Saturday, May 30, 2015

10 Easy Ways to Mind Your Money for Success


Money can be used to help you achieve your dreams, and can help identify any painful or traumatic experiences you have had with money.  If you overcome those experiences and move on you can begin having happy experiences with money. 

There are several books, websites, articles and television shows that talk about how to save money, spend money wisely, and invest your money and more. None of these tools can help you if you don't take the time to realize how your thinking affects your spending habits or understand the psychology of money.

You are in control of your thoughts, feelings, expectations and your behaviors regarding spending, budgeting, saving and investing.

You must learn how to remove your negative emotional attachments and negative thoughts to money such as fear, doubt, worthlessness, stress, depression, guilt, hurt, jealousy, envy and anger.

Negative thoughts become negative feelings. Negative feeling become negative words, negative words become negative actions.  If you continuously make negative statements about your financial situation you will manifest those statements into reality.

The first step to change the way you think about money is to admit that there is a problem.  Face the problem head on. By doing this you will be able to eliminate those negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions that are attached to money and be able to turn them into positive thoughts that will manifest themselves into positive actions and prosperity.

Decide if you want to continue to struggle with your finances or if you want to improve your financial situation. You will continue to struggle with your finances and experience financial crises if you:

  1. Buy things you don't need
  2. Spend more money you can’t pay back
  3. Continue to bounce checks or pay overdraft fees, late fees or other fees
  4. Use payday loans, checking cashing stores or cash advances to pay your bills
  5. Don't have a monthly budget or don't stick to your budget
  6. Don't have a saving or retirement account
  7. Don't have health, life or disability insurance
  8. Live paycheck to paycheck
  9. Have creditors calling your house day and night or sending harassing letters
  10. Are depressed and stressed out over your money situation
  11. Are afraid to spend your money
  12. Have credit cards that are maxed out
  13. Unable to buy or pay for basic necessities due to your financial situation

Here are 10 ways to mind your money:
  1. Remove the following phrases or any negative phrases you say about money from your vocabulary: I can't, I don't have, I will never be able to, I am a loser, I am broke, I have nothing, I will always be in debt, I don't have any money, I will have to work until I am 65, I will never be able to buy a house, the more I make the more I will spend, money is the root of all evil, I am not good with money, etc.
  2. Be thankful and responsible with the money you have. If you cannot be thankful and responsible for what you have now, how will you be able to handle your finances if you gain more in the future?
  3. Think about your childhood and identify any traumatic or painful experiences or beliefs you had about money and write them down.
  4. Write down why you felt that way regarding each experience.
  5. Write down how those thoughts have affected you as an adult.
  6. Don’t blame anyone for your financial problems. Take accountability for your actions and make a plan to solve them.
  7. Ask yourself if you really believe those thoughts, have they just become habits or someone else's thoughts or habits. If they are someone else's thoughts or habits then you can easily eliminate them. If they are your own thoughts, then you have to make a commitment to yourself that you will stop having negative thoughts about money.
  8. Each time you have a negative thought or make a negative statement about money or your current financial situation and immediately write down why you feel that way. Then write down a positive statement that is the exact opposite of that negative thought.  If you need additional reinforcement buy some books on positive affirmations. Repeat this for 30 days.  By the end of 30 days you will have begun to change your thoughts about money.
  9. Create a budget and make a serious change in your spending which will require sacrifices.
  10. Set a monetary goal that you wish to accomplish and a deadline for that goal, i.e. I will pay off my Visa credit card by June 30, 2015. Once you accomplish your first goal continue to make additional financial goals and continue this throughout your life and you will see your financial situation improve and your negative thoughts turn into positive ones.

You must believe that money does not make you smarter, nicer, more successful, and more intelligent or a better person and that money will not solve all of your problems. Your character determines all these things not money. If you were a mean person when you had a few dollars you will continue to be a mean person when you have more money. 

Make this affirmation, "In the past I have used my negative thoughts to create debt but from this day forth I will use positive thoughts to create wealth."  I leave you with one of my quotes, "Money has the ability to generate debt or generate wealth, you make the choice". Remember to mind your money.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

15 Fabulous Ways to Stay Cool This Summer


It seemed like we went right from winter to summer. We have seen high temperatures this spring season and the summer hasn't even arrived yet. Summer officially starts June 21, 2015. Many people become dehydrated and overheated due to lack of air-conditioning in their homes and the hot temperatures and the high heat indexes. It’s no fun being hot.

Many homeowners incur lots of money during the summer to keep their homes cool.  Refrigerators and air conditioners are the largest consumers of energy. Air conditioning contributes to approximately 16% of the average household’s annual electricity bill. The amount of air conditioning you use depends on where you live and how many days a year you need to use your air conditioner.  The average costs spent on an air conditioning per year is $2,643 and the average home air-conditioning unit costs $280 per year. 

There are several alternatives to using air conditioning such as whole-house fans and evaporative coolers; however, they do not perform well in all climates. If you live in a state that has a lot of humidity, evaporative coolers are not a good option. If you don't have an attic a whole-house fan is a good option. If you have a hot attic an evaporative coolers is a good option.

