Save Moola Easily

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6 Simple Tricks to Help You Save More Money in 2014.

You work hard for every dime in your paycheck; why not make your money work just as hard for you? The first step, of course, is holding on to more of it for long enough that you can put it to work.

So, here are six easy-to-implement moves to help you step up your savings a notch or two in 2014.

1. The tax bands are adjusting for inflation; save the increase. All other things being equal, your first paycheck in 2014 will be slightly larger than your last paycheck of 2013, because the tax brackets shift every year due to an inflation adjustment. If you were covering your costs from your take-home pay before, you’ll never miss the money if you sock away the increase.

2. Make saving automatic. If you job offers you electronic deposit for your paycheck, see if you can get some of your check automatically deposited to a separate savings account. If not, then talk to your bank about setting up an automatic transfer, and then treat that transfer like a must-pay bill.

3. Getting a raise? Save half of it. Salaries are expected to go up around 3 percent in 2014, and inflation over the past year has been around 1.2 percent. If that pattern holds true in 2014, and your raise is at least average, you ought to be able to save around half of the after-tax part of it without any impact to your standard of living.

4. Negotiate the interest rates on your credit card debt. If you’ve got a good payment history, your card issuer will want to keep you as a customer. If you don’t, your card issuer may be worried that your debt could be headed for a bankruptcy discharge. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to call and ask for a rate reduction; you just might be successful.

5. Even better, get that debt down to $0. Create a debt snowball and put as much money toward it as you can. The sooner you retire your debt, the sooner you can start saving all that principal and interest that you had been paying to the banks.

6. Budget for fun. Seriously, make sure you leave some room in your budget every month for entertainment. It’s a lot easier (and more enjoyable) to set aside a little bit each month for entertainment than it is to try to live a Spartan lifestyle and deny yourself all pleasures. Not only will any attempt to cut fun out of your budget likely backfire, when it does, it’ll probably be way more expensive than letting off a little steam within preplanned limits.

It’s Your Money — Keep More of It

These are just a few of the ways you can get control of your money, save more of it, and direct more of it to exactly where you want it to go. Make 2014 the year your money started working for you as hard as you work for it.

To find more pretty stinkin’ smart articles like this check out –

Source: http://www.dailyfinance.com

Have a great day!

Rebeca~

One isn’t always a lonely number.

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The Numeral Uno Habit of Highly Creative People!!!

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for contructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

What habits do creative people have that makes them so successful at being creative???

I’ve thought about my own creative habits, but decided to research the habits that others consider the most important to their creativity.

Rather than list EVERYTHING I found in reviewing their lists, and then comparing to my own, there was one that stood out the most to me. I think it’s the most important habit when it comes to creativity.

What is it you ask?
In one word it’s SOLITUDE!

At least for me and the many creative geniuses I researched, it seems that creativity flourishes in solitude. Within your quiet zone, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep down within yourself, and you can focus.

In the past I really didn’t like being alone. Especially when i was so used to being around lots of people and chaos the last 10 years. However after a few months of finally getting that whether i wanted it or not, I discovered many benefits from solitude.

You actually have time for thought, you get to know yourself, you have
space to create, space to unwind, you find peace, you have time to reflect on what you’ve created, and you learn from it. Really, isolating yourself from the influences of other helps you to find our own voice. The quietness helps to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the madness life can bring.

Its very important to make it a habit NOT to judge yourself on your creative output. Sometimes your creativity is on fire. Thats great and feels amazing!! but other times, it’s not. You just can’t get down about this. We all have slumps!

Live a creative life everyday. I very much believe in doing creative stuff everyday. When I’m starting to feel in a rut I make a habit of trying a different routine, make something you never thought you would, just shake your own tree and use your imagination.

Find your fun!! Doing what you love inspires you to be more creative.

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“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” ~Lou Dorfsman

It’s officially FRIDAY- have a BEAUTIFUL weekend!

Rebeca~

Talk to the hand cause the ears aren’t listening!

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Do you feel others are acting this way when you try to talk to them? You have something REALLY important and exciting you want to share but no one will listen or pay attention? How about when you say something and no one acknowledges you said it, but then the jerk off next to you says the EXACT same thing and he/she actually get listened to? Frustrating huh?

Learning how to communicate effectively takes work – BUT I am here to give you several tips to get your point across so others HEAR you. Of course it may not always work, but it is worth a shot don’t cha think? These can be used in business or in personal situations.

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First off, you have to know what it is you really want to communicate. Many people, including myself, fly off the handle too quickly. Gather your thoughts before you speak. It is also important to know your facts and the reasons. Putting them in order also helps a great deal so you’re not jumping back and forth from one thing to another.

Do NOT try to talk to someone about something when clearly their mind is in a hundred different places and they are distracted with many other things. If it appears to be that way, then ask them if you can schedule a few minutes with them later when they are free so that you will have their undivided attention.

Depending on WHAT you have to say, you really need to pick a good time and a good location. If it is complex and important, then picking a crowded noisy room at night is probably not the best choice.

