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.

Are you taking it easy today, or do you have big plans for the day after Christmas? Shopping?

Its Monday and I should be going to do my regular weeks grocery shopping, but I have so much in the pantry that I didn’t use, I better just stay home and make the dishes, that I either didn’t want or have time to make or wanted to try this past week;  going to try and use up the stuff that I have on hand.

Christmas dinner didn’t go as planned, mine rarely do, no matter how much planning I put into a party, something will inevitably, go wrong. I had to throw out so much food yesterday, more than ever before. So, I’ll be making new lists for next year and cutting the New Year’s brunch menu in half.  Note to self: Next Christmas: Buy 6 dozen eggs & 2 bottles of canola oil. Skip the baked beans completely – no one eats them, but me and wrap all gifts as soon as you buy them, so that nothing gets left to chance.

I’ll be rounding out my day today by laundering the holiday linens… putting away all Christmas presents… hanging clothes…putting underclothes in drawers and breaking down the boxes. (Always a fun thing to do – NOT).

Mandy gifted me a Craftsman ratcheting rotary wrench (8-in-1 tool) for Christmas, I guess, I’ll have to find some use for that; hum…

I’ve been making jokes all day about dropping a match and walking away. Just doesn’t seem practical somehow, so I’ll be here plucking away (is it plucking or plugging?).

What’s on your post-Christmas agenda?

Sometimes the most urgent thing that you can possibly do is take a complete rest. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

When you have too many commitments, both legitimate and ones that are less so, it’s overwhelming.

It may be that you need to get your list of appointments, to-do’s, projects, etc. together and then you can begin to determine your overall level of commitment. So plan now to do that very thing.

One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other. ~ Chinese Proverb

The Week Link
Ever feel unprepared and uncertain about life’s daily challenges? Although you feel you have the knowledge to make things work, the chain to success keeps breaking. It seems like there’s just not enough time to get things done. Under pressure to perform at work and home, you search for an answer. Give up? Weekly planning is the missing link! A day’s perspective is too short, while a month’s is too long. A week is the most valuable unit of time in which to plan around your roles and goals. Here are some hints:

  • Schedule. Pick a day to plan-a day that works best for you. Plan on this same day every week.
  • Duration. Your planning sessions will usually take around 30 minutes.
  • Location. Whether you do it at home or at work, make sure your planning place is the same every time. Remember to choose a place that’s quiet.
  • Habit. Follow these suggestions, and weekly planning will soon become a habit.

When your “week is linked” to what matters most, say good-bye to disorder and hello to increased personal effectiveness.

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“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.”   -Belva Davis

Plan your menus at least one week in advance. Make a 3×5 index card for each menu you now prepare. Add a new card for each menu your family enjoys. In a short time, a week’s menus and shopping list can be prepared in seconds by simply choosing seven cards.  I use a Menu planner (pencil, so I can change it if need be) and I have 52 weekly pages.  

 

Incorporate small appliances into your plans, like slow cooker, small broiler, electric skillet, sandwich maker or grill, and of course the microwave.

 

Try new recipes so your meals will be varied, not predictable.

 

Plan a nutritionally-balanced meal. Use foods in season. Cut down the necessity of using convenience foods by careful planning. Serve leftovers attractively. (Remember to always remove leftover meat such as turkey, chicken or ham from the bone before storing).

 

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Or you can try the easy approach and let someone else do it for you.

 

Fastest and Freshest
www.thescramble.com
What You Get: Every Wednesday, five entrée recipes with side-dish suggestions and a shopping list are e-mailed to you. The list highlights the required amounts of staples, like sugar and oil, down to the teaspoon; recipe codes make it easy to reformat a shopping list should you want to skip a recommended meal.

Cost: $5 a month, $26.50 for six months, $47.50 a year.  Previous weeks’ menus, $1.50 each