Are you in control of your finances? Ask yourself: "What will bring me peace and support my Purpose? What does prosperity mean to me?" Prosperity is so much more than money. It represents freedom. It's about making choices so you can experience joy, right now and over the long-term. Strive for financial serenity as well as security. Go back to the essentials. Take time to understand your spending and saving habits so that you can live a life of true abundance.
Do you want to be healthy, wealthy and wise? Minimize your risk for disease as you maximize what's in your wallet with these money-saving tips.
Prepare your own meals. Eating out can increase your waistline as well as put a dent in your savings. Plan your menus for the week and take one day to cook the basics such as baked chicken, pasta, chili and soup. Then, supplement the core hot meals with fresh veggies every day.
Use a water filtration system. Instead of buying bottles of water, invest in a water filtration system and a reusable water bottle. This can save you almost $1,500 a year and help save the environment.
Exercise at home or outside. If you find your gym membership is going to waste, give it up. Instead take up walking or running, and do some yoga and/or basic calisthenics at home.
Pack snacks. Make your own trail mix. Pop your own popcorn. Make your own fruit plate. By creating your own snacks, you can control your calories and cut down on the bad fats.
Buy staples in bulk. Once a month, make a run to the bargain store for staples such as brown rice and paper towels. You will also save on gas by minimizing your trips to the store.
Join a food co-op or CSA. Get fresh organic fruits and vegetables and reasonable prices by joining a co-op or buying a share in a Community Supported Agriculture program.
Make your coffee or tea at home. Instead of going to Starbucks, brew your own coffee at home - or better yet, switch to green tea.
Cut the vices. Smoking and drinking alcohol drain your health as well as your wallet. If you usually head out drinking with friends, throw a house party instead (see below). If you smoke, stop. You will save your life, as well as almost $3,000 a year if you have a pack-a-day habit. Add a savings of another $3,000 a year if you cut out a daily cocktail or six-pack a beer.
Hold a "dinner and a movie" party. Hold a potluck party once a week with friends. It will cut down on your entertainment bill and boost your social network. Decide on a healthy menu, pool your resources and have fun. Instead of alcohol, make smoothies!
Dear Dr. Terri K: With the economy in a recession (or depression!) I'm getting concerned about my finances. I've not been very focused on managing money but now I'm feeling the pinch of higher prices all around. My salary hasn't gone up... so what should I do?!? – MARK, New York
MARK:First, congratulations for opening your eyes to your own economic reality. Here are some suggestions to keep your energy in tact and maximize your new situation:
Create a budget. Look at your pay stubs and your bills from the last three months. Take an average of each expense such as cable, telephone, groceries, etc. to create your budget.
Streamline your spending.Compare your average monthly income to your average monthly spending to understand your bottomline. See if there are areas of spending you can streamline. Cut back on non-essential items and reconsider major purchases.
Distinguish between needs, wants and heart desires.
A need relates to food and shelter, a borrowed want is that new Lexus your neighbor has, and a heart desire may be a home where you can ride a bike and walk to work. It's okay to want things. The problem occurs when you acquire things mindlessly - particularly if you don't actually have the money to pay for them.
Stick to saving. Consistently add to your savings. A little at a time will go a long way over time. Contribute the maximum to your 401K at work and/or Flexible Spending Account. Pay more than the minimums on your credit card bills to reduce debt. Try to save at least three months of expenses in case of a layoff or illness.
Shop online.Instead of running around to various stores, comparison shop online and save time, money and fuel.
Sharpen your skills. To hedge against a layoff, make yourself invaluable at work by hitting your deadlines and networking inside and outside of the company. At the same time, see how you can use your skills to create passive income. For example, write articles on your favorite subject as a freelance contributor, or start an online business.
It all starts with the Power of Choice. Make a choice today to take control of your finances. Start Power Living Today!
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