1. Know WHY You Want to Be Debt-Free:

Write it down along with all the debts and amounts you owe to keep you motivated. It’ll help to keep you from spending money carelessly.

2. Look at the Full Picture: Gather all the information you can on your debt.

Write down the loan type, the amount owed, the minimum payments, the months left on the loan, the interest rate, whether the loan is variable or fixed and any other information you may need to know. Once you’ve done that, you can choose if you want to pay off the loan with the highest interest rate or the lowest balance.

3. Stop Adding to Your Debt:

If you want to be debt-free, you have to change your mindset. Don’t think of credit as a means to an end. That means committing to no longer thinking of debt as a solution. In other words, stop borrowing.

4. Only Use Cash or Debit Card:

Being on a cash budget will force you to make different decisions and change behavior.

5. Remove Temptation From Your Inbox:

Remove yourself from all coupon- and store-related email subscriptions. I downloaded Unroll.Me.

6. Be Candid With Friends: Share your goals.

Finding free or frugal ways to have fun is crucial if you’re trying to throw any extra funds toward your debt.

7. Find Free and Cheap Entertainment:

Attended free concerts and movies in the park, attended pot luck game nights with friends, and attended outings hosted by churches or universities, etc.

8. Find Ways to Make More Money:

Too many people focus solely on cutting expenses when they’re getting out of debt. Instead, think about making more money.

9. Ask for Help: You shouldn’t hide what you’re going through.

Many creditors have a hardship plan for those who can demonstrate a need, and there are many local nonprofits out there who can help give guidance. Don’t be too proud to ask for help, but don’t contact anyone without doing your due diligence first!

10. Create a Physical Barrier to Spending: Sometimes paying off debt requires you to get visual. Tape your budget to the back of your credit card.

11. Make a Visual Reminder: Make a chart and put it somewhere obvious.

12. Calculate Your Daily Interest Rate: Using the following formula: Interest Rate x Current Principal Balance ÷ Number of Days in the Year = Daily Interest.

13. Only Buy Groceries Online:

You stay on budget when food shopping because you can see your balance owed as you virtually put items in the cart.

Even though we’re still in summer-fun mode, I was curious if any of you have done any shopping for school already. Have you stocked up on pencils, crayons & glue sticks? Done any clothes shopping for the kids?

Believe it or not, I still usually end up buying a handful of things for the grandchildren and because the stores put out so many supplies, I tend to stock up on a few for the office as well; while their on the cheap.

Today, I was asked where I was during the Moon landing 45 years ago, and it’s funny, not thinking that it was in July when Neil stepped out, my mind immediately went back to my elementary school days. The teachers would escort us all down to library to watch the landings together on TV. We had to sit on our knees with our hands folded in our laps, lights turned off. If you made any commotion then you were escorted back to class without getting to witness the most exciting moments of all time unfold before your eyes.

School can be both, a learning experience and culture shock. Be prepared.

Let us know if you’ve shopped for school already this summer!

It’s been raining cats & dogs off & on over the last few days & today, too. It’s coming down in buckets. With that in mind, are you a cat person, or a dog person? Do you have both animals as pets?

We have both, not that Anthony wants any. I do try to spay & neuter every pet I own, but there are the occasional incidents that I either forget to or if someone (that is convinced, because I live in the county, I want their animal) drops off… & when I say drops off, I mean dumps a feral cat, that is usually pregnant already, I get kittens. Go me! I seem to have hoards of black & white socked kittens. Yesterday, we found a tiny black kitten with white socks that we’re naming “Socks.” Oreo brought to teach to eat the cat food. Eyes open & running everywhere. Luckily, she only had one. She was big pregnant, so I need to check to see where she had them, for whatever she may have lost or abandoned. We knew she kind of knew that she had given birth just couldn’t find where. So we will have one little black & white kitten to gift FTGH in a few weeks. Any takers?

I’m not sure why Anthony has become an animal hater (although he’d never be mean to an animal). He grew up with his family owning dogs; German shepherds, Cocker spaniels, and even a Weimaraner. He had two Golden Retrievers when we met. I hated dogs then. I was a cat person. I did agree to get two that were gifted to us after we were married by a friend, but later regretted it. We had a couple off & on after that. He doesn’t really mind owning a cat or two, but we’re way over our quota & he would prefer them gone. It’s hard when they’re born here to re-home them, but at this point, I’m up to my ears in feral cats & they can’t all stay.

I have only one serious pet policy that I love by, if you feed them… you own them. I’m buying the biggest bag of cat food I can get my hands on, weekly. It’s costing me a fortune to maintain them. The feral population is an ever increasing problem. They’re either eaten by coyotes or hit by cars or worse. We need our fur-babies to be healthy. Over-bred animals, not only hurt the animal but their caregivers. It’s painful to watch them suffer. Please, please, please spay & neuter, it’s the responsible thing to do.

Pets are our closest companions because they provide love, comfort, safety, warmth, happiness, levity, wonder, laughter, and friendship. Pets teach us to have more patience with life and to enjoy the simple things.

