Benjamin Franklin’s quote has not lost its point in today’s fast-paced society. Years ago futurologists predicated a golden, technological Eldorado, where computers would take care for all our mundane activities, whilst we all enjoy a great deal of free time, sitting by the pool.
I am not sure about you, but I only hear that the reverse is true. Most of my friends complain about too many emails, deadlines and pressure at work. Once upon a time people had secretaries who typed their correspondence, then it all went through a process of sending and receiving. The other person had time to think, draft a response and again another secretary would type these thoughts up and the process began again. Nowadays we ping off emails with the most complex contents and almost demand a response within the hour, no time to think, no time to breathe. Now multiply this example by a thousand and no wonder everybody is under stress and overloaded. We have become slaves to a never-ending stream of communication.
Don’t get me wrong, I of course think, that technology and the internet is great – but that of course is only when it works. I think everybody has a story to tell of a printer not working, computer programs not opening correctly and so on – and that costs time!
The internet and technology has of course opened up different ways of working and living and it is fabulous how quickly we can inform ourselves about new products, services and learn something new every day, even without leaving our own home. Perhaps we have to learn to use these new products, services and strategies to our advantage, with many free-lancers and service companies now only a finger-tip away, only too happy to take some of the time-consuming burdens away. This would mean the time we gain we can do what Benjamin Franklin suggested and put strategies in place to use this time to make some money.
Step One – Take a close look at your current financial situation
Money is not the be-all, but let’s face it, we all need it and it is a vital part of our life. So let’s embrace it and let’s make it work for you!
First look at all your saving products, credit cards and current accounts. What is your current annual rate? Some products lure you in with lucrative percentages, but most of them only last so long. Are you still reaping the benefit or are these products now out of date. Do check with one of the many comparison sites you can find online. It should only take an hour of your precious time to find out just how much money you could be saving by switching your funds to a new provider! Then make it a habit of checking your products- say every three months – to see if your money is still working for you. Get complacent and you stand to lose quite a bit over the years!
Next are your outgoings. Switch provider for insurance, mortgage, bank account, utilities and so forth. Then make sure you pay for them in the most cost effective way, usually by direct debit. It is hassle free, saves time and you won’t get charged interest. The same goes for un-cashed cheques, unpaid bills and outstanding invoices? Don’t leave them in a drawer, cash them in! If people owe you money, remind them and make sure they pay you on time. It is called, having a healthy cash flow and it is the back bone of every business and household.
Step Two – invest wisely
You can’t fuel real economic growth with indiscriminate credit. You can only fuel it with well-allocated, long-term investment. James Surowiecki
Once you have managed to save a bit, now is the time to consider to invest it. Traditionally investments meant savings, pension and ISAs and that still holds true. But there are also different types of investment that you can enjoy on a daily basis like a property, wine or art. A friend of mine once bought a small painting and enjoyed looking at it for years. Finally he decided to have it valued and to his surprise it had appreciated so much that by selling it he could pay off his whole mortgage. Not an everyday story, but true!
Step Three – learn and create
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin
With your earthly investments in place and automated, now it is time to invest in yourself and your future. The best investment long-term is to learn a new skill. What new skill do you want to learn? There are so many on-line courses available now and there surely is one there for you! With these new skills you can create another source of income (see step four)
4 Step Four Set goal to achieve you dream
Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can’t even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Barbara Kingsolver
On its own, these things don’t make much difference, but put all these strategies in place and it can make a big difference to your financial and life-fullfilling future. I suggest that you use the LWTM life-style calendar as a reminder. Whenever you see the LWTM coin symbol, then make it a habit to do something about your financial situation. Over time, these little steps make a big impact on you financial future and should ensure that you can actually save some money.
If you join the membership and you will be able to download the free LWTM Goal Planner which contains a monthly and annually goal list. So you can make sense of what you want to find a way of achieving what you want out of life – and i hope that is not just money !!
If you have even the smallest of gardens there are prime times for pruning.
I usually urge people to put a lot of effort in the early spring pruning, then the Biodynamic summer pruning job should be a lot easier. But recently in the UK the weather has been so rainy and mild that most well-kept gardens have turned into mini jungles. So there is a lot to do now.
Firstly download the LWTM life-style calendar for August. It comes free with the monthly newsletter (you need to subscribe to this, if you have not done so already in the pink box on the website side bar). In the newsletter you will also find a symbols guide. For our exercise look at the pruning symbol and every time you see it that means it is an extra good day for this activity.
Sap goes up and down in plants and during the Waning Moon and especially during New Moon it is just more auspicious to do proper pruning jobs. One of my favourites is the
New Moon renewal cut: If a plant does not thrive you can try to revive it with this cut. First check if pruning in August is useful, as some plants object to pruning during the wrong season. If it is a good time season-wise, clip all the branches by a good third to half to jumpstart the new growth. You can try this method again at another New Moon.
A few years ago a water pipe burst and almost flooded our garden with the result that some of our established holly bushes were almost dead from a completely water-logged soil. But then I tried the New Moon renewal cut with great result, we managed to save them all.
If you tried a few times and the plant still does not recover then it may be effected by a bad disease or simply the spot you have chosen for it is just wrong – no sun/too much sun, wrong soil, etc. In this case you can either dig it up and see if it thrives somewhere else or just plant something else in its place.
Cutting back fruit bushes during the late summer:
August is a good month to prune red currants, gooseberries and other fruiting bushes that have already fruited. Cut the side shoots back by one third and make sure that there are not side shoots growing on the bottom of the bush.
Your can also cut back summer fruiting raspberries once you have picked them all. Cut the canes that have already fruited back to about 3cm above ground. The non fruiting canes can be tied to horizontal wires or a fence to bear crop the next year round.
This time of year is very useful to cut back hedges such as box, firethorn and thuja.
Other pruning tasks in August :
- deadhead annual roses and flowering bushes , pruning symbol (flowers and scissors)
- Plant and divide perennials (spade symbol)
- Prune flowering bushes like fire thorn (pyracantha), hornbeam, thuja hedges and Leyland hedges (scissor & tree symbol)
- Prune gooseberries, summer fruiting raspberries and red-current bushes (scissor & tree symbol)
- take cuttings from Alpines (flower in put symbol)
- Weeding, start weeding on Heat Days (red squares)
- Sow hyacinths (indoors) for the Christmas period
- For further help and information please download and read our e-book ‘Gardening With The Moon’. It will explain how to put a garden design into practice and help you find out what type of soil your garden has. It will further provide you with all kinds of tips. Form planting, digging, feeding, pruning, weeding to composting and companion planting (which plants thrive next to each other and which you should avoid planting together). In short everything you need to know to keep a well-growing biodynamic garden.
To find out more information about Biodynamic gardening, please download our e-book publication
‘Gardening with the Moon’ in the LWTM menu section.