Category Archives: Think

Free Rides Home to Prevent Drunk Driving

Sending this to my friends---free rides to prevent drunk driving!

I had an interesting conversation with my Japanese friend while she was visiting a few years ago. We were driving through an area laden with bars and night life.  Which can be a fun area if drinking is what you’re there for.

But that wasn’t what we were there for, and it got us talking about drunk driving. I related the lives I’ve known that have been lost to the horrible mistakes of both themselves and others while under the influence and behind the wheel. I lamented the lack of consequences for those who do drink and drive.

She looked shocked. “It is not like that in Japan. If I did that, my father would lose his job.”

Hell, yes, Japan.

Costs of Drunk Driving

Our system is way too lenient. But that doesn’t mean there are no consequences. Here’s some of what you face if you do drive drunk:

  • A night in jail.
  • Bail money.
  • A fine.  And a big one. They get bigger the more offenses you have, but the first one is nothing to laugh at.
  • Possibly extra time in jail. Upwards of six months.
  • A misdemeanor on your record.
  • Might have to attend AA.

Honestly, a DUI with its accompanying consequences would be good news. The fact that the cops caught you means that they got your drunk butt off the street, preventing you from killing someone else.  Or yourself.

Free Rides Home When You’re Drunk

Believe it or not, there are quite a few ways to get a free ride home when you’re drunk–especially on major holidays. Here are some of the best:

Cheap and Frugal Alternatives to Driving Drunk

Maybe you can’t get a free ride home, but you can use one of these options instead. Every single one of them is a heck of a lot cheaper than a DUI:

  • Public Tranport– This one is best if you plan to use it before you leave. On New Year’s and other holidays, cities usually leave their public transport open much later than usual so you won’t have to drive at all.
  • Sober Rides– AAA has created a compilation of programs across the country that offer DD services. They do charge a fee, but most of them not only drive you home, but also send a second driver out to get your car home, too. Check them out here.
  • Tell Siri you’re drunk. She’ll immediately offer to call a cab for you.

Cheaper Than a Funeral

Even if you pay for a super long, super overpriced taxi fare and get your car towed, the costs will still be less than that of the average funeral: $7,000. And that’s if only one person dies at your hands, not including additional damages awarded in the sure-to-happen law suit and the deep, painful remorse you’ll experience for the rest of your life.

It’s okay to have fun–as long as you’re responsible.

I hope everyone has fun time tonight–truly!

But I hope even more that you’ll do so responsibly.

 

 

Year of Bravery in Summation and 2019 Reveal

Love this twist on the new year's resolution. Setting intentions through single words, and the results.

You may remember that 2018 was my year of bravery. I did things that intimidated me. Things that I had been putting off. For the most part, this panned out well. Regardless of the end results, I learned something as a result of taking each and every leap.

Year of Bravery in Summation

Most of this I’ve told you about before. I was reticent to book my trip to Japan without my kids, but it ended up being the experience of a lifetime. I’m so glad I did it.

I wrote a book, which was released on October 15. Aside from a few trolling tweets, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I shouldn’t seek outside validation, but when you put a creative work into the world it’s hard. It’s like bearing your soul to the world, and then trying to get people to look at it. So when the feedback comes back positively, there’s a huge wave of relief.

I moved into my own place, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It has also opened up opportunities for great personal growth, though.

Going Back to School

Then there was going back to school. I thought I had this one down, but, boy was I wrong. First, the school I chose to attend was an hour and a half away. Which was fine (though I did start feeling terribly about it when the latest climate reports came out.) I can deduct the mileage as a self-employed person working towards further education, but spending 9 hours in a car per week was overwhelming. I made the right choice on which school to attend; I just wish it were closer. Or that I trusted and then owned a self-driving car.

Either way.

While none of my classmates were anything but kind, it was completely weird being in a sea of 18- to 21-year-olds. I had to adjust to the professor/student dynamic again, which wasn’t too big of a deal. It was just something I didn’t think about. I interview academics on a pseudo-regular basis for work, and have a few friends in the field. Taking that interpersonal dynamic down to an 18-year-old level again was a move I made awkwardly at first, but I think I figured it out.

I asked too many questions. I missed too many classes thanks to kids’ illnesses and snow days. For a little while there I was ill myself.

And I had to reconcile the fact that I wasn’t going to get an A on everything. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my studies. But I simply didn’t have the time. Even with substantial childcare help from my family, I had to choose kids and work over school several times, which was not a decision I wanted to face. But it was the only one that was logical at this juncture of my life.

