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April's Daily Assignments for Financial Freedom
12 years ago
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April 1 Happy April Fool's Day! To celebrate, visit Motley Fool, at the address below, to learn more about IRAs.
April 2
12 years ago
Look back at January, Feburary and March. Where did all the money go? If you're not sure, you need to start tracking your expenses. If you do know, where could you have saved some money? Make it your goal to "find" $10 a week in April, either by saving or earning $10.
April 3
12 years ago
Everyone else is calling in their debts. Your credit card companies, your student loan company, the bank that did your auto loan....Is there anyone out there who owes YOU money? A friend or a stranger, it's time for them to pay up. Just a gentle reminder might be all it takes. If someone owes you $5, that should be all it takes. But if someone owes you upward of $100, you need to get serious about collecting the debt. Work out a payment plan if you have to, to make it easier for them. And don't let it ruin your relationship. Just let them know you'd be more likely to lend to them in the future if they pay back what they owe now. It's a tough thing to do, but you have to do it. It could be as simple as "Hey, I bought you lunch when we all ordered out last week. Think you could cover mine today?" It could be as complex as "Look. I lent you some money when you really needed it, and I'm glad I could do it. But now I need to talk to you about getting it back, because I have some bills to pay. How much do you think you could pay back by the beginning of next month?"
12 years ago

ideas and suggestions!!!!  Always looking for a way to get more $$$.


April 4
12 years ago
Obviously a day off, since I didn't get to my computer yesterday.  Hope you enjoyed it!
April 5
12 years ago

Write down a wish list.  This is not for the big things in life, the house, the kids, the family, the retirement years.  This is for the little things in life.  The new skirt or the new watch.  The brand-name cookies that you prefer.  A dinner out.  A massage or a housecleaning.  A babysitter for next Saturday.

The purpose of this is to plan for things you WANT as well as what you need, and to see the difference between them.  If you only plan for things you NEED, or long-term future dreams, you won't ever be able to stay on budget. 

Since we KNOW we're going to spend some money on things we don't need, the best thing to do would be to determine how much of an allowance you should give yourself each week or month as play money.  If you have a partner, talk to him or her about it, and decide on a reasonable amount that fits your financial situation.  Determine a cash allowance for both of you, and establish that there will be a no-questions-asked (and no-guilt!) policy regarding it.  Whatever you have left of your allowance at the end of the month is still play money for the future.  That way, you begin to save for things you want, as well as things you need, and the two don't conflict. 

Give it a try.

April 6
12 years ago

Connect with someone you haven't recently.  This is a low-cost way of feeling good and making your own life better.  Make sure it's a person whose company you sincerely enjoy, and who will not tempt you to go out to an expensive restaurant for the reunion!  Invite them over to watch a movie at home (ask them to bring a favorite!) or arrange to get your kids together for a playdate. 

Or...just call Mom, your sister, etc., to catch up.  If it's long distance, wait till your night-minutes begin on your cell, or shoot them an email instead.

Refreshing healthy relationships we once loved and enjoyed is a guilt-free way to de-stress.  It's good for us. 

April 7
12 years ago
Today's Assignment is to enjoy your weekend, and find one new way to enjoy yourself without spending money!
April 8
12 years ago
Today's assignment is to revisit the tips list.  There are some new ones-find one thing among the tips list that you'll give a chance.
April 9
12 years ago

Scheduling can be a mess, whether you're a one-person family or if you have to rent a bus for family trips.  Making sure your schedules jive isn't easy when you live with someone else, or have a significant other, and sometimes it can cost you money when you're not organized.

Today's assignment is to sit down with the calendar or your day planner.  (If you don't have either of those things, go to the store now.  Go on.  We'll wait.)

See what you've committed yourself to for the next two months.  Are there any deadlines approaching?  Do you need to get tickets to something before the price goes up?  Do you need to shop for or make a gift?  Waiting until the last minute adds to your stress, and also ensures that you have to pay top dollar for what you need.  Looking ahead two months gives you enough time to plan.

April 10
12 years ago

Government-run website for unclaimed cash and property.  Who knows?  I didn't find anything under my name, but it'd be cool if someone else did!

April 11
12 years ago
Today's Assignment: Creative Writing. No, really. I want you to write a letter to your younger self. The age is up to you. For me, I believe it'll be my seventeen year old self, who was just starting college. Write to that person about what she/he has to look forward to, and about some of the pitfalls that lie ahead. Tell yourself what you wish you had known then, especially in terms of your relationship with money. Be brutally honest about the mistakes you know you're about to make, and educate yourself about what you can do differently. Use this not only to let go of the "woulda-shouldas" and forgive yourself for past mistakes, but also to know what to tell your children. Let them make their own mistakes, but also let them learn from yours. What mistakes are you glad you made, and what do you honestly wish someone had told you before?
April 12
12 years ago
Today's Assignment: Sort of like yesterday's....only more fun. Today, write to your future self. Again, choose the age. For me, it'll be myself just before retirement. Make your older self promises. Just as you would take care of your parents or grandparents, decide what you'll do to take care of yourself as you get older. Will you promise yourself you'll eat better and work out once in a while, and destress? Will you promise to pass on a coffee on the way to work in order to put a tiny bit extra into savings? Will you promise to put your retirement funds before your kids' college savings? (IF NOT, you should!) Get excited about what your older self is now able to do, because you're committing to taking care of yourself now. Promise yourself a long, happy, healthy life, and a financial situation that is satisfying. Give it a try. Brainstorm a bit. Maybe the age you choose to write to is only four or five years away, but about to buy a home. Promise her/him that you'll start putting money aside now, and work on raising your credit score so that she/he is able to get the home she/he wants.
April 13-14
11 years ago
Enjoy a few days off. Try to find some relaxing activities which cost little to no money.
April 15-16
11 years ago
More days off!  Woot! 
April 17
11 years ago

Decide on a gift someone could get for you that wouldn't cost them any (or would cost very little) money, for your next birthday or holiday.  Then ask your friends what they would want that wouldn't cost anything.  For example: babysitting for them.

