HABITS

When I look at myself, I see someone who is lacking in discipline and being able to turn bad habits into good habits. It is something I struggle with every day. I know I am capable of getting into good habits but it feels like I’m not doing enough some days. Those are tough days but they are not every day. Others look at me and think I have a perfect life and that I am crazy driven. Well, no one has a perfect life and I can be driven. I wouldn’t have accomplished anything so far if I hadn’t put my whole self into it. I still lack when it comes to habits like food choices and exercising. Sometimes I still spend money when I shouldn’t. I am human and I live a human existence. I am trying though. I am a work in progress. I know that I only need to be better than yesterday and that I just need to keep progressing forward. It’s hard though. I get it. We all have bad habits.

Are we just resigned to repeating are bad choices every day, or can we push through and move forward to produce a more positive experience for ourselves in this life? I believe we can forge new habits but I don’t believe we can do a bad habit overhaul in one day. I have had to learn to be diligent in my habit forming and in improving my life. I now have habits like not spending so much money because I am thinking about what I am spending my money on. I am able to identify at least some of my weaknesses and know that I need to address them. Those weaknesses cost me money. Every day I just keep moving forward in one way or another because when I improve one area of my life, even a little, the other areas of my life improve too.

Patience

Everything takes longer than you think it should. We live in a quick fast right now society and it feels like everything is taking too long. Everything good takes time and effort or else it would be cheap and useless. It’s the payoff after the time it takes to get where you need to be. The results will show based on consistency and effort. that doesn’t mean to just sit around and wait for the money fairly to drop in and fix your bank account. It means that you will have to continue forward even though you feel like you are spinning your wheels.

Education

If you want to change your life in a positive direction then begin reading. If you already read maybe you are not reading the right books. Reading everyday will increase your intelligence and assist you in reinforcing positive habits in your life. I’m not saying to never read for pleasure, I’m saying make sure you read to learn. There is not a need for you to go back to school when you can learn almost anything from the internet. I’m not saying that you can watch a video on surgery and then go and you are a surgeon. I am saying there are many skills that you can acquire on your own. Teach yourself how to learn from others. Pay attention to the people that are doing better than you and see what little nugget of gold you can get from them. Knowing how to learn is the most valuable skill you can acquire. The more you know, the more money you will have. Never stop learning and growing.

Commitment

You will need to be wholly committed to change in order to achieve it. I went back to college after years of being out of it. I didn’t have to because I already had a Bachelor’s degree. But I felt I was being called into a different direction in my life so I decided to pursue it. It took years before I could afford to go and even then, I accepted student loans for it. I wish every day I would have made a different choice on how I paid for my second Bachelor’s degree. However, student loan is the path I took and it has led me to a new financial life where I am struggling to pay that bill every month. It is why I can help you in your financial situation. Without my struggle I wouldn’t have anything to offer you. I know this now. My purpose is to serve and I know that there are many ways I can help improve someone else’s life. Once I learned where I needed to place my commitment, my ability to commit has improved my financial life as well as other areas of my life.

Comfort or lack thereof

Sitting on the couch in my pajamas watching Netflix is truly comfortable. Getting on the treadmill, not so much. This is why commitment is so important. If you have a goal that you are 100 percent committed to then you will most likely achieve that goal. Staying in a job because of it being the devil you know is so much more comfortable than sending out your resume and interviewing. It can be so uncomfortable starting a new job that you convince yourself that you are fine where you are. No matter that you have been there for ten years without a raise or increase in any benefits. Your misery is comfortable so why would you stretch and make a change. Change is uncomfortable. So, you don’t change anything because it is just easier. Have you ever thought about how much this comfort is costing you? Not just financially but in time as well. Teach yourself to be comfortable in discomfort.

Money management is about the habits you have with your life and your money. If you are in the habit of not shopping around or thinking about things before you buy then it will cost you. If you are in the habit of buying name brand all the time because you just can’t fathom store brand or off label the it is costing you. Sitting around all day every day on a Netflix marathon is costing you money and time. It is important that you notice when you are practicing a bad habit so that you will be in a position to correct it. Use tricks on yourself to move a bad habit into a good one. Get in the habit of not caring which parking space you get because walking is good for you and stressing over the closest parking space is a waste of your life. Replace something negative in your life with something positive like eating grapes or nuts instead of potato chips. Forming a good habit gets easier each time you do it because it becomes part of who you are now. What habit are you going to change and who will you become?

