There is no such thing as a free lunch

There is no such thing as a free lunch

If you didn’t know, I’m a bit insane, as I’m taking two classes at the local college this summer, one of which is the beloved economics, macroeconomics to be more specific. We’ve been talking about the concept of  a free lunch, and here’s my take on the topic:

free lunch

Two weeks ago was my birthday. Around that time, I usually receive free meals or drinks to various places. One I received was to the restaurant Perkins: one free breakfast meal. Upon opening the email from them, I thought to myself, “Yes! A free breakfast!” My thought, however, was misguided. You see, nothing in life is ever really free, unless you’re talking about abstract concepts, such as love, which is a discussion for another day.

Contrary to what their name implies, a free breakfast from Perkins or a free lunch elsewhere isn’t actually free. While it may be free to you or me, somebody else had to pay the price. You’ll often find this is true of everything. According to Campbell R. McConnell’s book “Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies,”* someone or something will always have to pay the price, whether it’s land cost, labor cost, capital cost or entrepreneurial cost.

Let’s talk about this free breakfast concept a bit more and the actual costs associated with it. To be specific, the free breakfast from Perkins consists of two fresh eggs, two meats, either bacon or sausage, and a stack of buttermilk pancakes. First, let’s examine whether there were any land costs. By land cost, we don’t just mean physical land, but also the minerals and plants of the land. And food, as many of us know, often comes from plants in the ground. For this meal, the flour for baking the pancakes and many of the other ingredients in them were land costs.

The labor cost for the meal is higher than the land cost. A server had to take the diner’s meal, walk all the way to the kitchen to tell the chefs it, who then had to physically cook the meal with meat from a pig that somebody had to slaughter. Then, the server had to bring the meal back out. Furthermore, the diner had to eat the food somehow, obviously it wouldn’t just fly into their mouth, so the work it took for them to lift their fork to their mouth was another labor cost.

What about capital cost? This type of cost, as you may know, is the cost of the equipment used in the production of the meal. I’m sure the stovetop of an oven was used, as well as a fridge for preventing the eggs from formerly spoiling.

And lastly, there was an entrepreneurial cost. Some perky guy or gal (get my pun??) had to go out on a limb and start the restaurant Perkins. In the beginning, they didn’t know whether or not it would be successful, but they took that risk.

In conclusion, we can see that this assumedly ‘free’ breakfast isn’t actually free.

As established previously, the recipient of the free breakfast didn’t have to pay any physical cost out of his or her pocket, but he did pay some other costs and so did many other people. The land cost, labor cost, capital cost, as well as entrepreneurial cost were there. And since these resources are limited, our economy as a whole footed the bill of that free meal.

Throughout life, you will realize that everything has a cost. While some things might not necessarily cost every one of the four mentioned areas, it’s going to cost at least one of them. Some costs are low and some are higher. But if the benefit that results is higher than the cost, many will say it’s worth it. And let me tell you, sacrificing my energy to lift that fork full of scrumptious goodness to my mouth was, without a doubt, worth it.

*McConnell, B. F. (2015). Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. McGraw-Hill Education.

What’s your opinion? Can you think of any exceptions to the premise that there is no such thing as a free lunch? I’d love to have a discussion about it with you below!

Now . . . how was that as food for thought? (sorry, I had to) 😀

final ashlyn signature

Plans for my 18th Summer

Plans for my 18th Summer

IMG_1001

Hi there! Hey! You there! Yes, you.

Listen up because I’ve got some stuff you want to hear.

First of all, despite the fact that today marks 268 days after I last posted (YIKES!), I’m not in the mood of leaving things unfinished (especially this blog), so be ready for some regular updates! *cheers*

So many great things have happened in my life since we’ve last communicated. For one, I’ve graduated high school! I’m also going off to college in three months (like four hours away, going off) and I want to make the most of my summer before then.

What follows is how I plan to do so.

This is my second point. For those of you who have stuck with me through thick and thin, remember when I made that summer goals post for last year?

For those of you who don’t know about it, I basically wrote out ten major goals I wanted to reach that summer. None of them were something I could accomplish in one day, but I had to work towards all of them over time. You can check it out here if you’re interested.

And if you’re wondering how many of those goals I actually accomplished, well, the number was quite paltry . . . only half :/ I wrote about the exact ones I reached here.

But alas, it is a new year and you’d probably much rather be reading about what I hope to accomplish this summer than my goals from last year, because that was the past and this is now.

So without further ado, here is how I plan to make my last summer before college memorable as well as productive.

1. Earn over 2.5K

College is expensive. ’nuff said. This number pans out to about forty dollars every weekday.

