The Anti-Budget: The Easiest Budget to Follow (Free Printable Budget Planner)

The anti-budget is the perfect solution for someone looking to simplify their budget and stick to it. This post breaks down how to make an anti-budget tailored to your goals and needs. Keep reading to find the free printable budget planner.

*This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission that could help me on my debt-free journey —at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase using the links.

Confession, fam. I hate budgets!

Well, budgeting itself is cool. It’s the key to hitting my saving and debt payoff goals. I just hate cookie-cutter budgets: the 80/20 budget, the 50/30/20 budget, the traditional budget that lists 50 budget categories. Who’s going to track expenses for 50 budget categories?! “Not I,” said this debt-slaying woman. 

I just wanna know that my bills are paid on time, I’m saving and I’m crushing debt. Budgets that are tailored to our specific needs and personality work best. When I gave up trying to fit my goals into a traditional budget, the stress went away. 

The anti-budget works for me. Maybe it can do the same for you.

What is an anti-budget? 

The anti-budget is a spending plan that doesn’t focus on what you’re spending, but rather on meeting your savings goals, debt payoff goals and essential spending needs up top. Then the rest of the money is for guilt-free spending. Hey, latte! Hey, avocado toast! 

Who is the anti-budget for?

  1. People who hate budgets (think budgeting is too hard or can’t stick to a budget).
  2. Folks who appreciate budgets, but hate lots of categories.
  3. People who don’t like tracking every discretionary expense manually.
  4. Those who subscribe to “Pay yourself first” for saving.
  5. People who want to spend on fun stuff guilt-free.

Does this sound like you? Great! Keep reading. 

The anti-budget simplifies your spending plan so you can satisfy your needs and goals, and know exactly how much money you have for fun stuff. Download the free printable budget planner to make your anti-budget.

Click here to learn how to make an anti-budget.

Get Your Financial House in Order with Dimitry Neyshtadt of 90DayMoneyPro

Dimitry Neyshtadt says he’s sick of the common rhetoric coming from the top of the personal finance industry.

DimitryNeyshtadt-400x400

“Not everybody wants to hear 60-year-old Dave Ramsey bark at them and tell them they have to count every latte in order to be financially successful because it’s not true,” says Dimitry, a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and founder of 90DayMoneyPro.com.

“You can have your cake and eat it, too. That’s my language. There’s a way to find optimal balance where you don’t feel like you’re choking yourself. It’s quite the contrary. You feel proud because you’re able to juggle all of the stuff you want to handle.”

Dimitry aims to be Bill Nye the Science Guy of personal finance, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-digest pieces.

“The #DebtFreeCommunity is something that I’ve always known was there and I’ve been a resource for showing them how to optimize their entire finances and not just thinking that debt-free equals financial success. You’ve got no debt, but you’ve got no money and no protection. You’re kinda fucked! I’m being real.”

That’s why seeing debt on a spectrum instead of deeming all debt bad is crucial, he says.

“When an individual listens to Dave Ramsey, it feels so one-on-one, but Dave is speaking to millions. And that’s where the challenge comes in. His Baby Steps are outdated. The best comparison is that old wiggling machine that can jiggle the fat off of people.”

Getting on that fat-jiggling machine, Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps plan, is better than sitting down on the couch and eating potato chips, Dimitry says.

“But it’s so outdated and inefficient. And it needs to be replaced with the truth. And the truth will set you free. I show folks how to turn their finances into a well-oiled machine.”

Wise Woman Wallet Fat Jiggler Machine

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps

  1. Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 to start an emergency fund.
  2. Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt using the debt snowball method.
  3. Baby Step 3: Save 3 to 6 months of expenses for emergencies.
  4. Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement funds.
  5. Baby Step 5: Save for your children’s college fund.
  6. Baby Step 6: Pay off your home early.
  7. Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give.
Wise Woman Wallet 90DayMoneyPro Financial House in Order

Humble Beginnings

Dimitry understands the financial struggle. His parents migrated from the former Soviet Union (current-day Belarus) to the greater Boston area in the late 1980s. Dimitry was 2 years old at the time; his brother, 9.