5 ways to save on groceries:

Let’s face it, food is a necessary expense. If we don’t eat, eventually we will die. Food though, doesn’t have to be expensive in order for you to survive. I’m not recommending that you buy the cheapest food there is to buy, I’m wanting you to stop overspending for it. Keep in mind that the purpose of food is to fuel your body and to keep you from dying. You need to eat nutrient rich food that will fulfill that purpose. Rice and Ramen are not nutrient rich although it is cheap.

  1. Coupons

I use the digital ones from the store that are stored on my loyalty card. I have in the past clipped coupons and they do work. You need time to do it though but it really does add up and can actually save you money. Now, it doesn’t work if you buy items you don’t normally buy or are going to use. I have printed them from the computer as well and it paid off for me so much that I could stock up to a few months’ worth of some food items. It was food that didn’t spoil or I could freeze so that was beneficial. They are worth the time, effort, and energy as long as you are buying items that you would normally buy and you do consume those items. Double coupons is the best because you get double the value of the coupon. I really like it when the item I was purchasing was on sale and I was able to get double coupon value.  That’s how to maximize your savings. For the record, I have never been an extreme couponer nor do I feel that is necessary.  I have used it to my advantage though using some of the logic from extreme couponers. Coupons are money that you can take advantage of to help you save your money.

2. Shop on sale

Look at the sale paper or your grocery store’s app before you go to the store and see what is on sale this week. Then plan your menu for the week. If it is a high cost item like meat then you can get a few and freeze for later. There are a lot of food items that can be purchased on sale and then frozen. Remember, food is a variable cost and its’ purpose is to give you nutrition. It is not a show of wealth and shouldn’t be. Be mindful of what you are doing with your money and your food and how it affects your life.

3. Buy in bulk

It is more to buy in bulk up front but it will save you in the long run.  Buying your paper products at Costco or Sam’s is just a smarter choice.  It saves you time and money.  I buy our meat from Costco because I am a member of Costco and I put it in the freezer.  I also get our tomato sauce and other items we frequently use and store it all in the basement.  That way I just need to shop in the basement sometimes instead of shopping at the store. This is a great way to save time and money. I try to limit my trips to this store to every other month or eve longer because every time you get into the car you are spending money on gas. Being able to purchase in bulk is a great way to cut a little in spending overall.

4. Shop Aldi

I love this store because I know I can get food and not break the bank. I have not ever spent more than $60 in Aldi and I can easily spend $80 or more at Kroger. I usually buy less at Aldi because the choices are more limited. This is a good thing and something that I like about Aldi. This store offers enough of a variety that will meet your needs nutritionally and will give you enough savings that you will be able to afford to eat nutritionally. In all fairness I do sometimes still go buy Kroger to pick up certain items that I just like to have or if I need it for a special recipe. I still try to get it on sale or with a coupon because I don’t like paying full price. But for fruits and vegetables, you can’t go wrong with Aldi because the price is so much better at Aldi. Oh, and for those people that can’t fathom putting in 25 cents for the cart, get over yourself.  The cart return is so not a big deal and you get your quarter back when you return the cart.

5. Make a plan (menu)

Having a menu will prevent you from spending too much at the store. Go in the door with a plan.  It will help you minimize impulse purchases and help keep you on budget. If you manage to come under budget then even better. Move that surplus into next week’s budget. Continue doing that in case you absolutely have to buy cup cakes for that event at work. I know that school and work functions can get costly especially with the unspoken competition that plays out on who brought the best food item. So, budget your self for that and even better, come up with a low-cost food that tastes amazing and everyone will think you have this awesomeness about you and you will be required to bring that to each and every event. Figure it out. You need something yummy and only cost you pennies on the dollar. Once you start planning your meals out in advance you will be amazed how much control you have in your life and how much more relieved you will feel. It is work at first but it will get smoother. Once you master this you will be bragging about how awesome you are at saving time and money. Your friends will be asking you to teach them.

