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) 😀

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Plans for my 18th Summer

Plans for my 18th Summer

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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.

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You and I are Only One Grain of Sand on Malibu beach

You and I are Only One Grain of Sand on Malibu beach

Life is crazy.

Despite the fact that there are billions upon billions of individuals upon this earth, somehow, we pursue the belief that ours matters.

Think about that.

You and I are just small beings on this planet, a grain of sand on Malibu beach. Not even that. One song in all the songs out there. One letter on the pages of the great and legendary Harry Potter series.

According to the laws of mathematics, and the fact that the limit of a small number over infinity is zero, you and I mean nothing. We mean a number that has infinitely no end in a world with an infinite amount of people.

And thinking of not just those alive and breathing H2O right now at this instant, we have to consider those beings who once breathed H2O and then didn’t. Those such as Abe Lincoln who are gone. Who walked this planet at one point, but no longer do. We have to consider those beings that may or may not be in another universe.

Why should we care about our own lives when there are so many more lives out there? Why should we care that ours is crazy?

Why should we care that we, who are only a grain of sand, stand out? That’s impossible. A grain of sand simply can’t be noticed when surrounded by the infinite number of other grains of sand that are either sitting out on the beach, frying in the sun or lost deep under the waves of life.

Why should we even try?
Ashlyn Taylour

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

Dreaming about Reality

Dreaming about Reality

Dreaming about Reality Featured Image

Sometimes I sit alone and wonder about the universe. About whether or not we are people who dream our whole lives only to reach reality in our dreams. Because that’s not the way we see it. We see ourselves, our lives, as reality. And our dreams as well, dreams. But what if it’s the other way around?

What if our whole lives have been a mere compilation of dreams?

You know, I once read a book, no, actually it was three books that were amazing and I loved the characters like they were real only to discover in the last chapter that the whole trilogy, everything that occurred in those hundreds of pages, was a dream. That’s one long dream if you ask me.

But compare your life to that dream. You go blindly throughout life for years, following your heart, not giving a crap if you jump off that cliff because you know you’ll wake up.

But the thing is when? When will you wake up? When will this generation wake up and face the reality of today? When will you leave the people who are not really there for you, who are fake? When will you realize that there is an end?

Dreams don’t last forever and neither will your life. So wake up and face the day. How? Use the classic pinch yourself to see if you’re awake trick. Except instead of pinching yourself, have someone else do it for you.
Ashlyn Taylour

Feel Good Blogging

Feel Good Blogging

Hey guys,

So last October, I participated in a blogging challenge with other bloggers, where basically, you post 7 days in a row on certain topics. This challenge called ‘Feel Good Blogging’ was created by Alex Beadon, definitely one of my role models.

It was a great experience for me, however, at the end of the 7 days, I stopped blogging and as you know, re-started up just a month ago.

But without this challenge, I probably wouldn’t be writing this now. I wouldn’t have started blogging again.

Everyone participating in the challenge wrote about the same things, answered the same questions, etc. And then they would read each others posts and comment on them. I received tons of comments on my posts, my very first posts, which was very encouraging.

I just thought I’d share this with you because Alex Beadon is starting this 7-day Feel Good Blogging challenge again. Today is the fist day. I highly encourage that you take part in it if you’d like to give your blog more exposure and if you’d like to have a clearer picture of what your blog is about. I’d redo the challenge as well if it weren’t for the fact that I’ll be in Massachusetts for the last half of it. Comment below if you join and I’ll be sure to read your posts. Here’s the link if you’re interested: Feel Good Blogging Challenge
Ashlyn Taylour