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Day 9, 10, 11, 12 Update...Fell Off the Wagon :(

June 12th, 2007 at 07:54 pm

The last few days have been rather disappointing...and I was doing so well. This usually happens around the tenth day of any big goal I have but here is the update:

Exercise: Days 9, 10 and 11 no exercise (busy...blah, blah ,blah. That is usually an excuse for everything). Day 12 got outside and walked for one hour so this counts as hopping back on the wagon I think.

Spanish: Yes on days 9, 11, and 12. None on day 10 (I'll use busy as an excuse here as well).

Savings: nothing added for all four days.

Debt payment: ditto

Starbucks: this is sad...day 9 was fine, no Starbucks. Day 10 got a craving so went to the store and got some milk and coffee ice cream so I could make a frappuccino at home and not cave into purchsing said offeding item from said offending company. Day 11 made another coffee milkshake at home. Day 12 was really busy and I was really dragging about 4pm so broke down and went to Starbucks. Aarrggg Strangly, I felt like an addict looking for a fix. Eyed the parking lot suspiciously since DH knew I had sworn off Starbucks for a month--didn't want him to see me. Got my Frap and was in momentary heaven (maybe it was the caffein burst?). Then felt bad for falling off the wagon and not keeping to my goal.

I'm hoping tomorrow goes better...

Day 8 of 30 Update

June 8th, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Amazingly enough I'm still on track with my goals for the month. Here's today's report:

--Starbucks: none for 8 days (a record!)
--Exercise: 1 hour on the treadmill
--Spanish: 1 hour listening to language lesson CD on my way to a meeting
--Savings: added $10 ($128)
--Debt payment: none (still waiting for my bonus check)

Day 7 of 30

June 7th, 2007 at 08:46 pm

Today's Update

--Spanish 45 minutes
--Starbucks none Smile
--Exercise 1 hour on treadmill
--Savings added $13 for a total of $118
--Debt paid nothing Frown total $17,880

I guess the hardest part of this 30 day thing is finding the time. Because I am basically forcing myself to meet my goals and I don't want to come on here and report that nothing happened or worse, that I gave up on my goals, I now have to carve out two hours a day to work towards these goals (one hour for exercising which I wasn't doing before and 45 minutes to an hour to study Spanish--also something I wasn't doing previously).

Anyway, I think it is well worth it although I don't seem to be losing weight but then I figured it took like a year of sucking down frappuccinos daily to get this way so expecting the weight to magically fall off in seven days isn't going to happen...

Day 6 of 30 Update

June 6th, 2007 at 08:47 pm

Quick Update...
--exercise: 1 hour on stair climber (not my machine of choice but the only one available at the time)
--Spanish: 1 hour (read through the next chapter while I was on the stair climber)
--Savings: added $50 (total $105)
--Debt Payment: none (total $17880)
--Starbucks: none

Day 5 of 30 Update

June 5th, 2007 at 06:37 pm

I feel so productive today! Here's what I did in terms of my goals:

--Spanish: studied for an hour while I waited for a group of people that I dropped off at a meeting
--Exercise: walked on the treadmill (3 mph) for an hour.
--Starbucks: none; I walked right by it at the mall today and wasn't even tempted.
--Savings: added $10 (total $55)
--Debt: paid off a $221 credit card (total debt now $17,880)

Day 4 of 30

June 4th, 2007 at 08:04 pm

A quick update...

Exercise: one hour water aerobics
Spanish: study for half hour
Savings: 0 added= $45
Debt payment: 0 paid= $18,100
Starbucks: none Smile

Day 3 of 30

June 3rd, 2007 at 09:34 pm

Today's Update:
--Spanish: studied for over an hour
--Savings: added $5
--Exercise: one hour of racquetball (OMG that's too long to play racquetball!)
--Debt payment: nothing, waiting for a bonus check and will use that to make a significant dent in my debt
--Starbucks: none, to date have saved $14 and about 1500 calories Smile

Day 2 of 30

June 2nd, 2007 at 08:45 pm

Daily Update

--exercise: one hour walking
--Starbucks/BR: none (and have the caffeine withdrawal headache to prove it)
--savings: added $20 for total of $40
--Spanish: 45 minutes
--debt repayment: none Frown

Day 1 of 30

June 1st, 2007 at 09:40 pm

So busy today but here is the update after day 1 of my 30 day experiment:

--power walked around the neighborhood for one hour this morning. I didn't realize so many people are up and active and outside at 7am!
--no Starbucks or Baskin Robbins today Smile
--added $20 to savings (total in savings=$20)
--just paid regular bills today so no money put towards debt (total debt $18,100)
--worked on my Spanish for a half hour today ~que bueno~

30 Days

May 31st, 2007 at 09:02 pm

I like Morgan Spurlock. He was the guy who made the movie 'Supersize Me' and then the series '30 Days'. If you haven't seen '30 Days' he resolved to do something for 30 days just to see what would happen. Once he and his fiance lived on minimum wage for 30 days then after that he found other people to do 30 day challenges and record what happened.

That's how I got the idea to try to change my life for 30 days--I think it is easier to set goals with a definite end date instead of some fuzzy "forever" date.

Thus, starting tomorrow, I resolve to:
--exercise for at least an hour every day (this is important but I never have time because I am usually so busy with work).
--no Starbucks or Baskin Robbins (I stop at one of these places almost every day for a high calorie whipped drink which actually is a big waste of money and is rapidly expanding my waist line Frown ).
--make a significant dent in my debt (starting point is $18,100).
--make a positive impact in my savings (starting point is $0).
--practice Spanish at least 30 minutes each day (I really need to brush up my elementary level abilities because my job basically requires that I speak Spanish to clients almost every day and there are a whole bunch of verbs in this language and knowing only one form of each verb is not a good thing).

That's it. I hope that reporting here each day will push me to stick to my goals for at least a month. At the end of this I would like to be thin, healthy, debt free, have lots of money in savings and speak Spanish fluently!

AdSense Questions

May 29th, 2007 at 06:47 pm

I know very little about AdSense but decided to add it to one of my blogs since that site gets thousands of hits per month. It is basically my hobby site but it seems that many bloggers have this type of advertising on their sites and some seem to make money with it. Does anyone here have any experience with AdSense? Do you really make money with it?

Mid Weekend Update

May 27th, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Friday was a bit of a bummer...no money manifested, had a hideous head cold and just kind of hung around the house all day. Yesterday was a bit better. Things that I will attribute to manifested money (and when I say manifested money I mean something of a financial gain which was unexpected): a frapuccino from Starbucks (hubby was driving by one and thought of me and brought it to me at work--a nice suprise), a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the Pikes Place market (see above) that friends brought when they stopped by, and three small boxes of cereal from the manufacturer that were tucked in with my newspaper in the morning--Cheerios...Yummy!

Still Manifestin'

May 24th, 2007 at 09:14 pm

Today's totally unexpected "manifested money" was a $40 Starbucks gift certificate that a client slipped under my office door as a thank you (for what Im not sure).
~I am a money magnet...I am a money magnet...I am a money magnet~

Top 10 Financial Rip Offs

May 23rd, 2007 at 08:32 pm

Entering the contest and venting at the same time...here's my list:

1) Payday lenders.

2) Time shares.

3) Leasing cars, furniture, etc.

4) Multi-level marketing programs.

5) Lotteries.

6) Rent-to-own (furniture, appliances, etc)

7) Credit cards in general, especially those with double digit interest rates.

8) Adjustable rate mortgages (in many cases).

9) Gambling.

10) Co signing for a loan for someone who doesn't have the financial ability to get the loan on their own.

Did I forget anything?

Nothing Really Manifesting Today

May 23rd, 2007 at 08:17 pm

Still doing the money manifesting experiment. Didn't get anything unexpected today. I didn't count the paycheck received from a client because that was regular earnings.

I read more from Steve Pavlina's site on this subject and he said that when you first start manifesting you will see some small immediate results then a lull where you may get nothing for a while then the floodgates open. I will keep concentrating and wait for overwhelming abundance!

One small thing that did happen today is when I got my haircut I noticed a lady in front of me using a punch card. I have been going to this salon for ages and never knew they had a punch card where after ten punches you get a free service. The lady at the desk gave me the card and punched all of my visits for th last six months so that was something nice and unexpected.

Money Manifested To Date

May 22nd, 2007 at 09:56 pm

This money manifestation thing really seems to be working! Today I got a totally unexpected $86 dollars Smile

Manifested money totals:
Day 1 May 18 used a gift certificate that was donated and found about $2 in coins $47
Day 2 May 19 bus for field trip broke down so will get a $150+ refund
Day 3 May 20 hubby was feeling generaous and filled my gas tank which cost about $42
Day 4 May 21 between coupons and markdowns, saved about $4 when shopping
Day 5 May 22 bought a couple of things for a friend a few months ago and she unexpectedly paid me back today, also found $10 for a total of $86


Still Experimenting

May 21st, 2007 at 09:57 pm

Yesterday I stayed home all day--it was a super busy week so it was nice to just chill for a day. Even though I didn't go anywhere or do anything, hubby took my car and filled it up with gas so I counted that as a little response to my money manifesting experiment.

Today there were no big financial suprises but I was happy to find one of those yummy already-cooked rotisserie chickens for a dollar off because it was after 4pm. Another sign?

Overall Im still experimenting with this money manifesting thing and after reading more of the "how to" about it, I guess it takes a bit of time to get past "little" unexpected amounts of money to the bigger windfalls.

Manifesting Money--Day 2

May 19th, 2007 at 08:29 pm

Yesterday's money manifestation experiment went pretty well so I decided to try it again today. I really didn't think anything would "manifest" today because I took a big group to an all day conference where everything was going to be free anyway.

When we were ready to leave the conference, one of the two busses that brought our group was DOS (dead on scene) so we all had to squeeze into the other bus. The result--I will get a refund on the cost of one of the busses. This was completely unexpected but a suprising bit of "found" money. Wow.

Manifesting Money Part 1

May 18th, 2007 at 10:49 am

I read an interesting blog post last night at www.stevepavlina.com/million-dollar-experiment.htm and thought, what the heck, tomorrow I will try to manifest some money.

First thing this morning I went to do the laundry and found a dime in the bottom of the washer. Now that isn't a big thing but I was doing the happy dance because at least SOMETHING had manifested. Next I was off to the grocery store to use a gift certificate that was donated in order to buy supplies for an event we are having tomorrow. When I calculated what was in the basket, I figured I would need to add another $5 or $8 to the GC but after the checker rang everything up, she gave me $5 back! Next to the post office where there weren't any checks waiting for me but I did get my cell bill and it was $2 LESS than usual.

Hmmm maybe this money manifesting thing works... Anyway, it isn't even 11am yet so I am really excited to see what will happen throughout the rest of the day!

Why We Shouldn't Complain About the Price of Gas

May 16th, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Daily financial update...

Good Financial Move--had a $10 bill in my wallet and was passing by the bank so stopped and deposited it into my savings account.

Bad Financial Move--I'm so addicted to Starbucks Frappucinnos. Of course had my daily Starbucks ($3) and then wondered why I complain about the price of a gallon of gas when I spend the cost of a gallon of gas on a 12 ounce (really not necessary) drink. Duhhh

If I buy stock in Starbucks would that somehow offset the cost of my habit?

I'm Baaaacckkkk

May 15th, 2007 at 09:54 pm

Holy Cow! Haven't blogged in a while so thought I would check in and saw that it has been more than three MONTHS since I posted.

It's been a really busy few months. My non profit has been successfully launched and is doing pretty well (the great part is we are busier than we ever dreamed the not so great part is that I am financing it until the grants come in...).

