Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam (Teacher)

Just a quick note that I have been made a Sunbeam teacher! These are (at least for my Ward) ages 3-5. A fun age! Needless to say, I thought I'd share what I've been doing for lessons. Here is the blog link: Dawn's Sunbeam Page Enjoy!

Picking Cell Phone Providers And Plans

I've gone back to the beginning of the Radical Personal Finance podcasts and came upon this gem that I'll be using later when I decide to upgrade from my Tracphone.  There is some great information here!

Episode 4: Radical Personal Finance

Friday, April 21, 2017

The New Treasure



A new book to treasure and use.  I'm currently reading ebooks from the same author and am enjoying them a great deal.

Her website:  http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 17, 2017

The King, The Kaiser And the Czar

A very interesting video regarding one of the last times the royal houses of Europe would gather on friendly (maybe not so friendly) terms.  The devastating rifts created in World War I would forever change these relatives - and the nations they ran.







Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?

This is a blog post that stems from a vlog on YouTube about things about Finance you wished you learned in high school.  Given that I worked with middle schoolers for a while, I can appreciate this topic, as I did try to incorporate some of these lessons with them.  One thing is for sure, those kids will now know how to calculate a budget on Excel.  LOL.




If I could travel back to when I was in high school, one of the biggest financial things I would do is to sneak a copy of The Millionaire Next Door and give it to myself.  I was already saving money, and had learned some of the basics of balancing out a savings account book (great practice for reconciling a checking account register), and had some idea of compounding interest.

I was, however, part of the regular tuning audience for a television show called Lifestyles of The Rich And Famous.





I grew up middle class, and when I was in high school, I was convinced that this was how all wealthy people lived.

I would want myself to understand that the majority of the truly wealthy people don't live like this, but have ordinary lives, with jobs that are not so glamorous.





I would also tell myself that, despite everything that will happen to me in the future, it will be okay.  Yes, I have my struggles - not just financially - but it will be okay.

Monday, April 10, 2017

FHE - Getting To Know The World Around Us - King Christian IX

If you have ever watched a European Royal Wedding, you may have noticed members of royalty from other countries in attendance. This isn't just a formality or courtesy visit for the newlyweds, they are also there as many are related through either King Christian IX of Denmark or Queen Victoria, or both.  King Christian IX and Queen Victoria were contemporaries, which meant their children were eligible matches for the royal houses throughout Europe.

A book was written, along with a DVD series, on this called A Royal Family which does a fantastic job of covering who married who, what happened with each child's descendants, their continued closeness as a family and how it was impacted by the two World Wars.

Sadly, the DVD is no longer available and the web site for it appears to no longer be around, but it's worth checking to see if your local PBS station (in the U.S.) will be airing it again sometime in the future.  In the meantime, you can always get the book.

I recorded the PBS airings of the show, however I will not be posting all of them.  I'm posting the first one, which sets the stage between Denmark, the U.K. and Russia in finding spouses for royal children.  Another one of the episodes has been published on YouTube to show the story of the King of Greece.

Episode 1:




King George I of Greece and his descendants:




This is a different documentary, it's in Danish, but still very interesting to watch.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Why Get Out Of Debt?

There are a number of reasons for people to get out of debt, some societal, some macroeconomic, some personal.

My top reasons:

1.  To take care of myself - I'm pretty independent and do not want to have to depend on others (Church, Government, Family) to keep me fed and housed.  People in debt may find, particularly as they get older, that being able to live while keeping up with all of those debt payments is going to become extremely hard if not impossible.

Having worked jobs in various industries - for various amounts of pay - I found I had to drastically cut my expenses in order to make minimum payments on debt when my paychecks were either cut off or reduced significantly.  People living above the poverty line cannot expect to continually stay there forever, jobs change, companies change management or ownership, living conditions and the economy can change all of that.  The only way for people to continue to be in a position of being able to take care of themselves is to have money saved up - and a reduced lifestyle so that it doesn't jeopardize the savings.