Pretty much, I overbooked myself. So I’m taking next semester off while I get a plan together to viably try it again. While I learned amazing things and wouldn’t assign the word “regret” to the past semester, I did realize I need to do less things better moving forward. Which brings me into my plans for 2019.

The Year of Organization

By nature, I’m hyper type A. I like spreadsheets. I like planning for my future 1-, 5- and 10-years out. I oddly enough enjoy the process of filing taxes–even if the end result isn’t always fun. I like making to-do lists, and get way too much joy about crossing all the items off of them.

But the past few years, I haven’t been myself. My money hasn’t been as religiously organized. My schedule has changed at the drop of a hat over and over again both because I’m self-employed and because I’m the mother of young children. So I got to a point where I built skeletons of schedules scant on details. Which led to a lot of incomplete to-do lists.

Some people can operate in this space. I’m not one of them. So this year I’m really going to try to get back on track. To legit fix my money. To get a concrete schedule down–which will undoubtedly change a few times throughout the year–so I can cross more of those items off my to-do list.

I want that sense of accomplishment back. Because this year, I learned that while bravery comes with great rewards, I am left in a state of panic after its results come in if I don’t have a plan. I am capable of handling it. But handling it is not something I enjoy.

So in 2019, I’m going to continue to be brave. It’s a value that is now integrated into my life, I hope. But I’m also going to get organized so I can enjoy the fruits of my efforts a bit more. I’ve already got a weekly schedule down. My paperwork is almost to a point where I’m ready to file taxes. And I’ve scheduled money dates with myself for both my personal life and my business.

While this is a great time for new goals and new beginnings, remember to not wait until the new year to address any aspect of your life you’re not happy with. Start as soon as the thought or motivation comes to mind.

Do you have a word for 2019? What goals/resolutions are you currently working on?

Tech I Can’t Believe I Can Afford

This post is in collaboration with Mention Me.

This is an interesting thought. I've definitely seen prices for technology drop over my lifetime!

Recently, I took a trip down to Florida. I drove. I got a heck of a deal by using Auto Europe to book my car rental, and ended up with an SUV.

This thing had heated seats in the front. I was able to hook up my phone via bluetooth to listen to Google Maps and podcasts. And then there was the luxury I wasn’t quite prepared for: the backup camera.

I could parallel park with a new sense of confidence. It wasn’t a big deal that I had bags packed up to the ceiling in the trunk because I didn’t need to see out that window to back up. I was entering the 21st century, and it felt glorious.

That led me down the road of looking at backup cameras. Just for funsies. To my surprise, they’re an affordable add-on. Like super affordable. Like you can get one for under $150 at TadiBrothers.

As I was reflecting on my newfound ability to afford fancy tech, it got me to thinking about what other things I have thought were out of reach over the course of my life, only to have them be made available both by an increased income and the lowering of prices as technology becomes more accessible.

Smartphones

I was not on the smartphone bandwagon at first. I didn’t graduate out of my old flip phone until 2012. I didn’t want to carry my email with me everywhere, I didn’t need to be able to surf the web with my thumbs and I wasn’t into paying big bucks for data.

Then we were offered an unlimited data plan with phones whose prices had been reduced down to $10 or something ridiculous. And now I’m addicted to the dang thing, for better or worse.

Laptops

A couple years ago, I was seriously stressing about having two laptops in one house. I remember saving my pennies back in the day to contribute towards getting an internet-capable desktop with my parents. It was expensive as all get out.

What I failed to realize, and you all were kind enough to point out to me, is that computer prices have gone down dramatically since the turn of the millennium, and that having more than one per household is pretty darn normal.

What tech can you afford?

Are there any tech items you’re surprised you can afford? Was it an increase in income, a lowering of tech prices or both?

 

A Very Feminist Gift Guide

This post is in collaboration with Etsy.

This is so awesome. Definitely loading up my Chirstmas shopping list with a lot of these frugal feminist gift ideas!

The holidays are just around the corner! In fact, today’s Cyber Monday, which means you can grab some great deals–like this one on an AncestryDNA kit.

While you should definitely check out the deals today, I wanted to put together a gift guide that could last beyond the clickiest holiday all year. So today we’ll be looking at some gifts for the feminist in your life–all for $25 or under

I’ll give you a nudge to check out the book in the side bar for starters, but after that you’ve done that, here are some more great gifts at a great price.

