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If you buy something in a store, there is a cost to get there: in time and in gas (or other transportation expenses). If you purchased something to be delivered, there are costs there, too — hidden costs, perhaps, but costs (to somebody) nonetheless.
When we think about it all too much, it can get our heads spinning. What is the “true cost” of every dollar I spend, every item I buy?
When I travelled to Bangladesh in January 2020, most of my time was in Dhaka — the capital city and home office location for our production partner, Basha.
For two days of the trip, however, I planned to travel to another production centre in another, smaller city. During this time, a Friends of Basha manager and I would visit the local Salvation Army office and go with the leader to “tour” the brothel across the street.
In late February/March, we sent out a survey, and SO many of you were gracious with your time to respond!
Since it was anonymous, and I can’t respond to anything personally, here are some “show notes” from the survey... a sort of “greatest hits” of the comments that came up which I can share now and respond to.
Life is expensive!
Statistics in both USA & Canada show that food-at-home prices increased from December 2021 to December 2022 by 11-12% — the fastest pace of increase in 40 years. Energy, shelter, transportation, and durable goods have all also significantly increased in price.We’ve always advocated around here for thoughtful shopping, the power of purchasing, and being aware of how we spend our money. Do my purchases reflect my values? Is this the way I want to actually spend my money? etc.
In this moment of inflation and maybe financial strain, I want to revisit a runaway category of spending and how we might (if desired) reign it all in.
One of the joys of my life has been reading books aloud to my kids.
It can be tricky to find good books for kids, and specifically good books to read aloud, and even more specifically: good books to read aloud to boys.
Here is a list of books that we have enjoyed reading together over many years, between his ages of 6 and 9.
December is always busy with extra fun (and "fun"), and we are inundated with both shopping prompts, and our own various, runaround errands.
Our family celebrates Advent as a time of waiting and anticipation, as we near the day of Christmas. We try to do something every day — sometimes a simple candle lighting, other times more elaborate with activity or treats.
One of the traditions that we never miss is to "give" each of our kids $100 on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th). The story of St. Nicholas is about generosity, and we use this opportunity to invite our kids to participate in giving financially to others.
This year, I have seen more hoopla around Black Friday & other holiday promotions than I ever have before.
Small businesses are a mixed bag: Black Friday is killing little guys! Black Friday is the only way little guys survive! Here’s why we are not doing Black Friday. Here’s why you should shop Black Friday. etc.
Established brands that never discount seem to be trying out sales on their coveted items. Frequent discounters are giving offers at new levels.
Everyone seems to be flapping their arms and looking for attention. What is going on?!
There is no “correct” way to run a book club, and there are dozens of permutations that work for different people & different lifestyles. Learn from these 12- and 43-year old book clubs to make yours a success!
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