It’s All About Choice


money pig Image from Good Search

Here we are, into the new year. The bills have arrived, which raises a question: Are you happy how you spent your money—or didn’t spend your money in 2013?

Did you go to the Nutcracker, after years of wanting to go, but thinking you didn’t have the money? Was this the year you baked bread, cookies or candy to give to the service workers in your life (postal, UPS, garbage, landlord)? Or was it the year you told those you normally spend money on that you’d given to a charity in their honor. Did you have a shopping budget, and stick to it for the first time ever? Congratulations! Keep going strong in 2014!

It all comes down to choice. This year, remind yourself that you are in control of the choices you make. Every day. All year. No one can upset you without you being “upset-able”. If you dread (insert group here) family, work, neighborhood… get-togethers, then make plans now to be somewhere else and with someone else for next holiday season. If that sounds impossible, another option is to make plans to show up at the event and not be offended, hurt, or angry. It’s about choice.

Back to your budget. Do you have it ready for the new year? It’s never too late.

Here’s a budgeting booklet download:

Print it out, put it together, and write in your categories. Most important is tracking your expenses. If this sounds too complicated, then save every receipt in an envelope and add them up. If your income varies, keep a running tab of that, too. Bottom line, you need to know income in, income out, and the difference +/-. If you have extra money, save it. Save it for long term (retirement, big goals), short term (six months rent, and fun.) If you come up short, look at where you’re spending. There are several factors to this part, but usually, it about the spending.

How To Keep That Happy New Year Feeling


IMG_3861 Poster sketch by Rocky Moody

Here we are in a new year. How can we make the newness and cheerfulness last? Try this:

Unplug. Talk in person. Hang up. Make eye contact. Walk. Meditate, pray, be kind. Whisper, laugh, sing. Smile. Smile more. Hold the door for someone. Say, “Bless you” when someone sneezes. Yield to pedestrians. Breathe. Slow down. Light a candle, watch it burn. Read a book. Make a date, keep it. Invite someone over for dinner. Bring flowers to someone “Just because”. Plan a mini getaway. See your town through tourist-eyes. Buy the next person in line a coffee. Feed an expired parking meter. Hand out lotto scratcher tickets to strangers. Give compliments freely. Say “Thank you.” Say “You’re welcome.” Wave to your neighbors. Give a genuine complement.

Every moment can be a new start. If you wake up grumpy, you can change it. If you go to bed upset, get out of bed until you find your peace. Don’t wait a year to start over. Happy New Here! Celebrate the newness and cheerfulness right now. (I love confetti!)