Controlling expenses = power.














With Spring time here my thoughts always turn to cleaning up the house, the attic, the yard and even at the office.

Decluttering is an important activity and a mechanism I use on an on going basis to ensure that I am living my life in a simple, positive and grateful way.

Remember my advise on an earlier entry?

If you haven't thought about, read it, worn or touched something in over two years - CDSD it!  

Time to begin clearing stuff out, donating it to a charity, selling it at a garage sale or on-line or just disposing of it.

I want you to go one step further... 

you need to use it all up, wear it out and either make do with what you have or go without.

I also use this time of the year to really focus on the other aspects of my life - my financial well being.

If you haven't written up a budget - begin one.

I know many of us grew up never knowing how to.

It's not that difficult.

The way I began mine years ago was pretty simple.

You can use an old accordian style receipt keeper and a small notebook (the type you can carry on you or in your purse.

Next for the next 30 days write down all your expenses.

Everything you spend your hard earned money on.

After 30 days transpose that info onto a spread sheet or into excel or use the on line budget tools like the free one at www.MINT.com.  

Write down all your monthly expenses i.e., mortgage or rent, utlilities, gas expenses, cable if you have it, medical bills, eating out and or going to the movie expenses too.

You should also budget for taking that important time off called a vacation.

You deserve one so reward yourself and or your family with one... but budget it in.

If you have a 401K at work please take advantage of it. 
Soon you will see exactly where you are spending your money.

Now deduct those expenses from your take home pay.

If your income is more than all of your expenses than GREAT!

If your expenses are greater than your income than you'll need to begin tightening up on what you are spending.

I know that it might seem like a monumental task but you can do this.

You can now look for ways to increase your earnings..

(if you haven't already tried) ask for a raise, sell more, do a garage sale, do handy work, or even take on a part time job.

It took you time to get into a financial hole but you can and will dig yourself out of it.

One biggie is how we use our credit cards.

They are a necessary evil but we need to treat them just like a checking account. 

My Father never had a credit card - and his advise was very savvy.. 

once you charged to a card, you needed to set money aside and deduct from one's checking or savings account immediately...

so that the money would be there to pay the bill off in full when it came due.

We all have a relationship with our money and financial freedom is a powerful way to increase one's self-esteem.

Even taking the smallest steps to controling our expenses..

and improving the way we manage our personal or family's finances,

will give you a great sense of POWER and WELL BEING.

Try and SAVE too.

Even if you find that you don't have much left over to save.

Even a little adds up!

Let's say you currently spend $2 a day on an energy drink...

If instead you added that amount to a retirement account, that say was earning a 10% return..

In just 20 years, you'd have almost $21,000!

In 35 years, of saving just $2.00 each day you'd have almost $99,000.

Yes 99K!  But I digress...

You can do this... you will be glad you did.

Make it a great dia!

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