Finding Time to Fit it all In.

I recently signed up for a 30 day blog challenge.  I must be out of my mind. How am I going to accomplish this and work full time and fulfill mommy duties and spend time with the husband and keep the house in some semblance of order?

The answer in all truth is “I don’t know.”  And “I might fail.” But you never know unless you try so this is me, challenging myself.

Trying to keep up with a schedule can be tricky.  Making sure posts get written and posted isn’t always easy.  These are a few tips and tricks I do use to help keep the inspiration flowing and the words writing.

The Draft Folder

I write lots of drafts.  One of the cool features of most blog publishers is that you have a drafts folder.  This folder is essential to my writing.  When I’m on the omputer this is where I go to dump ideas.  I may write a whole piece, part of a piece or just a few sentences to get me started.  Within these drafts where most of the creating flows from my mind through my fingers into tangible and readable pieces.

Notes

I have a confession to make.  I am not in love with my computer.  I don’t much like trying to pull it out when I am out the house unless I am working or writing.  The babe has an insatiable curiosity about the computer which makes getting anything accomplished on it while he is awake darn near impossible. This is where my phone notes take over.  I am constantly typing little tidbits to myself in my notes and then emailing them to myself to be cut and paste into my drafts folder.  It is an essential part of the way I write because since I almost always have my phone nearby it’s easy to whip out and type a few words, sentences or even a whole piece to be used for blog inspiration.

Pen and Paper

Even in this day and age of technology I still like to scribble down ideas with pen and paper.  I love the sounds of a pen scratching words on paper. I keep a little notepad in my purse to scribble down ideas on the run and when at home or at my desk at work there are plenty of sticky noted laying around with a few words and phrase or sometimes whole poems written in teeny tiny letters to be transformed into working pieces when the time suits me.

The Calendar

The one other feature I love about most blog publishers is they have a calendar to allow scheduling.  I do not always have a chance to write every day and some days ideas flow more freely than others.  On those days I may write to or three pieces ready to roll, but I will hold onto them and use them when it suits me.  The calendar allows me to schedule when I want these pieces to be published so I don’t necessarily have to check into my blog every single day.  Life happens, work gets super busy, house projects take  over your life and kiddos get sick.  The calendar helps ensure that I can still get posts posted without having to drive myself crazy checking into it every single day.

I love writing and I am challenging myself to do something I love every day for a month to see where it takes me.  When is the last time you challenged yourself?  Is it time to take a challenge?  I think it is.  Make 2016 your year and challenge yourself to push your limits by doing something you’ve always wanted to do. . . I dare you!

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Not Keeping Up with the Jonses’- Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Approximately 1 out of every 3 households in the US with a household income above $75,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck1.  3 in 5 Americans don’t have enough emergency money saved to cover unexpected expenses. 2

Let those numbers sink in for a minute. Now think about your friends and family. How many people do you know that are living paycheck to paycheck or who are bordering on the brink of disaster?  How many names come to mind?  Now, of those names, do you know if any of these people live on a budget?  Now think about a few names of people who you know (or think you know because you’d be surprised) who don’t seem to stress about money.  Do you know if they live on a budget?

I had a conversation with a friend a few months back during a wine date night and she made a comment about how relaxed I seemed.  She said it was more relaxed than she’d seen me in years.  I told her it was because we started using Dave Ramsey’s system to get out of debt. Our debt is steadily going down and  each month I procure a budget telling our money where to go (instead of wondering where it went) and the end result is that I feel much more relaxed in so many areas of my life.

I have a coworker who is on the brink of disaster with his finances.  I listen to him talk about struggling with expenses and then I listen to him plan a ski trip and inside I cringe.  I’ve casually thrown around Dave Ramsy’s name and the words budgeting, but the reception I receive is limited.  He is both of the statistics listed and I am sad for him.  I cannot make him change, only he can do that.

I do not want to be the statistics listed above.  I don’t want to be chained down by debt, so I am taking steps to try to remedy my situation, and after a long while the light is at the end of the tunnel, a faint glimmering light of hope.  I’ve had to make changes and sacrifices.  I’ve had to tell myself NO.  I’ve had to tell other people NO.  Living on a budget is no easy task, and sometimes I do fall off the wagon and make a splurge I know I shouldn’t.  But I pick myself back up and get back to it.  I know I can do it.  I can get to debt free.  I’m 2/3rds of the way there, just a bit of a stretch left to go.  You can do it too.  The hardest part is starting, so I am here to encourage you to START.  Don’t be one of the statistics listed above.  Change your life!  Take control of your money!

1 Marte, Jonelle. One-Third of Households Making More than 75,000 Live Paycheck to Paycheck. The Washington Post. 16 April 2015.
2Morath, Eric. Most Americans Don’t Have Savings to Pay Unexpected Bills” Wall Street Journal. 7 Jan 2015.