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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
8 Great Ways to Organize Your Money in 2008!

If you're like me right now you are a little overwhelmed by all the flurry of activity that just flew by during the holidays. Now that the New Year has arrived it's time to get things back in order again, including our money.  Everything always costs more than what you think it will during the holidays and there's always one more present that you forgot to purchase.  Having the New Year here is almost a little refreshing for the mind since it can start relaxing somewhat but at the same time I know it's that time of year to be anxious to get things on task again.  Since complicated is the last thing anyone wants right now let's keep things simple for the most part to get the new year started.  Here are eight ways to start organizing your money in the New Year, some have been mentioned before in my blogs, but worth mentioning again, and some brand new like the New Year. 
  1. Start a Christmas Fund at a credit union this month and have money automatically put into it each month so you will have money saved up for the holiday season next year without it cutting into your budget.  Just think even $50 a month could add up to $600 to spend next holiday season!
  1. Use Quicken for your personal finances or a paper method (If you need to know where to get a good budget sheet for you to do by hand e-mail me and I can give you some advice) to budget what is coming in and how much is going out and keep things easy.  Did I mention you can reconcile your bank account in Quicken in about 10 minutes…now there's some motivation!
  1. Stop using your debit card or credit card, both of these sabotage your finances…you know it's true whether you like it or not!
  1. Use cash for your most cost of living basics…groceries, gas, clothing, dining, household items.  You will see how much you are spending over your budgeted amount.  With costs of food and gas sky rocketing right now you can't afford NOT to be wise with these expenditures.
  1. Build up your emergency fund…yes the New Year will bring with it some surprises and you need to be prepared.  For a family you should have a minimum of $1000 in your emergency fund, if you are single you should have a minimum of $500.   Another reason to stop using your credit card if you have one just for "emergencies".
  1. Start making your gift list now for the year for birthdays and even Christmas…this is usually a big ticket item in the budget that can zap your funds quickly every month if not prepared.
  1. Make some extra money by getting rid of extra stuff.  Now is a perfect time to start collecting that stuff you don't need anymore since you just received gifts.  Start marking them with sales tags for a yard sale in April or May or consignment…you'll have more space and some extra cash.
  1. Cracking down on finances can be hard to get started and stay on top of if there is no reward.  Buy yourself some gift cards with some extra cash left over from the budget so if and when you have one of those tight months you still feel like you have some money to burn…when we have money to burn we don't feel like we deserve a "splurge" so much. 
So there you have it, 8 easy ways to get started towards a successful year with your money.  Keep in mind that everything that's worth doing takes time to get it right and do itIf it were so easy then there would be little reward.  So keep your chin up if you feel like your finances are in the gutter…the more work you put into them the more they will work for you!

posted on: 1/2/2008 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:


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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