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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Not Scary Pumpkins, Scary Economy…10 Helpful Hints For Your Money

Just yesterday I was at the gas station and thankful that there was gas there. There was only one pump open on each side of each gas island.  Guess what happened before I even left the gas station, some people were not able to fill up because they ran out of gas in all the pumps.  It just amazes me what is happening lately. 
The last few weeks I have been giving you a 90 financial plan for the holiday season.  After the current happenings of the rollercoaster money markets it is a must that planning your holidays and your finances is a must.  I encourage you to review my last few blogs to really get a sense of how to start now for a smooth holiday season.  It is imperative that you start really taking control of your personal financial situation as well.  This is no time to get more debt.  Remember things bought with credit are not yet yours.  The good old fashion "save till you earn it" must be put back into practice. 
So many people think they should jump ship with all their investments right now.  I can tell you what my husband and I are doing with ours right now…nothing!  If you have long term investments, that's exactly what they are made for, the long run because they will go through ups and downs.  I encourage you to do the same.  Some kind of solution will hopefully happen that will keep us standing right side up. 
Here is a quick list of things to do to make sure your finances stay stable in a rocky economy.
  1. Keep watch of your local gas stations to see if they are getting low on fuel.  Don't panic but keep watch when your tank gets to be around a half or a quarter of a tank.
  1. Really watch your grocery ads for specials and not only that, lets start using coupons again.  I got inspired when I saw a woman on TV spend only about $10 a WEEK on groceries for a family of five!  She clips coupons and searches her local grocery ads every week and feeds her family great for so little.  One of her shopping trips that should have been around $500 came out to two cents!!! I could not believe it.  Any money saved right now would help our family out.
  1. I have had to watch my errand running big time!  It seems the more expensive gas is the quicker it goes…what's up with that?  I have to be much more purposeful now when I go out and also try to go to places closer to my home. 
  1. I have set myself on a schedule each day so I can be more efficient when I am home.  These economic times can be a great time to stop acquiring more so we can organize and maintain what we've already acquired.  It keeps me from spontaneously running an errand and helps me preplan my days and weeks.  I even planned what room of the house I'm going to organize each month.
  1. Instead of going out to eat as much I am trying more new recipes.  My family has loved trying some fun new recipes and some are easier to make than my normal suppers.  Planning your menus is a great idea to do as well where you can go to the grocery store on a mission rather than an open ended grocery list. 
  1. Going online and buying gifts or items or calling stores instead of driving may help save lots of gas right now too.  If I want to buy local I am purposefully collecting coupons for lots of stores that I can find good gifts at and save 20% with a coupon.  Everything adds up these days!
  1. Save some cash and become a little greener by making some of your own cleaners, gifts, bread, meals and anything else you can think of.  On the internet you can find so many resources for doing it yourself recipes and ideas…use them.
  1. Get the family involved by setting a goal of how much the family is going to save by working together and keep track of how much you save by a little here and a little there, let the family see on a chart so you can teach them that we can get through times like this with some initiative.  Kids can be involved with clipping coupons or helping you make things for gifts.   You'll be teaching yourself and kids some great principles all at the same time…you might even have some great family time together. 
  1. Use cash instead of only debit cards.  Start with the basics groceries, gas, household items, and dining.  Don't use credit cards to get you by in these times, the reason being that the more expensive items get the more you would need to rely upon using your credit card to make up the difference.  Make up the difference by using the previous hints I gave you.  In the long run you have more bills to pay that will make your cash supply smaller. Cash gives you a tangible picture of how much you have spent and how much you have left.  I guarantee, since I use cash myself, it will give you a much better picture of your finances and you'll be lots smarter with your cash as well.  Plus, I don't know about you but the economic situation has made my husband and I want to have cash to pay with…just in case something happens and ATM machines are out of order like the gas pumps.
  1. Don't expect things like these economic times to pass quickly.  I really don't think we are going to see an end to this anytime soon so the more you are proactive about your finances the less you will have to worry about it.  My husband and I aren't that worried about much right now because we prepared for a time like this when the economy was good.  No we had no idea things could get like they are but paying things off and not having debt on credit cards and buying a home that was well within our budget was no accident.  It's so easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing, but our philosophy so to say has always been think about the long run so you can make good decisions in the short run…even if you're the only ones thinking about those things you will avoid the mass confusion when it hits. 
I really want to see everyone successful right now in their finances, it is so vital to our well being in our home and the way we value our jobs.  I want you to have a good life no matter what is going on with the markets.  You can.  It's not as hard as it may seem, there are lots of great free financial advisors out there through banks or other places that you can tap into.  I have assisted so many get on track with their finances and have seen them get to places they didn't think they could reach and couldn't have if they didn't take control of their finances.  It all starts with a budget.  If you don't know how to start a budget email me and I will help you get started.  I might just start a blog on the steps to starting a budget.  If this would help you let me know…we all need to support our fellow Americans get through this right now. 

posted on: 10/1/2008 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances

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Discuss This Post

by Gerrilyn on 5/3/2011 2:52:22 PM:

Kudos! What a neat way of tnhiikng about it.

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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.

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