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
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