Thursday, August 4, 2011

What were they thinking Thursday? Stop spending more money than you make!

Everyone is spending more than they make, which is why we are in such a bad economy.  We are on a downward spiral and the banks and government are leading the way.  It shouldn't be this way, they should be our examples.  The people we should look up to are those frugal Americans who cut coupons, live in the same house and drive the same car their whole lives.  Seriously!  I am so guilty like the rest of America.  I want the beautiful things in life and can you blame me, I'm surrounded by luxury all day (it's just not mine).    I drool over such things like....
An anniversary ring by Ritani

Knoll Barcelona Couch

Probably what these would cost could pay for a year of college for my son or pay off a car.  I know I really shouldn't buy things when I have debt.  

A plan of action I have learned over the years (but don't follow sometimes) is ....

1.  To pay off debt - Read Dave Ramsey's book "The total money makeover"  and join the debt snowball

Some say, pay your highest interest debt first and others say, pay your smallest debt first then roll that payment into the next smallest debt and then because they are paid off so fast you get excited so you keep it up.  Do whichever works for you!

2.  Establish a budget and stick to it.  YIKES!!! This is the hardest part for me.  I love clothes and it's so hard to not want to buy them.  I have learned that you have to compromise.  You can't have the nice car, house, furniture, Tory Burch flats and Gucci bag.  At least most of us can't, you have to give up something.  I give up having a nice car so I can have clothes.  My husband is the opposite.  

Try a separate bank account to separate play money (no interest or monthly fees of course) or the cash in the envelope trick.  (BTW the cash thing doesn't work for me because I use my bank card)  I am open to any other ideas someone might have to budget???

3. Prioritize major purchases  - This means actually having the money in the bank.  Bummer!  Make a list and try to purchase things you need over time as you have the cash.  

4. Do you really need what you have-  Read our blog "The Pulp- Living Smaller"

5. Live Beautifully

This is the key.  You can surround yourself with beautiful things and not spend a lot of money.  I attended an event where Barbara Barry, an iconic designer, spoke.  She said that she didn't have alot of money when she was young, but she used all her talent to have those few key pieces that spoke of who she was and made her feel good in her home as well as how she presented herself. 
Barbara Barry

Her style is simple elegance

Here's some ideas on ways to not spend much money, but still have the home you want.

HGTV has some advice on Low Budget Decorating/High Style Looks

•Revisit your stuff - The 3 R's - repaint, re-purpose, reupholster

What a difference!

This is a great way to update a chair or sofa.  Just put a pashmina, table cloth or throw over a chair or sofa.  What about using a Suzani?

A Suzani can bring life to a room!!

Repaint an old table or dresser

Buy a new shade for an old lamp

Etsy HomeSweet

Lamps Plus

Lamps Plus

New pillows for your sofa or chair can quickly change a room.  Here's some new pillows from West Elm

Here's some great pillows from Jonathan Adler- Bobo Pillows

Paint new life into a room 

White can always make a room feel more fresh and new!

What a difference!  Strategically placed Accent walls whether they are paint or wallpaper make a huge impact.


•Rearranging - Try rearrange your furniture to change things up or maybe use a room differently to fit your current needs.  If you don't use your dining room except for once a year then think of using it as a multi-purpose space.

Here's some inspirational rooms:

 If only I could follow my own advice ~ Brandy


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