Posted in Debt, Life, money

5 Ways I Have Gained Control Of My Spending Habits

The poverty mindset is living with a flight or fight mentality

5 Ways To Gain Control Of Spending

I will admit I have a problem. Actually, more than one honestly. There were a good 30 days straight recently where I ordered something from Amazon every day. I knew I couldn’t afford to do this when I did it, but I did it anyway. I was choosing to live moment to moment. I had what I call the poverty mindset.

The poverty mindset, to me, means you live with a fight or flight mentality. You live each day as it comes with no preparations for the future. If you only have $30, you will spend it all on lottery and crab legs instead of being frugal. It is, in my mind, a survival mechanism. It is one I see all too often. When you are fighting for survival, immediate gratification is the only thing that matters.

Pay Rate

I implemented a rule of thumb in my spending that has made a huge difference for me. First, figure out the amount you get paid hourly. Then, before you buy anything, figure out how many hours you will have to work to pay for it. This method has been extremely beneficial for me.

Envelope

I like to experiment with budgets, but I’m pretty dead set on the envelope budget now. I think. It seems to have helped me the most save money on a near constant basis. This is because I see the envelopes as they dwindle away and I tend to cling tighter to the balances.

Lunch

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Eating out everyday is the fastest way to go into debt. Those small amounts, done frequently, are the things that devastate your finances.

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Photo by Carlos Lindner on Unsplash

Separate Accounts

Set up separate spending accounts and allot yourself a set amount to spend. Do not go over it. This has also helped me. I can’t give myself an allowance in and stick to it when it is all in the same account. It also helps to hide money from my husband. I mean, my kids.

Credit

This one hurts. Allow yourself to buy absolutely nothing on credit. If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it. So, basically, I can’t buy anything unless I pay cash. Instead, every time I get a commission or unexpected sum of money, I gift myself with a little impulse buy.

I want to be responsible financially and also enjoy nice things. It is possible with rules in place.

In conclusion, as with everything, I will spend in moderation now so I can enjoy my retirement with less stress later.


Unspeakable Things for $7.99

Posted in credit repair, Debt, Finance, Life, money

Paying Off Debt Quickly Using The Snowball Method

Using this method, paying off debt can be done with fast results and skyrocketing credit scores

A lady exasperated by her debt, trying to figure out how to pay it all
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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

-Aristotle

A debt snowball is not a crumpled up wad of bills for you to throw around in the snow. It is a debt reducing strategy that I learned from financial guru, Dave Ramsey. I have tried almost every financial strategy in existence and this one is the one I recommend to my financial or credit analysis clients.

Using this method, paying off debt can be done a little at a time for faster results and skyrocketing credit scores.

Step 1

Add up all of your debt and allocate them into categories such as credit cards, medical, collections, loans, etc. Then further allocate them by the ones with the highest interest rate down to the lowest. Use the method on each section or, if you can only do one at a time, start with the debt that has interest on it.

Step 2

Pay the minimum payment due on all except the one with the smallest balance or the highest interest rate. I would recommend sorting first by interest rate and then by balance to save the most money in the long run. However you decide to do it, pick the one to pay as much over the minimum payment as you can afford.

Repeat until the first debt is paid off in full.

Step 3

Repeat the first two steps over and over with the remaining debt until everything is paid off and you are one of the rare, debt-free individuals that we hear about so often.

After that final debt is cleared, you will be amazed how fast things got better for you financially and regretful for how long it took you to do it. Suddenly, you’ll be in the position to buy something that you need when you need it and use cash. Being debt free is an amazing feeling to have especially if you have almost drowned from it before.


That doesn’t sound like a big deal to some people, but I know many, many people who pray for only that circumstance to happen in their lives before they die. They just want a chance to not worry constantly about making ends meet for a few moments in their life before it’s over.

I am a definite realist and true unbeliever in fairy tales. So, please believe me when I tell you that this goal is attainable for everyone. Anyone willing to put in the work can make this happen. As with anything else, small changes and/or steps done on a consistent basis will quickly lead to great accomplishments.

My favorite financial quote has always been, “It is not how much money you earn, but how much you don’t spend that determines your wealth.” It is also a quote that I have heard from my brother 1 million times so it has stuck in my head. Which reinforces my point that anything we do repeatedly becomes an action.

Posted in Finance

How To Make Money While Making Money

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Having money in an account is nice, but most financial advisors will tell you that if your money is not working for you, then you’re losing out on wealth.