Try to open yourself up to buying store brand and off brand items. I have friends that complain about how much everything costs and then go to the store and purchase only brand name food. They refuse to even entertain the thought that off brand could taste good and save them money. It’s unfortunate that many people have brand loyalty. My question is though, why be loyal to a brand especially since it’s not ever going to be loyal to you? I feel this is insanity.

All of these things I have suggested today are things I have actually done or are still doing. I am not going to just hand over my money to anybody and I will be in control of that process. You can be in control too. It all starts with being willing to do whatever it takes to get you where you need to be. Once you choose to take control of your life you will be amazed at how awesome it rally is and how all the work and effort is worth it. I know how I have come a long way from being controlled to being in control. If I can do it, anyone can.

Tired Of Drowning

When you are drowning in debt so deep you cannot see a way out, I can assure you that there is a way out. There is a light and you will eventually see it. You have to keep moving, keep working, keep going forward. Do not let yourself become a victim of your own mistakes. Fight. Get up and fight. This will take work. It will take work with your physical body as well as your emotions. You cannot give up. All problems have solutions.  You are the one that can fix this.  You must be strong.  Push through.  You can do it.  Put down that credit card, put down that $200 purse. Stop letting corporate America have your life. Stop letting things own you. You own you. You are in control. Stop giving your life away to things. Start living your life.

Make the choice.

Everyday you must choose. You choose to make coffee at home or go to the coffee shop. You choose to make your lunch or to buy it from a restaurant. You choose the route you drive to and from work. You choose to purchase or to not purchase. The choice is yours. There is not anyone standing there holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy. It is all a choice. So, make your choice.

After you have chosen.

Now you have chosen the coffeeshop, the restaurant, the long way that uses more gas but has fewer red lights. You have chosen to purchase. You have chosen to waste. You have chosen to give your resources, your time, your health, and your money to someone that you don’t even know and will never see. You made this choice.

You chose to make coffee at home, bring your lunch, take the shorter route. You have chosen to keep your power. You have chosen to keep your resources, health, time, and money for yourself. You are empowered. You feel better because you are in control.

Life is not permanent.

No one gets out alive. We don’t live forever. Every circumstance is also temporary. You can change anything. Make the best of every day. That’s not just motivational mumbo jumbo. Every day is your last day and you need to accept that you will not live forever. You are human and you will die. Just like everything else that has life, there is death. This doesn’t mean to party like its 1999. This means to appreciate where you are in life. Appreciate that you can make coffee at home. Appreciate that you have opportunity around you all day every day. Appreciate your self and your life.

Life is not easy.

Hard work is the path to success.  It takes many shapes and forms but it is the path. Sitting around on you butt will get you nothing but diabetes and heart disease. Get up and get moving. You have every reason to push forward and no reason to sit down. Your attitude needs to be that every failure is a step closer to success. Keep pushing. Don’t give up. You can change your circumstances. It is not easy.  Just accept that and then get to work.

Rose colored glasses.

There is something good in each and every situation. I know that is difficult to see. How can being flat broke and barely affording to survive have anything good in it? Because you choose how this situation affects you. If you believe you can overcome then you will. You need to totally commit to the belief and that you will do whatever it takes to overcome. Make up your mind. If you believe that your will be flat broke forever then you will be. It’s up to you.

It takes commitment.

Can you commit to improving your life? Do you even care? You will need to commit like a dog on a bone. You will need to hold on to improvement like your life depends on it. Your quality of life does depend on it. Commit to yourself and to your freedom. Commit to owning yourself instead of corporate America owning you. Commit to stop being manipulated into believing that spending your money will somehow make your life perfect now. There isn’t a car, boat, house, outfit, etc. that will make your life perfect. Commit to getting out of that suffocating debt and work toward it every single day.

5 Good Reasons to Use A Budget

For so many people, the word BUDGET is the worst word in the English language.  It is a taboo word, a bad word.  “I don’t need to budget” is one of the biggest lies you tell yourself and others.  It is one that will directly affect your quality of life and your activities of daily living.  This is something that needs to change for you.  I know, change is difficult, but it is far from impossible.  You start with a choice.  First you choose and commit to your choice then the rest will follow. 

1 To keep track of your money

Not keeping track of your money is letting your money have control instead of you having control.  Take back control of your money and your life.  You need to know what your money is doing.  It is not much different then knowing where your child is located, who your teenager is hanging out with, and other areas in your life where you are able to be in control.

