76 Ways To Save Money

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1. Move bank accounts to take advantage of perks and earn more interest
2. Turn off the television.
3. Stop collecting, and start selling
4. Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can.
5. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store.
6. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it.
7. Invite friends over instead of going out.
8. Repair clothing instead of tossing it.
9. Don’t spend big money entertaining your children.
10. Negotiate rates with your credit card company or complete a balance transfer.
11. Clean out those closets.
12. Drink more water and carry a water bottle.
13. Quit smoking.
14. Turn off the lights.
15. Swap books, music, and DVDs on the Internet or at the library.
16. Install CFLs or LEDs wherever it makes sense.
17. Install a programmable thermostat.
18. Buy quality appliances that will last.
19. Clean or change out your car’s air filter.
20. Quit using credit cards.
21. Do a price comparison – find a cheaper grocery store.
22. Make your own when you can.
23. Avoid stress-spending.
24. Share your dreams with people you love.
25. Do a maintenance run on your appliances.
26. Cancel unused club memberships.
27. Buy used when you can.
28. Keep your hands clean.
29. Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.
30. Give the gift of labor.
31. Do holiday shopping right after the holidays.
32. Join up with a volunteer program.
33. Declutter to save your sanity and some cash.
34. Try generic brands of items you buy regularly.
35. Stick to reliable, fuel-efficient cars.
36. Avoid the mall.
37. Rent out unused space in your home.
38. Create a visual reminder of your debt.
39. Cancel magazine subscriptions.
40. Eat breakfast.
41. Swap babysitting with neighbors.
42. Don’t fear leftovers – use them up instead.
43. Go through your clothes – all of them.
44. Carry your own lunch.
45. Learn how to dress minimally.
46. Ask for help and encouragement from your inner circle.
47. Try to fix things yourself.
48. Keep an idea notebook in your pocket.
49. Look for a cheaper place to live.
50. Check out free events in town.
51. Start a kitchen garden.
52. Take public transportation.
53. Carpool.
54. Do some basic home and auto maintenance on a regular schedule.
55. Buy staples in bulk.
56. Pack food for road trips.
57. Go through your cell phone bill, look for services you don’t use, and ditch them.
58. When buying a car, look only at used models.
59. Use a simple razor to shave.
60. Find daily inspiration for making intelligent moves.
61. Read books – a lot of them.
62. Make your own cleaning supplies instead of buying them.
63. Suggest cheap activities when meeting up with family and friends.
64. Don’t speed.
65. Buy a smaller house.
66. Always ask for fees to be waived.
67. Don’t overspend on hygiene products.
68. Make your own beer or wine.
69. Cut down on your vacation spending.
70. Cancel the cable or satellite channels you don’t watch.
71. Do more charity.
72. Exercise more.
73. Utilize online bill pay with your bank.
74. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
75. Always keep looking ahead.
76. Never give up.

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Lessons From My Trip To Yerwada Central Jail

“How many years you got?”

“25 years”

“What section?”

“302”

“Murder?!”

“Yes”

“Why?”

“Our family had been exploited since years. I took my revenge, and ended the chapter. Forever.”

This is one of the many conversations I had today in my visit to south Asia’s biggest prison—Yerwada Central Jail.

We had been given special permission by the Additional Director General (Prison), Maharashtra, to conduct a transformation workshop through our Rise Academy.

There were 350 prisoners in the session.

Who are these prisoners? They are people who have committed a serious or pretty crime and convicted by a court. Some of them were just scapegoats and some were just a pawn of our crime scene, disruptive society and loopholes in law and order.

There are regular people who have committed a crime mostly in a gesture of acute anger and helplessness. Many of them will stay here for a while, say 25 years.

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Some of them for death sentence.

The start of the session was quite haywire because we couldn’t catch their attention.

They’re restless and frustrated. But towards the end most of them were crying aloud. Many felt transformation in 3 hours. Some were indifferent and walked away.

Although, I have visited some jails in past but this was a completely different experience as we got to interact one to one with many.

Most of them are filled with guilt because of the crime they committed. Most of them are products of the exploitative society and income inequality.

No one wants to live in a prison and they dream of a free life. We can’t give them their physical freedom but we tried to give them tools to get out of the emotional prison they live in.

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Life in a prison is extremely difficult and dangerous. Few transform, few become criminal for a lifetime.

The person who was serving 25 years sentence is scheduled to get out in few months but he’s scared and depressed. He has no idea what to do in the new world he’ll enter, with no family or friends as such.

The trip to Yerwada jail has been an eye-opener for me, a more exciting trip than a trip to moon.

Jail is a great teacher. It teaches the value of life, especially freedom. It teacher that, usually, you can’t escape a crime – you have to pay for it.

And what is underlying emotion; mostly?

Anger.

Anger destroys your senses and makes you a monster and in that moment, you do something terrible. You and your entire universe suffers.

I have learnt my lesson and want to request you to manage your anger otherwise it will turn you into a monster.

At the and, I feel, we’re all prisoners in our own jail of misbeliefs, suffering, ego, lust, greed, blind faith, frustrations and anger.

The only difference is they’re inside and we’re outside.

 

I Write On Others, She’s The First To Write On Me

Naaz.

Naaz.

Naaz.

I don’t have words to describe here, so I don’t thing I am going to continue writing this blog post. I’ll collect some words and get back.

But wait!

I am a story-teller and I can weave a story with or without words. It’s all about expression right?

But this lovely woman surpasses the beyond at many levels. She’s the epitome of struggle, victory and inspiration.

Guess what?!

Naaz is also a dear friend from the past glory—school days. The fun is that we never met in school but we met two decades later when some of us connected through a WhatsApp group.

As a story-teller, I keep meeting a lot people and writing about them here on my blog but she’s the first who—in friend circle—who wrote about me.

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I really don’t know if I am worthy of such beautiful words but it’s not unusual to heart it. I have heard good things about me from many outsider like from the office of Prime Minister, Indian Army, Maharashtra Police, many NGOs and a million individuals who I was able to serve in my 4-year long sabbatical.

But, Naaz is the first one—in friend circle—who attempted to write an appreciation note on me.

It’s simply beautiful, like her.

She’s a woman of substance—a teacher, counselor and motivator. Her voice, in fact, her face has a spell. One can easily get hypnotized by her looks and talks and believe me, people like her are born once in a millennium.

For me, she’s the perfect combination of beauty and brain.

Together, we’re planning to go on a mission to spread love, kindness, compassion and happiness; as she has these in abundance and I only have these left.

It’s Beautiful To Have Love As Your Name, Isn’t It Aroha?

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One fortunate school friend who’s in New Zealand, gave birth to a cute girl some days ago. But this is not what excited me to write this blog post but it’s what they named her and what is more exciting for me is the joy she’s going to feel by having such name.

The friend named her Aroha that means love and affection in Māori language; the official language of the natives of New Zealand.

Aroha is a compound word, the parts include Aro, Ro, Hā, Oha.  These words give many layers of meaning offering a profound message of love and connection.

  • Aro is thought, life principle, paying attention, to focus on, to face or front.
  • Ro is inner, within, introspection.
  • is life force, breath, energy.
  • Oha is generosity, prosperity, abundance and wealth.

Love is a very special and meaningful word to each human being. Each human being has his or her own thoughts about love to guide himself or herself to land safely and smoothly into the kingdom of love. Without this preconceived idea of love, people would be acting like a blind person searching for the light with thousand of obstacles in front of them.

Lovers run this world, the universe, the entire existence. Love was there when nothing was there and love will remain when nothing else will. Love is the beginning, love is the end, love is worship, love is the creator.

Our dear Aroha is so fortunate to have this as her name. She’ll be everywhere, the beginning, the end, the worship, the creator and all of that.

Please bless us.

In this times of hate and intolerance, it’s so beautiful to have such a name. It’s like a flower with sweet fragrance that spreads it everywhere. Aroha, I wish you good-luck in this old and joyful planet because you have just come from the heaven with vibrant and positive energy.

Godspeed.

Whatever is the question, love is the answer.

This is a quite of one of the designers of my life and by going as per the quite, Aroha will be answer to all the questions; all of them. And BTW, she’st the youngest human I have written a blog post on.

I wish I had this name.

Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi: A Saga Of Rags-To-Riches

In 1991, Hindi film Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi was a rage. Everyone was talking about the star cast and the characters in the film. The protagonist was Raghu—the same name as my dear friend Raghu Sheregar.

We were busy eve teasing him all the while and he was also enjoying it. School times were full of fun but after that a journey full of ups and downs came into lives of almost all of us.

Raghu was lost, I was lost.

Although, I found myself 25 years later, I couldn’t find Raghu until one day when we all came together as a WhatsApp group. We immediately recognized each other and also got lucky to meet in Mumbai.

