4 Questions to Ask Yourself Today

Are you living the life you love…the one you have dreamed of…the one you desire? Are you loving yourself along the way? I have found in my 20+ years as a wife, entrepreneur, and mom of three, that it’s important for me to take time to ask myself questions about what’s working and what isn’t. If something is working, I take time to celebrate and cheer myself on. If something isn’t working, I take time to figure out what to do differently and then I pivot and change directions. All along the way, the questions below help me to live a healthier, happier, and more productive life and have taught me valuable lessons for loving myself physically and emotionally. Why not try asking yourself the same questions? You deserve to live the life you love!

  1. What’s Working?

  2. What’s Not Working?

  3. What Do I Need to Change?

  4. What Do I Need to Keep?

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The 3-Part “Spirals and Stickies for Super Achievers” Home Study course is for you!!!

 

10 Ways to Save $100 in Just One Week

300_moneysystemsLast week I shared Systems for Savings and Teaching Kids About Financial Literacy. In that article I promised to give you a a bunch of ideas to help you collectively save $100 in just one week and perhaps even $100’s if not $1,000s in one year.

Ditch Your Cable/TV package

Call can review your TV package. Do you really NEED all of those channels? Are you really wanting to spend that much time in front of the TV anyway? This saved us $30 a month and we were on a VERY low plan already. Now, we watch for FREE on YouTube or get a Redbox video on occasion. ($7.50 per week)

Downgrade Your Cell phone package

Do you need all those minutes? Unlimited data? After talking to your cell carrier, you may find that you can save yourself a bundle each month! This simple call, saved us over $50 per month ($13 per week)

Drop Your Land Line

We were reluctant to do this, but after looking at all the numbers and reasons for really needing the phone line in the first place, we decided the savings of $36 a month was worth it. We now have unlimited calling on our  cell phones and we’re still saving money for having dropped the home phone line. ($9 per week) 

Spanish Potroast Sarah L CookPantry Scavenger Hunt 

What could you make just from “shopping” in your pantry this week? This is HUGE savings, plus it will give you a great excuse to finally get your cupboards/shelves/pantry clean. We did this and saved $100 plus in our weekly grocery bill. ($100, but not something you can do every week! :-))

Shop Price Per….

May people are used to shopping with coupons or buying the bottle or package that has the lowest price listed, but many people are unaware that those aren’t always the best prices. Learn to read the fine print of how much you are paying per ounce, per item, per pound, etc. Doing this could save you $100’s per year. For example, we use a lot of turkey in our house because we don’t eat pork and have very limited red meat. Turkey bacon at one store is actually 30-60 cents less per ounce that at another store. When you are buying several pounds per month, that really adds up.  (LOTS – at least $30 per week!)

Brown Bag It!

With the minimum price for lunch being $3 (and that’s for school lunch at the high school cafeteria where my son goes to school, it’s MUCH more if you are ordering takeout or going to a restaurant), you will save over $15 per week just by bringing lunch with you to school or work. ($15 or more!)

Go A Library Card

You can check out books instead of buying them and even read or listen to many of them without even going to the library because the checkout is virtual! This would save my daughter dozens a month on her Amazon account.  (Savings depends on how much you read!)

Crack the Code on your Card Statements

It’s likely that you have recurring expenses that you have forgotten about that are being billed to your credit card/debit card every month. Take some time to go through EVERY SINGLE charge on your credit card and call to cancel anything you are not longer using. You may find other miscellaneous or erroneous charges on there as well. When going through ours yesterday, I found three charges from our local gas station right after the other. Only one was accurate and the other two were removed, but they would have likely stayed there and I would have been charged for them had I not taken the time to look through my statement. You also want to look at any FREEBIES your card offers that you aren’t taking advantage of. These benefits may include extended warranties, free tickets, price drop protection, extra discounts, concierge services, cash back, and cash giveaways. (Could REALLY ADD UP! We paid for ALL of Christmas with CASH BACK from our credit cards! NOTE: NEVER carry a balance of your credit card, even if the perks on the card are fabulous! The interest you are paying on the balance is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!)

Make Friends with eBay and Craigslist

Grow Your Marriage By Leaps and Boundaries

If you’re like most Americans, you have a few EXTRA things in your home that you could likely get some cash for if you listed it on eBay or Craigslist. Not only can you make money getting rid of your old items, but you might also find some treasures you had  forgotten about.