They lived in a 2-bedroom apartment with 4 other relatives. Some professional credits his dad, an engineer, and his mother, a physician, had didn’t transfer to the States. So his mother redid her medical residency in Boston.

“There was no financial plan,” Dimitry said. “The first 5 years in this country was about making enough in this country to survive, pay the bills.”

While his mother was finishing her residency in 1995, a friend suggested she talk to a financial advisor. That meeting changed their lives and their perspective on money.

Dimitry graduated high school at 16 and dropped out of college the next year. At 19, he said he was making $40,000 a year and wearing a suit to work at the bank each day.

One day, Dimitry had lunch with the same financial advisor his mom met 13 years prior and was encouraged to pursue that field.

“I get to pay it forward now and help other families the same way someone helped my family, so that was a big push to get licensed.”

He’s been advising since the age of 21. Over the past 10 years, Dimitry said he’s advised 1,000 families and can’t wait to help thousands—or millions—more. His 90 Day Money Pro online course aims to help clients understand how to reach financial independence.

“There’s no amount of income that makes me happy,” he says. “What makes me happy is helping the most amount of people that I can.”

A New Way to Think about Money

One way Dimitry helps others is by dispelling myths about money, how to treat it and how to handle debt.

“I feel like I’ve been a doctor who found a cure for the common cold and I look around and I see famous doctors all over the country are selling Robitussin. They’re selling Dimetapp. They’re selling cold medicine that actually doesn’t cure the issue. Dave Ramsey and everyone is telling you that debt freedom and budgeting are the keys. It’s not. The cure for the common cold is PEMDAS. The cure for the common cold is building a plan where you go through these steps in your own world and you see where there are gaps and you see things that are going well.”

This PEMDAS isn’t for solving math equations or politely asking someone to excuse your Aunt Sally. Dimitry revised the mnemonic device to explain the order of operations for managing money well.

Dimitry Neyshtadt’s Order of Operations of Money 

  1. P – Protection
  2. E – Emergency Fund
  3. M – Monthly Cash Flow Assessment
  4. D – Debt Paydown
  5. A – Asset Optimization
  6. S – Succession Planning

Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman’s advice to pay down debt immediately is better than no advice, but it’s not the optimal advice, Dimitry says.

“People have a visceral reaction to their debt, correct? Almost stronger than the balance of their savings account or the balance of their 401K or the balance of their investment or the fact that they own real estate. What they’re more viscerally connected to is this loan, the debt, this feeling of owing other people money.”

“And by appealing to that, Dave has found the fact that not only does everyone resonate with it emotionally, but debt is something that is very easy to track. Those debt worksheets, for example, that people color code and start coloring in as their paying off their loans. Those are great … in a vacuum with blinders on.”

A hardcore Ramsey enthusiast might decide to pay down debt aggressively, for example, at a rate of $2,000 a month when her minimum payments are $500. Instead of paying down $2,000 a month for a whole year, what if she saved that $2,400?

If she wanted to, she could only pay $500 a month and put $1,500 in a savings account. She could take that savings and pay down the loan in one turn at the end of the year.

“You’re in the position of power to make that lump sum payment when the heck you want to,” he says. “But let me ask you this: Once you make those overpayments to the student loan company, can you ever call them and ask for the money back? Say ‘Hey, Sallie Mae, Navient, I’ve been overpaying you guys really aggressively and I just got laid off or my mom just got sick or life threw me a curveball and I need the money back, can you give me that money?’ What are they gonna say?”

Debt is a spectrum, Dimitry says. He doesn’t subscribe to the notion that all debt is bad. A credit card balance of $10,000 at 20% interest rate is different than a $10,000 car loan that charges 3%. Some debts are more toxic than others.

