Tag Archives: life

Happy Sun

Yesteraday I had the opportuinty to go make my very own rain barrel with my Mother in Law, so much fun. I will be posting all about the experience as well as simple ways to make your life a little greener throughout this week, so be sure and stop by often!

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How Smart are YOU?

You can’t turn on a TV or your computer without hearing something with a financial overtone. From our Nation’s Capital to the tiny towns here is Kansas, we have to face serious financial decisions. “Back in the day,” as my grandmother says, it was considered rude for women to discuss finances, thus leading to men doing all the family’s fiscal planning. Not today.  Modern women are now going it alone and are even encouraged to have money aside from their spouses.

I consider myself to be an educated modern woman (as my student loans will tell you), yet evening news uses financial jargon conversationally and I have no clue what they mean. I realized while I may be smart (just ask my husband), my financial IQ is very low. Not wanting to be in the dark any more, I set out on a quest to raise my IQ. Here are some things that have helped me:

Find out what you should know: I took an online quiz and scored 8 %. Depressing, yes, but I did get ideas of things I should educate myself on such as IRA’s, 401K’s, payout ratios, etc.

Educate yourself: Many community colleges offer financial classes geared towards women. Banks are also usually willing to sit down and discuss your questions with you. Consider reading a book on certain financial matters which interest or concern you.

Listen and make mental notes: while listening to radio shows, watching TV, or talking with friends, listen to their suggestions and make mental notes of new ideas. Use these ideas as springboards for your financial knowledge, but always check them out with a legitimate financial guru.

Think beyond the short term: I am a teacher in a private school with hopes of becoming a stay-at-home mom is the near future, so retirement is not something I think of often. However, if something were to happen to my husband, I would have to go back to work. Learning about key financial components now may help you in the long run.

As with stocks, it is important to diversify yourself. (I just learned that about stocks).  Take in information from a variety of sources and apply what works for you. In the arena of finance, you can never have too much information.  While I doubt I will ever qualify for the Financial Mensa division, knowing how to educate myself and raise my level of active knowledge definitely makes me more of a modern woman.

Finding Peace with Your Money

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They say money can’t by happiness, but why are we always so stressed when it comes to money matters?  I have a beautiful healthy son, a loving husband and a great job, however when the subject of finances my mood changes from feeling blessed to depressed. How can we find inner peace with our finances? Here are some of my suggestions:

 

Pray- Pray for peace, guidance, patience, whatever fits your situation. God loves you and wants to hear from you.

 

Talk– Discussing struggles, sharing a tip or even just venting helps send me gray clouds packing.

 

Budget– While you may not have enough money to do all the things you want, having a plan puts my mind at ease. There is something freeing about knowing exactly where my money is going.

 

Think Happy Thoughts- research has proven thinking positive can help lower blood pressure, ease PMS symptoms, and even help you lose weight! Instead of thinking “If my husband had a better job….”   Try reframing your thoughts into ones like “I am thankful my husband has a job.” Even simply using the word “When” instead of “if” can boost your outlook.

 

Norman Vincent Peale once said “Empty pockets never held anyone back.  Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.” Don’t let your finances run your life.

 

How do you find peace with your money?

Online Budgeting Tools

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I have a confession to make. I am a lousy money manager. I always have good intentions. I save all my receipts thinking I will balancing that checkbook and you know what, those receipts end up being used a color paper to distract my toddler when we are stuck waiting somewhere. And as for the checkbook, well your guess is as good as mine. Yep, I should not be trusted with money. Luckily for me and the other “free sprits” (to quote Dave Ramsey) there are some great online budgeting tools out there. Here are some of the more prominent ones. (or at least prominent in my little world): ** Please note, I am not endorsing nor reviewing any of these products, these are simply for your information**

 

 Mvelopes is an fee based program that manages all aspects of budgeting. 14467 financial institutions currently will cooperate with this program.  Mvelopes offers a free 30 day trial

 

 Simple Planning: The website describes this product as “Easy to use Excel Spreadsheet: Planning and tracking a personal budget is not everyone’s idea of fun, so we’ve developed an easy to use, easy to understand budget planner that works right in Microsoft Excel (no need for additional software)”. Free Demo is offered.  

 

 PearBudget appears to be simple and concise. They offer a 30 day free trial as well.

 

 Just budget is a free service, however there is not a lot of information on the website. Per the “what is” tab  “Justbudget is in evolution. As you are using it, you’ll slowly discover new features coming in. As you or any user would feel them useful. Tell me what is missing; the most popular requests will get their way to justbudget.com”

 

And of course there are the computer based resources:

            Excel – make your own spreadsheet

            Quicken

            Microsoft Money

 

The important this is that you BUDGET, not how you do it. As my favorite money guru Dave Ramsey says “every penny has a name on purpose”

Should You Save or Payoff Debt?

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A few weeks ago, financial guru Suze Orman was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She was sharing her 2009 action plan. I personally am not a huge fan of Suze’s but I do think she has some good points. One point in the show yesterday Suze made the point “Pay off credit card debt BEFORE creating a savings account.” This brought up several questions in my mind.

  •  If you follow this guideline, what happens if you have an emergency?  One would have to incur more debt thus putting you in worse position.  
  • What if you have a child nearing college? Should you try and save some for him/her?
  •  Wouldn’t saving, even a little, add some sense of security and sustain your momentum for paying off debt?

 

What are your thoughts? Do you save some before paying off credit cards?

25 Random Things About Me

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These are all going around Facebook and since many of you don’t really “know me” I thought I would post mine here…

1. I have two brothers, one passed away shortly after birth.
2. I met my husband in high school, but didn’t start dating him until we were seniors in college
3. I love rocking my baby to sleep
4. I have issues; my food can’t touch on the plate
5. I can not sing, my daddy paid so much money for me to have lessons and I still suck
6. I used to be a ballerina, but then I had a kid and got fat
7. I thought childbirth was easy, I loved it (I was drugged)
8. I live with in a mile of most of my family
9. I am afraid of mice, snakes, rats, and pretty much all pests
10. I am a terrible speller; I have to have someone proofread all my work
11. I am dying to be a stay at home mom
12. I have a big fat beagle who was supposed to die 6 years ago. She still acts like a puppy
13. I am a twitter addict
14. My mom is my hero
15. I love photography; I really want to be better at it.
16. I am terrified of disappointing my dad
17. I love to bake; Mark is my sous chief
18. I love my grandparents and am scared to lose them
19. I wish I could learn from my mistakes
20. I have never done anything truly extraordinary
21. My brother published a book, and I am very proud of him
22. I wish I had a better relationship with God
23. I have a big (150lb) golden retriever who makes me feel safe even though he would never hurt a fly
24. I should exercise more
25. Wow, last one, I am pretty boring!

That’s me in a nutshell 🙂 Have a beautiful Sunday, remember it was God’s idea to rest in the first place.

Church Sign War

I found this particularly funny since I am a practicing Presbyterian that works in a Catholic school!  Happy Saturday Everyone 🙂

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