How Do You K.I.S.S.? (Simplicity)


keep-it-simple

Image credit: Good Search

One hand, everyone talks about simplicity. Slow down, more is less and be present. On the other hand, life is full of “To-Do” Lists. Even before we get into the items on the list that can instill guilt (things like eat healthy, exercise, stay within a budget) we face US and THEM items. How do you rank in taking care of you as well as taking care of others?

How do you k.i.s.s.? (keep it simple, sweetie.)

I don’t mind vacuuming, ironing, washing windows, or painting walls. I remember sharing in exasperation one evening, “I hate drying and putting away silverware!” After laughter died down, I was asked, “What do you want to do?” I’ll wash dishes. I’ll unload the dishwasher—except the silverware.” It was one of the easiest deals I’ve ever made, and it made both of us happy.

If you make your kids’ lunch every day, and hate doing it, ask yourself, “Is there someone else who can do this?” How old are your kids? Is your partner/spouse willing to do it? Have you asked them to help, or to swap a chore?

Are you making their lunch, then buying yours? Are you okay with doing that from a budget, health, and calorie standpoint? If not, plan ahead. Make enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch, and as you clean-up after dinner, pack your lunch into your lunch box container.

Find a way that makes you happy. If you’re not happy, and you’re making a meal, some-body is ingesting that energy of hating making it. Eeek! Good reason to bless your food! Same goes for restaurants. You don’t know what sort of energy is in the kitchen. If you’re keeping it simple by eating out, take a moment before eating it to bless your food.

Are you one of the growing households that cook your dog a fresh chicken or beef dinner? I know someone who does this—and the food the people eat may as well be—dog food! Food expiration dates, to-go meals, eating standing up rather than sitting at the table. If the dog out lives them, I hope he keeps the maid! Keep is simple, sweetie. Both you and Fido deserve to be healthy, and get your run-around at the park, not doing chores.

Have you just vacuumed? Quick! Invite some friends over! Or, first invite someone over so it’s motivation to vacuum. It’s a two-for-one that way. You don’t have to re-arrange the furniture to vacuum, just zip here and there, and it’ll add some wow appeal to the room. It’s not a full-on clean, it’s a simple way to keep things looking nice.

Have you started your holiday gift giving list? Maybe this is the year you really do say, “I’m having a party, and that’s my gift to everyone.” Or, in honor the names of your friends/family, you donate to Toys for Tots, Heifer International, or some other organization. Maybe you decide to make a list of 25, 50, 100 “reasons why I love you.” It doesn’t cost a penny, but I’ve been told, “That was one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me.”

Whatever you do—from making lunch to gift giving, do it consciously. If you don’t enjoy doing it, find another way. If it’s overwhelming, take a step back. Breathe.

 K.I.S.S.. Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

Teaching kids money and investing fundamentals


teach kids about money image credit: Good Search

In the Wall Street Journal, I came across an article about Judith Ward, a financial adviser, who shared her experience teaching her children to save and invest money.

The steps in this article were very familiar to me. My mom did much of the same for me that Judith did with her kids. My mom isn’t a financial adviser, and you don’t need to be, either. Just remember: KISS, Keep It Simple, Sweetie. Don’t overwhelm your kids with the details, or scarcity stories.

Judith opened savings accounts for her kids when they were in elementary school. She’d take her kids to the bank to make their deposits and review their monthly statements with her.

As a child, I’d often gone to the bank with my mom and seen her deposit money into her account. She’d give short lessons, without me knowing announcing, “This is a lesson.” She’d say things like, “I put money in so we can buy food/clothing/Girl Scout uniform when we need it.” When I was thirteen, my mom took me to the bank and I opened my own savings account. I’d save money from the jobs I had—ironing and babysitting, and we’d make trips to the bank together to deposit our money. When I got a bank statement, mom showed me how to read it. I loved the reward of seeing the amounts go up!

As Judith’s children grew older, she’d show them her paychecks, and her monthly bank statements with them as a learning tool. She’d also share her investment statements with them.

My mom didn’t show me that information, but she did tell me things like, “Every little bit of savings makes a difference for now, and the future.”