Re-Design Date Night

In my husband’s book, Grow Your Marriage By Leaps and Boundaries, he lists over 100 DATE ideas and most of them are free! Considering a date to the movies or dinner is close to $40 these days, getting his book may likely be an investment that could save you $1000’s over the course of a year! :-)

Systems for Savings and Teaching Financial Concepts to Kids

300_moneysystemsThe 2012 Annual National Survey Assessing Household Savings found some startling statistics – that less than 67% of US households spend less than they earn and that only 42% have a savings plan with specific goals!

Are you and your family part of those dismal statistics? If so, wouldn’t you like to change your financial situation?

Last week on Sacramento and Company, I talked with host, Mellisa Paul about saving money – why it’s so important and ways to make it fun and easy on ourselves and our children!

**I’ll post the replay link to the segment here as soon as it is made available**

Making Savings Easy

No matter what our savings goals are, we can make it super easy on ourselves by making our savings automatic! The most simple way to do this is to set up automatic deductions through your bank into one or more savings accounts. When you don’t see the money come into your main checking account, you will often forget about it being there making your savings safe in your savings account!  Of course, you can always go into your savings account and transfer the money and spend it, but it is less likely that you will do that after it has been automatically withdrawn.  :-) This simple method can be used to save for a car, Christmas, a vacation, a new TV, and more. What will you start saving for today?

I love Saving 4 Jars SISSHow to Teach the Value of Savings to Children 

Teaching financial concepts to children is best done in alignment with their learning style. For a few years now, we had only been using a spreadsheet to show my youngest son how to track his money into the categories of: Sharing, Investing, Saving and Spending (SISS).

The problem was it wasn’t really working. He would burn through his money so quickly and we couldn’t figure out how to break him of the habit.

Finally, at Christmas I decided to make things more tangible for him and helped him turn containers from his stocking loot into “4 Jars” for splitting his money into. For the last two months he has split his money up every week and has set aside nearly $15 in each of the 4 jars. That’s quite a bit of money for a Little Man who used to buy a Little Cesar’s pizza every time he had $6.45 in his account. He’s spent a bit of money on candy grams for a couple of friends and almost has enough in his Spend Jar to buy a new game for the Xbox Kinect he saved for and purchased several months ago. Making the financial education match his learning style of visual/kinesthetic has really paid off.

How are you teaching your children about money? 

How to Make Saving Money FUN 

It’s never been very effective to save money for the sake of saving or to simply “pay of debt”. Our brains just don’t seem to be wired that way. If you know you need to save money in your family budget so that you can get out from under a mountain of debt, why not make it more fun by saving a portion of that money to fund a fun vacation or a purchase you really want. At the same time the automatic deduction comes out to pay the debt, you have another automatic deduction take out to fund your dream as well. Every day when you wake up, see yourself on your vacation. Cut pictures out of the destination and post them in places you will see them. When you lay in bed at night take yourself on your vacation in your mind, make it so real that you can touch, taste, and feel like you are already there! Could you get excited about taking that vacation and paying for it with CASH all while getting your financial situation in shape?

Come back next week and I’ll share with you a BUNCH of ways you can potentially save $100 in just one week!! :-)

It’s Tax Time!

Sarah L Cook SacandCo Mellisa Paul Trimming ChristmasAre you pulling your hair out yet trying to gather all the paperwork together to file your taxes? Have you promised yourself, “This year things will be different so that next tax season won’t be such a nightmare!”?

Sacramento and Company host, Mellisa Paul I talked about taxes and how to keep more of the money you’ve earned for your family! The video replay of the segment is below for you to watch!!!

Now, I’m bringing you MORE ideas for organization and tax savings (after all there’s only so much you can fit into a 5 min segment)! Can you see the advantage of a hassle-free tax season? Then register for the FREE webinar I am hosting called, Systems for Stress Free Tax Season!

 

http://eepurl.com/gWdoT

Systems for Living Now and Changing the Future

Good Enough is FINEAre there shadows of doubt and levels of perfection that have stopped you from living the life you were meant to live?

I can totally relate!
Maybe you have believed the lies and limited thinking of others. Maybe you have achieved success, but you are still just shy of your big goals, dreams, and true heart’s desire. Perhaps you have even fallen into the trap that everything has to be perfect rather than letting unimportant things be “good enough”. Allowing for some things to be “good enough” creates space and time to move on to what’s really important and complete with a level of excellence the things that are near and dear to our heart.

