Tow Truck Legos

Are your financial goals off track? Credit Ricecracker.

I have noticed that there are certain activities that propel your financial goals, especially in the first 90 days.  The first 90 days are crucial for gaining momentum and establishing success.

When you are in a rut, sometimes it takes drastic measures to get unstuck. These are 10 activities I suggest and have used before to meet financial goals:

1. Unplug the TV and put it in the closet– This will give you more time and will literally unplug the negativity and fear coming from the media. [I don’t Need No Stinkin’ TV]

2. Exercise– Exercising will help you reduce stress and also give you success in your physical life.  As you gain success in one area of life, you’ll gain confidence in other areas. [Pump Iron and Pump Up Your Wages]

3. Help Someone– You may think you have it bad, but find someone who has it worse off than yourself and help them somehow.  It will make you realize that your situation isn’t all that bad, plus you’ll spread hope.

4. Be Thankful– List 3 things you are thankful for each day.  As you practice being thankful in the morning, it will help you to look for positivity throughout the day.

5. Read Positive Books– replace the negativity of the media with books that carry a positive message.  Try reading authors like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Norman Vincent Peale, Dan Miller or other inspirational authors.

6. Pray– Recognizing that God is in control and has a plan is a must.  He wants to carry your burdens and walk with you through your ‘valley of the shadow of death.’

7. Wake up Early-  You ever wonder how the farmer gets so much done? It’s because he wakes up early and starts working before dark.

8. Work Hard- It’s time to sweat and start that business, sell stuff, or pick up that second job. It’s time to get busy.

9. Ask for Help– You can’t do this alone. You need friends and family.  Reach out. Phone home. Dial a friend. Go to church. Ask for help.

10. Make a cup of coffee/tea and sit in silence Sit in silence and enjoy the moment away from you tough situation.

How do you handle tough financial situations? 

money and relationships

Do bills scare you? Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

Does money scare you? Would you rather not open up the can of money worms with a family member? What about that pile of bills in your desk drawer that you’re ignoring?

Money and the situations surrounding money can be scary when left unattended for a while. But, when faced with a plan, money can be mastered–instead of money mastering you.

Let’s explore a few issues that could frightens many about money.

Money and Relationships

Relationships are hard enough without adding money to the mix. The desire to keep the relationship in tact is generally the most primary goal–yet this is tough to do.

These few articles may help you address money and relationship issues:

What other money and relationship questions do you have? 

Money and Debt

Debt is one of the most frightening subjects. It is a time when money is literally your master and you are held captive by its grip.

Don’t let this fear immobilize you. Fight back! Respond, and don’t let your fear of the unknown bills rule over you.

Educate yourself and respond with a plan to fight debt.

What scares you about debt? 

Money and the Future

The future is unknown, but it doesn’t have to be scary. You can prepare by mastering the art of budgeting; it takes time, but well worth the effort to take control of your finances and punch fear in the face!

Retirement is also a topic that may have you concerned. Perhaps all you need is a new perspective on work and retirement?

Will you have enough money for the future? How do you prepare now to ensure you won’t be living on the street or a burden on your family in your older years?

These articles address a few common issues with money and future.

Does money and the future scare you? 

Conquer Your Fear of Money

You can do it. Your fear of money can be conquered, but it may time.

Find fellow companions for the journey. Educate yourself about the money issues causing the fear. Pray. Face the facts. Fight.

Have you conquered your fear of money? If not, what money issues are causing fear in your life? 

Do you have trouble determining how future purchases and life events will impact your money? Yeah, me too.

That’s why I use tools like Planwise to help navigate the tricky financial waters. You can even try Planwise on my site.

Planwise Video

Checkout the Planwise blog for more helpful money tips too.


going against the flow

Taking the stairs isn’t normal.

As I exit my vehicle and head towards the entrance of my work each day a strange little dance begins to unfold.

I swipe my security card and head indoors and wind down the hallway where 5 elevators await to whisk me to my desk on the 5th floor.

If I’m fortunate enough, no one will be there waiting on the elevator and I’ll duck around the corner and hit the stairs.

Alas, many days there will be a polite person waiting, hey this is Oklahoma not New York, and they’ll inevitably be holding the elevator for me.

“No Thanks, I’ll take the stairs.” I shout down the hallway to the bewildered polite person holding the elevator.

Taking the Stairs

I’m not sure when I became a stair taker, but I take pride in it. At the mall, stairs (if I can find them). At the airport, I’ll take the stairs in the middle of two inviting escalators.

I’m often annoyed in places like hotels which seem to hide their stairways and have them exiting outside the comfort of the lobby. Why hide the stairs?

I feel as in most places, I’m herded and encouraged to the take the escalator or elevator. I’m lulled into being pushed along the “people movers” at the airports too, instead of walking.

I often feel like cattle with these devices instead of a person with free will–and legs for that matter.

Taking the Stairs is a Daily Choice

calories per stairs chart

Small steps burn calories. Credit @ontargetcoach

It’s easy to take the elevators and escalators in life, yet they don’t make us stronger or give as much satisfaction as taking the stairs.

I burn a good bit of calories by this daily choice too. How much? This chart in our office stairway encourages us to burn the 3,500 calories needed to burn a pound of fat. That’s a lot of stairs!

Taking the stairs is daily choice. With each flight of stairs I’m burning about 4 calories. Not much right? Add that up to a daily average of 8 flights (going up and down in between departments) equals about 32 calories each day.

Weekly 160 calories. Monthly 640 calories. Yearly 7680 calories–Bam!  That’s enough to burn or keep off 2 pounds of fat each year!

Those little steps each day at the office add up to a larger yearly gain.

It Works for Money Too!

The choosing to take the stairs principle works for money too. Think you can’t save much? Save or invest a little each paycheck and see the wonder of compound interest.

Have debt? Apply a little extra above the minimum payments and see that debt start to shrink. Apply even more and that debt will be snowballing down the hill at crazy speeds.

Be Weird and Take the Stairs

Small steps pay off. The hard thing to do is the daily choice to make the effort.

Yes, you’ll be odd by taking the stairs. You risk offending others, having others talk about you, and looking weird by not following the rest of the cattle.

Do it! Apply the “take the stairs” principle to life and you’ll one stepping your way to success.

Try applying this saying literally and figuratively today, “No thanks, “ll take the stairs.”

Bobbleheads and money

How does your head bob when it comes to financial matters? Photo Credit: Adam Jefferson via Compfight cc

How do you know if you’re famous? When you have truly arrived?

The tell-tale sign is a figurine with an oversized head bobbing around. Wha?

Yes. A bobblehead is a sign of stardom. I’m not sure where this all began and especially the connection of bobbleheads and baseball–ok so maybe the bloated egos theory makes sense, but I’m already off track.

Have you ever met a bobblehead that could say no?

Bobbleheads are Yes Men

From my expert knowledge of bobbleheads, they usually bob yes–especially when they’re affixed to the dashboards of your minivan (I figure only parents would be reading a financial article about bobbleheads).

Bobbleheads are the ultimate “yes men”, never having a spin (or neck). Always agreeing with what’s happening around them and giving in to their inner child.

We’re no better. Hey want to go out to dinner? bobs yes We’re going to the movies, wanna join? bobs yes Hey I have extra tickets to that sold out concert for only $200 dollars–what a steal! bobs yes once again

How do You Teach a Bobblehead to say No?

Like a neckless figurine, we all say yes to things we can’t afford. It’s just so hard to tell someone no,especially when that means looking odd and missing out on fun.

Learning how to have limits in your spending plan isn’t always the popular thing to do. When invited out to dinner, pulling out your cash envelopes to see if you have enough is awkward.

Checking your or YNAB app before you can decide about heading to the movies takes effort and makes you look like nerd.

It’s time to teach your booblehead self to say no, go against the grain, and embrace that spending plan you took so long to create at the beginning of the month.

How will you get the motivation to say no when you can’t afford it? I can’t tell what will give you a spine (neck) at the moment, but here are a few motivations:

  • Hatred of debt
  • Desire for family to have better life
  • Meeting your goals more quickly
  • I want to do X more than Y

If your motivation is lacking read a few of these stories.

Teaching your bobble head to say no to the wrong things and yes to right things (investing, savings, giving…) is the key to winning with money–easy right?

Have you tamed your bobblehead when it comes to financial matters? 

Funny Booblehead Video to Waste Your Time


If you have another funny bobblehead video let me know in the comments and I’ll consider adding it.