7 Must-do’s for paying down your debt

Do you have a list of must do’s for paying down your debt? Or are you looking for a new approach to hit your financial goals? What if keeping your financial to-do list simple gave you better results? I’ve kept my to-do list fairly simple and easy to follow for the past ten years. I’ve had many successes in hitting financial goals with my to-do list. It has also helped me steer through and around financial surprises.  Read on to read my 7 must do’s for paying down your debt. Continue reading 7 Must-do’s for paying down your debt

Quiet the voices when paying down your debt!

I was reminded at the end of April that sometimes you have to quiet the voices when paying down your debt! Even when you are on track and paying down your debt, the voice of doubt still manages to creep in. You feel like there HAS TO BE something else you could be doing. When your debt total is large like mine, you  can get depressed. You begin to feel hopeless. This is why you should have someone you check in with to keep you accountable. I delayed sharing my numbers last month  after having a discussion with my financial advisor, Annette. She reminded me that a person paying down debt always has a list of options. Read on for that list.

Continue reading Quiet the voices when paying down your debt!

Patience is a bitch when you’re paying down debt!

Patience is a bitch when you're paying down debt! ... How to turn that around ... On My Pocketful of Thoughts - Money Mondays

Patience is a bitch when you’re paying down debt! I think of how many clients I told, “It took a while to rack it up and it’ll take even longer to pay it off… but it will! You have to stay positive!” I remember saying that to myself again last April. If you’ll remember I mentioned in Debt Keeps Me Up At Night that I was ready to finally share my journey on paying down debt. I had been ashamed to do so prior but I was seeing the light again and my debt was going down! …Then $&*5 hit the fan. It began to rain unexpected financial surprises. I was prepared for NONE of them! Read on to see what has changed over the past year!

Continue reading Patience is a bitch when you’re paying down debt!

The Twelve Days of Christmas…my true love’s last Christmas! with @KevinHart4Real #ihartholidays

Happy Monday!  Did you get a lot of shopping done this weekend?  As I was running my normal errands on Sunday, I happened to stop in my local T.J.Maxx to look for some stocking stuffer ideas. It’s one of the few places to stop for gifts for everyone on your list. What is even better is the savings you get from not having to drive around to all the many labels they carry and the prices are always a huge percentage off what you would have paid had you gone to that particular store. I picked up some great ideas for my friends, family and myself.

Since there is still time, I wanted to tell you what I did for my boyfriend last year. Since I was on a tight budget in 2011, I told him I was not buying gifts for all the different occasions throughout the year…valentine’s day, birthday, anniversary, and just because. I got the idea early on in the year, that I would do 12 Days of Christmas for him. I know, I know. If I wasn’t going to buy gifts for him throughout the year, how could I pull off doing 12 Days of Christmas?!

I printed out a calendar for the month of December, a regular blank calendar print out. I started on December 14th and I wrote in possible ideas. I searched for deals. I searched for things he might like. I shopped around like my life depended on it. I did go a tiny bit over budget but it was worth it. 

Day 1 – A watch .. Ideeli is a great site for watches at reasonable prices
Day 2 – A book on photographing children full of great tips purchased from Amazon.com
Day 3 – A Coat – a wool coat from Kenneth Cole, found at a great deal on Overstock.com
Day 4 – A package of combs …purchased at Walmart … this was a gag gift, he had cut his hair really short and claimed that he didn’t own a comb and I felt every man should own a comb hair or no.
Day 5 – A package of socks purchased at Kohls
Day 6 – A watch … he really loves watches and I wanted to build up his collection… Beyond the Rack is another great site for watches and luxury items
Day 7 – A credit card scanner for his Iphone purchased for free from the company I looked into. So he could accept credit as a form of payment for his Photography clients.
Day 8 – Took him to get a massage purchased on Groupon
Day 9 – Boxers, because one can never have enough underwear purchased at Target
Day 10 – A wooden watch display case – purchased on Amazon.com
Day 11 – A watch purchased on Ideeli
Day 12 – A photography session with Sunday’s In New York; Location Grand Central purchased on a Daily Candy deal for NY.

