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Made in the USA

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Main, Money | 0 comments

made in china

A town full of empty buildings, closed signs, and homeless people. This was the sight I was greeted with after returning to my home town after seven years in Japan.

I recently watched “Death by China“, a movie about how all the products coming from China, and the policies and methods that are used to create them, are destroying America. Since I have been out of the country for so long, the change has not been gradual.

A lot of the information in this video wasn’t new to me. It’s no surprise that there are bad and unsafe working conditions, government subsidizing, and products being made that contain toxic chemicals. What’s new is how I choose to act on this information.

In the past I would have thought, “yeah, it’s bad, but what can I do” or “the companies have all the power, so nothing will change”.

Lately though, I have come to realize that I do have influence and something that gives me back a bit of power. I have a choice. I can choose when, where, and what to spend my money on. Similar to how I decided to stop buying processed foods, dairy, and most meats after watching a number of documentaries and reading a number of books about nutrition, I can choose not to purchase products made in China or from companies who have practices I disagree with.

I can also choose to support companies who produce their products here in the US. I think very few companies are ethical. They care about profits, but if they can make more money by staying in the US, they will.

I’ve been at it for about a week, but buying US made goods hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Some things are a little more expensive, some a little cheaper, but most seem better made. In the long run, I think I may actually save money because of the products I put back that are made in China. I also feel really great about making the purchases. It may be small, but I feel I am making a difference.

Please watch the movie and see what you think. Have you ever put something back because it was made in China? Do you try to find US made? Have you noticed that disappearance of shops and factories in your town?

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Smart Financial Advice

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Money | 0 comments

Humans have gotten more intelligent as time has gone by. Unfortunately, with all the technology, our fast paced lives, and the overwhelming amount of options, it seems more difficult than ever to get good sound wisdom. So that’s why a lot of times, good sound advice comes from a long time ago. A book like the “The Richest Man in Babylon”, written in 1926, is quite a treasure  in our time of high unemployment, a lot of foreclosures, and a lot of uncertainty,

I had read this book several years ago back when I was in college and really enjoyed it. I decided to purchase it again on kindle and once again realized how wise the “money laws” in this book really are. I truly think that the world today would be in a better situation if everyone followed this advice.

The book lays out the five laws of gold (money). If you follow them, money will come to you in larger and larger quantities. If you don’t, then you will always be chasing it.

The first of the laws is to save at least 10% of every dollar that you make. This is very practical, but something that most people nowadays don’t follow. 10 percent is the minimum and of course you can always do more. I would personal recommend 20-30%. I will leave the other laws for you to read.

I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to get a head financially and away from money problems.But what if you are in debt? The book covers this too, and gives a simple formula to not only get out, but to start saving money as well. People who are way behind on their bills may need to take these ideas to the extreme or have their interest rates adjusted. Paying 19% interest rates over a long time, will keep your permanently behind.

Lastly, I will leave you with a quote from the book “Where the Determination is, the Way Cab Be Found”

 

 

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Why I got rid of my iPhone

Posted by on Sep 24, 2011 in Money, Personal Development, Time management | 0 comments

The iPhone is a pretty cool gadget. By cleverly combining a computer with a cell phone, the iPhone has basically changed the cell phone industry overnight. And this isn’t just the case in the US. I live in Japan and the market here is now almost completely dominated by smart phones. So why if it’s so great, am I giving mine up? Let me explain.

When I first got my iPhone it was great. It allowed me to make phone calls, connect to all of my social media programs, use Skype, have a decent Japanese program, and not to mention the ability to watch YouTube from bed. It seemed perfect.

However, my love affair was soon ended when I received my first bill. The cost was over triple what I was previously paying. All of a sudden all of those extra features didn’t seem quite as valuable. The idea was that when I was in the house I would use wifi, so I wouldn’t get charged for using data. The problem was that the iPhone switched between the two and my data plan was maxed every month. So in order to make sure this didn’t happen I had to turn off 3G, which meant that I then couldn’t use email.

Now, the problem wasn’t actually with the iPhone, it was with the phone companies. They realized they had something people wanted and could charge a fortune for it. They created all kinds of new plans which REQUIRED you to opt into various services, which weren’t required with other phones even though they accessed data the same way. And since people were so thrilled with their smart phones, no one seemed to care.

