Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 29, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

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Mountain View News Saturday, May 29, 2021 


How does the average family stay alive financially in a prolonged 
period of “hard times”? 

Hard times come and go, and as an insightful person once said, “No storm stays 
forever.” True, and yet it’s still a good long-term idea to live frugally and learn how to make 
many of the things we need. In so much of the “survival literature,” everyone talks about guns, 
knives, survival kits, food storage, solar power, and all manner of off-the-grid and self-reliant 
skills and gear. Which is good and necessary, but that’s not all there is to life. 

For whatever reason, the survivalists rarely talk about the role of money in “survival.” Perhaps 
this is understandable, however, because there is a major industry out there of people who write 
books about every imaginable aspect of personal economics. You see them on the television 
shows and selling tickets to their seminars, telling you that they have a secret to getting rich 
quick and retiring young. Maybe. Maybe not. The seminars are not cheap, and the few that 
we’ve attended contained nothing that I’d call a secret. Just lots of practical advice about the 
changing market, mostly on-line, and if you lay down a few thousand dollars, they will personally 
guide you down the yellow brick road. I believe that the only ones getting rich are the ones 
holding the seminars. 

So what follows is in no way trying to compete with professional money managers and investment 
specialists here. This is about some very very basic guidelines for personal economic 

First, please note that everything I say here is about finding ways to live better on less. That 
means, among other things, getting more mileage out of each dollar. It also means that you 
should seriously think twice before every purchase. A lot of “stuff ” you really will never need, 
and they will only clutter up your life and deflate your wallet. A deal and discount isn’t always 
a deal. 

There are two ways to improve your economic buying power: Earn more, or spend less. Yes, 
everyone says they want to do both. OK, good! Spending less is harder than most of us think, 
especially if we have children who are crying for the latest gadget, toy, and article of clothing that 
their friends have. Or one spouse of a married couple might be very disciplined, but the other 
“can’t live without” some trinket or gadget. We get it. We know it’s difficult. 

Do whatever you can to cut expenses, and to pay off debt! Whatever! 

First, make a list of all your expenditures, the big ones and the little ones. Write them down so 
you look at them, objectively as possible. Clearly, some you can eliminate outright! You know 
what I mean. You might have a 3rd car that just continues to cost money in insurance and storage. 
Sell it, or give it to charity. It’s a drain. 

Most people can figure out the larger things to cut out in order to spend less. It takes a bit more 
discipline and attention to really cut out the smaller expenses, the ones you think are only a few 
dollars, but which add up and add up. 

Now, let’s explore some ways in which you can generate some extra cash. Remember, these are 
just basic ideas, and you have to see what works for you, and run with it. 

Things you can make and sellIf you have the ability to make something that people want, you can probably always have some 
income from this. Lots of people make soap, and candles, and woven bags, and clothing, and 
leather goods, etc. As long as you make something that people actually need, you will always 
have a market for them. 

I vividly recall a Native American woman – I believe she was Navajo – talking about how her 
mother taught her crafts, such as basketry and related crafts. She said that if you can make 
something and sell it, you’ll never go poor. But she added with a laugh, “but you’ll never get rich 
either,” alluding to the fact that people want to pay the lowest possible amount for most crafts. 

Things you can grow.
Food is one of major categories of products that everyone needs. You know, food, clothing, 
shelter. If you just have a small farm or a backyard garden, you won’t be competing with any of 
the big chain grocery stores or factory farms. But you can still create a niche product that could 
provide income for your family. The key is to get to know what’s out there. Be observant to what 
people are buying in the trendy stores, in the farmers markets, and even on-line. 
Do you have something that you can grow as a fresh vegetable, fruit, or herb? Can you pack and 
ship it? Do you know how to can vegetables and jams? You can market your canned goods under 
your family label, and create at least a local following and demand for your product.
I didn’t say you’d get rich doing this – just that you can avoid being poor. 

Services you can offerWhen you’re in the position of needing more income, and you don’t particularly want a full-
time job working at someone else’s business, you should make a list of all your skills and talents. 
Just write them all out on a paper, whatever they may be, both hobbies and trained skills. 