I picked items that I knew he loved, wanted to pursue and what he needed. I threw gag gifts in to offset the cost. I picked some of my favorite sites to find RIDICULOUS deals on higher end merchandise, or else I would not be able to afford buying him all the watches. I listened to him when he spoke or showed enthusiasm about a topic and jotted the notes right on the calendar. For this type of gift giving it is smarter to start this months in advance. Starting it today can cost you more than you’re willing to spend unless you find items that fall under your budget. It does give you a jump start on next year!

It’s important that you keep the person in mind when making your lists of gifts to buy. It requires research. You cannot be like my Titi L, God knows I love her, who raids the dollar store and throws “interesting” items in a gift bag. Gag gifts should mean something. You have an aunt like that to? Have you ever gotten a gift from someone who you love but you wonder what they were thinking? Kevin Hart has an aunt like that to … hmm I wonder if my nieces and nephews react like he does when they open my gifts.

I leave you with some laughter to start your work week off and to put you in a shopping mood.

Until then,
PS: To get into some of the exclusive sites listed above just visit the Discount Shopping tab for your invite.

If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
       
Join the My Pocketful of Thoughts community by giving a LIKE to the FB Page! Just hit like and feel free to share it with lovely like minded people by hitting send below.

Join in on the conversation, click here to get started.

Spending Money for Christmas…maybe! #ihartholidays with @kevinhart4real

Hellllllllllllllo!  It’s Money Monday here on My Pocketful Of Thoughts!  We’re carrying on the theme of what to get for the people on your list this Holiday Season.  Last week I told you about how Daniel and I are giving each other the gift of time and memories in, Vacation, Take two of these and Call me in the morning.  My goal, in suggesting us to take a vacation as our Christmas gift this year was so I would not have to spend extra money.  I would pay for myself and he would pay for himself and voilà that’s our gift.  Last year I did go a bit overboard on the spending and did NOT want a repeat of that this year.

A few weeks ago, Daniel “claimed” that I reminded me that I had mentioned in passing that, if I did not have another Christmas gift for Christmas day from him, there would be hell to pay.  I do not recall stating this but then again it could be altogether possible.  I like opening something on Christmas Day and he gives the best gifts.  So Black Friday weekend, he calls me up to tell me The Samsung Galaxy S III was on sale at a few locations.  Next thing I know we’re racing down to a store in Norwalk in hopes that they’ll still have one phone left by the time we get there.  An hour and a half after getting there, I walked out with my Christmas present.  Normally I would huff and puff because I now have nothing to open on Christmas Day.  HOWEVER, because I am absolutely in love with this phone and my new carrier, Verizon Wireless, I am not complaining.  He knew because of the price, I would not buy it for myself.  Today’s tip: Buy your loved one something that they would not buy themselves because of the price tag.  If your budget does not allow it, look for alternatives in your price range.

Do you remember when you bought your car? Do you remember how every time you looked around while driving, someone was driving the same model, maybe in a different color or the exact same shade you fell in love with?  Well now that I am on Verizon, I am in tune with all things Verizon-like.  Yesterday I saw this hilarious commercial by Kevn Hart about his family wanting a real Christmas tree.  I cannot even remember if my family ever had a real Christmas tree.  Can you?

In case you need a laugh, I’ll leave you with the commercial, of course, its on Youtube! Find out what kind of tree comedian Kevin Hart prefers!

Until then,

PS. What should I get Daniel for Christmas?!

If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
       
Join the My Pocketful of Thoughts community by giving a LIKE to the FB Page! Just hit like and feel free to share it with lovely like minded people by hitting send below.

Join in on the conversation, click here to get started.

