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June 2014
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August 2014

positive penny pinching: an e-book for saving



I'm so thrilled to be sharing my latest e-book offering with you: Positive Penny Pinching: How to Save Money without Sacrificing Your Happiness! You might be wondering why I — creator of Positively Present, a site dedicated to helping others live more positive and present lives — am writing an e-book about saving money. I’m not a financial guru and I’m certainly not a girl who’s good with numbers. (In fact, math was my least favorite subject in school!) I might not be an official expert on financial well-being, but in order to do what I love for a living (writing books, illustrating, and maintaining this site!), I had to curb my spending big time and learn how to save money. In doing so, I learned how powerful saving can be when it comes to living a more positive, more present life and now I want to share what I've learned with you! 

Whether you're hoping to make a big career change a leave behind a steady paycheck (as I did a few years ago), you have debts that need to be paid, or you're just looking to have a little more cash in your savings account, this e-book is for you. Why take advice from me, a self-admitted non-numbers girl? While there are tons of books and websites out there with advice on how to save money, this one is different.

This e-book isn’t about creating a budget (which, yes, you really should do, even if you hate spreadsheets like I do). This e-book isn’t about how to manage debt or comprehend your retirement plan. This is about little things you can do every day to build up your savings. This is a book not written by experts who're probably really great with money; this is a book written by someone who was a notorious spender, who never wanted to save, but who managed to transform her whole attitude toward spending and saving — without sacrificing her happiness. 




This e-book will open your eyes to the basic do’s and don’ts of saving money on a day-to-day basis. It will help you discover new ways to save so you don’t feel like you’re missing out or losing the things you love. And, most importantly, it will provide you with real-life examples of what I’ve done to save enough to leave my full-time job and pursue my passion — actionable insights from someone who (still!) loves to spend.

If you’ve never been good at saving, don’t worry. I wasn’t either. In fact, before a few years ago, I’d hardly given a thought to saving. I’d shop on an almost daily basis. I’d come home laden with shopping bags, casually draining my bank account like it was an infinite pool of pennies. I occasionally put money in my savings, but I had no problem taking it back out again when I saw something I just had to have. But with a little effort and some tweaks to my habits, I found myself saving thousands and thousands of dollars — money I was able to use to starting working on my website, Positively Present, full time, which was truly worth every single penny I ever saved. 



(click photo to enlarge)


Saving money sounds like a basic thing, but if you’re used to spending, it can be a really challenging concept to master. This e-book is designed to help you save without having to sacrifice everything. It's designed to show you that, yes, even saving money can be a positive experience if you know how to make the most of it. Building up your savings account might require a little work (all good things do!), but saving doesn’t have to be a drag. And with extra money in the bank, you open yourself up to all sorts of positive things — pursuing a dream career, purchasing a home, going back to school, giving back to your community or favorite charity, or just feeling comforted by the knowledge of having extra funds if you need them. 

In this inspiring e-book, you’ll find tons of content (more than any other e-book I've created!) featuring insights, advice, and ideas for making the most of penny pinching. You'll not only discover the unique ways I've learned to save, but you'll also find a few worksheets tucked in to help you keep on track with your own saving. In the e-book, you'll learn:


  • How to master the essential do’s and don’ts of saving
  • How to take unique saving ideas and make them work for you
  • How to use browsing (and your browser!) in your favor
  • How to embrace DIY (even if you're not a creative type)
  • How to have tons and tons of fun for little or no money
  • How to put an end to shopping 'til you’re dropping
  • How to use less and make use of what you have
  • How to focus on gratitude in order to spend less
  • And much, much more! 


If you've ever said to yourself, "But I'm just not good at saving," this e-book is for you. If you've ever wanted to pursue a dream but felt limited by your bank account, this e-book is for you. If you've always wanted to save some extra money, this e-book is for you. And if you're curious about how I, a once shopaholic spender, actually managed to save enough money to launch a business and keep doing what I love, this e-book is definitely for you. So go on, grab your copy below, and get to positively pinching those pennies! 



positively present picks: july 25, 2014

Beach ChairsSource


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"You’ll become known for doing what you do.
It’s a simple saying, but it’s true…The only way to start being asked to do
something you want to do is to start doing that thing on your own.”

Jonathan Harris



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20+ Ways to Show Yourself Love : go on, be good to yourself!

Pets Interrupting Yoga : pets love to get in on the yoga fun

Don't Be Perfect, Just Be Good : perfection is seriously overrated

9 Instinctive Decisions You'll Always Regret : powerful stuff

Fairytales Are Real : these places will make you believe

29 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

Chase Your Dreams : perfect print for dog lovers + dreamers 

Just Stop Doing It : brilliant (yet so simple!) advice

99 Positive Affirmations : add some of these phrases into your life!

DENY Fox Bedding : this duvet cover is everything

Photojojo's Time Capsule : this is a brilliant idea (and it's free!)