2.  To take care of Mom - My mother is now at an age where her being able to go to work is not going to happen.  I need to be out of debt so that my paychecks are being used in ways to enhance both our lives, not paying someone else.

The new federal administration - coupled with my state's administration - doesn't give me much confidence that Mom will be in a position to live off of what she has for the remainder of her life.  The cuts to services for seniors - including medical coverage - is going to place an increased burden of cost on her, so I need to be prepared to assist with this burden.

3.  Macroeconomics - Our society is one that is built on spending money.  It used to be that debt was never used other than a home or vehicle.  With the advent of the credit card, this changed.  Unfortunately, the curriculum in elementary and middle schools regarding money hasn't changed.  As a result, a lot of high school students have to catch up, if they enroll in the few classes offered about personal finance, in order to understand what they need to know when they start getting summer and after school jobs, as well as how to handle money when they graduate.

Kids don't understand savings because there are a lot of parents out there who weren't taught about compound interest and don't understand how it can make you (with interest being paid to you for your saved money) or break you (with increased interest being charged against you for debt).  Personally, I would like to see financial institutions make a better effort to hold small classes on personal finance - starting with how to reconcile a checkbook, calculate debt, calculate living expenses and payment on debt and basic budgeting.

The other piece of macroeconomics is the fact that interest rates are on the rise.  This makes any debt more expensive and a lot harder to pay off.


4.  Personal sanity - I don't like being in debt, I was raised by parents who had debt, but who overcame a lot and saved and invested.  They were also very forward in their thinking, my parents both have had their burial expenses paid for in advance for several years.  One short term goal is to get our wills updated set up some sort of estate planning to better manage what we do have.

Have you ever heard of debt slavery?  Those who have been up to your eyeballs in debt, you understand this term.  With debt, people lose the freedom to spend what they earn towards what they want, because they are having to spend that money to pay for something they financed.  In many cases, what they financed has depreciated in value, so people find themselves under water in their debts, or have nothing to show for their debt.  Getting out of debt cuts those chains of bondage and allows for people to have choices about how they want to live - provided it is within the means of what they are earning.

Secular history and biblical history both give examples regarding debt:  "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."  (2 Kings 4:1-7)

5.  Personal goals - People can't have too many goals if they can't afford to pay for them.  Reaching limits on debt requires that the goals be changed to meet the demands of the debt, rather than for a life well lived.

I've already stated my goals for this year, what are your goals?

If you could live off of 50% of what you currently earn, what would you do with the extra 50%?

6.  Giving back - One of the reasons I like the different plans for getting out of debt that I've mentioned on previous blogs is that there is a part of this plan at the end to specifically talk about giving back.  Dave Ramsey talks about "live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else".

Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, giving doesn't just come in the form of callings, but also of your increase, with the options for ways in giving more money if the individual chooses to.  There are funds for missionaries, education and providing assistance for temple attendance for those who live far and must make extreme travels in order to reach the closest temple.

Even within some companies, the opportunity for giving back can be done directly from your paycheck (in the U.S., many companies offer the opportunity to contribute to charities under the umbrella of The United Way and have it taken directly out of your paycheck).

7.  Preparedness - part of emergency preparedness is to have alternatives regarding how people will live in the event of a financial crisis (we have seen this several times in the United States with several stock market crashes and crashes in other commodities (housing) over the centuries).  There are also the preparedness that must be done in the event of a natural disaster or war, which preparations require money.

Again, there is that aspect of independence, of having an alternative place to live, alternative forms of "money" for bartering, alternative forms of producing your own food and clothing.

8.  Providing For The Family - It has recently been released in the news that more people in the U.S. are dying with debts, some of which will come back on the family left behind.



More videos on Finance:




Some additional videos to check out:









Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Somewhat Productive Week

Not bad for the week.

