The Recovering Non-Saver’s Savings Plan Jumpstart

Want to be a Recovering Non-Saver and Start a Savings Plan?

My name is Mary, a recovering non-saver and next month I am going to be doing a “Recovering Non-Saver’s Savings Plan Jumpstart. Not saving money has been a bad habit of mine for a long time and I am working to change it. If you are in the same boat and want to change the bad habit to a good one, one where you have spare change in your savings account, read on. What I am proposing  may seem a little drastic and even a little scary, especially with December being the month of spend, spend, spend, which is all the more reason to tackle it head on!

Looking for more green in your savings account? Join the December Recovering Non-savers Savings Plan Jumpstart!

Be Willing To Do What Others Won’t…

Dave Ramsay, author of many books including The Total Money Makeover has the above  as part of his teachings: “Be willing to do today what others won’t, so tomorrow you will have what others don’t”. I tell myself this quote in many areas of my life as it is so true. I had to be willing to do what was hard (and scary) to get my Group Exercise Certification at age 50. I have to be willing to do the hard of setting my alarm for an hour earlier each morning so I can wake up for a four Sun Salutations (yoga moves) and gratitude journaling practice to create more balance and calmness in my life. I had to be willing to do what’s hard (meal prepping, months of workouts I couldn’t miss, following a strict meal plan and more) to be able to do a couple of figure competitions a few years back. This was the year I decided to quit telling myself “I wish I could do _______”, and start doing what is hard.

I just finished the money – mindset book “Get Rick Lucky Bitch” by Denise Duffield-Thomas (and am starting from the beginning again tomorrow!). In it, Denise shares on how sometimes not only do we have to do the hard, we also have to do the drastic, hence my savings proposal for the month of December. Why not wait until January for a New Year’s Resolution instead? Because I feel it’s time to do something  that seems hard AND drastic in order to change the energy around my lack of savings. As Denise says, our upbringing and current energy and thoughts around money are what keeps us where we are financially and sometimes we need to “throw everything at it” to create change. I remember my mom telling me at a very young age “money burns a hole in your pocket” and guess what, it has continued to do so, and for this reason I came up with the idea for a savings plan for December.

This recovering Non-saver is ready for a golden savings plan jumpstart

The Plan: Save A Dollar A Day For Each Day

If I haven’t scared you off already, you like me, must be ready for some real change to add change to your savings account. Now whether you jump in and succeed or don’t quite make it, it is OK. Many times just taking the leap and getting started will help you do better the next time around. Remember how many times we fell down learning how to ride a bike??? I quit smoking 100 times (or more) before I quit for good! Are you still with me? Good, here it goes.

The formula is simple, set aside a dollar a day for the day of the month. For example on December 1st, put $1.00 in a jar, December 2nd – $2.00, December 3rd – $3.00 and so on. It will be easy at first and as the date climbs, so does the savings! At the end of the month we will have $496 in our savings accounts! I know some of you are already freaking out (I am a little too) telling yourself how hard it is going to be and finding every excuse in the book: I never have any cash, I don’t want to have that much cash laying around, how will I be able to put aside $20 one day and $21 the next? I know, because these are the thoughts I had when I came up with this crazy idea. Here’s the dealio…it will be easy  IF we believe it will! If you are still with me and haven’t “x’d” out of this blog post and said “she’s nuts” (or something stronger), I have created a printable pdf checklist to follow along. I suggest you post this on your fridge or bathroom mirror where it can be seen every day and can check off your “deposit” and just in case a day or two is forgotten, go back where you left off and catch up. My plan is to start out using a jar to drop cash into the first week or so and then depositing into the bank where I can make daily transfers. I will also open a special account for this at a new bank. Why? Because it’s too easy to transfer funds back OUT of savings to checking! My current bank allows to connect with another bank to transfer funds easily.

A dollar a day for each day adds up to $496 in savings by the end of the month!

Why am I doing this? Partly because I personally need this, but mainly because I hear SO often “I wish I could afford to do _______.”. That sentence has come out of my mouth waaaaaaay too many times in my 50 years and it’s time to teach us old dogs (and young ones) a new trick! Last year AND the year before I started one of the 52 Week Savings Challenges where I saved a dollar the first week and doubled the savings every week. My short attention span gave up after the second month as eight weeks in I still only had $36 in savings and I’d forget half the time! As I mentioned before, this seems like it’s drastic, it’s a short time where we can see results FAST. Imagine on January 1st, having an extra $500 in your savings account! I’d love to hear your reasons for joining in the challenge and what it means for you! Here’s to having a successful December Savings Club! Who’s in????