Judith shared how she explained to her son, now 23, how to invest when he opened up a retirement account. If he invested every month—whatever the market was doing, he’d get fewer shared if the market was up, and but more shares if it was down. That’s known as dollar-cost averaging, but she, didn’t use fancy financial adviser terms on her son. She used what he could understand, and because it made sense, he’ll probably stick to saving money.

How do you talk to your kids about money? Are you trying to teach someone how to budget, or invest? Or, are you in process of learning yourself? KISS. KISS. KISS. Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

Good Vibrations


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image credit: Good Search

Confidence is more than attitude, it’s a vibration of energy.  Fear is also a vibration of energy. When you vibrate at a positive level, you become a walking magnet for good people and things to come your way. If you drop some money, someone will call out to let you know. Or, you won’t drop money. You may even find money.

When you vibrate at a negative level, you still become a walking magnet—but for people to kick you when you’re down, take advantage of you, or for things to break down, delays, or just not work in flow.

On either side of the coin, you’ll attract the matching reality to your vibration. If you make a habit of feeling excited, joyful, and satisfied, those energies will tip the scale in your vibration, and results cannot but match those vibrations. If you’re not at the vibration you’d like right now, sit for ten minutes with this. Shift your vibration. Your vibration will not shift after something good happens. Good things will happen when you shift your vibration.

If you do consciously shift your vibration then say, “It worked for half a day, but then it didn’t” check your vibration. It’s easy to fall back into habit. You may start out being very aware of holding exciting thoughts and next time you check, you learn you’ve been worrying about something, or having an argument in your mind with someone who upset you months back.

Before going to bed, you can program your subconscious mind to vibrate at a positive level. Think happy, joyful, exciting thoughts. Feel how you’ll be relieved when the outcome of your problem is solved. Wonderful! Smile your way to sleep. The subconscious mind doesn’t argue. It only says, “Yes!” When you imprint a happy vibrational energy just before going to bed, it’s handed to your subconscious mind for the night. Because your conscious mind isn’t involved, you have a head start on shifting your energy.

God is a Verb. Life is a Verb. You Are a Verb.


http-::ts1.mm.bing.net:images:thumbnail.aspx?q=4781793954891184&id=8cc5d67bd019e3dbf36aa2af33bb2492 image credit: Good Search

Quantum physics will back up the claim, “There is no time or space.” The power of now is constantly unfolding, expressing. Life is a process, unfolding now, and always.

Even when we’re thinking in the past or future tense, we’re in the present moment—thinking about another time. That’s why it’s important to say affirmations in the present tense. The message to the subconscious is “This is happening now. I am successful now. I am healthy now.” If you frame your affirmations in the future, “I will be successful” or “My success is just around the corner” your success (or health, or relationship, etc) will always be “out there” “just around the corner.”

God is a verb. Life is a verb. We are verbs. We’re doing, being, believing, having. What’s your name? Add “ing” to it. Are you Daving? Cathying? Yes! At all times, you’re experiencing and expressing. God and Life are experiencing and expressing through you. There’s no separation between you, Life and God. To give, there must be a receiver. To receive, there must be a giver, and the consciousness to receive. Allow Life to express in, around, through and for you.

Live life as a verb. Do. Be. Have.

What are you good at?


Encouragement image credit: Good Search

What are you good at? Do you cook delicious meals? Do you dress well? Are you a good driver? Maybe you’re a good teacher (even if you’re not a “teacher” by official title.) Think back to your childhood. Where you good at guessing how many candies where in a jar? Did you lighten up a serious atmosphere with a joke, or let someone know you were there for them when they felt no one was listening?

Get out a piece of paper, or set up a page on your computer to make a list of accomplishments you’ve made in your lifetime. It’s not about money, or status. It’s about what you’ve done while taking in some oxygen here on earth. It’s time you acknowledge it and celebrate!

Here are a few from my list, just to give you an idea of what made me proud at the time:

  • Won Cat-in-the-Hat pillow from Sears! (I was six, and I still remember my mom handing me the phone to let me hear the lady say, “Congratulations! Do you like soft or hard pillows?” and my turning back to my mom, “Mom, do I like soft or hard pillows?” and then parroting, “Soft, please.”)
  • Winning hula hoop contests at “x” and “x”.
  • 25 boy push-ups, done correctly.
  • Making “x” amount of dollars a year.

