Just-One-Item – Strategy to cutting down the grocery bill.

I find that eating through our cabinet, and making an effort to cut down on our grocery bill is an excellent catalyst for saving money in all areas of our lives, and also a great catalyst for WEALTH creation!  It gets in our mind, and we get to do bigger things by saving at the grocery stores.

In the past, I’ve personally had the most difficultly sticking to the grocery list.  Whenever we needed a few items, we would go to the store and buy out the whole store, because the product placement, the convenience of already BEING THERE, and just the joy I have in grocery shopping – got me!  It got me like incredible marketing gets us all!

Lately, I decided on a new strategy.  Whenever we need an item or two at the grocery store, we make a conscious effort to just getting that one item, or just the items we need.  This morning, we needed JUST APPLES.  My son loves having apples for breakfast or when he gets home from school, and therefore, mama needed apples.  I asked my husband what he thought a bag of Macintosh apples would cost, and he said around $5.  So I brought just that: $5.  I didn’t bring my wallet, or a credit card, or anything more than just this $5 for apples.  I quickly thought:  But what if they are more?  And then I said that if a bag of apples is more than $5, then I’ll find a bag that is under $5 or get individual apples for $4 and change.

And so, we dropped our younger peanut off at school and confidently walked into Publix for apples.  They had a few different options of apples, and the ones we liked were:  $4.49.  And so they were purchased, and we walked out of there like SAVING BOSSSSSSSSSSESSSSSSSSSS.

Often times, in the recent past, we would head to Publix for just apples, but then we would pick up some cheese slices, and some potato buns, and then we could use eggs, and then teddy grahams, and then some romaine lettuce, and maybe some organic beef, and oh yeah, look they have Gatorade for sale, let’s get that.  And who doesn’t need a $3.97 Kombucha x 2 to start their day?  Oh and maybe we should get four, because I would love one for tomorrow morning as well.  And whatever I buy for myself, I want for my husband too.

And then the grocery bill for a bag of apples, would turn into a $67 or $97 impromptu grocery run.  Now, these numbers you can adjust for what you buy, and what you need, and your previous and current habits – but I think we all get the point.

We end up buying not what we need, and really desire at that point, but everything and then their mother.  Sticking to what you need for that day, or for that week, with urgency and consistency, will build your wealth creation mindset (and wallet).  I am the first person who loves to indulge in an open and free grocery store budget – but staying disciplined at the grocery store, builds up that savings & wealth creation muscle more than anything else!  It’s nice to work it out and get stronger – especially in this area.  No one can take away your ability to BUY less, BUY smarter and SAVE more.  And that’s pretty darn hot!

This past Sunday my husband wanted to make some homemade bread, but we needed flour.  We had the spinach and artichokes he wanted to put inside of the bread, but he also wanted mushrooms.  I headed off to Publix with my three year old and her very own shopping cart, and we purchased just these three items:

Flour x 2 = $4

Mushrooms x 1 = $2.49

Total:  $6.49

(The toy shopping cart helped, as only these three things fit in here.)

It feels a bit strange at first to go off to the store, and be surrounded by thousands and thousands of items, but only walk out with three.  It’s NOT what we are used to, and what we are used to is pulling into the register with a cart full, and things falling out.  But what if we changed that bit around.  What if we said:  No more.  What if we did what we need to do for our wallets and pantries and fridges and cabinets, and acknowledged the fact that we have PLENTY at home, and we only need what we need – not anything extra.  Not anything extra regardless of the convenience, the marketing, the sales, the coupons, the everything else that makes us buy more than we need.

(Rare receipts those with just a few items, but we can all do it!)

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But what if you don’t have time to go off to the grocery store every time you run out of something.  Then sure, I totally understand that.  Designate one day, maybe two hours out of the week to first make a list (which you can update daily), and then go with that list, and the exact money that you’ll need for all items, and purchase what’s on this list.

For us, this day will be Fridays, and we’ll go off to Aldi, and buy what we need for the week.  I won’t purchase what we’ll need for the rest of the month, but just what we need for the next week. I’ve been tracking what we are running low on, and adding to the list.  This way, creating the list, makes us really acknowledge if we really need something, or if it’s just a nice-to-have item.  Nice-to-have-items you can leave back in 2017, because 2018 is full of necessity and urgency and consistency – habits that will build your financial freedom and wealth.  If you forget something, or leave it off the list, you can substitute with what you already purchased, or you can use the above rule of going to the grocery store, and buying just that one item during the week.