Immigration Teewe are all illegal on stolen land

Price: $18.95

Personally, I’m mostly super white. My family was among the huddled masses that sought refuge in this country, and it’s something I’ve always been grateful for and proud of. While America has never initially loved its immigrants, I was raised in an America that was proud of its status as a melting pot.

But the fact that my family thought this was a safe and good country to come to hinged upon the fact that the white people who had come before them had robbed and slaughtered this land’s native people. Throughout our history our country has denied its native people so many rights, including the right of citizenship on its southern border. As people native to this continent attempt to come here seeking asylum from violence and persecution, we need to remember that we are all illegal on stolen lands.

This shirt from Ava Rose Apparel reminds us of just that.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Mug

ruth bader ginsburg gift

Price: $9.59

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Pioneer. Women’s advocate. Dissenter at large. With this gift from She Mugs, your feminist can start her morning with caffeine and a reflection: What would Ruth Bader Ginsburg do?

In This House We Believe…In this house we believe black lives matter love is love science is real feminism is for everyone no human is illegal kindness is everything

Price: $7.00

Seriously considering downloading this printable from littlegoldpixel for the walls of my own home. It makes me more than a bit sad that these ideals aren’t standard across American homes. Because of that, though, I want to make sure they’re reinforced with my own children. Odds are, your feminist holds these values, too:

  • Black lives matter.
  • Love is love.
  • Science is real.
  • Feminism is for everyone.
  • No human is illegal.
  • Kindness is everything.

The Fearless Girl

The Fearless Girl Statue

Price: $5.95

It could be because I’m a huge money nerd, but I find the Fearless Girl statue so powerful. Although it may have been placed by State Street Global Advisors in an attempt to distract from a lawsuit they had going on regarding pay inequities among its female and black employees, it’s also true that when women sit in the highest levels of financial corporations, the companies perform better. Even if there is a hint of irony, the statue stands for equal pay and representation, even in the face of great discrimination.

You can gift this powerful message via this photo from Modern Memory Art.

Beyonce iPhone Case

beyonce iphone case

Price: $7.99

Icon and legend Beyonce used her album Lemonade to feature the poetry of black women, express righteous anger and then an altruistic capacity for forgiveness, reinforce that black lives matter and that we need to do something about it culturally, and that women–especially women of color–have the power to economically take charge of their own lives despite facing a myriad of oppressions.

Celebrate all that goodness with this clear iPhone case from PipeszCases as you’re shopping this holiday season.

Frida Kahlo ClockFrida Kahlo Clock

Price: $17.00

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who explored so many intersections. From gender to race to colonialism to socioeconomic class, she covered all the bases in truly powerful ways. This clock from RachelClock memorializes her with a line of her poetry:

“Feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly!”

Narrative of Sojourner TruthNarrative of Sojourner Truth

Price: $7.99

If you’ve got a reader on your hands, you’ll seriously want to consider ordering the Narrative of Sojourner Truth from AffordableBooks. Truth was arguably America’s first intersectional feminist, and the pages of her narrative cover her years as a slave, an abolitionist and a feminist.

Michelle Obama Side Eye Pingrl trbl michelle obama pin

Price: $4.00

When I asked Twitter about putting together a feminist gift guide, Veronika from Debts to Riches recommended vinyl pins from GRL TRBL. I immediately started falling in love with the self-described “kitschy” feminist products by Afro-Latinx artist Emerald Pellot. When I came across this Michelle Obama side eye pin, I knew I had found my favorite to feature. Obama is a hero in so many ways, but her obvious disapproval at the last presidential inauguration was everything. She expressed what so many of us were feeling while somehow still remaining classy as hell.

Indigenous Women Teeindigenous women resisting colonialism tee

Price: $25.00

Colonialism and patriarchy often go hand in hand, and there is no shortage of strong women who have resisted at every turn. This tee from NalgonaPositiveShop celebrates a few of these heroes:

  • Malalai of Maiwand. Not only did Malalai lead forces against British troops in Afghanistan in the 1800s, but she did it as a teenager.
  • Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana. When white people came to colonize Zimbabwe, this spiritual leader also became a political leader of the resistance.
  • Haunani-Kay Trask. As Americans, we often conveniently forget that we are still practicing colonialism. Trask is a Hawaiian woman who continues to fight for her people’s culture and autonomy.
  • Teresa Magbanua. When the Spanish and Americans came to the Philippines, this school teacher made the shift to military leader. Because women can truly be bad-a.
  • Tarenorerer. A lot of us know about the current oppression of the LGBTQIA+ community in Tasmania, but the truth is that oppression in this region stretches back even farther and has its roots in British colonialism. Tarenorerer was an indigenous women who led a guerilla band in revolt against the invasion.
  • Rani Abbakka Chowta. Chowta was a Toluva queen who successfully fought off the Portuguese for over 40 years, protecting her people’s autonomy.

