Changing Money Strategies Part II

My credit score has jumped up 50 points from “fair” to “good” in the last 2 months! This is very exciting for me, as moving through this process, I will be able to take advantage of better interest rates on my loans. 

Working through the emotional aspects of my own worth, and taking The Daily Om Course on “A Year to Get Rich with Purpose,” I have made some more positive changes to my money strategies from when I originally posted here. As Sunday marked Day 70 for me, and my awareness of my thoughts and actions surrounding money has increased tremendously, I decided it was time for an update! While the program has not instructed me to make the changes I am about to explore, the awareness I have gained from the program has helped to inspire these shifts.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. I do not play one on TV. Instead, I am sharing with you my personal strategies for getting out-of-debt and changing the way I use my financial resources. Take what you like. It is my hope there is something here for you.

Personal Loan

Through signing up on LendingTree, I found a personal loan that worked for me. It allowed me to decrease the interest rate I was paying on credit cards by 13 percentage points. I chose a loan whose payments I could afford that did not have any additional fees such as early payoff fees, origination fees, etc.

With this, I moved a good amount of money off of credit cards. I now understand this was instrumental in improving my credit rating, as credit card debt is counted against us more!

Low Introductory Rate Credit Cards

The personal loan did not cover all of my credit card debt. So when I received a promotional low introductory credit card offer, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for it. After seeing that the offer would save me quite a bit in accrued interest, even after the transfer fees, I took it! Also, while the interest rate after the introductory period is high, I plan to move the remaining debt to a lower loan before the zero rate expires. Even if I do not move it, I will still have saved a significant amount of money in interest fees when it’s all said and done.

Making Payments Count

The Early Bird

By making payments when the money is available, instead of waiting until the due date, I am reducing the amount of interest accrued on the loans/cards, as the interest charges are based on the average daily balance. The sooner the payments are credited, the lower the average daily balance becomes and the less interest is charged. Some cards also include the interest charges in the next months’ daily balance; a double charge!

Paying early also helps to decrease the risk of payments being received late, thus avoiding late fees as well as the potential to being smacked by a higher penalty interest rate.

The Snowball Effect

I have read different definitions of the snowball. This is how I am using this effect to my advantage.

  1. I calculated how much money I have each month to put towards my debt payments, as a whole. (let’s say $800)
  2. I ranked the debts by highest to lowest based on each debts’ interest rate (A to D).
  3. I then totaled the minimum monthly payments for each debt (B to D), EXCEPT the one with the highest interest rate (A). (let’s say $500 for B to D)
  4. Then I figured out the monthly payment for the highest interest rate debt by subtracting #3 ($500) from #1 ($800). Per the example: $800-$500=$300 for debt A.
  5. As each debt is paid off, the money I was paying from all prior paid off debts then goes towards the next in line highest interest rate debt. (After A is paid, then payments A+B are paid to B. After B is paid off, then A+B+C is paid to C, and so on). Hence the snowball!

Windfall Payments to Highest Debt

When I receive a windfall that extra money then goes towards the highest interest rate loan or credit card. This strategy keeps me from spending the extra money, keeping me trained to my budget. Also, it helps me to have more financial freedom in the long run. Note: this is a different strategy than I described in my original post.

Allowing Exceptions

After recently receiving a windfall, I decided to cash in some of my hotel honor points to take my kids on a mini-vacation. The windfall will then pay for our outings, meals and fuel/parking expenses. It’s been a few too many years since I’ve been on a vacation and I owe it to myself and my kids to get away for a few days.

Spreadsheet to Track Progress and Keep Me Motivated

I also created a spreadsheet that projects when different debts will be paid off. This is helping to keep me motivated, as money can be such an abstract thing for me. The spreadsheet also helped me to see how paying off the higher debts first, instead of the lowest balance debts – which some financial advisors recommend, actually saves more money over time.

An Attitude of Gratitude

It can be easy for me to fall into the trap of beating myself up for the financial choices I have made that “got me here.” When I begin to have those thoughts, I find that I feel defeated; something that leads me to make poor choices. Instead of going down that rabbit hole, I choose to be grateful for the changes I am making NOW. I also acknowledge to myself that if I COULD have done differently, then I WOULD HAVE! My power is in the NOW. Heck! I could have kept going down the path I was already on, too!

What strategies have you found to help you in changing your financial landscape? Please feel free to share!



Fading into Infinity

Under rocks

Hidden well

Sheltered from storms

Isolated in a shell

Finite existence

Personal hell.


Budding desires

Something new

Building fires

Clearing out

Impaling spires

Dying to live.


Breaching boundaries

Branching out

Building strength

Confidence renewed

Retreats bidden

From which she grew.


Accepting it all;

What she had to do

Crescendo of momentum

Then blowback from changes made

Old remains laying decayed

Fuel the internal fires

No longer contained

External expression

No longer implosion

Touching upon golden threads

Waking up the living dead.


