Friday, May 7, 2004

ANJIES BEGINNINGS as a SAVINGS SPECIALIST


PREFACE:
I wrote this article in MAY of 2004 , long before Oprah "came up" with comparing Budgets to Diets (brilliant concept! tee hee) I wrote this article to introduce myself to a social network called BACKWASH. I only wrote a couple of articles and then stopped as the community was not really a "good fit" for me and the "process" of publishing articles was much more difficult than I was used to! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO without further ado......

HERE IS MY INTRODUCTION

Hi there, I am a resident friend in the frugal backwash arena that will be sending you the "Live Lavishly for Less" column. I thought I would take a minute and introduce you to "anjie’s world" before we get "officially" started.

"Anjie’s world" includes learning to enter contests that you can actually win, doing rebates, shopping online frugally, turning small change into dollars, getting free things, and getting off that LIFE DIET. Everyone can use this information, single moms, married dads, students reading from library computers to those in corporate offices using their laptops over lunch. Shop Macys, Nordstroms, Hechts (you can afford it, I promise) when you know how to shop "off season, with a coupon and free shipping" You may not be able to satisfy the common "gotta have it and gotta have it now" attitude that many kids are adopting today, but you will be able to have it, just be patient and you too will live lavishly for less.

I have always been interested in winning contests and won my first one when I was 8 years old. I inquired about "saving money" frequently from my limited resources, and always looked for ways to get things I was told we couldn’t afford. I sold greeting cards door to door at 10 years old, I formed a "ME" group with a few other preteens at 12, the ME stood for "money earners" we even had white tee shirts that we ironed the red letters M & E on the front. We babysat and we cleaned apartments. We lived in Goverment subsidized apartments at the time and no one had any money for luxuries but that didn’t mean we didn’t want them! I asked my mother once about a system that I heard about that you saved the labels from grocery items and could cash them in, she told me that was a ’scam’ and didn’t save you money. I was also told that there wasn’t any money but the finances were "none of my business" this was very frustrating for me and I didn’t understand how much things cost or the concept of a credit card at all. I didn’t understand how we could not afford for me to have the toys or records or clothes that I wanted but we could buy a new car. This concept just wasn’t clear, as children should be seen and not heard at that time.

My parents idea of "making it" was the KIDS doing without to pay bills. This sounded and felt to me like a "diet" you had to do without the things you want in order to achieve a goal. I never did like dieting, never saw one that you could actually stick to and frankly don’t want to live my life on a diet either. My little ways of making extra money and earning prizes paid off for me in ways that one could never imagine. Winning tickets to go to the movies and to go skating was very exciting for me at that time, and I proudly told my mother that there were ways that you could get the things you want without doing without if you really wanted them. She didn’t buy into that theory and never investigated this route because it was somewhat of a secret, people just didn’t share that kind of information.

I was totally unprepared for what life would deal me at an early age. At twenty years old I was a single parent, with no support system, no knowledge base on how to make it, no college under my belt and no real concept of "finances" "banking" "credit" etc. I had to teach myself, learn from others bits and pieces and put it all together like a puzzle and fit the knowledge into my life so that I could raise my daughter and provide her with a life that I never had. I wanted her to have everything that I could give her (within reason), food on the table, educational materials, toys, pretty clothes and to experience the world, of course, but I couldn’t afford it, so began my quest to "beat the system"

This may have been the catalyst for my dive into the world of frugality, but today I will tell you that even if I won the Lottery I would still be frugal and take advantage of the things America has to offer. There is no reason why there should be any Americans that don’t have enough to eat and there is no reason to be on a LIFE DIET. There are ways to enjoy your life, have the things you want and need, save money, invest small amounts of money that apply to all of us that will not compromise your enjoyment of life.

As you can probably tell I am very passionate about what I believe in and have learned through by life experiences. I am also a strong believer in RAOK (random acts of kindness), pennies from heaven, and KARMA the Law of Return that means, quite simply, that what you do affects what happens to you. If you do good, good is going to happen to you. You will see that there are ways to help others too in ways that you never thought possible, you will have excess in life instead of not enough, so there will be plenty to share!

That daughter is 24 years old 28 and I have another one now that is 16 20. I have two step daughters ages 22 & 12 that live with us and now have 3 grand-children. I have a college degree in Social Work and I have worked my entire life to perfect the science of being a "savings specialist." I have goals to create a proactive program (unheard of in government offices for the most part) to teach people what I do before they are in debt up to their eyebrows and / or have lived on a life DIET and begin to binge. I believe in the philosophy that you can help someone by giving them a fish if they are hungry but if you give them the fish and then teach them how to fish then you have changed their life. This applies to Everyone, not just the impoverished. Is there something that you really want to have or do that you tell yourself that you cannot afford or shouldn’t spend the money on? Well guess what? I am here to tell you that you can have anything you put your mind to and you will neva neva neva pay full price for anything if you apply some of my strategies to what you are already doing.

Well I hope that this introduction has helped you to get to know me a bit before we start our journey here. I look forward to making some friends, teaching you what I know and most of all to hear about your success in getting off your diets!

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