Do this to ensure your financial success in 2021

2020 is over its time to move on from it and get back on track and become more disciplined. We are in January, and it’s likely that you will have a credit card bills coming in from the holidays. Did you overspend? You aren’t alone if you did, many people who were at home found it easy to shop online and spend. Even if you didn’t overspend below is how you can ensure financial success in 2021.

Step 1: List all your debt’s smallest to largest. (total owed)

Step 2: Next to each debt, if you know it, list the minimum payment for each.

Step 3: Next to each Minimum payment, list the type of debt. (credit card, Auto loan, house payment.

Step 4: next to each debt, if you know it, list the minimum payment for each.

You should now have a matrix of 4 columns, if you did it in Excel even better, paper is fine too. You now have a list of the all the items that are crippling you financially and holding you back from obtaining wealth and freedom. It’s at this point you should take a break from this task. To this point it likely took you from 15-30 minutes to organize but emotionally you might be exhausted.

Now we start on ensuring your financial success in 2021.

Come back to your list when you are ready, but no longer than a week. (you should work on this for at least ½ hour a week, you can do that). Add the column of minimum payments, this is how much you are spending a month on debt. This is IN ADDITION TO your rent, food, utilities, travel. Calculating those are a separate exercise. For now, stick to the total number in column “minimum payment”.

Total DebtMinimum PaymentType of DebtInterest Rate
1$128,000.00($1,500.00)Mortgage4.25%
2$97,000.00$0.00Student loans8.00%
3$17,500.00($585.00)Car Payments5.50%
4$2,500.00($50.00)Discover21.00%
5$800.00($25.00)Master Card17.50%
6$750.00($25.00)Visa18.00%
Total Debt($2,185.00)
Total Fixed($1,815.00)
Grand Total($4,000.00)
Income$4,250.00
Net$250.00
A simple spreadsheet is enough

For my example it is $2185.00. Now add to this your other fixed expenses for the month. Rent, food, utilities all the things you have to have to live, not the things you want. Let’s say that number is $1815, add those two together = $4,000.00 below the 4000.00 put your monthly take home pay.

Your half hour is up, take a break and come back when you are emotionally ready. You now have the blue print to ensure you financial success in 2021. If your monthly take home pay is less than your total expenses your pay has to increase or your expenses have to decrease. You can increase your take home pay by working more, reducing your retirement contributions as an example. Expenses can be reduced by moving to a cheaper apt, less food as an example.

We now start the methodical work of eliminating debt smallest to largest. In my example I have a surplus of $250.00 per month. I am going to take that surplus and ADD IT TO the minimum payment of the smallest debt, my $750.00 visa. In 3 months that card should be paid off. At that point I would then have a surplus of $275.00 a month, which I ADD TO the minimum payment of the next smallest debt the $800 master card which would be $300.00 a month payment. In 3 months that should be paid off.

You rinse repeat for every debt. Eliminating credit cards along the way (you only need one) and revisiting this matrix for ½ hour a week, every week through 2021. You will begin eliminating debt and increasing your net surplus every month. THAT is financial success. You have more money every month to live on, imagine when there is no debt? You have a surplus of 2K plus a month?

Vacations, retirement, new clothes, vehicle upgrades are all on the table at that point. The key to ensuring your financial success in 2021 is becoming debt free ASAP. Then instead of working to send your money to someone else, you get to keep it. ½ hour a week is all it takes. Focus on it, make it a ritual and really invest in your personal economy.

Any questions along the way ask and if I can I will help you.  

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Division is profitable

We are now in the next phase of Big Tech government. If you are under the illusion that one party is different from another (Democrat/Republican) then this post probably isn’t for you, you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid already. Division is profitable, it helps create tidy boxes you can check against people to help market and sell. The sinister part? Millions have taken it hook line and sinker.

Not saying the right things on social media? You’ll be cancelled. Not supporting the right candidate? Your church will shun you. It’s not just one side either, sure the loudest voices (for now) might be on one side, but what’s the end game? When you are shouting down, cancelling, harassing, attacking those who don’t adhere to your doctrine, what is your goal?

In my decades on the internet, and decades in life I have never once changed someone’s mind politically and I have never seen someone else do it either. So that can’t be goal, do you want these people dead? Do you want them to suffer? You aren’t going to change their political views or their personal beliefs so why do it? Do you feel empowered?

The louder you shout, the less I hear

The above is the sinister part eluded to in the first paragraph. You see what you achieve is labeling. When you label it then creates the conditions by which the person labeled has nowhere else to go. You’ve now made an enemy for life essentially, and this person, wounded, will always look to work against your interest. What a great environment to sell product.