Sometimes the difference between being listened to and NOT is only the tone and pitch of your voice. Speak firmly, yet do it with assurance. I can promise you from MUCH experience that yelling and sounding childish (but..but…but..) will get you no further then when you first opened your mouth. If you have to practice, record yourself and listen to it. How do you think others will HEAR what you are saying?

Not all people understand things when spoken to. Many people I know understand things much easier if there is some type of visual. No this does not mean flinging your hands in the air and holding up fingers – ha ha. If telling simply isn’t working try using pictures or other images along with your voice.

Mind your intent. What does this mean? When you speak what you do, you do so not only through your words, but also your tone of voice and your body language. Keep focused on persuasion, learn to frame your arguments and the ideas you present within the context of helping others learn and understand. Do not force them to agree with you. People can agree to disagree. If your just wanting someone to agree with you, instead of really wanting them to understand what you are saying then chances are the other person may be listening in one ear and letting it all go out the other.

I know good communication skills are probably one of the most important skills you can have in life. I have done A LOT of yelling trying to get people to listen and to get my point across WITHOUT any success I might add. So I did some research, am currently testing these ideas out and they are working so I wanted to share 🙂

Other than that – we got spoiled with few beautiful warm days here in northern MN. But thats over. The Igloo being built around my home is darn near completion (I seriously can’t see out some of my windows because the snow is THAT DEEP). This is going to be one interesting SLOPPY spring coming at us.

Enjoy today because its FRIDAY and who doesn’t love a Friday?

Rebeca~

Truth be told…Letting it all out!!

Good Morning,

After reading another Blog post this morning it really inspired me to do this. As boring as it may be I feel the need to let it all out!

Like many people I am sure, I feel so overwhelmed with life. We all have things we keep private but for the most part I am an open book. I mention a little about myself under the page titled “my crazy self” but there is so much more I need to vent about. Isn’t that what blogs are for? ha ha

I never hide my age for one. Do I wish I could go back a few years? Of course – who doesn’t, but we all know that can’t happen so we might as well learn from mistakes and move forward. I am 38 years old and will be 39 in June. I will look at 40 as the new 20.  However there are some days I wish I could actually fast forward to retirement age – 🙂 My kids will be 16 and 12 this year. I spent the majority of their childhood getting my Bachelor’s degree online. I was on my computer from 8 a.m. to midnight nearly every night for 5 years and that is when I wasn’t at work. I REALLY regret that. Not that I went to school but that I basically dedicated too much time on it and not enough with my kids when they actually wanted me to be involved. Now they are to the age where they tell me “quit treating me like I am 5” which I probably do because I have guilt and I missed the opportunity to do so many fun and memorable things with them. My kids are my life and if that is one thing I could do over, it would be to spend MUCH MORE quality time with them and forget about everything else because we all know how fast they grow up. Thankfully I believe they still love me, I still get hugs and kisses, and they have turned out to be caring and respectable kids (although not perfect because there is no such thing as a perfect kid or adult for that matter).

My husband and I have been married for 10 years (11 this March). I will never portray that we have the perfect marriage because we don’t. In fact, the first 5 years were extremely rough. But we got through it, and although we fight every now and then, and we are completely opposite of one another, we make it work and we love each other. I don’t know if I believe in the theory that “opposites attract”, in fact many days I wish he were more like me – wanting to try new things, etc. but he is content with living the average life of working to pay bills and trying to have a little extra to spend on whatever. He works hard, he does the grocery shopping and he cooks a lot of the time. He is a good man and a good father. Then I have my days where I wish I could be content like that – being happy with exactly what it is we already have but sadly I am not – which I will get to shortly.

My health –  I can’t say I am an unhealthy person. I eat right, I go through spurts of exercise routines, and I get a ton of exercise going up and down my stairs a hundred times a day. I do have high blood pressure and have been taking meds for that for YEARS, and I have had five surgeries – two which have been on my back – I am literally built with titanium! But I do not let that hold me back from much. I probably lift things and do things I should not be doing, but I refuse to act like I am 90 with back problems. I let years and years of suffering get me all depressed, the nerve pain was so bad I wanted to CUT my leg off. But as with everything else in my life, I got it fixed and got through it. I think the majority of the world has some sort of health issue and we just gotta deal with it and not let it get the best of us.