As these habits are practiced, they will get stronger.  They will get so strong that they will propel other strong savings & financial habits into the forefront.  It’s a pretty bad-arse way to kick off this month, and hooray to everyone who will get this done.

Now:  Designate a day of the week to shop, make yo list, and keep it lean!

Cheers Grocery Savers!

 

 

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Getting our young kids started with MATH and READING.

Last year my little boo boo went to Kindergarten.  He didn’t make the cut-off date for the public school in our neighborhood, as his birthday is October 14th, and the cut-off was October 1st, so we sent him to a Catholic school that was even closer.  It was exciting for this little boy who walked quickly, and ate well, and developed on schedule to start school.  He’s been going to preschool and was ready to learn more.  His Kindergarten teacher had an assistant teacher and just 16 students.  Three days per week he came home with homework.  He had to practice writing letters and numbers, and little by little I noticed he was putting sight words together and started writing little notes and reading started books slowly.  The writing had errors, but it was good.  Full sentences, and it made me so proud and happy.  The reading also went from no reading at all, to reading.

The year ended, and over the summer we moved from NJ to FL.  We signed up our son for Kindergarten again, and this time, he would be five, almost six, right along with his peers.  Here in FL, the cut off is even a month sooner, on September 1st.  We spent the summer having an incredible amount of fun, and doing like a five year old boy should: playing, outside, pool, beach, more outside, football, more playing and more fun.

The year started, and the 100 sight words came home.  Math packets came home.  Assessment tests came home, and it started to get fun.  The teacher has done a really great job by encouraging us to read with our son each night by sending home a reading book tracker.  Each night I fill out which book he read, what level of difficulty it was for my son to read, and who read the book with him.  My husband and I take turns, and it’s pretty much one of the best parts of my day.

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Atreyu doesn’t have homework each day, or most days.  Once in a while a math packet comes home, but we finish it in one day, and are homework free for several more weeks.  So as soon as he comes home from school I started prepping math problems for him.  We started off with single digit additional problems, and now we are up to subtracting 1111 – 897 type of problems.  He’s getting stronger and stronger.

The winter break was fun because of the break, but I didn’t want to break again, as we did last summer from doing math and reading.  So one time per day, I put up 8 math problems for him, and he would get them done.  In the beginning of the year, we started using composition books, and I would write them out and he would answer them.  Then I printed out some worksheets off the Internet.  But lately, the white board is all we need.  He gets to work through the problem, I get to watch him (if I need to), and he gets it done.  He also started checking his work using the calculator on my phone.

It’s pretty amazing and fun watching him grow his math skills.  The last few days he’s been asking us about multiplication and division, so I think he’s ready to get started.  He understands the concept of 5 x 10 = 50, and asked what 10 x 20 is, and when I asked him what 10 x 10 was, and he answered 100, I asked him then what 10 x 20 is and he answered 200.

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Some children are absolutely naturally gifted and naturally driven.  Then there are those children who need a lot of work in both areas.  They need extra work, and they need pushed.  I feel my son falls into the category of being able to understand concepts, but he needs pushed.  He needs to be challenged, he needs to be asked to do the work, and when the work is put in front of him, he’ll get it done. My job is to put the work in front of him.

There is so much potential in all of our children, and we must believe this.  What they are capable of, is pretty darn incredible.  They are smart, and smarter than we can probably imagine.  But we must challenge them. So many children are left behind because that one-on-one time is missing.  I see so much untapped potential in all of us humans – imagine when a little growing child isn’t tasked with what they need to grow.

I can’t wait to do more work with our little guy.  I can’t wait until he learns more and is even more excited to do math problems, reading problems, science problems.  I want to help him help himself open as many doors as possible.  I’m already so proud of the little boy he is, and I’m excited for the young student he’s growing into.

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The reading has been just as fun.  I went on FB and found a local awesome mom who had two boys that were older than Atreyu.  She was giving away the books they were done reading.  I drove to her home, and she graciously gave us all of the books they outgrew.  We have been reading these books non-stop.  My favorite ones are the Curious George books, because they have a fun story that he follows and comprehends, but the words they use are everyday words that he needs to learn how to read.  Some of the books labeled Level 1 or 2 books are a bit too wacky for my taste.  But the most important part is just to get reading.  He started off being able to independently read about 3-5 pages before getting exhausted or frustrated.  Now, he’s able to read a whole Curious George book.  It’s pretty amazing how this has happened.