Keep your emergency fund in your regular savings account so you have immediate and total access to it. Any savings beyond that need to be put to work earning for you.

Beyond that amount in your emergency fund, put everything else in a money making venture or account. Whether that be a CD, stocks, bonds, EFTs, or just an interest-bearing savings account. You want any of your money, that’s not being spent, to work for you. It needs to grow, not lie stagnant like my heart.

Another way to make money while you’re making money, is to invest in a vending machine or other business. Be a silent investor so you don’t have to do any of the work or maintenance. Just sit back and let the money come to you. Then, put your profits in an interest-bearing account or another investment opportunity.

I also like to make money by buying a piece of furniture, flipping it and selling it for a profit. I only buy one piece at a time, so I don’t overextend myself physically, creatively, or financially. I have made good money at this. Custom painted furniture and mosaic furniture is all the rage.

COVID has affected our economy, but not all in bad ways. Now is a great time to buy real estate, if you are able to qualify. Qualifications are a little harder, but it’s a good time to buy and a great time to sell if you need to liquidate some assets.

Also, consider your education as an investment for your money. Take a class, get that degree, get that training, or just become educated. The more skills you have, the better.

Knowledge is power. I firmly believe that. The day you stop improving yourself and your life, is the day you really die.


Posted in Life

Money Taboos We Should Break

Money Taboos We Should Break
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Stop doing stupid things to sabotage your finances.

I can’t put it any more clearly. We can start becoming less uninformed, aka dumb, by breaking some of the taboos that surround the topic of money and finance.

Talk

It has been, in the past, considered taboo to talk about money.

We need to correct this now. The more we talk about money, and what does or does not work for us, the better for everybody.

And I, for one, would’ve appreciated people talking about money in high school. It would’ve been nice to learn about budgeting, saving, and earning instead of the Pythagorean theorem. I wonder how many bankruptcies could’ve been avoided if this had been implemented.

Cost

It has been considered in poor taste or vulgar to ask someone how much they paid for something.

I think that’s ridiculous because how are we supposed to know what a good deal is or if we’re getting ripped off if we don’t know what the normal baseline price is? So, when he asks, tell Tom how much that new lawnmower cost. What does it really matter? If they come asking you for money, just say no.

With this being said, I do not agree with telling people your salary or income information. That is nobody’s business but your own. Yes, I can make up my own rules. America is a democracy, but my house is a dictatorship run by me. Just ask my kids.

Marriage

Okay, ladies and men, please pay attention here. Luckily for us, it is no longer 1952 or even 1989. You don’t have to ask your husband to open a checking account, credit card, or for his input on any financial decision.

And, men, you don’t have to tell your wife about every little thing you buy nor do you have to hand your paycheck over.

I’m going to get in trouble for this comment, but all marriages work differently. You are not required to share financial accounts just because you are married. You are still entitled to your own independence and your own wealth.

My husband and I choose to share expenses, but stay out of each other’s personal accounts. It works for us. It doesn’t mean it would work for everybody. I’m well aware that marriage is an extremely complicated situation and needs to be personally built around each situation.


I cannot go back and yell at the teachers from 1993 to 1997 about not teaching me in high school what I should’ve been taught, but I can break the cycle by teaching my children about finances.

If we fix this now, the next generation will be more prepared to deal with the financial world.


Posted in Finance, Ideas, Life, tips

5 Ways To Make Extra Income

The circumstances in which one finds themselves living is not meant to be permanent. Every chapter of our life is equivalent to a different level and to grow you must level up. There is a strength from growing and gaining financially that people who have never struggled will never understand. I think to fully understand one, you must experience the other.

Awakening your prosperity is something anybody is able to do but few actually succeed in. It requires a little, old fashioned hard work and focus, which few have anymore. Those missing qualities have helped develop and maintain the bridge between the low income and higher income earners. Anyone is able to take their piece of the pie, but working for it and making smart decisions is the only way to get there.

  1. You can grow money on your savings by investing in a high yield savings account or CD so that you will earn a return on your investments. They are easy to find online and some are free. The difference between the poor and the rich is that the rich always make sure their money is working for them.
  2. You can also make, or lose, money by playing the stock market. If you decide to play the stocks, make sure you pick companies that pay a dividend. You can find this information by looking it up on the Internet. You can also find it, and much more information, in articles released daily regarding the stock market and business.
  3. You can sell downloadable forms and/or content on Etsy. You can sell anything homemade on Etsy. I have a friend that made a large sum monthly on just digital forms this way. If you have a need for something, then others do too.
  4. You can write for Medium or Vocal and earn money based on your output and popularity. This is something that takes time, much like compound interest. The more you put out, the more you will make.
  5. You can submit receipts on apps that will let you cash out with money or gift cards. A few to name are Coinout, Receiptpal, and Fetch rewards.

