Pathways To Simplicity

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Survive and Thrive Tip #3: Kill the Lust for Luxury Vehicles

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Mar 30, 2017

Before writing this, I thought of the impact this article may be on those who read this. Lifestyle is a personal matter and by writing this article, I have stuck my nose on things that mean a lot to many people. It is not my intention to hurt the reader or cause someone to resort to the world of denial. The purpose of my blogs is to help or inspire others. So here I am taking the risks needed....

Living in a suburb of a major city has exposed me to thousands of vehicles on a daily basis. On my way to work, I pass by a number of high-end vehicles like Lexus, Cadillac, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and others. There is nothing special about our suburb, a lot of people are anywhere between mid-level professionals to senior-level professionals, my guess based on the county's household per capita income of $86K. We also have a few of apartment complexes, but not many.

According to a November 2014 article on the New York Times by Paul Sullivan "In Sales of Luxuries, Geography M

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Survive and Thrive Tip #2: Cook

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 29, 2016

image description Please see the definitions under this blog for some of you who may be confused. I won't assume anymore that this blog is read only by American readers. Thank you for your patience.

My previous blog talked about my preference to cook at home. I mentioned a lot of reasons that works for me. But, this is up to you. It's a free country*.

American businesses have become very savvy with the invention called "eating out". If there is an Olympic race of countries that can generate the most number of sit down and fast food restaurants, USA would win 40 years in a row! I mean we have mastered the art of stuffing people's pie holes**. We are very creative about food and what helps is we are a melting pot of people. We have the whole world's tastes at our finger tips.

According to the US Dept of Agriculture, each American household contribute about 13 percent

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Fast Food Blues

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 27, 2016

I like food. In particular, I enjoy eating home-cooked meals especially in the last several years since we've moved to a big city. Crowds are not my forte and if I opt for cheaper, that choice would be fast food. But they are not my favorite.

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In fact, if I was a psychologist, I would diagnose myself as having FFDT. Yes, it's called Fast Food Dissatisfaction Trauma. It's like a mini phobia (but big enough I would rather have stomach cramps due to hunger than stop at one). I cringe when I do go through the drive through. I just don't know anymore what I'm going to get or not get. It could be missing mayonnaise or too much mayonnaise, a ton of lettuce but no pickle or they forget my cup of water. One time I called the manager as I drove away that they missed the cheese on my order. By that time I unwrapped the food, I realized I lost 40 cents for the cheese. I'm 3 miles away

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Survive and Thrive Tip#1: Slay the Dragon

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 25, 2016

Here it is...Eliminate Debt ASAP. Wherever you can start, before the going gets too tough, overpay that high-interest credit card or car loan payment and kill it! Never pay just the minimum. If you do that, someday you may find you're so old you have great grandchildren and still haven't paid them off. Cut up the other credit cards and never use them again. Pay them off one at a time.

This can take a tremendous amount of discipline and sacrifice. This could mean foregoing some treats that you're used to, such as buying that favorite latte' each morning, shopping for extra shoes, paying for your friend's lunch or indulging in an expensive hobby for the time being. And yes, maybe not seeing your golf buddies every weekend, sorry.

image description After you slay a credit card or car debt, go after another debt like paying off that comfortable couch tha

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The Day They Took The Piano

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 23, 2016

image description I saw a lot of things leave our house when I was a child. It was during a very tough economic time. Our family lost most of everything. People came and bought our beautiful furniture pieces. Good appliances and exquisite decors left our home. But there was one thing that stood out. I still recall with a hint of pain. It was the piano. When the bank people took our piano away, it was devastating to me.

The piano, to me, was a symbol of fun times with my mom and dad. We had talent shows in our home. I would belt out the Annie musical song "Tomorrow", singing "The sun will come out..." as my mom coaches me on how to control my vocal chords. My dad was having a good time accompanying on the piano. At times, he goes off, transposes the keys and turns the Annie song into a Samba. I roll my eyes (the

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Wish Upon a Blazing Star

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 23, 2016

When we're young, we dream about our future. We know we can be whoever we want to be. We grow up and these dreams become more tangible and we dream some more. In the pursuit of our ambition, we sometimes forget the purpose of why we want to be there. We work long hours. We take on more degrees or certifications. We start a business or seek a promotion. In the process of upward movement, we dream even more. We accumulate things. We build nice homes. We buy the latest cars and gadgets. Our lives become more complex and when we get to what we thought could make us happy, we ask "Is this it?" We could keep dreaming or we could look back and change our course.

image description One night, I took an evening walk just as other nights. The first thing I usually do is see if the stars are out. I prefer a starry night over a cloudy horizon. Stars awaken m

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No Serious Recession Ramblings

Posted by: AC Johnson ⋅ Sep 22, 2016

image description Welcome to the first blog of "RECESSION SURVIVORS". Thank you for visiting. This opportunity for a fun medium of expression is exciting to me. Here's my "WHY" for starting this project: to discuss the life CHALLENGES and SOLUTIONS during recession, this cyclical and normal economic pattern that none of us can totally avoid. Such an unfortunate event had and will continue to wreak havoc to people's LIVES. No one can fully prepare for it – be it losing a job, home, family and others. I've been through a few recessions as a child and adult. The combination of such and family disintegration have caused me to say goodbye to my parents' homes, cars, things and friends. I hope through this blog, I can help others. In the process, I'd like to make you LAUGH or smile at the least. It's a serious matter but I intend to inject HUMOR into these discussions.

I com

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