Anyway, now that things have settled down to a dull roar, it's time to get my finances back in order. My goal between now and September is to pay off two credit cards, two personal loans and my back taxes (my tax lady was having a crisis when she was doing my last years' taxes, made a pretty significant mistake, and I got a surprise bill from the IRS a month ago). Frown

This should be quite a challenge since in addition to these debts, I am still waiting for the aforementioned grants to come in, am too busy to get a side job, and generally feel pretty scattered (have a lot of family stuff in addition to the non profit as well as my regular business to take care of). And, like everyone, prices for the basics--gas, food, even postage stamps--seem to be increasing on a daily basis!

I'm glad to be back and have no doubt that all of the great ideas that people come up with here will be really helpful. Thanks to everyone here for all of the positive inspiration!

A Secret About "The Secret"

February 11th, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Wanna know a secret about "The Secret"? I saw the show on Oprah about "The Secret" and then checked out the website and thought "what a sham". The concept presented in "The Secret" is not new and for those people to make money off of something that is available in its orgininal format for free is a rip off! The components of the Secret have been regurgitated so many times there really isn't a secret any more. Most recently Wayne Dyer wrote about this theory. Prior to him Catherine Ponder wrote a series of books on this. Napoleon Hill and Wallace Wattles also wrote on this topic in the early 1900s. Anyway, if you go to www.scienceofgettingrich.net you can get a free copy of Wallace Wattles book (the copyright has long since expired) as well as many other interesting articles which focus on gratitude, visualizing, etc.

Cash Only for One Month Yahoooooo

January 31st, 2007 at 09:21 pm

For this whole month, I have been using cash only for all of my purchases. No debit card or credit card use for an entire month! The only checks I have used were to pay bills that needed to be mailed. This system has really saved me a lot of money, plus money was added to savings and credit debt was paid down. Even the hubby has got on board and he is now using the cash only system too. {{{doing the happy dance}}}

A Small Suze Orman Rant

January 31st, 2007 at 07:37 pm

I just read somewhere that Suze Orman, the financial guru, is single with no kids. Nothing against people who are single or childless, but if you are lecturing families about money, shouldn't you at least have one? If I had no husband and no kids I'm certain my financial situation would be different. Things just aren't as cut and dried when you have to take a half dozen other people into consideration every time you earn, spend or save money.

A Couple of Raves...Cash Only and the Dollar Store

January 29th, 2007 at 07:51 pm

I'm still on my cash-only spending plan which is working out amazingly well. I thought I would blow it this weekend because I just moved into my new offices and the first thing I wanted to do was decorate/shop/basically blow a lot of money. Fourtunately common sense took over and I only spent what cash I had. This is where the Dollar Store comes in. I have rarely shopped at this type of store but figured it was worth a shot if I was going to be able to stretch my cash. To make a long story short, the office looks beautiful and I LOVE the dollar store! Everthing for the kitchen was bought there, the daycare room was completely decorated a la dollar store and lots of odds and ends that would have cost more than a dollar at Walmart were also bought.

It's Raining Credit Card Checks

January 15th, 2007 at 07:37 pm

A few months back I paid off all of my credit cards (except one which I am working on now). Anyway, I went to the post office today and what did I find in my box? Not one, not two, but envelopes from FOUR of the credit cards I had paid off each with a a half dozen "checks" that I could use to easily withdraw funds from my credit cards.

Apparently paying off credit card debt and no longer being at the mercy of these companies sends them into a tail spin and they immediatly try to woo you back into indebtedness. Are they INSANE? Do they think I WANT to be up to my ears in debt? I realize that their CEOs may not get to remodel their decks this year or trade up to the newest Mercedes because I won't be paying all of that interest and the occassional overlimit or late fee but they will just have to get over it. I know I am over being in debt.

