Meals Saved

A pleasant atmosphere and an unhurried pace improve your digestion,
your equanimity, and the quality of your life.
Michael Gelb

Regardless of your circumstances, making mealtime a nearly sacred time to refresh can make a difference in your life. It doesn’t take much time, but it does require a different attitude. Simply setting the table with your silverware on a folded napkin and using real dishes and a glass sends a message that you’re taking care of yourself. Eating take-out from cardboard containers or leftovers from the refrigerator container doesn’t. Set the table for every meal regardless of whether you’re eating alone or with others.

If you work, take time to eat lunch. Getting out of your office has many benefits, but if you can’t, at least establish a ritual even if it’s only ten minutes. Stop working. Don’t answer the phone, check emails or do any work. Close your door if you have one. Keep an enjoyable book or magazine in your office to read that will take you “away” for those minutes when you’re eating. If possible, listen to relaxing music, go for a brief walk or stretch or just enjoy a few quiet minutes.

Ideally every meal will be pleasant and unhurried but if that isn’t happening, what can you do to make one meal a day a pleasant time with a focus on enjoying your food and relaxing? If that won’t work, pick a meal once a week to get started. The benefits may not be obvious at first, but your mind and body will appreciate it.

Money Saving Tip

saving moneyWhat if you could save $50-$100 a year by just using a little less? Just one container less a year of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, window cleaner and bathroom cleaners will add up.


What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Yesterday Influences Today

The one with the primary responsibility to the individual’s future is that individual.
Christian Science Monitor 

How has your today been influenced by what you did yesterday? Yesterday I was too busy to invite someone to come to a concert with me and use an extra ticket. Today I ended up going to the concert alone and wasting the other ticket. I missed sharing the experience and the opportunity to spend some time with a friend. I felt guilty that the extra ticket was wasted and the money to buy it was wasted as well.

On a more positive note, yesterday when I finished my work for the day, I went through my notes and calendar to make a to-do list for today. This morning I was able to jump into my work and wasn’t distracted by having to remember dozens of things or looking for a phone number or piece of paper with notes on it. I was able to proactively plan a number of small items to get them accomplished very efficiently in thirty minutes.

What can you do today that will make tomorrow a better day for you? When we take responsibility today, we affect our tomorrow and determine our future.

Money Saving Tip

saving moneyBefore you buy anything on sale, ask yourself—do I want this or do I need this? What would be the consequence of not buying it? How long will I have to work to pay for it? What are three other things I could do with this money? Am I willing to sacrifice those things to buy this item?


What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Is Easy Better?

2-9 flowers-bikesA conference speaker from a financial institute was presenting on the wonders of using a cell phone to pay bills and purchase items. I was equally impressed and frightened! She explained that it is now so easy to check your balance that more and more people will do that before they make a purchase. Apparently,  it has led to fewer people overdrawing their accounts. What she didn’t say, often when people see they still have $300 in the account it feels like that is available money to spend. There is no reminder that other expenses are coming up that will need to be paid. Often that money will simply disappear because it was so easy to buy something with one click on the phone.

Did you know that now as you are approaching your favorite store, an app on your cell phone can alert you that there is a sale today or offer you a discount coupon to shop today? Based on your buying habits you are also prompted with ads to local stores.  In fact, there are new sunglasses coming out with a little device on it that will let you make your purchase and pay for it on the spot without even going into the store! Talk about convenience and direct marketing!

As new technology is available and the number of marketing contacts increase in such a targeted way that zooms in our own buying habits, we will all be challenged to resist more often.

Money Saving Tip

saving money Extend the life of your cell phone battery. The most obvious tip is to turn off your phone when you’re not using it. Turn down the volume. Turn vibration off unless you need it. If you are asked to allow an app to use your location, unless it is relevant to you or you are using the phone for navigation, don’t allow it. The screen uses more battery power than other functions. Decreasing the brightness saves the battery. Also, decreasing the amount of time before the screen goes to black helps (just don’t make it so short it becomes annoying to have the screen going black too quickly.)

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Quiet Courage

9-29embroidered bagsCourage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering “I will try again tomorrow.”                         Mary Anne Radmacher

Yesterday I got an email from a young woman that said, “I swear I want to cry at all the details of setting up a new business!”  Earlier in the day I had also been lamenting about all the little things that needed to get done to bring a big project together. It can be overwhelming to have to-do lists that seem to grow bigger with every step forward you take!

When I get really involved in my work I notice that the piles start growing and the disorganization takes on a life of its own. Every time I need to locate the scrap of paper that has the important information I need to do something, I have to go rummaging through those piles and the frustration mounts. When I make the call hoping to get a quick answer and end up with more questions and three more calls to make, the frustration mounts.

Three things have helped me deal better with the details and frustrations so I can try again tomorrow:

  • Proactively anticipate that everything will take longer, usually much longer, than seems reasonable so I make more realistic deadlines.
  • Remember that most things are usually simply annoying or inconvenient—they are not a matter of life and death.
  • Keep a perspective on what is actually important and deciding to let some of those details and tasks go—either eliminating them, delegating them or hiring someone to help.

What helps you get through all the little tasks to make something work so you’re willing to try again tomorrow?

Money Saving Tip

saving money Did you know credit scores are only for individuals, not couples. When a couple is married, all of their joint credit cards, loans and mortgages will count toward each person’s credit score. Any credit cards, loans or mortgages in only one person’s name will only count toward that one person’s score. If one person is responsible for making payments and misses one on a joint account, it will have a negative affect on both people.

What made you smile this year?

What made you proud of your money choices this year?

Feeling Deeply

I9-8beach man with shells am convinced that my ability to feel deeply is what makes me extraordinary, and that is my ticket to wonderland.

Deborah Feldman,Unorthodox

When do you allow yourself to feel deeply? Laugh until you cry? Cry until there are no more tears? Feel so much joy that it seems like you will burst? Get so passionate it seems your heart will jump out of your body? Feel grief or pain so deeply it seems there will be no coming back? Be so full of love or pride that you can’t hug someone tight enough?

Being able to emotionally react to situations, people and the unexpected—whether wonderful or difficult—is what gives life depth and makes you real. Some people are so concerned that if they show emotions they will lose control, they moderate or suppress all of their feelings. Others have learned that showing emotions is not acceptable or has negative consequences. Once people establish the habit of suppressing emotions, they may not even be able to recognize or identify their feelings. In fact, many can’t remember the last time they experienced strong emotions.

Notice how often you express or suppress you emotions. You might need to learn how to express them in a way that doesn’t hurt, intimidate, overwhelm or scare others, but it’s worth it. Ignoring or denying those emotions won’t make them go away and allowing them to be acknowledged and feeling them may enrich your life.

Money Saving Tip

saving money Be careful of rent-to-own deals for furniture, appliances or electronics. There are many good reasons to do that, but it can cost you two to three times the price of the item. Instead of $2000 for the room of furniture, it could end up being $6000! Many places that say they will report your good payment record to the major credit bureaus to help you build credit, but they don’t do it. Check with the better business bureau to see if there are complaints against a company before you sign a contract.

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?