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Are You Throwing Your Money Out With the Trash?

© fuzzbones

© fuzzbones

Waste not, want not! How many times did you hear that as a kid, or maybe you’re still hearing it today?

I was watching a morning news show on MSNBC while I ate breakfast last week and some statistics were thrown out that nearly caused me whiplash.

Did you know that we, Americans, throw out 15 to 25 percent of the food we purchase? It’s true. The woman explained it this way:

“Imagine you’re leaving the grocery store with four bags of groceries. But, you drop one in the parking lot …and just leave it there continuing home with only the three bags.

I was horrified. “No!” I shouted at the telly. I was enraged.

And then came the weekend.

I started using a new planner that included inventory sheets for my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. Enthusiastically, I wrote out the inventories and cleaned out my storage units in the process. Was I ever shocked at my own actions!

I tossed more food that I ever realized:

A bag of lettuce
A head of lettuce
Two partially used, buy now rotten, bags of green onions
A bag of Brussel sprouts
Half a yellow onion that got pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten
Some leftover chicken broth
A bit of leftover pineapple juice that I never finished
A handful of strawberries that weren’t perfect, so they were abandoned
Two rotten apples
Three blackened bananas
and some grapes.

Wow. I added it up and that’s about $10 to $12 worth of food! I was shocked. Two days earlier I was feeling pretty smug, but now? Not so good.

After taking the inventories of the fridge, freezer, and pantry, I put together a shopping list for the next week or so. Turns out, we only needed nine, only 9, items to complete a full week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Our shopping was done in no time at all.

Now, we’re more than halfway through the week and can see what’s in the fridge. It isn’t overflowing with stuff, and we’re actually enjoying the process of using up our food.

Another fact about food waste I never considered, and you may not have either is, wasted food is a nightmare for our landfills. “Food waste is a growing problem, adding up to more than 70 million tons in our landfills each year. The results are pests, odors, toxic liquids and methane gas far more potent than CO2.” (https://nofoodwaste.com/) Residential composting units are available to help reduce the amount of food waste going into the landfill, but we need to take it upon ourselves to get one and use it if we intend to make a difference.

Back to the morning news show …Chef Tom Colicchio joined the hosts and dropped another bomb… 40% of the food we produce in this country gets thrown out. Cut to the picture of a very large dumpster over flowing with perfectly good, not even expired, hummus tossed out behind a super market. Tons of it!

In a scene from Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, Grant Baldwin takes a look at an entire dumpster filled with packages of hummus that are still nearly a month away from their best before date. ©Just Eat It

He went on to explain that the “best by” and “expiration” dates on foods are merely suggestions, and that our obsession with honoring these dates causes us to toss perfectly good food. These dates are merely suggestions for retailers, and not always an indication of spoilage. We need to get over those dates and enjoy the food we’ve purchased.

He cautioned that we have terrible habits of shopping at membership stores where we can buy large amounts for a ‘lower price”—25% of it goes into the garbage.

So… what to do?

He suggested two money-saving tips that are super simple and my hubby and I have already employed:

  1. Shop more frequently and with a plan, curtailing buying too much and only purchasing what’s needed.
  2. Start the practice of Fridge Fridays, simply going through the fridge and making a soup and a pasta dish out of the odds and ends, and leftovers.

So to wrap this up, my hubby and I now plan EVERY meal, and we’re a bit excited about a soup and pasta dish that can carry us through the weekend. (Remember, www.AllRecipes.com can provide you with recipes for what you have on hand, so there’s no excuse.)

“Waste not, want not.” I can hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head. When I realized we were tossing $520 or more a year in wasted food, we committed to a new plan to only buy what we need and intend to use. It’s time to get serious about waste and making the most of our money. Will you join us?

I’ll remind you tomorrow on the Money Savvy Woman community page to implement Fridge Friday.

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2015

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Is Your Money Mindset Magic?

The Power of MindWhen working with clients, the first step in designing a financial plan is getting to know them. What is it they want for their lives? For what purpose are they earning money? And most importantly, what are they doing now to get there and why do they feel they need me?