Write them all out so you can look at them objectively. What are some of the services that people 
need, things you can just go and do, assuming you have the skills? Dog walker, dog washer, 
auto mechanic, cook, can foods for later, gardener, tree pruner, wine maker, electrician, nurse, 
teacher, editor, musician, wood worker, handy work, roofing, cleaning, sewing and repairing 
garments, etc. etc. Everyone’s list will be different. 

Your job is to decide which of your skills you can market, deciding first on those skills you’d really 
like to do more often. 

Once you make your list of skills and talents, then you circle the top three that you want to pursue. 
Then, you make another list of at least three ways you can move forward in presenting your 
skills to the public with each of your chosen three talents.
That means you must actually see where someone will hire you or pay for your services. Then you 
have to advertise in every way you can, preferably starting with all the possible free advertising. 

How to sell your products in the neighborhood.
Start your business enterprise in your own immediate neighborhood. You can talk to neighbors 
and give them a flier about what you sell and how they can acquire your services. Make it easy 
for people to say “yes.” 
We have engaged our neighbors in numerous home businesses, beginning with selling eggs 
door to door when we had many chickens. We’ve also sold potted plants, edible cactus, and 
fruits in this same manner. We’ve sold sewing and cleaning services this way. 
In addition, since we began organizing a local Neighborhood Watch, we got to know all our 
neighbors and began working with them. 

One of my associates reported that when he lived in a small rural town, it was common to offer 
canned goods, produce, repair services, plumbing and electrical services, and auto repair at 
discounted prices to neighbors. Of course, the economics of a small town is very different than 
living in a city for some very obvious reasons. 


It’s “kitten season” 
and we have several 
cuties! Here is one 
of them: his name 
is “Cowzer” and he’s 
totally adorable! 
He’s a black and 

white, shorthair sweetie who will be delivery-
ready in June after he gets his vaccines and neuter. See his little video on our website’s 
Babies page. More kittens on that page, and we would like to have two adopted 
together or else have another young cat at home. See the Adoption Proce-dures 
page to apply. Submit your application now.
Good news: Cody & Reggie have a pending adoption. 

Pet of the Week

 Two-year-old Havanah is fullof energy and ready to jumpright into your heart! This activedog loves playing fetch with herfavorite toys, and sometimes 
will get the “zoomies” aroundthe play yard. Havanah needs a 
patient adopter who will give herthe time she needs to get to knowthem, but she loves attention and 
has the potential to be someone’s 
very best friend. If you’re a dog-
savvy person with no other pets,
Havanah would be a great fit foryour life.

 The adoption fee for dogs 
is $150. All dog adoptions 
include spay or neuter, 
microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines. New adopters will receive a 
complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as 
well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet. 
View photos of adoptable pets and schedule a virtual adoption appointment at Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption 
appointments are available every day at 5:00 p.m. for the following day.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters 
by phone calls or email. 


HeyO' Sierra Madre! How ya'll doing? 

Your lovely local 501c3 non-profit, Free Animal Doctor, could use some stuff if you have it 
and don't need it! Plus a volunteer! Here are the deets (as the kids say, the kids from 20 years 

1) Towels. When we do Spay/Neuter clinics we put towels in every metal cage to make it more 
comfy. We also clean up with them. So if you have used towels you don't need, we need 'em!
They can be stained, frayed, even a small hole here or there, just as long as they are clean. Put 
them in a plastic trash bag, and drop them under the mailboxes at 70 E. Montecito Ave... we 
cannot get enough towels! Love 'em!! 
2) Portable canopies. Our big canopy got destroyed in the windstorm. We have a small one, 
but we could use one or two more. It's to shade our staff and clients when they come to the 
Spay/Neuter clinic and have to stand outside. Got one you don't use? We'll use it every weekend! 
Comment here and we'll connect. 
3) Wanna volunteer? We need help checking pets in on Sundays and Mondays. We have about 
20-25 people show up at about the same time, and we need to quickly process paperwork and 
get their pets safely into the clinic for surgery. 
It's 730am until about 930am on Sundays and Mondays at Gate 7 of Santa Anita, right off 
Baldwin before you get down to the mall. You don't have to volunteer every day, but a couple 
times a month minimum would be good. There is a minor bit of training involved, and you 
get much better at it with experience, so we are looking for a bit of a commitment if you wanna 
help. Let me know, again, comment and I will arrange for us to get in touch. THANKS!! 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285Email: Website: