Sunday, November 28, 2010

Coupons

I am saving massive amounts of money with coupons lately. My new mission for 2011 is to teach everyone who reads my blog about the mysteries of saving money with coupons. It really is like free money if you know how to play the game and are willing to devote some time to searching for coupons.

My personal journey starting in 2004:

1. Get out of debt
2. Learn about money
3. Start a family (in the process of IVF)
4. Learn about saving money with coupons

I can't wait to share all of my new found knowledge with you.


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Free Stuff at Vista Print

I am in the process of shopping for Christmas gifts for my family and I wanted to share with you a secret of mine. I do a lot of my shopping at Vista Print and I get the free stuff. So, I only pay for shipping. I would recommend checking it out here.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

America's Cheapest Family

I wanted to introduce you to America's Cheapest Family. My husband showed me a clip from the Today Show last week about this family. Now, that I am doing a lot of family planning and looking at our grocery bill I am hooked on America's Cheapest Family. I would recommend checking out the website here.



Also, if you want to get updates about my IVF journey you can go here.



Best wishes,



Janie



P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am alive...

You are all so sweet. I have some of the best blog readers around. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. Doing IVF has taken a lot out of me. I haven't really been focusing on finances at all. However, I have been watching our monthly food bill. I just had a conversation with a girlfriend and she said that her biggest expense is food. We spend $700+ on food a month. My girlfriend spends $1200 a month for a family of 4. SHE couldn't believe that she spent that much. I would make sure to check those sneaky expenses. We all have to eat but maybe our choices aren't good for our wallets or our waist lines.

Food for thought...

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Five Cent Nickel

I stumbled across this blog and thought it was a good resource: www.fivecentnickel.com. I hope you enjoy it too!

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thinking Your Way to Wealth

I was reading an article in a magazine about lessons you can learn from America's millionaires. The lessons are:

  • They think long term
  • They're not afraid to take chances
  • They live below their means
  • They save
  • They invest wisely
  • They're "tax-smart"

I think this is a good list. What do you think?

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Being In Debt Vs. Wanting A Baby

Oh my! I don't know which I would consider the biggest struggle of my life. I know how difficult being in debt is and now I am just starting the IVF journey.

As I am getting started with IVF I am seeing a lot of similarities between these two struggles. I wonder if my struggle with debt was preparing me for this one. While I was in debt I was anxious, emotional, uncertain, had to be patient, work hard, and seek emotional support. I am using all of these skills now during this IVF process. However, this is pulling at my heart strings a lot more than $26,000 worth of debt. Money is money! A life is a life.

Do you ever feel like your struggles prepare you for something bigger in life? Is your debt shaping you in ways you never imagined?

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

IVF & Finances

So, I am going to continue to actively maintain this blog but I may not be posting as much. Due to learning that I will need to do IVF to get pregnant. I am now entering into a new chapter in my life. On June 3, 2010 I learned of my new chapter in my life and have decided to write about it here.

How much do you think this is going to cost? For one cycle, it can be between $10,000 and $20,000. This is just for one cycle and it normally takes a couple 1 to 4 cycles to get pregnant now. Or at least that is what the doctor told us on June 3rd.

I am sure I will find plenty of articles about couples who have financed this process on their credit cards. I will keep you posted.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank You and Newsletter

On this Memorial Day Weekend I would like to say, thank you to all of the men and women who serve and have given their lives for America. I am forever grateful for the scarifies you make so that we the American people can be free. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

The other day I got a newsletter in the mail. These are the statistics that I found in the newsletter:

- Over 75% of college graduates will graduate without knowing how to balance a checkbook

- Finances are the number one cause of divorce in this country

- The average college student graduates with over $4,000 in credit card debt and over $80,000 in student debt.

- 46% of all Americans have less than $10,000 set aside for retirement

These are shocking but not surprising to me. Can we make a pack today? If you know how to balance your checkbook can you teach a recent college grad how to. I think this is so important to pass on your knowledge to someone else. It makes the world a better place.


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do you judge others by their spending habits?

Do you judge others?

I do. Sometimes. But I try to stop myself when I feel myself doing so.

I have found that a lot of people judge others for their spending habits. It is easy to do. For instance, I can't believe she is spending $300 on a pair of shoes when she has 3 children and there are starving children in this world to feed.

The next time you feel yourself judging someone else think about why you are judging them in the first place. Do you feel inadequate? Are you jealous? Do you think you are better than the person?

I really try not to judge others because I really don't know what is going on in that person's life. Why they are making the decisions that they are making?

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, May 17, 2010

College Grads & Money

I have been out of touch lately because I am helping my husband find a job. This has been a team effort.

It is that time again and lots of college students are graduating. This is such an exciting time for many and a good time to talk to the college grads in your life about money.

Here an article as a starting point for a conversation: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/college-solution/5-financial-tips-for-college-graduates/2064/

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Counting my losses...

My husband's work situation is taking a toll on me. So many things have been put on hold because of it. I am so upset because I was planning on getting pregnant this year. But now that the job situation is the way it is we will still have to wait. Which makes me begin to think about all of the losses I have had in my life. I just recently heard about a doctor who tells her patients to write down all of their losses on a sheet of paper. Here goes...

My losses are:

- my mother leaving for an extended period of time when I was a child, I felt so abandoned
- losing childhood friendships
- feeling the heartbreak of my first relationship
- my parents divorce
- my loss of innocence
- my childhood home being sold
- death of my grandparents
- singlehood
- husband's job loss
- time

I can't think of anymore at the moment.

How does this all tie into personal finance you might ask? It is about debt. One of my biggest losses of time, money, and personal sanity was due to being in debt. I wish that I had money smarts earlier in my life. But I can't go backwards and I can't dwell in the past. So, I am going to reframe this entire situation in a positive way.

a. By the time I do have children, I will know more about personal finance.
b. I get to devote more prayer time to those struggling right now.
c. I get to devote more of my time to answering emails and helping those in need.
d. I have more time to educate myself.
e. I have more time to save for the baby's nursery, etc.

So, it is not all bad. Maybe you can think about a difficult situation you are dealing with right now and you can think of a way to reframe the situation in a more positive light.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Don't blow your budget on pricey wedding gifts

It is that time again. It is wedding season. Weddings can be expensive and not just for the couple getting married but for the guests as well. Here are a five tips that you can think about before wedding gift shopping:

1. Set a "wedding gift" budget

2. Get creative- homemade and heartfelt gifts can be so meaningful

3. Get a group gift- go in together for a bigger gift off of the couples registry

4. Stick to the registry

5. Offer your services- if you play a musical instrument or sing or take photographs maybe you can do this for the couple at their wedding

You could as use some of these ideas for birthdays, holiday, Christmas, etc.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

6 Money Tips For Recent Grads

Here is an article about money tips for recent grads: http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/109328/6-money-tips-for-recent-college-graduates

While I was in debt I read many articles by Laura Rowley I think she gives good sound advice.


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am back....

I took a few days off to regroup and collect my thoughts. I am in a much better place. I believe that everyone should take time off. Especially, when you are dealing with stressful life situations (job loss, foreclosure, debt, etc.) I know in your mind you may think you can't but taking a break even if it is for an hour can do a lot for your mental health. So, if you are in a place where you don't think you can handle anything more or you are so stressed out you aren't being helpful then take a break. That is my advice.

This is easier said then done because when I was in debt I was thinking about debt all day long everyday. I could never give myself a break from of all of the worry and stress. But last week I was feeling the same way. I just couldn't bring myself to do anything. I just needed to be alone and regroup.

It is some food for thought.


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Insecurities

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately and it all comes down to INSECURITIES. It is such an ugly word and has robbed many years of my life and my money. I realized that my insecurities within in myself were causing me to miss out on life because I was too afraid to chase some of my dreams because of that ugly word.

My insecurities cause me to be-

fearful
timid
arrogant
prideful
gain weight
hate myself
get into debt

Now I would like to let you know how my insecurities caused my debt. I was buying to appear a certain way to people on the outside. I was overspending to compensate for the pain that I was feeling inside. I thought that buying certain things would make me feel better and more secure. The funny thing is I ended up feeling less secure because I was in more debt.

However, while I was fighting to get out of debt I still carried the insecurity and self doubt around with me. I have actually been carrying it around since last week. Something happened to me last week. Maybe it is because I am now in my 30s and I am wiser. hahaha Seriously, I figured out that my insecurities were hurting me and I wanted to get to the bottom of it and to the root of the problem.

I am no longer going to feel that pain inside. Life is short and I want to live and live in the moment and be grateful for the things that I do have and stop focusing on the things that I do not have.


