3 Ways to Get Life Under Control (Challenges Part 2)

Ten years ago, partly because of the economic downturn that affected people worldwide, my husband and I faced what felt like a mountain of credit card debt.  We were managing to pay our bills every month, but after I wrote the checks we had barely enough for food and gas.  As much as we hated it, we had to use credit cards for new glasses, a wedding gift, and auto maintenance.  Our debt wasn't shrinking.  We felt trapped.

Finally, we became determined to stop using our credit cards.  We created a small emergency fund by cutting cable, cancelling our phone landline, and making do with the clothes we already owned.  We simplified our diet to save on groceries.  We held a yard sale.  We banked a small stipend Jon earned for coaching the school chess team.  

And when our air conditioner needed servicing, we paid cash.  The emergency fund made it possible to stop relying on credit cards.

saving money, a little at a time

No matter what we do with it, today will pass.  A week will go by.  A month, a year, a lifetime.  We can either take small steps toward achieving our goals, or we can let our days fly by without direction or purpose.  Why not mindfully choose a new behavior that could take your life in a positive direction?

Thirty-minute Minimalist Challenges #4-6

4.  Under-schedule.

Grab your planner and see what you have scheduled for this week.  What can you move, delegate, or cancel?  I'm not suggesting you should back out of commitments, but if you are overscheduled, look for ways to create some breathing space between appointments.  

It's the truth – we cannot do everything.  Busyness and over-commitment keep us stressed and scattered, robbing us of the chance to focus on what's most important.  What are some steps you can take to make your future a little less "crazy busy?"

5.  Open a savings account.

An emergency fund makes everything simpler.  With an emergency fund, you'll have one less source of stress when your car suddenly needs a new alternator, your refrigerator unexpectedly dies, or your child needs a trip to the emergency room.  And if you have debt, an emergency fund can help you avoid borrowing even more.  

Figure out ways to pare the costs of non-essentials and make a commitment to add at least $5 to your savings every day.

6.  Streamline your phone.

Delete at least five apps you never use plus one you use too often.  Get rid of the distraction that steals your time and offers little in return.


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