WORK!!! Oh where to start. I have had many jobs since I first started working at the age of 15. I did a paper route with my brother, was a waitress, did some misc. office jobs, was a nursing assistant for awhile, went to school for real estate but didn’t study hard enough for the test and failed it, but I didn’t try again because at the time I found a job I really enjoyed and ended up staying there for a few years. I went to Cosmetology school and did hair on and off for about 5 years but for some ODD reason my hands started itching. It was like sticking them in fiberglass when I touched someones hair. I wore gloves for a year (NOT FUN) and I decided it was time to give it up. My dream of owning my own salon and spa went down the drain. What to do next. I decided to go back to school online. I got my AS degree in Marketing and Management and my BA degree in an Individualized Degree (this was awesome because ALL my college credits from before transferred in and I was able to take classes that really interested me. While I was finishing my BA I was a staffing specialist for a staffing agency (loved the job but management NOT SO MUCH). Because of that job, I decided to have my focus area be in Human Resources. The one class I was short of an actual HR degree was Algebra. Never got it, and never will. But I am really good with numbers (weird huh). I can do statistics, economics, accounting, just not ALGEBRA. I blame my 9th grade teacher who was very mean and would never re-explain things. Anyway, when I left the staffing agency, I was also working PT for my brothers trucking company doing billing and general office stuff. I also started working for the local school district as a Para (providing one on one assistance to students with emotional, behavioral and psychical disabilities). I liked that job too but since it was not what I was going to school for and things started getting to be too much with going to school FT online and 2 jobs, I decided to quit. I had plans to move when I completed my Degree but my husband and kids did not want to and they wanted me full time at the trucking company so I did that. Long story short I was there over 8 years, the company grew fast, working with family became even more stressful and I had to make a choice to either leave or risk my health and ruining my close relationship with my family. There were many family members working there. At the end of August 2013 I chose to leave sadly. Working for family is HARD STUFF!!

Six months ago till now…. What a whirlwind. I thought for sure with all my experience and education I would be able to get SOME type of job for reasonable pay. WRONG!!! I don’t know why I thought that – after all, I have lived here most of my life and know how it is. I went through 3 months of MAJOR depression. Crying everyday and feeling worthless. I have applied at over 80 companies and spent countless hours doing cover letters, tweaking my resume and filling out online apps. It is a wee bit FRUSTRATING to have experience and education and probably a better work ethic than many and not be able to get even a simple general office job. Because there was no way in heck I could just sit around and just look for work for someone else, I decided to start my own business. I found some hobbies of crafting and decided to start selling my stuff online. My friend does it and is very successful. It is going pretty good but it is a competitive market out there. I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far, but it is still not bringing home the bacon like I need it to and it is A LOT of work. The good thing about it is that I enjoy it. I don’t necessarily enjoy 15+ hour days but I am my own boss, the entrepreneur I believed I was always meant to be. No I don’t know if this is what I was meant to do or not, but I am going for it and I will find my niche sooner or later. In all honestly my passion is helping others, whether that be finding a job, making them feel confident about themselves, maybe hooking them up with someone else etc. Making others feel happy is what makes me happy. It is such a great feeling knowing you made a difference to someone. Even if it is the smallest thing. It makes my whole day when someone buys something from me and I get an email saying how much they love it. Awesome – Awesome – Awesome.

Many people call me crazy – not because they think I am really “insane” but because I am always going, going, going… I can’t slow down. And when I try to slow down I get lazy and I don’t like it. My head is over flowing with so many things, so many ideas, so many thoughts, I wish I had an external hard drive to plug into so I could I could put it all in there and get back to it when I am finished with the countless other things I have to be doing at all times. Ha ha But I am me, and I am proud of all the experience I have gained over the years. Some people might look at the variety of jobs I have had negatively. To me, it has made me WELL-ROUNDED. As the saying goes “I am a Jack of all Trades and Master of None”. But that is ok with me. Because I would rather know a little about a lot of things then a lot about one thing. I am a life-long learner and plan to learn as much as my brain can handle. I am going to LIVE LIFE to its fullest potential!! Well as full as I can living where I am unless I can convince my family to all move south with me 🙂 I DO NOT LOVE THESE LONG COLD WINTERS.

Have a great day – stay POSITIVE and thanks for reading my lengthy post.

Rebeca~

Funny Signs To Tell You Work In Sales.

Here are some sure tell signs that you work in sales – They should give you a good laugh if you are a sales person.

  1. You turn everything in to a competition
  2. You have started to compare price tags to commission percentages
  3. You greet everyone with a handshake
  4. You call the same companies so often, you can literally recite what their answering machine says
  5. You grown fond and look forward to hearing the music when your placed on hold
  6. You finally pay attention to everything stated in the fine print
  7. You have forgotten what sleep is
  8. You have started to use sales jargon in all your personal conversations
  9. You find yourself bartering with everyone in an attempt for a deal
  10. You have forgotten what a lunch break is
  11. Your pretty positive your basic human rights are violated on a daily basis
  12. You are scared to death to look at your phone on the weekends because you know it will turn into a never-ending workload
  13. You have no time to spend your money on personal matters so you waste it on stupid extravagances when intoxicated
  14. Which means Fridays are a write-off
  15. You envy your friends who get to clock out at five (maybe some days anyways)
  16. You spend hours thinking of other ways you could be spending your time (for me its how many other projects I want to create)
  17. But in your heart you know you could never quit because sales is like a drug and you love it

In almost every job I have had I have done a little bit of sales – and I must say that although it can be tough work it is probably one of the funnest jobs a person can have. Always something new going on whether it be a new product or service, a new customer, a new vendor, etc. It is challenging but rewarding. You get to be involved in everything, which is something I like. A lot of the time you are the person people know about in reference to a company. So if your in to that sort of thing, get in sales today but don’t forget your humor! 🙂

Happy Tuesday All – Make it Terrific!!!

Rebeca~