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Save Money On Practically Everything

I hope this article gives you some good ideas:



http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/save-money-on-practically-everything-2010.html



Happy Reading!



Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where is my life energy going?

I am being to look at money as energy. The flow of money is energy and so is the work you do for the money. But you also have mental energy. How do you use your brain?

I have been using my brain to think about others, compare myself to others, and think negative thoughts way too much lately. This is not a good use of energy or time. I could be using that energy to learn something new about money, research for new blog posts, or just do something to make the people around me feel special and loved.

It is important to see how your life energy is being used. I think I will stay stuck for years if I can't use my life energy in more productive ways.

How do you use your life energy?


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Impulse Control

I have determined that I really have a problem with impulses. I don't know how to control my impulses. I think one of the biggest reasons I was in all of that debt was due to a lack of impulse control. I was never taught to control my impulses. No one ever said "NO" to me when I was a little child. If they did I would challenge them and get my way. This has really hurt me as an adult. We all know that we can't always get our way. Life is unfair.

If you are impulsive then you sabotage your life plans. You can't even make life plans. I am no longer impulsive with my money but I am still impulsive. I am impulsive with my time and life. I want to work on this. I want to blog at the same time each day. I want to be a better person. I know that so many of you depend on me for guidance, love, and support and I want to give this on a more regular basis. I am trying and I would love to say that I can fix my impulsiveness.

So, my question for you today is: Do you struggle with impulse control issues with money, food, time, etc. in your life?


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I am sorry...

I have been distracted and unable to write the past couple of days. My husband's job loss is very stressful. I find myself crying a lot and not really getting anything done. So, I apologize for the lack of posts. I hope you know that you are all still in my heart and thoughts. I still pray for everyone reading my blog. I pray for you to get out of debt and to be happy. I know happiness is so important.

I am struggling to be happy these days. But I am going to find it and I try to re frame this situation. It is a good thing. It is a test of my faith and strength. I have been through difficult situations before and I have survived. We will be okay.

Okay, enough of my life and onto personal finance. I was reading an article about how a woman's beauty supplies, makeup, shampoo, etc. totaled $30,000. Now, this was over the course of many years but still that is a lot of money. I think it is important to watch those "little" expenses. I know I usually get talked into buying shampoo and conditioner at the end of my hair cut.

Go around your bathroom and try to calculate how much you have spent on beauty products. It may surprise you.

Until next time be well!


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What this woman said to me...

She said, "There is no money in art and artists are crazy!" I couldn't believe my ears. I couldn't believe what this woman was saying to me. She was stereotyping artists. Does she think that the employees at Apple are weird or crazy? There are many artists that work for that company are they crazy. We are surrounded by art each and everyday. I love art. I don't think that people should stereotype or go around saying that all artists are starving. Not all artists are starving.

I love art. I can't imagine our world without art. Art is everywhere (movies, music, nature, books, blogs, etc.)

Maybe some artists have made the decision to live more frugally so that they can be happy and enjoy their art. I think happiness is more important than the money you make. I realize that we all have to pay our bills. But we are also the ones in control of how we decide to live our lives. We get to pick where we want to live, the cars we drive, the food we eat, the clothes we buy, etc. So, I just feel that happiness is more important than the money you make at your job.

I have also found myself recently defining myself and self worth by my job. I am seeing this with regards to my husband. Does being unemployed change your identity? I will explore this in my next blog post...


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Profession & Money

Does your profession earn you a lot of money? Do you wish you made more money?

I have strong feelings about my profession, money, and happiness. I am off to work soon so I can't blog for very long but this is a hot topic for me. I went to college and picked my current profession because I thought I would make a lot of money. But did I factor in my happiness in that equation. No, I just thought of all of the toys I could buy when I was 21 and in college. I was naive and brainwashed by society/marketing that being able to buy and making good money is the ticket to happiness. THAT BELIEF IS SO NOT TRUE.

What makes me happy is being outside, doing art, blogging, spending time with family and friends? But you know what. I spend the majority of my time at my job and spending money. I am not focusing my time and energy on the things I love. Instead I am trying to keep up with the Joneses. I am trying to do what society thinks I should do instead of doing what is in my heart.

I want to be a free thinker. I feel like I am drowning in all of these emotions lately. It maybe because my husband doesn't have a job. It could be that I am no longer in my 20s and I feel that I didn't accomplish the things that I wanted to accomplish in my 20s. It could be that I am very harsh on myself.

