Friday, October 10, 2008
Many of you think the sky is falling. I want to clonk you on the head like the V-8 commercials. *Clonk* Please don’t be Chicken Little and convert your paper losses to real ones. If you need the money and need it now by all means pull it out. But if you’re a long-term investor like me then ride this out. I’ll be with you sitting on the surfboard careening towards the rocks. I’ll hold your hand. Our stomachs may lurch and leap into our throats but that’s the thrill of the ride. The tide will turn before we collide. Have you ever ridden a roller coaster? Did you crash? No? See - people pay good money for this type of excitement. Today it’s yours for the taking.
And remember the adage buy low and sell high? Yesterday after market close I bought more stock for my retirement portfolio. I’m dollar-cost averaging my way through this mess and hope to make some money in the future. My husband rolled his quarterly bonus into his 401K. Have these stocks and funds declined? Probably. I haven’t looked. The market is falling again today. It will continue to fall for some time. But it will come back. And, honestly, if it doesn’t then we’ll all be together on this sinking ship and I’ll stop thinking about the market and figure out how to swim.
Investing is an activity for a person with a strong constitution and time to wait. Turn off the television. Put down the paper. Yesterday I bought stock then baked a batch of cookies while catching up on This American Life. We will all be fine - eventually.
This is not to say that you should not save and conserve money. As such here are my frugal tips for the week.
1) Make your own holiday decor. Typically I buy one or two decorative items a year. I buy these things on deep discount after the holidays and save them for the following year. But this year I’m not even going to do that. Instead I’m tapping the creative bones of the internet and will be making holiday decor.
Check out this tutorial for a fall bunting from recycled newspaper. We’ll be making this over the weekend.
2) Force your own bulbs. The days have been cold and grey over here. We are in for a long season of political and economic turmoil coupled with crummy weather. What better way to lift your spirits than with flowers.
I’m currently re-blooming an amaryllis bulb saved from last year. Hopefully it will bloom around Thanksgiving. And I ordered Paperwhites from BloomingBulb.com. I got 25 bulbs for $18.20 including shipping. Hint: sign up for their newsletter for a 10% discount.
Plant in simple thrift store containers or containers from around the house and you’ll have a fantastic inexpensive holiday gift. Containers not so pretty? Wrap in gift wrap. Small paint cans work great. Check out these tin can herb pots. They could easily be used for forced bulbs.
Worried about forcing your own bulbs? It's easy! Here's a great set of growing instructions. Five containers of bulbs for less than $20.00; I know what my kids’ teachers are getting for the holidays.
Not only did I bake cookies. I also made another bag. This one, sewn from thrift store fabric, is for my knitting projects. These bags are supposed to be re-usable grocery bags. Perhaps I’ll get around to make some for actual shopping one of these days ...
Have a great weekend everyone!