Dollar Store Philosophy: 12 Amazing Things Being a Cheapskate Can Teach You About Life

Dollar Store Philosophy: 12 Amazing Things Being a Cheapskate Can Teach You About Life

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” ~Lord Byron

I don’t know about you, but I have an occasion now and then that takes me into a local dollar store. Sometimes it’s because I know I can get a certain thing there cheaper than anywhere else, and sometimes it’s just because I happen to be in the area and figure I’ll stop by to see if anything on my list can be picked up for a buck.

Okay, you caught me. It’s MOSTLY because I’m a total cheapskate. I can’t help it. It hurts me to spend money that isn’t necessary when I could have something of the same or similar quality for much less if I’m willing to find it. 

What, you thought that was a secret? Oh no, my friend. I kinda like that about me. So much I’m willing to do this.

Go ahead. Click it. Tell the whole tweeping world! I don’t even care. In fact, I dare ya!

Wasn’t that FUN??

Anyhoo, I have an idea for you to consider today. 

I propose that, next time you go to the dollar store, you can pick up something more valuable than clothes pins, candles and funky socks.

Yeah, I love a good bargain just as much as the next cheapo, but next time you’re cruising for one, try stocking up on some really useful life lessons too. 

Are you ready to discover how dollar store shopping can make you smarter and more productive? Let’s do this. 

How does any of this have to do with life lessons? Seriously, you wouldn’t think that shopping on the cheap (yeah, I’m proudly a cheap shopper – why spend more than you need to??) would induce any seriously philosophical thought, but somehow, my brain goes there – and I’m always happy to share it because, even though it might come out in a somewhat unorthodox way, it might be exactly what someone needs to read in order to finally have that breakthrough moment they need. So stick with me – I’ll explain after the jump!)

life lessons cheapskateSo, it occurs to me that shopping on the cheap could actually teach you a little something about how to get what you want in your life – and about how to do it successfully every time. 

Indulge me a moment, won’t you? 

12 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Bargain Shoppers

Here’s how bargain shopping can relate to your being ultimately more successful in every aspect of your life.  Yes, there are serious lessons you can learn from your cheapskate friends. 

  1. Plan ahead. It’s easy to become carried away at the dollar store and start loading up your cart with specials that you really don’t need. Writing out a list helps you to resist impulse shopping and other temptations.
  2. Seize the day. And don’t miss any potential opportunities. Watch for exciting circumstances and opportunities that come your way – and be sure to grab them! Keep your eyes open for new friends just like you watch for marked down items.
  3. Look beyond the surface. You probably know that retailers sometimes lure you in with low prices on certain merchandise so you’ll stick around and buy more. Think carefully about how you invest your money and efforts.
  4. Manage your time. Part of the appeal of dollar stores is their convenient one-stop shopping. Check your schedule regularly for other ways to free up time.
  5. Make a comeback. A lot of the merchandise in discount stores is leftovers that customers passed over in other shops the first time around. Give yourself a second chance when you need one.
  6. Do it yourself. Some of the best buys are staples like cleaning goods and greeting cards. Then again, you may be able to save more money by making them yourself.
  7. Appreciate quality. Finally, some items are overpriced even when they cost a dollar. Check the label to see what ingredients are in that chocolate bar or skin moisturizer. Sometimes you need to spend more to achieve the results you want. Pursuing ambitious goals could be more fulfilling than coasting along.
  8. Break free from labels. By now you’ve probably noticed that most of the merchandise at dollar stores costs a lot more than a dollar. Think twice if you’ve been letting any label limit you. A stay-at-home mother can return to college, and a bookworm can learn to play field hockey.
  9. Throw a party. Dollar stores also specialize in party supplies. Why wait for Christmas when you can treat your friends to your hospitality all year long? Parties help you strengthen your support network and connect with others in a setting outside of work.
  10. Give stuff away. Studies show that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves. Even better, dollar stores will stretch your money so you can enjoy more happiness. Give your coworkers novelty candies or toys. Surprise your babysitter with a funny t-shirt.
  11. Change your look. A new hairstyle or home improvement project can lift your spirits and build your confidence. Try on a variety of hair bands. Paint an old chair.
  12. Lighten up. As long as you love something and it’s functional, why worry about whether it comes with a prestigious label? If your kids seem to lose their socks after each gym class, buy cheaper pairs. If you want to save up for a house, simplify your wedding decorations with a visit to the dollar store or borrowing a cake stand from a friend.

