baba marta

Let me explain.

In Bulgarian, we’ll say ‘chestita baba Marta’; which roughly translates into the title of this post.

Grandma March is a mythical figure from Bulgarian folklore and is the symbol of the end of the bitterly cold winter and the spring revival of nature.

For centuries, we Bulgarians, celebrate the arrival of Grandma March by exchanging ‘martenitzi’ – figurines and wrist bands weaved from white and red treads.

Martenitzi are symbols of, and a wish for, health, fertility and abundance: the white tread is the healthy male (according to folk tales, the first Bulgarian ruler sent a white tread to his wife to tell her he’d survived a battle) and the red – the fertile female.

We wear martenitzi around our wrists, pinned to our clothes and, this year, tied to our dog’s collar; they should be worn till there is a clear sign of spring – tree blossom, for instance – or till the end of March. After that we tied them on trees for the birds to take away.

What can I say? Weird as this may sound, it is the ancient custom of my people. So, we do it every year.

Here is my virtual martenitza for all my readers; and may your life be abundant and your bank accounts overflowing.

baba marta

Now, without further delay, let me tell you about the blogs that made me think lately.

Miranda published a post on the Prairie Eco Thrifter this week about the ways in which focusing on our weight can be counter-productive. I agree; every time I focus on losing weight – even when it is done through measurable goals – I get so hungry that the next thing I know, I really don’t want to get on the scales. Changing the objective is one way to approach the matter: shifting away from weight and focusing on health. This post resonated with me also because I am just reading a book by Caroline L. Arnold on micro-resolutions. You know, the technique where you break the ‘big’ goal’ like ‘lose 10 kg’ into ‘don’t use the lift in the building where you work’, ‘go for an hour walk at lunch time on Monday, Thursday and Friday’ and ‘don’t eat milk chocolate’.

Have you been puzzling over where and how to invest? It is important, you know, with the pension crisis looming and all that. A Blinkin at Funancials.bis, a long standing blogging friend of mine I have not mentioned for some time, has asked us how would we invest $20,000. He seems to think that the answer is not 42 but ‘dollar-cost averaging’. Well, if you ask me, I won’t even think about shares and ‘basket’ funds. I’d rather invest directly in a business or fund my own (I know this is uncertain; but so are shares and bonds).

It is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? There is a guest post on Control Your Cash about the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. I am probably the only person on this planet (or at least one of very few) who didn’t watch more than three minutes of the Olympics. Even I couldn’t avoid reading all about dogs, adoptions, dirty hotels, double toilets and the rest. Guys, the Russians are trying! After all it is so much better to organise the most expensive and criticised Olympics than send tanks to the Ukraine. There is one statement that got my attention in this article (a guest post as it happens): that Sochi ‘…was a non entity to most of the world and an afterthought to much of the rest…’ Well said; the lady can write but…technically in-correct. Sochi was a very well known summer resort in Russia (USSR before that) on the Black Sea. I was there in 1987, I know…Then again, I suppose to most of my readers in the US, Bulgaria (my country of origin) is an ‘afterthought’ as well.

Paula Pant has done it again! This time she has opened the whole issue about saving vs. investing and, quite rightly, arguing that people should stop focusing on saving when thinking about their financial future. Saving 70% of your income doesn’t mean much; what matters is how much you invest and how you invest. Go read the article!

KC Beavers at GenerationXFinance published the first post in a series about how he became a millionaire. This is about their finances in 2002. And yes, this guy started with a net worth of zero and had a million before he was thirty. I am very much looking forward to the second instalment.

Now the time has come for my ‘find’ this week. It is a new blog called Mister Squirrel and I believe holds a lot of promise. The author is a guy in his mid-forties and…he is in London. Great! This is another potential blogging buddy in the UK. He is looking to make a living in more pleasant and less pressured ways than getting back into the corporate world; is an atheist and sees the cup as half empty (these are all his confessions). The only thing I can hold against him? He wants a cat! But he writes interesting stuff well.

Now, let me tell you about The Money Principle.

I published a guest post on the CashCowCouple about the ‘money seeds’ we ought to plant in our 20s to reap rich pickings later in life. To give you a clue, none were about spending less than we earn. Thanks, Jacob, for publishing it! And thanks to J Money for picking it up on Rockstar Finance.

There was also an interview with me on Debt Discipline. This was fun to do and I managed to tell the world that I love reading The Altucher Confidential and Budgets are Sexy, and that my dream job is ‘best paid writer’. Oh, and there was some stuff about what I teach my son about money.

During the last several weeks, The Money Principle has been featured in the following personal finance carnivals:

Carn of MoneyPros at The Money Principle
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Four Hour Work Day
Yakezie Carnival at The Ultimate Juggle

Aspiring Blogger Fin. Carnival at Aspiring Blogger
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at My Life, I Guess…
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Tuition Assist
Carn of MoneyPros at Financial Nerd
Carn Financial Independence at Gaming Your Finances

Aspiring Blogger Fin. Carnival at Aspiring Blogger
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at Save and Conquer
Carn of MoneyPros at Money Pros
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Messy Money

This is all for today, my friends. Speak soon.

photo credit: somewhereintheworldtoday via photopin

photo credit: Anduze traveller via photopin cc