Saturday, January 2, 2010

Stop Procrastinating

I'm not talking about writing that report and cleaning out the garage after saying you would for 2 years.

All too often people procrastinate when it comes to having a good time, they actually do it almost as often as they put off work.

Go See the Sites

Studies have shown that people who live in tourist destinations see less sites in their entire stay there than tourists will see in a two week stay.

Often if these people who live there are leaving soon to move to a new area, they will crunch in some site seeing just before moving.

I'm easily guilty of this, even though I may not live in an area with any world famous sites. I still don't take the time to go visit areas I probably would if I was only in town for a couple of weeks.

Do you live in an area with any famous sites? Or even some that are just worth seeing when in the area, why don't you go visit them often?

Cash in Those Gifts

I've never been guilty of this one, but I know people who are.

Lots of people will get gift cards either for stores or restaurants and never use them. I was recently given a $50 certificate to eat out that my friend had held onto for 2 years without using.

Why in the world don't we use these?

I usually put gifts like this to use immediately. Who doesn't like to shop or eat out without spending a dime?

Get Out and Have Fun

Like I've posted before, exercise makes you feel better and happier. So going out and seeing sites, taking walks, hiking a mountain aren't just fun but are great for your body and mind.

With the economy still in rough shape and the holidays just ending, debt is probably a part of almost everyone's life.

So give yourself a break and take an hour of your time to go have some fun!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How I Use My Credit Cards to My Advantage

Buying large purchases on credit is something just about every adult American today does. Debt is just a part of life for most people. Debt alone isn't so terrible, most people couldn't buy a car or house without putting themselves into debt.

The real killer is interests rates. Paying $1000.00 off over the course of the year sounds great, until you do the math and realize you'll pay an extra $600.00. This assumes a 20% interest rate paying $40.00 a month.

Of course all different people have different interest rates and minimum payments, but it adds up very fast and also take a long time to pay off the debt. That thousand dollars could take you 118 month to pay off at the rate I mentioned.

That's almost 10 years!

Don't forget about all the other ways your credit card company will keep your in debt. Many companies offer a payment protection that costs something small like say, $1.00 for every hundred of debt you have per month. It sounds small, but that extra charge you incur every month will just add to the time it takes to pay off your debt.

All of this assumes you aren't making any more purchases with your card, if you are, of course you will stay in debt longer (their goal would probably be forever) and pay mountains of interest.

So how do you escape these insane fees?

Not getting into debt, or at least getting into debt with low interest rates is a good method. Of course this means you'll have to wait longer to buy what you want, but it will save you thousands in the end.

Another way to avoid paying thousands in debt is to pay extra each month. Just paying an extra 10$ a month can do a lot, but that's still giving up too much in interest for me.

When I get into debt I pay it off as quickly as I possibly can, either within 2-3 months if possible. This keeps my payments towards interest minimal but helps me buy items I would normally have to save for.

With my main credit card I actually make a payment every week or so. I use it for all my normal buying like groceries, gas, clothes, etc. I pay the balance off weekly and never have to pay interest or finance charges. Not only that but it lets my card company see my buying habits and helps me earn a higher credit limit which also helps my credit scores.

That's all for now, I'm sure I'll write more on finances later, they are a strong point of mine.

Have anything to add or something I forgot? Questions? Comments? Leave them below, and don't forget to follow me!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Act Your Age

I can't remember how many times I've been told this, and I'm talking about recently. I can't say I agree with this phrase, acting your age isn't any fun!

No, I'm not telling you to throw your check book out the window or to stop paying your utility bill, but always acting your age is just silly. I only act my age when I need to.

When I'm at work, sure, I put on my button down shirt and slacks, keep my shoes looking good and have a professional tone. That's just part of the working world, at least, my working world.

Finances too, I have a mature outlook on. I'm very careful with my money, always paying bills on time, saving plenty each month, all that adult stuff. I do this because it makes sense, ruining myself financially won't get me far so I'm not about to let that happen.

But outside of those moments that require the professional me or the responsible me, I don't really act my age all that well.

I can be loud and rough house when it's not exactly appropriate, like in the middle of my local mall or while I'm grocery shopping. Why? I suppose cause it's more fun than acting professional all the time. Of course I'm respectful to others and don't get in their way, but that doesn't stop me from riding the shopping cart around like it's a car.

Mixing maturity and the kid inside can make for a lot of fun in other ways too.

Being so careful with my money but still embracing the child inside lets me buy all those things I had to beg for when I was a kid. Did you ever want a go kart? Maybe you used to want that RC Helicopter or an awesome RC Tank, who knows? You can buy all that stuff now!

Letting the little me inside out is also great for creativity. Whether it's writing these articles, drawing a picture or thinking of something fun to do, the side of me that handles the bills isn't so good at those things.

One fun little thing I noticed this holiday season, the little you is pretty darn good at choosing gifts for other people. I think I got some awesome gifts for everyone this year and I didn't have to ask a single person. I just stopped worrying about what I thought they wanted, forgot about checking prices, and let that kid inside find the right gifts.

It might sound a little silly, but it worked for me, give it a try.

How often do you let the child inside have free reign?

Have any stories to add? Leave some comments and don't forget to follow me!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Good Deed Goes a Long Way

A happy and fulfilling life doesn't just mean thinking about yourself every waking moment. Interacting with others is just important, even if it's only long enough to help them, which is what this is all about.

When you see someone who could use some help or who has forgotten an item at check out, why don't we do something about it? All too often we're given opportunities to help someone else and it's often considered but we rarely act upon it.

Some do often act, but those people are far fewer than those that turn a blind eye to these opportunities.

Why Not You

Most often it seems that we don't bother with these opportunities because we feel that someone else will act in our place. Maybe the next car that drives past will stop or the old couple can handle their 50 bags of groceries on their own.

Do we honestly believe ourselves when we say that? Or do we just say it to ourselves to make us feel less guilty about ignoring someone we could easily help?

Good Deeds Aren't Done for Recognition

Maybe we don't offer our assistance because we don't think we'll be recognized for it?

I won't say it's not possible for that to happen. I stopped to help an old couple in the snow a year ago, I never actually helped, just stood there while I was mostly ignored. I'll admit I was a little annoyed as I drove away, I wanted to help and they didn't want it.

After a little while I stopped caring but that experience is no reason to stop looking to help others.

Sure, occasionally you might get a funny look, most people don't expect help from strangers anymore and don't always welcome it openly.

So why not start changing that outlook on the world?

Sense of Accomplishment

I'm sure plenty of people would say it's selfish to help someone else to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Is it really that selfish?

Sure it's great to help people just because, but what's wrong with feeling good about yourself too?

When I give someone some help, even if it takes 10 seconds, I feel a little better about myself afterward. Why? Because I broke that habit of modern society, rather than going on with my own life, I took that extra minute to better someone else's.

It's a great feeling, give it a try, I'm sure you'll agree!

Have you ever helped someone and felt worse afterward? I doubt it.

It Doesn't Take Long

Okay, maybe if you offer to paint your neighbors house it could take you a while, but that's far more than I'm talking about.

Helping someone take in their groceries on a bitterly cold winters night, that might last 5 minutes. I can assure you, they'll be grateful for far longer and may one day return the favor or pass it on to another.

Next time you see the chance to make another person's life just a little bit easier, don't decide against it. Don't think about how long it might take, or how it could cut into your schedule. Just do it, if it someone makes your life harder, maybe someone will come along to give you hand.

Have any experiences giving or receiving some help when you really needed it? Leave a comment and add to the article! 

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