All I have to do is create narratives that fit side A or side B and PRESTO! I have a willing consumer base. Where else are you going to go? Side C is small, there are only a few of us, you can’t go back to the other side (A or B) so you roll with the side that isn’t attacking you. Politics and political ideology isn’t out there to help you, it’s out there to govern you.

Do you know what govern means? You do understand it is meant to make you compliant to the will of others, even the vocal minority. If instead of being an attack dog for whatever side has taken you in, you chose instead to stop the assault your quality of life may improve. All this time you have spent throwing yourself against the ideology of those who disagree with you is wasted, you will never get it back.

They are not going to change how they feel, particularly since you’ve put their backs against a wall are holding a knife of cancellation against their throat. You can’t win, and what’s worse is, and I don’t think you fully understand this, you’ve created an enemy for life. Life has a funny way of coming full circle, I’ve seen it so many times in many other venues. It may be that sometime in the future, you’re the one being cancelled.

Division is profitable, who gains by all of this?

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Avoid a 2021 Christmas Crisis with this simple strategy

Yes, you read that correctly we are talking about 2021 Christmas. I spend more during the holidays then any other part of the year excluding vacations. I have nieces, nephews, kids, wife $$$ it all adds up. If you are like me, you can drop a lot of cash on the holidays. Maybe you don’t have it and are using your credit card? Couple of parties, a bottle of wine or 3, cocktails at a company party (remember those?). It all adds up and here is a simple strategy you can start now that will provide you with the cash to do it.

Get an envelope, or an old book, or a jar some type of container. Every Friday until the end of the year put $20 in it. Even if you have to actually go the bank and withdraw cash, do it. Then forget it until the next Friday. If you started this week that would be 49 Fridays until the end of the year @ $20 = $980.00.

No maybe you spend more than that I do. Regardless, what this does is it gives you a target (ideally we hit $1,000.00) of cash. If you paid everything CC, fine deposit your money back into the bank. If you are going shopping physically, even better. Leave your CC at home and bring your envelope and pay cash for the presents. This is an introduction to what we call a “sinking fund” I will be doing another piece on those soon.

It may be the root of all evil, but we all need it.

For those of us with Anxiety this “cash in the draw” is going to help come the holidays. You’ll know it’s there and you’ll know its purpose was intended to be spent on the holidays. That will provide some relief to one of the most stressful times of the year and one of the most stressful aspects, the financial burden.

You can adjust the amount up or down if you want, I chose 20 because starting now gets me close to 1,000 and that’s a nice lump sum to have to spend on the holidays. You can start this whenever you want, the key is consistency. EVERY FRIDAY you put the cash in your envelope or wherever you secret hiding place is. You don’t withdraw it until you start spending on what the money was intended for.

You can do this, it’s a simple yet tried and true financial practice. No it’s not very sophisticated, but it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective!

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Oscar Wilde

“2020 Worst year ever” – Now what?

This will be short and sweet (well maybe a little sour). We can all agree 2020 was a bad year pretty much everywhere. Hopefully you came out of it with minimal scarring but here we are entering the 3rd week of January. When we proclaim “2020 Worst year ever” that leaves us very little wiggle room in 2021. What happens if things don’t go the way you want it? Will it be “2021 worst year ever?”

At some point we have to decide to push back, 2020 was exhausting at every level. IMHO everyone gets a pass for being lethargic, complacent, compliant, apathetic. That’s over now and its time for a good old fashion kick in the ass. We have to get motivated again, we have to push and retake back the things that make our lives have greater value.

I love going to the movies, it’s a simple pleasure really, it’s been tried and tested and a good formula existed. For me that is one of my goals in 2021 is to go back to a movie theatre, get a large popcorn and soda and watch a great movie. I don’t know if it will happen, but even if I have to travel to another state I am doing it.

I have to get out of my home office.

Why? Because that small thing adds value to my life and I miss it and I’m not willing to just let it go. What was it for you? What did you have to let go of in 2020? Get out there and get it back, no more excuses no B.S. I am not going to let people shame me, I’m not going to stay locked inside in fear. Life is to short and time is running out for all of us. I’m not going to be reckless, I will respect other people and their health concerns, I will continue to wear a mask, but I am going to start clawing back the things that made my life more enjoyable.

I know it’s silly, small and stupid “he wants to go see a movie” I know, but I am doing something about it, I am taking back something I once had. I’m not blaming anyone, I am just fighting back against what was “2020 Worst year ever” are you?