So really think long and hard before deciding to forgo retirement contributions while paying off debt, as Dave Ramsey advises. Or think long and hard before aggressively paying off debt with only $1,000 in savings, the number Dave Ramsey suggests.

“You can make sure you’re juggling everything without getting into the emotional components of debt,” Dimitry says. “I talk a lot about the order of operations. You have to do things in a certain order to make sure that things are gonna be OK.”

Get Your Financial House in Order

There are 4 parts to a financial plan, Dimitry says. Everybody gets that we’re supposed to save up money and build wealth. They understand that they should 1. Build assets and 2. Decrease liabilities. However, the statistics terrify him.

“It’s kind of like how everybody knows they’re supposed to eat healthier and work out. Well, what are the missing pieces? There’s part no. 3 and no. 4.”

No. 3 is to manage your cash flow. No. 4 is to have protection.

The 4-part Financial House requires you to:

  • protect what you have with proper insurances (protection)
  • save for the future and for emergencies (assets)
  • pay down debt, especially debts with high interest rates (liabilities)
  • spend within reason so you can save or invest 20% or more of your income (cash flow management)

The foundation of your Financial House is cash flow management, Dimitry says. Ensure your money is organized in a way to help you accumulate assets and crush debt. The roof is protection through insurances and legal documents. Make sure you protect what you have to avoid getting kicked backward and negatively affecting your ability to accumulate assets and reduce liabilities.

Wise Woman Wallet 90DayMoneyPro Financial House in Order and Order of Operations of Money_02

The order in which you do all execute your financial plan is critical to success, which is where PEMDAS comes into play.

Dimitry says a lot of people come to him stressed about 401K and student loans. They have no disability insurance or a full emergency fund. They’re also spending like crazy and are not organized.

“You think their student loans are their biggest concerns? You think the fund selection of mutual funds in their 401K is their first concern?”

He offers clients PEMDAS to give them perspective and clarity around what to do first.

The Order of Operations of Money

  1. Protection

“It’s the non-sexy stuff: insurances and legal documents. Topics that no one likes thinking about.”

Dimitry imagines a recent college graduate and Dave Ramsey enthusiast who is eating rice and beans and paying off his debts. But there’s a big problem? He’s not insured. Neither is his apartment or car.

“Everybody is graduating and renting apartments,” Dimitry says. “Dave and Suze (Orman) are telling them the biggest thing they have to do is to overpay their student loans and their credit cards. I’m telling them the first thing they gotta do is go get renter’s insurance.”

That could cost as little as $8.

“What’s the point of having financial progress if life can throw one curveball at you and you’re knocked back worse than where you started?”

Consider getting renters’, auto, disability and basic, term life insurance.

  1. Emergency Fund

“$1,000 is not an emergency fund!” Dimitry says. “Geez! What year is this, Dave?!”

Dimitry says $1,000 barely covers a new set of tires or a vet visit for his French bulldog.

So how much should you have in an emergency fund?

“It’s gotta be at least 2-3 months of expenses, at least,” Dimitry says. “If you get laid off tomorrow, you gotta cover your bills until you get another paycheck without liquidating your 401K or your investments or using your credit card.”

If you’re under the age of 40, Dimitry suggests putting aside 15-25% of gross income. So if you’re making $50,000, save $10,000. I saved $10,000 in 7 months.

If you’re not saving or investing 20%, then you need to focus on that before student loans.

  1. Monthly Cash Flow Management

“Cash flow is how money moves in your world,” Dimitry says. “And what I show folks is how to make sure they don’t have dollars slip through their fingers, whether they make 30 grand a year, 300 or 3 million.”

Cash flow management requires you to think about how you allocate and spread around money that comes into your life. Dimitry puts money into 3 categories: save, bills and spend. Savings are for investing and building assets. The bills account is for monthly obligations.

