A Dozen Ways To Pay
Off Those Credit Cards In The New Year by Susan Dunn, MA
probably be two items on many of our New Year's Resolutions this
year: lose weight and pay off debt.
Both have simple
solutions! The way you lose weight is to burn less calories
than you take in; and the way to pay off debt is to earn more than
you spend. How to start? Cutting back on living
underestimate the power of soap and water.
There are so many products out there now for cleaning that cost
a fortune, when the basic is soap and water. Experiment with
soap and water in the mop bucket, on your face and body, on the
kitchen counters, on the dog, on the car, and when shaving
remedies from simpler times.
You can cover a lot of territory with Merthiolate , baking soda
and hydrogen peroxide.
Most products today are over-charged. Add water to your
dish detergent and laundry detergent. Add generic bath oil
to your bath salt scrub. Add more liquid to your soups,
casseroles and mashed potatoes. Mix a little margarine in
with the butter.
Tomorrow morning when you shower, take a look at how much of
that expensive shower gel you put on the scrub brush. Generally
you can cut it back to about 1/4th. Likewise toothpaste,
makeup base, shampoo, cologne, shaving crème. Spray just a dash
of Pam® or put a dab of Crisco® on a paper towel and brush it
over the cooky sheet or pan. We tend to overdo!
Need I mention health care costs. How we manage our
emotions and how we experience stress directly affects our
immune systems. Maintain a health regime, including
developing your Emotional Intelligence, so you can build your
resilience, emotionally, physically and mentally.
to what your kids are doing.
Children are into having fun. They empty whole bottles of
shampoo into their bath to "make bubbles," leave water
running, spill whole boxes of cereal, dump a cup of catsup on
their plate, drop brand new jars of mayo and jugs of milk, and
are otherwise in need of being watched!
when you can.
I remember reading in a magazine that all cosmetics are made of
the same thing, that you're only paying for the label. I
haven't found this to be true. Certain more expensive
items are worth the extra price, many times over, but SOME are
NOT. Experiment and find the generic products that do the
job satisfactorily. I will pay for perfume, makeup base,
cereal, canned goods and clothes. These things seem to be
fine from the dollar store: hand lotion, pens, clothes
hangers, shampoo, paper goods like toilet paper and paper
towels, alarm clocks, and candles. It's better to buy
quality used clothes than originally cheap clothes - the lines,
fit, and make are better.
It may strain
your aesthetic taste a bit, but a Piaget doesn't keep better
time than a Timex, nor does a Cross pen write better than a Bic.
Be willing to eliminate some of the "designer" in your
cheaper ways to go "designer."
eBay offers some great bargains, so do local Goodwill and Thrift
stores in your town. It's the same book inside whether
it's new from B&N, or "used" from amazon.com for a
fraction of the cost but has few pencil marks inside. A
search engine can lead you to everything from recycled printer
cartridges to retro'd headsets. Take advantage of the
Internet. Don't forget the library.
Get a mentor,
a resource person.
When you're ready, the teacher will come. There's someone
in your life-space who's a master at this. I have a client
right now who does this for a hobby; he just refuses to
"pay retail." (Remember, the millionaire next
door is a millionaire because she doesn't spend money.)
He's alerted me to Cracker Barrel's book tape
"rental"; growing your own tomatoes; which
chains have the "two-fers" which nights; what chains
consider a 'senior' to be 50; shopping in stores like
WalMart that show you the unit price; got his wife interested in
learning how to cut his hair; and the possibility of negotiating
or bartering for practically everything. (Coaches are good
for this too.)
Yes, clearly things like cleaning your own house, mowing your
own lawn, doing your own nails and hair, and but also things
like this. Don't buy those little bags of potato chips for
your kids' lunches, buy the largest bag and some cheap
"baggies" and "you do the work." Pour
some juice into a cup for them and leave those little bags with
the straws to those who have more money than sense.
Waiting is also work- get the video instead of going to the
movies. Using your brain is also work - the time to buy
Christmas decorations is the day after Christmas. The time
to buy sweaters is in August.
If you've got
a "heavy foot," switch venues, and don't forget the
Meaning, if buying things is something you love to do, take it
down a notch. Go to garage sales and thrift stores and buy
away. You'll have the experience without
busting your budget.
While you're doing
this, don't focus on what you're giving up, celebrate your
ingenuity, problem-solving skills and creativity. It's the
Emotionally Intelligent things to do!