Confidence Poster

carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man

Price: $14.99

When society tells you you’re not worth as much–whether that be via your pay or because of how you measure up to the real way society largely defines value for women: looks–you start to internalize it. When you don’t have to live up to those standards, e.g. you’re a white man, you inherently have a lot more confidence. This poster from Murkantile Designs reminds us that we, too, can be confident with a dash of humor.

5 Powerful Habits of Ultra Successful People

This post is brought to you and contributed by Susan Ranford.

Definitely implementing these millionaire habits as I work on that money mindset!

There is a recent Harvard study that says that millionaires who made their own fortune (weren’t born or married into it) are happier than those who inherited their millions. The study went on to say that the happiest kind of millionaires are the ones that end up giving their fortunes away to charity.

As a struggling “thousandaire” trying to make it into the millionaire status, giving all your money away seems rather counterintuitive. Although that might be your viewpoint right now, things might very well change once you make that first million…ten million and so on. They say the first one is the hardest to make. Supposedly they just come pouring in once you have gotten over that first $1 million hurdle.

To help you get to that first million faster, here are some habits that will make you a millionaire.

Habits that Will Help Make You a Millionaire

Turns out, all millionaires have a few things in common. These include:

1. Passion and Dedication

You probably already know this; if you are not passionate about something, you won’t give it as much effort and time as you would to that which you love. Well, turns out millionaires have extreme levels of passion for the things that they do.

Of course, there are those who invest in things they think are wonderful business ideas and opportunities without necessarily being dedicated to and passionate about those things. What you need to remember is that these kinds of venture-capitalists are passionate about finding the right, undiscovered opportunities in which to stake their money.

2. Massive Dreams and Ambitions

No one ever made it big by just lying around without ambitions. Take Oprah for example: when she first tried getting into television, her producer told her she wouldn’t make it because she was too emotional.  But instead of giving up, she was determined and built a brand off of her feelings–those things that connect to humanity’s core. Now she’s Oprah.

Bottom-line, you need to have massive dreams and impossible ambitions if you want to get anywhere in this life.

3. Evolve and Improve

You have to be constantly working at improving yourself. We are talking about all facets of your life. Whether it be:

  • Your health (by far the most important)
  • Your intellect (comes in handy when dealing with tricky situations that could lose you money)
  • Your network (always look to surround yourself with the right people)
  • Your habits (get rid of the old, negative ones and adopt new positive ones)

It is through the little things that you build an empire. If you are determined to build wealth through investing, then you should be doing something to improve your investing skill set every single day. It is just that simple. You become an expert at what you repeatedly do with a purpose.

4. Daily Goal-Setting Increments

Mark Twain said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” The idea is to develop excellent habits but with daily increments. If you have been doing things that earn you $100 a day, then your goal and ambition should be to increase on those things and start doing that which will earn you $150 a day. Then go to $200 and so on.

The underlying habit will remain intact (you will always be setting daily goals). The only difference is that the goals set will increase in quality and output.

5. Embrace and Learn from Mistakes

Most people are afraid to fail at something and as a result, never really get to try anything worthwhile. This is something that most millionaires have in common; they aren’t afraid to take calculated risks. They accept the fact that sometimes things might not go the way they plan them to at all.

In many cases, the likelihood of failure is much higher than that of success. They do not let this knowledge paralyze them or make them timid about trying out new money-making ventures. Instead, they embrace the fact that no matter how well thought out a plan can be, there is still a very good chance that it will fail at some point. The idea is to not let that notion stop you from trying but to embrace that fact and learn from those failures so you can better your chances of succeeding in the future.

In the entrepreneurial world, no one goes from zero to hero in one fell swoop. These things take time and there is a process. You have to:

  • Equip yourself with the right skills.
  • Constantly improve on those skills.
  • Be extremely resilient.
  • Have the big picture in mind at all times.

Most of all, you have to know that lady luck tends to smile most often on those who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities she presents. After all, they do say that fortune favors the brave.

Simply sitting back and hoping to win the lottery might work for some people, but it does not work for the vast majority of humanity. The odds are just too slim. The best thing to do is come up with a tangible and plausible plan on how you are going to make your money and then get to work immediately. It is never too late to start.