Bargain hunters love dollar stores because they’re cheap and convenient. Now, these discount shops can make you wiser and more prosperous too. The strategies you use to find the best deals on toothbrushes can help you to overcome other challenges and live out your dreams, right? 

So what about you? Tell me about your bargain shopping habits. Maybe they’ll inspire even more life lessons (or give me some good ideas! LOL!). Let’s talk. 

Learn to Love Yourself, Live the Life You Want: 8 Simple Steps

Learn to Love Yourself, Live the Life You Want: 8 Simple Steps

create yourself“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan

When you like the person you are, making life choices becomes easier because you trust your own judgment. You recognize that you have the power to create whatever it is that you want for yourself and your family.

Try these strategies to raise your self-esteem:

  1. Stay in tune with your thoughts. Notice when you’re thinking negatively about yourself. When you can identify the types of situations in which you tend to put yourself down, you can then do something about them.
  1. Squelch unhelpful thinking. After you take notice of the situations that trigger those negative thoughts, you can set out to stop such thoughts or at least divert them. Do so by developing your own imagery technique.
  • Imagine a stop sign and tell yourself to “stop negativity now.”
  • Visualize that you’re at the beach or your grandmother’s house, where you always feel relaxed and self-assured.
  • Another way to quell unwelcome ideas is to seek out something positive in the situations you find challenging. For example, if you feel you’re socially inept, make it a point to help others open up to you by asking questions about their work or hobbies. You’ll likely find some common ground for a great conversation.
  • Learning to stop negative thinking increases your self-confidence and emphasizes that you choose your own path rather than a recurring, unfocused thought pattern.

3. Know your strengths.Occasionally reflecting on what you’re good at will help you see that you’re cherished, important, and helpful to yourself and others. List everything you can think of that you do well. Be generous. If nobody makes a ham sandwich like you do, write it down. If you consistently win at golf, include it. Make your list longer and longer. Keep adding to it. Challenge yourself to add one strength a month to your list. As your list grows, so will your positive feelings about yourself.

  1. Underscore your unique or quirky aspects. If you can recite the name of every major Manga comic book or all the elements on the chemistry table, you’re a truly unique individual. Embrace these special talents with the care and attention they deserve. Plus, there’s likely someone out there looking for the off-beat talent or knowledge you hold.
  1. Accept your positives and negatives. Learn to accept the parts of you that you’ve tried to reject in the past. See those less desirable aspects as insurance that you’re a member of the human race.
  • Personal acceptance helps you see that everything in life has a delicate balance and all parts of you create the very special “you” that you are.
  1. Stay focused to live your best life. Although it’s wise to be aware of your less than positive aspects, focusing on the good things will help you excel and continue accomplishing your goals. Keep moving ahead.
  1. Every morning, make the decision to be in a “good mood.” It’s a lot easier to accept who you are when you feel good about this day. Open yourself to the possibilities around you.
  1. Set goals that you want to accomplish. Rather than working toward what your parents or friends think you should do, search within yourself what you’d like to work for in life and then go for it. Life is a lot more fun when you choose what you want.

Liking yourself allows you to share with others all the good you have in your heart. And the more you do, the more positive energy you have flowing in to your life. Set out today to put these tips into action. You’ll enjoy your best life ever!

Forgiveness is the Antecdote for a Toxic Life

Forgiveness is the Antecdote for a Toxic Life

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” ~Oscar Wilde

When was the last time someone really pissed you off, hurt your feelings or shocked you (in a negative way) with their behavior?

People can be cruel–let’s face it, some of them are downright assholes who bring a serious element of toxicity into your life. They say and do the meanest, most damaging things. I have been personally shocked on more than one occasion at the blatant rudeness of some people.

(This is especially the case when we’re talking about narcissists!)

When it happens to you…

Having been a victim of unkind treatment, you’re probably reeling with anger. You feel like forgiveness is the least suitable response you can give.

