Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas On A Budget

Christmas time is the hardest time to lose weight or save money. Life can get in the way when you are working on the goal of not adding more debt or trying to pay off old bills. But look at that Christmas shopping list a second time. Do you really need to buy all those gifts? Do you really need to buy the most expensive mobile phone for your preteen child? Do you and your husband have to take a vacation at the most exclusive resort when there are others that are more within your price range?

My husband and I do not exchange Christmas presents. Nor do we buy anyone else any presents. Does it cause anyone not to like us? Not that I know of. We just told everyone a few years back, "No presents." And that is the way it has been ever since. Do I miss presents? No, because if I want something I buy it for myself  anytime of the year.

If you still want to make Christmas special with no presents, you can still do that. I know this is not for people with children. I could not have done it when my son was a child. I spoiled him at Christmas time, but I liked that part of it. It was when I had to buy for so many other people too that it stopped being fun.

Many ways to still enjoy your holiday is to decorate your house. After all you probably still have all your decorations so you may as well use them. I don't do this though. My reason is that I have 3 rambunctious cats. They are older cats who should know better, but I would not trust them with a tree full of decorations. We have a great big dog and she is not one of those ladylike, graceful dogs. No, she'd plow right through a tree I am afraid. We have absolutely no space to put one in and we have a huge woodstove in our living room that would dry it out immediately. So no tree.

You can decorate other ways though. Hang some tinsel or other decorations. Put a wreath up. Get out a Christmas table cloth. You can do what you want there. Load up your CD player with Christmas music. Get out all your Christmas movie DVDs and watch one every night. Bake a lot of Christmas goodies and your spouse won't even be worried about decorations or Christmas gifts. I know my husband would love for me to spend a day baking goodies that we are not giving away! No need to get depressed over your holiday, it is up to you what you make it................

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Self-Care On Wordless Wednesday!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Work On Your Goals One By One

Have you been working on your goals list? I have. Sometimes, I think I have too many goals. Then I read the motivational books and they say, "list a lot of goals." So I do. I have so many things I am working on that at times it can be overwhelming. But then again, it is better than sitting on a couch watching television! Do you ever put goals down and never look at them again? Maybe come across them months or years later, then think to yourself, "now if I had done that look where I'd be today."? Many times! More times than I like to remember!

One of my goals lately has been to reorganize my upstairs area. It is a place where I store my books on bookshelves, my good clothing, photo albums and our inventory of guitar strings that I sell online. I also had boxes of paper......yes, boxes! Some of that paper is needed and has to be filed. Other, or rather, most of it is junk mail and stuff saved for no real purpose. So in the wood stove that will go! You can not hold onto stuff because you think you one day might need or use it. Out it goes.

I have held onto many books. Books I have read. Books I might one day read. If I haven't read it by now, out it goes. I am reading some books and when I finish them will list them in my Bonanza booth and hope they sell. If they don't sell after a certain period of time, I will take them to my thrift store. My goal is to empty this area out by spring.

So working on this one goal isn't really that hard. I am committing myself to spending at least 30 minutes to one hour upstairs every morning working on emptying out something. Maybe one box of paper. Maybe arranging my photos in an album. Maybe going through my clothing. Maybe finding more books to list in Bonanza. But something. At least do something toward that goal every single day till it is finished. I will always be further along since the day before.

What about you? What goals have you been working on? Have you been doing something daily toward achieving your goal?

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, November 19, 2010

Helping Each Other

Right now things look bad in our country due to our economic situation. One thing I have noticed is that this seems to make people pull together more. When they are giving each other advice and trying to figure out ways to cut costs and share their knowledge, that means that they are not hard hearted. They are helping each other. As we all know that if we stand together we can overcome.

In a way, this is what social networking is all about. Sharing. Helping each other. Offering assistance and your knowledge to others, often to people you have never met in person. Offering to help someone with no expectation of receiving money or anything from it, is the best thing you can do in this life. Just because you do not expect to receive anything back does not mean you won't. Many times, it could be years and years later that it will come back to you. And if you have done this many times through out your life, then you could have numerous things coming back to you at various times through out your life. That is what it means. To receive you must give. If not money, time, if not time, then knowledge or something else. Sharing. That is the ultimate  To share with others with no thought of receiving a thing.

