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Archive for April, 2007

How to Stop Yourself from Buying Something

April 25th, 2007 at 10:18 am

This is a little frugal savings tip that works for me every time. Let's say I see a hand-painted "Home Sweet Home" sign at a craft show I've gone to with my two sisters-in-law. I think it's just the right thing for my living room. It costs $40.00, and I'm wavering on whether to buy. One sister-in-law says, "you like it, buy it!" The other sister-in-law says, "well, it's very nice but I wouldn't pay that much. If it were only $5.00 less, I'd get it, otherwise I'd pass". I can't tell you how much money this sister in law has saved me. This is just enough incentive for me to let purchases go. Time and time again, I say to myself, as my sister in law did: "If only this item were $10.00 cheaper, or even $2.00 less...." and I decide, yeah, I don't need it that badly. Although this works best where price is a subjective thing, I've used it everywhere I shop and have put things back down after saying "if only it were $1 less....."

Plan for the Future Tip #1

April 20th, 2007 at 02:12 pm

Everybody knows that you should have a will and name beneficiaries for your insurance policy. I know that, sure. I had a will made at least 20 years ago naming my mother as my heir. At some point in our lives, mom thought each of us kids should have a simple will and we signed them. Don't you know that two years ago when she died, that was still the only will I had? It took me a year and a half to get around to doing a new will. Well, now it's another half year since, and today I signed a new beneficiary designation for my Roth account. Folks, don't wait and assume you'll outlive your old estate plan documents. Review them as life changes happen and make sure your wishes will be carried out when you die.

Try This for a Diet Tip

April 16th, 2007 at 10:15 am

I have been on diets many times. At one point in my life I lost 45 pounds on the NutriSystem plan; but couldn't do without all the pats on the back when the weight had been lost and so gradually put it back on. I'm fine with diets for the short term but haven't been too great in the long haul. My current plan is to go as natural as possible (primarily vegetables, fruit and whole-grains; little or no meats, dairy or fats).

Some of the most successful dieters swear by writing down everything you eat. Weight Watchers (I tried that too) is big on this. I just couldn't make myself do it. I have been looking at better ways to put some of the more beneficial things in my life on autopilot: For example, I have amounts deducted every paycheck to be put directly into my 401k account and what I call the "house savings" account, which covers real estate taxes, insurance bills, repairs and emergencies. This makes the process of saving work in spite of myself. So why can't I get that to work for a diet?

So here's a tip: I have made a checklist of the good diet stuff that should be done every day. I have added some non-diet things, like decluttering and savings activities, too. Some of these items include:
8 oz water
8 oz water
8 oz water, etc.
1 cup vegetable
1 cup vegetable, etc.
1 pc fruit or cup juice
10 minute walking
Note or letter written & sent
Cleaning/decluttering action
Savings reserved-dollar jar or deposit
Money saved-skipped purchase or asked for discount

There are more items, and the list is growing as I think of new things to add. I figure, I can easily check off the stuff I DO and am more likely to keep up!

Looks Like Blogging Isn't Really My Thing

April 14th, 2007 at 04:54 pm

I do like to write, but it seems like I either don't have the time to do a decent job at something I'm working on, or I revise, revise, and yet again revise, never reaching a final acceptable result. The moral of this little story is: Just Do It. I will never produce deathless prose. Maybe I'll regret not fine-tuning something I've put on paper (or in this case, on screen), but if it never gets written it was never going to be of use anyway. This won't help anyone save - heck, it's not helping me save either. But I'm in the process of trying to work out some of the kinks in my life: Weight, clutter, career stuckedness, and of course, the desire to do better with my finances. All of it has become related in a sort of "personal clog" and I've been working on a grand plan to get all of it unstuck. More later. For now, I'm throwing caution to the winds and posting an entry to say, I'm still alive, still kicking, still trying to figure out "what's it all about?"