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3 Steps to Take Now To Put Yourself First Without Guilt

I know! Yes! It can be done …and you’ll see how it makes sense once I explain myself.

First, when I say “selfish,” I’m talking about the resistance to take care of ourselves FIRST because we feel it’s a selfish move. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

When I look at all the biblical references about money, they all point to the responsible management of it leading to an accumulation of wealth. And at that point, we are charged as God-loving people, to do what is responsible and right.

Now that last phrase means different things in difference cultures, and I want to be TOTALLY respectful of that. But truthfully, the Lord does not expect us to suffer from lack. He intends for us to prosper. Read more

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Can You See the Forest for the Trees? Unlock Your Fortune!

091715_1441_CanYouSeeth1.jpg“I can’t see the forest for the trees!” she yelped at me, “but sometimes I just don’t care, because the forest isn’t that bad.”

“That bad?” Really?

Can you relate? Are you creating a financial forest that you can’t find your way through? Are you tolerating fear and confusion? If so, here are three simple steps to help you see your path more clearly.

  1. Figure out where you’re at right now. Track your spending so you know where you’re spending your money. Do it for a full month. (Dollarbird.co is a great resource for this.)
  2. Divide your expenditures into three categories: Needs, Wants, and Wishes, once you know what you’re spending your money on.. This makes it easy to prioritize in the future.
  3. Create a budget using a simple spreadsheet or using an app like YNAB or Mint.com. I like YNAB because of their philosophies on money management and how easy it is to get out of the month-to-month, paycheck-to-paycheck cycle when you commit yourself. Mint.com is wonderful in that you can see your full, financial picture if you enter all the data. Both go from desktop to mobile.

One of the things I love about YNAB, is that they get you thinking about how you WANT to make your financial goals happen, getting you to discipline yourself for all the right reasons. “Have to” is seldom fun. So change it to, “get to.” Try it out …repeat after me:

“I have to save for a rainy day.” How did that feel? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I can bet you don’t feel like running out and saving for anything, haha.

Now say, “I get to save for a rainy day.” How did that feel? A bit better, huh?

PonderWhen we have to do something, for me, the “have to” takes the joy out of it. But when I change one word, the “get to,” again for me, feels empowering, more hopeful, and more of a challenge I want to take on.

Use the “I get to save for…” phrase when taking aim at your goals. A positive, motivated mindset will help keep you on the path towards financial success while still enjoying the journey.

Seeing the forest and the trees is what I want for you. Imagine if you could see your clearly defined path amidst the beauty of the forest? Now you know where you’re going. The safety of the path enables you to enjoy the forest. The fear of making a misstep fades as you remain on the path. And the speed at which you travel is simply a decision you get to make; you can take your time or you can hustle.

Money is much the same way. Once you’ve taken the time to carve your path toward financial independence, fear, anxiety, and confusion fade away, and confidence, commitment, and success soon take their place.

HarMoney™ doesn’t have to be hard. I can help you make it simple.

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

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4 Steps to Save Money Now With Container Gardening

I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as I’m having now! Saving money can be fun AND yummy! We’re having a blast, and so should you.

It’s September …a perfect time to plant veggies and herbs, and there’s no reason not start your own. We’ve been using garden-fresh herbs now for over a year and we just planted a lettuce pot. It’s a fun experience and great treat to season meals with fixings from your own yard.

So, I felt I just had to share how easy it is. With it, you’re on your way to saving more money than you probably realize. Here’s a short list:

  • Buying a seedling plant costs about the same as purchasing a bunch of cut herbs at the grocery store. You only pay once with a plant that keeps producing.
  • The fresh flavors enhance your meals, creating full flavor without any chemical preservatives.
  • We found ourselves opting for fresh herbs in all our dishes and reducing the dressings, sauces, and salt. Believe me, A-mazing!

Here are four basic steps to starting your own herbal, container garden.

