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Living Well on Less

April 2nd, 2006 at 11:57 am

Have you seen this before? It may be old hat, but I thought I'd share it just in case you hadn't seen it.

Someone posted this at the weight loss site I post to. I had expressed how much happier I'd felt since I'd abandoned such a fast-paced, rat-raced lifestyle, and one of the other posters shared this. I love it.

Although it speaks to the unhealthy gluttony of "first world countries," really the lesson transcends nationality.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"Then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty or twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" said the Mexican.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

And the moral is: Know where you're going in life ... you may already be there.

Healthy and Frugal Living

March 14th, 2006 at 12:32 pm

I thought I'd share some of my current strategies for exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.

My personal health goal this year is to lose 25 pounds, so that I will be at a weight I feel comfortable with. Because I have children to take care of, I find that not only are gym memberships expensive, they are also impractical. So, for exercise I:

1. Ride my exercise bike. It's four years old and cost me less than $100. I could have gotten it cheaper at a garage sale too.
2. I use the Walk Away the Pounds workout dvd that a friend gave me. I love it!
3. This just arrived today: Dance Dance Revolution for xbox! Okay. I probably paid too much for it, but the kids and I will have so much fun and it won't seem like exercising.
4. I walk an hour a day total (to and from work).
When you consider the price of a gym membership, I think that these are fairly frugal options.

Also, for eating and activity tracking, check out fitday.com. It's free and I really like it. I do think it overestimates my metabolism though.

Does anyone else have any frugal exercise/weight loss tips? I guess just eating less=savings. Smile