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3 quick tips to deal with public anxiety

If you read this blog you know we do a lot of pieces for people with Anxiety. We all have to go out into the public world, maybe less so with covid but we are there and we have to have tools to deal with it. This wont be a long post, but here are 3 things you can do to deal with anxiety when you are experiencing it in public.

  1. Shoulders back, stand up straight take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your nose: It sounds simple doesn’t it? Stand up and try it now, notice how you seem larger? You feel broader? This is a tried and true body language technique that tricks the mind into feeling more confident. You are also projecting that confidence outwardly to those watching.
  2. Smile: Smiles are disarming. Not only that it projects comfort. Simply put when you smile at someone they often perceive that you are happy, calm and not a threat. None of that may be true of course but smiling can help you weave through uncomfortable situations. Standing in line to get a coffee? Sure you could stare at your phone instead, but then youre awareness of your surroundings diminish.
  3. Wear heels: Men you can wear boots with a heel (or pumps I don’t care) but anything that makes you appear taller then you are. Often when we are taller we feel more confident, confidence is our friend in this fight against public anxiety. Also, when you are taller you will find those shorter then you are more apt to project friendly vibes.

Sound silly? Try it let me know if any of them worked, they work for me. J

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Skin Picking: An unexpected sign of anxiety

Today we go back to our bread and butter format. Do you pick your skin? I do, I have a nasty habit of biting at my cudicals and biting my finger nails. Scabs? I pick them. Skin tags? Ya I pick at those too. I found a good article here that discusses this issue.

From the article: “One of the most common — but least talked about — signs of anxiety is skin picking, or dermatillomania. In fact, the condition is believed to affect one in 20 people. “Dermatillomania, or excoriation disorder, [is a] skin picking disorder is where you cannot stop picking at your skin,” the National Health Service explains. And it is a condition I know a lot about. I obsessively pick my lip and the skin on the bottom of my foot, often to the point of pain. I unintentionally (but regularly) bleed. And I am not alone.”

The article has a lot more to offer then this one issue. To be blunt it has little on it but it’s something I have myself and have seen in others. It is a disorder and it falls under the umbrella of anxiety and stress related issues. Picking your skin is likely something you picked up years ago, sometime during puberty. Many of us struggle with body issues at that point in our lives (yes men too!) and when we have a blemish, a pimple ANYTHING we want it gone.

Itchy skin or nervous habit?

We develop a habit associated with how we felt at the time. It was the anxiety surrounding a perceived imperfection. Now as we progress through our adult lives we have WAY more adult issues to deal with. Pandemics, Politics, Finances, on and on and on. So how do we deal with these stressors? Some of us drink or do drugs, others become depressed, some hide, some hoard, and some pick at their skin.

The next time you find yourself doing something like this, try as hard as you can to stop and reflect on how you are feeling at that moment? For me its invasive thoughts. I can sometimes travel decades into the past and remember a situation that was awkward of harsh and I begin to bite my nails. Nothing is wrong with my nails, it is my emotional state at the time in relation to a past event.

It’s just one more thing for us as individuals with anxiety to pay attention to. Add it to the list!

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Good Morning !

Hello readers !

No formal post today going to take a day off from posting. I will be back on Wednesday with a formal post and will resume my normal schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s. Nothing is wrong, things are well just a day off.

Thank you for your continued support of my blog I really appreciate it.

Karac

New Year’s Resolution?

“2020 worst year ever” was the mantra for most of last year. It’s over you made it. What changed exactly from 12.31.20 to 1.1.21? Not a whole hell of a lot really. Change happens when you commit to it, and change is one of those romantized notions that people cling to in the hopes of a better outcome. New leaders, new seasons, new year’s, new clothes, new jobs on and on.

How do you feel? I’m betting you feel pretty close to the same as you did in 2020. I’m not chastising you here I am trying to knock the steam out of a potential failure. So many people pin their hopes on a “new year” a “resolution” and it rarely works out. Why is that? Because the changes you seek are often desired to have immediacy. Simply put, you want big changes as fast as possible and change doesn’t work that way.

What’s going to make 2021 better for you? Have you identified that yet? Changing your life requires momentum and momentum is achieved often by small incremental steps not huge leaps. Sure some people can make massive strides fast and maybe you are one of those people I don’t know. What’s an example, okay let’s try this.

I once resolved to quit coffee…. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Ya no.

You want to lose 40 pounds, you make large changes in your diet exercise, you go all in. in a month you are exhausted, you are binging food and it’s just “one cheat day” before you know it its march and the 40-pound goal is gone. OR you could change one part of your diet. “I am no longer going to drink soda” now which do you think will be more successful?