These thoughts will continue....

Plus I do want to blog about something a woman said to me recently that triggered anger inside of me. It was about art and making money.

To be continued in the next blog post...

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Identity Issues

I am beginning to believe that ALL of my previous money troubles and current spending revolve around an identity issue. I am seeing this all of the time. I base my self esteem and self worth off of other people. I constantly compare my insides with others outsides and possessions. I know that I shouldn't do this but I do it anyway.

I still don't know who I am or what I value most of the time with regards to spending money. I know that I am debt free now but that still doesn't help this identity situation that I have. I just don't feel good in my own skin all of the time. Maybe a lot of people compare themselves to me. On the outside I appear to have it "all" together. But inside I feel like a mess most days.

I want to make more money or have more things and then I think I will be happy. But I don't know if that will be the case. I thought that if I made above $50,000 I would be happy, I thought that if I purchased a car of my dreams I would be happy, I thought if I got married and had a picture perfect marriage I would be happy, etc. Instead all I feel is momentary satisfaction and then I am off to the next goal. It is as if I have this running check list for my life. Now, I want children so all I can think about is babies! When will this treadmill end? I think it will end when I get off the treadmill. How in the world do I get off the treadmill and still feel satisfied with life?

I feel like a lot of people are on the treadmill. Actually, I think I fear finding my true self and then it not being in line with what society (or what I think society) demands of me. Maybe it is all the marketing that is making me feel miserable.

Does anyone else out there feel this same way? I am really looking for responses here because I want to know how to "cure" this identity issue.


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Do you hide behind your possessions?

Do your possessions define your self-esteem?

I think this is an important question everyone should ask themselves. I know at different points in my life my possessions have defined me. For example, the place I decided to live after college and the brands I decided to buy while I was in debt. I was acting RICH. I was acting as if I had money. I actually believe that the majority of people do act like they are rich. Or at least they are acting or role playing in some way. I know I am afraid to show my true self sometimes. It is a fear of being judged. I hide behind my possessions so that no one can judge me.

I found a very interesting quote that I thought I would share with you: "The pseudo affluent are insecure about how they rank among the Joneses and the Smiths. Often their self-esteem rests on quicksand. In their minds, it is closely tied to how long they can continue to purchase the trappings of wealth. They strongly believe all economically successful people display their success through prestige products. The flip side of this has them believing that people who do not own prestige brands are not successful."

I think this is an important point to make. I should never judge a "book by its cover" because I don't know another person's wealth.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Financial resources to check out...

Here are some financial resources you may want to check out:

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/economics/in_focus/security_if_extension_finance.html

http://www.mymoney.gov/

http://www.federalreserve.gov/

http://www.sec.gov/index.htm

http://www.ncua.gov/NewsPublications/Publications/index.aspx


Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Money = Happiness

Money equals happiness for me. I have always known this but it became obvious this past week.

I will give some background information so you understand the context. While growing up I was around, friends with, and living near many wealthy (millionaires- or they looked like that from the outside) and it shaped my views about money. My family on the other hand lived in the nice neighborhood but I think my parents were either frugal or just getting by living in that neighborhood. They wanted to send me to the best schools in our area so that is why we lived there.

However, I always watched and heard my parents fight about money and have money issues. Whenever, I went over to my rich friends house there were no fights about anything and they always seemed happy. The mothers were involved and interested in their children. They were organized and had priorities and rules. My house on the other hand was chaotic with no rules and no structure. This chaos created a lot of unhappiness for me while growing up.

Therefore, I always equated money with happiness. I believe that society teaches this to us as well.

I want to know what makes me happy. What makes me truly happy?

To be continued...

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Money and Me

This post is a continuation about my thoughts regarding money and me.

I feel an urge or a sense of entitlement with regards to buying things for myself now. I feel that I deserve things. I tell myself in my head that I should be allowed to treat myself because I got out of debt, I have a job, I work hard, I have made sacrifices like delaying having children, etc. So, I deserve to treat myself.

I am a mood driven consumer. Actually, I am a mood driven everything. If I don't feel like doing something I don't do it. This happens with chores around the house and also eating. I guess I am just moody (but I am a sweet moody person). This is an important note to make here. No one on the outside sees this struggle or moodiness because this is all internal. Therefore, if you knew me in real life you wouldn't know that I was feeling this way or moody at all because I don't show it to friends and family.

