Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

It’s New Sponge Day!

Ok, it’s not as exciting as it sounds.  But it makes me happy because it is a monthly reminder of how I saved money and how I learned patience.  Let me explain.

About a year ago, I needed a new kitchen sponge – a simple 2-sided sponge (one spongy, one scrubby).  I had been buying the generic brand at Wal-Mart for 97 cents and making it last as long as I could.  I did try to buy 2 at a time because the less I go to Wal-Mart the better.   About this time, we signed my daughter up for 6 free months of Amazon Prime (a deal for college students).  One day I was doing some comparison shopping and found a 21 pack of the Scotch brand of sponges for just 63 cents per sponge.  That was a savings of 34 cents a month, I got the brand name and I didn’t have to go to the store every month to get a new one.  And with this, I could have a new, clean sponge every month which was great for my OCD.

See, I told you it wasn’t very exciting.  But when you have a savings mindset, every penny counts.  Today, when I opened that new sponge, it was just a reminder of the money that I had saved.

A savings mindset will not make you wealthy in and of itself, but it will definately contribute to it.   Many people focus all of their energy on savings.  Others, focus all of their energy on bringing in more money.  But it is having a great balance of both that will bring you wealth.  Building wealth is a lifestyle not just a diet.  And like a diet, all the plans out there for building wealth will work for a short time, but in order to sustain, you must make lifestyle changes.

After I had my aha moment 19 years ago, I didn’t just become debt free over night and start building wealth.  As a matter of fact, I would pay off a few credit cards and find myself using them again.  The reason was I didn’t have the right mindset.  I was taking the actions but my mind, and as a result my habits, weren’t changing.  When I realized this little gem, my finances starting changing dramatically and have been ever since.

Whether it is sponges, toilet paper, paper towels, or anything else you find a way to save a few pennies on, celebrate the savings because by saving money you are building a savings mindset and that along with increasing income will bring you to where you want to be – building wealth and reaching financial freedom

For more about how Debbi got out of $200,000 worth of debt as a single mom making $10,000 a year and to learn everything she learned in her journey, check out her best selling, award winning book “The ABC’s of Personal Finance” wherever books are sold and in ebook form on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, & Google Play.  

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Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Awesome Budget Tips – Carrie Wilkerson

As promised on this week’s broadcast/podcast, I am sharing these great budget tips from @CarrieWilkerson.  She is a fellow motivational speaker and author and when I read this, I knew you needed it, even as a reminder, because I did.  What I loved about it is she, like me, didn’t sugar coat it.  Sometimes we share dessert with you, making what we have to say go do smooth.  But every so often we need to give you meat & vegetables to keep you healthy in your life and in your finances.  I hope you will read this the way it was intended – with lots of love and support.

You can win in your finances – you will win in your finances!  But the decision is yours.  You are the author of your own story!  Write a best seller!

Some budget tips…

[SPEND LESS]

+ If you want to make more, spend less. #truestory
+ If you’re complaining about being broke, spend less.
+ If you’re stressed about minimum payments or juggling dollars, spend less.
+ If you’re mad at yourself or your spouse or fighting about money, spend less.
+ If you’re jealous of other folks because of ______ then spend less.
+ If you want more choices about where to live, what to drive, where the kids go to school, quitting your job or having some options… SPEND LESS.

This is where it STARTS. YES – you can make more with your business. YES – you can still work to change your circumstance- but first SPEND LESS.

[BE AWARE]

Evaluate EVERY expense. Is is NECESSARY or just something you ‘deserve’?

What if you did ‘without it’ for a few weeks/months? Would it change your quality of life?

Print out 3-6 months of credit card and debit card statements.

+ Highlight EVERY recurring charge.
+ Highlight EVERY disposable thing.
+ Highlight EVERY spontaneous purchase.
+ Highlight EVERY expense for something you don’t wear/play with/use/cook with/read or watch anymore.
+ Highlight EVERY unlicensed therapy expense (meaning you were self medicating with food/shopping/movies/girl time/drinks/etc.

Then… (here’s the hard part) – STOP THOSE THINGS.

Also – evaluate insurance, credit card rates, cable plans (unplug it), phone plans (downgrade) and new clothes (seriously. stop)

When I’m getting ahold of my sloppy financial habits again (this is a process, you know I’ve paid off boatloads of debt MORE THAN ONCE #slowlearner) —-

I ALSO DO THESE THINGS….

[BLINDERS ON]

I UNSUBSCRIBE from email ‘sales and newsletters’ – can’t buy what I don’t see!

I THROW AWAY catalogs that come in the mail – they don’t even come INTO THE HOUSE. Do NOT fool yourself ‘I’m just getting ideas, I’m making a wishlist, I’m just planning for when I can afford it.’ – NO NO NO NO – THROW IT AWAY. It will still be available for purchase when you can afford it. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SALE.

I do NOT click on Facebook ads (those things follow you around and wear you down until you cannot help but buy. STOP IT)!

I do NOT attend home parties or demonstrations or trade shows or craft fairs or open houses or garage sales or ANYTHING WITH THE CHANCE TO BUY. Not when I’m reining it in. NOPE.

