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Repair, Don't Replace

Note: this article was originally supposed to be published earlier today, but I forgot to schedule it.

I hate it when things break. Often it seems like things break at the least appropriate times - when you need them most - doesn't it? Most of the time when something of mine breaks, it feels like there's a great need for it to work right now, and that usually leads to the impulse to replace the item right away. In some cases, this can be the correct course of action, but there are lots of things that can be repaired given patience and careful observation. This has plenty of benefits, not the least of which is cost savings from the replacement of the item, but in the case of electronics and other high-tech products it also prevents possible waste and mishandling of valuable and hazardous natural resources. Because of planned obsolescence and the ever-intensifying push to make goods more and more "affordable", many electronic and mechanical devices are designed without durability and longevity in mind. Most of the time this means that the lowest quality components that meet the minimum specifications are used to build a product, even if it means the product's effective lifetime is cut frustratingly short.

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Why You Should Enjoy Being Uncomfortable

Sometimes it is hard to see beyond our current situation. It’s all too common to feel as if we’ve reached the summit of whatever goals we were striving towards and to then relax in the comfort of the known. There’s something almost rewarding in the comfort but after awhile it can slowly begin to trap us. Something outside of the routine feels scarier and scarier. Not having the answer feels worse and worse. The natural reaction is to “stay with what you know” but that is exactly the mentality that will gradually lead us down a path where we feel like “this may be it” for us in our lives. Feeling stuck from time to time is normal, and having routines is a helpful tool, but if we only focus on what we know we’ll be condemning ourselves to a life of exactly what we have today and nothing more. Being uncomfortable is a very important part of our lives and something I think we should all spend more time pursuing.

Being comfortable isn't the way to learn to expand your abilities. Thomas Perry

Stay Out of Debt With: Smarter Shopping

With the holiday shopping season already beginning for many of us, now is an important time to be conscious of the efficiency - or lack of it - in our shopping habits. Around this time of year, it can be surprisingly easy to abandon frugality and go off the deep end of the spending pool. Left unchecked, the holiday shopping impulse can be one of the surest and quickest ways to financial ruin, but with some simple rules and strategic purchasing decisions you can give great gifts without visiting the poor house this (and every) holiday season.

I Don't Know Everything - And You Can Too!

If there is one source of stress I think we could all do without in our lives it is the worry of not knowing something. In the age of 24x7 news outlets and mobile devices it is increasingly difficult not just to disconnect but also to not feel the almost ever-present fear of missing something.  Our need to always be in the know on the score of the game, who got voted off or on to what reality TV show, the latest gossip and on and on is what is driving us to check our device of choice 100 times a day. It has got to stop and I for one am happy to have gotten comfortable saying to others “I don’t know”.

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know. Mark Twain

Two Methods to Eliminate Your Debt

Over the past few months on this blog, I've spent the majority of my time describing ways you can build wealth by preventing premature spending, investing with patience, avoiding luxury, and more, but I haven't yet focused on one of the most important aspects of attaining financial independence: paying down the debts you already have. There are two major schools of thought on this topic, and I'm going to cover both of them.

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