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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