Merging with The Myriad

The All

Imbued with bliss

Nothing can touch this

An open vessel

No longer lidded

Feels the infinite

Within it

A simple treasure

After clearing

Is given

Welcome it says,

You’re part of the




Changing Money Strategies

It’s difficult to share that while my income has grown over the past 3 years, I’ve still managed to spend more than I’ve made to the point of being in more debt after 3 years than I was in the prior decade (student loans aside). This was a recent wake up call for me that something needed to change and now!

First, I began to look into the feelings I had surrounding money. It was then that I saw a pattern emerge: I had a healthy fear of money, both of having it and not having it.

As ironic as that may sound, yes, I feared having money. I saw this in how as soon as I received a windfall (or knew one was coming), I immediately made plans to get the money “back out the door.”

The Universe also brought a spotlight to shine on the areas in my life where I did not appreciate nor value myself. It was easy at first to blame the “others” involved, however, if I truly valued myself I would not have put myself in the position to be devalued by others. I knew something needed to change within. And again: Now!

Next, I began to track my spending with a free app called “Spending.” After using it for a month, I saw how I had more money than I thought and I also saw how I misused it in some areas.

From this tracking, I created a budget I could stick to, though it is quite strict. I’ve even created a grocery list that gives a break down of what I can spend in different areas of the store (I created about 5 areas) and gave 2 numbers, each based on if I’m shopping for 1 or 2 weeks at a time.

Since then, I have sought personal loan offers on Lending Tree to help lower my interest rates and to get out of the revolving credit door. This loan has since been applied to my credit card with the highest interest rate being paid off first.

Part of my budget also includes plans for windfalls. 1/2 of any extra money goes into savings and the other 1/2 goes to my highest interest rate loan and my student loan- as extra payments.

On New Year’s Day, I saw and signed up for a 365-day course on healing my relationship with money, with a spiritual focus through Daily Om. It is helping me to see how my relationship with money is a reflection of my relationship with myself. Money is no longer a charged word for me!

It is my hope that in sharing this that one of you will gain a foothold into healing your own relationship with yourself, your self-value and your finances. Until we look within, we cannot heal what is without.

Namaste 🙏

P.S. An integral part of this, which is now a habit for me, is to feel gratitude for what I do have. This has been a tremendous help, as have daily meditations on shame, guilt, forgiveness and healing my inner child (The Insight Timer App has MANY awesome meditations).

What is your self-worth?

Ultimately, I believe our self-worth is immeasurable. Yet, I also believe that each of us has a set of measuring sticks against which we see our own value; whether we are aware of it or not. Easy to choose examples are based on what we do, what we have or how we look. Well, what about the things we do for ourselves?

Do we allow the important things in our lives to take precedence or do we focus, instead, on the things that don’t? Maybe we don’t even know what our true priorities are in life. A great way to find out is to imagine ourselves on our deathbeds; what are the things we wish we had done more of, or paid more attention to?

Do we take care of ourselves more when the demands in our life increase, or do we cease all self-care to run to the rescue of others? When our stress levels increase, our need for self-care also increases. I liken this to Racecars who get more maintenance for one race than many of our family cars receive in a year. The harder we run ourselves, the more TLC we require to keep from breaking down somewhere.

How we allow others to treat us is another area in which our true self-value can be revealed. Do we find that we give and give while our expectations of others diminishes?

Or how much time passes before we pay attention to the things in our lives that need it? Do we keep walking by the pile of unpaid bills, unwashed dishes or unopened mail. Is it time to undo this habit of neglecting our own self-care?

I believe this world would be a much happier place if each of us took just 10% better care of ourselves. For if each of us could love ourselves enough to give ourselves the very best, or at least better, we’d not continue to sell ourselves short in life and we’d each be better stewards, teaching others a better path.

So how, today, right now, can you take action on something that has been nagging at your mind, your soul, to help take care of yourself and make yourself a happier traveler?


REleasing during Mercury REtrograde

People have learned to fear Mercury REtrograde. This is a time when all things with communication and technology can go haywire. Recently, I even read an article about how explosive the topic has been this go ‘round on Twitter. I once feared Mercury REtrogrades myself and now I see them as an opportunity for growth and REnewal.

REtrogrades are a time of REflection, RElease and when the first two parts are allowed, REnewal. During this time, we are being pushed to look inwards and backwards at the things that no longer serve us. Our beliefs, thoughts, actions and habits are all on the witness stand, being thoroughly cross-examined. This can feel like death as it can wreak havoc in our lives, particularly when we fight the flow, as we are questioning many aspects of our lives.

When we understand that this is a time to throw away the rubbish that has been stinking up our lives and our minds, then we can see this as what it is: time to take out the trash! This can be literal, figurative or both. It is our choice.

Personally, I find that when I give permission for the things in my mind (particularly those parts that no longer serve me) to exist that they quickly dissolve. Then my physical life demands that I do the same. In the past 2 weeks I have deeply cleaned and cleared the clutter in my kitchen and living room. It feels truly REfreshing now to be at home in my own home.

I encourage each of us to embrace this time of REview/REflection, RElease and REnewal, instead of focusing on the havoc it seems to create. REtrograde CAN be an awesome opportunity, if we allow it.


