Life is GOOD!

Some mornings are frustrating from the very beginning. My first clue, as I am stumbling down the hall with my eyes half closed, I step into cold cat barf. I suppress the urge to scream as I hop down the hall on one foot so I don’t spread the joy.   I grab paper towels and spray cleaner and clean the gross crap off my foot first. When that is cleaned up I run for the coffee which is so very necessary to get me through my mornings. COFFEE!   But wait…..the fancy automated coffee maker did not start. So I push the manual button as I stare longingly at the empty carafe. Must have my coffee.

To kill time, I start my computer only to find there are three bazillion updates waiting to load! I watch the counter 3 of 468, well this is going to take awhile. I really didn’t need to get any work done, at least not in the near future, as my computer continues to count down the numerous updates. COFFEE!

I stumble back down the hall to get my glasses so I can see…..yes that is the kind of morning I am having, I forgot my glasses when I got up and I really need to see.   On my way back out to check on my coffee, I peek into my daughters bedroom to see her peacefully sleeping.   A beautiful calm look on her face and suddenly everything is fine. Life is good.

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A Year Living Cheap, The Beginning

I have decided to live a year, 365 days, as cheaply as possible.  This means as my Grandma Jo would say, “Make do, do over, do without.”  I believe this is not as easy as it sounds.  My immediate goal is to pay off all my bills and then save for a trip over seas.  “You can’t do that in a year”, I hear you all saying, and that is probably true, but this is a good beginning.

So, tackling this goal I need to know 1) What drives me  2) What I want to accomplish &  3) What are my priorities?

What drives me is to live sensibly and below my income, NOT at or above my income.  What I want to accomplish is to pay off all my bills and my trip aboard.  The third is what are my priorities, which to me is, what do I feel are the necessities in my life/budget, where am I going to spend my money.

Here is the list I put together.

Groceries – Food, Water, Paper Products, Personal Products

Shelter – Mortgage or Rent

Utilities – Electricity, Gas, Trash, Phone

Clothing – Basic clothing, underwear, and         replacement of clothing that is worn out

Health Care – Doctor, Medication, Supplements

Car – Gas, Oil, Major Repairs

I will address individually each necessity next week, at the end of “Week One”, as these are not as black and white as they sound.

What do you feel is a necessity for day to day living?

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Priorities

Setting Priorities

Do you set daily, weekly priorities or do you avoid them?   I make a weekly list of what I need to get done.   I write down my priorities in what I feel is a logical order then walk away for a couple of hours.  Then, when I come back, I usually end up rearranging the order of what is important.

I always put what I dread the most first on my list and tackle that right away, like “Pay Bills” which I hate to do.  When I accomplish that, I feel really good, and dive in to the rest of my list.  The best feeling is drawling a line through the items I accomplish…..Done and Done!

Don’t make your list complicated, keep it simple and focused.  I usually have one or two words that are a reminder of what I need to do.  If your list is too complicated you will walk away from it overwhelmed and never get anything done.  Remember not everything on your list is always going to get done.  Life happens and you will either move the item down on the list or it’s no longer important.  You always need to be ready to adapt and change.  If the item is important enough put it on next weeks list.

Some people have a jar with really big jobs written down on a piece of paper.  Once a week they take an item out of the jar and “Get it done”.  You will be amazed how good it feels.

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”  Dallin H. Oaks

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