I've gotten three loads of laundry done, I took a carload of recycling out on Monday after work, tonight it was a carload of large cardboard boxes to recycling and three bags of trash to the dumpster.

I have a lot more to do, but I'm getting there.  This Saturday marks the second Household Hazardous Waste day, I've already got a box going for that.  I also have on more large cardboard box and a large amount of newspaper recycling to take out, plus delivering items purchased for a Mom to be taken to her home.  I have more laundry to get done, plus some preparations for Church and a funeral this next week.

Progress!

Monday, April 3, 2017

FHE - Which Is The Christ?

Watch this video of the Parable of The Good Samaritan and try to deduce which person in the parable represents Jesus The Christ.



Which person represents Christ?

The obvious choice is the Samaritan - he is the one who cares, he is the one who heals.  And given the feelings that the Hebrew people felt towards the Samaritans, it could be also said that Christ descended below all things - including the social class of people felt to be inferior.

Here is one other observation:

Could Jesus also be the man who was the victim of the attack in this parable?

Remember, a priest and a Levite both passed by (the preachers of their faith) the victim and walked off, leaving him to die.  These are people who profess to know God intimately, but pass by the Son of God without recognizing Him.

Instead, he was rescued by a man who didn't know who he was or what he represented, but cared anyway.

Which person in this story would we be?  How many times are we that priest or Levite and walk off, leaving someone in distress?  How many times are we the Samaritan?






Sunday, April 2, 2017

Daily Task Schedules - May - December 2017

If you liked April's Daily Task Schedule, I've made the PDF's for the remainder of the year.

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017


Daily Planning Guide



This is by no means a perfect page to use for planning, in fact there are people who might not like it at all.

I saw a number of daily planning sheets, but I found they were missing one element.  If you've ever seen the Time Management lecture given by the late Dr. Randy Pausch, you'll understand why I added it in my own little version.

Which reminds me:  I need to clean out my inbox.  LOL.








The Daily Planning Guide - My Take:

Guide (Google Sheets)

Update:  I've also added the PDF version as Google Sheets doesn't translate well to mobile devices, particularly when you have to format things a bit differently.  Guide In PDF

Remainder of 2017 calendar (Google Sheets)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Use of Colour In Your Home

Yeah, I need to do something with these white walls in my home, but I also need to start from the top (my HVAC unit) and work my way down.  First, though, I need to pay off as much debt as I can.

No April Fool's jokes here, enjoy.


Monday, March 27, 2017

FHE - Movie Night!

I really feel sorry for today's kids.  They were never exposed to our beloved Jiminy Cricket teaching about safety - and common sense.

Enjoy.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Debt Update - 3-24-2017

Debt total for February:  18,916.15
Debt total for March:  16,257.44
Debt paid:  2658.71

I had refunds on both Federal and State tax returns that have paid off the Care Credit card (medical bills), I am now on track to pay off my next credit card within the next few months.

Progress!


Monday, March 20, 2017

FHE - U.S. History

With all of the books and movies made regarding historical events and people in the United States of America, there is no collection that compares with the U.S. National Archives.



Interested in learning the real history behind our nation, our customs, our laws, our leaders and our citizens?  Search the archives here.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trying My Hand At Crock Pot Cooking

I'm not the best cook in the world, so I thought I'd try out a recipe book on the Crock Pot that's been on my kitchen counter gathering dust.  LOL.  It didn't work out that great, but then again, I probably messed up somewhere in the instructions.


I found this book at Costco and thought I'd give it a try.  

My first attempt:


Chicken and Noodles.

Easy, you say?  I still managed to mess it up, too much salt and garlic powder.  Yep.


Getting started...


With the ingredients all in.

As I stated, I messed up on the amount of salt and garlic powder, but I also put the noodles in at the beginning, rather than waiting until the first 6 of 8 hours had passed.

This meant it was a salty, garlic - y mush with chicken.