  1. Pick a container. There are so many to choose from. And might I suggest, use what you have lying around if you’ve got something that will fit the bill. There are many different types, from plastic to terracotta to ceramic, plastic being the least costly and ceramic being a bit pricey. Make sure there’s good drainage so you don’t wind up with root rot, and choose a variety of shapes and sizes to keep things interesting. Sometimes you can find great deals at Saturday yard sales and the sale rack at your local garden center.
  2. Find a spot with great sunlight. We have ours in a spot that gets early and late sun, about, six to eight hours of sun a day which is optimal. Set up your pots where you want them to be permanently. Honestly, the larger ones are so heavy, you might not be able to move them once they’re filled with soil, plants, and water.
  3. Add the potting soil. We use bags of potting mix that are specific to what we’re planting. In this case, get a mix that feeds edible flowers, herbs, and veggies. Make sure you cover the drainage hole with some broken pottery pieces or cloth so the excess water can escape.
  4. Start planting! We spent a few minutes with the garden technician. He gave us specific directions for how to plant the various herbs and veggies we chose …you’ll want to do the same. For example, the beets are close together and a bit raised, the peppers are by themselves, and we bunched up a few of the different types of herbs.

Try using seedlings and baby herbs to get you started quickly. If you want to start snipping and eating them sooner than later, don’t start from seeds.

Good combos of herbs are:

  • Parsley & Basil—they like sharing space with cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, and chives
  • Rosemary & Sage—these guys like a little more sun than most other herbs
  • Oregano & Thyme—these will stop growing once the warm weather stops and start back up in the Spring.
  • Mint & Mint—mint will grow like a weed, and there are many different types, so make sure you give it enough space so the different flavors and aromatics don’t meld together.

For total success, find out how to feed and water your plants properly so they grow prolifically. We learned that lettuce and herbs require different fertilizers; your selections may require different treatments, too. Watering schedules will make a difference depending on the plant and the temperate zone you live in.

Saving money can be fun when the enjoyment spans the growth, harvesting, and eating these yummy additions to eggs, soups, salads, main dishes, and …well, anything.

My favorite right now is mint tea boiled with a few stevia leaves—makes it naturally sweet without sugar, and tarragon chicken salad with pecans. Oh. My. Word. Delicious!

Hope you enjoy making use of containers you’ve got laying around and have a grand adventure creating your savory container herb garden.

You can do it! I believe in YOU!

God bless! Have fun and remember… it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2015


Do You See What I See?

I was sitting in front of my Facebook newsfeed page when two pictures popped up, one literally atop the other. Both friends were commenting on how beautiful it was to be at the beach at sunset.

What I found to be extraordinary was both were posted at the same time, looking at the same sunset—however, one was on Victoria Island, in British Columbia and the other was on the California coast.

I kept looking at them thinking, “Same, but different.” I mean, we only have one sun, right? And look at where the sun is on the horizon–nearly at the same point in both pictures. And the pics were posted one after the other, essentially popping up together.

And then it struck me, “We DO see different things when we’re both looking at the same thing!”

Visions of past conversations with my hubby that went bliss to discord in a flash, replayed in my mind like a movie montage. All of a sudden, I could see it all so clearly.

The filters that each of us uniquely own due to our past experiences color and shape everything we see, so it’s highly unlikely that we would ever truly see the same thing.

It was obvious that both Facebook friends were looking at the same sunset within moments of each other, and their geographic locations were 1500+ apart. However, all I could hear were the questions:

“Can you see how cool those rocks look?” the one asking the other.

And the other replying, “What rocks?”

I could feel the frustration beginning to rise as I’d been down this road too many times to count.

My mind knew that neither one was wrong …and both are right.

But, how often do we decide that only one can be right?

It bowled me over in thought for a good few minutes. I was thinking about how our childhood experiences and upbringing mold and shape our perspectives. How the actual geographical points-of-view are different, yet they’re both looking at the same sunset. The pictures look the same, but different.

So my purpose in sharing this story with you is to give you a picture–two actually–that demonstrate how communication can get befuddled if we forget that we each have our own views and filters.

The words, “Aren’t we both looking at the same thing?” echo in my head as I reflect on my own stubborn behavior. Believe me, after being together for 20+ years with my beloved, we’ve been there …many, many times, lol!

Have you? Maybe the conversation you’re remembering isn’t with a spouse or partner, but it’s one with a sibling, a boss, a friend, or someone else.