This morning, I burned a card that detailed the child support that my ex owes me. I release the need to worry about it. This or something better will come my way. Mercury REtrograde, for me today, equals RElease.

The Freedom in Breaking Down

Kneeling on the hard concrete patio, there was a chill to the air as dusk began to fall and I quickly scribbled my feelings on dishes using permanent markers. With safety glasses in place, I placed a plate gently inside a small banker’s box. My adrenalin rushed as I tightly gripped the hammer and brought it down, angrily and repeatedly on the fragile dish ware. At first my hits were staccato-like, trying to pulverize the plate into oblivion.

As I moved through the scribbled set of spare plates, at times large chunks of ceramic shrapnel would land on the patio. One large piece jumped up and scraped along my right middle finger where dark red blood soon followed. This did not stop me; using alternate grips with the hammer to avoid more scrapes, as I was beyond the point of stopping to find gloves.

The power I felt was AMAZING. I then began to revel in the amount of destruction I could do with one smooth hit. Soon the weight that I had been carrying around my chest was lifted, the weight on my shoulders soon followed. My prevailing emotions moved from anger and sadness to empowerment.

Originally, I had planned to throw the plates into a dumpster. Yet I wanted to feel the action of the breaking at my own hands. I now see the benefit of really feeling it. Maybe next time I’ll wear gloves… maybe.

There was such a sense of peace after everything was adequately broken. In fact, I was proud of my destruction. There was also beauty in the melodious way the broken pieces chimed as they collided with one another while I cleaned up.

Looking back, I see how I was able to break some of the habits of my thinking patterns just by breaking plates. That night, I broke up with some of my anger. Afterwards, I felt enlivened and relieved of many blockages. Over a week later, I still do. Since then, I’ve learned a few things, too.

Several people have shared with me the Greek tradition of breaking plates as a form of celebration. One Greek friend even gave me pointers on buying the plates from the Dollar Store instead of the thrift store for ease of breakability. She also spoke to the exhilaration felt with breaking plates while shouting “Opa!”

I have also read of how some Buddhist monks break green glass in pillowcases to help relieve the feelings of anger. What’s interesting about this is that my next calling is to nicely decorate a plate before I smash it, which seems akin to the sand mandalas created and then destroyed by Tibetan Monks.

Since following my calling to break stuff, I now realize how ceremonial and freeing this very act can be. If you plan to follow, please do so safely.


Breathing Freely Again

Usually my exercise-induced-asthma is triggered with running or higher level cardio. Today it was so bad while I was out for a walk, it made me wish I had used my inhaler beforehand. After thinking through several possible asthma and allergy triggers, I realized that this past month – and this past work week in particular – that I had felt as if I couldn’t “catch my breath.” 

Later, when I settled into meditation and traveled to “my cave,” the place where I speak directly with internal aspects of myself, the “asthmatic” was already there. Her breathing was such that she appeared to be having an asthma attack. She was anxious and afraid to be happy or joyful. In listening to her, she revealed that she was afraid to be happy. For her it meant something bad would happen and it would be just a matter of time before “the other shoe dropped.” 

After listening to her and allowing her to express her fears, without judgment nor denial, I was able to witness her transform. It was amazing that I was then able to breathe freely again. 

My fear of life, fear of joy, and fear that being happy leads to “the other shoe dropping,” were all keeping me from breathing and enjoying life. 

So now I ask: Where are you not fully enjoying life? What thoughts make your chest tighten and your breathing to be restricted? 

Shortness of breath can be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Please be sensible and immediately seek a medical evaluation if you are inexplicably short of breath. 


My inner voices were fighting – Here’s how I Found Peace.

A post I wrote has been accepted by Elephant Journal. Please follow the link below to read it all. Shares are highly appreciated & encouraged 😉

On an ordinary day, waiting for a phone call from a good friend, I noticed an inner battle start to brew.

Stepping back further into observation mode, I noticed a few peculiar inner voices arise. On one side, there was a bratty little voice. She was entitled. She wanted things fixed and done immediately. On the other side, there was a voice I later identified as my martyr. She told me, “You get what you get and you can’t feel upset.”

Image: Google 

For How Long Do You Suffer?

The keys to our freedom are in our hands. Yet so often we ignore them, brush them off, put them to the side or outright deny them. The keys to our freedom rest in our willingness to walk into and sit with the paradox of our dilemmas. We have been taught to avoid our own shadows, our fears, the things that go bump in the night and wake us up. Yet it is in the darkness that we have the potential for growth. Seeds sprout and take root in the dark. Our creativity is also borne out of our willingness to take a walk on our own dark sides.

So for how long will you suffer your fears? Carrying them around on your back, on your chest, weighing you down and keeping you from your greatness?

It is through walking into the pain that releases it and allows us to grow into something greater. The release is in the surrender; in the trust that we will survive our emotions, our inner conflicts and paradoxes.

One of the great cosmic jokes is that in embracing our pain, we are finally able to be free of it.

Images: google




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