Cash Only...Its Harder Than it Seems

January 12th, 2007 at 07:16 pm

Today is day twelve of my cash only challenge (actually about day 20 but I'm counting from the first of the year to make it easier to remember). I've learned a lot in these past couple of weeks...
...Now I know why grandma's major purchases were few and far between, why she bought most things at garage sales and why she was the loss leader queen at the grocery store. Using cash only (which she did. always.) it takes time to save up for a big purchase and even when you have the money it is hard to part with it since it took so long to save it! Cash only really makes you aware of the value of each dollar.
...You have to plan ahead. When you rely on credit cards, you can always "afford" gas, food, clothes, an ipod, etc. right now and figure out how to pay for it later. With cash only you need to plan ahead for each day/week/month and ration your money accordingly. Sure you can buy the beautiful sweater today but will that leave you enough money for gas next week so you can get to work?
...Using cash only makes you get creative. There is such a challenge to stretch every penny as far as it will go so that your cash will last to cover all of the things you want to buy. With $100 today I was able to get gas ($20), stamps ($7.80), groceries--including laundry soap, toothpaste, meat, veges, baking supplies, fruit, etc that will last a week and a half (most all on sale for a total of $68) and savings ($4.20). Now for the creative part: I try to stay home two to three days a week so I dont waste gas making unnecessary trips, I pay most bills online so I dont waste stamps, we eat all of our meals at home which saves a considerable amount of money over eating out, and savings gets transfered to my ING account each week so it can make a little interest.

Overall, this is quite a dramatic change for me and something I have never tried before but it sure is giving me a financial attitude adjustment.

Thanks to everyone for all of the great tips they post in their blogs...it really is inspiring/educational/helpful to share this kind of information. Without this site I would have never thought to reign in my spending and try to live "cash only".

Day 7 Update

January 7th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

It's been seven days since my New Year's Resolutions officially started (actually it has been a little over two weeks but it is easier to count from the beginning of the year...). Here's how Ive done so far:

--regularly deposit $5 into my savings account whenever I go by the bank. So far have $77 (goal is $5000).
--pay cash only for all purchases (this is almost painful but I am much more aware of where I spend my money than when I use a credit or debit card).
--paid off the Macy's card.
--set up an automatic transfer to pay double payments on the home equity loan each month.
--generally saved money in a variety of way: bargain shopping and comparing prices, shaking out clothes after washing them and before putting them into the dryer so they dry faster and use less energy, not eating out, changing my habit of $4 Starbuck Frappacinos each day to buying milk and coffee ice cream and making them myself (at a cost of like $6 for 20 drinks!).

Overall I fell like Im doing pretty well. My next tasks are to write more freelance articles and apply for a freelance position with a local newspaper.

Another Benefit to Paying Cash

January 1st, 2007 at 03:21 pm

One of my resolutions for this year was to pay cash for all purchases except bills. No credit cards and no debit cards--cash only. So far I have been paying cash for ALL purchases for the past week and a half. I figured that by only paying cash I would spend less (which I do) but I didn't realize how quickly my change jar would fill up. Since all of the change in this jar goes for resolution #2 Save $5,000 this is a great added bonus!

Today's Financial Update

December 29th, 2006 at 07:19 pm

I did a couple of things to move closer to my New Years Resolutions today...

...hubby set up the automatic payments on his bank account to make a double payment on the home equity loan each month so now we don't even have to think about it (go hubby!)
...every time I go by the bank (which is almost everyday) I stop by and make a tiny deposit to my savings account. I'm trying to get to $5000 in savings and at least the money is getting to where it's supposed to be albeit slowly. I'm sure the tellers talk about the crazy lady who makes $5 deposits everyday.

Panic is starting to set in--hubby's huge extended family is having a family reunion cruise this summer; this will include between 50 and 60 family members. We are directly responsible to see that 15 people make it to the cruise (us, hubby's kids and grandkids) and I'm sure we will end up paying for half (or more!) of this group to go. :I And, since hubby is the oldest male in the family (it's an Asian family at that), he is more or less responsible to help any of the extended family that needs it. I'm sure it will be well worth it in the end...it's just all of the dancing dollar signs I see when I close my eyes

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