“The golden rule of cash flow: each bank account can only have one purpose. It needs a nickname. So if you have a checking account that’s paying your rent and your cell phone bill and your electric bill and your cable and it’s also the amount that you use when you and your girlfriends go out to have a drink, what do you think the balance is gonna be in that checking account?”

Here’s how one of Dimitry’s clients manages cash flow:

  • 2-3 months’ worth of bills sit in the Bills account at all times.
  • In a separate account, he gets $700 of spending money each week.
  • In an online account, he saves money for traveling and a down payment on a home.

“All of his savings, everything is nicknamed,” Dimitry says. “Everything has a purpose. He doesn’t call anything, ‘Oh, that’s my checking or that’s my savings.’ He says, ‘Oh, that’s my spending account. That’s my emergency fund. That’s my down payment money.’ And with cash flow, he’s able to automate transfers. He knows how much he’s making. He knows he can go spend $700 a week guilt-free and still be saving 25% of his gross income. We’re looking at Mexico City trips for him next year,”

Knowing that he helps people fulfill their dreams through the PEMDAS system keeps Dimitry going.

“My favorite thing in my entire career, 10 years, is all the cards that I’ve gotten of people traveling and Christmas cards with babies, families growing. I have a shoebox full of them and it’s one of my prized possessions.”

  1. Debt Paydown

Pay down toxic debt first, Dimitry suggests. Toxic debt includes credit card balances with high interest rates. Consider using balance transfer cards, he says, to reduce the interest rate for a certain amount of time to pay off the credit card balance faster and save money over time. Consider paying off low-interest rate debts like student loans after building an emergency fund.

  1. Asset Optimization

Dimitry champions tax-deferred retirement accounts like Roth IRAs, “unlike Suze and Dave, who tell you to max out pre-tax savings,” Dimitry says.

“Those old farts don’t know what they’re talking about. Put money into something in a Roth and never have to pay taxes in the future.”

  1. Succession Planning

“This is where we talk about really optimizing someone’s legacy,” Dimitry says. “Does having a foundation in your honor with a certain purpose mean something to you? This is where you convert from term insurance to permanent cash-building insurance—the kind that never expires, the kind that guarantees your grandkids’ grandkids will have money.”

The First Thing to Do to Improve Your Finances

“So most people would answer that question, ‘What should be the first thing people do?’ with ‘Sit down and make a list of all your bills.’ That’s not my answer,” Dimitry says. “Instead it’s: Take a mental inventory. And realize the path ahead of you is one of doing things in an uncommon way and a little bit more like the goat rather than the sheep.”

Was this post helpful? How did it change your perspective on managing money in the new year? Please give a comment below.

How to Make Extra Principal Payments on Individual Student Loans

Lately, I’ve felt so free discussing my debt-free goals with close friends in China. When I shared how I finally paid off my undergraduate student loans 9 years and 1 month after walking across the stage, my friend, Ti, told me about a former co-worker who was taking longer than that.

This single father is approaching 40. One day, he looked at his statement and grew frustrated. The balances weren’t going down. He had been paying extra for a few years.

He called the company to complain. Little did he know that his extra payments weren’t being applied to his principal.

“Oh, no!” I groaned. “You gotta tell your money where to go.” I’m sure many of us have played the leading role in this cautionary tale. But a few years ago, I wised up (pun intended). I learned how to make sure extra payments applied to my principal—not just my interest. Find out more!

The 5 Most Important Things I Did to Organize My Finances as a Newbie

*This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission that could help me on my debt-free journey —at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase using the links.

One of my best friends called me “the money expert” the other day and I chuckled. I thought, “Me?! Girl, bye!” Truth is: My last name is Wise, but I was anything but just a few years ago.

As a recent college graduate in North Carolina, I thought I had everything in control. I had a job in my field, which some of my friends couldn’t say, and I didn’t have to depend on my parents for anything. That’s because I was depending on Visa.

My level of financial literacy was non-existent. Neither Mom, Dad nor my teachers had ever taught me about managing money. When I decided to take responsibility for my financial life a few years ago, here are some of the most crucial steps I took to organize my finances.