I TAKE THE APPS off my phone… Amazon, Starbucks, Instacart, ZigZag, Macys – ALL OF IT — OFF THE PHONE. Y’all – they have us figured out… if we can purchase with a click and without a brain, they WANT THAT. STOP THAT MESS. TAKE OFF THE APPS.

During commercials on TV I pick a project. I might tidy the sink or move a load from washer to dryer or go outside with the dogs – I AVOID MARKETING MESSAGES. YES – this is extreme. So is debt. So is financial stress. So is bankruptcy. So is NOT PAYING YOUR BILLS.

I SHOP in my CLOSET. IF I see an outfit I like on someone else or on FB — I go into my closet and drawers and put together something similar. Or do without.

I grocery shop ONCE a week and plan meals ahead of time to avoid mealtime meltdown and drive through overspends.

I use cash instead of cards.
I think in terms of effort… “how many xx do I have to sell or hours do I have to work to pay for this delivery pizza instead of doing a frozen pizza?”

YES DELIVERY TASTES BETTER… but debt free tastes BEST. #TrustMe

Don’t be a victim to marketing messages, bad habits, lack of will power and deserve levels.

Think of what you what MOST (financial stress-lessness and freedom) instead of what you want NOW (cute shoes or a top).

Think of WHY you’re so quick to spend and what you are self-medicating about or delaying…

You can do this.
I do a spending freeze at least once a year. It’s not fun but it keeps me in check.

This is a TOUGH time of year to do it – but HONESTLY… the MOST EFFECTIVE time of year! If you wait until JANUARY… how many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS will you have overspent??

Change your habits. Change your life. #DareYa

#1 — SPEND LESS
#2 — BE AWARE
#3 — BLINDERS ON!

 

Have a blessed day and please share this great information with your friends and followers!

Look out for Debbi’s new book, “50 Shades of Money”, in a few months.  Until then, check out her best selling , award winning book “The ABC’s of Personal Finance” on her website, http://www.debbiking.com or anywhere books are sold!

Posted in Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, You and Your Money

The Silliest Thing I Ever Heard

Today, I heard something that really floored me.  A lady tweeted a negative comment to a colleague of mine and she said “Things cost more if you are poor, everything!”  At first I laughed at the absurdity of this statement, but then I began to realize she truly believed this.  And with this mindset, she is going to stay poor forever.

We all have the same opportunities.

We all pay the same thing for stuff.

We all can be millionaires.

These are all true statements, but you have to believe them in order for them to come true for you.  Everyone has the opportunity to get a job, excel at that job, move up in career and do well.  This is the same whether you work at McDonalds or a Fortune 500 company.  This isn’t determined by your education.  It is determined by your work ethic and believing in always doing your best.  It is the key to succeeding and going far – not your pay or where you work.  But if you choose to be a victim of your circumstances your whole life, you won’t go very far at all.  Some may have it a little bit easier, but where you end up is all up to you.

A loaf of bread cost the same for me as it does you.  A shirt or pair of jeans cost the same for me as it does for you.  Wal-Mart doesn’t run a D&B report in order to know what to charge you.  They charge everyone the exact same thing.  However, your ability to pay may be different than mine because of the choices that we have both made.  As stated in the previous paragraph, you job, career and pay are determined by how hard you are willing to work for it.  If you aren’t willing to work as hard as someone else, you may not have the same income as they do.  A manager at McDonald’s makes the same as an entry level bookkeeper.  One requires education and one doesn’t.  There are no excuses for getting what you want, but it is excuses that will keep you where you are.

We can all be millionaires.  Most of you aren’t sure about this one.  But if you invest just $100 a month from age 25-65 into a good growth stock mutual fund, you will have around $1.7 million when you retire.  And even the guy making minimum wage can find $100 a month.  You are where you are because of choices.  And you will end up where you end up because of choices.  If you choose cable, eating out, movies, car payments, cell phones, etc. over investing that $100, then you will not be a millionaire.  But if you choose to invest the $100 and build your budget around the rest of your pay, you will be a millionaire no matter where you work or what you make.

I really wish I could have had 2 minutes with the lady who wrote the comment.  Although, sadly, after the 2 minutes nothing probably would have changed.  You see, people want an excuse to stay where they are because it is hard work to succeed.  To succeed in your finances means you have to be a big boy/girl and put on your big boy/girl pants and make good decisions.  This can be challenging at times because it means saying no some things or maybe saying not now to others.  So we take the easy way out – or what seems to be the easy way.  However, I’ve been broke and it ain’t easy.  I find the life I have now much easier even though I don’t get everything I want.

To the lady who wrote the comment, let’s talk.  And to all of you out there, you can do it.  You can have a career, you can make a great income and you can make wise financial decisions that fall within the boundaries of that income.  I know people who make $200,000 a year and are broke and I know people who make $30,000 a year and are in great shape financially.  It is all about choices.  And if you are that $30,000 guy or gal, be grateful and content during this season, but don’t stay there.  Always be working toward bigger and better.  You are awesome and you are worth it and with a little hard work, you can get there!