They’ll explain how they have some, if not all, of the pieces to their financial puzzle. But what’s frustrating them is they can’t figure out why they can’t get the puzzle together. After listening to their stories, the culprit usually identifies itself clearly to me, yet remains hidden from them.

The culprit is their mindset. “Having the right mindset is the first and foremost attribute required for every entrepreneur,” says Maryjean Howe in her online article, “Why Mindset Is Important to Every Entrepreneur.”

You may say, “Renée, I’m not an entrepreneur. Why is it so important to me? I just have a job?” THANK YOU for asking! You need to change your point of view, your perspective, on how you look at managing your money. Your money IS your business. It’s the business of YOU. So, start taking it as seriously.

What is mindset and why is it so important to getting what you want, really want with your money? According to Dictionary.com, the definition is:

A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. An inclination or a habit.

“People can be aware or unaware of their mindsets,” according to Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, “but they can have profound effect on learning achievement, skill acquisition, personal relationships, professional success, and many other dimensions of life.” Mindset is the key to success for our sports icons, business leaders, celebrities and rock stars. They all expect the most of their efforts—so should you.

Why it’s important to be aware of your mindset is because based on what you think, that’s what you get. Simple as that. It’s your perception of yourself. You get what you focus on. You reap what you sow, so to speak. If you learn one thing about money, please remember it starts with your mindset.

Dweck has determined there are two types of mindsets, fixed and growth. One with a fixed mindset believes that their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits, they can’t be improved upon or surpassed. They believe their talents will naturally bring success—without effort.

It’s that last part—without effort—that gets me and I want you to get, too. EFFORT is mandatory! EFFORT is required! You just can’t have a fabulous job and expect your money matters to take you on a magic carpet ride of success without effort! You have to manage your money after successfully earning it.

She goes on to state, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

So why am I telling you all this? Because your mindset is the launching pad to your financial success. I’ve watched every client win, lose, of stay stuck due to their mindsets. A fixed mindset won’t take you where you want to go financially. So here are three tips to getting and keeping your Savvy Money Mindset.

3) Take Ownership of where you are now. Whatever happened to get you where you are currently, happened. If you’re happy about it, congratulations! You seriously deserve a round of applause. However, many of you will not be happy with where you’re at. When you ask yourself why, what answers do you get? Is there a reason, excuse, cause, or combination of those that keeps you stuck where you are?

Ok. Enough. Stop blaming everyone else! It’s time to accept whatever the story is, get over it, and get on with it. If someone did something to you that’s caused you pain, accept the facts of the matter, forgive them and move on. If you did something that’s affected you financially, deal with it. As an observer, look at the situation objectively. Decide what worked, what didn’t, and what needed to be done differently. Learn your lesson, forgive yourself, and move on!

No one can do this but you. It’s time to take personal responsibility. Free yourself of the mental junk weighing you down. Get on board with a positive, growth mindset and make the most of your money.

2) There is no short cut. There is no magic pill, magic talent, or magic materialization. We can only reach and achieve our goals by taking the journey to get there. Yes, you can walk, run, drive, sail, train, or fly towards your goals. The choice is yours. And the key to that acceleration is the magic of your mindset.

Having a “can-do,” positive, growth mindset, that seeks out the challenges and takes them on as if they were a game, will help you stay on the path towards success. Life is a lot like a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs. Finding ways to persevere keeps you focused on your goals. Believing that there will never be enough money, you weren’t meant to be wealthy, money is hard, and it will always be a struggle is your fixed mindset rearing its ugly head, suffocating you with limiting beliefs that will undermine and keep you stuck. That’s practically a guarantee.

However, use your Money Savvy Mindset to acknowledge that whatever step you’re currently taking today has you one step closer to your goals than you were yesterday. Make the journey fun. Don’t deny yourself the fun of the adventure.

1) Begin with yourself. Begin NOW. “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” writes Dweck. I could not agree with her more.

You are in control of your life. You are also in control of your thoughts, words, actions, and all you do. Take it upon yourself to be aware and mindful of what your thoughts are.

