Monday, January 7, 2013

Keeping Organized, Saving Money, + Living the Dream!!

There are so many mixed opinions on making resolutions at the beginning of the year. Some people think it is silly because you should be making resolutions or goals all year long. That is so true! But the point we even make resolutions is to change our lives or make them better at least. To me, it doesn't matter when you make the resolution. It's just the act of making it shows that you are committed to a certain point and make sure to always take comfort in that! Let me tell you why it is important for me to make new year's resolutions.

It's important to always stop and re-evaluate your dreams and goals! You need to have an idea of what you want in life and mapping them out is even better. Last summer I did something called a 5 year plan which calls for you to look it over every year to see what I need to do next and the progress I have made. The book Smart Women Finish Rich requires to make a list of your dreams and goals encompassing everything you want your life to be. Any type of self help book, or financial book I read this seems to be the theme. Every year, I make resolutions aka re-evalute what I want out of life. My resolutions change just as my life does. Some things that weren't so important last year, might be the most important this year. Some resolutions from last year I may have completed and I can move on to focusing on other things! It's important for me to refocus every year. To me, it doesn't much matter if it is Jan 1st or December 30th.

This year, I want to make even more progress with my goals! I want to complete all of them. Just as I was pondering my intentions for the year, I came across #HowtobeHappyJanuary on Youtube from Nikki Phillipi. She has learned a method to setting your goals and achieving them and she is teaching it to all of us! It's okay if your not into this type of stuff but I have always been a list maker & life ponderer so I love the idea! If it is something you have never really thought of before but your curious, please join us! It's going to be great!

Here's all the tool's I am using for 2013:

3 Journal's
Spiritual Journal: I write 5 things I am grateful for at least 5x a week. I also go to this website and meditate on the verse. Then, I will write about the verse and what I got out of it. Another thing I like to do is to keep a prayer tab in this journal. If I have any questions about life and I need an answer, I will write them in and then keep my eyes open for an answer in future verses or wherever I feel God is speaking to me.

Healthy Journal: Grocery list's, recipes, & and my weekly menu. I was going to track what I eat but I am doing that in the Tone It Up community + On Twitter

Finance Journal: Taking a thing or 2 from Smart Woman Finish Rich again, it is a recommendation that you track every single penny you spend for the next 7 days. At the end of the week, compare your running tab to your goals and resolutions list you made and really see if your money is funding your dreams or if it is going to useless items{ahem}. After the week is up, im keeping a month by month plan and in each month, writing down what im going to do that month and how much it's going to cost. Example: I wanna go on a shopping trip in May. It's going to cost $200. I divide 200 by the amount of weeks I have until May and I will get my total for what I should be saving week to week. Then, I add all of my weekly expenses and total them to see what I need for the week all together (grocery's, bill's, etc.) Once I have that amount, I put it in the designated slot in accordion folder #2 + I usually have some money left over to spend on whatever I want! Easy peasy. If your trying this out, leave room for each month in case you decide you want to do add something later down the road. Another tip: Write everything in pencil!

Planner & Notebook: I need to get a planner but I am telling you if you wanna simplify your life, you need one! It goes week by week with plenty of space for you to write in each day. The notebook for me is just for miscellaneous things. Blog ideas, My #HowtobeHappyJanuary stuff is in there and also my 5 Year Plan.

Bills and Mail Accordion Folder: The big one. It is for papers I get in the mail. I need to keep track of all of my bills and debts I have. Each pocket is labeled and dedicated to one company or expense. That way, if I need to know how much I have yet to pay or have paid so far, I can refer to the paper I need easily.

Goal Funding Accordion Folder: I am a server, so that means I make tips. I have a designated pocket for each bill and dream I have as well as a saving pocket. I am sure to always save at least %5 of everything I make. I used to save %20 and it became too much so I quit saving all together. Bad idea! This folder goes hand in hand with the Financial Journal.

I suggest you take the 1/2 hour and really think about what you want out of life and make it work!

There's my little tricks to staying track! It has surely evolved over the years!

How are you all keeping organzied and on track?
Anyone else doing #HowToBeHappyJanuary?



Kayla Graham said...

Love this post. I watched your video last night and I really enjoyed it. I loved the financial part. I am a big organization freak so I love the folders and things! My planner IS MY LIFE. I write everything from assignments to appointments to blog posts in it! Thanks so much for sharing. This post was very helpful!

Yvonne said...

I'm big on organizing, so i have a handmade accordian folder for my receipts and money, a pocket folder for my bills. then i keep a record of my finance/expense on an excel chart! I'm also trying to be more eco-friendly and not spend as much money on journals and folders :)

Erica Jackson said...

Kayla: I am so glad you took the time to watch the video and liked it! That makes me so happy! Hopefully you can put some of the tips that you have never heard on my video into action! it has been working for me! now only if i could make more!

Yvonne: That incredibly inspiring! I now that you have a really good idea on where your money is going and I know your saving so much because of your system! our systems are really similar. thats what it's all about! Living your dreams! but we need to fund our dreams first, and we are on the right track!

LifeLover said...

hi erica, I have been loving your blog! I also watched Nikki's video and I think is amazing!!

Also I have a question, what do you use for writing/ watermarking your pics?

Erica Jackson said...

Hey Kari- I use something called Gimp. you can download it for free and it has never given me any problems. it's easy to use and its like a free version of photoshop. then, i use "dafont" fonts. if you google "da font" and find "most popular", you will find some really cute ones. the one on this picture is called "Kata Bidalan" - good luck! if you need any other ?'s answered about any of that, lemme know! i am always happy to help, girl!

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