Set the pattern for your life to know the joy of work, the importance of saving, and spending less than you earn.  Despite the difficulties in the world, most of us are greatly blessed with resources and have more than enough.  Yet, financial difficulties are a major factor in unhappiness in families today.  We can smooth these difficulties with wise choices, and smart decisions.  Get out of debt.  Use your surplus funds wisely.  Live within your means, and make saving a part of your budget. Small decisions set the tone for your financial success.   


The holidays are coming, how can you keep your spending under control, avoid overspending and going into debt?  Start with a plan.  Make a plan and list all of the holiday expenses, include gifts, cards, wrapping supplies, holiday food and drinks, postage, and travel.  Set a budget for each area, and a resolve to stick to the budget.  Beware of the hidden costs of holidays by planning ahead for them.  

Stick to your budget, and buy gifts that are meaningful.  Avoid buying gifts out of a sense of obligation or guilt.  With enough planning, you can set aside money each month or pay period, and shop throughout the year.  Have your shopping done far enough ahead to allow you to fully enjoy holiday activities spent with friends and family. 

If you do go overboard with holiday spending, resolve to pay down your debt as quickly as possible.  Adjust your holiday spending plan and budget going forward so you avoid repeating the same problems.  Make the most of discounts, loyalty cards, and specials.  Stretch your holiday dollars while indulging sensibly.


Prepare for a financial emergency or financial crisis.  During stressful times, we may not think clearly or know what decisions to make.  A plan in place that you created gives you security.  You have thought about the decisions you must make, and have taken the time to know what is most important to you.   

What are the most important items you may need in a financial emergency?


Copies of Important Papers

List of Emergency Contacts

Inventory of Belongings


Emergency Supplies

First Aid Kit




Are you betting against the economy of the United States?  Are you buying food, water, first aid and emergency supplies?  Is prepping selling short our economy, betting against our government or the collapse of our society?  In an emergency, the Government cannot rescue you, be there for you, help you.

Preparedness is a positive way to live.  You have the peace of mind to know that, no matter what, you can take care of yourself and your family.  You understand that bad things happen to everyone, and will be better able to deal with whatever comes your way.  Why wouldn't you want to have extras of things that allow you to live and enjoy your life?  Store food, water, gear, even guns and ammo if you like trips to the shooting range or hunting.  Stockpile extra supplies of food, water, first aid, sanitation, and more.  Keep on hand of the items you actually use, enjoy having and never want to be without.



It is important to have an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside for emergencies.  Emergencies are sudden, stressful, and usually expensive.  Set aside your emergency fund three ways.  

Have cash on hand emergency funds, short term emergency funds, and long term emergency funds.  Keep cash on hand to keep you safe and see you through  with the basic needs.  Organize your bills, track your expenses, set up accounts especially for your emergency cash fund stash.  Continue to track your home expenses and organize your receipts for easy tax preparation.

Try some of these strategies to build your emergency fund.  Make a plan to build your emergency fund.



The price of gasoline has been plummeting the last few months.  We love paying less for gas, saving money when we fill up our cars, trucks, and other vehicles.  Why is the price of gas so low, who is responsible, will it last?  Historic prices of gas, and political effects can cause the price of gas to fall or skyrocket overnight. 

Enjoy the low price of gas, and realize it cannot last forever.  Make a financial plan to save the money you are saving on gas to help ease the pain of higher gas prices when they shoot up again.  If gas is a dollar a gallon less than it was, save a few dollars in your fuel budget so you have extra to pay when the price rises. 

Plan for increasing expenses to keep your budget working for you.




Are you hanging on to piles of receipts and papers?  Sort them quickly, and know which ones to shred.  

Papers you need to shred include anything with account numbers, birth dates, passwords, pin numbers, social security numbers, signatures, and confidential information.  

Shred receipts with identifying information, bank statements, old credit reports, and more.

We all get a ton of junk mail, credit card applications, insurance packets, retirement and investment fund portfolios, and more.  









Are you wondering what papers to keep forever, and which you can toss at some point?  There are important papers you need to save always.  

Some of those important papers include birth and death certificates, adoption papers, medical and military records, educational records, and contracts from your job or pension.  

Save your social security card, wills, and trusts.  Protect your identity by guarding your important papers.  Organize your important papers and store them together.   That way you will know what you have  and where it is located in emergency situations.