It was edible for the next few days, so I did eat most of the leftovers.

Maybe I just need to find something simpler.  LOL.



Monday, March 13, 2017

Learning About The World Around Us - France

I love Sophia from My Great Challenge on YouTube.  She also has a blog where she posts all kinds of details of subjects that interest her - books, makeup, decor and organization to name a few.

In 2016, her family took a trip to France where Sophia was born and raised.  Given her knowledge of the French history and culture, this is definitely a series to watch.  She does a fantastic job of explaining to those like me who have never set foot in France.  I just wish I knew the language!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

BYU Finance Class

If you haven't become familiar with the BYU Finance Class that is available on YouTube, Brother (Dr.) Sudweeks is providing an updated version of his classes on YouTube now!




The online link to where the textbook and other materials can be found:  BYU Personal Finance Class


Free Tax Help

If you live in the United States, April 15th is approaching.  There are some online sites that can offer help with getting your taxes done.

The one caveat I will say with this; if you have a situation where you feel you will need professional help, seek it.  Get in touch with the IRS directly, or go through a CPA either privately or through a professional tax service.  Usually I use TurboTax and file myself, however when my husband passed away, I had a CPA handle my taxes for that year, and I highly recommend anyone else in that situation to do the same.

That said, there is free tax help from the IRS.

Here is a basic link:  Free Tax Help

You can also file your federal taxes for free via the IRS:  Free File

For Low Income taxpayers, they have some information at this link:  Low Income Taxpayer Clinics






For the State of Arizona (where I live), the Arizona Department of Revenue offers this site for free and paid tax services:



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Spring Break

This week is Spring Break for me, so that means less away from the house, but more work around the house!

Needless to say, based on my kitchen, I have A LOT of work on my hands!


The Use of Space Within Your Home

I love this series.


Monday, February 27, 2017

FHE - Movie Night

Tonight it's a blast from the past in a 1980's video from Disney on the history of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  Ah, Harry Anderson.  Our favorite comedian/magician.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Debt Update

As of 2/24/2017:

Total debt:  $18,916.15
Reduced by $620.00 in February.

Progress!

Monday, February 20, 2017

FHE - A Little Constitutional History

If you've never seen this before, you're in for a treat.

Please have a safe and happy President's Day.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Oprah's Debt Removal Steps

Click here for updates and revisions to the Debt Diet™️ steps on Oprah.com.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/money/Oprahs-Debt-Diet-Step-5


1.  Calculate your debt - add up what you owe.

2.  Track Your Spending
     Cut the waste and find ways to increase income

3.  Learn how to play the credit card game
     A.  Pay more than the minimum payment
     B.  Call to reduce the interest rates and fees
     C.  Get your credit score

4.  Stop spending!

5.  Create a monthly spending plan for your take home pay:

     35% - Housing - domicile, insurance, repairs, maintenance, taxes, etc.
     15% - Transportation - vehicle, fuel, insurance, registration fees, maintenance, repair, etc.
     25% - Other - regular fees for cellphones, tv, Internet, meals outside of the house, travel, movies, books , etc.  This is the "your life" part of the budget.

     15% - Debt - credit cards, student loans.
     10% - Savings - this is where you get rich.

6.  Grow Your Income.  

7.  Prioritize Your Debt And Raise Your Credit Score

Home, vehicle, student loans take priority.

8.  Understand Why You Spend And Start Saving - plan your spending.

I'm thinking there are a lot of people who followed this advice - which was brought out before the 2008 Stock Market Crash - and are grateful they did.  I'm thankful she had the thoughtfulness towards her viewers to make this series a reality.

As stated before, there are some changes that have since been made to these steps, be sure to check out her Debt Diet Action Plan page for the details.