2 To have visible goals in front of you with a timeline

Being able to see where you are and where you want or need to go is the best way to get there.  Each and every time you look at your budget you will be reminded of what you are trying to achieve.  You will see how far you need to go to get there.  I found this very helpful in keeping me on task and achieving freedom from al the debt I was dealing with.  Unfortunately, once I got it all paid off, I stopped budgeting.  This was a big mistake on my part. I eventually went back into debt and I am now back on task with controlling my money for good this time.

3 To have a realistic view of how much money you actually have

No, you actually can’t afford those shoes, you would know this because you are using a budget.  Instead of getting excited about these most adorable shoes that you just have to have because your entire life depends on them, sigh, and using your credit card to purchase them, eye roll, you would take a minute and realize that by using your credit card you are actually harming yourself and that it isn’t good because you are willingly, happily, stupidly giving a piece of your peace away.

4 To be in control

When you don’t know where all of your money went so fast just after getting paid then you are not in control.  When you pull out the credit card and make a purchase then you are not in control.  You are not in control of your life nor are you in control of your money.  Your boss, your job, your circumstances are controlling you and you are letting it happen.  You are the one that allows the outside forces in your life control your life.  You need to take back control.  Your boss can force you to work and do whatever they want you to do at work because they can take away your source of income.  You need to get free of this type of relationship where you are not in control of your own life.  From experience I can tell you that it feels truly awful for your boss to look at you and say “do you want your paycheck” when you asked if you could leave early one day for something special that you wanted to attend and you wanted to be on time for that event.  Power and control is the ultimate reason for you to budget.  When your workplace is aware that they need you more than you need them it is a whole different experience in life.  I soon left that job for another one but it was a stark reminder that I had yet to gain the control that I really needed in my life.  It was a turning point for me.  I know right at that moment that I needed to leave that job and that i would never feel the same about that place that I actually once enjoyed working at. 

5 Because not using a budget hasn’t really been working out for you

If what you have been doing was working for you then you wouldn’t be so miserable.  Unless of course you actually like being miserable then by all means, go ahead.  I will not stand in your way of your daily quest to be unhappy and broke.  The choice is really yours to make.  I cannot live your life for you and I certainly can’t take all of your problems away.  You have to do it.  You have to do the work and you will be the one to reap the benefits of that work.  Although money management is quite a simple process it can be challenging to put into practice.  You can make it easier on yourself with your mindset.  Start with controlling your choices on what you are doing with your money then you will be able to control all the other choices you have in life.

You are making a choice about your life every day.  You are the one that chooses to go to work day in and day out.  You are the one on the hamster wheel.  You are the only one that can get yourself off of the hamster wheel.  Maybe you love your job and that is fantastic for you but do you love being broke.  Outside of your job are you living the quality of life that you really desire?  You can be honest with yourself and you can climb out of this hole you are in.  There is not only hope and a prayer, there is a promise.  If I can do it, anybody can.  So, stop saying “I Can’t” and start saying “I CAN” because either way you are absolutely right.  Set your goal and use a budget to help with that achievement.  I know you can do it and you do too.

10 Things I No Longer Buy

As life goes on there are things that we will just no longer buy.  Our reasons for this vary depending on several factors. The item could be discontinued or the store just no longer carries it. We have found a replacement and it is better. We no longer have a use for it. Below is a list of 10 things that I no longer buy.

1 DVDs

I no longer buy DVDs because I have Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. I know that having subscriptions is spending money. If I was at a financial point in my life where I needed each and every single penny than I would cancel every single subscription whether I wanted to or not. I do keep an eye on my usage though and I will cancel a streaming subscription if I see that I am not using it very often or just not using it. It’s why I don’t have Hulu. my family and I just don’t use it enough and I haven’t’ missed it since I canceled. Nothing against it I just didn’t need it. There really is only so much you can watch at a time.

2 Soda

Also known as sugar water as far as I am concerned. Soda has nothing to offer in nutrition. It is like drinking poison and committing a very slow and near the end quite painful death. Instead of drinking soda, add real fruit that you cut into pieces to water. It gives water flavor so that it is easier to break the soda habit. Your waistline will shrink, your health will improve, and your bank account will grow. Soda is a complete and total waste of your money as it offers no value to your life and actually “can” shorten your life span.

3 Jewelry

Some people love jewelry. I don’t really care for it. I remember a time when I bought quite a lot of it but now it just gets in my way. I wear my wedding band, fit bit, a small bracelet that was a gift, and my necklace. Sometimes I will wear earrings and maybe other jewelry depending on the occasion. Otherwise I just don’t use it so I don’t buy it. I keep my couple of dressy pieces for weddings, business events, etc. but not for everyday use.

4 Disposable razors

I stopped buying plastic disposable razors a few years ago and I haven’t looked back. It is insane how much shaving your legs cost. Now don’t freak out, I’m still shaving, only for less money. I now use a safety razor. I watched a lady do a demonstration on You Tube, ordered it from Amazon, and that was it. I also ordered a set of blades that had a variety in it so that I could try out different blades to see which kind I liked better. These blades last longer than the plastic razors did and they cost so much less.

5 Cable TV

One day my mother gave me a Roku. She said she couldn’t figure it out and that she didn’t like it. I thought, well, I will give it a try and see what I think. I instantly fell in love with it and I have now got only Rokus for the TVs in out house. I have now also recently purchased a Roku for my mother, I installed it in her house and taught her how it works. She just very recently turned off her cable and negotiated a lower internet payment. My husband was ok with the Roku but believed that cable was still necessary to have in the house. He kept saying he wanted to watch the local news and we can’t get a signal over the air where we are located for the local stations. So one day, I unplugged the cable box to see how long it would take for him to realize that it wasn’t plugged in and that no one was actually using it. Over a month went by and I brought it up to him. The next day he played the tv all day and into the night with a continuous news station on. The next day he cancelled the service and negotiated a low price for internet only. No more bundling. I still don’t miss it and I don’t think he does either.

6 Dishwasher Rinse

It really isn’t all that necessary but if you must use a rinse than make one for yourself using vinegar. White vinegar is cheap and even cheaper when you buy it in bulk. All you need to do is pour a little of it in your dishwasher and it will do the same thing as the expensive product you buy at the store.

7 Newest Latest Tech Gadget

There will be a newer one out soon enough so I do not bother with wasting my money. First generation items seem to have lots of problems that need updates and such. I am not interested in trying out innovative new products. I once heard someone say that innovative just means not tested and proven. That was about medical devices and how we get all excited when a new innovative medical technique/product comes to market but fail to consider that it doesn’t have proven track record yet. Everything new needs to be proven for quality and sustainability. Don’t waste your money. Instead, wait patiently until a better version comes out that doesn’t have all the problems.

8 Diet pills

Eating an actual healthy whole food balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight. You may need to exercise or eat less. But diet pills are not the answer.  Not only do they have short term success, they bring with them long term adverse health effects. They can be very dangerous and they can be very expensive. Also, just how regulated are diet pills anyways? Well, they are under supplements so they aren’t regulated at all. Please keep in mind that you don’t actually know what you are putting in your mouth and it could just be sand in a capsule. Just don’t buy them and get your weight loss by restricting food and by exercising. Eat real food and not processed crap. You will be healthier and you will actually save money. Yes, you can eat healthy and spend less money. You will also be amazed at how less hungry you are by eating healthy. I know I was.

9 Shredded Cheese

Shredded cheese is wasteful for a few reasons. Mainly its cheaper to buy the block and just shred it yourself. In addition to that, shredded chees is sprayed with a chemical that keep the shreds from sticking. Yeah that can’t be healthy. So, you are now not getting as much cheese as you pay for and in addition to that you have this added health risk. Just keep your money and buy the block cheese. It only takes a minute to shred cheese. Manually shredding cheese is not the worst activity in your life and it literally only takes a minute so stop being ridiculous. Plus, it just doesn’t taste as good already shredded.