Today I want to share with you a few things, my “SYSTEM”, if you will, for living now and re-writing the future! I haven’t re-written all of my “past”, but I am well on my way to creating the future I dream of and desire, stepping into the vision God has for me! I have chosen to let go of the impossible task of having everything be perfect and have choose to allow for somethings to be “good enough”.

So far my “system” has allowed me to go from the “plus size” I was in all my life, to a 4/6 in just 2.5 months and I have kept the weight off for over ten years now. My system has allowed me to earn the use of 10 company cars in the skin care company I have represented for 21 years. It’s allowed me to write and publish my first book and be featured in three others, land my own TV segment, speak at fabulous events, travel with my family, successfully home school my oldest two children, and on and on. Yes, I am loving who I am now more than ever before. I have a fabulous life, and while there are uphill days and struggles, each day I am creating an even brighter future! You can too! 😉

 1. Show Up

Staying in bed all day feeding my fears wasn’t going to introduce me to amazing people. Everyday I chose to SHOW UP and be in places where I was open to opportunities, new adventures, and fabulous connections. Sometimes those places were virtual, like Tweet chats and telesummits. Other times, I have found opportunities and fabulous people at conferences, the post office, and even the grocery store. Are you showing up?

2. Suit Up

The t-shirts, jeans, and Birkenstocks of my past were never going to get me to the places I have been and certainly aren’t going to take me where I am going. Yes, I still love my favorite button-fly jeans and v-necked shirts, but when it comes to creating success, I strive to SUIT UP and “dress to impress”.  Are you dressing like the person you want to be and the clients you want to attract?

3. Speak Up

It is true that what you “profess you possess”. By nature, I am a critical thinker. I like things to be perfect, and I often see the imperfections first. This is great when refining systems that you want to run more smoothly and efficiently, but it’s not effective when you want to create a new vision for yourself and all you see is what is “not enough” and “not working”. I WORK daily to think and SPEAK UP and say only what I WANT to BE REALITY, rather than continuing to tell the story of what was or what “seems to be” right now. Dozens of times a day, I tell myself the story that I am in the process of creating. I affirm that I am learning all that I need to learn and that sometimes “good enough” is enough. Every success I have ever achieved has come that way… my new body, the cars, books, trips… all of it! What are you speaking and creating today?

Now is the time to draw a line in the sand and commit to changing what the past predicts the future to be! One step forward at a time – Show Up, Suit Up, and Speak Up! You can do it! I can do it! We can do it!

Would you like some help along your journey? Register for my Systems with Sarah email resources by adding your name and email here.  You are also welcome to contact me regarding 1:1 coaching by contacting me here. 

Sticky Notes and Spiral Notebooks – Organization that Rocks!

Each month I use a spiral notebook to stay organized.  I love the system so much I’ve created a home-study course to teach others how to implement the tools that have worked so effectively for me over the last 21 years in business and as an author, speaker, and mom of three.

To give you a brief intro, I use two pages per day, which gives me plenty of room to track information about appointments and all my communication – emails, phone calls, texts, etc. It also gives me a place to put all of my sticky notes from my brain dump the night before.

I have the following sections in my notebook along with a few others:

  1. Daily (two page spread)
  2. Monthly Projects
  3. Goals
  4. Notes

If the sticky note has something pertaining to what I have to do today, it  goes on the page for today. The cool thing about stickies is that you can move them! If I didn’t get something done today, I simply move it to another day. If an idea for a video or article doesn’t get done this month, I simply move it to my spiral notebook for next month. Sometimes, I decide not to use an idea at all, and then it goes in the recycle bin! :-)

I would love to share with you so many more tips and tricks for increasing your productivity and have made a free 30 minute webinar so you can take a look. In the webinar,  I share lots of actionable ideas that you can implement right away. To get immediate access, click the grey button below and simply add your name to the contact form. The webinar replay will be delivered right to your email box!! :-)

***If you are using Gmail be sure to check your “Promotions” folder as it will automatically be sent to there. :-)

If you are ready to register for the “Stickies and Spirals for Super Achievers” Home Study Course click the button below!

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Have a flat out amazing day!