2. Apply for 2 scholarships a week

I have to be specific or I probably wouldn’t do this one. Honestly, I’ve applied for a few scholarships thus far, but since I can’t see the immediate results, I’ve kinda lost all faith in doing so. Nevertheless, if I can manage to snag a few this summer, it will help a lot with college costs.

3. Keep up with Bible reading plan

I got this really cool journaling Bible last Christmas, and in the back there’s a reading plan for the entire year. I made it through February, then kinda gave up. So I definitely need to get back on track with that.

4. Finish “The Day Hope was Murdered”

I started this novel on Wattpad in April of last year and um . . . I don’t think I’m even ten chapters in. But I will finish it this summer! Right here, right now, I’m committed to updating twice a week. Friday and Tuesday.

5. Declutter & Organize

Over the past month, I’ve slowly but surely been going through my clothes (I got rid of 5 big garbage bags full of them so far!). But I still have so much crap I’ve collected over the years that must go. In addition to material things, I have over 2000 photos on my phone and way too many apps taking up space.

6. Craft Crap

Tying into the last one, I have this huge container of yarn as well as tons of fabric, jewelry making supplies, and other craft stuff that I definitely DO NOT have room for in  a college dorm. My sister and I are going to make stuff out of it and either sell them locally or on a site like Etsy. I think this will be a great opportunity to grow closer to her as well as learn a lot more about crafting.

7. Exercise twice a week

About a month ago, I finished 90 days of torture called P90 X. I was working out for nearly an hour (sometimes more) six days a week and was following a strict diet that consisted of a LOT of protein. Since that ended, I haven’t worked out once, and am losing the muscles I obtained during the torture. Needless to say, I need to get back into the habit of working out.

8. Spend time with those I love

Rather than wasting away the summer with people I honestly don’t care about or spending all of it holed up in my room, I am going to work towards spending time with my family and friends more. It was really hard to do so during the school year, but as I will be over 4 hours away in three months, I should probably learn to appreciate what I have before I go.

9. Play a musical instrument every day

For years, I took piano lessons. Then a few years ago, I quit taking lessons. Since then, I have played, but not much. Therefore, right here, right now, I’m committing to playing a musical instrument (either piano or guitar) for at least 30 minutes a day.

10. Blog every week

I was thinking of making it every other day, but I don’t think I can commit to that, so once a week seems plausible, right? As of now, I have no idea what I’ll write about, but as I always do, I’ll figure it out.

So there you have it! My top 10 goals for this summer. Of course, I do have smaller things I’m hoping to do this summer, but instead of having them on this list, perhaps I’ll make a bucket-type list with the small things. What do you think?

Why do I write out my goals like this?

If you’re wondering why I have done this for the past two years, keep reading.

Without this list, I never really know what to do during the summer and by the time summer ends, I usually feel that I have accomplished absolutely nothing. By writing the most important things out and sharing it with you guys, as well as hanging it on my wall, I find that I’m a lot more motivated and excited during these months off of school.

I encourage you to make your own list of things you want to accomplish this summer. You only have so many summers in your life. It’s important you make them worth it. If you do commit to a list, let me know, and maybe we can keep each other accountable.

final ashlyn signature

How Many of my Summer Goals were Accomplished?

How Many of my Summer Goals were Accomplished?

Exactly three months ago, I wrote a post title Plans for the Summer. It had ten things on it I hoped to accomplish over the summer. I am writing to you today because my summer is officially over. I started school yesterday and so, as promised, here’s how many of my goals I actually met. (I’ve put the ten goals in italics.)

1. Earn over $2k and put most of it in savings ✖

So guys, all the money I earned over the summer, I put in an envelope, and just wait here for a moment while I go count it up. I’m doubting it’s over 2k but we’ll see.

I’m back. Drumroll please! Okay, so I made around $1800 over the summer. While I didn’t reach my goal *sad face* that’s a pretty decent amount if you think about it. Because I was gone for half the summer. Literally, I was only home for six weeks. I’d go for $300 a week, $40 a day anytime.

2. Write my college essay and perfect it

Ha. . . ha. . . Sike. I didn’t actually do this. Whoops…

3. Learn a cool talent

Okay, yes, if you remember, I wrote that I’d like to learn to baton or a backflip or ambidexturity. And guess what? I’m pretty good at twirling a metal bar around my fingers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can baton.

4. Attend a pre-college program

Smith college was a great experience. I was a bit disappointed with my classes but the people I met there were amazing. My roommate was from Pakistan and it was so cool to hear about the different cultures. Smith made me realize that there’s actually some good poetry out there and it gave me an appreciation for a different type of writing: screenwriting. Did I mention I wrote a movie? Anybody personally know Josh Hutcherson so he can act in it?