Surprisingly, however, forgiveness is the quickest and most lasting way to get over the anger and hurt! But how can you just forgive someone who has hurt you so?

Achieve true forgiveness and gain peace with these approaches:

Confront the issue. It’s very easy to want to block negative situations out of your consciousness, but that approach may be causing more anger than you know!

  • Take a hard look at the issue. Say aloud, “This happened to me.” Doing that may cause some of the feelings to resurface. But when you’re done crying, you’ll likely be free from tears going forward.

What happened was a thing of the past. It happened, and you’re still here to tell the tale. Is it really worth affecting your peace of mind? It’s probably time to move on with your life!

Consider your involvement. Perhaps you didn’t consciously trigger a reaction from the other person. But there could very well be something that affected them. They just chose to address it in an unhealthy and unhelpful way!

  • It’s really not about playing the blame game. One human being has no right to offend or hurt another. If you were offended, take a look in the mirror before deciding how to deal with it. You’ll likely recall scenarios where you may have wronged someone as well!

Wear the offender’s shoes. Consider how it must feel for the person who now realizes that they hurt you considerably. After the initial emotion passes, they start to feel regret for their actions.

  • It’s always a good idea to try and switch roles. See it from their viewpoint. If you’re yearning for someone’s forgiveness, you’ll likely rejoice when you finally get it.

Consider the impact of anger on your life. When you hold on to the anger and resentment, it starts to eat away at you. Whether or not you know it, your happiness ends up being a fraction of what it could be. Anger negatively affects your quality of life!

  • Do you find yourself being short-tempered with loved ones and friends? You may feel your reaction is justified. But if you think about it, you might see that you overreacted.
  • Take some time to consider why you’re so angry or maybe sad. Grudges almost always bring and sustain negative emotions that can affect you long-term.

Once you try these approaches, you’ll experience the benefits of forgiving those who offended you. You’ll see how useless it is to allow the negative emotions of holding on to your hurts to drag down your quality of life. In fact, you’ll likely want to go back and forgive everyone who has ever hurt you!

Learn to freely forgive others and give your mind the rest it deserves for a peaceful, truly happy life.

Get Over It: Quit Your Bitching, Change Your Life

Get Over It: Quit Your Bitching, Change Your Life

“So many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable. It’s like someone staying in a bad marriage or relationship – it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day, versus leaving and not knowing what to expect.” ~Ellen DeGeneres

Drama_Drama_Drama_Queen_by_pearl_vedderDo you know someone who always has some kind of drama happening in their lives? You know the type. You can find them on your friends list on Facebook–just look for the ones who always seem to be looking for some kind of attention.

They’re posting about how terrible things are in their lives, and they are PISSED OFF at the world–or they think the world is “against” them. They just won’t stop their bitching–and you can sort of understand why.

From the outside, you have to assume life must be pretty tough for them.  Statistically, they are more likely to express negativity than any other emotional concept.

They are the people who always “expect the worst and hope for the best.” These people apparently aren’t aware that you DO get what you expect. So they bitch. They moan. They complain. And still, nothing changes.

These people? Their thinking is quite flawed. I know because I WAS them not so long ago. Of course, that was before I understood that generally, we get what we expect.

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” ~Zig Ziglar

Transform Your Life With This 4-Step Approach to Complaints

Complaining can completely ruin your life by taking all the happiness out of it. Spending time criticizing everything is the easiest way to become dissatisfied about anything that crosses your path. When you constantly complain, you develop a negative mentality about everything. That leads to discontent and inner misery. Obviously you want to avoid those feelings at all costs.

If you’re displeased with life, make it your mission to change your situation! Flip things around: use each situation that you’re unhappy with as an opportunity to set a goal that will bring you joy, instead.

Turn negative expressions into positive actions with this four-step approach:

1. Challenge yourself to fix it. If something is really getting under your skin, make it your goal to fix it! Get to the root of the issue and make the necessary changes.

  •  It’s easy to complain about everything, but much more difficult to fix it.
  •  Let’s say your exercise partner is chronically late for your workouts. Instead of complaining about it, make some difficult changes. Find another partner. Sometimes tough love is the best way to go!