The other evening, he was reading a Greedy Bee book in the bed with his papa, and I could tell his enthusiasm for reading was low.  He came into the kitchen, I wrapped him up in a blanket and we read the book again.  If he wasn’t able to read the page independently, I helped him, and then he read the page again until he got it all right.  I could see his confidence grow by getting bigger words correct, and comprehending the sentences.   Changing the environment on him helps us both re-focus and get re-started again.

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Is my little guy ALWAYS excited to do math and to read?  No.  But at this point, he knows practicing these skills is expected of him, as is taking a shower, brushing his teeth, saying please & thank you, putting his laundry away, washing his hands, getting dressed, eating with his mouth closed and being a kind boy to his family and friends.  It’s just part of the day, and this is one reason I don’t like taking breaks from this.  He’s six years old right now, and getting these habits established, so he is always used to doing a bit more math, or homework when homework starts coming home consistently, or reading before bed, become lifelong habits.

If you are already working with your children and doing work with them – that’s pretty super and awesome and amazing.  If you want to get started, get started slowly.  Slowly, start reading each night before bed.  Start asking them to do one math problem before dinner.  Offer a reward until no rewards are needed.  Just like all mamas, I’m constantly learning how to do better by my children and our family and their present and future.  So I’ll always be learning and adjusting and trying to teach them, and allowing them to teach me.

Cheers to lifelong learning and pushing our children and ourselves to always do better! Cheers to feeling stronger by learning more.

three steps forward, one step back

You know what I find very excited about this life?  Is that we are all always moving forward.  Sometimes it’s super natural and easy and everything flows right, and other times, we need to push hard to get moving or stay moving.  But because we are moving forward, it’s exciting.  New opportunities arise, lessons are learned, laughter is experienced, new things happen – and life goes on and living is good.

I find the most frustrating moments are the moments I feel that I’m taking steps backwards, and if I evaluate my conscious life the last several years, and perhaps even the last 20 years, I feel that it always equates to three steps forward one step back.

This applies to everything and anything.  Relationships, and goals, and adventures, and happiness, and peace, and positivity, and reading and learning and earning and investing, and saving, and cleaning and parenting and career and home and love, and the pursuit of every single goal and dream I have/had can be summarized with just this:  three steps forward, one step back.

In moments of frustration, I sit or lay there or stand there or whatever I’m doing, totally frustrated that this is how it is.  HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO, and still not be able to do it completely right ALL the time?  Why can’t I just keep going forward and forward and forward with complete ease and tension free and be totally free of pivot turns?

I was running this morning and thinking about this very topic.  When I’m running my mind is a spinning wheel of positivity, so I took a deep breath and accepted this fact.  I accepted the fact that perhaps into forever, I’ll always take three steps forward and one step back.  Or maybe five steps forward and two steps back or maybe 50 steps forward and 40 steps back – or however you may feel about a certain goal, or life or event in your world right now.  Maybe you see this happening to the world at large, to people you admire or people you love from afar, or in your very own inner circle of humans that you love or must love.

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As I breathed in and out I decided to accept this.  Instead of fighting this, and being frustrated, angry, disappointed – that that is how it goes, I have to be okay with this.  Three steps forward, one step back, sometimes more, sometimes less.  And in being able to accept this, or at least start to work through this, I’m going to learn how to celebrate this.  Let’s learn how to absolutely without apology celebrate the movement forward, regardless of the movement backwards.  We also can recognize that steps backward are part of the whole process. They are meant to be there, they are meant to be part of this entire journey.  What fun would it be without them?  Perhaps we have to take some of the same steps forward over and over and over again to experience the whole meaning or new meaning.

I said to myself:  What have you learned?  What do you know for sure?  What do you know for certain, and what can you do with this information – as it is?  With all of the trials, with all the tribulations, what has this taught you?  Is the experience more important than the actual position or status desired?

As humans, we love to achieve, we love to grow, we love to keep moving forward, and getting stopped, or turned around, or having to start over – is a blow.  It’s a mind blow, an ego blow, it’s annoying, embarrassing, and sometimes even painful.  It may be stressful and frustrating and in some moments, may even feel debilitating.  Yet, when we accept the fact that it’s part of the journey, the pain eases.  It’s just part of the process.  And as long as we keep going forward, we’ll continue to move forward.