Birth, Adoption, Death certificates

Social Security Cards, Medicare Cards

Pension Plan Documents

ID cards, Passports

Marriage License

Business License

Insurance Policies

Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney

Vehicle Titles, Loan Documents

House Deeds, Mortgage Documents



Are you prepared for the eventuality of an emergency situation?  If you watch the news of unrest and economic hardships around the world, know that these issues can affect us all, when we least expect. 

There are steps you can take to prepare so that you can weather government downturns and other emergencies.  Be certain that you are preparing financially and that you have your finances in order.  Prepare physically by staying physically fit, able to face a challenge, and that you have provided the physical things you need to face emergencies. 

Do you have food, water, first aid supplies, and other gear to take care of yourself and your family?  Prepare emotionally so you know the future is uncertain, you understand bad things have happened, will happen, and you are strong enough to stay calm and do what you need to do.  Accept that once you have prepared you have done what you can, and you are ready to live your life, knowing you will be alright no matter what comes along.


Lines of Hope - citizens of Venezuela are standing in long lines for hours, hoping if they make it into a store that some food will be available.

 Venezuelans are suffering from shortages of chicken, milk, coffee, cooking oil, cornmeal, rice, sugar, detergent, soap, and toilet paper.  These shortages have worsened over the last several years.  Nothing on the shelves in stores.  Are you prepared for such an ordeal in our country?  Socialism, Communism, and corruption on all levels leave people with daily hardships.  

Prepare for emergencies that are likely to happen where you live.  Assess the risks you may face.  Stock up on things you need while they are readily available.



Have you read the news?  Governments in Greece, Puerto Rico, and more are each having a debt crisis, negatively affecting the people of their country or territory.  What can we do as individuals to prepare for challenges we may face if government debt crisis happens where we live?  

Are you financially prepared?  Do you have cash on hand? What will you do if the ATM doesn't work?  Do you have enough food, water, medicine, and sanitation supplies in case there is a problem with supply lines?  Have enough supplies to take care of yourself and your family for at least 30 days.  Do you have a plan if you need to evacuate or bug out?  Where will you go, how will you get there?  Prepare for the consequences of Government Default or other emergencies that may come your way. 

Assess the risks to emergencies where you live, plan to have the supplies and cash on hand you would need.




The debt crisis and economic default situation in Greece should be a warning to everyone to prepare for unexpected emergencies.  No matter where you live, emergency situations come along that challenge our ability to have the things we need, at a price we can afford. The people of Greece are encountering closed banks, limited cash, empty grocery shelves, and rationing of gasoline.  Supply lines have been interrupted due to financial instability.  The immediate situation looks grim for local people.  

Take the current economic crisis in Greece as a wake up call to get your house in order. Get your finances in order, organize your paperwork.  Make sure you have supplies and plans for water, food, sanitation, first aid, medicine, and shelter.   

Are you prepared to face the possibility of closed banks, limited cash, empty grocery shelves, and rationing of gasoline?  Stock up on emergency supplies to ensure the comfort and safety of your family in an uncertain future.  Spend money on things you need, rather than want.  Save the rest.



Do you have an emergency preparation file?  Everyone needs a kit that includes your identification, cash, investments, and medical information.  Gather important documents so you are prepared for any situation that comes your way.  

The documents you need to take with you in an emergency situation include the following:

Insurance Policies

Prescription and Medical Records

Birth, Adoption, Marriage Certificates

Mortgage Information

Car Registration


Drivers License, Identification

Social Security Card

Recent Tax Records

Employment Information

Will, Deeds

Bank Information 

Stocks, Bonds, Investment Information


Make a folder with a copy of all of your identification, insurance information, emergency contacts, medical records, important contacts, and more.  Keep this with your emergency gear to grab and go in an if you need to evacuate.  

After a hurricane, tornado, or other emergency is not the time to be gathering documents.




Did you realize 50 percent of Americans saved nothing last year?  30 percent have less than $1000 in savings.  The economy of the American people appears to be in jeopardy.  Americans have forgotten how to save for the future, at the same time our government is spending at an unsustainable rate.   Recognize that you are responsible for your future.  

1. Make a financial plan.  Stick to it.

2. Make a preparedness plan.  Gather supplies, and learn to use them.

3. Take charge of your future.  It is up to you to take charge of the future for yourself and your family.

If you don't know the destination, how will you know when you have arrived?  A financial goal is an aspiration.  The financial planning process will help you define and work toward your goals. 




Take charge of your finances.  People who have had unforeseen expenses arise tell how happy they were they had emergency funds.  Prepare for unforeseen financial emergencies by saving and having cash on hand to cover basics, and stay on track with your financial goals.  

