6 Ways to Stick to Your Budget During the Holiday Season

November and December are the highest grossing months of the year for American retailers. Last year, holiday sales topped $655.8 billion. This year, “the National Retail Federation projects sales to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion…” (NRF.com). Billions of dollars are spent on gifts, food, and “catching sales” all within a period of 45-60 days!  Although I love to spend, spending has created a ton of stress, arguments and massive debt for our family; as a result, we learned early in our marriage to create a spending plan during the holiday season.

Here are six things you can implement over the holidays to ensure you spend what you HAVE not just what you WANT.

3 Books to Read Before the Year Ends

When was the last time you read a good book? And not just any book, but one that motivated you to do better, be better and live better? As we enter into the fourth quarter, why not end the year with some great books that will encourage you to finish what you started, give you tips towards financial freedom and encourage you to live your best life. Here are three books that will inspire you to end 2017 with a BANG!

FINISH, by Jon Acuff

This book is the sequel to “START” which is one of my favorite books. If you habitual START a project, a task, a goal, but for some reason end of quitting within weeks of starting (i.e. New Year’s Resolutions), then this book is for you! Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done!

 

 

3 Steps to Living Your Best Life

Are you living your best life? Do you wake up each day ready to encounter new opportunities, ready to conquer daily challenges and determine ways to be a better version of yourself? Or do you get depressed every Sunday night, dread waking up each Monday, and live for the weekend only to start the cycle all over again on Sunday evenings? If the last sentence sounds like you, guess what? You are not alone! According to a Forbes article, only 13% of working people are satisfied with their jobs. Which means 87% of employees “are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.”

So, if you do not like your job, your finances, or your overall life, what can you do? Change! And not just change as in give up or quit, but as in do something about it. Many of us consistently complain about our current situation and that is all we do…complain! Complaining will not change our situation. It only allows us to focus on the negatives of our situation and not the positives.

Want to begin to create your best life? Start here…

3 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals in 2017

Don't Just Write Them, Execute!

Happy New Year to All! I must say that I am ecstatic about 2017 and all it has for me, our family and for YOU! 2016 was great, but I am expecting greater for the new year! With expectation, however, comes execution. According to Statisticbrain.com, 45% of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions, but only eight percent (8%) actually achieve them. What?!?! Eight Percent!!! Why is there such a vast difference between the percent of those setting resolutions and those who actually achieve them?

Well, I believe the biggest problem lie in the basic definition of the word itself. The root word of “resolution” is “resolve” which means “to make a decision to change”. Now although I would say that making a decision to change is the first step to change in the new year, but it definitely should not be the ONLY step. There is a major difference in “making a decision to change” and actually taking steps and creating a plan to ensure change ensues. For example, I can say all day long that my New Year’s Resolution is to lose 20 pounds in 2017, but if I have not created a meal plan ahead of time, focused in having a partner work with me in my exercise routine, and so on, guess what? I will lose weight the first week in January and gain it all back the second week. Statistics even tells us this… “75% of Americans who make resolutions only maintain it through the end of the first week”(Statisticbrain.com).  WOW!

So how do you set goals that you can actually accomplish throughout the month, by the quarter and by the end of the year? Well here’s what we do:

How We Plan for the New Year as a Couple

Setting Family Goals for 2017

It seems like I was just completing last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and packing for Christmas last month! 2016 has flown by and although it has been filled with some “downs”, I can say there has been many “ups” to be thankful for.

As we approach the end of the year, my husband and I typically begin planning for the upcoming year. We write out our goals for the new year (normally in the car on our way back from traveling for Christmas), but last year we were able to do an “overnighter”, spend some quality time as well as discuss what we accomplished throughout the year, reviewed the goals we set, and we planned what we wanted to accomplish for the new year.

Why plan? Because planning: