Monday, February 27, 2012

That REALLY pushes my buttons....

I'm reading a terrific book currently. "The Happiness Project". This book is all about Gretchen's journey through a year of getting to that "happy" place and eliminating things in her life that bogged her down and stressed her out. I HIGHLY reccomend it.

This book is so encouraging to me. It's nice to know that I am not the only person out there that thinks about things like this. I'm not the only person out there that WANTS to eliminate daily stressers that make us all on edge.


Okay, so reading this book has really opened my eyes to just HOW much stuff we have in our lives that make us antsy, edgy, moody, broke, and frustrated. I have ranted about this before, but I am going to ONCE AGAIN make a list of "Stressers" in my life that keep me from being happy and free.

**NOTE TO SELF AND EVERYONE ELSE... daily stressers will happen. You WILL  have stressful days. There is no way to completely eliminate that.**

1. Clutter. I realize that's a huge statement so let me break it down more.
-closets. things I dont wear or use need to be thrown out. every time I see them I feel overwhelmed because they are STILL THERE!
-drawers. My house has probably 5 junk drawers. I mean really?? That is insane. There are more dead batteries in these drawers. Did I ACTUALLY think they would come back to life? lol
-laundry room. This room seems to be a catch all. Don't know HOW it became that, but it seems to be the room where everything that doesn't have a home ends up.
-my car. My car constantly makes me crazy. I live out of it, seems like. i travel 3 days a week for work, I have a 6 year old, and i'm not a neat freak myself so my car is always overwhelming. ONCE AND FOR ALL--I WILL fix this.

2. LISTS. I am all about making lists. And suprisingly, Gretchen in the "Happiness Project" is as well. BUT, we have to COMPLETE those lists. So, i am actually going to SIT DOWN and make some final lists and complete them. Then I will be happier.

3. My paying bills method. i pay my bills on time, but unfortunately I do not have a designated place to do this. Sometimes it's at work if I have a spare moment, sometimes in the car while I am stopped at a red light, sometimes on the kitchen counter. NO WAY! I am done with this. That is NOT good and it keeps me stressed.

4. I will cancel DVR from recording EVERYTHING! Y'all, for real. I click on my list of shows taped and it makes me nuts. I feel overwhelmed at the list of the tv shows I need to watch. REALLY? I have GOT to get a grip.

5. I will not stop until everything has a home. EVERYTHING should have a place.

6. I will do all of this in a timely manner so it won't drag out and stress me out.

7. I will complete this and then I will breathe a HUGE sigh of relief.

8. Recycle. I will pick ONE day a month to recycle instead of making a few trips a week. Saving trees is important but it's causing me to stress. I will find something to put all of the items in so that when i make my monthly trips i will have ONE bin to pick up and be done with it.

9. I will figure out how in the world to make my bathroom countertops not look like a Mary Kay party just took place. i will do better.

Let's get happy, folks. Get rid of it! and BREATHE!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What does it mean to YOU?

What does living on less mean to YOU? What would it mean for your family? If you decided today to get rid of the clutter in your life what would that do for you?

1. You would have a LOT less to clean. You could clean your house in half the time if you didn't have SO much furniture to dust, so many nick nacks to move around and clean off, and so much stuff on the floors!

2. You would have less piles of "give aways" and "garage sale items" laying around. You wouldn't constantly be creating stacks of items to take to the good will. You wouldn't have excess things.

3. You would have more money. If you chose to live on less then you WOULD save money. Think about it... you'd have less dishes to wash, less clothes to wash, less cleaning products to buy, less gas to put in your car which saves money, less electricity to pump through your house... you WOULD save money.

4. Your debt would go down. You would save money and prevent the spending of money if you chose to live on less. You wouldn't have to go buy the newest and latest gadgets. You would relieve the pressure "keeping up with the Jones" and you could rid your life of "stuffitis."

5. You WOULD be happier. You would be happier because you would be more content. You wouldn't feel this CONSTANT pressure to have more. You would sleep better, live longer, and have more time to focus on your family.

These aren't necessarily life altering changes, but they would alter your life to some degree. Think about how NICE it would be if you chose to give it up! To give up the pressure, to embrace contentment, and to watch your financial world change.

How NICE would that be?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Preparing for the worst

I hate to even write this because I look like Debbie Downer. And I have NEVER been a fan of hers. But, some topics aren't easy to talk about but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't...

Sometimes you MUST prepare for the worst.

What if you lost your job tomorrow? Or, your spouse did? what would happen? Would you go into panic mode? Into a major stress/anxiety attack? Would you begin fearing that you would lose your house, or car, or that you would go without food?

If you answered yes to ANY of those, then you need to STOP THE MADNESS NOW!! I understand that NO one wants to purposely stress out by just thinking about what would happen if your family lost one (or maybe the ONLY) source of income. But you NEED to.

Without even realizing it (or maybe you do) you have an escape plan in mind if your house were to catch fire. you know where you would go if a bad storm was headed your way. You probably even run by the grocery store to grab bread and milk if you hear it MAY snow. So why not be thinking ahead on what would happen if suddenly your household income plumeted.

Here's a few steps that I came up with to help prepare for the "worst case scenario."

1. START SAVING TODAY! There is never a better time to start saving. It's NOT going to get easier tomorrow. Do it today.

2. This would be a GREAT time to learn how to coupon.

3. Do your homework. While you can AFFORD to burn the gas running from store to store, do an inventory of the items you buy most frequently and go to each store so that you know where the deals are.

4. invest in a deep freeze. If you do this then you are ready to stock up when you find a great deal on meat or veggies.

5. Take a look around--what can you sell? I'm not saying you need to sell it TODAY, but have a list of things you already know that you would be willing to part with in the "Worst case scenarios" of life.

6. Take a look at your bills. Cell phone, cable, internet... what changes are you willing to make to get those bills down?

7. Might not be a good idea to look up unemployment rates in your area. Arkansas has a site that allows you to calculate your approximate amount of unemployment. That would be a handy thing to know.

8. Stay in the network! Just because you landed a great job does NOT mean that you need to severe ties with former bosses, or other business people. You MAY need them one day to help you GET a job.

9. Start now living on less. Start getting in the habit of NOT running to the mall to kill time (aka blow money). Start making your coffee at home. If you lose an income in your household, those Starbucks trips will HAVE to end. Get in the habit NOW of living on less.

10. Pay off what you can. Obviously I believe a savings is MORE important, but having debt won't help. Get diligent NOW!

Make the changes today to prepare for the worst.