5. Volunteer

I’ve volunteered with my church a handful of times this summer and I went to a summer camp for a week where I was on the media team. The camp was a great experience and I’m definitely going back next year, hopefully for two weeks or ever more. I had to constantly step out of my comfort zone as I was the main photographer and I had to ask kids and their counselors to pose for pictures. I had to talk to people and joke with them so they’d show their real smile. It was undoubtedly hard but so worth it.

6. Keep up this blog

I did this a lot better at the beginning of summer. I published a new post every day of June which I’m mighty proud of if I do say so myself. I wrote 42 blog posts in 62 days. Wow.

7. Finish a novel

I told you guys I’d finish “The Day Hope was Murdered” by the end of summer but plot twist, I came up with this idea for a new book called “The Story of the Moon and the Sun” while I was at Smith. I tried so hard to finish it on Sunday but life got in the way and I’m literally so close to finishing it. Nonetheless, I still failed this goal.

8. Keep playing guitar and piano

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but despite my hopes and dreams of getting better, I only played once or twice a week at most.

9. Narrow down my college list

Interpretation of this goal may differ from person to person. I now have a list of all the colleges I’m applying to. HOWEVER, this list has at least ten colleges on it. Most of them I don’t even know much about. The reason for this being that most of them I got a waived application fee for because I’m a National Merit Scholar. Yay me! I might as well apply if I can do so free of charge. So it’s not really that narrow but here are the colleges at the top of that list: Smith College, Taylor University, Cedarville University, College of Wooster, and Scripps College.

10. Expand my vocabulary

I told you guys I’d memorize two words a day but I don’t think I even did that for one day. I’m so disappointed in myself and my laziness.

SO, those were my goals for the summer. I really liked that I wrote all these out for you guys because in a way, it held me more accountable (at least to some of them). I only accomplished 5 out of the 10 but eh, without writing them all out, I probably wouldn’t have even accomplished half of that much.

Now maybe I’ll write a post with plans for the school year… We’ll see.
Ashlyn Taylour

The End of Summer

The End of Summer

With school less than two weeks away, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve spent this summer. By far, this was the busiest summer of my life so far. Admittedly, the majority of it was spent away from home. Over 6 weeks were. These weeks were a mix of vacationing, working and studying. But I’ve learned a lot.

One, I now know that I love independence. I love being off on my own. With being homeschooled nearly my whole life, I haven’t had a whole lot of freedom. But this summer was quite the opposite. And I loved every second of it. The weeks I have been home were spent working and earning as much money as I can.

I’m officially home for the year though. Just got home today in fact. In a way, school starts for me today. Some of it at least. I take the ACT on September 12th and so this next month will be spent studying my butt off for that. I refuse to take it twice. I’ll also be writing a whole lot. I need to finish that book I promised I would, right?

Other than that, these next few weeks will be spent tying up loose ends, finishing projects I started throughout the summer and filling out the Common Application. For all you other rising Seniors, you know how much stress applying to college can be. I’ve waited till now to start the process and that may or may not have been a good idea. But I have a question for you. Would you recommend applying to a lot of colleges or only a few? I’m kinda lost on this matter.

I hope to keep posting on here during the school year, but God only knows if I’ll have the time then. I hardly even have the time these days. We’ll see.
Ashlyn Taylour

Chipotle

Chipotle

I’ve always been obsessed with Chipotle’s food. Whenever I go there, I order a steak bowl with the wrap on the side (you get more that way). More often than not, I’m distracted by their creative paper bags and cups that I end up not even eating half my food. What can I say? Don’t dis it till you try it. Seriously. Read the stories on there.

Now, just yesterday, I discovered that Chipotle is hosting a scholarship/ essay contest. You could win $20K for merely writing a 1700 character essay on food. Heck yeah, I’m entering. There’s only two days left of this competition, but I’m excited and I’ve already wrote the first draft of my essay. Now it’s time to edit. Wish me luck.
final ashlyn signature

Plans for the Summer

Plans for the Summer

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Satisfaction of a List.”


I finished school for the summer last Friday, so alas, I will be on break for three whole months! *cheers* In past summers, I’ve often found myself sitting around on my butt all day wasting the time away. But I do not want that to happen this year. I want to make the most of my summer, and here’s a list of exactly what I hope to accomplish this summer. Kind of like a summer bucket list, you could say.

1. Earn over $2k and put most of it in savings

I have two jobs currently. I caddy at a country club that is literally 2 minutes from my house and I work for my dad’s computer business. At both of these, I make a pretty decent amount of money and this goal is a bit unrealistic. Heck, I’ll be lucky if I make $1k, but according to Minho in the Mazerunner, it’s better to shoot higher.

2. Write my college essay and perfect it

Pretty self-explanatory, but my friend told me that she planned to write her essay for appying to colleges in the fall, and that set off a spark inside of me. It’ll be 500 words that’ll make all the difference for my future.