April 18
11 years ago
Today's Assignment: Read some tips!  Feeding a Large Family
From Barbara Whiting,
Your Guide to Stay-at-Home Parents.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Submitted by Rubi

I have 5 children, and usally have 2 or three extra at dinner time. So I often seat 8 to 10 big eaters every meal.

  • Plan: I make out a two week menu. Each person gets to pick two meals. We have rules about this. It has to be real food and there must be either a vegetable or a salad. We have pizza every other week. This cuts down on waste. Everyone gets a least one meal a week they choose and all the kids thinks it fair, so they complain less and eat more.

  • Shop in bulk with a list.

  • Serve homemade soups and breads with meals.

  • Cut meat in small pieces; it feels like they are getting more.

  • Allow the kids to eat at their friends and grandparents whenever invited.
April 19
11 years ago

Today's Assignment is easy.  Just check out this site!

April 21
11 years ago

It's that time again.  Go through your paperwork, your mail, your bills, etc.  Make sure you're paying everything on time.  That makes a huge difference to your credit report!

April 22
11 years ago

Tips For Saving Money

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Still living from pay to pay? Or envying those great wealth accumulators and wondering how they did it? Every month you make a resolution of saving some dollars from your paycheck, but only end up breaking it. Looking for some magic formula for saving money?


Well, there’s no magic formula—only some simple rules to be followed with determination and persistence.


Have you ever taken consumer credit—the credit used for personal finance? If not, then that’s where you’re lacking. Those wealth grabbers, who are the subject of your envy, have smartly used the borrowed money and became rich. They didn’t hesitate in taking credit, and considered it as a valuable financial asset.


Credit is not something bad. On the contrary, it makes your life convenient and prevents you from falling in a tight spot. Yes, I know that your goal is to be a financially secure individual. We all have the same goal, don’t we? Despite harboring such strong goals, many of us are scraping every month, with no money left to fall back up on at the end.


I don’t intend to entangle you in the intricacies of finance, but want to present before you, some simple rules that would help in saving some dough. But promise me that you’ll put them to practice regularly. Though it takes some time—years maybe—to get the full results, yet the trick lies in perseverance.


Spruce your knowledge—get smart!

I’m not telling you to glue your eyes to the television watching the stock market or enrolling for a finance degree. What I want you to do is arm yourself with the basics of the market so that you don’t make wrong decisions that cost you money. Intelligent decisions are the key towards a flourishing business.


Patience pays!

Unless you win a lottery, don’t think of getting rich overnight. But with time you can certainly think of owning bundles of those crispy dollars. So start saving your money as soon as possible. Let compounding interest bestow you with its benefits. I hope you know about compound interest—it is the reinvestment of your already invested earnings. However, don’t lose heart when you find your first reinvested earnings to be a petty amount. Initially, they are small, but over the years you’ll watch them magnify.


Set a flexible goal

Don’t be a ship without anchor. Set some financial goals in life so that you know your target. This will boost your confidence and you’ll be able to visualize yourself better in the future years. I would suggest having flexibility in your goals. This is because situations are never the same, they keep on changing and you’ll have to change with them too. Hence, you can’t be rigid in your ways. Keep reviewing your goals and—better still—select a good financial advisor that would assist you in achieving your goals.

April 23
11 years ago

Change your thermostat by 2 degrees.  It'll make a huge difference, but you won't feel it till the bill comes!

April 24
11 years ago

Go around your house/apartment and count how many bulbs you need to change to fluorescent.  Take note of any that need to be smaller or differently shaped than normal.  Then go to the hardware store or order some online. You'll be glad you did.

April 25
11 years ago

Give it a try.  

Air dry your dishes instead of running them through the dry cycle on the dishwasher.  You'll save money on your electric/heating bill, and it's pretty unnecessary!!

April 26
11 years ago
Get into the habit of turning off your monitor when you walk away from the computer.  And the TV?  Do you REALLY need it as background noise?  If it's a nice day, open up the window and listen to the sounds of the outdoors instead.
April 27
11 years ago
If you haven't already done so, purchase power strips for your computer and TV/DVD/VCR.  That way, when you're done using it, you can flip the switch on the power strip to ensure that your machines aren't using energy even when they're turned off.  While you're at it, unplug your cell phone's charger when it's not in use.  Did you know it eats up energy anyway?
April 28
11 years ago
Slow down.  Start practicing today.  Really concentrate on your speed while driving.  You KNOW every mile an hour faster you drive eats up more gasoline.  Try driving the speed limit everywhere you go.  It'll cut back on the tickets you get too.
April 29
11 years ago
Check all of your doors and windows.  Is there a draft?  Energy is probably being sucked right out!  Do what you have to in order to fix it.  If you rent, call maintence.  If you own, head to the hardware store.
April 30
11 years ago

Today's assignment is for those who own their home.  If not...just enjoy your day off.

If you have an attic, consider getting it insulated.  You're probably losing a lot of energy, both in summer and winter, through the attic.  And if you have a basement, you need to maintain it to be sure you don't have leaks.  Fixing them BEFORE they're a problem is far better than waiting till you do.  So venture up into the attic and down into the basement to see how you can save money.

April 31
11 years ago

It's the end of the month.  Take a look at how you did this month, and how you can do better in May.  Pat yourself on the back!

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