10 Potato chips

It is better to buy a sack of potatoes and make your own. This is something I have done and I like it. My homemade chips actually taste better than store bought and I don’t have a food scientist trying to get mine to hit the “sweet spot”. Real food actually tastes better than manufactured food. It is healthier and cheaper to make your own chips. You get to choose the potatoes and the oil that you use to fry them in. it doesn’t take that long to slice them and fry them in a pan. I put them in a sealing plastic bag and ate them for a couple of days. They didn’t last long though because they were so good and they got eaten up quickly. Food that isn’t nutritional is a total waste of money and you deserve to treat your body better than that. Junk food is exactly that. It is junk. It is wasteful and only offers you more poop because your body can’t use it for nutrition so it will just send it back out into your toilet. So, the next time you want to consume crap, stop and think about how it is still crap when it comes back out.

I’m sure there a few other things that I no longer buy but just can’t think of right now. I am constantly trying to save money and trying to make sure I have a comfortable lifestyle while doing it so I’m sure I will have some more in the future to write about.  For now, this list will have to suffice.

I know that some of you will think that you couldn’t incorporate these changes in your life but I know you can do it.  This list is just some of the changes I made and I have had benefits ever since. I feel that you could benefit from this too. Maybe there is something that you could let go of or make a change too that would benefit you that isn’t listed here. Take some time to think about areas in your life that are costing you instead of enhancing you.

Things I Wish I Knew About Money

We all have things we regret in life. Whether it was wearing that outfit, quitting that job, or spending money that you didn’t really have to spend. Attitude and our way of thinking about money can either help us or hurt us. I am going to tell you some things I wish I knew about money and then maybe it wouldn’t have been such a painful lesson for me. If only I would have known.

Things I wish I knew about money:

It’s not evil.

Greed of money, or anything for that matter is what is evil. Greed is one of the 7 deadly sins for a reason. Allowing money to literally rule your world is obsessive and dangerous. Chasing money every day of life is also exhausting and when you get the money you then say that’s not enough; I must get more. It is never enough and you will never satisfy that thirst by chasing it.  If all you love is money and all you want is money then you will be unfulfilled forever. That is a sad life.

I can always make more.

Opportunity is there every day of your life.  You need to be open to it so that you will recognize it when it comes your way. Also, don’t be afraid to make the leap when your opportunity is presented. If you miss it or have missed it then don’t worry too much because opportunity will come around again. It most likely will not present in the same way but it will be there. Sometimes you will need to get yourself in a better position to receive. No big deal. Just do whatever you need to do to be ready. Let’s also not forget about the little things where they ad up to bigger things. Take on the little opportunities and let them add up to larger opportunities. Start small and build using consistency and discipline. You can always find ways to hustle, get creative and get resourceful.

Spending is overrated.

If you think about it you will see that actually spending money doesn’t bring you real pleasure. Sure, that item you bought may bring you a moment of pleasure but will it stand the test of time. Spending all of your money and not having any left is not fun at all. I would rather not spend my money on junk.  I now value my money more than I used to so I take my time spending it.

Money is actually fluid; it is not static.

You can save it, yes, but you can’t hoard it forever. I guess you could maybe collect all the dollars and coins you could get your hands on then stash it in your house. But what happens if your house catches on fire. Your entire collection would go up in smoke. Just think about it for a minute. Can you see yourself on an episode of Hoarders where people are trying to walk around and over your piles of money? It sounds pretty ridiculous, I know. In real life, you have to spend some of it in order to survive and live somewhat comfortably.  But you don’t have to spend all of it and discomfort is good for you.

It can grow on trees.

 I can see you now looking at me like I have officially lost my mind but fruit and pine straw are just two things that come to mind quickly with generating income from trees. If you have land that you are not using then you can grow pine trees for a long-term investment. You will need several acres of land though so don’t think you can do this in the suburbs. How this works is that you plant on like 100 acres of land. After a few years the trees will produce straw and typically someone known as the straw man will make you an offer for the straw.  The straw man will rake the straw and then sell it to the people in the suburbs for a profit. After abut 15 to 20 years of growth you should be able to thin your trees and get a little money from that.  After another 5 years you will be able to clear cut and start all over making a nice little retirement and passive income for you.

If you are not interested in pine trees or you don’t have that much land then you may be interested in fruit.  You will need to get with your local agriculture extension office to get some help on being successful with your planting and harvesting.

You have more abundance then you realize, you are just being careless.

When you don’t pay attention to spending and you just spend money on anything because you have the money. You will think you want that candy bar but in reality, you are paying money to eat something that is just going to come out of your rear as poop.  So therefore, you are literally paying for poop. This phenomenon happens in other areas of your life as well.

