Posts filed under ‘Frugal Living’

Where do you fall on the personal finance spectrum?

Image result for 20 dollar bills  canada

Finance writer Trent Hamm divides people into categories based on their financial decisions.

The idea of a savings spectrum, as described by Hamm, intrigues me. It makes it easier to understand the differences between households and how one can save so much more than another, and how lifestyle choices affect that. Seeing an actual savings rate portrayed in percentages is helpful too; it makes it easier to see where I fit in, relative to where I want to be — and what I need to do in order to get there.

Hamm’s finance spectrum consists of seven categories. These are differentiated by colors.

RED are those people living paycheck to paycheck, with a savings rate of 0% to 2%. These people usually have nice things, expensive homes and new cars, take swanky vacations, and treat their possessions as disposable.

Read Where do you fall on the personal finance spectrum? by Katherine Martinko at Treehugger.



March 21, 2018 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

The Nursing Home That’s Also a Dorm

More retirement and nursing homes are asking college students to move in, an arrangement that benefits everyone.

On his way home from class, Jurriën Mentink takes a slight detour to pick up some fresh fillets from the fishmonger. His neighbor has an affinity for fish and, since he cycles by the market anyway, it’s really no trouble.

After paying, he hops back on his bike and heads home. He’ll visit his neighbor, have dinner, maybe do some studying or kick back to watch TV. Much like any other university student.

Except home is a nursing home. And his neighbor just turned 93.

Read The Nursing Home That’s Also a Dorm by Tiffany R. Jansen at City Lab.

February 7, 2018 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

TLTI thinking tiny (homes)

When it comes to new housing, the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is thinking small.

Tiny, in fact.

Council members decided this week to embrace the tiny-house movement that has become the darling of environmental trend-setters in the United States and Europe.

They asked planning director Elaine Mallory to prepare a zoning bylaw amendment that would remove the minimum size requirements for new houses, and include tiny houses in the township’s definition of permissible dwellings.

The township’s building rules now say that new houses should be at least 807 square feet in size, although houses can go as small as 484 square feet in a mobile home park.

Tiny houses, on the other hand, can run as small as 223 square feet, plus a “wash closet” in the bachelor model.

Read TLTI thinking tiny (homes) by Wayne Lowrie at The Brockville Recorder and Times.

Hat tip to Transition Brockville for this post.




October 18, 2017 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors

senior-shared-housingThe term “elder orphan” describes a senior citizen who doesn’t have children, a spouse, or family nearby to help them out. Elder orphans are often socially isolated and at-risk of not having their basic needs met. As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, housing alternatives, such as senior villages, senior cohousing networks, and shared housing units, are emerging as community-focused solutions to the problem of isolation.

While shared housing may be thought of a something young people do, it offers seniors social connection, an informal support system, assistance with tasks, and an opportunity to save money. I spoke with Annamarie Pluhar, shared housing advocate and the author of “Sharing Housing: a Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates,” about the best ways for seniors to find and keep housemates and enjoy sharing their home with someone else.

Read How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors by Cat Johnson at Shareable.

July 24, 2017 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Make Your Own Off-the-Grid Yogurt in Large Jars

Water bath pot over pilot light method. Photo © Liesl Clark

I’m amazed at how hard it is to find yogurt in glass. Supermarket yogurt is all in plastic containers and if you’re trying to keep your family plastic-free, yogurt would have to be taken off your list. Unless you make your own.

The simple process of making yogurt in a pot, bowl or jars in the sun or by a fire should’ve stuck with me, but somehow I became complacent thinking I needed a yogurt maker to make the good stuff. Not so.

Today, I make yogurt in bulk — large quart mason jars of it so I can share starter with friends or barter it for other fresh produce or home-made goodies. I don’t need any electricity to make it so I call it off-the-grid yogurt, reminiscent of my teen days in France.

Read the full article: Make Your Own Off-the-Grid Yogurt in Large Jars by Leisel Clark at Trashbackwards.

July 10, 2017 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

The Easiest Way To Compost


So you’re ready to take the plunge and start composting. You’ve made the space, and put aside time to figure it out: this is the year. Two deep breaths. Now, how do you do it? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
Here’s What You Need

1. Carbon-rich “brown” materials, such as fall leaves, straw, dead flowers from your garden, and shredded newspaper.

2. Nitrogen-rich “green” materials, such as grass clippings, plant-based kitchen waste (vegetable peelings and fruit rinds, but no meat scraps), or barnyard animal manure (even though its color is usually brown, manure is full of nitrogen like the other “green” stuff). Do not use manure from carnivores, such as cats or dogs.

3. A shovelful or two of garden soil.

4. A site that’s at least 3 feet long by 3 feet wide.

Read The Easiest Way To Compost at Rodale’s Organic Life.


June 5, 2017 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

17 Vegetables for a Shady Garden

A shady yard doesn’t have to dash your vegetable gardening dreams. There are actually a number of vegetables that will do quite well with just a few hours of sun each day. Though these partial-sun plants may not produce the bountiful harvests that they would in full sun, they will still do quite well.

Most vegetables love the sun, and require a full day of good light to flourish.

 However, if you have a spot in the yard that gets just 4-6 hours of sun each day, you can still have a great little veggie garden. Here are some plants that should thrive.
  • Asparagus: It will take two to three years before your asparagus starts to produce, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Choose a good patch where it can run and grow, and you will be greeted with fresh stalks each spring. Asparagus plants can produce for up to 20 years!
  • Beans: Try beans that grow in a bush, rather than pole beans. These tend to do much better in the shade, and will grow quickly.

Read 17 Vegetables for a Shady Garden by Erin Huffstetler at The Balance.

May 24, 2017 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

Make a donation
Find local resources

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 165 other followers

Recent Posts

Transition Network
Transition Initiatives Primer


%d bloggers like this: