Tag Archives: Money

Why Diets Don’t Work: Reason #2

 

160_F_47851010_yHDtBCBDYQqJMCyadZOonkHkfZly3Y7r

Reason #2:  Making a number on the scale the center of your universe is a fruitless endeavor.

As kids, we can become very attached to our favorite toy, blanket, or stuffed animal. It is as if these beloved items have a magical power over us, a force that is so powerful it can stir up the fiercest beast in the smallest person. Hide a kid’s blankie or stuffed animal right before bedtime and you can witness this phenomenon first hand. It is meltdown on the spot. Who knew these items could have such a powerful hold on such a young soul?

As adults, we may graduate from these childhood items but then replace them with other security blankets. This differs for everyone. It may be money, achievement, position. . . but for some of us, our magic blankie is a number in our head of our dream weight. It is the answer to all our problems, the center of the universe.

And even if we do reach that number (which many never do) there still remains a void. That’s because a number on the scale was never meant to satisfy your soul. But peace, well yes, peace has the power to do exactly that!

Now, that’s not to say you can’t have a goal number you would like to weigh. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, we encourage you to know what weight range you feel best in and set goals to get there, but expecting a number to “complete you” is a fruitless endeavor.

How do we know this? Because we’ve been there a hundred times. We went on a diet and reached our goal weight, but instead of experiencing excitement and joy, we were jolted with disappoint and disillusions.  Our so-called magic number didn’t produce the peace we had expected.

But when Peace with Food came into focus that all changed.  That’s because a number on the scale was no longer the number we obsessed over.  Instead, we were inspired and motivated by a number that trumps all other numbers: #PEACE. Now, we ask ourselves this: On a scale from one to ten, how much peace do I have in regards to my eating and body?

It no longer matters what the scale says.  If the number on our peace-meter is any lower than a seven, we know we have to make adjustments so our number and happiness is better next time.

What number would appear if you were weighing in on your peace in the area of eating and your body?  This is the number that you have control over. Consider changing your focus from a number on the scale to the number on your peace.  We think when you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that your goal for the scale will eventually catch up.

lara-robynn1 (1)

 

 

Take-Home Message:

The number that trumps all numbers is the number on your peace.  One to ten, how peaceful are you in your eating and in your body?  It doesn’t matter what the scale says, if the number on your peace is any lower than a seven, it is time to make adjustments.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Peace w/ Food, You

The Financial Lifesavor

A few years ago I did something that iMpRoVed our financial stress.  In addition to tracking our monthly expenses, I made a simple spreadsheet that estimates what our bank account will look like in six months.

Whenever I log our monthly expenses, I also update this 6-month sheet (to see an example, click 6-Month Spreadsheet).  At the top, I enter our most current bank account total.  Below, I have the pRojEcTed expenses and income for each month.  You should have a pretty good idea on how much you spend if you already keep track of your monthly expenses.  If not, now would be a good time to start!  If your income varies due to sales or farming, etc. you need to enter in a realistic number to ensure your 6-month projection is as accurate as possible and doesn’t give you false hope. 

One reason this concept comes in handy is because it anticipates yearly bills.  Propane refills are already estimated in the months of October and January, so when the time comes there is no big SuRpriSeS.  By taking into account all of your known expenses you won’t have to worry (and stress!) about moving money around to accommodate.

I especially like the 6-month forecast when I want to make larger purchases.  If you’re itching to buy new carpet, you enter in the total and instantly have a good I D E A how much it will affect your finances in the long term.  For example, you may get a bonus at work and see an immediate increase in your bank account.  You go out and spend it all (and maybe a little more), and then two months later you are panicked because you forgot your vehicle tags and taxes were due.  See how this could have been avoided?

As far as financial surprises, like if our car breaks down, I don’t estimate for that.  You will find that if you do the 6-month spreadsheet you won’t be likely to spread your bank account too thin.  Pick a number that will give you a nice CusHioN for emergencies.  As long as you stay above your goal you can avoid roller coaster financial stress and feel more confident in the purchases that you make!