Need accountability partners for your savings plan journey? Be sure to share on your favorite social media channel and tag some friends! If you aren’t following us already, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

A Northern Girls Guide To Low Daylight Survival

With the daylight minutes getting shorter every day there are a few tips I use for low daylight survival. Right now with the sun not coming up until almost 9:00 and going below our tree line around 2:30 in the afternoon, I sometimes feel like I want to hibernate. Being a Northern Minnesota girl for the first 47 years of my life, I’m used to shorter daylight hours, but living in Fairbanks has taken it to another level. I have learned a few tricks over the years I’l like to share with you.

Low Daylight Survival Tip: Get Outside

“Back in the day” of having an average of 50 sled dogs in your front yard, we thrived on winter, snow for our trails and the colder weather to keep the snow around. We also spent a minimum of two hours a day outside doing dog chores, and the need to hibernate was lessened as being outside, even when it’s freezing, is good for a persons mood. There are times when it’s so cold taking a deep breath can be challenging, but nothing a nice warm neck gaitor pulled up over your nose can’t fix.

See and Be Seen To Survive Low Daylight

Now that I don’t have sled dogs I have to force myself to get outside and get our Aussie, Takum, out for a walk. Even if it’s just a mile or so around the neighborhood, he loves stretching his legs to run. With the aforementioned lack of daylight, sometimes our walk is after dark. Thankfully I still have a few headlamps leftover from my mushing days to see where I’m going. The one in the photo below is a Princeton Tech Apex Pro. We have at least a half dozen around here, including one in each of our vehicles in case of a breakdown.

See and be seen in the dark, a northern girls tip to surviving low daylight.

Another thing I learned from running sled dogs in the dark; wearing something reflective is just as important so others can see me! A few weeks back, a sponsored ad showed up on Facebook featuring hats and scarves with reflective fibers woven into the yarn used to make the products. I just HAD to click on the link and check it out. I was pleasantly surprised when I sent them a message about their products, they offered to send me a couple hats and a cool light up sweatshirt to try! The other night I took them for a test spin with Takum. While I kinda look like a goon in the hat with my short, round head, the fleece-lined hat was nice and warm (it was below zero that night) and the sweatshirt was super cool! (Sorry for such bad quality, it was below zero and my fingers were getting cold!). Night Light Clothes gets a thumbs up from this girl!

A Light To Make Me Happy

A happy light can keep a girl happy in low daylight hours

Another one of the tools in my low daylight survival toolbox is a “Happy Light” a friend gave me when I moved to Fairbanks last fall. The lights are designed with the right light to combat the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I have the light next to where I sit on the couch to read, work and hang out. I turn it on high as soon as I come downstairs in the morning and have on for a few hours before the sun come up. I usually will have on low in the evening for an hour or so before bed. I was skeptical of it working at first, but  have found a difference in my mood and energy level if I miss a day.

Light Your Body With The Proper Fuel

Low light survival tip: Eat healthy food to light you up from the inside.

Eating healthy is also very helpful. I find when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Getting in foods full of nutrients is important. Vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and lean protein make up the bulk of the foods I eat. I tend to have a hard time getting all my leafy green vegetables so I supplement with powdered greens. I also tend to crave indulgent treats and when I find one that is healthy I’m all over it! I went searching for a healthy brownie recipe this morning and thanks to Pinterest found this gem for Paleo Brownies from Paleo Grubs. Today was a “stay-in-my-jammies-day” or I would have run to town an picked up all the ingredients! I’m excited to try them later this week. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

There you have it, a few of my low daylight survival tips. If you have something that help you, I’d love to have you share. Feel free to leave a comment below or visit our Facebook or Instagram pages with a comment.

50 Easy Ways To Nourish Your Soul

50 Easy Ways to Nourish Your Soul from Aging Youthful

Nourish Your Soul

Would you like to nourish your soul but and don’t know where to start? Not sure what nourishing your soul means? I shared my definition of nourishing my soul in our introductory post, but to make it simple, it is doing what makes me feel warm and fuzzy, puts a smile on my face and just makes me feel good overall. From watching a sunrise or set to enjoying a good book, it feels good to do things that feel good!

