By: Cheryl Johnson
That most of us are considered poor is no disgrace, but does us credit; for, as the mind is weakened by luxurious living, so it is strengthened by a frugal life.(Minucius Felix, 3rd century A.D.)
People who live a frugal lifestyle often live with less stress. Typically, those who take control of their money
feel they have more control over their life in general. You’ve heard the old cliche?”Money is Power.” What most of us fail to understand is that the power isn’t in having the money, or how much you have, rather in the ability to control what money you do have!
With that power comes peace of mind. It’s the peace of knowing that all you have is truly “yours”. With that peace of mind comes Frugal Freedom. Freedom from debt. Freedom from envy. Freedom from ridicule, shame, and loss. Loss of what you might ask. Sanity, for one thing. Trust me, when the walls of financial ruin come tumbling down around you, it’s easy to loose your sanity! And, no matter how much money you have, if you can’t control it, you are headed for financial ruin. There are many stories of those who have become wealthy and eventually fell to financial ruin. These are people who let money control them instead of responsibly managing their money.
Much of the transition from spend thrift to frugal is within the mind. It’s not so much a physical shedding of the luxuries of life. Rather, it is the ability to accept that you don’t have to “keep up with the Joneses.” This can be a huge mental leap living in today’s world of material values.
It takes an understanding of what you really need to be successful. Focus inward to what drives you to want more money. Is it necessity or just appearances that drive you to spend more, have more and, consequently, owe more?
In review of your own unique situation you might find the answers very enlightening. Hopefully, seeing the true origin of your desires and re-evaluating what you “need” will lead to change. Then again, you may not like what you see and in denial exclaim that it’s all baloney!
I hope you have the courage to make the changes needed to achieve financial security and peace of mind. Many of us forget that we do have the ability to change. It’s never too late! There is no truer realization of how hard it can be, and how we may need help, to change, than the following well known serenity prayer……..
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….The courage to change the things I can and…..the wisdom to know the difference.
Now whether you’re a religious person or not, the above statement is true in all aspects of our lives. I often think of it when presented with life’s little dilemmas. It reminds me that I do have choices. I need to evaluate the situation carefully and research my options. Some things we can change, some things we cannot change. Figure this out, have the courage to fix it, or peace of mind to accept it. I can tell you from personal experience that financial ruin is something you can fix. It is rarely an easy fix, but always will bring peace of mind!
So, when asked what I think frugality is…..It’s Freedom. Peace of mind. Re-evaluating what life really means. Knowing the difference between necessity and wants. Shedding appearances in exchange for reality. Taking control of my finances. Getting back to basics, and focusing on the “really” important things in life….family….friends….children…..learning….and teaching.
About the Author: Cheryl Johnson is a mother of four helping herself and others become and remain debt free. Publisher of Simple Debt Free Living at http://www.simpledebtfreeliving.com – A self-help plan, ideas, and resources for debt reduction , personal budgeting, frugal living, and extra income opportunities.
By: Natalie Aranda
There are foundational principles that rule the cycle of wealth building whether you build your wealth on stock market, home loans, or any other type of real estate investment. Many who are new to wealth building are often not aware of, or not disciplined to follow the principles for building wealth. The formula for building wealth is straight forward 1) make more, 2) spend less, 3) start early and 4) manage the risks. The cycle of wealth building consists of phases of goal setting, planning and execution.
1) Define the goals of your wealth building both short term and long term.
Goal setting begins with the questions of where do you want to be financially 5 years from now, 20 years from now and by the time of your retirement. For instance, you plan to own a half million dollar house in 5 years. You would like to accumulate net wealth of one million dollars in 20 years. And you want secure two million dollars in your bank account when you retire. The goal of wealth building should be challenging enough yet realistic. If they are set too low, you wont be motivated to work harder. You’ll be totally frustrated if the goals are unreachable. Studying books for personal financing and attending wealth building seminars will help you to get it right at the beginning.
2) Develop a plan that help achieve the goals you’ve set
We wont know exactly whether the goals of the wealth building are set too low or too high unless they are justified by a plan. Many investors may think one million dollar net wealth is unthinkable. In fact, if you invest $500 a month and that invest generates 11% annual return, you’ll be a millionaire in 30 years. 11% annual return is what S&P 500 index has realized in past 30 years. To achieve your one million dollar goal, you don’t even have to make the choice between eating well and sleeping well.
3) Follow your plan and work hard
There are two common causes of failures in wealth building 1) not committed to the plan to work hard enough, and 2) not disciplined to follow the plan and rules even they work extremely harder. Even well-known investment gurus are often distracted to believe the possibility of get-rich-quick when financial market experiences drastic up-and-down swing.
