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We all want to lead better lives. Not just financially, but physically, too.
This requires as much hard work as anything else that is worth having. It’s not easy, but then, no one said it would be.
While we try to live on a budget, many of us strive to eat healthy.
Here’s a few phrases that make doing both simultaneously an enormous challenge:
5. Hormone & Preservative Free
Next week, we’ll get into how it is very possible to juggle both challenges in families today.
Does your family make healthy eating a priority as you fight debt?
1. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
2. If you don’t need it, but you already have it, sell it!
3. If you do need it, buy it for as little as possible.
4. Generate as much income as possible.
5. Spend as little of your income as possible.
Sounds simple, yet most Americans don’t adhere to these rules.
It’s hard. But the results are well worth it.
How many of these rules do you follow?
Which ones are a struggle for you?
No lectures here.
Just the same, well-covered point. You can’t succeed in ANYTHING without a written plan. Sports, cross-country trips, shopping lists, chores around the house.
There are tons of paid-web based software programs and apps for personal budgeting out there. Many for free.
What’s in your smart phone?
That’s NOT a hypothetical question, by the way. I’d love to know what software you use to budget.
Paper & Pencil, Excel, iPhone app? What?
Let me know in the comments.
1. Flossing is like balancing your checkbook. If you don’t do it AT LEAST once or twice a week, you’re asking for trouble eventually.
2. Plaque is like debt. The more ignore it, the harder it is to eliminate.
3. Teeth whitening is like transferring credit card balances. Quick fixes are temporary, they don’t help you over the long haul.
4. Eating too much candy is like spending too much money. It’s fine to treat yourself once in a while, but everything in moderation.
5. Regularly scheduled visits to the dentist are like monthly deposits in your Emergency Fund. Both bring peace of mind.
Are you maintaining your
This week, many people are writing about resolutions, goal-setting, and fresh starts. In fact, I’m excited and inspired by many of the things I have been reading over the past few days. However, I don’t want to find myself churning out the usual New Year’s resolution themed message. ”In 2013, you can lose 20 pounds.” ”This year, you can finish paying off your debt.” ”By the end of December, you can save $10,000.”
The truth is, January 1 is just like any other day on the calendar, and your resolutions are either something you knew you should have already been doing, or something you have no real intention of doing at all.
Something inside tells us that once we declare our goals publicly, we have to carry through, otherwise we have to face those around us with a “failure” sign hanging around our neck. But guess what? Come August, do you think anyone (even those who hold us accountable) will pull us aside and say, “Hey, man. Didn’t you mention something about going to the gym 4 days a week, back in January? I notice you’ve only been hitting it twice a week. What happened?”
We all encourage each other and are attentive to the goals of those around us, but more often than not, the excitement wears off within a couple of weeks. A few at best. If you don’t believe me, sign up for any gym membership in the country today and just try to get a few minutes on a treadmill. Then, go back in February. Ghost town.
How does this relate to paying off debt? So glad you asked!
Let’s say your goal this year is to save $10,000, an example of someone’s fully funded emergency fund consisting of 3-6 months of income. Instead of declaring (publicly or privately) that you’re going to save $10,000, why not instead declare that you’re going to save $833.33 twelve times this year! Same outcome, but not as intimidating.
Not only is this more likely to keep you on track, but it will make your goals and resolutions less overwhelming.
How about you? Have you set BIG goals for 2013, or several little ones?
Here is a photo of our garage one hour ago.
Disorganized? Perhaps. To the untrained eye.
But for those of us working to get out of debt and saving money, this is a bunch of stuff that is in great condition, which can be sold on Craigslist and eBay. This is a great way to start off 2013 with a great jump.
Whether saving towards an upcoming bill, an emergency fund, or simply trying to get rid of credit card bills, NOW is a great time to prepare for making money and getting ahead in 2013.
Deck the halls with boughs of holly…
and deck the garage with everything you can find to sell off after the holidays!
Are you preparing for a debt free, dare I say, ‘gazelle intense‘ Christmas?
Whether or not you’ve shopped in August or 2pm today, or whether you’ve perused Amazon’s pages or the aisles in Marshall’s, you’re bound to have forgotten something. Even tape or wrapping paper.
Something, anything, that means you have to go out and deal with people.