  • Start each morning with positive thoughts for the day and your money
  • See the best in every situation.
  • Take each meal time to express and feel gratitude.
  • Be proactive and intentional, aligning your mindset with specific actions.
  • Expect the best from your money.
  • Believe that your efforts will be rewarded.

You know what you need to do, so do it! Stop making excuses, take personal responsibility, and own your mission. Chart a course and stick to it knowing that there are no shortcuts. Guard your mind. Stay focused, positive, and committed to a money savvy mindset. You’ll see what a difference it makes once you do. Let the magic begin!

You can do it! I believe in YOU!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2015


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You’ve Been Disinvited…



Hello, my friend! It’s been a while since I’ve connected with you, so I thought today would be just as good as any to tell you that you’ve been disinvited to my party.

I don’t know about you, but the month of March was a real challenge for me! Let’s see, March headliners were, two bouts of flu, a slip and fall, staffing changes at Money Savvy Woman, three big events, planning, more planning, new projects, and a couple new leadership roles. It was the, “All about ME” Show playing here in beautiful Southern California!

But seriously, when things felt the most daunting, I often found myself feeling sorry for myself. This feeling wasn’t a good one. What would start innocently enough as “belly aching” in the morning, by the end of the day had turned into a full-blown pity party.

In the mornings, I limited myself because I was sick or injured. By the evening, the pity morphed into several things: defeat, anger, impatience, whining, and even more pity! I couldn’t get away from it. Pity was enveloping me and twisting me into someone I didn’t want to become.

Taking a stand against my rotten mood is what needed to happen, and no one else could do that but me. If I was really going to kick ol’ sourpuss to the curb, I knew I had to be honest with myself in my assessments of my thoughts and actions.

What I found was I got what I gave my energy to. I knew if I allowed myself to wallow in negativity, I’d only get more and more of it. So I decided to reassess my time, thoughts, and actions, and make some changes.

Here’s what I did while the tempests blew all around me:

  • Stuck to the morning rituals that get me started on the right foot: time with God, centering prayer, meditation, walking, cappuccino, & cereal. What ritual can you do that gives you comfort, peace, and joy?
  • Gave thanks for everything that: provided relief, made me happy, went well, surpassed my expectations, or enabled me to care for myself while I healed, including hubbies, associates, and friends. Gratitude is the key to finding abundance in less.
  • I didn’t take things so seriously and lightened up enough to even laugh at the ridiculousness of a lot of it. Laughter is a known antidote to pain, stress, weariness, sadness, and conflict.
    What can you laugh away?
  • Each day I spent at least 15 minutes being still. God commands us to, “Be still and know that [He] is God.” On days when I do this, my life seems to flow better.
  • Spent true, quality time with my hubby and friends. It was time to relax a bit in the midst of all the storms, and be present in my life and the lives of those who love and support me.

By the time I let myself go and have a two-hour conversation with my sister, complete with my chocolate chai tea to sip on, my rotten mood was on the mend.

The sound of her voice comforted me. To hear her laugh at life’s craziness, made me laugh too. We shared what was working well and what was frustrating us, and our hopes and excitement for the future. She was interested in helping me sort things out in my head when I became overwhelmed with it all. I knew she cared about me and my world, and I could trust her with it. I felt loved.

And just like that, everything was right with my world again.

Oh, don’t get me wrong …everything was still flying around like the Indy 500. But it seemed like it was simply part of a process. I’d detached from the useless emotions that carried me off my course, and focused on what needed to get done despite whatever was happening.

When I put my focus on what truly mattered, the periphery became out of focus and soft. Distractions weren’t as prevalent, and the things I’d been dwelling on earlier disappeared or became manageable. Better outcomes were the results even though nothing had changed but my mindset. I chose to change how I approached the chaos.

So now you know why you’re disinvited. You didn’t want to come to a pity party anyway. There are so many other wonderful places to take your mindset to.

Choose a calm approach to chaos. You can do this. Simply decide to make the changes you need to give yourself a better attitude and commit to that decision. That’s what I did. And if I can do it, believe me, you can too!

God bless you with peace, joy, and love while you continue on your journey.

You can do it! I believe in YOU!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2015