~Lara

Leave a comment

Filed under Finances, Life

Worth the Investment

Last week Doug and I went on our first dAtE in quite a while.  I can not tell you how great it was to be able to eat a meal and hang out without being interrupted!  We were able to talk about things beyond the everyday “stuff” and found ourselves LeArNinG new things about each other, simply because the time was devoted specifically on us.

When the bill came to the table, I initially shrieked at the price because we are the type of people that try to be conservative with our spending.  Plus, my hiStoRy has always been to talk myself out of having a date night because it will cost too much—babysitter, meal, entertainment—not to mention all of the work to get the kids ready.

Well, as Doug pulled out his wallet he said, “It was well worth the investment.”  How true!  I’m not saying that you have to spend money in order to have qUaLity time, but whether it is the money you spend, the appointments you cancel or the things you put on the back burner, you are making a good investment by setting aside these things for your marriage.

It’s time to make your relationship more of a PrioRity.  You may think that you and your spouse have drifted so much that you can’t even muster up the confidence or energy to ask them on a “date”.  Or maybe you feel guilty leaving the kids because you don’t get to see them enough as it is.  Let me tell ya…it is wOrtH iT.  The MOST IMPORTANT thing for your family is the time you spend with your spouse.  The more quality time you can spend together (without smartphones, distractions, etc) will result in happiness for not only you, but your kids too :)

(As you all know…no relationship is PerFect and they all take work.  Click here to read some of our other marriage posts!)

~Lara

2 Comments

Filed under Marriage, Relationships

$ailing The Financial $ea$

This is a ship Scott made for our girls one cold, winter night. It's lessons are: On the journey to financial freedom, first, just get going, and second, don't compare your ship to the Queen Mary!

I have to AdMiT, I was a little (or a lot) hesitant to write a post about money.  You may have read my earlier post “Broke Was My Goal” where I talked about being a teacher with a financial mess on my hands and how I got out of that mess by taking one small step at a time.  Back then, I was a teacher on a limited salary.  Now I’m a doctor’s wife and on the other end of the spectrum.  You can probably understand my hesitation of talking about MoNeY.  The last thing I want to do is discourage our readers, who may think, “That’s easy for you to say.  I could do that if I were in your situation.”  My motive for talking about money is to give hope and encouragement, regardless of where you find yourself financially.  Not only do I desire for you to have hope in your financial situation, but also financial PeAcE.

That is a phrase I first heard in 2006 when Scott, my husband, and I took guru Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” class.  That really ChAnGeD the way we looked at money.  Up to that point we weren’t all that bad at handling money, but really didn’t have a clear-cut plan.  However, once we took this class our goals changed.  Because financial peace and living DeBt FrEe is our goal we have chosen to make certain sacrifices in our finances.  For us, it meant swallowing our pride and not trying to keep up with the Jones’ next door.  We don’t always do things perfectly.  {I’ll even share some of my mistakes I’ve made on this journey}.  But we are trying to take small steps in the right direction.  For example, my husband Scott drives a 13-year-old SUV with close to 300,000 miles.  My vehicle is a 4-year-old Dodge minivan which I plan to drive until it dies.   In addition, for two years we lived in a 950-square foot home with two kids and two dogs.

For everyone,  the definition of SaCriFiCe is different, but for everyone AcTiOn is required.  Just as we talk about losing weight, exercising more, or being a better parent/spouse, inaction is inertia; and inertia makes sacrifice just another good InTeNtIoN.

Here’s wishing you success in overcoming inertia….that difficult first step.  BoN VoYaGe!

:)

Robynn~

Leave a comment

Filed under Finances, Life

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

{Subscribers–if your email link did not work today, we apologize.  Tomorrow it should be back up and running!}

Our family is planning a BiG trip to Disneyworld this summer!  It will be the first visit for both of my children and we can’t wait to see the excitement on their faces as they meet their favorites…Tinkerbell and Mickey Mouse!  With a big trip like this comes a BIG price tag.  I don’t want my kids thinking you show up to Disneyworld and say, “HeRe I Am!”  I want them to understand that our family has worked hard to save and plan for such a special trip.