Today’s Top 5 is a sarcastic salute to the five types of people who we should avoid, and try to remember why we should shop from our computers.
1. The Parking Lot Stalker. You have a handful of bags. You’re loading the car. As much as you tell yourself you’re not going to rush out of the spot quickly, you feel the unspoken discomfort of letting this dope have your spot. Even though there’s a spot 5 spaces further from the storefront. And even though you’ve buckled your packages into the carseat, and put your kids in the trunk.
2. Politically Correct Cashiers. Even when you say “Merry Christmas” first, they still say, “Happy Holidays” in response. I’ve taken the mystery out of this for you. I know I look like a Jew, and guess what? I AM! But I’ve accepted Jesus, so you can accept my well wishes now without fear of insulting me.
3. The Check-out Line Tailgater. The guy who stands so close to your back, you want to flash your wedding ring conspicuously at him. Or the old lady that empties her junk onto the belt, and pushes her empty cart into your ankles. Guess what folks? Just like driving, it’s simple physics. I can’t go faster than the person in front of me. If I could get out of your way, I would. But I can’t, so back off and read “Health and Fitness” while you’re waiting. Looks like you could use a few tips there, anyway.
4. The Check Writer. I’m all about cash or debit, and NOT using the “convenience” of the credit card, but either way, I try to keep things moving. Writing a check is soooooooooo 1995. I’m also an advocate for keeping a balanced checkbook and a watchful eye on your spending, but could you fill in your check register in the car? You’ve already held up the line for 12 minutes. I’ve already finished an entire article in “Health and Fitness” for crying out loud!
5. The 10 Items or Less Offender. Listen pal, take your baker’s dozen and get on the regular lines. “Ooops, I didn’t realize I had 38 items. Sorry.” That, and writing a check will get you a shopping cart in the ankles. Unless you’re bigger than me, in which case I’ll just quietly keep reading my “Health and Fitness” magazine.
What types of people make you wish YOU’D avoided the stores this year?
When you’re broke, you want to complete Baby Step 1.
When you’ve got your debt snowball going, you just want to be “debt-free” and get to the end of Baby Step 2.
When you’ve completed Baby Step 2, you want to crank out your fully funded Emergency Fund (Baby Step 3).
When you start saving for college and retirement, you want to pay your house off and be done with this nonsense!
When you pay off everything, you want to start having fun. Again. (This time, without going into debt to do it!)
Wherever we are in life, whatever stage we’re in, we want to be done with it and onto the next thing. Not just with money.
With home repairs.
Stop looking ahead and look around.
It’s going to be a distant memory someday. Don’t look back and realize that you weren’t paying attention.
I can’t help but think about diapers right now. Our youngest is making real progress with his potty training, and we’re giddy with excitement that the next time diapers will be in our home, they will be for US!
But many older and wiser folks have told us that we’ll miss these days, and wish they were back. I’m not so sure about the aromas that fill the house, but I am sure that we will miss them being toddlers. For us, this is where we personally need to stop and smell the…uh, roses.
Are you rushing though life while rushing through your ‘Baby Steps’?
When you can’t shop online, but have to stand on line, here’s a few ideas to get you ahead of the long lines at the store.
1. Fake a seizure. (Not saying I’d do it, just offering suggestions.)
2. Have a real seizure. (Not sure how you would go about inducing one if you’re susceptible to that sort of thing. Maybe alternate between ‘Bejeweled’ and ‘Angry Birds’ on your smart phone?)
3. Tell the person in front of you that you’re getting nervous and that the last time you felt this way, the police had to come. Repeat until you get to the register.
4. Talk to an imaginary friend. Softly, yet loud enough to make people leave the line to do more shopping. This is a favorite of mine, and I don’t just use this exclusively for Christmas shopping lines. By the way, I’m not allowed in Jimmy John’s anymore. Thankfully, they deliver.
5. Talk loudly and annoyingly on your smartphone. Oh, wait…everyone does that now. Text, but raise the volume all the way up, so each keystroke is irritating, and keep asking the person in front of you where they put the vowels on these confounded devices. Then, ask them to read the message “I think I’m contagious.” back to see if it sounds good before you hit ‘send’.
How do you pass the time on lines this time of year?