Saturday, January 1, 2011

January Kaizen: Financial Stability

Kaizen 改善:  Japanese term for continuous improvement and change for the better.

Okay, so here's the idea.  Break our goals for the year up into 12 different areas for life growth.  For each of those months, come up with one action per week.  Some actions will stick, other's won't.  But in the end, we will be continuously improving, and in a much better place that we started.

This month we are looking at finances.  What is one action you can do each week that is a step towards better financial stability.  Here are a few thoughts:

1.  Cut out the daily wallet drains.  Look at the following expenses.  Which one makes a big impact on your pocketbook.  Commit to not spending on it for just one week.
bottled water
car washes
weekday lunches out
vending machine snacks

2.  Check out your local library.  Rather than spending money on books, music, and movies.. check them out!  You'd be suprised at the current releases you will find.  Also, most library systems now have ebooks!

3.  Cancel unused memberships.  Personally, I avoid any kind of recurring membership fee like the plague!  They just dont work for me!  If there is a way for me to get the same service without a membership, I'll do that any day.

4.  Pay your bills as they come.  If money isnt your issue, financial organization may be.  Avoid late fees by paying bills in a timely manner.

5.  Avoid temptation.  This is actually easier than it seems.  You're out shopping, you see something you'd like to purchase.  Rather than buying it in the moment,  test yourself.  If it is something you really really want or need, you'll be willing to come back another day for it.  If not, then you probably didnt need it to begin with.

6.  Substitute.  Rent a video rather than going to a movie.  Bring a bag of snacks rather than purchasing.  Have a game night with friends rather than going out.  Find a way to do what you want without shelling out the cash.

7.  Coupon, coupon, coupon!   Plan your cooking for the week based on what is on sale.  Buy generic.. most are just as good as the name brand.  Avoid buying the extra snacks (not good for you anyway)  And stick to that grocery list! Also, when cooking, look several versions of a recipe up on the internet.  Look for the primary ingredients, those that are common to all the versions.  The less extra ingredients you have to buy, the more you will save. 

8.  Downsize.  Your cable service.  Your cell phone service.  Your cleaning service.  I know you've gotten used to it.. so you feel like it's a necessity.  But take a hard look.  Is it really?  Give your own ability some credit.  You can live in a smaller way!

9.  Use up what you already have.  Food in the pantry or the fridge, art supplies, cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning supplies.  Before you go to buy something new... force yourself to use what you already have.  Train yourself to feel satisfaction in using something up.

10. Track your spending.   Every little penny, write it down.  See exactly what you are doing with your money. All those small amounts add up!

So those are 10 possible options.  None of them are that creative.. nor really that difficult.  Choose one for each week.  You can comment here, or meet up in the forums for support meeting your goal!  We also will have a general  "Goal Gear Up" session every Sunday night in the Education room of the Friends in Healing chatroom.  Help us witness your progress and uplift you!


  1. These are all great ideas. As you said, easier said than done in some cases. Like the alcohol. I drink wine each night with dinner, I look forward to it. It is my only vice! A tough one.

    Just became a follower to your great blog.


  2. Cori - for such a young lady you have a wonderful understanding of life and what is really important. Great post re finance. Also thanks for your wonderful loving words on my New Year blog post.

  3. I see some good ideas here.....

    Happy New Year to you ♥

  4. Hmmm, very good list! Something to think about it :) I would also add - make a list of priorities (this is where I can get lost).
    Have a nice weekend!


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