My Naughty and Nice List

Happy Money Monday!  Here on My Pocketful of Thoughts, Monday’s are reserved for all things money-like.  If you stopped by here this past Wednesday, you read in the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway post that I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping.  If you have small children on your list you should check out the post later and enter to win one of their toys.  Today, I’ll begin to share my planning process with you.

photo credit: armadillo444 via photopin cc

How to start planning your holiday shopping:  

First, make your list of who you want to purchase gifts for.  To start your list, just grab a piece of paper and pencil in the people you think you might have to get gifts for and in pen write everyone you know you are definitely getting gifts for.  Every year my list is modified, but for the most part it remains the same.  My parents, boyfriend, nieces and nephews, my closest friends and on occasion someone new.  I say to pencil in potential people to buy gifts for because these are the people you’re on the fence about.  Maybe you’ve never gotten them a gift in the past but perhaps over the year you’ve gotten closer.  It’s better to have an extra gift or two than to not have anything at all.  

Next is to put together a BUDGET.  Most people do not do this.  For years I did not budget and I would charge my gifts to my credit card and in January I would have this crazy bill.  Please avoid this.  It is bad for your credit health.  While it is the holiday season, you do NOT have to go overboard.  Most people are on a budget this year and are not expecting extravagant gifts.  If you think someone on your list might be expecting a grand gift, than I would suggest having a conversation with them early to let them know you’d like to set a price limit.  One year I was on a super tight budget; I asked my friends if we could share a meal together instead of exchanging gifts. Spending quality time and making memories with loved ones is priceless.

How to plan your budget: 

photo credit: 401(K) 2012 via photopin cc
  1. In pen, write next to each person’s name the max dollar amount you wish to spend.  
  2. In the corner of the paper, write down the amount you wish to spend total on holiday gifts. 
  3. Take the amount you wish to spend total and divide it by the number of months you have left until the holiday season starts.  
  4. If the number you get after dividing it into a monthly goal to save for is too large and not feasible within your current income, then reverse engineer your thinking.  
  5. If I can afford to put aside $50 a month, starting in January than I can spend $600 on gifts.  If I started saving this month, that changes my budget to $100 total.  I would then erase the people I wrote in pencil and reduce the amount spent on each person.  

If you could, I would suggest having your money squared away before Black Friday, so you can snag the crazy deals!  
Lastly, Take your pencil and write in potential gifts in your budget range for the people on your list.  To save money I suggest thinking of a theme for your holiday shopping.  If I have a handful of ladies on my list, I might think of buying luxury lotion from Bath and Body, there I might score a deal of Buy 2 get 1 free.  This may allow you to be a little more generous than your budget would have normally allowed.

    This is what I do to start planning for the holiday season.  I also carry the list around with me in my wallet, so I can jot down ideas throughout the year.  How do you start planning your holiday shopping?

    Until then,
    If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
           
    Join the My Pocketful of Thoughts community by giving a LIKE to the FB Page! Just hit like and feel free to share it with lovely like minded people by hitting send below.

    Join in on the conversation, click here to get started.

    Does anyone still buy Greeting Cards?

    Sample Card from Paperless Post Under Thoughtful Gestures.

    I’ve always been one to stand for hours in Hallmark, looking for just the right card to pick out for that special someone’s special occasion.  It had to be the right card for that person from me.  It had to share and represent our special bond.  Over the years the price of cards have gone up; well everything has gone up in price.  I find myself now looking for the 99 cents cards and picking the one the fits the occasion.  I even go as far as writing on the wrapping paper….”Happy Birthday…Love, arelis.”  I rarely purchase a greeting card anymore.  Does anyone still buy Greeting Cards?

    A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this website called Paperless Post.  Its a wonderful site of greeting cards.  They are beautiful cards and fully customizable.  The site is SUPER easy to use and the prices are reasonable.  So far I haven’t paid anything for a card, but if I wanted to its an option.  I say give it a try.  If you can save money, why not? 

    Do you still buy Greeting Cards?  Do you use any special websites that serve the same purpose?  Or do you get creative?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    Until then,