   


Monday, February 13, 2017

FHE - Learning About The World Around Us

For those who remember The Ascent of Money series I posted on here last year, Niall Ferguson has another series called Civilization which he chronicles world history based upon six factors that have been deciding factors for which civilizations flourish and which disappear.  The documentary series is based upon his book of the same title.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Surprising Effect My Debt Free Goal Would Have

Today was a fantastic day for both myself and my Mother.  She didn't have a mortgage on her home, but she did have a variable home improvement loan on it, which was due to expire next month.

She received a letter from the bank where this loan was through, telling her she would be owing an additional $3,000 in fees and interest at conversion time.

She was naturally alarmed and called me.

Without looking at the letter, I did explain to her they were most likely telling her how much she would expect to pay if all she paid was the minimum due.

I asked her how much she owed, she looked it up and realized she had the money saved up to pay it off.  I took care of the transactions necessary to transfer what was necessary to accomplish this and drove her to the bank and watched over the process of her paying off the balance and closing the account.

This was the last account we had open at this bank, as we now use a credit union, so it was also a goodbye to this bank as well.

They can get their $3,000 from someone else.

Meanwhile, I told Mom that the next payment she makes should be to herself, not someone else.  We also had a celebratory brunch at IHOP.  She is definitely breathing a sigh of relief to have that over.

Unboxing - The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i

This is something I've been wanting and saved up for last year, and it finally arrived on my doorstep on December 30, 2016.

I've done some basic scanning with it, such as my older tax documents to pdf before shredding them. It scans both sides of the page at the same time, and can scan multiple pages, up to about 5 pages at a time before you start to see document jams.

My employer uses a different version of ScanSnap, and since I was already familiar with how to troubleshoot those, I thought this might be a great way to start to digitize documents where a physical document isn't needed.  I'll post some videos at the bottom of this post to help give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

On with the show!










Before you can plug in, the yellow tape stops and tells you to install the software first.  Very nice!

The software works on either Windows or Mac, so you do have a choice!




Be sure to install everything.  You also need to submit your information on their web site in order to get the download for the ABBY software that allows you to scan to Microsoft Office products.  




We are ready to start scanning!  The extra cable allows you to use your computer as a power source for mobile scanning.










Monday, February 6, 2017

Household Hazardous Waste Load

More progress in my home!  I am not only getting rid of a few no longer working items, but I'm also getting rid of old halogen bulbs and getting some of the toxic chemicals out of my home, replacing them with natural ingredients to try to improve not only what gets cleaned but how it gets cleaned.  It also reduces the dependency on man made chemicals to solve cleaning issues in my home.

Needless to say, I left with a deep sense of accomplishment!




Saturday, February 4, 2017

Scheduling

There are a lot of blogs and vlogs that go into schedules.

Some are monthly (which bills get paid which days of the month), some do weekly (it's Wednesday, what household blessings do I do today?) while others do daily schedules.

While I do some monthly scheduling for bill payment, my daily schedule is usually determined by meetings, deadlines and what emergency am I taking care of today.  There are days when I'm balancing work with doctor appointments for Mom and myself.

The main schedule that I keep for myself is actually a weekly schedule and usually consists of one or two words.  Which opportunity is scheduled for each day of the week?

Monday is fueling up the car and grocery shopping.
Tuesday is snail mail and finances.
Wednesday is recycling.  Recycling can also mean donating.
Thursday is trash day.
Friday is dishes.
Saturday is laundry.
Sunday is rest and catch up on other stuff not done previously.

The reason I do this is to try to make it so I'm not running like a crazy person on Saturday and Sunday, as I've done some basic upkeep during the week.  I do need to start on a routine in the evening, though, of spot cleaning I could do for 15 minutes per day.  The big problem is ether remembering to do it, or just simply exhaustion and sleep deprivation.  We'll see how things go in the coming months.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Household Hazardous Waste Days

In Arizona, several cities host a day (usually a Saturday) where items that are unfit for trash or recycling can be turned in for proper disposal.

In Mesa, it's called the Household Hazardous Waste Program.  Mesa's is next Saturday, Feb. 4th.

