Monday, 24 August 2009

Congratulations to All You Survivors

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, full-cream milk, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitch hiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers with which to blow up frogs.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because....... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY, no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms ....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT.

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bullies always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Don't bother sending this to the young generation. They'll think it's a script for Monty Python!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

10 Paulo Coehlo Books for Only £18

Great news for Paulo Coelho fans - I just bought 10 of his books from amazon for only £18:
(The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Witch of Portobello, Veronika Decides to Die, The Fifth Mountain, The Devil & Miss Prym, The... Valkyries, By the River Piedra)

Follow this link to order, Paul Coelho Collection - 10 Books with free P&P in the UK:

Monday, 10 August 2009

How to Make a Million Dollars While Eating Lunch

Posted: 09 Aug 2009 03:01 PM PDT by Millionaire Mommy Next Door

In response to my last post, Would You Ditch A Car For $1,000,000?, a reader made the comment: “As a grad student in an urban area, I don’t have a car (nor could I afford one) and I use public transit. … I wish there was a “big ticket” item like that that I could easily cut out of my life, but there just isn’t. Instead I try to cut back on small things and aggressively invest for cashflow.”

While savings do accumulate faster when you cut back on the biggest budget-buster categories (housing, transportation, insurance and taxes), the little things do add up. Take for instance:

My Million Dollar Lunch Recipe

Replace your $9.50 restaurant lunches (sandwich, fries, soft drink, sales tax, tip and mileage) with a nutritious $3.00 lunch brought from home.
Deposit your $143 monthly savings ($6.50 daily, 22 working days a month) into a Roth IRA retirement account.
Invest in equities (stocks, mutual funds) at a 10%* annual long-term average rate of return.
Let your account simmer for 41 years.

Recipe Yield = $1,000,837

Serve: During retirement with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Total deposits = $70,356
Total interest earned = $930,481
Total taxes paid = $0
Total Saved= $1,000,837

Optional Garnishes:

Combine with a 20 minute walk to the park for lunch.

Yield: 1,277,232 calories– enough to keep off (or lose) 365 pounds! (Calculated for a person weighing 140 pounds walking 4mph for 20 minutes (1.33 miles) 5 days a week for 41 years.)

Pack a lunch for your spouse.

Yield: An additional $1,000,837

Add a group of supportive friends for lunch to work on the Baby Steps to Financial Freedom together. Yield: Financial freedom – with friends who will have the resources to enjoy it with you!

Isn’t it amazing how much money you can amass by investing small amounts over long periods of time?

Once you think in terms of investing instead of spending, look for ways to duplicate this process in other ways. Consider the following actions:

- buy staples in bulk and invest your savings

- invest your employee bonuses

- invest unexpected financial gifts and inheritances

- invest your tax refunds

- buy a term life insurance policy instead of a whole life one and invest your monthly premium savings

- buy a used car instead of new and invest the difference in price

- borrow books, movies and music from your local public library and invest your savings

- save and invest your pocket change

Imagine this: Starting with $0 and depositing $5,000 annually in a Roth IRA account over 41 years (at a 10%* annual rate of return compounded monthly), you will have $3,081,554.

Total deposits = $210,000
Total interest earned = $2,871,554
Total taxes paid = $0
Total Saved= $3,081,554

Choose affordable and cost-effective options and rather than feel deprived, feel excited that you get to invest the difference in yourself and your future.

~ Bon Appetit!


*The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2008, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 9.7% (source:

Obviously amounts and interests rates will vary per geographic area but you get the idea.

Total savings are calculated in actual dollars (not inflation-adjusted). A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a long-term average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2008.

Read Antonia Harrison's blog

We Just Bought a Wii

My sons have just ordered a Nintendo Wii Console (Includes Wii Sports) from for £164.99 (including free delivery) which meant they could pick another game for just £15. They chose Mario Kart with Wii Wheel (Wii) - Wii Remote Not Included. The price is adjusted at the checkout stage.

I treated myself to Wii Fit (Wii) which includes strengthening exercises, Yoga and balance sports like ski slalom. My son needs to strengthen his back muscles so this will also benefit him. I also bought a Wii Fit Balance Board Rechargeable Battery (Wii) for just £4.87, a Logic3 Wii Fit Balance Board Cushion Mat (Wii) and a Remote Charging Stand (Wii)

We are going to install the Wii in their playroom so there is enough space to play the games. This is not just sitting in front of computer games because these games use your muscles by imitating the movement of the sport in question. I have only played bowling up to now but I really felt it the next day. I have a friend who uses his Wii to play tennis so no more excuses about cost, weather, time etc. as a reason not to play in a tennis club. Now he just switches it on and enjoys the exercise.

I think I shall be buying Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Wii) and Wii Sports Resort (Wii) with Wii MotionPlus Accessory for Christmas. The Sports Resort has 12 different categories on game including wakeboarding.

Antonia Harrison lives in Belgium. Read Antonia's blog.