Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Financial Fitness for 2009, Finances Get Fit With These Tips!
We all are at a loss for what will happen in the New Year for the financial outlook. I don't think even the savviest could have predicted all the events of 2008. Questions on people's minds are many. Is gas going to stay down or go up? Are my investments safe or are they going to take even more losses? How many more local merchants are going to have to close their doors before this is all over? I know some of my favorite coffee shops closed and some of my favorite shops downtown this past year. Being a business owner for 12 years this February, I certainly have seen how the economy can influence business in positive and negative ways. One facet that is starting to draw more attention again is the financial state of families and work.
Just like exercise and watching our diets is necessary for our bodies to achieve fitness, our finances need some attention to fitness as well. I am going to suggest some "Financial Fitness Exercises" for you to start the year off right and build up to more "repetitions" throughout the year. So let's get started with our routine.
- Running – start by getting a running balance of your accounts including checking savings, credit cards, and even your investments. This will give you a starting point and help you see how fit or unfit your finances are. Is there more money going out than coming in? Are you maxed out with your credit? Do you have an emergency fund? Do you have a savings account?
- Cut down your spending (fat calories in finances). Stop buying before you have money to buy items. Instead use "Cash Calories" which will speed up your financial metabolism. If you have cash for categories such as groceries, clothing, dining, entertainment and fun you will propel yourself into a healthy spending lifestyle. You will be able to see more closely where your money is going instead of estimating in your head how much your spending which is typically lower than what you figured. Maybe points are great to accumulate on your credit card but when your spending starts speeding up you need to cut down on the fat and use cash to start seeing your "spending scale" go down.
- Penny Push-Ups. When you start to get a good handle on your cash calories and your spending scale is looking to be where you want it, then its time to start "Penny Push-Ups. This is taking a portion of what you make and building up your savings account and emergency fund "muscles". Even if it seems like it's a very small amount at first, just seeing money start to build up in these accounts will give you the motivation to up your sets of "Penny Push-Ups" and really start seeing some financial fitness.
Seeing where you are is always the first and most important step to seeing where you need to go. Watching your intake of material items comes next and then putting some real effort into building financial muscles brings health and fitness to your finances. Don't over complicate the process of financial health. Some quick tips like the ones above, when done consistently, will bring the results you've been wanting. Don't make all your credit cards overweight this year. The more "weight" you put on them the harder it will be to take off. Have interest work for you in savings accounts or money market accounts rather than paying the interest, the high price for debt. I hope this helps you take some steps in the right direction for your financial fitness this year. You will be more prepared for whatever happens in the economy this coming year as well. Think ahead and be financially fit this year!
Happy Spending and Saving.
posted on: 1/14/2009 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
by Triste Horrell
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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.
- 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.