Always strive to live on a 40-hour week minimum wage budget, not that you have to, but strive to because you may be in a position where you have to one day. 

Life happens. It is less devastating if you live in a more minimal way so that it isn’t devastating when you lose your job consequently losing your 3000 sq. ft home and your BMW and having to move into a mobile home or small apartment and drive a 10-year-old Honda civic. That didn’t happen to me but I have been put out on my rear and had to recover.  It was devastating to me and I have never been that low in my life. Now I always have a plan. I also know that even if my plan doesn’t work it will still be ok. I can, and do, live on much les than I earn. I am prepared to be thankful I have a roof of any kind and that food is a blessing. Everything else is just a bunch of crap you are tied down to. I just don’t need all that excess, and you don’t either.

Things actually cost more than just the purchase price.

Maintenance is a b!$$$.  It cost money to maintain things unless you are going to just rash it and replace it. I don’t imagine that you would do that for your car so when you buy one you need to think about gas, insurance, tires, brakes, replacing transmission and such. Factor all that in to the purchase price and then decide if it is worth the money and if it will bring value to your life. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get in a situation where you are making a car payment on a car that doesn’t run and you can’t afford to fix it.

The person with the extra big house and really nice brand-new cars has a lot of credit; not necessarily a lot of money and success.  Is that person you?

You never really know what is going on behind closed doors. People will maximize their amount of credit not realizing that they are actually tying themselves down to a master (the debtor) but instead think about how great this car looks and feels and now I’m the $h!t because I have the car that says I am. I deserve to drive this car and live in this house. No idiot, you have credit and debt with sleepless nights and stressful days full of anxiety. Not to mention you left no flexibility in your finances for anything that may come up in life like having to go out of town for a funeral.

Your self-worth is not related to your ability to spend money, whether it is money you have or don’t have.

Your self-worth is inside you. You can’t buy it, lease it, or borrow it. It is you and only you. Things you buy are just items you buy. Your worth as a human is intrinsic and can never be extrinsic. Stop believing the marketing crap that is geared to make you think you have to have this item or this purchase in order to have value or happiness or to get laid. None of that is true.

Money is really powerful and can impact someone is a positive way that would change their life in a good way forever.

Buy someone lunch or coffee. Use money to feed people that can’t feed themselves. Just help somebody out. There are numerous people in your own community that just need the bottom realm of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Be nice and help someone out sometime. You never know if that person in need could be you. “It will never be me,” you say, yeah, it will totally be you.

Money doesn’t really buy happiness.  Happiness is a feeling and money is an item, a tool, that is used to acquire goods or services that you may need.

Money in itself doesn’t buy happiness but giving it away can. When you buy something you may feel a happiness in the moment of the newness and excitement of the purchase, that’s all fine and good, but will you still feel that way 6 months from now? Most likely you won’t. You may even forget you purchased it in the first place. You may dislike it because it didn’t do for you the way you thought it would. Happiness will never be found in a purchase and you cannot rely on money to give it to you. You must discover how to generate your own happiness from inside you.

Just because it is expensive, doesn’t mean it’s valuable.

Seriously, overpaying for crap is just ridiculous. Just because it is $100 vs $50 doesn’t mean the less expensive one is of any less quality. Value is placed on the item by you. If it is worth $50 to you then it may be a good value but if you can pay $50 instead of $100 for basically the same thing then why would you? Brand loyalty is not going to take my money from my pocket and you shouldn’t let it take yours either. Shop off brands and stop worrying about the label. If you are concerned with having the brand name label on your bag or shoes then at least learn how to not pay full price for them.

Emotional spending is the equivalent to lighting paper dollars on fire and watching them burn.

Emotions lie to you. They cannot be trusted. They are temporary and don’t hold validity. Reign yourself in and put down the credit card. Because if you don’t then the emotion you will be feeling when you are now in that debt is 10 times worse. Walk away and take some time before you get so excited that you just have to have it. Yes, that new car smell is amazing, but that car payment isn’t amazing at all. When you have to pull your money from your pocket and give it over to the bank month after month then it really takes all the excitement and joy right out of that new car smell. Not to mention when a shopping cart scratches it.  That is not a good feeling at all.

Most of the time, it’s about money.