Once you’ve completed the cycle of wealth building, the next cycle of wealth building begins. Returns on investment
contribute to building your wealth but not if you forget about high interest rate on debts. Taking a wealth building seminar you can discover how maintaining a realistic and positive attitude is worth more than crying about a loss. Wealth building can begin with a raise at work or your first income after an investment.
Genuine wealth building is made up of learning which comes from a wealth building seminar or personal experience, enhanced with the input and feedback of those who are already building their own wealth. In this cycle, cash is the king so get ready for developing enough liquid resources and never invest if you are afraid to lose because you will be propitiating your luck.
About the Author: Natalie Aranda writes on family and personal financing. There are foundational principles that rule the cycle of wealth building whether you build your wealth on stock market, home loans, or any other type of real estate investment. Many who are new to wealth building are often not aware of, or not disciplined to follow the principles for building wealth. The formula for building wealth is straight forward 1) make more, 2) spend less, 3) start early and 4) manage the risks. The cycle of wealth building consists of phases of goal setting, planning and execution. Studying books for personal financing and attending wealth building seminars will help you to get it right at the beginning.
By: Cyndi Roberts
Yard sales (or garage sales as we call them in my part of Texas) are a wonderful frugal source for almost anything you need. They can also be a wonderful, frugal source of extra money almost any time you need it.
When shopping at yard sales, it’s important to remember that most things you buy are not going to be in “new” condition, although there are times when you will find items that are brand new, in the box. And at a much lower price than in the store.
Most yard sales have lots of clothes for sale. But if you are willing to take a closer look, you may find tons of treasures. The other day I found a shiny cookie sheet in a box of “freebies”! I was thrilled and so was my son, who didn’t have one!
My grandchildren have tons of books, most of which have been bought at yard sales. And all were in great condition and didn’t cost over 50 cents apiece. I keep a lookout for seasonal items for kids such as coloring books, little stuffed animals, etc. Then when Valentine’s, Halloween or other holidays roll around, we send the grandchildren a package filled with neat stuff for very little cash.
This summer I am also watching for “new-in-the-box” toys for children of all ages. In December, I’m going to send them with my son (who is in the Texas National Guard) to their annual Toy Drive. But almost every community has some sort of toy drive at Christmas time. This way, I will already have my contributions and won’t need to go out and spend more money during the holiday season.
Yard sales are a great way to make some extra money, also. Plus, you can get rid of unwanted items at the same time. My daughter and I recently held a sale and here are some of the things we learned.
Put up signs. The newspaper goofed the weekend of our sale and left out all that week’s yard sales. So we had to depend on our signs. Put as many out as you can. Find out ahead of time what kind of ordinances your town has about placement.
Take the time to make your signs…we bought ours and about halfway through the first morning, we noticed that we weren’t getting any customers. So we checked out our signs–and they were gone! We put out more and the customers started coming again. But it was costly.
And when you make your signs, be sure to make them sturdy enough to stand up in the wind and also be sure your lettering is large enough to be seen by people driving by in cars. I think a large arrow pointing in the direction they need to go is helpful.
Be sure to plainly mark your items. It will save you lots of time during the sale if you don’t have to talk to each customer about the price of every item. If you aren’t sure what prices to ask, it might help to go out to some yard sales yourself in the weeks before your sale and check out what others are asking for items.
If you really want to get rid of something, be willing to negotiate on the price. By the same token, if you really want to get a certain amount, be willing to say no when someone asks for a price reduction.
When your yard sale is over, if you are lucky, you have space to store the leftovers until next time you need to hold a sale. However, if you’re not one of the “lucky” ones, consider donating your items to the local Goodwill box. Helping you live the good life…on a budget!
About the Author: Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the “1 Frugal Friend 2 Another” bi-weekly e-newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the e-newsletter and receive the free e-course “Taming the Monster Grocery Bill”.
1. If you have your haircut every 3 weeks, try going 4 or 5 weeks in between haircuts. If you pay $10 for a haircut, you could save $70 a year by having a cut every 5 weeks instead of 3.
2. Buy only generic basic types of cold cereal, if your family must have it. With fall and cooler weather coming, it’s a good idea to introduce hot cereal. It’s usually the best buy and by using the microwave oven to prepare, it is almost as quick to fix as cold cereal.
3. If you have a cell phone, don’t buy the accessories at the “cell phone store”. Check out prices at local discount stores first.
4. Quit smoking. Need we say more?
5. In some states, children’s immunizations are offered free at local health clinics. Call the local health department to inquire.