Like many kids, mine have so many toys they don’t know which one to play with first.  For upcoming holidays and birthdays I have asked my family to give my children Disney gift cards instead of toys.  I bought each of them a small Disney sandwhich keeper at my local dollar store and my kids now use them to save all of their “DiSNeY MoNeY.”  Between Halloween and Thanksgiving they already have a nice collection of gift cards from family and any money they got from trick-or-treating went into their sandwich keepers too.

We’ve been discussing different things they can use their “Disney money” on when go on our trip such as souveniers, special snacks, extra activites, etc.  As young as my children are they are really understanding why they are saving their “Disney money” and it makes me happy to know that they are learning such a ValUAbLe lesson so early in life!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

Leave a comment

Filed under Finances, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

Use The Resources You Have

If you’ve been following our blog you may have seen me talk about dealing with an “All-Or-Nothing” mindset.  I struggle with this thinking and am diligently working to change this crazy TrAiN Of ThouGht.  Here is one thing that is helping me out a GreAt dEaL.  I recently have adopted the thinking, “Use The Resources You Have”.  I actually say this to myself and Lara & I talk about it often.  This gives me “PerMisSiOn” to continue on even when the situation is not “PeRfEcT”. 

So what, that I’ve MeSsEd uP, had a rough day, got off to a bad start or things just aren’t going like they are suppose to go?  I ReFuSe to have the mindset, “May as well throw in the towel for today.  I’ll start again tomorrow.”  I won’t mess up the rest of my day with that notion.  Instead I’ll use the resources I have.  In this case, it is the ReSt oF tHe DaY – completely free of mistakes and disappointments.  Who knows what good thing may be just around the corner?

What are you lacking in?  Time, inspiration, money, education, energy, health, a good childhood, etc.  It really doesn’t matter.  What matters is what you Do HaVE. 

I don’t know if this advice will help you, but it sure has helped me.  Do I have this MaSteReD?  No, but I’m a work in progress.  A LittLe At a TiMe.

;)

Robynn~

Leave a comment

Filed under All-Or-Nothing

Life on a Budget

Let me tell ya, the word “budget” was not in our vocabulary when Doug and I got married 5 years ago. Like many newly married couples we graduated from college, moved to a new city, got good jobs and spent money on the weekends rewarding ourselves for all of our HaRd WorK.  BUT about 3 months after living like that we couldn’t seem to figure out why our checking account wasn’t increasing?!  We knew our paychecks were coming in every 2 weeks, but where were they going?  The only way to find out was to write down everything we spent for the entire next month.  Which we did…and oh was that a wake-up call!

After seeing that in 1 MONTH we spent over $275 eating out and over $400 in gas (not to mention the large amount we spent on household items, clothes, entertainment, etc) we knew something had to change.  We didn’t want to live paycheck to paycheck and knew it was time to come up with a plan.

From that point forward we were committed to tracking every dollar we spent. To eliminate the chance of failing we did the following:

1)Create a monthly budget in an Excel spreadsheet (For example, click: Sample Finance Spreadsheet)

2) Hang the new spreadsheet on the FRIDGE w/ a mini-accordion file.  Label each section of the accordion file w/ a different category.

3) Every evening write the total amount spent for the day (in their categories) and then put the receipt in the appropriate section of the mini-accordion file.  If we didn’t have time to write on the sheet, attach the receipts on the cork-board.  Only put the receipts in the accordion file AFTER they are written on the sheet.

4) In the middle or end of each month transfer the numbers from the sheet to the excel file on your computer.  This will give you automatic calculations of how much you spent in each category—if your goals were met—how much you saved, etc.

5) At the end of each month transfer all of the receipts and the written spreadsheet into a large accordion file that has a section for each month.  This accordion file will contain all of the receipts and expenses info for the year and come in handy during tax season :)

Happy Budgeting!

~L

1 Comment

Filed under Finances, Life