Finance

Grasping the Reality of your finances

100 dollar bill editHaving a realistic scope of your finances is a healthy way to take a step toward a debt free life. Many years a ago, Donald Trump (before he was as successful as he is today) made the comparison between himself and a debt free homeless man. He said if he were to give the homeless man one dollar that the homeless man is technically richer than he was at the moment.  You may think that doesn’t make sense. Essentially a lot of us live a life that is in the negative when it comes to our finances. We buy our cars, homes, clothes, furniture, appliances and sometimes even our vacations on credit. And we are simply surviving by making minimum monthly payments laced with interest charges. Real money is the money that we actually have in our bank accounts that we earned. Imaginary money is our line of credit and our overdraft accounts. I have seen it time and time again in which the bank gives larger and larger overdraft limits and credit card companies increase card limits. When these increases occur, it does not mean that we now have more money. Remember that money is imaginary, again what we actually have is what is in our bank accounts (or in some old school cases, hidden in the mattress.) I am not saying that credit is a bad thing, however if we assess what we actually have, we can better access what we can afford to actually buy. We have often heard experienced financial analyst and economic geniuses like Suze Orman, tell us to live within our means. Today let’s take the time to determine what our means actually are rather than the imaginary money we believe them to be. Happy savings!!!

Food and drink

That’s it Thursday: Quenching Thirst

Water pitcherI always try my best to be as hospitable as possible. “Would you like something to drink? I have tea, juice, coffee, and water.” Most times it never fails, in which they will ask for water. I am not sure if they are attempting to be polite and maybe somewhere in the back of their mind they believe water is the easier choice or the healthiest choice. So let me preface this by saying, I do not have a problem with giving my guest bottled water. I have a problem with giving them each a cold bottle of water for them to only take two sips from it. I have learned from my mistakes and will no longer allow myself to have partially consumed bottles of water left behind after my guests have departed. I usually take the leftover water and use it to water my plants in an effort to not be wasteful. I have come up with a simple solution. I now pour glasses of filtered water instead of offering bottled water to my guest.  The trick  is to use medium-sized glasses and a pretty water pitcher. A simple elegant setup that would be reminiscent of a social scene from your favorite soap-opera or television show. Why medium-sized glasses? Well it’s a three little bears scenario: the small glass is too small and the large glass is too big, but the medium size glass is just right. What if my guest is really thirsty? The simple solution for an empty glass is to fill it again. Having the water pitcher handy makes it inviting for your guest to pour themselves more water as well. Use a water pitcher, save water, save bottles, and save money!!!

Finance

Paying it forward and Profiting

money finalYou may be wondering how paying it forward can save you money. You likely think I am about to go the direction of others that tell you by making a charitable donation you will be able to save some money come tax time. Although that holds true, paying it forward results in great karma. In case you are wondering who or what karma is, think of it as what goes around comes around. Paying it forward can make the difference in your outlook, a difference in outlook can make a change in your finances. Think about the last time you did a good deed, you likely felt great about doing so and hence radiated a great energy. Follow me for moment, when you have a positive energy, it is amazing the amount of awesome deals and opportunities that will come your way. I am not saying to pay it forward and do a good deed solely to profit, but its an added bonus. Pay it forward and profit.

Finance · Kids and Family

Second Hand is Sometimes Best

Buying second hadn is sometimes best see how at http://wannatalk2us.comIn the past few years  thrifting has become so very popular. I am sure there are a lot of factors that may have contributed to it’s popularity; like the economy, hard to find vintage fashions that became trendy again, or Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop.” Whatever the cause, there are times when second hand is the best option. When I became very interested in the game of golf, I immediately went online and began to researching golf clubs and equipment. To my surprise it turned out that I had chosen yet another very expensive hobby.  In the blink of an eye my supportive mother,  gave me golf clubs that she purchased from a local thrift store.  They were perfect!! It would have cost me hundreds of dollars to purchase new golf clubs. What made the second-hand golf clubs even more perfect, was that when I was too busy to play golf, I didn’t have the frustration of knowing I had hundreds of dollars of equipment just sitting there. Buying second hand is a great way to save money on a new hobby or  equipment that is not frequently used. I have never seen a shortage of golf clubs, tennis rackets, skateboards and exercise equipment at my local thrift stores.

Think about how many sports you or your children thought they were going to be dedicated to and then soon after quit due to boredom, incompatibility or lack of time.

Yes, you may be thinking ,  “Well I can buy an affordable tennis racket at my local big box store.” Yes, that is entirely true. I use to avoid thrift stores because they gave me the heebie-jeebies, but another way to view it is as a really big garage sale. No matter where you buy a pre-owned item, I highly recommend cleaning it before use. Also, its been my experience that although you may find a tennis racket at a big-box store for $20 it doesn’t compare to the  light as a feather high quality ergonomically designed tennis rackets that cost $150 from a sporting goods store. However there are lots of people out there that paid for a $150 tennis racket that also had to quit tennis and now that racket is sitting in your local thrift store for $5.  A thrift store is great place to pick up high end items for a nominal price. I recently posted about how much I love my bread-maker. I have noticed in the kitchen section of most thrift stores there is no shortage on bread-makers, ice cream-makers, and fondue pots. Recently I was in the market for a paper shredder, I mentioned it to my mom, she went to her local thrift store and found one for me for only $5. When given some thought there was no logical reason why I would need to pay $40 for a brand new paper shredder. It is a shredder, all it can do is shred paper, no real deep thought required. Every thrift store I have been to has an power outlet that you can use to test out devices before purchase. Remember it is a thrift store, so everything you purchase is sold as-is. Be sure to check the quality of the item before purchase. Thanks to technology you can always do a quick google search to find the retail value of an item to ensure you are getting a great deal. Happy Savings!! 🙂