Actually, I have an internal struggle with myself daily to be disciplined, to stay within budget, etc. But I know the alternative is much worse. For instance, if I didn't stay within my budget I would be in debt again.

I don't like budgeting and I don't like feeling deprived. However, that is part of life. I can't have everything and I can't control life. This is where my faith comes in and takes over. As you can see, that even though I am out of debt and my finances are on track I still struggle with my feelings about money.

It is very interconnected.

To be continued...

I hope this is helping you. Let me know if you have similar struggles and what you do.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What is triggering me about money?

First, I want to say "thank you" for all of the well wishes about my husband's job situation. You are the sweetest blog readers ever! I really appreciate all of your comments and emails. It means a lot and I will keep you all posted.

SO, why is money driving me crazy lately? Why do I feel anger about money lately?

Honestly, I don't know. I know that probably wasn't the answer you were expecting but today I just don't know. I am going to make a list and think about it some more. Here are some general thoughts:

  • For a long time I have felt the need to fit in by spending money and eventually getting myself into debt. I get lost in the social programming and many marketing messages in society.
  • I had a lack of money education as a child.
  • I had a lack of "real world" skills- how to live in society as a successful adult?
  • I don't feel perfect enough. My house isn't perfect enough, clothes aren't perfect enough, body isn't perfect enough, etc. I was spending to fill this need.
  • I think it comes down to need. Money fills a need for me. I think it is filling the need of security and self worth for myself.
  • I need money to feel secure. But what happens if I lost all of my money? Would I still love myself?
  • The money I have in the bank is just a number. It doesn't determine who I am as a person. That amount of money is a number. The real reason I am here is to find myself, love myself, and help others in the process.

To be continued...

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A personal story to share...

I want you to know about something that I have been struggling with lately. It is a long story so I am going to break it up into different blog posts.

I will first start by saying that my husband lost his job yesterday. Yes, the reality of unemployment hit home last night. I was physically ill. I couldn't sleep and my head was hurting so badly. I didn't know what to do with myself. But that is only part of everything that has happened to me this year.

I took a long walk this morning and cried the entire time. I cried so hard that I couldn't even see straight at times. I finally found a bench in a near by park to just sit and cry some more. I was praying so hard for everything in my life but most of all strength and guidance in my time of need. I felt so lonely on that park bench and I didn't want to talk to anyone but GOD. So, I started talking and crying some more. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life to date. How does this story end? Well, I was alone and then a man with a dog come into the park and the man asks if I need help. I told him that I was okay and just needed to be by myself. He said, "ok" and walked away. I then told him how much I appreciated his concern and he said "I need to have a good cry too every now and then." It was just what I needed at that moment. GOD is good.

Next, I have discovered that I still have a very twisted relationship with money. Even though my debt problems are over I am still not okay with my relationship with money. I will describe in more detail in my upcoming posts. I am going to use this as my journal right now and hopefully you will learn from what I am going through right now.

My main purpose of this blog is to share and learn about money and it touches everyone and everything in your life. I think one of the best gifts you can give yourself is figuring out your own relationship with money. I am going to attempt to get to the heart of the issue. So, I will have peace with money and possessions.

Thanks for listening today my wonderful blog readers. My husband and I will be okay and we will figure out his whole job situation. Now, I really understand how others in America are feeling about being unemployed and the fears associated with that predicament.

To be continued...

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do you look at your Social Security statement?

This post is for all ages.

I just got my annual social security statement in the mail the other day. This statement summarizes how much money I have paid in Social Security and Medicare over my lifetime of working. It also gives an estimate of how much social security I would receive if I work until I am 67.

It is important to check to make sure that the social security administration is accurately recording your earned income. You want to make sure the numbers are correct so that you get paid the correct amount of benefits when you are in retirement. The numbers they have on file are the numbers they use to calculate your benefits.

I make this a yearly check. When I get the statement in the mail I look at it check to make sure everything is accurate and then file it away.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Do you spend time dwelling on painful experiences from your past?

Do you spend time dwelling on painful experiences from you formative years?

If so, it is time to leave the past in the past and move on. Otherwise, you risk not being as successful as you can be. I know this all for a fact! I wasted 5 - 10 years of my life worrying about and focusing on my past. If only I had done this and not that. If only I can make a few changes from my past. I could have been using that time to plan for the wonderful things in the future. Instead, I was stuck in my past and my worrying grew deeper. I was fearful of making a mistake so I stopped living for a few years.