Even though any high in life feels exhilarating and moving and life changing, it’s when we have our feet planted firmly on the ground that many of us feel strongest, and that’s what the steps backward give us.  Humility, and resilience, and growth, persistence and determination and motivation, and regardless of how long, how tough, how many times we have to re-commit and do it again – eventually we’ll get there.  Maybe the goals we set may never be met, but for certain with all fibers of our beings, we’ll be closer than when we started, and with the experience and memories and journey and adventure that we were seeking in the first place.

Go hard for your goals.  If there are many steps backwards, you may just have found the right road.  Stay strong, and stay positive, it’s the constant movement forward in each day (whether physical or mental) that will always help us arrive exactly where we need to be.

Cheers, Movers!

How to start running, and what do you need to get started?

Nothing.  And that’s my favorite part about running.  You can truly have as little as possible, but still be able to go out for a run.  It instantly increases the heart-rate, and builds your cardiovascular fitness.  Even a 10 minute run, does amazing things to the mind, and endocrine system, and overall health and good feels for that day.

I decided on running just 20 minutes a day.  I figure, for me personally, it is just enough time to run hard for 20 minutes, but not too long to get hurt.  The last thing I want is to get hurt, and I have been blessed that for the past 35 years, even with exercise most years I’ve never really hurt myself. I  mean, the ego plenty of times, but the body, not so much.

So, if you are a runner, have been a runner, want to be a runner, or just want to start running, what do you need?

1 – Pair of sneakers.  Are the more expensive shoes better?  Mostly, yes.  If you have super healthy feet, wear shoes that are great for running for your foot and body.  The older I get, the more of an investment I will make in my shoes, because again, I want my feet to stay extremely healthy and pain free.  They tend to get sore, so I want a 20 minute massage when I run, versus a pounding and throbbing post run.  I used to be able to get away with $39.99 Saucony’s from Marshall’s, and in Dec 2017, I purchased a much more expensive pair from ASICS ($179).  I really enjoyed those, and they felt great.  This year, my 2018 shoe, is a $79 Saucony shoe.  The reviews were solid and I’m still breaking them in, but I’m worried that they aren’t as cushy as my ASICS.  Buttttt, I’ll make them work, and continue to learn more about my feet and what they like while they are running!  I have been getting into a habit of buying a new shoe each year for my birthday, so I’ll continue this and take care of them so they last extra long.

Also, buy 1/2 size BIGGER than your regular shoe.  I wear a 9.5, so my running shoes are always a 10.  I read about this tip in Runner’s World so many years ago, and it has always served me well.  The article mentioned the foot naturally swells while running, so you want to give it a bit more space.

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2 – Clothes.  Obviously, super simple.  Anything that doesn’t irritate you.  But if you are starting off with just 10 or 20 minute runs, something irritating while running and surviving might strengthen the mind.  I run in a pair of athletic leggings, a sports bar and a sports tank top, and good socks – and more clothes on top if the weather calls for it.  If you live in colder climate, a headband/hat and gloves are a must.  Every day for the past week my runs have been in 30 degree weather, so this mama was not leaving the house unless I was covered head to toe in some type of winter-wear.

3 – Runkeeper.  I really like this app.  It’s completely free.  I set it to give me a time & mileage update every 5 minutes.  So as soon as it says:  20 minutes…I get to end my run.  I also find it extremely accurate.  I also have a FitBit, and have set it on a run in the past, and the GPS on the Fitbit is completely of.  If I run 2 miles, it tells me I’ve only run 1.87 miles, and well, that doesn’t work for anyone.  I still wear my Fitbit while running, to gather my steps, but I won’t use it to count my mileage.

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4 – I put my phone in what is an updated fanny-pack or currently called a running belt.  I purchased this because I kept putting my phone in the side of my pants/hip area, and it kept sliding or falling out.  If you are out there crushing your fitness, you don’t want to be crashing your smart phone, so use something to hold on to it tightly.  I find that when running I sometimes put on a motivational video from YouTube or find a playlist of songs, and it’s pretty simple to access even while running.  I don’t wear earbuds, but I have in the past, and they went well with this running belt as well.

