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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Financial Fear, What to do Right Now Just In Case Things DO Get Worse.

Money is a huge subject right now. Everyone is feeling the effects of the roller coaster financial market from everyday living to looking down the road at their future.  I get so frustrated buying groceries and knowing I'm getting less and less and paying more and more.  Gas is the same way, having to worry about gas stations still having gas left when I need a fill up is something I've never had to deal with before and I remember just five to ten years ago gas was under a dollar for a gallon, remember that?  We travel up to the Midwest and I remember us as a young couple not making much money and filling up for about $16.  Oh, the good old days, those aren't so far in yesterday.  We can see how things have gotten significantly worse in the past few years, so what does our financial future look like?  Many are fearing the worst, like the old saying goes the worst is yet to come…could that be true for us?   It might be, but I think that fear will only keep us from thinking ahead the way we need to.  We need to keep a level head right now and not be thrown to the financial wolves.  You can do things that will keep you and your family feeling better and more untouched by the financial fears of tomorrow.  Look over this list of items that you can start now to feel more secure in the future. 
Leave your credit cards at home in a file or freezer (I found out that others put their credit cards in the freezer so they can't use them).  Take them out of your wallets and leave them in a safe place.  The interest is going to kill your financial stability.  If you don't need it and can't pay for it right away then don't use the credit card to "get by".  It will destroy your financial planning because it gives you a false sense of how much money you really have. 
Food and clothing are the first and foremost on the list of essentials.  If food and groceries are on your mind like they are on mine start thinking of the information available and items available now that we don't know will be available in uncertain times.  The family can get involved with buying seeds and soil for a garden for a just in case scenario or to start a garden on a small scale.  We might need to get back to a more agrarian lifestyle.  The garden can be in a large planter and look pretty on the deck or patio.  Keep some extra can goods on hand, bottled water and dried goods.  No I am not trying to scare you, but I am helping you think outside the box that most of us think in because we've been used to a safe economy.  New thinking has to be part of new planning.    
I made a difference in our pocketbook this past week.  I gathered up all the coupon inserts from the Sunday papers I had kept, tore the coupons out that I thought I might use and looked through the most recent ads and bought a bunch of my household items for a fraction of what they cost.  I compared sale prices and found that CVS had the best sale prices for the items I needed and all of them I had a coupon for.  Yes I did take up some extra time at the counter BUT what I received in return was worth it.  My bill should have been around $70-80 but it was only $33!  That was huge!  I even have some "bucks" to use on my next visit.
I even used coupons at the grocery store.  Let me fill you in, I used to use coupons in our newlywed stage to help save money and I am going back to it so our money can go further again.  Ok, back to coupons.  We have small children and can not go out on dates very easily, and love to go to TGIF's when we do.  I had coupons for TGIF's frozen appetizers that were on sale this week and spent so much less than going out and we can pick out what we want…I stocked up.  We will save money on gas, high menu prices and the tip for the waiter/waitress.  I picked up a dollar movie at the grocery store and voila, after the kids went to bed we enjoyed cheese sticks and a good movie.  I am trying to come up with creative ways to make our money stretch.  Using coupons might take a little extra time but I found it IS worth it.
Energy in our homes, autos and bodies needs to be thought thoroughly through.  This is a great part of the year to save a little money on heating and air.  If your bill has gone down because the temperatures are not as taxing on your home for a month or two think about paying extra on your bills with the money you are saving so when December and January come you don't feel the huge bills all at one time.  We can easily, yes easily, conserve gas in our cars with some extra planning.  Plan your errands and use your most gas efficient auto for most of your trips.  If you need to run an errand that is fifteen minutes away use it to run three more at the same time.  If you just have the urge to get up and go somewhere use it to go take a walk or get outside instead of in the car.  It is a great time to start being creative and use your energy around your home to de-clutter, decorate or fix it up like painting the baseboards or starting that mini garden. 
The more we use this economic crisis time to benefit us and our families and we feel like we can make a difference with what we are doing everyday then we feel safer, more content and happier in times of trouble.  Instead of running around just because, go buy a new game for the family to play together or learn how to make a homemade cake that your husband can bring to work with him and make everyone feel good.  It's time to reevaluate what we've done in the past, has it helped us or hurt us when these economic times are going on?  My husband and I have always considered the future consequences of the decisions we make in the present, I have to say I feel quite secure in the very unsteady economy right now.  We would definitely like to be more independent in our access to food, like growing a garden…we do have seeds on hand though.  So I will keep on challenging you not to worry but to take charge of your world within your walls.  Remember it's the small things that add up that make the difference.  Like my mom always told me when I was young, "inch by inch anything's a cinch" are words to live by. 

posted on: 10/8/2008 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances

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Discuss This Post

by susan on 10/10/2008 11:24:25 PM:

well, read it and did not weep...we are on the same page. being a business manager (we actually have products listed on onlineorganizing site, we all know that belts are getting tightened and the word Need vs Want to a teen is like yelling Fire in a MovieHouse. But, shopping for specials and coupon use is wise, along with (Hello) having your grocery food delivered instead of spending the time it takes to drive, walk the aisle, get something not on the list but is in your face, can be very cost effective too.

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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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