In Tempe, it's called Zero Waste Day.  Tempe's next Zero Waste Day will be held in April.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Goals For 2017

I've been watching so many people posting their resolutions or goals for the new year, I thought I would do something a bit... contrarian.  I'm going to give you my goals, by stating what I will not be doing this year.

1.  I will not become the healthy fitness nut this year.

I just went to the doctor with a sinus infection that I've had since mid-December.  Sorry, but I'm not interrupting my break by trying to get an appointment - when most likely my doctor was already booked.  Today's appointment was scheduled as a follow up from the swollen legs, vertigo and other assorted junk I had back at that time.  Now my legs are fine, the vertigo has been remedied (many thanks to the department head at my job who mentioned she had it and found out it was from vitamin D deficiency) with vitamins.

Additional vials of blood were drawn today to check how my 50 year old hormones are doing, as I've been having hot flashes the last few weeks.  The doctor thinks it actually might be fevers caused by the sinus infection.  We'll see in about a week or two which it is.

2.  I will not have a spotless home this year.

While the amount of stuff has been significantly reduced, there is still a long way to go, and some of the organization requires remodeling in my home, which isn't going to happen this year.  Goal #1 is to get out of debt as quickly as possible.

3.  I will not be debt free by year end.

I honestly don't know if this statement will ring true on December 31st or not, but there are two credit cards I am working and budgeting to pay off this year.  I will be scrimping and saving, however, to pay down as much of the third and last credit card as possible.  Will I make it?  Time will tell.

4.  I will not always be the "cheerful one", whether at work, while spending time with Mom, at Church, around friends.

I will, however, try to be a bit more sociable this year than I have in years past.  However, if I don't join in on movie nights or other assorted outings that require money, please know I'm trying to keep to a tight budget.  To everything there is a season, this is my season to get out of debt.

My best wishes to everyone out there, good luck on whatever goals you have for 2017.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Recycling Load #2



I made it out a little earlier today, so the picture is better.

3 bags of plastics and cans, 2 boxes filled with cardboard boxes.  Also 3 of the boxes that the Hipce storage units came in.

Prior to this trip, I fed the cats, unloaded clean dishes out of the dishwasher and started up a load of the cat food dishes.  Getting an early start on these means I'll have time to get a final load in before I go to bed tonight.

Progress!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Touch Not The Evil Gift, Nor The Unclean Thing - FHE - 1-9-17


From the October 1993 Semi Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Elder H. Burke Peterson





Another video to take a look at discusses the MPAA Rating system in the United States:





Entertainment and Media - February 2013 Ensign

No Neutral Ground: How Media Influences Us - September 2016 Ensign

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sears And Kmart - Innovative Product Lines

One other idea is to have the designers for Craftsman and Kenmore get together with Goal Zero (or a different solar products company) to design tools and appliances for solar panels.  It will allow those wanting to live off grid to be able to do so without having to rely on an oil/gas product to power their electronics.

Sears And Kmart




This could have come out differently, but as this news story begins, Sears and Kmart lost their way.

Sears & Roebuck started off as the original Amazon, competing with Montgomery Ward over catalog sales.

Kmart was a cross between Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart.

It could come back, but the high priced managers are already lining their pockets and bailing the sinking ship.

So, what could have been done?

They each could have been combined in a unique, new experience.

Sears could go back to catalog - online catalog sales with limited physical locations that are combined with Kmart locations.

The only difference is that the combined Sears/Kmart stores would be part online fulfillment centers, part retail.  The customer would have the option of buying online, picking up at a store; buying online and having it shipped to the customer's home, or the customer could just show up at the retail location where they could actually view their item from the warehouse before buying it.

The retail space could be for items being sold at a discount, on top of the warehouse and operations centers for the online.

