Advice to My Children

There’s a third book I’d like to write called, “Advice to My Children.” To be presented upon their 18th birthday and ever year thereafter as needed. Here’s the chapter on life and money.

Eat a simple balanced diet. Cook your own food. This will make you healthy. Healthy people have an easier time making good decisions about the rest of their lives.

Whenever possible, get a good night’s sleep for the same reasons.

Unless there is a compelling reason, eat at home. Candles and a tablecloth do wonders. Eat in a different room if you need a change.

Buy the kind of underwear that comes grouped in packages.

Wear them until they don’t make that kind any more, then keep wearing them.

When the occasional hole makes known, shrug your shoulders.

When the elastic fails completely, head to town and buy some new ones.

Reduce the number of specialized cleaning products. Vinegar. Bleach. Ammonia. Good stuff . . . but don’t mix them together.

Don’t give people gifts they don’t need just because everyone else is. Be sincere. Save the big gifts for people who really need them.

Make a list of free entertainment: books, board games, borrowed movies, art projects, hikes

Don’t buy technology unless yours is broken to the point you would have thrown it out ten years ago.

If you buy technology, buy used: computers, TVs, appliances

Don’t drive to get one thing. To get in the car, you need at least two reasons. Or three.

Spend little time and money trying to look like Hollywood stars. Be you and find your own stars. Put the extra money in a savings account.

Don’t spend money you don’t have. Even if you know you’re going to get it.

When the wheels fall off the vacuum, see if you can pull it across the floor without scratching anything. If you can, buy more vacuum cleaner bags; there’s still a lot of life in them there hills.

When you realize your popcorn popper has turned 21, throw a party (with popcorn of course) and raise a glass. Thank the superglue that held the broken plastic together these last five years and tell her you hope she’s good for another ten.

When your living room is full of creams and blues, your couch is about to sing her last, and someone offers you a free red and green striped couch in prisinte condition, say thank you. Then go get that couch.  Add, “finding synonyms for, juxtaposition,” to your free entertainment list.

When the upholstery on the arms of the chair disintegrates to strings, duct tape. Find removable coverings from other chairs and lay over fresh duct tape. If colours don’t suit, tack on some hand towels.

Be generous. Use most of everything else you have to do worthwhile things with people you love. Need little.

Buy good toilet paper. Not everything should be a chore.

7 Comments to Advice to My Children

  1. Leslie Lynch says:

    Duct tape is good stuff. I currently have some on my couch!

    Love your sense of what’s important and what’s not. Gotta say, when I saw the title of the post was “the chapter on life and money”, I had my doubts that it could be covered in such a small space – but you did it!

  2. Erma Joy Cann says:

    You have it right girl,always get good toilet paper ansd kleenex.One needs to be gentel!

  3. Connie says:

    Hey Michelle,
    I like this post. Now that I am retired, I am incorporating some of the items you mentioned in my world. Before I buy new I always check out the second hand stores, I am becoming good at collecting and using food coupons. The secret in using food coupons is to use coupons for items you know that you already use. The temptation is to try a new product just because you have a coupon which is overpriced to begin with and those you end up spending more for the product even with the coupon. Now that retirement is here I plan on expanding my vegetable garden and canning more.

  4. Donna says:

    Love this, and great advice. That I don’t always follow. My couch is failing, at the arms. So never thought of replacing with removebale parts from other couches. It’s starting to sag in middle, and thought about adding plywood, under cushions? Do you think that would work? Really enjoyed this post, puts life into perspective. Thank-you for sharing

  5. Marilyn says:

    You keep me in stitches dear friend! So true, I never skimp on toilet tissue!! Good shoes and mattress’ are also a must. xo
    PS I need to get your pizza recipe sometime

  6. Missy Friedl-Shipley says:

    When I do have to buy new I try to buy from a local store that does it’s own repairs! My Wind Tunnel sweeper is about 15 years old and has multiple repairs! Another good tip for appliances: floor models are changed 2x a year so you can get them for scratch & dent prices.