I am no longer afraid. I know that I will make mistakes and I will learn from them and move on. Stop beating yourself up for your past mistakes. Especially, the mistakes you made about your finances and start focusing on what you can do right now. Live in the now!

The best advice that I can give is live in the now.

"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
~ Alice Morse Earle

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meet the Millionaire Next Door

Today, I will be discussing the Meet the Millionaire Next Door chapter of The Millionaire Next Door.

Meet the Millionaire Next Door

Quotes:

"We have a go-to hell fund. In other words, we have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years." page 10

Take Home Points:

PAW- prodigious accumulator of wealth

UAW- under accumulator of wealth

You want to be a PAW because PAWs are the best at building net worth compared to others in their income/age category.

Most of America's millionaires are first-generation rich.

Education is very important

So my take away from this is that I want to be a PAW and create an emergency fund that I could live off for multiple years.

Best wishes,

Janie

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

# 9 Planning

When I was in debt I didn't have a plan. I was just coasting through life directionless. It was fun at times but looking back I don't know where a lot of my time went or what I was doing. Now, I focus on my plan for my life. Everything that I do is carefully thought out.

The rich have a plan.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

You May Not Hear From Me....

You may not hear from me for a few days because our area is getting a lot of power outages due to the massive snow storm we are getting. No power, no Internet, and no blog posts.

Mr. Snow please no more snow for Washington, D.C. this year. We have already had 3 snow storms this season.

If you live in DC or the surrounding areas like me, I hope you are staying safe and warm in your homes.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Millionaire Next Door, Introduction

Today, I will be discussing the Introduction of The Millionaire Next Door. I am ready to learn about those millionaires. How about you?

The format will usually go like this:

  • Quotes From Chapters (that I like)
  • Take Home Points

Introduction

Quotes:

  • "Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend." page 1
  • "Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning and, most of all, self-discipline." page 2

Take Home Points:

7 Factors of People Who Accumulate Wealth

1. They live well below their means.

2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.

3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.

4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care. (This one totally cracks me up! I never received any outpatient care from my parents.)

5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.

6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.

7. They chose the right occupation.

Best wishes,

Janie

P.S. You have come to the right place if you are looking for information about getting out of credit card debt, paying off credit card debt, money tips, or for a friendly place if you are struggling with getting out of debt.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Do you remember Book Nook (Free Book Clubs)?

It has been a long time but I want you to know that the Book Nook, my version of a free book club is back in full force. The book choice is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley.


I have decided to pick this book because I thought it would best to learn what the traits of a millionaire really are. What can we learn from them?


I think it is always helpful to learn from others.

Tomorrow, I will be discussing the Introduction to the book.

Best wishes,

Janie

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

# 8 Confidence

#8 Difference between being in debt vs. being out of debt is Self Confidence

Now that I am out of debt I have self confidence. I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. While I was in debt I had low self-esteem and a negative outlook on life. Being out of debt is power. You have power because you have confidence and you have choice. It is a learning experience and you grow. You find out who you are in the process of getting out of debt and what your values are. Therefore, money is power and so is being out of debt.

Best wishes,

Janie

Sunday, January 31, 2010

#7 Time Waster

While I was in debt I wasted so much time. Unfortunately, I can't ever get that time back. I started to keep a time diary to figure out where all of my time was going. It was going to socializing.

One big distinction between the middle class and wealthy is the amount of time they spending socializing and talking behind peoples backs or thinking about others. The rich are thinking about their next business venture. The middle class are thinking about others and focusing on what others are doing. The middle class focus on the entertainment that the rich are creating in their minds (movies, video games, restaurants, shopping, clothing, etc.). The middle class want to fill their time being entertained.

Just something to examine. Where does all of your time go?

I think it is important to have balance between the entertainment, reading, thinking, and planning for your future. You need to have some entertainment for pure pleasure in this life.


Best wishes,

Janie

Monday, January 25, 2010

Food For Thought....

About aging and your finances.



I am reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and I found this passage very interesting for a variety of reasons. In her book on page 192 she says:



"But here's what the researchers did discover that makes elderly women miserable across the board: poverty and poor health. Whether you have children or not, then, the prescription seems clear: Save your money, floss your teeth, wear your seat belt, and keep fit - and you'll be a perfectly happy old bird someday, I guarantee you."