It is funny, but there are many wealthy people who offer all kinds of programs and help to people.........but always for a price. They say they can't help everyone. Or they don't know if you are serious if you don't pay them some money. I say rubbish to that! You can help whoever you want. But many of those wealthy people (not saying all, just many) have gotten wealthy off those people who can't afford it. If you want to help people that is fine. Write a book. They can always get the book through their local library. But getting them to believe that if they pay a huge amount of money for your help will make them rich.............well, I just have to say again, rubbish! I see it over and over again. People who can't afford it will use their credit card to pay for someone's information. And the sad thing is, they really believe it will make them lots of money. But does it? Never. Or hardly ever.

So I believe you should help each other. That way we can build up everyone around us. Now I don't necessarily mean I can give money to you or buy your products. But when my situation improves I will buy from you first, before I choose a store or another website. I am trying to do this now on Bonanza where I sell books, guitar strings and some other things. If I need something I will look there first to see if another seller has it.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Look Beyond The Clouds!

I am the type of person who always tries to remain in a good mood and always look ahead. Sometimes that is not the easiest thing to do when things in your life are not going good for you. I am trying to remain optimistic but I have to face it, times are tough! I am working on more than a few plans for various parts of my life. I am one of those people who love to make lists and plans. Not that I always follow them, but I try. If I can concentrate on it, usually I can achieve what I am working for. 

So my first part of the plan is to make a list for our wall. I plan on getting or making a bulletin board. But for now, I will just use the plain old wall. Then it is within sight and I cannot miss it or forget about it. That is what is wrong with my calendar, it is in the kitchen. So I tend to forget about it. Have to have that done before I can go any further.

When life looks bleak, I read motivational books and they really help. I am presently reading Zig Ziglar's book, See You At The Top. It is really good and helps me stay on track and not get depressed. I live with a very depressed person and it can be hard not to let it effect me. I try to tune out all those depressed things said around me all day long. If you have the same problem, remember you must tune it out. It is their problem not your's! Do not let it soak into your mind and brain. Those types of messages from other people are really bad for your well-being.

You can look beyond the clouds! Look at the blue sky behind those clouds. When you get rain or bad weather, it doesn't stay forever. Maybe it seems that way when it is happening, but it will eventually clear up and blue skies will prevail. Life is the same way. Look beyond the clouds, and you will see your way out of the depression you are in. Or at least the depressing things going on in your life. 

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, October 17, 2010

You Can Have A Good Attitude With A Little Effort!

Take the right path to good attitude leading you to success!

Do you know what attitude does? It can make or break you. If your attitude is one of very little self-confidence it can cause you to think you can't do anything. You may think you are not capable of great things because you always fail. You know what that does to you? It makes you fail. It is not that you can't do it. It is that you have set yourself up for failure by believing you would fail right from the start! We all know those people who act cocky like they are the best and they seem to have a lot of success. We look at them and say they are lucky. Everything goes their way. Does it? Or is it that they believe in themselves? They believe they won't fail and will be successful. So they are!

How do you develop that attitude in the first place? Some people are lucky enough to have had parents who instilled that attitude in their children right from the start. You know those parents who always told their kids they could do anything? Then there were the kind of parents who held their children back. They would tell them "Oh you can't do that," for whatever reason. Sometimes it was a teacher who developed that positive attitude in a student. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said he had a teacher light a fire under him, and he went from having absolutely no self-confidence, to being known for positive thinking world wide!

If you don't have that attitude you can develop it no matter how old you are. You can teach yourself to think positive. You can read positive thinking books. I highly recommend the books written by Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar, Donald Trump, Anthony Robbins and The Bible. You can go to seminars, listen to audio books in your car and view dvds about becoming a success. But, remember all the books and seminars can't make you really believe in have to do that yourself!

