A Budget that Works for You.

Whether it is for your business or your personal life you should always follow a budget.  Even if you make significant amounts of money you should still have a budget.  But before you begin making a budget you need to have a set of goals.

Do you want to be debt free, live on one income, or save for retirement? Make this into your personal or family financial mission statement. Write it down or type it up nicely and then have it laminated and display it in a prominent place where you can see it often. Many times we just need a reminder to ourselves for why we are doing a particular thing, and that can be just enough incentive when things get tough.

Set small range goals so you can see progress. It can be very difficult to keep up the discipline necessary to stay on budget if you can’t see any measurable progress. Develop some short-term goals that you can celebrate meeting. If your goal has been to reduce your grocery spending by $100 per month, then your weekly goal would be to cut grocery costs by $25. Likewise, if your goal is to pay off debt, make a chart to show how much you’ve paid off. Reward charts just aren’t for children! Use a type of chart where you can color in a bar to show your progress, and then color it in every time you make a payment so you can see the progress you are making. Put it up on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror as a reminder that your hard work is paying off!

Next, Identify your weak spots and develop a plan to battle them. In sticking to your budget, you need a clear idea of where you may be tempted to break the budget. If you are prone to impulse spending, then you must remove that temptation from yourself. If you go window shopping, leave your credit cards at home! Especially in the early days of sticking to your budget, it is important to re-train yourself to curb spending.

A good way to prevent yourself from digging yourself further and further into debt is to form a personal budget that can work for you. Many people spend their hard earned money frivolously without having many regards to how much money they will have left before their next paycheck comes. They will often find themselves having no money left and ending up having to borrow from a lender just to pay essential bills or provide for their family. The problem with this type of spending is that you tend to incur debts that will begin to cause added problems with your finances that you become unable to pay off your debts when needed.

If you would like some help with your mindset surrounding money check out my 10 Minute Money Makeover!

 

Help for your healthy eating goals!

Help for your healthy eating goals!

It is the first Saturday in the New Year and I know many people set the resolution of eating better and I am here to help you with that.

Years ago I was trained as a Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is based on a philosophy of Primary and Secondary Foods.  Primary Foods is the food that we physically consume and Secondary Foods are the other things in life like community and our relationships.  Both are equally important so you will see secondary foods come into the mix throughout my posts!

For today we are going to talk about the basics of primary foods.  The key to the success of any plan for healthy eating is to eat what you like but to exercise moderation when it comes to the less healthy foods.  Improving your level of health and fitness does not mean forgoing that piece of chocolate cake, for instance.  It does mean, however, limiting yourself to one piece.  A healthy diet contains all types of foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, and even fats.  The key is choosing foods that provide the best combination of taste and nutrition.  After all, if your diet consists of foods you hate, you will not stick with it.

I also teach the concept of gradually adding the better foods while gradually eliminating the not so good foods.  This way you have a better chance of success and sets you up for long-term health.

My two basic primary food suggestions are:

1 Purchasing organic as often as possible is always recommended but I realize can be costly and not always available where you live.  A good plan is to follow the Dirty Dozen list.   The ones with the most chemicals you should always try and eat organic.

The 2017 Dirty Dozen list from EWG (2018 not published yet but typically does not change a lot)

1.  Strawberries

2.  Spinach

3.  Nectarines

4.  Apples

5.  Peaches

6.  Pears

7.  Cherries

8.  Grapes

9.  Celery

10.  Tomatoes

11.  Sweet bell peppers

12.  Potatoes

The 2017 Clean Fifteen list from EWG (least amount of pesticides and chemicals). These ones are not as important to buy organic so you can save some money!

1.  Sweet Corn

2.  Avocados

3.  Pineapples

4.  Cabbage

5.  Onions

6.  Sweet peas (frozen)

7.  Papayas

8.  Asparagus

9.  Mangos

10.  Eggplant

11.  Honeydew Melon

12.  Kiwi

13.  Cantaloupe

14.  Cauliflower

15.  Grapefruit

2. Limit processed food.  The more fresh food you can eat the better.  I know there are times we need to open a package of food for a quick meal.  Next time I will talk about meal planning so you can have healthy meals on hand all the time!

And when someone offers you a piece of chocolate cake, eat it!  (this falls under secondary food too!)

If you haven’t got it yet, grab my 5 Key Strategies for Self-Care for Less Stress and More Energy.  (ps….2 amazing smoothie recipes inside!)

Happy, healthy eating for 2018!

Plan for Peace

Plan for Peace

My question to you….”What do you want from this holiday season?”  I have been reading and following Danielle LaPorte lately and she would ask “How do you want to feel?”

Whatever it is that you want, the best way to get there is to plan for it to happen.