Here are the valuable priorities:



1. Take care of your health

2. Save your money, pay off debt, and control your spending



I just thought this was very interesting and I am glad that I read this at 29 and not 59. Now, I have time to do something about my health and financial situation (save a lot for retirement).



Best wishes,

Janie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

#5 Sucker to Marketing

#5 Sucker to Marketing

When I was in debt I would get sucked into all of the marketing?! Does this happen to you? If a product was new or had new packaging I would have to try it. I couldn't stop myself. The novelty of the product had me "sold" and I would just put it on my credit card. I would purchase everything at the end of check out counters. It was like I needed to try out these new products. I was a marketers dream. I got sucked right into buying these products that companies spent millions on research and advertising for people just like me.

Now, I don't get sucked into buying just anything because it is "new" or "cool" instead I buy it if it lines up with my values. My desires and wants that I have spent years trying to figure out.

If you want to test this out yourself. Look at the check out areas at the stores your frequent. You will see a lot of little items near the check out area that you will pick up while you are waiting in line. The marketers are hoping you will buy these items.

I would recommend bringing something to read with you or picking up a magazine to look at while you are waiting in line. This way you will not be tempted to look at everything and potentially buy more stuff while waiting in line.

Best wishes,

Janie

Thursday, January 21, 2010

#4 People Pleaser

I was a people pleaser while I was in debt. I wanted to impress others. I compared myself to others all of the time. I was always trying to keep up with others. I never felt good enough with in myself. I always wanted more!

How did I break this? I just realized that there will always be someone who is more wealthy than I and someone who has less than myself. This will continue to change depending on what phase of life I was in. What is important to me socially in my 20s will not be as important in my 40s?!

I was told by a wealthy friend to ask people 10 years older what is their biggest regret or what they would have done differently. Everyone one that I talked to in their 40s wished they had saved more for retirement.

Go try it out and let me know what you find out. It is most important to please yourself. You are the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror each day and also deal with the consequences of your actions. Not the person that you are trying to please or comparing yourself to.

Best wishes,

Janie

Monday, January 18, 2010

I was Scattered

#3 Scattered

While in debt I was scattered. My mind was scattered, everything in my house was scattered and I couldn't find what I was looking for. I ended up spending more money and time because I was scattered. I was directionless and I didn't have a purpose to my life.

In my getting out of debt journey, I turned this all around. I remember from childhood going into my friend's houses with wealthy parents. They were organized and their homes were clean. They guarded their time and lived life with purpose.

These are the traits that you want to work on during your own getting out of debt journey. It will transform your life. I promise.

How can you become more organized? How can you guard your time?

Best wishes,

Janie

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Thoughts

#2 My Thoughts

The most noticeable difference between being in debt vs. being debt free are my thought patterns. I enjoy the little things in life now. I am proud of myself. I feel accomplished. I can enjoy life. I feel free. This keeps me going and it keeps me wanting to write for my blog. To give you hope and awareness about your own thoughts towards money and life.

While in debt I was obsessed with anything that had to do with money. I had such a money focus. I checked my bank account and credit card accounts almost every hour. I was hoping and wishing that magically money would appear in there. But it never did. I had low self esteem. I was distracted. I could never be fully present because I was always preoccupied with my money problems. I was a liar to myself and my friends. I was always trying to protect my image.

Being in debt and getting out of debt was a very humbling experience for me. I now look at the world differently. I believe in myself. I know that I can do anything. I know that getting out of debt is a process. It is a life long commitment much like eating healthy and keeping your weight at a healthy level.

I want to give you hope. I believe in you. You are on your way to financial freedom. I know it.

Best wishes,

Janie

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Distinctions

I will call this series the 10 distinctions between my mindset and habits while in debt vs. debt free.


Part of getting out of debt for me was changing my mindset.



1. My Purse. I talked about this before in a previous post. However, while I was in debt my purse looked as if a bomb went off in it on a daily basis. Now, my purse is clean and organized. I now use a wallet that is solid and doesn't expand. So each day I have to clean it out and organize it so it will close.



I would say take a hard look at your purse or wallet. What does it say about you? If you were a stranger off the street looking at your wallet for the first time what would this stranger think? I find it easier to step outside of myself and pretend I am stranger that knows nothing about myself and see how they would perceive something that I am doing. This has been a useful decision making and analyzing technique for me.



Let me know what your purse or wallet says about you.



Next up are my thoughts...to be continued...

