10 Habits to Develop for Financial Stability and Success

29 05 2007

I am currently working on my quest for financial freedom and I am so glad to find this Financial Tips at Zen Habits.

1. Make savings automagical. This should be your top priority, especially if you don’t have a solid emergency fund yet. Make it the first bill you pay each payday, by having a set amount automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings (try an online savings account). Don’t even think about this transaction — just make sure it happens, each and every payday.

I am trying my best now to save, but I guess I shouldn’t just try, but make this my priority.

2. Control your impulse spending. The biggest problem for many of us. Impulse spending, on eating out and shopping and online purchases, is a big drain on our finances, the biggest budget breaker for many, and a sure way to be in dire financial straits. See Monitor Your Impulse Spending for more tips.

I don’t do my shopping and groceries now, I am an impulse buyer, I usually end up buying things we don’t really need. But I guess I have to learn to control myself, I cannot make other people do our shopping forever. 🙂

3. Evaluate your expenses, and live frugally. If you’ve never tracked your expenses, try the One Month Challenge. Then evaluate how you’re spending your money, and see what you can cut out or reduce. Decide if each expense is absolutely necessary, then eliminate the unnecessary. See How I Save Money for more. Also read 30 ways to save $1 a day.

I always track my expenses, but I have this bad habit of marking everything as “absolutely necessary”. 😉

4. Invest in your future. If you’re young, you probably don’t think about retirement much. But it’s important. Even if you think you can always plan for retirement later, do it now. The growth of your investments over time will be amazing if you start in your 20s. Start by increasing your 401(k) to the maximum of your company’s match, if that’s available to you. After that, the best bet is probably a Roth IRA. Do a little research, but whatever you do, start now!

5. Keep your family secure. The first step is to save for an emergency fund, so that if anything happens, you’ve got the money. If you have a spouse and/or dependents, you should definitely get life insurance and make a will — as soon as possible! Also research other insurance, such as homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

6. Eliminate and avoid debt. If you’ve got credit cards, personal loans, or other such debt, you need to start a debt elimination plan. List out your debts and arrange them in order from smallest balance at the top to largest at the bottom. Then focus on the debt at the top, putting as much as you can into it, even if it’s just $40-50 extra (more would be better). When that amount is paid off, celebrate! Then take the total amount you were paying (say $70 minimum payment plus the $50 extra for a total of $120) and add that to the minimum payment of the next largest debt. Continue this process, with your extra amount snowballing as you go along, until you pay off all your debts. This could take several years, but it’s a very rewarding process, and very necessary.

I already gave up all my credit cards, hmmm… actually my hubby made me gave it up and I have no choice. Waaaah! 😦

7. Use the envelope system. This is a simple system to keep track of how much money you have for spending. Let’s say you set aside three amounts in your budget each payday — one for gas, one for groceries, one for eating out. Withdraw those amounts on payday, and put them in three separate envelopes. That way, you can easily track how much you have left for each of these expenses, and when you run out of money, you know it immediately. You don’t overspend in these categories. If you regularly run out too fast, you may need to rethink your budget.

8. Pay bills immediately, or automagically. One good habit is to pay bills as soon as they come in. Also, as much as possible, try to get your bills to be paid through automatic deduction. For those that can’t, use your bank’s online check system to make regular automatic payments. This way, all of your regular expenses in your budget are taken care of.

9. Read about personal finances. The more you educate yourself, the better your finances will be.

10. Look to grow your net worth. Do whatever you can to improve your net worth, either by reducing your debt, increasing your savings, or increasing your income, or all of the above. Look for new ways to make money, or to get paid more for what you do. Over the course of months, if you calculate your net worth each month, you’ll see it grow. And that feels great.

Happy Tuesday!


7 Simple Ways to A Productive Day

28 05 2007

“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.”
-Franz Kafka

1. Plan Ahead.
Think of the things that you want to achieve the next day.

2. Create a To-Do List.
Accomplish the things you wrote down one by one, or as you list it. Cross out the ones you already finished.

3. Schedule your projects accordingly.
Schedule your task according to your biological clock. (e.g if you are a morning person then schedule your most important task during the day.)

4. Cut the clutter.
Clean up your workspace, it’ll help you get things done more easily. Less mess, lesser the stress.

5. Focus.
Avoid unecessary interruptions.

6. Delegate
Trying to do everything reduces your productivity and prevents you from achieving your goals. It’ll also help you feel less exhausted at the end of the day.

7. Make sure that at the end of the day you were able to get something done.
Should you fail to accomplish all your day’s task, don’t fret, your just human afterall. Just move all the unfinished task to your next day To-Do list.

Happy Productivity Monday to All!

Surviving a Cluttered Life

27 05 2007

Do you have the feeling that your life’s currently messed up?


I stumble upon Lifehack.org and they have a pretty good list of 10 simple ways to save us from messing up our lives.

Waaah! I am guilty of not practicing most of it… tsk tsk tsk no wonder why I am always stressed out. Ha ha! Anway, I guess, I better apply all these in my daily life from now on.

Stop taking so much notice of how you feel.
How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too.

Let go of worrying.
It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen.

Ease up on the internal life commentary.
If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable.

Take no notice of your inner critic.
Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted.

Give up on feeling guilty.
Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life.

Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you.
Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. Remember, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves and worrying what you are are thinking and saying about them, to be concerned about you.

Stop keeping score.
Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. No one is competing with you.

Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned.
The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly.

Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions.
To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. We can’t do it for them.

Don’t worry about about your personality.
You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so.

Living better with Pain

25 05 2007


“We cannot learn without pain.”

Feeling pain reminds us that we are alive. It helps us grow, if we do not feel pain, we would never realize that something’s wrong with our lives. Pain serves as our wake-up call, a bell that rings every time we make a mistake, It tells us when to stop, It helps us feel, it helps us love more, it provide us strength to carry on.

Pain teaches us to change, to strive for more, to keep on going, to keep on improving. If we only take time to reflect on the events where pain saves us from hurting ourselves further, we’ll realize that in life, pain have always been our savior.

“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain”
-William Faulkner

Wordless Wednesday

24 05 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Birthday Bono!

24 05 2007

Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007

22 05 2007

Top 10 In support to Janette’s writing project of identifying new and emerging blogs in 2007.

Here’s my list for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007

Culture Shiok
An Apple a Day
Solo Mother
Pinoy Moms Network
The D-Spot
Make Money Online with a 13-Yr Old
Career Ramblings