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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
An Easy Money Makeover that YOU CAN DO!



This past Monday I filmed for the first of four kitchen makeovers for our Greenville, South Carolina Fox Network Kitchen Makeover Contest. Viewers are sending in pictures of their worst cabinet or place in their kitchen to Fox Carolina in hopes of winning a SYSTEMIZE makeover, as you probably figured out SYSTEMIZE is my business baby of almost twelve years.  It will be airing this Thursday on the 10 o'clock news in case you live in this area.  There will be three more, one airing each week on Thursday evenings for the next three weeks.  Don't miss them!  I have done five other TV makeovers and enjoy the excitement of the process.  Many years ago I came up with a three step process to use during the organizing process.  It can be easily used in your finances as well.  Let's go through a process of a Money Makeover for you!
 
3 Snapshots Needed
Like they say, pictures are worth a thousand words.  So what would a picture of your finances look like?  A disaster or does are looks deceiving, the outside looks good but there's a mess underneath?  Can you function in your finances or is the mess overwhelming you so you avoid it at all costs?  I strongly encourage you to take some snapshot of your finances for the month of November…a makeover challenge if you will.  All you need is a notebook.
 
Snapshot #1: The first snapshot you take is writing on the first page in your notebook "Money In" this is all the amounts of money earned for the month. This is your first picture or snapshot of your finances.  Also write down November's current balance for any savings accounts you have. 
 
Snapshot #2: On the next page you will be taking your second snapshot of your finances, write down "Money Out" this is where you can record the amounts of the bills that come in the mail during November.  Write down the date the bill is due, who it is you are paying and the amount due all on the same line for each payee.  Write down how much you will need or how much you paid with a debit card or cash for items such as gas, groceries, dining, etc. This will basically be a journal or what you spent in November.
 
Snapshot #3:Your third and last snapshot will be labeled "Balances", this is anything that did not get paid in full this month.  Record it all on this page with the name of the payee and the amount due after the November payment. 
 
Total the amounts on each page at the end of the month and that will give you your solid snapshots of the month!  That wasn't so hard now was it?
 
Now here is my 3 Steps to SYSTEMIZE that we are going to apply to these snapshots, here's where the makeover begins!   Get three highlighters: pink, yellow and green. 
 
Step 1: Eliminate the Excess, use the pink highlighter
Use your highlighter to highlight the WHOA I didn't know how much we were spending on  that or things you see that are just extra items that you've been wanting to get rid of but just haven't taken the time to find a better deal or eliminate the cost all together.  Do something this month by either making a plan to eliminate those big expenses or how to eventually get rid of them.  Remember, if it is causing you to live outside of your means it's something to be eliminated or adjusted!
 
Step 2: Sort it Out
Use the yellow highlighter to mark the expenses that are ok but might need some adjusting.  Maybe you know you need to buy groceries but you realize those debit card quick trips added up to more than what you thought they did. 
 
Use your green highlighter to highlight the items that you are happy about the way your spending habits are. 
 
Step 3: Structure
Use the information you just sorted out to make a plan for your financial future which may just include the next month or if you are more ambitious a few more months.  If you've borrowed too much to buy things now and pay later, the economy will severely affect your finances if you owe too many people.  These are the items you need to start eliminating right away in your future spending.  Start using cash for your items in yellow.  Then you won't overuse a debit card and you will stay within your means.  When you're out of cash, your out of well, cash, money to spend so spend it wisely.  Write down five goals you now have for your finances.  Also, write down some expenses such as gifts or birthday party goodies or holiday items that you might have forgotten about coming up in the next few months.  This will help you "drive forward" and not get "stuck" in your finances.  You need to get in your financial vehicle and drive to where you need to go, just sitting in your financial vehicle won't do any good. 
 
You don't have to be a financial guru to do this.  Give yourself a financial makeover that will have noticeable results in your before and after snapshots!

posted on: 10/29/2008 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances


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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:

www.systemize4u.com


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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