He came from down south for a training—he’s a big man now—and wanted to visit the poplar Siddhivinayak temple to offer prayers. We booked a cab and had a conversation that ripped my heart into pieces and you may feel the same.

Not getting into too many details, it so happened that his family’s financial condition has smashed when he was in school itself. He had to take-up odd jobs to survive. Even paying school fee was getting difficult and being the eldest child of the family, he had to live up to the expectations of the family.

A shattered Raghu, who was otherwise a bright student, lost interest in studies and his result came down drastically. Later, somehow, he managed to get into college and focus on studies but that is the time he took a vow that he’ll outgrow the challenging financial situation and make it big one day.

But who knew that the one day might not come soon.

College life was getting tougher but as it’s said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, Raghu was determined to persist until he succeeds.

Slowly but steadily things fell into place—it was all a divine design. His determination and persistence forced the universe to bring him out victorious and shining.

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The one who didn’t have the capacity to pay for his school fee now pays school fee of many less fortunate children. The one who was lost and couldn’t see a ray of hope is now an inspiration to many around him. The one who had lost it all has got it all back; the joy, the love, the opportunities, the wealth and the soul currency.

Today, Raghu is a top officer in one of the biggest companies in the world. The company has its presence in 140 countries and our friend is doing some kick-ass work with his team. He has traveled to many countries and lives with his wife and son in south India.

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The journey in the cab was a short one but the saga made it look like a feature film on IMAX. Every moment gave me goose-bumps but kept me in awe.

Recently, Raghu closed a huge order with his diligence and extreme passion for customer support. The order was also itched by their competitors but his visionary attitude, loving-kind heart and dexterous team got his company the order. It was a national holiday season but they still offered the dame support and closed the order.

The client has sent a warm letter of appreciation for Raghu and his winning team.

Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi may translate into something as the heart doesn’t listen, and Raghu’s heart really never listened to negativity, fear, loss, cowardice and all of that emotions that becomes a reason for suicide for many in today’s times.

But he lived, still lives and inspires all around him and his story reminds me about a poem by Og Mandino:

I will persist until I succeed.

I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

I will persist until I succeed.

 

Confession: I Found My Forgiveness After 25 Years Of Disrespecting Her

As far as I remember, Almas is the only girl—after Tina and Leonie—I have troubled the most in school.

I was notorious and we used to sit together in standard seven; around 1991. I don’t know have happened and one day, I poked a sharp-pointed something in her arm. She cried and cried but I was indifferent. The teacher gave me punishment along with a direction to bring lots of chocolates for her next day.

Although, I bought her chocolates the next day, the evil act didn’t t bother me for more than two decades until I went on an inner-journey in 2013.

I was on an introspection therapy and suddenly all my actions came in front of me like computer files. This one also came right in front of me; and I thought that I had forgotten the incident.

I cried a lot that night.

I wanted a remedy to get out of this pain I was feeling and my spiritual master directed me to go for a forgiveness therapy. I desperately wanted to ask for forgiveness but I had no clue about her whereabouts and I wasn’t active on social media then.

Lately, I became active in social media and put all my energy—and prayers—to find her. The universe responded to my calling and I found her on Facebook.

With a lot of courage, I sent her a friend request. She accepted my request and I immediately asked for forgiveness for what I did to her in school. She was generous and forgave me.

Neither she, nor me had forgotten the heinous moment.

Today, we have become good friends. I went to visit her the other day. She welcomed me with a warm hug. She’s a religious woman now and has no space for false ego.

Her eyes had joy in them.

We spoke for hours together with her daughter. She almost cried while talking about the past glory. That is the time I realized the trauma she must have faced.

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She still has the same calm, innocence, loving-kindness and is a radiant persona as she was in school and I am the same mad man. But times have changed—there’s love all around.

I have a strong sense of gratitude to these people because it’s radical in these days of madness, stress and hypocrisy. This new friend is my teacher and I still feel so bad about hurting her—in some way or other.

 

I Wonder, I Wonder A Lot

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I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Someone said that there is a lot of bad things happening in this world. There’s a lot of blood in the soil.

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Then how come beautiful flowers bloom in this soil?

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Someone said that there’s a lot of distrust in the world, it’s a selfish place to live in.

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Then how come lovers are born in this world every day?

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Someone said that money is evil. It’s root cause of all suffering.

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Then why are all of us earning and after money?

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.

Someone said that stories don’t do anything at all. It’s all a waste of time. Stories are false.

Then why are we all telling stories? Why are we all reading stories.

I wonder.

I wonder a lot.