1. Started seeking knowledge.

Everything starting with Call Number 332 was fair game at the local library. I think the first personal finance book I checked out was Girl, Get Your Credit Straight! That title gets to the point, doesn’t it?! I needed someone to be real with me and break things down simply. Author Glinda Bridgforth explained how credit scores were calculated and what I could do to get caught up. I even ordered my first credit reports. The more books I read, the more resentful I became for not knowing all of this already. More importantly, I grew more confident in my money management and decision-making skills.

2. Stopped using bills as coasters.

Avoiding money problems leads to more money problems, so I stopped tossing bills on my nightstand like frisbees and leaving them there to collect dust. When I opened up the Bank of America, Old Navy and CFNC statements, I finally confronted the numbers and saw how reckless I’d been. I also found out my mom had maxed out one of the credit cards in my name. The balances seemed insurmountable at the time. But I had, at least, conquered my fear of knowing the numbers so I could make a plan to clear the balances.


Click here to read more.

10 Steps to Paying Off Balance Transfer Cards Early

It seems simple, right? To pay off balance transfer cards—or any debt— you spend less than you earn and send the leftover money to the lender. That’s true, but there’s a lot more to it. You have to get your mind right and set up systems that support your debt-payoff goals.

I’ve successfully and unsuccessfully used balance transfer cards to pay off debt quicker. I don’t recommend them unless you’re disciplined and follow these tips. I nearly maxed out the latest balance transfer card and was determined to pay it off before the 0% interest rate expired in December 2018. In this post, I’ll break down each step I took to pay off a balance transfer card 5 months early.

Balance Transfer Card Debt Breakdown
Here’s the timeline:
  • August 2017: I got approved for the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard, a 0% interest balance transfer card with a $0 balance transfer fee. Yep! I transferred my debts for free! I transferred two credit card balances and a grad school loan onto the balance transfer card (Bank of America Visa $2,194 + Old Navy Visa $1,943.87 + Grad School Loan $2,809.87 = Total $6,947.74).
  • December 2017:  I paid off the two credit card balances. Those interest rates were 19.40% and 25.24%, respectively.
  • July 2018: I paid off the balance transfer card in full.
  • December 2018: The date in which interest would have started accruing on the remaining balance if it were not paid in full.

10 Steps to Paying Off Balance Transfer Cards 2 Early 1

Click here get the 10 steps to paying off a balance transfer card early.

Create a Goals List in Canva for Free

It’s important to keep your goals front and center to stay on track and keep a positive mindset on this journey. That’s why I love sharing my intentions on Instagram every month. Canva.com is the place I go to design everything.

Canva is an incredible tool for all of your design needs. Instagram posts, blog headers, ebooks—it can all be done in Canva. I’m not sponsored by them. I’m just saying.

You can create a goals list like this on Canva.com with a free account in a few minutes.

Goals list created by Canva's free account

The list only consists of 5 elements:

  • yellow paintbrush stroke
  • heading or title i.e. “August Goals”
  • checkboxes
  • body text i.e. individual goals
  • watermark i.e. WISE WOMAN WALLET

When you want to check off an item, you can return to Canva and add check marks.

HERE’S HOW TO CREATE A GOALS LIST IN CANVA FOR FREE

Click here get step-by-step directions with images.

Which Debt Do I Pay Off First? Here are 4 Methods (Free Worksheet)

*This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission that could help me on my debt-free journey —at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase using the links.

If you’re new to the debt-free journey, you might be lost in the sauce. You don’t know where to start in this debt-payoff process. “Which debt do I pay off first?!,” you shout. I feel you.

When I started to become financially literate, I didn’t know anyone personally who was paying off debt. I had to educate myself.

The first things I learned were YOU MUST PAY MORE THAN THE MINIMUM and ATTACK ONE DEBT AT A TIME. Don’t spread out your extra cash across two or three bills. 