While I am super excited about this blog, I can not believe it is that time of year. Christmas time that is! Well, not exactly Christmas time but time to plan for it so you can enjoy it and also so you can come to January with no financial regrets!  As a Health, Wealth & Freedom coach my blogs will be covering all these areas over the next 2 months so you can truly enjoy the season.

 

Let’s start with basic planning!

 

What do you want from this holiday season? Peace, lots of presents, community, lots of good food, rest and relaxation (yes, this is possible!), or maybe new experiences. This year my daughter and I have planned some new experiences and are also returning to some old traditions. I am not sure if it is the planning for the holidays that I like more or the actual holidays themselves. I am such a planner! None the less, it makes the holiday season so much more fun and yes relaxing.

The holidays can be such a stressful time for many for various reasons. This often happens when there is conflict in families (whose home is everyone going to, expectations, etc).

Pause for a moment and think, is this the year to set some boundaries and maybe new expectations? Just putting it out there for a thought. I go back to my initial question. What do you want from this holiday season? Our current society is so materialistic and I would like to encourage you to possibly look to experiences this season rather than material possessions. Yes, having no gifts for the kiddies would not go over well and I am not suggesting this at all. I am suggesting that there be a mix of experiences and gifts as a place to begin to change their perspective.

I admit that I used to buy tons of gifts for my daughter, only to learn that what she really wants is time with me. This year we will be attending some concerts, plays and community events and of course will be opening some presents. Time together is the most important and never take your loved ones for granted.

 

Giving back for a new meaning of the holidays.

 

We also do a fair bit of giving over the holidays and this year will be no exception. Every year I sponsor a family through Presents for Peace at the YWCA and also do a few other community things as they arise. To show my gratitude I cook a brunch for my 16 staff in appreciation for all they do during the year. My success is because of them and I am grateful for each one of them. One of our other traditions we started a few years ago when we moved into our new condo unit was to make little present bags for each of our neighbors on our floor. These are filled with our favorite baking….and those who know me well, I love to bake. Stay tuned over the season for more good stuff on that! The neighbors love them and interestingly we have started something because they all reciprocate. It is so much fun dropping them off at their door….and to receive them too!  It was the bridge to building a closer community right where we live.

Now speaking of receiving. This is the perfect time of year to practice our receiving. Whether it is a compliment or a gift. Always be gracious and DO NOT deflect any compliments. This is a real challenge for many! How many times has someone said “you look fabulous today” and you respond with “my hair is not at it’s best today” or “you look great too”. Deflection at it’s finest!  This is not how the flow of abundance works in our universe! Simply say “thank you”! It is really that easy….and maybe smile too!

 

Let’s Talk Money!

 

Let’s talk about the budget now! OK, don’t run away and turn off the computer now! This is equally important so when you come to January you have no regrets! Be realistic as to what you can afford. Get creative. Don’t buy just for the sake of buying something. Put some time into a thoughtful gift and you will find that you do not have to spend nearly as much money if it has some real significance to that person. Again you may be asking yourself, why am I reading something about Christmas now, in November! Well, that is all about planning too. To get the best prices on things, pay the lowest shipping costs on things, you need to plan ahead. I am not asking you to put up your Christmas tree or anything like that….just simply grab a cup of tea and think about the holidays and do a bit of planning. Also, starting early helps spread the cost over a longer time so it is not such a big hit at once.

I read a recent article by Erica Alini in the Money section on Global News that stated that a reasonable gift budget is 1% of your gross annual income. Hmmm…not sure I totally agree with this methodology. She did go on to say that this was a starting point and you still needed to consider what you can actually afford. For the average Canadian family, this would be $700. PWC expects Canadians to spend over $1500 on average over the holiday season. We often forget the cost of wrapping paper, ribbons, all the extra food and travel costs.

Take some time to think what is important to you this season, how you want to feel throughout it and what you are going to do about it to make it what you want. It should be a time of joy, community, and love. Not anxiety, stress, and exhaustion. You choose! It is your life! Enjoy it!

To help you with your Christmas planning, download my FREE 12 Ways to Save this Christmas budget planning sheet to help you get started on this!

 

A Little Money Woo-Woo

A Little Money Woo-Woo

This blog is partially by request and it is something I really believe in and rarely talk about.  

Today I am going to show you how to make a Crystal Grid for money manifesting!  For some, this may be a little too “woo-woo” but I suggest you have an open mind and give it a try.

Let’s start with the basics of crystals and their uses as I recognize that many of my readers may be unfamiliar with their uses.  Crystals do more than look pretty in a bowl!.  Each type of crystal has unique characteristics and uses.   A few examples of common crystals and their uses:

Jade – restores emotional balance, disperses negative thoughts, cleanses, energizes.