 It is critical to establish an emergency fund so you control choices in your life.  Figure out how much your Essential Expenses are, housing, utilities, true basics.  Save that amount to cover 3-12 months.  It is hard to save money, but we all need to do it. Be a financial Prepper.  

With a fully funded emergency fund, emergencies become inconveniences.  We will all face broken appliances, plumbing back ups, lost items, car problems.  Plan for these unexpected expenses as a part of your regular budget. 



Last year nearly 13 million Americans had their identity stolen.  Here are documents you need to shred to keep dumpster divers from stealing yours.  Get a shredder, and use it for any papers that have your basic or sensitive information.  Remember, no one cares more about your safety and security than you do.  Take charge of yourself.



Every household needs a sturdy paper shredder.  Shredding documents with your personal information, banking records, old tax statements, medical records, and more is a habit we should develop as we open the mail or sort piles of paperwork.  

A good paper shredder will last for decades, while protecting you from identity theft or fraud.  






What do people fear most?  Economic collapse.  You can prepare for the hardships that could precede or accompany such an event.  Save emergency funds.  Store food and water.  Gather supplies and learn to use them.  Prepare so you are ready to deal with whatever comes your way.

Watch for economic signals. 

Unemployment Rate

Inflation Rate

Number of Americans in Debt

U.S. Economy Rate Hikes

Stocks Significantly Overvalued

Find places to stash some cash and valuables in your home.  In an economic collapse, banks may be closed, ATM's not working.  Protect copies of your passport, credit cards, identification.  Keep your valuables on hand and out of sight.


Reduce the stress of the unknown with basic preparedness that ensures your financial stability from catastrophes such as fire, flood, theft, medical emergency, changes in family status from marriage, birth, divorce, or more.  Many things change in our lives over time.  Don't be caught unprepared.



Your attitudes on money make the difference in meeting the goals you set.  Strike a balance with your budget to be able to spend on the things you truly need and want.  Your attitude will make or break the life you want.  Simple choices can help you spend your money on the things you really need, instead of conveniences, which can rob you of the pleasure of having money for the things you truly want.  Make choices.  Ask yourself, do I really want this, or will I want to spend my money on something else later?  Things don't define you.  The true impression of you is the way you live your life and the person you actually are.

1. Avoid debt.  Don't waste money on interest instead of things you want and need.

2. Live within your means.  Build a reserve to spend on things you truly need and want.



Are you stressed or worried about the future?  Are you concerned with debt and the stress it brings?  Look for little ways to cut expenses, and don't spend money trying to fill emotional needs.  Small decisions can help calm and prepare you for whatever may come.  Learn to use the things you have.  Save for things that really matter to you.  Pennies add up faster than you think.  Do a little each day to build the life you want.
1. Simplify your life.
2. Prepare for emergencies.
3. Spend where it counts.


Habits for Financial Success begin when you get your paycheck.  Pay yourself first, and add to your savings before you spend.  Budget the dollars that are left, and your savings will grow.  Live within or below your means, and look for ways to cut expenses and save a little more.  Follow these tips and learn more ways to set goals that build your savings.  You will be amazed how quickly your savings will grow.



Have you made a plan, reached your goal, and then allowed bad habits to creep back in, become complacent?  Know yourself.  Push through your challenges, and enjoy the success of your accomplishments by maintaining your success.  Saved money?  Don't start spending wildly.  Stocked your pantry?  Use the food, inventory, rotate, and resupply.  Practice using the gear you chose so you will know how to use it.  Enjoy the successes of your hard work and enjoy the life you have.



Do you have a financial plan to ensure the security of yourself and your family?  Many people in our society are worried about their financial situation,  Fees from overdrafts, late fees, or payday loans are exorbitant, and unnecessary.  Figure out what your essential expenses are, and save an emergency fund.  Be more financially responsible, save a dollar at a time, and ensure  financial stability for your future.



Is our economy in a slow, agonizing fall?  What can you do to prepare for economic hardship?  Don't be caught short when times are tougher than now because you failed to make a plan and follow through.  Protect yourself and your family.  Money concerns need to be addressed.  Make a plan to deal with your money issues and build an emergency fund.


Do you feel happy and contented most of the time?  Or does the world seem filled with threats, strife, and bad news?  Here are tips to keeping a positive attitude, important for your long term happiness and inner strength.  Don't allow the negative energy to take control over your thoughts and actions.  You are resilient, strong, and growing in the knowledge and wisdom you need to make it through any challenge.  Don't wait for happiness, work on your positive attitude to build a happy life!

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