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5 – Now, you are all ready to get out the door and run.  Run for 5 minutes the first time, and then maybe 6 the next day.  Work your way up to 20 minutes or 30 minutes, or whatever amount it is you fancy and find important for your body.  Running for me isn’t about going long each and every day.  It’s about WAKING up my body and mind so that the day is incredible, and I easily recognize the good parts of every hour.  Instantly, tell yourself you are in shape, and believe it.  Run for one minute, and then walk for one, and run for one and walk for one – get started any way you need to.  Do I believe that everyone can run?  Yes, especially for two miles per day, each day.

I’m excited to keep sharing this year and this 2018 running journey with all, and I am excited that many people are already on theirs or will start their journeys asap.  Doing something hard isn’t rewarding while we’re doing it (it’s more of a pain in da arse), but the benefits are tremendous immediately after.  A runner’s high or an exercise high is more powerful than anything you could ever drink or smoke, and that is truly winning, because it’s a FREE HIGH.

Cheers Runners!

 

How to get started with a morning exercise routine.

I’ve worked out for most of my life, but you know what started happening towards the end of last year?  I got a bit afraid of exercise.  I don’t know why, or what prevented me from waking up early, and getting a workout in – but I was afraid.  I got scurred.  I’m not sure if I was afraid of not feeling good while exercising, or feared not wanting to do it or being afraid to go out in the dark and run, but whatever it was – the fear needed get completely left behind in 2017.

What’s really cray is that I have worked out all of my life – or most of it.  Ever since high school I regularly would do workout videos, or run, or get on the cardio or weight equipment, or make my own in home workouts, or go to classes, or do anything and everything physical.  Then, boom, I developed a mini fear of the sweat session.  I figured and told myself that the lifestyle exercise was good enough and walking or bike riding my daughter to her daycare was enough for me.  And sure, it certainly was.  I got my steps in and I felt great moving my body, but there is nothing that can substitute hard work.

So officially on my birthday I decided to get my act together, wake up early, and do so going forward. It’s been a week, and the mental benefits are everything.  I always though, as a young human being, that we worked out to look and feel good.  And honestly, exercise is all about improving the mind, the spirit, the soul, the happy you want.  It’s so freeing, and so gracefully gets rid of the bad energy.  It’s some of the best green therapy around, and just an incredibly powerful force we all have available to us.

I’ve dedicated myself to running just 20 minutes first thing in the morning.  As soon as my eyes open, I focus on getting dressed for an outdoor run and getting it done.  The universe has blessed me with an early riser disposition, so waking up at 5am or 6am, is no big deal for me.  Yet, ironically, even though I would wake up at the same times the end of 2017, I always found other things I needed to do, versus sweat.

Here we are today, 7 days after getting a run each morning, and life is good.  Life is always good if you focus on the good, but it does feel good to mentally feel good and strong.

12/31/2017 3.53 miles
1/1/2018 2.09 miles
1/2/2018 2.02 miles
1/3/2018 2.15 miles
1/4/2018 2.13 miles
1/5/2018 2.17 miles
1/6/2018 2.2 miles
16.29 total miles

Is every run pain free, or awesome?  Nope.  Am I thrilled like a child on Christmas to get out there each morning?  Nope.  Not even at all.  As soon as I start running, something happens, and the body starts to wake up.  Even halfway through my run, I often think that it’s pretty ridiculous to be out here, but the alternative is just a tad big worst.  Even though the bed, the couch, and being comfy, and cozy are everything in life – they are extra everything x 100, after a nice workout.

And so – let’s run.  Let’s move.  Let’s move our body.  Wake up and give yourself a reason for a shower.  I absolutely loath showering when I’m not sweaty.  What a waste of WATER.  But after a workout – a shower has reason to rain!

On the 31st of December, I absolutely didn’t want to miss the morning run.  I laid out my clothes the night before, I put them in the kitchen by the garage, and I went through every article of clothing to make sure I had everything.  There’s a cold spell in Florida, so the hat was there, the gloves, even my hair-tie!  I did this for the next several days to make sure I left myself not a single excuse NOT to go.  Last night was the first time I didn’t get my clothes ready.  I knew that as soon as I woke up, I would go in my closet and get the outfit together (even if I had to go get the shoes from one spot, and the gloves from another part of the house).  But if you do need to treat yourself like an absolutely baby and PLAN out every single detail – get it done.  That is what I took for me to get started, and I’m hellllla excited I did!

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Cheers to you & your morning workout – whether you are getting on in yet, or not.  Get it started and keep it going.  You’ll be working out right along me, and all those that know the value of a sweat session before the sun rising.

Invest. Take your savings, and invest.