Today, make a little list of five, only five good things about yourself. You don't have to share it with anyone. Just yourself. And they have to be GOOD things. Read it in the morning when you first get up. Then every night look at it again, and add another attribute about yourself. I am sure you will discover many good things about yourself as you work on this little exercise. It is just the beginning, but I am sure you will start to understand what I am talking about.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

All Photographs Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Others Creating Your Content

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photos

One of the ways that money is generated on the computer is by websites that have others who create their own content. When an author writes a book all their content is in their own book. But now things have changed. The content is all over the internet on many different websites. Like eBay did when they started out with sellers creating their own listings. Then other sites, such as Amazon and others followed suit. They just operate the site and the sellers create the listings, add their own photos and the site collects the fees from the sellers and the sellers interact with the buyers. That is nice way to do business.

Look at the way the blogging software sites do the same thing. Bloggers write the text and promote their own blogs and the people who read the blogs keep the bloggers fired up to write more. The blogging software sites such as Google and WordPress make money off the ads on the sites. What a great way to do business. No writing, just have a site that can operate fairly easy and let the people who use it generate all the content for it. I like that concept pretty much.

On the internet there are new rules and new ways of doing business, writing, selling or just interacting with friends. Everything is about content. Writing text. Writing ads. Writing copy for the products you sell. You need to know how to write for whatever audience or market you are trying to reach. But if you have a platform that means others are doing that for, then you are onto something!

Whatever you decide to do to create your many streams of income, one of them should be an online presence for sure. The internet is creating many multi-millionaires every day. Maybe you don't want to be a millionaire, but just be comfortable and not stressed over bills. I can understand that. That is what I want too. I hope I have given you some ideas of where to start or things to at least think about. The potential is within all of us. We just have to find it and develop it.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Too Many Bills Can Be Stressful

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photos

Have you been guilty of juggling bills, credit cards and your paychecks? This is one of the most stressful things that people do. I know, as I am guilty of it also. Trying to make enough to cover all your bills and buy food too, is the one of the hardest things we have to do in our modern way of living. I think it was probably hard in the old days too, but we have too  many added expenses that did not exist then.

These days even the Social Security Administration tries to fool us into thinking the cost of living hasn't gone up in two years! That is so they can get away with not giving the cost of living raise to Social Security recipients. Who do they think they are fooling? We all know there has been a HUGE increase in the cost of living! Just tell the truth and say, "We cannot afford to give you a raise for the second year in a row."

There are ways to save money and shave some cents off your bills. It takes some thorough planning though. You have to make a list and work from that. Bills to pay. Food to buy. Gas to buy. It goes on and on. The only way around that, is to find out how much more money you need each month. Then find a way to add that much income to your present income. It is not easy, and don't let anyone tell you it is.

How many times do you feel overwhelmed by those feelings over your bills? Not enough income to go around? Having a home based business sounds like a great idea in the beginning, but it is also another expense. Especially in the beginning of getting it started. It could take months or years to get any money coming in to your business. And even then, it may not be enough to let you have a paycheck from it.

Here are some ideas of things I have done in the past:

  • 1. Sold lots of used items I had here at home on eBay.
  • 2. Sold some new items on eBay and on my own website that were drop shipped from a distributor.
  • 3. Did some home care for some elderly ladies nearby.
  • 4. Sold an ebook that I wrote and created and sold on my website.
  • 5. Sold some used books on Amazon.
  • 6. Sold some items on Bonanza and am still doing that today.
  • 7. List some items on craigslist, though I don't have much success with them, my friend does.
If you have some ideas you would like to share leave them in the comments section. Little things add up. Even if you think it doesn't matter, a dollar here and a dollar there do make a difference. It doesn't sound like it does until you look at the big picture over time.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Bridge Between Income And Debts

Looking for leaks in your budget? If you have gone over and over your budget with a fine tooth comb and there is just nothing left to cut, what do you do? The answer to that is to study your income. All money coming into your household. Now, that is where you concentrate. Bring more money in to cover those leaks. Some things are just not possible to cut. When you go into the stores now, you have to pay more for just about everything. I have cut and cut and cut some more. But you get to a point where there is nothing else to cut. Now I am concentrating on trying to make some money in other ways.