The online catalog would be an experience site, with products that are limited in nature:

Kenmore for the appliances
Craftsman for tools
furniture designed for tiny homes, apartments, condos.  Multi purpose.
Electronics geared for vloggers.

Adding:

Modest clothing lines from American designers - with a much greater line of full figured clothing
Guinne Sax/Jessica McClintock clothing

Organization areas with agreements to sell from:

The Container Store
Avery
Smead
Erin Condren

Kitchenware from:

Pyrex
Corning
GreenLife (Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware)


The online catalog would contain easter eggs - trivia, games, as well as an online lite CAD site for designing the look of your space with products sold by Sears/Kmart.

The store would also hold demo classes for customers wanting to do more with their homes, as well as vloggers.  This would also include financial management classes.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Other Major Goal For 2017

With the advent (and expense) of bed bugs last year, it meant a lot of my furniture had to be removed and disposed of.

The two queen sized beds in my home?  Gone.

The couch and upholstered rocking chair and ottoman?  Gone.

Office desk and two upholstered desk chairs?  Gone.

In order to have space for the extermination process (four visits), more had to be removed and placed into an offsite storage unit.  One that had full sunlight access in the middle of the Arizona summer heat, which would kill any bed bugs that might try to travel.  It worked.

I've since moved the boxes back in December, and sprayed everything down with 91% alcohol, which kills any surviving bed bugs on contact.

Needless to say, they are now gone.

But, where to start?  

I've got a whole mess of boxes in various places around my home, and now it's getting cleaned up and either found to a new home in my home or donated.

The other mess of boxes that now sit in my office, however, are a litany of papers dating back to high school and probably even before that.

In light of this, I've made an investment into a ScanSnap Document Scanner, identical to the kind used at my workplace, in order to scan in what I want to keep and shred the paper copies.  Some will need to be kept, due to legal or tax purposes, however there is a lot here that can be shredded.  I had already purchased a shredder at Costco a few years back, it's still sitting in it's box. Between these two machines, I plan to eliminate mountains of boxes.  

The video below will give you an idea of what can be done.


And, as last month was Christmas with the document scanner I have been wanting was on sale...



I already have the shredder and purchased a box of 500 clear plastic bags to use with it, the time has come to get organized!

Why do I need to do this?

This is just the recycling:  Eight bags, plus cardboard boxes and a box that is filled with paper recycling.




And these boxes are filled with papers dating back to the 1980's to now.  And these are just the ones in my office.





Thursday, January 5, 2017

Recycling Load #1

You can't see from the picture, but there are SEVEN kitchen trash bags, but they are not trash.  RECYCLING!!!


Monday, January 2, 2017

FHE - 1-2-17

Tonight's Family Home Evening is courtesy of YouTube - Pioneers In Petticoats





Youth Lesson:

Choosing Not To Gossip

"He Asks Us To Be His Hands" from the April 2016 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Day 1 - 31 Days To Get Organized

I'll admit, I was lazy on this one and cleared a few items from a tv tray table I use in the living room.  I won't share any pictures of it, because both Beezer and Rachel decided to take turns perching on it for the remainder of the day.


Setting Goals

From The Simple Dollar:  it's all about the bits.

How To Create and Succeed At Personal and Financial Goals In The Coming Year

Angela's Budget Boot Camp Day 1

This is actually from 2016, but hey, better late than never, right?  Who wants to join in?




The video below will play the entire 30 day playlist:


Are You Ready?

Happy New Year!

Buckle your seat belts, roll up your sleeves, it's time to get to work.

Write down your goals for the year.

Get a budget started for January.

Calendar out when you will get paid, and when you will pay your bills.

Look for ways of cutting back and/or adding more income.

Are you there yet?

If not, what will it take?

Here are a few examples of people who talk about their moments of "being sick and tired of being sick and tired", a phrase used by Dave Ramsey.


















My own update:

As of December 23, 2016:

Current Debt:  $19, 990.61
Debt Paid in 2016:  $4,625.86