Why am I a tiny big obsessed with saving money, and living below our means, and sharing all of this craziness with anyone and everyone that wants to read, learn and implement?  Because Albert Einstein said:  “The power of compound interest the most powerful force in the universe.

I do believe that living well below your means, or within your means brings a lot of peace and calm, and even happy.  I believe that relationships are stronger when there is less financial strain.  I believe that this is pretty much everything in life, and I live this way because I know the opposite, and I have seen the stress and unhappy, and I don’t want that for me, or for my children.  If this means they don’t get a brand new book-bag at the beginning of each year – then I’m okay with this.  If this means that I use the library instead of ordering new books, that’s okay with me.  If this means turning down the heat and putting on a hoodie – I’m okay with this.

But the MAIN reason for saving, and living below our means is compound interest.

As soon as you can, as soon as you get 3K in your savings, invest it.  I use Vanguard, but you can go directly into the market, you can use another site and company, you can even use a personal Financial Adviser with the right license, but invest it.  Invest it as soon as you can.

If you have seen the news, the market is growing, and the truth is that it’s always growing.  Always and always.  Sure, there are times that the market drops and falls, and people lose money, but then it always picks up and recovers.

I was doing my taxes one year – in my early early 20ies, and the H&R Block associate (because I’m not fancy at all and have yet to get an accountant), suggested I buy an IRA.  And I purchased the max amount, which was $5K at that time (I believe).  And we started with that.  You only need 3K, and then you can add each and every day, each time you get paid, and buy more stock, more mutual funds, more anything you wish.

With Vanguard, you can pick where to invest depending on how risky you want to be.  You have an option from 1-5 in terms of risk.  If you are in your 30’s I would go with 4 & 5, and go from there, heck, I would probably always go as high risk as possible, but that is just me.

Let your money grow, so you don’t have to grow your money forever with income.  It truly isn’t the most exciting life NOT taking multiple vacations, or NOT buying brand new things all the time, but the alternative of watching your cash-flow grow is powerful.  I just love the action of saving, and then investing, and then saving more, and then investing.  It’s not fancy, and it’s just a habit.  The way you pay your cell phone bill, pay yourself, pay yourself into your savings account, so that sooner than later you can pay yourself into the market.  Every time you get paid, you may have four bills to pay, and now replace one or add one more with: YOU.  “Oh shoot, can’t go out tonight because YOU is waiting on their money!  Thanks anyway!” Let that money earn money.

If you are YOUNG, and by YOUNG I mean 18 or 22 or 26 or 30 or 36 or 42 or 46 – – – or ANY AGE – you are young, start investing.

1 – Save up 3K in your savings/checking account.

2 – Go into Vanguard (or a similar company), and purchase 3K worth of stock or mutual fund.

3 – Every time you get paid, purchase some more.  It may be $100 a pay, or $1K a pay, or $5K a pay – whatever your heart desires.  Just get it done.  Pay yourself first – – – we have heard this over and over again.

Once we got into this mode, it was easier to NOT need other things, because it was much more exciting to pay ourselves first.  It’s so fun.  Again, it’s not earth shattering fun, and it sucks to have to change your life a bit around (if you do need to make changes), but get it done anyway.  It feels soooo good.  You can go without checking out your accounts for weeks at a time, automate your pay into them, and then keep them going.

Do I know everything or even half of what I need to about this topic?  Absolutely not.  Are there millions of people who know more, do better, invest smarter, save more – sure.  But I learn as much as I can, as often as I can, and I certainly want to get better at this each and every single year.  There are books, there is YouTube, there are documentaries, there is the Internet – and the information is out there.  It’s all in pieces, and you have to give yourself time and grace to learn a bit more each day – but let’s get it done.  The best part is that those that become financial secure, perhaps millionaires, perhaps multi-millionaires, perhaps humans who live off their dividends, and have retired at a young age or older age, did not know more than most of us.  They just implemented a habit of paying themselves first, and living well below their means.

Years and years and years ago, a friend told me a story.  He sat down with someone at his company, and was talking stocks, and savings.  And the guy pointed out that the wealthiest person at their company, who had the most assets was not the CEO, or the CTO or the C level anything, or not the best sales person or anything like this.  It was a quiet woman in Accounting or HR, who drove a 10 year old car, but who invested most of her paycheck into the market, and invested every bonus or pay increase there too.  You would never know it looking at her, and boom, there she was – the richest among them all.

Does having an amazing job help?  Sure, for sure.  But can you become everything you want financially without an ideal and super plush income each and every year – absolutely!  If anything – that might help.  Going through hard or harder times, makes one stronger and quite resilient – if you see it this way.  What does helps is education, and a plan, and a drive, and a work ethic, and health, and a positive mind – – – and the ONLY thing you need right now to get started is to spend less, save, and invest, and repeat as often as possible.  It’s just that simple.  Cut all the fat – and get going.

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So this is why I harp over and over about eating through our cabinets, and saving, and spending less, and decluttering, and creating a strong mind – – – because it is all about creating PEACE in the present and WEALTH for the future.

Cheers mi lovers.  I know we are all capable of a lot of good things.

 

Eating Through Our Cabinets

A year or so ago, my husband and I watched this movie called The Road.  It was a really super movie, definitely up our alley, and about a father and young son who are living in a post-apocalyptic world.  Food is completely non-existent and the only goal of each day is to find something to consume.

This is NOT the world most of us live in right now.  Our pantries are full, our fridges are loaded, and are cabinets are stocked.  Of course, every few days we run out of one item (milk for kiddos or waffles, or apples, or bananas, or we need some beef for burgers), and we go to the store, and we buy EVERYTHING and come home and stock it on top of what is already in our fridges, pantries, and cabinets.

I say this because I do this too!  I run to Aldi for two things, and buy enough for two families.  I laugh – because it’s funny and ironic, but I also see this as an OPPORTUNITY for a huge amount of financial saving!  Will NOT buying a cool looking raw bread for $4.99 that you may never eat really be the key to financial freedom?  No, not necessarily.  But will budging out your food purchases, or eating through your cabinets get your mind thinking wealth creation:  YES!

And so, take an absolute inventory of everything that is in your cabinets right now.

What is in the pantry?
What do you have in the fridge?
What do you have in the freezer?
What do you have in your fridge/freezer combo in the garage?
Is there a third place you keep/have food?

Take an inventory, and figure out exactly how long you can go without going to the store and purchasing another item.

This is one of the most fun things to do!  Being not a super-fun-person, you can see why this is like a party with a bouncy house and water-slide for me!  #eatingthroughourcabinets is everything, and it’s time to get this done!!!  I know many people can get behind this and get very excited!

What can you make today?

What can you make for dinner tonight, and tomorrow and this entire weekend?

What can you use to make kids lunches, and breakfasts and dinners?

Are you hosting a part-tay, and can you get it done with everything you already have?

Are you making your pet food?  What can you use to make it super healthy and delicious?

If your kids bring lunches to school, what can you make them, that they will love?

Make it a game, and get creative.  Most of us don’t challenge ourselves, we don’t open up and let our creative juices flow, so what if you did  with #eatingthroughourcabinets!  What if you ate through your cabinets and LOVED IT!  What if you had so much fun making bread from scratch, what if you used up your seasonings and seasoned your grub a whole new way?  What if you made pancakes for dinner, and served some canned fruit for breakfast?

At this point, I’m in the same situation most of us are in – the pantry has grub, the fridge has grub, the freezer is full, the cabinets are healthy – I have everything we need to survive until next Friday (and wayyyy beyond!)

Photo of my freezer that contains homemade bone broth, Tostitos, chicken nuggets, basil, salmon, bones for more bone broth, scallops, shrimp, flounder, coconut macaroons, avocado, beef, and this alone can probably realistically get me through the rest of the month! Holy moly!

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Now, if there is truly ONE thing you do need from the grocery store, bring just enough money for that one thing.  The other day I needed dishwasher soap.  So I went to Publix and I purchased dish-wash soap, and 8 other items.  Why?  Because I didn’t put the right plan into motion.

I should have figured out how much dish-soap was, and physically walked into the grocery store with a $5 in my hand ready for some change.  And that would have prevented me from spending $27 versus $5.  If you can’t trust yourself to do this – send someone better instead.  If I ask my husband to go shopping, and then he asks me to text him what we need, the man comes back with just those items.  I know.  He’s a super-human-unexplained-grocery-store-being.  Grocery store item placement and marketing does nothing to him.  FB should just save their money ads, because the man can not be bought.  I hope you are one, or have one like this near you!!!

Please let me know how you do and how long can you go?  Use the Internet for interesting food combo ideas, or keep it extra simple.

Cheers Savers!