Saving on air conditioning costs can also help the environment.  Cutting back on your air conditioning reduces your CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by 5.4 lbs a week. The more electricity you use, the more carbon dioxide gets released into Earth’s atmosphere. An average household central air conditioner uses enough electricity each year to release of over 2 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the air.  Here are 15 tips to stay cool this summer.

  1. Turn up the thermostat.  Each degree higher you turn up your thermostat allows it to use 1-3% less electricity. Set your thermostat at 76 or 78 degrees F during the day.

  1. Turn it off.  If you aren’t home during the day turn the air conditioner off. Program the thermostat to turn the air conditioner on an hour before you get home.
  2. Room a/c.  Turn the room air conditioner to a warmer/cooler setting during the day when you are not at home.  Put room air conditioners in windows that are facing north or that are in the shade. A room air conditioner that sits in direct sunlight uses 5% more electricity.
  3. Clean.  Clean or replace your air conditioner’s air filter every month when it’s in use. The harder the air conditioner has to work pulling air through the filter, the longer it runs and the more electricity it uses.
  4. Usage. If the temperatures outside is cool at night turn your air conditioner off and open the windows or turn it down to a lower setting.
  5. Fans. A ceiling fan provides added air circulation and can help keep your air conditioner set at higher temperatures. Make sure the ceiling fan is reversible and that it blows air down in the summer. Window fans and floor fans can provide cooling by getting the air moving or by helping move cooler outside air into the house at night.
7.  Solar window film. Replace plastic window film with solar window film to help keep your home cooler by reducing utility costs.  The film prevents the sun’s rays from entering your home and reduces the need for air conditioning.   
  1. Electrical Devices.  Don't place lamps, televisions or computers near your thermostat.  The thermostat can sense the heating coming from the appliances and will run longer than necessary.
  2. Lights.  Don't turn lights on if your home gets natural sunlight.  Keeping lights off keeps your home cool.  Turn lights on only when necessary.
  3. Insulate.  Seal any cracks or leaks around and inside your home and insulate your attic floor.  Install storm windows to save on energy costs.
  4. Fresh air.  If you live in an area where it is hot during the day and cool at night, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows to get fresh cool air. In the morning close the windows and blinds to retain the cool air.
  5. Cover windows.  Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through windows.
  6. Ventilation.  Make sure you home is well ventilated.  Make sure bathrooms and the kitchen have vents that lead outside.
  7. Maintenance.  Perform regular maintenance or air conditioning, heat pumps or other cooling devices.
  8. Install a metal roof. Aluminum reflects sunlight. Metal reflects up to 70% of the sun’s radiation and loses its heat easily which helps keep the roof cool.

Friday, May 22, 2015

7 Money Savings Tips for Memorial Day Shopping

Memorial Day is a day to celebrate the heroes who lost their lives fighting for our country. However, many advertisers take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday as another way to make money.  Unfortunately they rarely or never say anything about the real reason for Memorial Day.  Advertisers should provide extra discounts for those who have served in the military or are currently still serving in the military.  If someone fights for our country, why can’t you give them a discount or products or services?    

Memorial Day is usually the official start of the summer season when pools are opened, families begin cooking on the grill, summer clothes are pulled out and people start heading to the beaches.  Many families and friends get together during this weekend.  Many people also go to the mall to see what sales they can find.  If you have to go shopping or spend money this Memorial Day weekend here are 6 tips to save money. 
  1.  Budget. Create a budget or shopping list and only buy the things you absolutely need for the holiday.  Visit local vendors, food co-ops or discount stores to purchase meats, fruits and vegetables which will be much cheaper than the department store.
  2. List. Create a shopping list and stick to it, this includes decorations and accessories.
  3. Food.  If you are having family or friends at your home keep the menu simple but provide variety.  Use different sauces, toppings and marinades to provide flavor and variety. Ask everyone to bring a dish or dessert to help save money.  If you have to go to the store don’t go when you’re hungry.
  4. Free.  Check your local newspaper or listen to your local news station to find free events to attend during the holiday weekend.
  5. Fun.  Skip going to the movies or amusement parks and play games outside such as volleyball, soccer, cricket, horse shoes, sack races etc. to save money and spend more time with your family and friends.
  6. Save money on gas. With the cost of gas prices I have cut back on driving here and there and take into consideration the distance I have to drive.  Create a traveling zone when driving.  When considering driving use MapQuest to map the address and see how many miles it is from your home or office.  If the distance is more than the maximum number of miles you are willing to drive do not attend the event. My maximum is 30 miles one way from my home or work. 
  7. Skip the mall.  Don't let the media or advertisements trick you into buying something this Memorial Day weekend simply because it is on sale. Most prices during holiday sales are marked up and a discount is given on the marked up price.  If you have to buy something at the mall comparison shop and determine which store is offering the best holiday sale. Check online sites to see if you can get a better deal.