I have read more than a few of Donald Trump's books, Rich Dad Poor Day series of books and am now reading Robert Allen's books. So it is not like I do not have the knowledge to do this. I do. I wrote about this in this post called Some Ways To Generate Cash and I am not talking about those get rich schemes either. Here are some quick ideas I have come up with:

1. Bake something you can sell, like cookies, breads, pies, etc. Advertise it or go to some office buildings and see if there is some interest in the offices for their coffee breaks for your baked goods.

2. Do a service for someone, like babysitting, raking leaves, splitting and stacking firewood, feeding pets or livestock, driving someone to appointments or to shop, running errands, care giver, house cleaning, typing, web design, computer set up or repair, internet marketing, internet research, online selling, computer lessons, writing reviews or content, etc. I could think of a lot of these. How about you?

3. Write a eBook on your knowledge of something. We all have knowledge of something! Think! It doesn't have to be too long. Maybe 35+ pages. I did this and am presently updating it making it much larger and eliminating the photos as they take too long for my buyers to upload.

4. If you have a talent, such as a musician, you can write and sell songs, you can put together a music cd and sell it online, you can play at local places, bars, restaurants, clubs, churches, etc.

5. If you have good credit, you can possibly buy multifamily real estate and collect rents to increase your income. Very good way to provide more income!

6. Of course if you already have a job, I am sure you are not looking for another one. But a second job is a way some people go now. Or get a raise or a different job that pays more. Go to school and change fields so you can make more money. Or start your own business. I am sure you can think of some other options there.

I hope this gives you some more options to think about. If you have some problem that needs solving you can leave it in the comments and maybe someone here would have an idea or two for you.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Than Forty Hours A Week

One of the things you learn when you are running your own home-based business is that you usually work way more than forty hours a week. Working from home, wearing all the hats of your company entail many hours. Yet it is more satisfying because it is your's. Working for someone else is never what we think it will be. I always remember how you just can't wait to get that job! You do everything you can to win it and you talk about it all the time. When you get that job........... what you are going to do with all that money you will be making! Remember that? Two weeks later, when it is time to get up to go to work, it's "I hate this job!" "I'm calling in sick!" And at work what are you doing? Watching the clock all day! I know that program well.

So I spend hours on my computer. What do I do? I am doing lots of writing! Lots of promoting! Lots of marketing! And lots and lots of social networking! Social networking is like going to the golf course for a round of golf with potential business associates. Just do it sitting at your computer. And these days you are networking with people across the country...............and around the world! It is your call who and how you want to find your customers. So keep plugging along and one day you will find it pays off. But if you give up because you are not making money immediately than maybe you shouldn't even be in business. It takes more backbone than that. Too many people give up too quickly nowadays.

If you are are having problems setting goals, what are your problems? Is it something you need help with? Is it the time to spend on it? Or is it family being against you doing it? List your priorities and then study them! Make a list of how you can achieve them. Now do it!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some Ways To Generate Cash

One of the ways you can start generating cash is by selling your own items on one of the well known selling sites. Such as Amazon, eBay, Bonanzle, Etsy and many others. These are ones that I am most familiar with. If you have never sold anything online before, as bad as it's reputation is, I suggest getting your feet wet using eBay. I learned everything I needed to know there, and I sold a lot of stuff. Made very good money on stuff that in a garage sale would have brought in pennies.

Another way is if you have a service you can offer people. This would not be an online business though you could set up a website to get your business out to the public. That is unless it is an online service. Even local people look things up on the internet now. I prefer not to do any kind of business or job that would entail leaving my home, but that is up to you. It would seem that your service could end up being a job. Not a passive type of income for sure.

If you have knowledge of some subjects or skills, you can write about them. Develop a blog like this one, and try to network with other people in your niche. Then when you write an article or preferably, an eBook,  your readers will be interested in it and purchase it. Downloadable products are easy once you have them on your site. Your buyers can purchase them anytime and download them. My eBook, My Homesteading Journey, is one of those type of products. It has been the easiest product I sell. Presently, I am working on updating it.

These are just a few ways you can get started immediately. I will give you other ideas, but don't want to give you too many at first. Think about yourself. Your goals. Your interests. Your immediate needs. And what do you really want to be doing? Now and in the future?