Citrine – cleansing, encourages mental clarity and optimism, heals negativity.

Rose Quartz – replaces negative energy with loving vibrations, reduces tension, aids in forgiveness.

Amethyst – protects, soothes the mind, healing and calming, focus and mental stability, strengthens memory, increases motivation,

Agate – improves self-esteem, soothes and calms, gives strength and courage, promotes love, helps with speaking the truth.  

This is just a very small sample as an example and each of these crystals also has health benefits to them too and a long list of how you can use them.  My go-to simple book I reference is:

Crystal Energy: 150 Ways to Bring Success, Love, Health, and Harmony Into Your Life

So, what is a Crystal Grid?  On a physical level, it is an arrangement of crystals in a certain grid format.  On an energetic level when crystals are arranged properly on a well-designed grid, the energies of the crystals are magnified and reinforced.

I am no sports fan but it makes a good analogy.  Consider a team of people,  all with different roles (center, guards, defense, etc).  Now put them on a field/court with no formation and what happens?  Probably a lot of confusion. Now take that concept and put them in a formation and give them an intention of working together for a common goal.  Magic happens….in sports and on a grid!

There are many types of grid formations all based on Sacred Geometry.  (This could be an entire blog in itself). For this grid, we will be using the Seed of LIfe design which has a sixfold symmetry.  The number six (two threes) is a number of harmony, balance, sincerity, and truth.  These formations have the ability to promote harmony and balance and more importantly it gives us the energy to complete a task successfully.  

Each grid has a series of stones, The crystals we will be using for this are:

Amethyst to bring clear sight energies, prehnite for independence, intelligence and receptiveness; and green aventurine for prosperity and good fortune.

Here is a video on how to assemble the grid and how to use it.

There are many types of crystal grids you can make and I am sure this will not be the last one I posts about!  Enjoy and feel free to share any photos of the one you make in the Freedom Lounge Facebook Group.

Love & Abundance

Alignment to Abundance

Alignment to Abundance

Alignment is one of those key foundation pieces that is so important when you want to accomplish something.  It is coming up often lately so I thought I would write a follow up to my podcast on the same topic.  As a health and money coach this shows up in all the work I do with clients.  It also comes into play when we are looking at our mindset and our self-sabotaging behaviours.

Alignment by definition is an arrangement in a strategy line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions.  Let’s look at if from this perspective….Everything in this Universe is energy.  When we desire something we need to align our energy of that which we desire.

Without alignment we are sabotaging all our efforts and gains we make towards our goals.  You can say you want something but if you don’t  take action then what you say means nothing.  Well….sometimes.  We do have to be careful about what we say because the Universe will deliver.  The context I am talking about here is our goals and our desires.  

I will give simple examples for both money and health.  For money, if you set a goal to reduce your debt and then choose to spend money that you don’t have then you are not acting in alignment.  How can you expect to get out of debt when you are creating more debt.  The same goes for health.  If you set a goal for a strong healthy body and then feed it processed foods and do not exercise, then here again you are not in alignment.  In order to get what we desire we need to be in alignment in our thoughts and our actions.  

Now, that looks pretty obvious but in reality it is not. Sometimes alignment is much more subtle.  Our subconscious can plays havoc with us when we tell it things that are not in alignment with our goals.  This is where mindset enters.  We have many underlying beliefs and thoughts that rule what happens in our life.  We can say all the affirmations in the world but if deep inside we do not believe it, it is really hard for the Universe to deliver.  It is like asking for more money in your life but not believing you are worthy of that money.  You see this with people that work really hard and never seem to get ahead.  A wealthy mindset knows they will be successful with money and that they can have lots…without jeopardizing someone else.

You must show up at the energy  frequency of what you want.  If you want to be financially abundant you have to have the mindset and take the  actions to get what you want.   You must become the frequency of what you want to attract before it will happen.  

Use your feelings to guide you on this journey.  If you listen carefully your feelings will guide you in the right direction.  More often than not we know when we are doing something that is not in alignment with our higher desire.  You will learn to recognize your self sabotaging behaviours or even your mindset that may not be congruent with your desires.  

Try it out.  Choose one thing you desire and are manifesting in your life and spend the day with it in the forefront of your consciousness all day.  Think about what you are doing and why.  Is it going to get you where you want to go.  Manifesting is not about just wishing for something and then hoping it will show up.  I consider myself to be a very good at manifesting.  I have the desire for something and then take the actions necessary for it to come to fruition.  Our thoughts must be very clear and in alignment.  There can be no mixed messages!  The Universe does not know what to do with a mixed message (ie. actions and thoughts not congruent).

Want to learn more about money and mindset?  Access the FREE 10 Minute Money Makeover Video Series below!

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