I would like to welcome Marcia Richards to Motivation for Creation! Marcia founded the Life List Club with Jess Witkins, my guest poster from last Life List Club Friday. She has a great blog, and recommend you go check it out, and read the Life List Club Friday guest poster over there at the same time! So, here's Marcia!
I'm so happy to be here at Lara's place on this
Life List Friday! While she's over at David Walker's blog
going to share with you some tips I learned a long time ago from the financial
expert, Suze Orman
, about how to get
healthy--financially. No matter your age or experience with money, these tips
can remind you how to stay on track. January is the poster-child of all things
healthy, right? Let's get started!
4 Steps Toward Financial Health
How many times do we throw away leftovers without
a second thought, or buy a blouse you just had to have but then it hangs in
your closet complete with tags til you notice it 6 months later and give it
Would we cut up a dollar bill as easily? I don't
When we get together with friends on the weekend,
we want to make it special, but how many times do we overspend? I know I've
purchased clothes just before they went on sale, because I couldn't wait. And
right now I have 45 books waiting to be read on my Kindle, not to mention
another 25 books on my shelf that have not been cracked open yet. Do I
need this many right now? How often do you stop at the deli or pizza shop
because you don't feel like cooking at home?
How about you? When have you wasted money you
could have saved? We all have stories we could tell. If you're trying to get
out of debt or trying to create a cushion of savings for emergencies, to buy a
house, pay off college loans, or annual vacations...whatever, a change in
spending habits is the path to being financially healthy.
1. Be honest:
Take an honest look at where your money goes. Did you
really need a $5 Mochiatta and a $3 pastry on your way to work? Lunch out
with your BFF? And you picked up take-out at the neighborhood Italian cafe? You
may have had a tough day and deserved all these conveniences, BUT that $35 you
just spent could have been socked away.
Keep track of every dime you spend everyday for a
two-week period. Then sit down with that list and check off the necessities on
that list. Add up everything without a check mark to see what you could have
Then consider the emotional side of your spending.
Do you indulge in the pint container of Hagen Das ice cream when you're lonely
or stressed? When you have treated yourself to anything new for a while, do you
go splurge on new shoes? Try to find ways of satisfying those emotional moments
with something that isn't going to cost you your extra cash.
2. Cut up your credit cards:
I've actually seen a grown man whine at the suggestion of
cutting up a credit card. "But, I neeeed it!" NO! You don't. Credit
card rates are higher than ever and savings account pay next to nothing. We're
losing on both ends.
Use your bank's or credit union's debit card for
all your previous credit card purchases. They are accepted as widely as credit.
Or use cash. Now you've stopped the bleeding, so to speak. No more skyrocketing
bills with high interest and exorbitant late fees. Now you can focus on
reducing your debt.
3. Make a real-life spending plan:
When you create a spending plan, include everything you
spend money on, even the most miniscule item. If you leave out some of the
things you pay for because they seem to small to count, you could be throwing
off your budget by hundreds of dollars annually.
Don't forget bigger things like the guy who does your taxes, your bi-annual
insurance payment, your haircut and color every couple of months, veterinarian bills
and pet grooming, your co-pays at your own doctor's office, dental visits,
child care. If you pay your mortgage bi-monthly, don't forget you're not just
paying twice a month but every two weeks--because of the extra portion of a
week every month there are an extra four payments made over 12 months.
Add up all the smaller expenditures like tipping the paperboy, Christmas
tips for your hairdresser and the postman, bringing a bottle of wine to a
friend's house, magazine subscriptions, holiday cards and gifts, charcoal for
the grill, batteries, oil changes for your car, the extra groceries for
Christmas cookie baking, your once a week movie out or pay per view, and that
scrumptious pizza delivery when you're too busy to cook.
4. Save 10% and create a stream:
This is actually two tips
in one. First, "pay yourself first" is an expression most people have
heard. Now it's time to take it seriously, just like you've had to take getting
physically fit seriously. It won't happen if you make excuses. If your net pay
each week is $400, skim $40 right off the top and bank it. Don't worry about
short-changing yourself to pay bills or buy groceries. if you've followed the
previous tips, you will have this 10% to put away. Do it religiously. Don't
cheat yourself. In just a few months, your account will swell from $0 to
$1,000! You can try tricks like tossing all your loose coin in a jar and
letting it fill that jar before you deposit it. Or, take a $1 bill out of your
wallet everyday and put it in a box until you have $25, then bank it.
Create an additional stream of income to add to your 10%. Years ago
when my husband was putting my stepchildren through the private colleges they
chose, he added a part-time job to his full-time job. Every weekend, he went to
a flea market with a table and a stockpile of licensed ball caps that he had
purchased at a good rate. When I needed more income, I made various craft items
and found a market for them--one was a unique gift for a real estate sales
woman to give to her clients when she sold them a house.
There are endless possibilities for a second stream of income such as
creating websites for those who are techno-challenged, solicit speaking
engagements to talk about something in your realm of expertise, teach an adult
education class. Do you crochet well? Sell your creations at a craft fair.
Create gift baskets to sell to people you know to use for gift giving. Is your
husband a neat freak? Why not start a part-time car detailing business?
I know a woman who was hired by a homebuilder to clean the finished houses
before they are turned over to the buyer.
Stop worrying and crank up that imagination!
One more thing, I worked for banks and credit unions for years in my 30's
and 40's and learned that banks are in the business of catering to corporations
first and individuals second. Credit unions are owned by the members.
Consequently, their priority is the satisfaction of the members. The fees for
services are lower and the rates of return on savings accounts are slightly
higher. Just something for you to consider.
Have you ever had a time when you needed to get creative to bring home
more money? What kind of struggles are you having with saving?
Richards is a veteran blogger and author of Marcia
Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about
SSS (strong, smart, sexy) Women, History, and the path to realizing your
dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short stories in
progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids
or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She
believes there is always something new to learn and time to play.
Visit Marcia at: http://Marcia-Richards.com