Speaking for myself, as I mature, (there’s hope for us all, ha ha) my stubbornness seems a bit silly. Why should my perspective be the “right” one? Does “right” really matter?

And again, another epiphany …if we’re arguing about who’s right, we miss the beauty of the sunset all together.

When things don’t align with what we expect, a curious mind can serve us better. A curious mind would ask, “You see rocks? I don’t. Tell me what that looks like.”

Now, instead of arguing the details between us, we’re sharing our experiences and enhancing what is before us seeing an even bigger, better picture—if we’re open to it.

Here’s my thought: when it comes to being an individual, all of us are completely unique, and my individuality is no more important to me than your individuality is to you. For me to expect you to come to my side and see things my way, is a set up for my own eminent disaster. Why should you give up your individuality and adopt mine. Doesn’t make sense. And frankly, now that I’m maturing in age, I’m finding other people’s points of view interesting, if not intriguing.

One of my favorite icons is Sir Richard Branson. He says, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

The next time you find yourself wondering, “Where’s the disconnect? Aren’t we looking at the same thing?” ask questions. You’ll find out more, save yourself an argument, and stay in the bliss of connection and HarMoney™.

I’m not sure if this is more of a rant than helping, but it just struck my nerve and I had to get it out.

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

You can do it! I believe in you!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2015

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Running on Empty? 3 Tips to Actually Find Calm on the Go











A couple Sundays ago, I sat in church and was bowled over by all the messages I received about God being there for us 24/7. The problem is …we’re not there for God.

Yep …let that sink in.

A lot of what Father Cronin said made complete sense …yes, I was running around like a top spinning endlessly until I fell on my side, immobile. Or if I’m going to be honest, I AM exhausting myself in the name of “supposed to.” Can you relate?

I was reminded of God taking rest on the 7th day. Yet, that seldom happens for me. How about you? Do you always put everything or everyone before yourself?

For some reason, giving Him 2 hours on Sunday morning with a pit stop of prayer each morning and evening was my repertoire. Why do we do that?

Yes, I know things need to change, but “slowing down” isn’t easy for me. How about you?

Which begs the question …slow down for what?? And…why am I talking to you about it now?

Because I know I’m not the only one making these choices. Right?

And the fact remains that choice is what rules the day.
Are you ready to make some different choices?

I am. I admit it. It’s a struggle. But let’s face it …it is what we make it.

As long as we keep the unsatisfactory line-up of priorities as more important than what feeds, nourishes us, and keeps us strong, then we are less than what God intended us to be.

Doubt, fear, shame, guilt, and worry are simply a waste of our time and weapons used against us to keep us from attaining what really soothes and satisfies us. (For the record, we are probably our own worst enemies of wielding these particular weapons against ourselves.)

So why do we sign up for shoulda, coulda, woulda over and over again?

Answer is…

Because we’ve quite simply programmed ourselves. You’ve heard it said, “21 days of consistent behavior will create a habit.” How long, exactly, have you been doing the same things over and over that aren’t delivering joy, satisfaction, and rejuvenation? I’ll bet it’s longer than a habit-forming, 21 days!

I confess!!! For me? Things seriously need to change. I cannot keep burning the candle at both ends and be in any condition to serve anyone, let alone our Lord.

Do you need a respite of calm, a few minutes of true connection with those you love? I do, and I’m ready to do something about it.

Father Cronin urged us all to slow down. Unplug from the chronic commotion and pause. Pause long enough to wait on the Lord. To hear His voice. To gain a little peace by taking our foot off the pedal, so to speak, to stop and smell the roses. Since we’re all constantly on the go, he suggested putting our electronics down and using time spent in the car for the following:

  • Conversation with our friends and family,
  • A place where life lessons can be shared, taught, and discussed with our kids,
  • If alone, a place for stillness and prayer.

He also suggested having a no-electronics zone—like meal times and “outside” time where time is spent in nature …even if you simply lie on the lawn and watch the clouds.

I’m ready for a change, are you?

Let’s do it! Share your ideas below with each other. Let’s gain a little calm while connecting with those we love, including our Lord.

You can do this… I believe in you!

MoneySavvyWoman, Inc. © 2015