You may stray once and while and chug a soda, but it’s a far easier goal to attain then the mountain you wanted to climb by losing 40. Here is the point. Small Incremental changes lead to long term positive outcomes. By creating large resolutions, we place ourselves in a position to not succeed. I didn’t say fail because effort is a success. Smaller more attainable goals build momentum and create the conditions by which you can parlay them into larger success. Here are 5 small resolutions to strive for instead of one huge one.

  1. Eat less sugar
  2. Save $20 a week
  3. Turn the screens off at 10:30 PM
  4. Take 3000 steps a day
  5. Volunteer once a month

Small changes provide a great chance for successful outcomes. This in turn provides a great chance to parlay those successes into smaller changes, medium changes or eventually into large life altering changes. A new year is a great time to resolve to do better. Put yourself in a position to succeed in 2021 by making a few small changes first.

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How to move mountains

The two most powerful words in every language – (REPOST)

This is a repost of a piece I did sometime ago. I think this is a particularly important blog post as we start 2021 and leave 2020 behind. Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog, enjoy the post.

Yes and No.

For those of us with anxiety we often go with “yes” because it relieves the immediate chance for stress. When someone is asking you something, when you say yes, you are giving them what they want. More often then not this means they will leave you alone to sort out what the yes response means.

Sadly “yes” often means more on us. We have more work to do, we have expectations to fill, we have the burden of attempting to gauge expectations pertaining to the yes response. It’s a potent word, it can be empowering, if yes lends you to a leverage position. Using leverage isn’t always an attractive option for those of us with anxiety. We feel bad, rightfully or wrongly.

The more powerful word is no. No absolves you from responsibility for the other persons desire. Simply put, when you say no you are free. Free from the constraints of expectations of others. While it is more powerful then yes, it thus has the requisite anxiety attached. You are not pleasing the other person, you are not satiating them, they may press and ask for more.

No can directly lead to conflict, moral, ethical, spiritual, personal, relationship on and on. It is a dangerous word for those of us with anxiety. When we say no, we open ourselves up for mental exercises that can lead to crippling anxiety, I know I’ve experienced it.

I am starting to use “no” more and it’s been pretty cathartic. It makes my “yes” responses much more powerful and I feel better about it when I do. I find I am asked to do less, and the more I do the more it is appreciated. Using the “yes” response devalued my contributions, it was expected, and it increased my anxiety a great deal. “No” seems so negative, but it truly isn’t, at least not for me.

Which of these two powerful words do you use most often?

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2020 – Blog Review – 2021 The Future

These types of posts are hard to do in the sense that as the author you know that its not going to be informative or relevant for many. Meaning, most people come to your blog because they want to read about a specific issue to them that you covered. Yes many of us have devout readers and I suppose to them its interesting. All that said, I think its important to go over the last year and preview what is to come.

2020 – Notes and Summaries:

  • The blog grew over 400% in views and visitors
  • The blog grew 152% in subscribers
  • The blog had total near 7000 hits.

Now those might not be big numbers for your blog but for mine that’s remarkable growth. It takes a long time to build a community when your blogging. I am not doing this for  commercial reasons, its just my little corner of the web. Yes I do some marketing, Twitter, Minds etc but I am not doing the full push. I don’t plan to, I like the organic growth. 2020 wasn’t a great year, I turned 50, my youngest graduated high school and started college. Its been challenging.

2021 – What to expect

  • There will be no ads or solicitations on this blog
  • I will do more posts on finance
  • I will do more posts on current events

2021 I am hopeful the blog will have a similar growth trajectory. 400% growth in views and visitors year over year is a big ask. I’d like to reach 500+ subscribers though, that would be super cool.

Expanding on 2021 what to expect

  • This isn’t a commercial blog I am not doing this for money so no ads or solicitations for 2021.
  • My most successful posts overall as a category were finance related. I cant ignore that and while this wont be a finance blog, I am interested in that subject and apparently so are some of my readers.
  • Now that the wave of politics is mostly over and covid is winding down, I want to write on current events. (sports, movies, culture).

As always the heart and soul of this blog will be anxiety releated. Not exclusive but the context will always be dealing with anxiety in context. I really appreciate your continued support of my blog. It helps keep me motivated when I see likes, or people comment, and people subscribe. If there is any content you ever want me to post about please reach out to me via the contact page. Last, thank you for those who shared my content, reposted and actively helped me promote the blog I really, really appreciate it.

Onward to 2021.

Karac