Fun Ways I Teach My Kids About Hard Work

When you grow up poor like I did, you learn a few lessons in life. As a Latino male, I watched my family work day in and day out to provide food and shelter for my family. When I began a family of my own, I wanted to teach my children the values I learned, such as being frugal and a strong work ethic. But how do I do this?

 
At first, it was hard for me to figure out how to teach my children hard work. As a child, I lived very poorly, so I wanted a better life for my children. I gave them everything and as they grew from toddlers to young children, I felt they were not as appreciative as they should be. I had to think of unique yet fun ways to teach them how to work hard.

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The Common Latino Financial Outlook in America

As a Latino male, I find my culture is one that can vary when it comes to financials. Many individuals of Latin descent grew up as I did, with little to no money. Latinos work hard but are not afforded the opportunity of college or higher paying jobs as others in the United States. Thankfully, I was able to gain an education and find a wonderful job. But my past is still molding how I spend my money. I am very frugal as I worry about being poor. I do not want to go backwards, only forwards, so I am very careful as to how I spend my money.

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My Favorite Things To Do In Arizona

I love living in Arizona. The Latino culture is rich, with activities for everyone to enjoy. I love taking my family to Flagstaff to take part in local attractions as well as travel throughout the state exploring the various outdoor recreational activities, unique museums and more. Below are a few of my favorite picks for enjoying Arizona.

 
Alpine Pedaler
The best way to see downtown Flagstaff is to take a tour via the Alpine Pedaler. The unique 14 passenger pedal trolley is powered by you and offers you a way to see the city. Take the 6 rider CRAB bike to take a pub crawl or tour of local restaurants.

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Ways We Can Improve Our Local Economy

In today’s poor economic climate, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do, I’m just one person?” There are many things you can do, and it all starts at home! If every community would support and encourage their own local economies, the larger national economy would begin to really recover, and in the meantime, your community would be strengthened and improved, helping your friends and neighbors!

 
Shop at Small Local Businesses
First and foremost, you can shop local. Shopping at local small businesses year round (and not just on small business Saturday!) is a great way to jumpstart your local economy. Local small businesses are owned, operated, and staffed by the people in your community. When you shop, eat, or use the services of the small business rather than the large chain store, you are contributing to the success of that business and keeping your friends and neighbors businesses viable and growing. When these businesses stay strong, and the people who own and work at these types of businesses spend their money at other local businesses, it keeps the community vibrant and thriving. There are many types of local merchants who need your business. When you want fresh fruits and vegetables there are farmer’s markets, local farmers, and even pick your own produce. When you pick your own produce or purchase from local farmers either at their farms or at farmer’s markets, you are getting the freshest produce your money can buy! This isn’t produce that’s been treated, waxed, and artificially kept looking nice while tasting bland and uninspired; it is garden-fresh produce that is delicious, naturally ripe, and at its best. Not only are you helping your local economy, but your meals just got tastier!

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How My Hobby Turned Into A Money Maker

I’ve always loved making my yard look nice. From the time I was a child and my father paid me five dollars to mow the lawn, I took pride in making the yard look neat and trim. Over the years, I learned more and more about how to keep the yard clean and well-tended. When I purchased my own house, I really began to branch out. Instead of simply mowing and edging, trimming hedges and weed-eating, I decided to add a touch of artistry. I began to add seasonal flowers and plants, adding them in creative arrangements, configurations, and planters. I learned to make raised planters that make growing seasonal vegetables and fruits easy and fun. I started trimming the hedges into shapes other than round! It was surprisingly straightforward to trim my hedges into beautiful topiaries that got my yard noticed. I even taught myself how to place and arrange paving stones. I made a pathway in my front yard from my driveway to my front door, replacing the ugly cement sidewalk.  I used pavers to make raised planters and garden markers for my fresh fruits and veggies.  I even made a beautiful patio deck in my backyard that my family enjoyed year round to bar-b-que, entertain, and just spend time together.