But not all the time. Sometimes that person at work is being a dick because they are jealous and have a low self-esteem or they are aggressive in their quest to get ahead for power. For some, it is a race and it is about making more and more money. It’s not even about you. Conflict around money is more common then we think too. Think about how many marriages end in divorce over money. You must find fulfillment in your life and give yourself a purpose.  Living life with a purpose is where happiness is really located.  It’s not the holy grail and it’s not that hard to come by.

Exercise

Don’t lose your wallet

Exercise is something that we know we need to be doing. You are tired, busy, and broke. What you cannot seem to connect is how exercise will save you money in the long run. A monthly debit of $10 or more from your bank account isn’t the answer either. Besides, those gym memberships can be harder to get out of than Fort Knox. So many people, especially in January, run to the gym and quickly sign up for the membership and then you go to the store and buy all the cute little outfits to go to the gym in so that you can be stylish while working out. You go regularly in January and you start tapering off in February. This year try to resist the urge to do that and instead get creative about exercising. Just stop wasting your money. Here are a few ways for you to accomplish your fitness goals while accomplishing your financial goals too!

Running

Get up, get dressed.  Go outside, put one foot in front of the other at a rapid rate.  You are running.  It is not required for you to run in a gym in order for it to count as running.  Now, weather is a real thing that can affect your running routine but it doesn’t have to be the end of exercising.  Besides, with all the money you save at the gym you could use to buy yourself a treadmill and then you can run all day and night for as long as you wish.  You will not have imposed time limits due to the gym being busy because you house is your gym. I do recommend spending a little bit of money on some good running shoes. Hurting your feet will not help your process at all and could inhibit you from reaching your goal.

Strength Training

You can purchase weights for what you spend in a month on some gym memberships.  You can go to Wal-Mart and get a set relatively inexpensively. You can comb the want ads and yard sales for a set that someone on longer uses. In the mean time you can use many different things in your life to give you muscle. Just take a moment and look around your house and see what you could use. Books will work or anything else that has any weight to it.  You can do push-ups and sit-ups. Look for nearby steps to use as a stair climber.

Yoga and Aerobic Dance Classes

You can buy a DVD, you can use the internet, learn it and then you can just practice it without using anything because you have your routine and poses down. I recommend borrowing DVDs from the library with different yoga styles and levels to see what you like best.  It is the cheapest way. However, do not return the borrowed items late or else you will have to pay a fine. (I am awful at returning on time and it is something I am working on.) There is really not a reason to go to a gym and take these classes unless you are there for the social aspect of it, you want to become an instructor or the gym is actually free through your job or some other organization.

Cycling

If you are really into spin classes then it may be worth the value of joining something that does this but it isn’t nearly as much fun as riding a bike on the scenic path by the river. Sure, you will burn some calories but is it even fun. For me spin class is torture. So as far as exercise goes it happens to be one that I chose to refrain from participating in.

Game Systems

If you already have a Wii or Wii U then you can use it for a workout plan. I am a fan of the dance games because it is a fun way for me to get exercise without leaving the house. I’m not particularly good at it but I don’t care because I enjoy it and it is healthier than sitting around on my rear. Don’t go out an buy a brand-new expensive game system unless you are going to use it for other things like streaming channels and playing games too. Also, the price point on the Wii U has come down quite a bit since it bought it on sale one black Friday many years ago. You could also get one used if you know someone that no longer wants theirs or from classified ads. As always though, buyer beware when it comes to buying from an unknown source. You can’t return an item that breaks a month down the road from a yard sale. Make sure it is priced cheap enough that if it is bricked up you will not lose too much.

For me, I enjoy running on a treadmill and what my game system can offer with dance games. These are the two types of exercise I like best. I also like yoga but I usually just do a few of my favorite poses after running. This is what works for me and it may not apply to you. I wrote this to tell about a few ways to exercise without spending too much if any money at all. The only thing standing between unhealthy you and healthy you is you.

If you are really dedicated to exercising and dedicated to keeping your money then you will get creative.  There are many items you can use from around your home to get in some exercise. You don’t have to have weights to lift something heavy. There are a variety of exercises you can do at home without any equipment at all. Don’t get all caught up in the industry that sells you exercise gimmicks. Make no mistake, it is about money.