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Staying Motivated PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
 
Defining a goal and doing the research for what it takes to make it happen are actually pretty easy.  The challenge comes over the next few months as "shiny things" start to distract you. 

That doesn't mean you're never going to spend a dime on anything again until you reach your goal.  It just means that you're going to stay focused and make sure that you don't fall back into the trap of spending mindlessly.  It's the mindless spending that is one of the major factors for not making your goals happen.

One of the most powerful ways to stay motivated is to give yourself visual reminders of your goal.  

Let's say your goal is a new car.  Start, by putting a Post It Note in your wallet with the word "New Car" on it. Every time you pull out a credit or debit card to make a purchase, you'll have a reminder of your ultimate goal.  Through this process, you will start getting a lot more picky about how you use those cards.
 
Next, find a few pictures of the car you want to buy and tape them next to your computer and on your refrigerator.  Put them where you will see them on a regular basis.  Pictures are highly motivating and will help you do what it takes to achieve your goal! 
 
You may even want to start a Pinterest board for each of your goals to help keep you on track.
 
 
 
Use That Tax Day Stress! PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
 
I hope yesterday was painless for you, but from what I saw posted on Facebook, it was pretty ugly. 
 
You could pour yourself a drink and celebrate the fact that there are 364 days between now and the next Tax Day, or you could use the stress from yesterday to spur you into action to make next year so much easier.
 
Track Your Spending
April 15th is when tracking and categorizing your spending really pays off.  Using programs like Mint.com and Quicken will allow you to easily find out how much you spent on tax deductible items like  your car registration.
 
Set A Date
Did you wait until the last minute to do your taxes... again?  Set an appointment on your electronic calendar for February 1, 2015 that says "Do Taxes".  Include a note reminding you how much this year sucked because you waited until the last minute.  If that isn't enough incentive, be willing to bribe yourself with a reward such as, if you finish by February 7th, you'll take yourself out to dinner.
 
Adjust Your Withholdings 
If yesterday was painful because you had to pay, talk to an accountant to see what adjustments you can make to minimize or negate "the damage" for next year.  Even if you have to pay for one hour of their time, it will be worth it.  But do it now while it can still make a difference.  There are only 8 months left in this tax year!
 
As human beings, we're driven by two things - pain and pleasure.  Take yesterday's pain and use it as a catalyst to make next year, if not pleasurable, then much more tolerable.
 
 
Savvy Shopping for April PDF Print E-mail

One of the aspects of Savvy Shopping is the habit of timing your purchases to coincide with seasonal sales.  During the month of April, there are plenty of opportunities to save on Food, Wardrobe Items and more. 

Food
All things baking will be on sale this week.  It's likely that prices won't be this good again until Thanksgiving.  Depending on how much you bake, it might be worth stocking up.

Ham will be at the best price of the year.  Consider picking up an extra ham and putting it in the freezer.  Last year, I did just that and we enjoyed a beautiful ham dinner and then sandwiches with the leftovers the week after 4th of July. 

You'll also see great prices on some canned items. 

Clothing
According to DealNews,  retailers began stocking spring items in February, so mid-season sales are starting now and you can save 25% - 40%. 

This is one of the best times of the year to purchase dress clothes and shoes for men, women and children. 

Yard and Garden Supplies
By watching the sales ads, you can purchase just about everything you need for your yard at a discount. 

Cleaning Supplies
Spring cleaning items are still at great prices. 
 

 
Spending Decisions PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti
 
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Danielle Braff of the Chicago Tribune. She was writing an article about rules of thumb when it comes to purchasing trendy items and wanted to get my thoughts on the subject.  

The timing of her call was ideal.  Just a few days before, my mom and I were talking about how so much of what we do is on auto-pilot.  We have a tendency to make blanket decisions when it comes to most things in our lives, especially when it comes to spending.  

It's OK to have rules of thumb, but each time you're about to make a purchase, from a bottle of shampoo to a new car, think about:
  • What you're going to use the item for?
  • How long do you want it to last?
  • Is it something you're going to use or will it quickly turn into clutter?
  • Are you madly in love with it?  
Danielle's article came out earlier this week and there's a lot of great advice in it.  Click on the link to read her article: When Pondering Price Tags, Think Long-Term Desires, Not Just Trends.
 

 
10 Characteristics of Debt Free People PDF Print E-mail
What's the difference between those who struggle with debt and those who remain debt free? 
 
In the article 10 Characteristics of Debt Free People, AJ Smith details how those who are free of debt remain so.  It's a post worth reading!
 
 
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