On Pinterest : reached 10,000 followers this week! wow!


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Check out this week's
Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Break the Fall" — Laura Welsh
"Centered On You" — Atlas Genius
"Beggin for Thread" — Banks
"Secrets" — Mary Lambert
"Caution to the Wind" — Becky Hill
"Pools" — Glass Animals
"Dear In Your Headlights" — Blondfire
"Fancy (Cover)" — Madilyn Bailey
"The Fear" — Ben Howard
"Go Slow" — HAIM
"Wildfire" — John Mayer
"All Smiles" — Jess Penner

Abide with Me
Elizabeth Strout

David and Goliath
Malcolm Gladwell

seeking similarities: the value of sameness



Not long ago, I signed up for emails from Caroline over at Made Vibrant and her latest newsletter really spoke to me. In it, she discusses how much choosing to make a change in her life has impacted the way those around her react. Anyone who has ever tried to make a big life change — giving up drinking, going vegan, launching a solo career, etc. — probably knows what she's going through. People have a lot of questions, and most of those questions aren't very positive. Caroline makes some very astute observations as to why this is, writing: 


We, as a culture, are primed for polarity. When you make a decision to live differently than the majority of society, people react as if it's an attack on their own lifestyle...In this world of social-media ranting, media sensationalizing, and an explosion of content creators for every niche cause under the sun, it's easy to feel like we have to be primed and ready to defend our choices and our beliefs at any moment...We've been conditioned to focus on how we're all different rather than how we're all similar.


Noticing our differences isn't necessarily a bad thing — after all, that's one of the wonderful things about people, how different we all are. But Caroline is right: now that people from all over the world have the ability (through social media, blogs, sites, etc.) to connect with one another based on how they differ from others, our collective attention is often on our unique values, beliefs, likes, and dislikes. As Caroline wrote in her newsletter, "we are deeply protective of our own values and beliefs, which leads us to immediate focus on difference rather than sameness."

It would be easy to say, "Focus on the ways we're all the same!" and leave it at that, but it's a bit more complicated than that. We don't just look for differences in others to critique or challenge them. Sometimes we look for differences in others in order to connect and bond with them — which can be both a positive and a negative thing. 

Most of us love identifying with things that separate us from one another, even in the smallest of ways. (Religion and politics aside, consider the on-going debate between dog people and cat people.) We divide ourselves by identifying differences in order to connect with those who share similarities. Most of us want to stand out from the crowd — to be different a way that makes others take notice — and yet we also want a tribe of people who understand us, who share similar beliefs and preferences. This complex dynamic is what causes us to look for the differences in others. When we encounter differences that don't mesh with our own beliefs, we might question these differences. When we encounter differences that do mesh with our own beliefs, we tend to highlight those differences in order to create bonds based on them. 

This isn't always a bad thing. For example, I love to bond with people who share the same "differences" I do — being vegetarian, not drinking, being a dog person, being obsessed with various animals and trends and holidays (see Pinterest), etc. It feels good to connect with like-minded people who share some of the same quirky interests I do. It's fun to bond with people who are different in the same way. But, after pondering the same/different dichotomy, I'm starting to wonder if maybe focusing on people who are "different like me" might have some negative repercussions. 

Even if the connections created from similar differences are positive, focusing on the way others are different or, as I more frequently do, the way I'm different, takes away from open-mindedness. And, without an open mind, we might miss out on people who are completely different from us but who have an awesomeness we could use in our lives.

Having the knowledge that seeking similarities can have positive benefits is one thing, but actually being aware of them is a bit more challenging. As Linda Ellerbee said, "People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities." 

Perhaps this is why we love differences so much: we can define them. It's pretty easy to take note of the way others are different and either like or dislike those differences. But to notice the ways we are the same... well, that takes some more effort. It's sometimes easier to connect based on smaller differences (i.e., women who have kids vs. women who don't) instead of connecting based on broader similarities (all women, all human). But, even if it's harder to do sometimes, I believe taking note of similarities is important when it comes to creating positive connections with people around you. 

Pay attention to the people around you -- both those you're familiar with and those you don't know well — and, instead of looking for differences between you and them or between you and them and the rest of the world, try to focus on the ways you are similar. Taking note of commonalities will not only help you have stronger bonds with those around you, but it will also help you create a stronger relationship with yourself by showcasing to you the ways you're wonderfully similar to (and connected with!) the world around you. 



You can better take note of similarities when you have a good understanding of who you are and how you identify with others and with yourself. You can discover more about yourself and what matters to you by downloading a copy of Finding Yourself: A Soul-Searching Workbook for Surprising Self Discovery. Filled with inspiration, questions, and activities to get you thinking about what it means to be you, Finding Yourself is a must for learning more about who you are and about what matters most to you. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your very own soul-searching copy here.