Sunday, December 28, 2008

What's your platinum-level gift?

I received a text saying – I MADE IT! from my 16 year old cousin. I knew immediately that she had made the dance team. I was very excited for her and wanted to get her a congratulatory gift. So when I got home, I asked her what she would like. I gave her some options: a platinum level, gold level, silver level, and bronze level gift. She thought hard for a moment and began to tell me her “leveled” gifts.

Platinum level = An IPod or any MP3 player
Gold level = A pair of jeans
Silver level = A promise to come to a least one performance
Bronze level = I don’t know I can’t think of anything else

Since Christmas has just passed, I began to wonder what gifts I would have liked to receive. Here is my “leveled” wish list:

Platinum level = The Kindle
Gold level = An IPod
Silver level = An hour massage at Spa Sydell
Bronze level = Bath and Body’s New Fragrance – Black Chamonille

As I was thinking of these items, it was great to see that “technically” I could buy all these gifts myself. However, I’m really trying to get out of debt and don’t NEED any of the above gifts. I really can’t rationalize buying anything, other than a few Bath and Body products.

Sooooooooo, what's your platinum-level gift?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Free Stuff

Christian Personal Finance is giving away some great stuff. This is a really cool contest for things that you can actually use. How do you win? Visit Christian Personal Finance for all the details. It's really easy to enter! Hurry, the contest ends December 29th at 11:59CST

The goodies up for grabs:

  • 8 GB iPod Nano
  • 1 GB iPod Shuffle
  • 6 months subscription to NeoBudget
    Neobudget is virtual-envelope system of budgeting that is similar to Mvelopes, but a lot cheaper. You can find out more about Neobudget.
  • 3 Silicon Scrapers from Pampered Chef
    Our scrapers are a staple for every kitchen. Heavy-duty silicon heads won’t crack, stain or melt. Handles won’t separate from the heads. Heat-safe to 650°F. Slim size gets to the bottom of small or narrow containers. Find out more about Pampered Chef.
  • H&R Block Taxcut Premium 2008 (2 copies)
    A few details from the Amazon Page
    TaxCut includes up to 5 free federal e-files and H&R Block expertise in every version
    Get extra assistance and money-saving advice to maximize deductions; plus, turn your donations into big tax savings with the included DeductionPro
    Receive additional guidance for complex tax situations to give you the confidence and assurance that your return is accurate
    Save time and reduce the chance for error by quickly and easily importing last year’s tax and financial data from TaxCut, TurboTax, Quicken, Microsoft Money, and H&R Block DeductionPro software, as applicable
    In the event of an audit, receive personal assistance from an IRS-licensed Enrolled Agent with audit representation expertise–not a self-serve Web site or FAQ page
  • C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce Audiobook
    From the Amazon page: “The Great Divorce is C.S. Lewis’s Divine Comedy: the narrator bears strong resemblance to Lewis (by way of Dante); his Virgil is the fantasy writer George MacDonald; and upon boarding a bus in a nondescript neighborhood, the narrator is taken to Heaven and Hell. The book’s primary message is presented with almost oblique tidiness–”There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” However, the narrator’s descriptions of sin and temptation will hit quite close to home for many readers. Lewis has a genius for describing the intricacies of vanity and self-deception, and this book is tremendously persistent in forcing its reader to consider the ultimate consequences of everyday pettiness.”
  • The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets by Peter Schiff
    From the Amazon Page: “Written by seasoned Wall Street prognosticator Peter Schiff–author of the bestselling book Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse–The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets reveals how you should protect your assets and invest your money when the American economy is experiencing perilous economic downturns and wealth building is happening elsewhere. Filled with insightful commentary, inventive metaphors, and prescriptive advice, this book shows you how to make money under adverse market conditions by using a conservative, nontraditional investment strategy.”
  • Overworked, Overwhelmed & Underpaid by Louis Barajas
    From the Amazon page:
    Overworked, Overwhelmed, and Underpaid is about creating a human experience through the coaching tools Louis Barajas uses with his clients. Perfect for people who are frustrated and struggling to express their full potential and live their highest purpose, this book takes readers through a four-step process to develop the self-confidence to not only build wealth but also live the life.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's so distracting to meet a new man...

I really have found that I absolutely HATE to meet someone new because I tell ya, I get so distracted. I can’t concentrate. Instead, I find myself daydreaming about the possibilities and replaying our most recent conversations. Or now in the age of technology, I am rereading emails and text messages. It’s totally ridiculous!!!! I swear I don’t get anything done because I’m so distracted by the possibilities. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about…Is this my Neo(like from The Matrix)?,Does he like to travel? How will our next date go or shall I say first date since at this point, I’ve only seen him once (and that was when we met.) I really am embarrassed that I’m so easily distracted from the more pressing issues in my life…like how to be debt-free, or what’s for dinner? Anywho…while I do really hate that I’m so distracted, I do LOVE the fact that I have someone to daydream about who is hopefully daydreaming about me too. So what's distracting you from being more productive these days?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are You a Filler or a Dipper?

I just finished listening to a great book on tape called How Full Is Your Bucket? The focus of the book was that the majority of our interactions are either positive or negative. We rarely have neutral interactions. So the book begins by asking the reader to think of his/her last interaction, was it positive or negative? If it was positive, then she had just filled someone’s bucket and if not she had dipped from someone’s bucket.

I, of course, immediately thought of my most recent interaction and am proud to say that I did indeed fill someone’s bucket. However, the book clearly defines that one must fill buckets without dipping into other’s buckets. Now, it gets tricky. Did I just make someone feel good at the expense of someone else? In my most recent interaction, I didn’t. But I can sure think of some times when I’ve done some serious dipping to fill someone else's bucket.

The book posed a challenge to make a conscience effort to fill at least one person’s bucket everyday. You could put a “drop” in their bucket by giving verbal praise, lending a helpful hand, giving an unexpected gift, leaving a voice mail, or sending an email or text. How cool would it be if we all began to make a conscience effort to be fillers and not dippers?

So, I’ll ask the question again…are you a dipper or filler?