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Creating Those Goals And Following Them

My husband and I are reading the books by Robert G. Allen, Creating Wealth and Multiple Streams Of Income. I have to say  I have read many books and visited many websites on these same subjects, and no one else even comes close to this author. He explains everything in clear details so you can try to do many of his ideas yourself. So many other financial authors tell you things to do but never give you a clear idea of how to do it, unless you buy their program. Robert Allen does have programs he sells but his books are giving us absolutely clear instructions and I really like that. How can someone who can't afford those programs follow someone's advice if it is hidden in some expensive program? Sometimes it is all you can do to afford the books! And what a disappoint the book is if you buy it hoping the advice is in there but find it is not. That is a rip off in my mind!

Anyway, we are working on implementing the "ten streams of income" into our life. I had written before in a previous post, Welcome To Little Steps, which was my very first post on this blog. I mentioned eight streams of income, but now that I am reading this book my ideas have changed. One of the most important things I have learned from Mr. Allen is that you have to concentrate on one thing as much as possible to get it going, before going on to the next. In my own case, I have an  online retail store which is already producing an income. It needs more work, but it is already working. I also have three eBooks, and my husband's music cd, Classic Fantasy, which are already producing some income, but need more work there too. I am updating one of my eBooks, and  as soon as I am finished with that one will be updating another one.

So those are two streams of income I am working on at the moment. It helps when your spouse is really into doing this also, that way you can work with him or her. We read these books at night together. I read them aloud and since we do not have a television it has become our focus in the evenings. We look forward to it.

If you have ideas of what you want to do the first thing would be to write them down. Make a map of where you want to be in 10 years from now. It does not matter how old or young you can do this at any age! So re-read some of posts on here where I touch on the subject of goals. Robert Allen agrees that your goals need to be written down and you need to read them daily. So that is a good place to start if you haven't done it already. Good luck and hope you come back and are ready to move on with me!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Make Plans For This Week

What are your plans for this week? A new week, a new time. My plans for this week will definitely be to open my business bank account. That is what I need for my business. The credit union I was using was a bad choice and now I will be going to a regular bank. Living in a rural area limits your choices but we will figure it out.

This week too, I have to do more preparation of food for our supplies. That takes time but I don't mind as that is the best part of this  homesteading lifestyle. The weather is changing and that is a reminder that it is time to stock up food, supplies, kindling and firewood. So we will take care of that this next month. I expect it to be a busy month.

The next thing to work on for me is to Make A List To Get Ahead With and really get it completed so I can start another list. I will keep this one in focus this week. I tend to get off track doing something else and then don't remember what I originally wanted to do. Focus, focus, focus! I will stick to my plan and see what a difference that will make. 

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, August 20, 2010

Start Planning Now To Take Care Of Yourself!

Farmers have something we all need!

People are having a hard time right now. Everything costs much more than normal. Last year Social Security said they were not giving a cost of living raise to their recipients because the cost of living did not go up. Who are they kidding? There are rumors to the effect that they are going to pull that one again this year! Why not just be honest and tell the American people that Social Security cannot afford to give a raise again this year? We are grown ups here and don't need to be kept in the dark. Besides we already know this anyway.

So if you are trying to make ends meet you must grow your own food as much as possible. If you can't grow a garden, you must purchase food from produce and farm markets and then can it. I say canning because that is what I do. But you can freeze it if you want to take a chance of losing it when you have a power outage. Next is to buy meat in bulk and do the same. Then you can start stocking up little by little with all the other products, including paper products by purchasing an extra of everything you use, every time you buy.

This plan should help you get started. Try to find something you can sell or a service you can get paid for so if something did happen to your job, social security or just life you can earn some money. It needs to be something you can be independent of others to do. Or something you can raise or make and sell. Here is a breakdown of your "Little Steps" for this:

1. Either grow or purchase bulk amounts of food to can, freeze or dehydrate.

2. Purchase extras of all products you use every time you buy.

3. Find something to sell or a service you can do to generate extra money. Not a job! Something needed!

That should do it. If you start working on those areas you will see a difference in how much money goes out of your bank account. You need to count on yourself first...........not your employer and not the government. They will not take care of you no matter what you think. The fact is that our government is not on our side. So you better start planning and please..........start today!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole