It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

In keeping with my new year’s resolution to read a financial book every month, for the month of February, I just finished…

The ABC’s of Money by Natalie Pace






51ya1G294+LI found this book completely enlightening and useful. It wasn’t filled with the usual drivel about skipping that cafe latte so you can pay your rent. It was filled with good and sometimes brutal truths about how to spend and how to save, starting with the old adage of paying yourself first. By the time you finish the chapter on debt, you’ll understand that old adage in a whole new light. They’re not just words, they are solid principles to wealth. My favorite part of the book was the simple mathematical equation of putting 10% away at 10% interest for four years, and you will have your yearly income saved. Do this for twenty-five years, and your savings will make more money per year than you do. Isn’t that awesome? My second favorite part of the book was the easy to understand pie chart on how much money you should have in which investments. I love pie charts!

The best part of this book is that it’s usual FREE on Kindle, completely in keeping with my budget! So, hop over to Amazon and pick up a copy. Let me know what you think.

Ms. Pace’s Amazon Page

Ms. Pace’s website

Budget vs. Extra Bucks

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2015 is the year of getting out of debt, hence it’s the year of creating a budget and sticking to it. At the end of the budget, at the end of the year, there will be great freedom and rejoicing. Hosanna and Mazel Tov!

Day One:

I had a $20 budget to go to CVS and pick up three things. Not five things. Three Things. CVS is going to be the death of me. They offer “Extra Bucks” if you spend a certain amount on certain products. If you aren’t familiar with “Extra Bucks,” they are coupons you can use as cash on anything in the store. I go to CVS at least once a month, so I can always use those “Extra Bucks.”

My shopping list consisted of three things:

Lipstick – $10 with a coupon for 10% off = $9

Excedrin – $10 with a coupon for $1.50 = $8.50

Conditioner – $2.99 but on sale for $1.99

So, my total would be $19.49.

This shopping trip would be a piece of cake. I would plop my $20 bill on the counter and get change back. Perfect! On budget! Pride exuding through my pores as if I’d just climbed to the peak of the financial summit!

article-2179504-143EA986000005DC-698_964x640Here’s what really happened…

The lipstick had a special. “Spend $15, get $5 in Extra Bucks”

The Excedrin had a special. “Spend $25, get $10 in Extra Bucks”

I could buy two tubes of lipstick which I will certainly use, and I could buy Excedrin in the $10 size and the $15 size to make $25. And who wouldn’t want “Extra Bucks?” I have no control. My budget wasn’t foremost in my mind. I was tempted by how much I would save, and I was led willingly and joyfully into the pit of the serpent.

IMG_20150114_091403752I bought:

Two lipsticks for $18 after my 10% coupon

A year’s worth of Excedrin for $23.50 after my $1.50 coupon

Conditioner for $1.99 on sale

Total cost $42.49

I got $15 Extra Bucks to spend at a later date, and the way I see it, I don’t have to spend $20 on lipstick and Excedrin anytime in the near future.

If you take the $42 I spent minus the $35 I won’t have to spend in the future, that means my $20-budgeted shopping trip only cost me $7. Right? Then how did I spend $22 more than I had planned to?

Trophy husband says you can’t look at sales when you’re on a budget. You have to stick to the budget. The sales will still be there when you’ve reached your financial goal, but for now, ignore them. I told him I can’t do that. I’m a woman and it’s in my DNA to take advantage of a good sale.

Ugh. This had been so traumatic, I actually wrote a blog about it. Somebody tell me how to do this. I have a sneaking suspicion that trophy husband is right. There can be no wheeling and dealing when the budget says what the budget says. Stick to the budget like it’s the law. Am I right? Has anyone out there done this before?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?

This book is part of my New Year’s resolution. I don’t know if it will happen, for I’ve retired from the music business on two occasions thus far and always get sucked back in, but I’m looking to retire again within the next few years. Even if I don’t end up retiring, I still want to be in a good financial place so it’s my choice. I need to get caught up from moving out of state back in May, which consisted of using my credit card to purchase new appliances for my new house. Somehow, I figured it would be cheaper to buy new stuff than to pay movers to ship old stuff. When I say old, I mean ancient. I could have sold them as antiques. On top of that bill, I still carry some debt from my son’s college education. I’d also like to get my car paid off. For 2015, my resolution is to make this happen. Like most people, I always have the best of intentions to save, invest, pay off bills, etc., but as with most things in life, if you don’t stay motivated, you won’t get things done. So, during 2015, I vowed to keep myself motivated by purchasing a financial/investment book on the first of each month. I spent the first six days of January browsing Amazon and searching for something I found interesting. On the seventh day, I found it! I’ve listened to his radio show on occasion and was always interested in his financial process, but I’ve never taken the next step to engage myself in his philosophies. Well, I jumped aboard his ship and I am intrigued. The book is “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey.

51g2DdD31VLI’m going to say two things about this book. 1) I wish I had read it when I was younger. 2) I’m buying the book for my kids.

The process is logical, it’s genius, it’s how our grandparents lived before culture brainwashed us to live beyond our means and on credit. If we hear long enough and loud enough that living on credit is a good thing, eventually we start to believe it. It’s a lie! I’ve always had a good credit score, but my goal now is to have a ZERO credit score. You’ll have to read the book to understand that. 🙂  You don’t need to be “credit worthy” if you have CASH!

This is not an easy financial program. In fact, it’s a bitch. It requires sacrifice and focus and motivation, but, in Dave’s words, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

Dave Ramsey’s website – click here.