You get the idea.

The list is for you. If you are proud of the achievement, if it made/makes you happy—put it on the list. I once went to the dollar store. I bought a photo album. When I got to my car, I noticed there was an unused lotto scratcher ticket tucked inside the photo album. I  scratched it and won a dollar! It made me laugh. Who else would go to the dollar store and get a dollar! On my list, I also have my education, money related specifics, and progress I’ve made in areas I’d struggled. What are you proud of? What makes you smile when you look back? Anything goes!

When you have a rough day, pull this list out. If your list is three, four or five pages long, there is no way you’ll stay in the dumps for long!

What Kids Cost


Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

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57% of families with kids under the age of 18 have two working parents. Instead of seeing it as a double edge sword, see the good that comes out of it. The cost of back to school shopping this year—according to National Retail Federation, averaged $604. Approximate break down of: Clothing $200, Supplies $90, Shoes $100, Electronic Devices $200. From that stand point, two working parents is wonderful.

Sometimes, even with two people pulling in paychecks, it’s hard to feel like it’s worth it. When is date night? It doesn’t have to be an expensive night out. It can even be stay at home and use the good silverware and candles, or decorate the table, or a room for a change of atmosphere instead of going out.

Meet for a picnic lunch if you work near each other. I used to work with a couple who would always bring real plates and silverware, and homemade leftovers for lunch all packed in their picnic basket. They made leftovers seem like a fancy meal, but it was easy, and didn’t cost them anything extra.

Are you trying to teach teens about money? Give them an idea of what it cost to raise kids, especially if you’re not wanting to be the Saturday night babysitter, or in the position to be the daycare. They may hear you say, “That’s expensive!” Or “We don’t have that kind of money” but your actions may or may not match your words, especially when push comes to shove. I’ve known parents who become baby sitter, and buy food the the new couple starting a family. If you don’t want that to be you talk about the expense of teens having kids, and how it adversely effects so many involved.

Sit down with them and talk about the cost of raising a baby from pregnancy through first year $4,294.; Monthly cost to feed a family of four $1,014.; Average annual cost of child care for a 4-year-old in child care center $7,380.; Cost of raising a child born in 2010 until the age 18 (college not included) $226,920.; Annual tuition and fees at a public university (as of 2011) $8,240.

Is Debt a Deal-Breaker?


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You found The One! Perfect in every way. —Except they have debt. Is that a deal breaker for love?

According to Match. com, three out of four single Americans say they are turned off by excessive credit card debt. 46% of the women surveyed said they didn’t care how much their date spent on an evening out. (Match.com) My translation: It’s the quality of the relationship, not the quantity of money spent on a date.

Their in debt; you’re not. Does that mean the relationship is over?

It depends. Maybe your partner will never be as money savvy as you. Does that mean you walk? If they’re not willing to have a budget, clear the stars from your eyes. Their unwillingness to learn about deficits and surplus that will effect them—and you, are a red flag saying that they’re not willing to change at all. If you’re an excellent saver and are hard line, expecting miracles from someone who’s never had a budget, you may want to loosen up a bit on your ideal partner, or their ability to budget to your standards.

Are you both willing to sit down and talk about money, budgets and expectations you have of each other when it comes to money? (If they expect you to manage the household finances, are they willing to stick their budget so you can manage the money?) The money in many military homes is managed by women. Often, one spouse earns money, sends it home, and hopes when they get home the money has been spent/saved wisely.

Dating or married, have a written plan. If it’s not in writing, there’s nothing to go back to as a point of reference. If your relationship doesn’t have a strong foundation of mutual respect, don’t expect fibs and outright lies to bypass your finances. 30% of people admit lying to their partner about money. Ouch! (National Endowment for Financial Education)

If the divorce rate is around 50% why do only 3% of people with a spouse of fiancé have a prenuptial agreement? By talking about money ideals early in a relationship, there may be less push-back of a prenuptial being “unromantic”. Think of a marriage as part business deal, and the prenuptial holding promise of a future of love and commitment.