After having my iPhone for over two years, I have come to the realization that an iPhone is a cool device. It combines the abilities of a cell phone and a tablet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do either one if these things as well as the originals. A basic phone costs far less and will allow you to make phone calls easier and cheaper than a smart phone. You also don’t have to worry so much about it getting damaged or lost. I can’t tell you how many times I leave my iPhone in the car (leaving me without a phone) when I go to the beach, for a jog, etc.

Yes, it can be used as a mini tablet, but the screen is too small to make it comfortable to do so. You have to spend too much time scrolling back and forth on the screen.

So yesterday I shut off my iPhone and am back with a regular cell phone. This time I went real simple and my bill is a third of what it was. That will easily save me enough to save up for a tablet in a few months if I choose to do so.

My new cell phone isn’t amazing, but it does something great that my iPhone never did that well: it works as a cell phone.

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30 day challenges, how-to videos, product reviews, adventure videos, and other updates coming to Simplistic Thoughts

Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 in Enjoying Life, Health, Language, Money, Other, Personal Development, Time management | 0 comments

When I first started this blog several years ago I used to post several times a week. I then moved from Tokyo to pursue Internet Marketing and started focusing more on making a living on the web than just enjoying it. Unfortunately, I tended to ignore this website.

Lately, I am finally starting to learn how to do both. I am really excited with the content I have planned for this blog, and I think you will enjoy it.

Lately, I am really getting into video and editing and I have been wanting to do more with this on the blog. My camera was flooded on a snorkeling trip, but I have a new HD camera on the way and figured what better way to tell you about the new plans for the website than make a video. The camera hasn’t arrived yet and neither has my new computer (I am typing this on a 6 year old laptop). But, I figured rather than wait, I would get started and use what I have.

This was shot on my iphone and edited using a free program on my 6 year old laptop. Let me know what you think, and please leave comments and subscribe (you can find a subscribe button on the sidebar) to my YouTube account. I will have many more vids on the way.

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Why You Shouldn’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Feb 14, 2009 in Money, Other | 2 comments

valentines-day

To me? Absolutely nothing. Since I was a child everyone (especially the media) has told me that I am supposed to give something to someone and tell them that they are special to me. That message is so strong it also conveys that you don’t care for someone if you don’t give them something on that day. When I take a step back and think about it, the idea that commercialism decides the days and ways that I tell my loved ones I care for them is quite repulsive. And apparently I’m not the only one. According to an article by Legalmatch.com, the number of divorces actually climbs around the Valentine’s holiday.

I don’t think February 14 is a bad day to give extra love to the people close to you. But it’s not any better than any other day. And since it is expected, it’s not really that thoughtful and much less of a surprise. A day that is special to you and your loved ones could be much better.

There is also the issue that prices are jacked up around Valentine’s Day. The companies know that everyone “has” to buy and so they raise their prices. According to a recent article by the New York Times,  flower shops had raised their prices 42% pre-Valentine’s Day. But it’s not just the roses. It’s the jewelry, the chocolates, and everything else that comes on Valentine’s Day.

So what should you do? First of all, don’t surprise your partner with nothing on Valentine’s Day. If you are not going to celebrate, then let him or her know. If you want to keep with the Valentine’s theme, then after the holiday will be best time to purchase as most Valentine’s theme stuff will go on sale. With the economy going the way it is, every penny saved makes a difference. Or better yet, come up with something original.

The most important point is that any day is a good day to tell the ones close to you how much you love them and appreciate them. You shouldn’t need to have a special day to do it. Make your own special day. Not only will it be more special, but it will certainly be more of a surprise.

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How To Save Money Buying A New Car

Posted by on Nov 24, 2008 in Money | 7 comments

“You’ll never make money faster than when you’re negotiating” Roger Dawson

After completing my study at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, I returned back to the US. Having sold just about everything before I left, one of the first things I had to do was purchase a car. Since I am a bit of a car fan, I had been planning and researching for quite some time. This knowledge of knowing exactly what the car was worth and knowing what I was willing to pay, allowed me to purchase a brand new car at a really great price. The price was so good I was able to sell the car a year later  for a thousand more than I paid for it.

I have recently come across a three part guide explaining all the ins and outs of getting a great deal on a car. It is a very comprehensive set of articles and following the tips should help save a lot of money. Even if you manage to save just a $100 more than you were willing to pay, you are still making good money

How to get a great deal on a new car – Part I
How to get a great deal on a new car – Part II
How to get a great deal on a new car – Part III

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