3. Learn a cool talent

I’m thinking maybe I’ll learn how to baton. I’m decent at it now, but my mom was a majorette in high school. You know, one with the fire and all. Although I’ll never be that good, I want to be better. Or maybe I’ll do a back flip on the ground. That’d be pretty sick. Or maybe become skilled at writing right-handed (I’m a lefty). Idk, if you have any ideas for me, comment them!

4. Attend a pre-college program

Back in February, I applied for a scholarship to a summer program at Smith College and Harvard University in Massachusetts. I got into both of the colleges, and received $3000 from the scholarship. I’ve decided to attend Smith’s Young Woman’s Writing Workshop and I’m psyched! I’ll be staying there, in a dorm, for two weeks!

5. Volunteer

To be honest, I haven’t volunteered much in high school, and I’ve been told that colleges really look at that and extracurricular activities. Ever since I heard that, I’ve been trying to find places to volunteer! Currently, I volunteer at a local Boys and Girls Club, and I’ve found the experience highly valuable and quite fun. This summer, I’m volunteering at a Christian summer camp for a few weeks. I’ll be a photographer and I’ll take videos of the campers. Only downside is no electronics, no phones, and that means I won’t be able to update this blog. Eh, hopefully I’ll survive and hopefully you will too.

6. Keep up this blog

Perhaps this is one of the easiest things on my list. Or at least, it seems to be the case now. But my goal is to write a new post every day in June, and if I have time at Smith, to update while I’m there. It’s just so freeing to write what’s on my mind and I know if I continue this, I’ll be an overall better person.

7. Finish a novel

I’m writing a story right now called “The Day Hope was Murdered” and I definitely want to finish it by the time school starts back up again.

8. Keep playing guitar and piano

I’ve played piano for years and years, however, I just recently started teaching myself guitar. With all my schoolwork, I didn’t have much time to spend on playing instruments this year and that makes me sad. I definitely want to start playing a lot more this summer now.

9. Narrow down my college list

As of now, I have no idea where I want to attend college. You’ll know a bit more about this if you read my post from yesterday “What Scares the Crap out of Me.” My mom wants me to start applying in the fall, so I need to figure out some potential candidates.

10. Expand my vocabulary

My vocabulary isn’t that hot right now, and ever since I read John Green’s novel “The Fault in our Stars,” I’ve been obsessed with unique words. Also, when I took the SAT, my vocab section was one of the lowest. So, I have taken upon the challenge of learning not only one vocabulary word a day, but two. We’ll see how it goes.

As you can tell, I have a lot planned for this summer. I’ll be gone, away from home, for an entire month. It’ll be jam-packed and I’m happy about that. Most people want a calm, relaxing summer, and don’t get me wrong, I want that too. But sometimes, it can be too calm. And that’s not what I want. This is a lot and even I’m doubting myself right now, but I’ll let you know in August how much of this I accomplish.

What are your plans for the summer?
final ashlyn signature

What Scares the Crap out of Me

What Scares the Crap out of Me


I’ve been thinking a lot lately. About my future. About my friends. And just about my life in general. I’m approaching my senior year of high school which means I’ll be applying to colleges in just a few months. That thought frightens me. Scares the crap out of me. Not literally of course. I, unlike my dog and my 2 year old sister, am one who can control when I crap. But in a figurative sense. My future scares the crap out of me because it’s like when Christopher Columbus set off to discover a new route to the Far East. He just went headfirst into the unknown, with no idea on what was out there. No idea if he’d survive. He even left his friends behind.

In the same way, I’ll be leaving my friends behind. Because when it comes down to it, the only thing I know about my future, is that I don’t want to stay at home during college. I want to travel far away from my family. It’s not that I have anything major against them, however, I’ve been homeschooled for the past 10 years of my life. Imagine being around your family 24/7 and that’s my life. You could say I’ve gotten a bit sick of them. I need a break.

Yet this also scares me, because I know if I go away for college, there’s a chance I won’t come back. A chance I’ll find a guy and we’ll settle down hours away from my family. Maybe even states away. But I don’t think I’d be able to handle that. I’d miss what and who I’ve grown up with way too much.

So as you can tell, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I know that I want to go to college, away from home, and major in either something writing related such as Journalism, or Mathematics. Two things on opposite ends of the spectrum. And even though my future is unknown, the fact that the big man in the sky has it planned out to the last detail and knows it all, give me a sense of relief. That doesn’t mean I won’t still worry. Because I do. Way too much. And that scares the crap out of me.

This post went in so many directions because I didn’t plan it at all. But let me know if you feel the same way as me about your future. Do you plan to attend college? Or if you’ve already went to college, did it go as you expected? And also, what’s the one thing that scares the crap out of you?

final ashlyn signature