the major news these days. We cannot do a thing about weather or politicians --at least as individuals, in the short run. God runs the weather; corporate lobbyists run Congress. Economic hardship forces us to rethink habits --wherein we can improve practices. Along that line, below are ideas that people can consider to either save money or to invest or spend it more effectively.
    Get a housemate. Of the 50 biggest cities in the USA, Seattle has the 3rd highest rate of people living alone (New data from the 2010 Census findings, as reported in Seattle Times).
    Credit unions, like co-operatives, are "not-for-profit" --they gently serve their members rather than maximizing profit for their owners. Huge Wall Street banks, not small local banks or credit unions, caused financial mayhem. But of hundreds of checks I receive yearly, only a trivial per cent are from credit unions. Credit unions largely offer the same services as banks. So, transfer funds from banks to credit unions. Now, with shared branching, members of one credit union can visit another to do business. Well known local ones include BECU, Salal (formerly Group Health), and Verity.
    Stimulate the economy. Here are 6 reasons to buy goods or services right now:

1) interest rates on savings are shockingly low.

2) spending helps the economy (assuming you live within your means).

3) online buying is currently ideal due to a vast array of offerings, competitive pricing, security safeguards, often free shipping, and usually no sales taxes. Later on, as rising gas prices increase shipping costs, as government enacts sensible sales-tax collection laws, as the dollar declines in buying power, shoppers will pay more. So far, I have bought from over 40 companies online (20+ nurseries, 20+ other). And I have sold hundreds of books online myself for 10 years.

4) local buying, such as at farmer's markets and small mom & pop stores, is even better: it directly helps our area. I only buy New World wines, figuring the closer to Seattle the better. Moreover, in October 2008, a UK team released data showing wines from most European areas (except Italy) have potentially dangerous doses of at least 7 heavy metals: vanadium, copper, manganese, zinc, nickel, chromium, and lead.

5) new technology often makes current goods more energy efficient, safer, or otherwise better than older versions that you may own. (An annoying exception is how new garden digging forks and spades are made with cheap, weak steel. If you have strong old tools of this ilk that you no longer need, please let me know about them.)

6) labor is readily available and it is a "buyer's market" for most services.

(originally published in my July 2011 newsletter)

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Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

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