Saturday, September 25, 2010

“The Good Old Days” And Frugality

Frugal Hacks

Link to Frugal Hacks

Posted: 09 Sep 2010 04:54 AM PDT
Walking in the cool of the evening on a very hot day, Husband reminds me that much of what we call "frugal" was actually called "life" when we wore the clothing of childhood. Hot, sticky, sleepless nights were just a part of summer memories. Going without air conditioning was not a sacrifice or a frugal strategy when we were growing up.  It was just how most everyone we knew lived.
A summer afternoon in the library not only provided pleasure for the mind, but coolness to the skin and the custard stand after the sun went down was a happening place. Husband has a memory of his mother on a family trip so overcome with heat as they drove through the desert, that an immediate stop was made so she could gain some composure before  getting back into the air less car. This still is a fun and precious memory when Husband and brothers gather together and reflect on life gone by. (Mom used to laugh with her sons as well when life was still hers to live.)
Eating from the pantry was not some unique plan but the result of fewer processed foods available and the wisdom of years gone by. Using what was on hand in fridge or cabinet was not so much a plan to cut the food bill as a necessity as grocery stores had many less open hours.   Entrepreneurial family businesses were called lawn mowing and babysitting as young people sought to make some cash.
Bags of hand me down clothes took the place of today's thrift shops and saving up for a future purchase was necessary in a world before easy credit. Adding ruffles to a hem to make a skirt a bit longer was not being crafty, but just a part of stretching a wardrobe. Once upon a time, hanging clothes on a line was not the stuff of homeowner association complaint, but just how one dried their clothes.
Certainly, I am not yearning to return to the "good old days."  I am most grateful to be able to turn on AC on a hot, humid night or throw a load of clothes in the dryer on a busy day.  I have no compunction about putting a prepared meal in the oven when circumstances demand and thrift shopping is to me a true delight!
But Husband and I remind ourselves that today's sacrifices are not quite as severe as we might think they are.  And again we remember that perspective is most important as we seek to live the frugal life. Anyone else have frugal memories from the "good old days?"

Advertise here
Save up to 90% at your favorite local businesses with Groupon
I love Swagbucks. You will too!
© DL for Frugal Hacks, 2010. | Permalink | No comment | Add to

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcomed but moderated to prevent spam.

Normal is Broke

Living With A Chain

How to Get a Job when No One is Hiring

When the jobs are hidden

To get a job, you have to find the openings that no one's advertising, and really impress your potential employer.

By Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporter

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- David Perry, a longtime headhunter, says you're wasting your time if you're looking for job postings online. And he should know: he's often the guy on the other side helping companies lure new talent. Perry, who's based in Ottawa, says that in the last 22 years he has accomplished 996 searches totaling $172 million in salary. And the bottom line in today's economy, he says, is you have to tap the "hidden job market."

Perry's also the co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters" and he recently spoke with Fortune.

What's the "hidden job market"?

When companies say, 'We have a hiring freeze,' that doesn't mean they're not hiring. It just means they're not adding headcount. Every year there's 20-25% turn over. So in a 1,000-person company, 200 or 250 people are going to turn over, either through attrition, or someone moves. Those companies are still hiring but they don't want to tell you.

So how do you find these jobs?

What you have to do in a recession is map your skills to employers to where you know they have a problem you can solve. My advice to job hunters is pick 10 to 20 companies, no more, and pick companies you're interested in, and that you think you can add value to. That requires researching companies, and so that list may take you two weeks. If you're trying to crack the hidden job market and you know the job position you want reports to vice president, find that vice president on LinkedIn and look at his profile to see who else he's connected to and go ask them, 'What's this guy like to work for?' Do the research before you even pick up the phone.

How can you get someone's attention?

We can go into billboards, sandwiches - that stuff only works once. It's only for one person who figures it out once, once in a city. If you're looking for fun stuff, we have this thing called the coffee cup caper, 30% of the time it will result in an interview. You send an employer a coffee cup with a little $5 swipe card with a little note that says, I'd like to get together and talk with you over coffee. I'll be calling soon. And you send it by U.S. post two day delivery, and that gets registered. So when they've signed for it, you wait about 20 minutes and then you call them. And then you go, Hi, I know you just got my package.' You're proving you're imaginative and creative.

What something people should avoid during a job interview?

This drives me insane: I've seen people mentally deciding in the interview whether they want the job. That's the last place to decide. You go into an interview, and you sell like your life depends on it. You've got to get the job first. I've seen it thousands of times. There's this point in the interview, where people go 'Hmm, do I really want this? You can see their body change. The employer picks it up and it's gone. If the employer is telling you, 'I love you,' and you're not saying 'I love you too,' it's over with.

How about following up afterwards?

If you really like the opportunity, don't go home and write thank you very much. Go back and write a letter that says, upon further reflection of what we were talking about, here's what I bring to the table, here's how I see myself fitting into the organization, including a 30-60-90 day plan.

How can someone attract a recruiter's attention?

You have to go to ZoomInfo and LinkedIn and create a profile. All corporate recruiters and probably 20% of the headhunters in America have ZoomInfo accounts. When we start a search, companies aren't going to advertise. The headhunter goes to ZoomInfo, types in requirements that we need, like skillset, degree, city, functional title, and up will come anywhere from a hundred to several thousand people who fit that criteria. Then we go to LinkedIn and run the same search. If you're in ZoomInfo with a picture, we're going to call you first. Just reverse engineer what recruiters are doing so you get found.

How can you really impress a potential employer?

It hasn't worked in years just to bring in your resume, except only in the most junior positions. I concentrate on directors to CEOs, and the last interview for us regardless is always a Power Point presentation of what you've learned, pain points, and how you intend to fix that. Everyone talks about being a great leader and great communicator, so prove it. Don't go into an interview and treat it like it's just another business meeting. Your career is your biggest asset now - because it's certainly not your house. To top of page


August 2008 Dave Ramsey on Barack Obama

This was aired in August 2008. So was Dave right???