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How Landscape Can Increase A Homes Value

In today’s economic climate, it is important to increase the value of your home if you are trying to sell so that you can get the most from it possible. One of the easiest ways to increase your home’s value is to work on your landscaping. While pictures of the inside of your home may be available to buyers online, a beautiful yard is the first thing your prospective buyers will see when they pull up to view the house in person.  Shade trees are a great way to increase value and save energy costs. If you aren’t planning to sell soon, or even if you think you may never sell, trees can cut your cooling costs dramatically when they are fully mature. Plant now so that when you are ready to sell, your lovely, mature shade trees will be a huge selling point. Adding some low-maintenance, drought resistant native plants are a great way to add curb-appeal with very little effort or maintenance required. Another important thing to do is to clean up your yard. If the grass is untended and long or sparse and brown, either way, the curb appeal is lost. Overgrown bushes, dead plants, or other eyesores are easily fixable and when properly cared for, add a welcoming touch to your home.

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How I Started Up My Own Frugal Garden

Cooking is one of my favorite things to do. When I cook, I like to use the freshest, tastiest ingredients possible. When I realized how much I was spending on produce at my local grocery store and farmer’s market, I decided that I needed to find a less expensive way to get my produce without sacrificing taste, texture, or the incomparable essence that fresh produce provides to meals. One of the most cost effective ways I’ve found to get fresh, delicious produce for my cooking is to grow my own.  When I decided to start growing my own food, I went to the Lowe’s to buy plants, pots, tools, mulch, fertilizer, and everything else I would need to get started. I looked at the prices adding up in the cart, and began to rethink my decision. How could I save money by growing my own produce when it was so expensive to get started? I took all the items and put them back on the shelves and decided to come at this from a different angle.

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Top Lessons I Learned From Growing Up Poor

When you grow up poor, you can learn valuable life lessons. As a young Latino, I have learned many lessons from my parents and family members as they struggled to provide food, clothing and housing for me and my family. As a child, you learn the value of a dollar and how money doesn’t necessarily mean that you are happy. My childhood was a happy one, despite the fact that I did not have all the toys, gadgets and electronics that my friends at school had. I am a better person for the way I was raised and hope I can instill these values into my own children.

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Why It’s Important For Our Kids to Find Lifelong Hobbies

When I was a boy, it seemed that every kid in my neighborhood had a hobby of some kind. The boy next door liked to collect and trade baseball cards, my friend down the street liked to collect and identify rocks, and I liked to work in my family’s yard, trimming hedges, tending to plants and flowers, and keeping the grass looking green and lush. It seems that today, a lot of kids have “hobbies” such as watching TV, playing video games, or updating their Facebook status.

 
I think this is a huge disservice to our kids. They need to have hobbies for many reasons, not the least of which is to develop self-esteem based on achievement, rather than just because they are alive, which seems to be the trend today.  Self-esteem based on the child’s achievements is a much more sturdy and long-lasting self-worth that endures. Building up a child based on little more than the fact that they exist is not substantial, it does not last. Giving every child a trophy is not a substantive way to grow self-esteem. Having a hobby that you work on, make goals toward, and achieve those goals is a fundamental way to earn strong self-esteem for life. To develop a hobby takes initiative, drive, and stick-to-itiveness that is important for many aspects of an adult’s life. When a child develops these qualities with their hobby, it will transfer to a career, their relationships, and their future goals. Having a hobby keeps kids interested in lifelong learning, whether they realize they are learning or not!  When you have a hobby, you have something in your life that drives you to improve yourself, to keep learning, and to strive for excellence.

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Growing Up in a poor Latin Family in Arizona

As a young Latino guy, I grew up in a traditional Latin family. We had little money and had to learn how to be smart with money.  From an early age, I watched as my parents worked very hard to have very little. The cost of living was too high in Arizona as my parents did all they could to provide for me. It is interesting to look back in my life now, as I was always happy. I never understood the money struggle fully as I was always provided for.

 
Of course, I would see friends with cool gadgets and eventually cars, when I did not have these things. As an adult, it made me want to do better, so I could provide for myself as well as an eventual family. I want to have the finer things in life, but because of the way I was raised, I also want to do this on a budget.

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