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.

I’ve been asked this question so many times, and I’m not sure really why it matters what products I use? I think everyone is different and they should find the things that make them happy and work for their own particular needs. But here it is in a nutshell:

Skincare: I use so many different things its not even funny. For many years, I swore by Mary Kay, but then I got wrinkles. So that was out. I love Dr. Denese and L’Oreal products and H2O water-activated eye makeup remover, among others. On the cheap: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser For All Skin Types, Dove bar soap, Cetaphil moisturizing lotion, St. Ives Apricot Scrub or Mint Julep masque, OLAY regenerist detoxifying pore scrub and L’Oreal Hydrafresh Toner and yes I still use a few MK items.

Cosmetics

  1. Skin Optimizer: Laura Geller: Spackle
  2. L’Oreal Visible Lift Eye Neutralizer (yellow) and or L’Oreal concealer 1-2-3- light or Air Wear long wear concealer.
  3. Foundation: L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable #2 for winter and #3 for summer. (Visible Lift – nude beige)
  4. Hydration Mist: Evian Spray Brumisateur Mineral Water or Mist & Fix by Makeup Forever (will help to set any makeup and help it stay through the day).
  5. Blush: Laura Geller (nude or early dawn) L’Oreal true match W1-2 bare honey or W3-4 and some Models Prefer or Mary Kay nutmeg.
  6. Pressed Powder: L’Oreal #3 buff nude powder usually, among many others. I do like Models Prefer yellow powder and use it.
  7. Brushes: Model’s Prefer and or Ecotools
  8. Lashes: Andrea ModLash or Ardells (rarely, if ever use)
  9. Eyeliner/defining pencil: Laura Geller: Limestone and/or Line Intensive Extreme liquid liner or L’Oreal lineur in carbon black.
  10. Shadows: Laura Geller, Tova, L’Oreal, Models Prefer, Sally’s, far too many but list but mostly neutrals.
  11. Eye Brighteners: Yves Saint Laurent Touche, Mally Beauty Light Wand Eye Brightener or the cheap Revlon/matte luxurious color kohl eyeliner crayon. Use only on the inside V of your eye and under your brow line.
  12. Brows: Models Prefer automatic eye pencil – taupe or Revlon Brow Fantasy in dark blonde. W&W brow liner in taupe, only in a pinch.
  13. Mascara: Favorites I buy are: Great Lashes in Very Black, L’Oreal Voluminous or Lash Architec 3-D. I have 25 tubes or more that were free from Clinique, Lancôme, and others with their specials. (You should never have to buy an eye shadow, lipstick or mascara ever, if you buy the gift with purchase and you’ll get a free tote).
  14. Laura Geller – Opt/Lusion or Models Prefer Morganite
  15. Lip Pencil: Bobbi Brown – tawny or Model’s Prefer and many others mostly nudes to chocolate
  16. Lipstick/Gloss: Too many to list here, favorites are Dr. Denese Peach Lip Firm Gloss with SPF 15 and anything by L’Oreal
    • Colour Juice Sheer Lip Gloss: Strawberry Smoothie or Watermelon
    • Color: L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour,Toasted Almond or #250 Make me blush (Rose Mauve)
    • Estée Lauder:  double wear stay in place lipstick
    • In a pinch… Rimmel: #70 Airy Fairy and Carmex lip balm although Mary Kay has the best lip gloss/balm ever made, in my opinion. I have 100’s of freebies.
  17. Nail Polish: Caffeinated 570 or Goldy Lucks 560 (rarely ever paint my nails, I love the clean, just buffed look)
  18. Deodorant: Powder Fresh Ban
  19. Fragrance: Red Door, Celine Dion, Tova Nights and all product samples – love samples.

Hair care: Vive Pro Color Vive Gloss, L’Oreal Mega Spritz, Nick Chavez, BedHead: Maxxed-Out, Redken Cat Protein Reconstructing Treatment. Among others.

I would show you a picture of my make up drawers and vanity, but it scares me, so that’s out.  I do appreciate all of your compliments and being asked. I do have to admit that, it was nice when my sisters dermatologist told me that I had beautiful skin. And at my age, soon to be 48 (my birthday is Monday, thanks for asking) its very nice to hear.  Whenever he looked at me… I was thinking, he was getting ready to say, “You’re next!” LOL

Cosmetics and Hair Care products don’t have to be expensive to work. In the long run, what a product contains depends on the individual product not the price. I have yet to find an ingredient manufacturer or cosmetic chemist to show me research or evidence proving otherwise. In the case of Kerastase, they’re owned by L’Oreal. L’Oreal offers some outstanding hair-care products at the drugstore, including many whose ingredient lists are nearly identical to those in the Kerastase line. Do you really think they’re using inferior, cheap ingredients in their namesake line and only saving the good stuff for their salon brands? And if that was the case, as a consumer, why would you respect them?

Have a great day and feel free to share your Tips and Tricks, Specials and/or FREEBIES with me. I love trying new things and I hope you do as well. I want to hear from you.

There shall be an Eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~ Celia Thaxter

a. Buy according to a budget plan. Avoid buying on impulse. Keep a list of items that need to be replaced, working them into the budget and looking for good buys. Consider catalog sales.
b. Buy wisely at out-of-season sales such as white sales, end-of-season clothing sales.
c. Read labels, consider fabric content and care.
d. Keep out-grown and out-of-style clothing sorted out of drawers and closets. It is hard to see what needs to be purchased when you cannot see at a glance what still is being worn.

There is only one you… don’t you dare change just because you’re out numbered. ~ Charles Swindoll

Finances-Let’s Get Personal
You’ve got places to go, people to see, and things to do-in other words, bills. Show me the money! No, literally. Do you know where every cent is spent? (Time to get personal.) Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know! Spare no expense in getting your personal finances in order. Here are a few tips:

  • Time is money. In your planning device, schedule a daily or weekly appointment with yourself to balance the books. This is a good time to identify spending patterns and make necessary corrections.
  • Budget constraints. Set up a monthly budget and stick to it. There are great computer programs like Quicken® Quickbooks® and Microsoft® Money that’ll do most of the work for you. Remember to include savings and a personal budget for you and only you.
  • Adjust as you go. Don’t throw in the towel when your budget’s in the red. It’s an indication that you may be living beyond your means in some areas, and adjustments should be made (or else it’s time for a raise!).

Controlling personal finances–common cents. (Pun intended, ahem.)