6. Wash, wax and detail your own vehicle instead of paying someone else to do it.
7. Put a little money aside every month in order to pay your car and homeowners insurance annually. Most insurers charge a fee (sometimes hefty!) for paying monthly. You’ll also avoid those mid-year increases.
8. When making instant pudding from a box, add an extra cup of milk. The pudding “sets up” the same and tastes the same, but you have one more cup. You might want to experiment with adding a little more. And of course, another money-saver is to use reconstituted dry milk.
9. Meat prices are soaring, so plan to have a meat-less meal at least twice a week. Substitute an egg or pasta dish. Or maybe canned tuna or salmon.
10. If you love magazines, try sharing with a friend. Each of you subscribe to a different magazine, when you’re finished reading, swap.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” –Benjamin Franklin
Shop Now for Later. If you wait until after a major holiday to shop for your decorations, and non perishable gifts, you will save a TON of money. Plus, you will be well prepared for the next time around! Now, that’s frugal.
Save Money on Garbage Bags. For your office, bathroom, or any small wastebaskets, use plastic bags that you get from the grocery store for FREE! When the basket is full, tie the handles on the bag and throw it away.
Debt is a Poor Investment. You may get your treats up front, but you pay a high price later. Delayed gratification will save you stress in the long run.
I had a friend who would freeze her credit cards in a jar of water. If she saw something she really wanted, she had to wait for the credit cards to defrost. This gave her time to talk herself down from the debt ledge. She has never gotten back into debt again!
Final thought: Your Money Matters, so get rid of all your credit cards. Or, at the very least, cut up all but one of your credit cards , and find a way to prevent yourself from the debt monster!
Coupons are Worth the Effort. I know how busy life can be. Women are overwhelmed with things to do. However, the simple task of clipping coupons can save you hundreds of dollars each year!
Final Thought: Unfortunately, it does take a little time to cut coupons. So, you will have to make some extra time in your already busy schedule. The good news is that you will have those extra dollars you need to buy those cute shoes!
By: David Gass
Women business loans are now one of the most popular forms of business loans in America. That’s because more and more women are entering the business world and becoming small and large scale entrepreneurs. There are now successful women business people in almost every area of business and most of them got their start in business by applying for and successfully getting women’s business loans.
Women are sometimes at a disadvantage in the business world because they have had to shoulder more of the burden in raising children and looking after house and home. This has meant that their business credit has not has a chance to mature as quickly as some of their male counterparts and has caused banks to sometimes turn down legitimate requests for women’s business loans.
One agency that is doing its best to help small banks and other lending institutions provide more womens business loans is the Small Business Administration. They have a series of services and programs including an Online Women’s Business Center that offers women entrepreneurs specific advice and guidance as to how to get more womens business loans. There are also many women’s business organizations in the United States who not only provide advice but also assign mentors and coaches to help women get the women’s business loans they need. Special programs also exist for women military veterans, women with disabilities, and immigrant and minority women.
One way to increase the chances of success in getting women’s business loans is for women who want to start their own business to apply for a credit card in the name of the business that they want to operate. This allows the women business owner to build their business credit resume at the same time as they build their business. It may be necessary to use personal credit to obtain a business credit card but once that business card is approved it starts building a woman’s business credit rating and record right away. This will certainly make it a little easier when one goes to the bank to apply for women’s business loans.
Women now contribute a lot to the growth and prosperity of the country and women owned and operated businesses now employ over 27 million people in the United States. Several trail blazers have opened up the doors for women entrepreneurs and nothing, not even a banks reluctance to provide women’s business loans will hold them back. It is still not easy for women to qualify or get approved for women’s business loans but the sheer number of women in business is making it hard to slow them down.
Women have a great capacity to own and run businesses at every level of the economy and step by step they are convincing banks of that fact. The increasing number of women’s business loans is proof positive to that effect.
About the Author: David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a weekly e-newsletter on Starting and Growing a Small Business at http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
By: Kristin Johnson
As a woman Netpreneur, I sat down via e-mail with article-announce regular contributor, Internet marketer and women’s financial consultant Coni Cecil of www.cecilfreedom.com. She shared her Internet marketing and financial wisdom for women on the Net. The quote on her site from Eleanor Roosevelt is inspiring: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Q: I really admire your emphasis on marketing and financial freedom, especially the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. What circumstances in women’s lives help or hinder them to achieve their financial freedom?
A: Well Kristin, I think time and other commitments and obligations can be a hindrance to achieving financial freedom. As for help, women are very strong and the determination to succeed and provide for our families is incentive enough to achieve financial freedom. Certainly, the assistance of other people is a huge help, after you realize that you do not have to go it alone.