What pets do you have?

A cat, after being scolded, goes about its business. A dog slinks off into a corner and pretends to be doing a serious self-reappraisal. ~ Robert Brault

Self-Evaluation. I love & hate reading and rereading old journal notes, Study Guides are the hardest; especially when you realize that 21 years has past, since you had made the note, things are still the same.

I’ve been taking a long look at how I’ve changed (or not) over the last few years; seemly not for the better either. I just read a line that I had written in an old study guide, under a section on “The Male Ego,” Q: What is an “unsafe subject” in your house? A: Religion. Only one word written, which in and of itself was odd for me. I tend to talk a subject to death.

I didn’t date the quiz, but the next page says, next to Q: #6… he would dress differently. A: “’92 He has greatly improved because I buy all of his clothes.” (Guessing here, that I should have said, I pick them out). Followed by 2 “buts,” yep, there’s always a “but” in every plan. I think that is what ultimately gets us.

The carrot was next to a list of things you’d want your spouse to change, next to #8 I had unlined “church.” …Pyrrhic victory. Any change a wife forces on her husband is at best temporary. Alexander Pope once said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

So, love your husband as he is — faults and all — and trust God to deal with him as HE wills. I did notice that I had primarily noted his faults – not my own. Which in and of itself, says a lot about mine.

A question is then asked, “List here specific things God has shown you in this lesson. Pray about them.” I have two different responses. One immediate and one when we revisited this at the end of the study. My immediate response was: Realize many problems are my own fault. (Wow! I can’t even believe that I had written that.) Later after completing the study, I wrote, “I have to support Anthony in every aspect of his being to fulfill mine.

I know, I can hear every feminist on the planet screaming right now, but if you had taken this study, you’d know they were trying to instruct us on how to relate to one another equally and on an individual level. Understanding each other as an individual, then as a couple.
I think many marriages fail because we think that if we try hard enough, we can make them into whom we want them to be, not whom they really are. As we try and do with our children, but that’s an even deeper subject.

Lastly, I had written, “Respect his ever changing personality and include his differences, not as a joke, but as part of who he is. (Yes, I wrote that. In my own handwriting. I know right!)

I don’t know if I need to set some “New Goals,” or just try and live up to my old ones.

It’s very hard to change long term because circumstances change everyday. New problems – old problems; people!

Reality check: Do I need to change?

Just thinking out loud today.

As you all know my youngest son lives in an apartment in Cincinnati with 3 other people. I have nightmares about how clean his room really is. I had ask him last week who cleans the bathroom? When he replied he does, I shuttered. He isn’t the tidiest of fellow’s; I’ll be the first one to admit that.

I need to remind him to put some basic cleaning prompts in his new schedule app. Just copy & paste them from my Philosophy page.

I realize that the mundane tasks are where his IQ and street smarts butt heads. Now all you have to do is copy & paste each one into a task item and mark it off when you’ve completed it. It’s as simple as that.

  • Discard food in the freezer that’s past its prime.
  • Change your sheets.
  • Wash your shower curtain.
  • Wipe down tub & surround.
  • Mop the bathroom floor & clean the toilet. Replace the toilet bowl deodorizer.
  • Clean your oven. If its not self cleaning: remove the oven racks, turn the oven on to 550 degrees and leave it on for 3 hours. Turn it off, let it cool an wipe it out.
  • Wipe down your table & chairs.
  • Buy a new toothbrush, discard the old one or sterilize it, if you’ll need it to clean or paint with.
  • Call your mgr about changing furnace filters or do it yourself.
  • Check the oil in your car & see if it needs changed.

Don’t put it down… put it away!

I love ya son, but you need more than a little help in the repetitive and/or mundane task department. Just sayin’

All of us, in the glow of feeling we have pleased, want to do more to please. ~ William James

January 2nd already! Looking at the year ahead, what’s one big project or event you’re looking forward to this year? Any weddings/births in your family? Graduations? Major house improvements?

I guess our big event is year will be the birth of little baby Bartram, whom I’ve decided to call “Maverick” (boy or girl). Our older foster granddaughter Jessica’s baby is due in May, so Mandy’s best friend Randi, is giving her a shower, here at my house in March, that way I won’t have far to drive. We should know what it is soon, that will help me decide what to get her.


On the immediate aka mundane: I have to change the sheets, do a lot of laundry, & head to the grocery, all the while racking my brain, trying to decide what to get Tron for his 10th birthday this coming, Sunday. Following Christmas, I’m not sure what he didn’t get or what he doesn’t already have; which isn’t much. I have to get something, but what? The one thing I’m sure of is… No kid wants clothes for his birthday, hum…


As for the home improvements: I’m going to do a little light painting here & there & change the carpets. Then I’ll sit back & see where we go from here. I’d like to hang some wainscoting in the foyer, or maybe a chair-rail, but I’m not is any huge hurry.

Tell us what you are excited about in 2012!

No matter how trifling the matter at hand, do it with a feeling that it demands the best that is in you. ~ William Osler

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