Best wishes,

Janie

Monday, January 11, 2010

21 Day Financial Fast

Have you heard of this concept before? During this 21 day financial fast you will not shop or use your credit cards. For three weeks you need to refrain from buying anything that isn't a necessity such as food and medicine.

Do you think you can do this? I know this can be hard but it is only for three weeks and it will help determine what really is a need vs. a want.

I also have a little story about a close friend of mine. She is so in debt that she only has $100 to live off of for the next two weeks. Have you ever been in a situation like this before? She has paid all of her debt and her mortgage payment and that is all she has to live on. This breaks my heart and it makes me worried that some of you that read my blog may be in the same sort of situation.

If you are maybe you can find a friend to help you out or go to a church. For my friend I am buying her food for the next two weeks because I don't want her to go hungry. Maybe someone close to you can help you out like this.

Best wishes,

Janie

Saturday, January 9, 2010

1 Day Left

1 Day Left

Activity #1


Congratulations you have made it to the end of the challenge. You are awesome! You have done such a good job over the past 100 days. YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD OF YOURSELF.

Thank you for trusting in me and believing in my little activity. I will make a grand post with all of these activities for you to refer back to if you want to redo this activity.

I am in the process of figuring out how I would like to proceed in 2010 with my blog. I will definitely do more book reviews because I know everyone learns so much from the book reviews and finish up loose ends on my blog. Please let me know if you would like me to cover anything specific in 2010 that would really help you.

Here is the last question in the activity:

Are you an "underbuyer" or "overbuyer"? As an underbuyer, you delay making purchases or buy as little as possible. As an overbuyer, you purchase large quantity of items all at the same time. This is the person who buys 5 bottles of shampoo to have on hand.

I think I am a little of both because sometimes I underbuy and sometimes I overbuy.

Best wishes,

Janie

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 Days Left

2 Days Left

Activity #2

Do you feel happy when you spend your money wisely? What do you spend money wisely on?

Best wishes,

Janie

Thursday, January 7, 2010

3 Days Left

3 Days Left

Activity #3

Can you go without using your credit card for 30 days?

Yes, I can but I will have to plan and have enough cash in my wallet for say gas or groceries.

Best wishes,

Janie

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

4 Days Left

4 Days Left

Activity #4

What kind of person are you?

I am asking this question because money has different value and means different things to different people. You might love to collect art while someone else doesn't even appreciate art. You may love to watch movies at home while someone else loves to go to the movie theater to watch a movie.

I think it is very important to become clear about who you are. Not what someone else likes or wants you to buy.

Best wishes,

Janie

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5 Days Left

5 Days Left

Activity #5

How much money do you have relative to the people around you and relative to your own experience?

Remember, one person's fortune is another person's misfortune.

Best wishes,

Janie

Monday, January 4, 2010

6 Days Left

6 Days Left

Activity #6

Can money help buy happiness?

I would say, "yes it can" money was the only reason why I got out of debt in the first place. However, some may argue that money was the reason that I got into the debt to begin with. But I don't think this is the case at all. I got into debt because of my credit card, lack of knowledge, not understanding money, and not knowing myself and my values. The extra money that I had to pay off my debt bought me peace of mind, freedom, and happiness.

Best wishes,

Janie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

7 Days Left

7 Days Left

Activity #7

Can money buy you happiness?

For me personally, I don't think that money can buy me happiness. However, I know that getting myself out of debt made me happy and still makes me happy. That gift that I gave myself was a peace of mind and freedom.

What do you think can money buy you happiness?

Best wishes,

Janie

Saturday, January 2, 2010

8 Days Left

8 Days Left

Activity #8

Happy New Year!

What can you do in one month to completely change your relationship with money? What is that one thing going to be?

For me it is writing down all of my expenses and then at the end of the month to see what my trend was. A good example of this happened with my purchases last month. I would purchase Coke from the vending machines at work, at the mall, at the grocery store, etc. I realized that I spent $8.00 on Coke from the vending machine. But that isn't good for my body or teeth either. It really is the little expenses that can get you in the end.

Best wishes,

Janie

Friday, January 1, 2010

9 Days Left

9 Days Left in Getting Out of Debt Challenge

Activity 9

Take a financial snap shot of your life. Go through all of your bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc. and total up everything that you have. Now, this time next year do the same thing and see what your results are.

This is a fun activity especially for people getting out of debt and savers. You get to actually see how far you have come in a year.

Best wishes,

Janie
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