Q: How can women profit from resources you belong to, such as LeadLightning.com and MasterListBuilder.com, which your link www.cecilfreedom.com points to?
A: Lead Lightning is a fantastic tool to use for promoting your business.
It is very affordable for what you receive, and in fact, I truly believe it is under priced. Right now I’m only using 2 of the 25 auto responders [they give], but just knowing that I have access to 23 more for promotion of New Business, with no extra cost, allows me room for growth.
I will soon be using them for my articles, so you see, I most likely will be using all of them at some point in time.
As for MasterListBuilder, I believe in Joel Christopher, and one area I need help with is building my list. Joel knows what he is talking about, and I trust him.
Q: How did you design your Web site for Internet marketing success, and how do good design principles contribute to marketing success?
A: I didn’t design my website. Lise Galipeau did. She’s a friend of mine, and that is one of her strengths. It is not one of mine. In fact that’s another area where I rely on other people. We are all good at certain things, and Lise is very good at what she does.
In my opinion, for marketing success, you have to earn trust. I don’t like bells & whistles. Just give me plain simple language and honest, trustworthy, dependable programs and people.
Q: Women have more of an eye for design, for ease of us, for connection and information finding than your average male geek. Do you feel the time is ripe for women to make a success on the Web? What do statistics show about women Netpreneurs, many of whom started businesses out of hobbies or craft businesses?
A: The time is absolutely ripe for women to excel on the Web. After all, we are excelling at everything else, so why not this. (Smile)
Statistics show that women Netpreneurs are everywhere. Take a look around. Women are realizing that maybe they can make a living doing something they love and believe in. We aren’t getting any younger. Many of us prefer to spend our time on something rewarding. I think we also want to make a difference in this world, which of course brings us satisfaction.
Q: Who are the women’s success stories of the Web? Who do you admire?
A: Oh gosh, there are so many, and I admire more than I can possibly name here.
Lise Galipeau of www.womenscorner.com
Sam Knight of www.boomer4ever.com
Stephany Harper of www.sunnydays4ever.com
Kathy Collins of www.copingtoday.com
Jan Tallent-Dandridge of www.rimdigest.com
Q: Tell me about your involvement with Juvio.com. Would you classify yourself as a geek?
A: I am definitely not a geek. (At least in my opinion – grin) That is why I have Juvio. Most of that technical stuff is over my head, so Juvio not only helps me with problems, but they assist in the learning process too. I love this program. It makes me feel less alone here in the Internet World, and I can count on them to be there for me. Another under priced service that allows me to grow.
Q: How did you join MyPlace and would you recommend it to other Women Netpreneurs?
A: Thanks to Sam Knight, I found Lise Galipeau, and it just felt right. Like MyPlace. The honesty is there, and that is the most important thing to me. I’m a Leo, and we are very loyal. I would definitely recommend MyPlace to other Women Netpreneurs. They will not be disappointed.
Q: In terms of Internet marketing besides the two tools I mentioned, I know that you contribute articles to Article-Announce. What other avenues have worked for you? What avenues have not worked and why? How have you learned from these mistakes?
A: Article Announce is very helpful, and I read a lot of the articles that are sent my way. The learning experience is great.
Barry Baker has also helped me a lot. He is the Owner of usaezine.com and I write Coni’s Corner for him that is published every Monday in “Today’s Power Motivational”.
Patricia Whaley of www.enchantedwealth.com gave me my first chance, when she agreed to let me write a weekly column for her ezine. Her encouragement made all of the difference.
Lead Programs do not seem to work for me, but that is probably my fault, because I tend to be phone shy.
Writing is my passion, and that’s why I get help with so many other things. It’s not that I don’t want to learn to build a Web site, etc., it’s just that I prefer to spend my time writing. It just makes me happy.
I’ve learned that being a Netpreneur is about building relationships first, and then your Business.
Q: Thank you, Coni.
Visit Coni Cecil at: www.cecilfreedom.com and www.conicecil.com.
What are YOUR dreams?
About the Author: Kristin Johnson is an award-winning writer who maintains her own Web site, http://www.poemsforyou.com. She is is co-author of the “enthusiastically recommended” Midwest Book Review pick, Christmas Cookies Are For Giving: Stories, Recipes and Tips for Making Heartwarming Gifts (ISBN: 0-9723473-9-9). A downloadable media kit is available at our Web site, http://www.christmascookiesareforgiving.com, or e-mail the publisher (email@example.com) to receive a printed media kit and sample copy of the book. More articles available at