I hope this list will provide the stimulation someone may need to get the ball rolling on creating extra income. I will not call it passive income because passive income is generated by no work at all, such as returns from being a silent investor, etc. It is a widely overused and incorrectly used description for what I term found money.

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Posted in Humor

Doomsday Prepping 101: Post COVID Disaster Tips

The COVID-19, also know as the Coronavirus, pandemic will not be forgotten by any of us any time soon. It has wrecked havoc on my life from getting my wedding venue and honeymoon cancelled the day before my wedding to ruining my son’s baseball career. That was just the beginning of the nightmare we were all about to endure. A nightmare that seems to have no ending in sight.

I will be the first to admit that I used to tease and make fun of the zombie apocalypse, end of the world obsessed people. They would all watch that violent show on AMC and then really believe that stuff would happen. Not only that, but, they believed it would happen soon. I also spared no ridicule for the doomsday preppers with their bunkers and massive collections of canned goods. I’m not laughing anymore.

I took a good and hard look at myself during this virus and found myself to be seriously lacking. My survival skills, on a scale from one to ten, were at a negative twenty. I had no stores of canned goods or bottled water. And, even worse, I had never even thought about toilet paper being the first essential item to all but disappear. I was totally unprepared. That will not be me the next time this happens.

I will be locked, loaded, and ready from now on.

The TP

When shit hit the fan, I was not surprised to see evidence of hoarding start to happen. Much like when southerners see a snowflake, the supermarkets started getting low on certain items, mainly milk and bread. That was normal. This time, instead of bread and milk, the people panicked and bought all available toilet paper. This was not normal.

Months later, I am still confused by this. I bought bottled water and canned food. My butt was the last thing on my mind at the time. You can’t eat toilet paper for survival, but you can wipe your butt across the yard.

A lesson was learned this year. During these last few months of chaos, I have had to borrow toilet paper and, once, had to drive two hours to my brother’s house to find some. I will never let my toilet paper supply dwindle down again.

Reading

There have been a few good things to come out of all of this. I have always been a book hoarder, both paper and digital, but now I can hoard them with no backtalk from my husband! He now understands we might need these to fully educate all of our offspring in the future. I hope they like Stephen King and Ken Follett.

I might be taking advantage of this situation a little, but he has also stockpiled a few unnecessary items. Nobody needs that many tree stands.

Alcohol

This might not seem essential to some. Tell me that after trying to homeschool six kids and work a full time job. Retraction: Tell me that after trying to homeschool MY six kids and work MY full time job. I will make sure plenty of wine is on hand from now on, no matter what. I will use whatever methods I can find to prevent being defeated by my life. If I have to learn how to make my own shine myself deep in the woods somewhere, then so be it. My grandfather did it and he was not the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably because of his moonshine.

Tip: some types of alcohol can also be used to make hand sanitizer supposedly.

Back to the homeschooling debacle. I can not begin to describe the trauma this home schooling stunt has caused me or the learning disabilities it has caused my kids. School is on track to reopen very soon here and I have never been more terrified to send my kids back there. It feels like I’m sending them straight to COVID.

I am leaning towards making them stay home. I would rather have them dumb, but alive. Of course, they want to go back to school and life as normal as soon as they possibly can, so I have not discussed this with them yet. I keep hoping the schools will delay things a little longer.

Gardening

I started gardening after all of this in preparation for the next global pandemic or food shortage caused by fear mongering. I know now that I need to know more survival, cooking, and gardening skills if I expect to survive the hunger games.

However, if we should actually ever drop down to a short supply of food, my husband is an expert hunter and fisherman. For those of you that are not so lucky, I would recommend starting a garden or considering taking a course on how to loot. You can just go back and watch some old episodes of CNN for the looting lesson. I wouldn’t recommend coming to my house, though.

As I work on myself and the new life that has suddenly become mine, I try to be optimistic and positive outwardly. Inside, I am patiently waiting for my life to get back to normal. Deep down, I think we all will be learning a new normal. Life from before is over.