2. Find the positive in the situation. Compulsive complainers usually have difficulty finding the positives in a situation. You’re usually so tuned into the negative that you overlook the positive aspects.

  •  Try digging a little deeper than the surface. Take the time to find that “diamond in the rough.”
  •  Do you often complain that you haven’t received a raise at work? Take a moment to acknowledge that you’re fortunate to have a job, unlike many others in this economy. At least you know that the same bills you paid last month can get paid this month!

3. Practice contentment. Make contentment your goal for the next few weeks. It might be the solution to your urge to complain.

  • Everyone can find something to complain about. However, you’ll only make yourself feel miserable by complaining.
  • Think of all the blessings in your life and be content about them. For instance, if you’re in great health, try feeling contentment with that.

4. Solicit feedback. Constant complaining usually means you’re feeling discontentment and unhappiness. Sometimes looking inward is the best way to recognize the source of your misery. Ask your loved ones to size you up in a very honest way. Just ensure you’re ready to hear what they have to say!

  • Are you surprised that your loved ones find you miserable? Is it a shock that they don’t consider you a pleasure to be around? That’s the reality of a complainer. You find so many faults with the world that you make others around you uncomfortable.
  • Take the feedback for face value and use it to make really great changes in your life.

As a complainer who’s now “seen the light,” you’ll realize that there’s a lot for you to change. The good news is that you’re already in goal-setting mode. Make every effort to turn things around so the world seems sunny and bright instead of dim and gloomy–and your world might look a whole lot better.

 

You Don’t Need No Stinking Approval!

You Don’t Need No Stinking Approval!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

Good news: You Can Free Yourself from Needing the Approval of Others

Since we were children, most of us learned that it could be advantageous to make others happy. Most children want the approval of their parents, teachers, and peers. We tend to carry that same tendency into adulthood. While it’s natural to seek the approval of others, sometimes it might not be for the best.

Being a strong and free person includes the ability to move freely through the world without excessive concern about the opinions of others. Think about the people you respect the most. Do they allow the opinions of others to dictate their decisions? You can live the same way.

Live life on your own terms with these tips:

 Learn to say what you think. If you’re concerned about the opinions of others, you’ve probably developed a habit of keeping your opinion to yourself.

  • Start giving your opinion on smaller issues. For example, if you’re asked what movie you’d like to see, give a specific answer.
  • As your comfort level improves, you can speak up about more important issues.

Take the time to appreciate yourself. Keep a few minutes each day to remind yourself of all the things you like about yourself. Think about all the good things you do each day. List your positive characteristics.

  • If you can approve of yourself, you’ll be less likely to need approval from others.

Remind yourself that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. There are a wide variety of people in the world. So no matter what you do, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you. Interestingly, those that try to please everyone tend to be less respected. Others admire confident people, and confident people march to their own drum. 

There’s more gray area than you think. Many people that desperately seek the approval of others believe that perfection is the only thing that pleases others. You’re not going to be condemned (or considered a saint) for everyday words and actions.

  • Even the best people occasionally do or say things that most would consider to be negative. Others understand that no one is perfect all of the time. Do you judge people harshly over minor issues?

 Avoid reacting to disapproval in a way that encourages the criticizer. Many people use disapproval as a way to control others. When you apologize unnecessarily or change your opinion in reaction to disapproval, you might be simply rewarding that other person.

  • If you feel that another person is being unreasonable, consider confronting them in a calm, reasonable manner. You’ll likely find that the criticizer’s tendency to disapprove will stop when it fails to affect your choices. The disapproval you’re showing is fair under the circumstance. For once, disapproval will work for you instead of against you!

 Before taking an action, ask yourself if you’re primarily doing it to receive approval. Try to eliminate activities and choices from your life that are driven by the need to have others think highly of you.

  • Do a few things each week that you enjoy, even if they’re not going to impress anyone. It gets easier with time.

We all seek the approval of others from time to time. But allowing that need to control your thoughts and behavior makes life less enjoyable and more challenging.

The first step to changing approval-seeking thoughts and behavior is recognizing them as they occur. With a little work, you’ll find that the disapproval you’ve been avoiding has much less impact than you thought! It’s simply not a big deal. Free yourself from needing the approval of others. You’ll be glad you did!

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