A Soul-Starved Society

I believe we are living in a soul  – starved society. For generations, we’ve been taught to go to school, get a good job with benefits, work hard for forty years and collect a pension. That seemed to work for a while, but as the generations went on, we became less concerned with how we felt ABOUT our work, than what we MADE while doing the work. Working at a job we aren’t passionate about and doesn’t fill our souls is OK, we just need to be sure we are doing something in our off-time of that DOES. Most soul – filling things can be free and don’t take a lot time,

What We Focus on Expands

Like everything else, what we focus on expands. I found the more I started to really appreciate the little things, the more little (and bigger!) things I had to appreciate! The Law of Attraction is happening whether we pay attention to it or not. When we focus on smelling the roses, we will notice more roses to smell! One of my two most favorite things to nourish my soul on the list I compiled below are watching sunrises and sunsets. I really started to appreciate them when Mark and I moved to our cabin in the bush of Northeastern Minnesota. At the time, the trees on the property were pretty small as we built on a piece of land to the East of a huge clear cut. Those first few years, the sunsets streaming through our front window were amazing. There were nights in the first couple of years where I would sit on top of a dog house with our lead dog Innoko, watching the sunset.  As the years went on I had to seek higher ground to get a wide view of the sunset but as you can see from the photo below, even after the trees started to grow higher, they still were pretty amazing.
one of the amazing sunsets at our cabin in Minnesota

What Nourishes MY Soul

I have compiled a list of things that inspire me and makes my insides warm to hopefully inspire you to give your soul a lift. By all means this is not an all – inclusive list, I could have kept going but decided to stop at 50 to not be overwhelming for beginners. I have also created a printable pdf of the list for you! Click here to have sent to your email. My hope is you will print and hang some place where it can be seen every day as a reminder to stop for a second or two and nourish YOUR soul.  Here we go…

50 Easy Ways To Nourish Your Soul

1. ENJOY A SUNRISE
2. ENJOY A SUNSET BY YOURSELF
3. ENJOY A SUNSET WITH YOUR PARTNER
4. BUY YOURSELF FLOWERS
5. BUY SOMEONE ELSE FLOWERS
6. PICK FLOWERS
7. TAKE YOUR DOG FOR A WALK
8. WALK SOMEONE ELSE’S DOG
9. TAKE YOUR PARTNER FOR A WALK
10. GO FOR A CHALLENGING HIKE
11. SNUGGLE WITH A PET
12. READ AN INSPIRING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
13. LISTEN TO CLASSICAL MUSIC
14. HOLD HANDS WITH YOUR PARTNER
15. TAKE YOUR PARTNER ON A DATE
16. WATCH A SAPPY MOVIE
17. WALK BAREFOOT IN THE GRASS
18. GO TO THE BEACH
19. STAY IN YOUR PAJAMAS ALL DAY
20. WRITE IN A JOURNAL
21. WRITE 100 GRATITUDES
22. START A DAILY GRATITUDE JOURNAL
23. START (AND FINISH) A CRAFT PROJECT
24. DOODLE
25. LOOK THROUGH PHOTO ALBUMS
26. CREATE A  PHOTO ALBUM
27. ENJOY A DECADENT COFFEE
28. PLANT FLOWERS
29. CREATE AN INDOOR HERB GARDEN
30. WATCH AN INSPIRING MOVIE
31. GO TO A MOVIE ALONE
32. TAKE A NAP
33. GO TO A YOGA CLASS
34. PRAY OR MEDITATE
35. DON’T WATCH THE NEWS
36. TURN OFF THE TV FOR A DAY
37. CANCEL YOUR CABLE SUBSCRIPTION
38.. TURN OFF ELECTRONICS FOR A DAY
39. TRY A NEW WORKOUT CLASS
40. TAKE A DANCE CLASS
41. START A WORKOUT ROUTINE
42. MEET A FRIEND FOR LUNCH
43. CALL AN OLD FRIEND
44. JOIN A BOOK CLUB
45. VOLUNTEER
46. SMILE AT EVERYONE FOR A DAY
47. GET A MASSAGE
48. SPEND A WEEKEND ALONE
49. PLAN A WEEKEND GETAWAY
50. DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL WARM AND FUZZY

We would love to hear from you! What feeds YOUR soul? Comment below or on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you would like to have a printable pdf of the list sent to your inbox for a daily reminder, click here.