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10 Ways to Live Rich and Spend Smart in 2014

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Living rich does not mean mindless spending. 2014 is about getting back on track and making smart spending decisions that allow us to live rich lives everyday.

 

Here are 10 ways to live rich and spend smart in the new year:

1. Return to debit-only spending and avoid overspending on credit cards.

2. Give a small, homemade gift spontaneously to a loved one, just to show them how much you care about them. Check out this Pinterest board by Saving by Design for some ideas!

3. Smartly make purchases for experiences, rather than accumulating stuff. For example, book reservations with Open Table and strategically use those points for great date nights with your significant other!

4. Attend a free yoga class! Nothing says relax and rejunventation in the near year like a downward dog. Here are a list of websites that offer free (or dirt cheap) yoga classes.

5. File your taxes by Feb. 1st to avoid the inevitable last minute anxiety of rushing in April. Then put your tax refund into a savings account, rather than spending it!

6. Pay off your credit cards (for real this time)! There is no better way to build wealth than to get out of debt. Use an online tool like Ready for Zero to pay them down.

7. Cancel those magazine subscriptions for those unread magazines. Saving even $20 annually on each is meaningful.

8. Make 3 simple new years resolutions, and actually keep them. Here are GoGirlFinance’s 6 steps to make sure you keep your resolutions.

9. Boost your creativity. Improving creativity allows you to access your rich, most creative mindspace to help you solve problems better.  Here are 9 ways to generate new ideas by Wisebread.

10. Volunteer one hour a month for a charity or non-profit that supports a cause that is important to you. You will not only enrich your life, but enrich the lives of others. VolunteerMatch is a great, simple way to find a cause you care about.

 

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Written by Julianna of Moven. Follow her at @jbatistaa.com.

 

4 Ways to Cultivate Money Mindfulness This Holiday

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The practice of mindfulness is about getting out of our head (where mind chatter lives) and dropping into our body, while having sensory awareness of what is going on inside of us. It is in part being an observer of ourselves. In this place of observation, we notice our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.

By using the breath (a few deep inhales and exhales), as a tool to relax into our body and become more aware, our mind chatter has less influence over us…because we are noticing the chatter rather than reacting to it. This simple act of dropping into bodily awareness has the ability to change the chemicals circulating in our bodies (reducing the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol), which help change our perceptions and how we view life happenings.

For example, the act of noticing the present moment through our senses, slows down our perception of time. Slowing down time, opens us to an inner stillness and it is in this space of inner stillness, where creativity can come forth. Why is this helpful in a season of bustling busyness? Because we can create our own inner calm regardless of what is going on around us. We can see new options and solutions to perceived concerns. We can re-frame in this space. It is a space where we can regulate our emotions, which is very important during this holiday season.

 

So, why apply the concept of mindfulness to our money lives? Because we get more:

Joy

Mindfulness can take us out of a “wanting state of mind,” and transport us to a “gratitude state of mind.” This shift can help us experience a feeling of “enough” in our lives. When we are fulfilled from the inside out, we spend less. We also experience more joy in this space!

Peace & Calm

Mindfulness can get you in touch with your true needs this holiday season, which may be to relax more and decorate less (just projecting out my own stuff here)!

Honoring of Spending Intentions 

Better decisions come from a place of mindfulness. With a few deep breaths, bringing us into increased self awareness, we may notice the inner chatter going on in our heads about holiday shopping. Rather than our inner chatter ruling our spending decisions, we can recalibrate, breath, and stay focused on the spending plan we have created for ourselves rather than doing emotional  or impulsive spending.

Creative Solutions

What if you are in a bit of a money pickle this holiday season, possibly recovering from some unexpected expenses, stressed about not having enough money for gift giving. Dropping into mindfulness can help you access your creativity, which can support you giving in a way that feels right to your bank account and honoring of your current situation.

 

IMAGINE staying centered, grounded, calm, emotionally regulated, and connected to what is most important to you this holiday season…rather than being in a space of reacting to the busyness, bustling, shop til you drop exhaustion, and trying to create a holiday season of perfection!

 

Denise Hughes works at the intersection of money, heart, and soul. She knows how to access a client’s emotional landscape in order to create change on his or her fiscal landscape. Her focus: The art of mixing possibility thinking, visioning, and mature money behaviors to create a unique financial masterpiece. Her magic touch: She brings creative, right-brain thinking to the canvas of numbers, sprinkling the process with lightness, un-shaming, huge doses of inspiration, and compassion.

For Divorcing Women: My Five Best Financial Tips For The End Of The Year

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 It’s already December, and I know it’s easy to get “wrapped up” in all the hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season. However, if you are planning to divorce in the New Year, this is also a time when you can take a few important steps that will make the process much, much easier in the months ahead.

So take my advice: Use the next few weeks to make a divorce financial list –and then, check it twice! To help get you started, here are my five best financial tips for the end of the year: Keep reading

Money & Love

Money Can’t Buy Love

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Guest post by Chris Dlugozima.

Everywhere you look, love is in the air. The popularity of dating sites seems to grow by the minute. It’s hard for some to imagine life before speed dating. But once all the butterflies flutter away and the harsh reality sets in, the challenge of figuring out how to reach financial goals together will eventually smack you in the face harder than one of the Real Housewives.
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