Why? Studies show that when you focus on one debt at a time, you knock out debt considerably faster than those who spread the wealth over multiple accounts. Your brain likes to focus on one thing at a time. Go with it. 

  • Put extra money (“the debt eliminator” according to Patrice C. Washington) toward one debt.
  • Make minimum payments on the rest of your accounts until you pay off the first debt. 
  • Then roll over the extra money into the next debts until you’re DEBT-FREE! YAY!

Mathematically, the rollover method makes sense too. Look at the simplified example below.
Rollover versus Even Spread Payments

Rolling over shaves off 2 months! Putting all of your extra money toward one debt leads to a closer debt-free date. That’s what you want. Attack one debt at a time.

So which debt do you pay off first?

There are a few ways to prioritize debts. One of the first personal finance books I read was The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He introduced me to the Debt Snowball. I read more and discovered the Debt Avalanche. Then I started making my own methods up. Let’s go through these four methods to prioritize which debt to pay off first. Then download the free worksheet or Excel spreadsheet to pick your favorite repayment strategy.

Click here to see the four debt repayment strategies.

2018 Mid-Year Reflections: Crushing goals and learning lessons

Wow, guys! We’ve made it halfway through another year. HOW SWAY?!? It was just winter yesterday!

Check out what I’ve accomplished so far and read the BIG NEWS about what’s coming up in the fall. Please share your wins and opportunities for improvement in the comments.

How have I done with my 2018 goals so far?

The goals include:

  1. Reduce debt balance by $18,000.
  2. Become a certified teacher in Florida through an online program.
  3. Pay cash only for all certification costs.
  4. Pay off Barclay balance transfer card by June 30.
  5. Climb the Great Wall of China.
  6. Create passive income stream(s).

Through dedication and the universe working in my favor, I’ve checked off 2.5 goals so far. I’ll explain the .5 in a bit.

  1. Reduce debt balance by $18,000. This was a goal I made before deciding to pursue my educator certification. If it weren’t for paying nearly $6,000 for the program, I would have kept up with my debt snowball and been on track to accomplish this goal. Instead, my debt balance has only been reduced by $3.074 from January to June. Womp womp! Maybe I should have amended this goal after I enrolled in the certification course so it would be more realistic and attainable. I could have reduced more debt if I hadn’t traveled and overspent in other areas. But I wouldn’t trade my trips to Beijing, the U.S. and Hong Kong for anything. Bonding with family and friends worked wonders for my soul.
  2. Become a certified teacher in Florida through an online program. ALMOST DONE! Here’s the aforementioned .5. From January to mid-June, I managed to complete all of the lessons, pass three Florida Teaching Certification Exams (on the first try!) and turn in all of the paperwork to complete the TeacherReady program. What a relief! The Florida Department of Education has to evaluate my certification application to finish the process. I’ll be certified by the fall, God-willing.
  3. Pay cash only for all certification costs. DONE! Each lesson cost $600. Thank goodness I could pay I as I went, so each month I sent home cash. Some months, I finished a lesson before I sent home money, so I used a credit card and paid off the balance in full each month. No long-term debt was accumulated to get this certification.
  4. Pay off Barclay balance transfer card by June 30. I’ll miss this goal by 2 weeks. Paying off the teacher certification course and traveling took priority over paying off the balance transfer card. It’s not a big deal considering that the card won’t charge interest until December. As soon I get my paycheck on July 10, I will be sending money home to pay this bad boy in full ($1,670).
  5. Climb the Great Wall of China. DONE! I honestly think just putting this goal out in the universe help it manifest. While a friend was styling my hair, she mentioned that she was going to Beijing to sell her candles at a new business expo. My ears perked up. She hadn’t gone to the Great Wall either. My wheels started turning. In less than a few weeks, I was on the plane with two friends and we were doing the Electric Slide on the Great Wall on Easter Sunday. EPIC! One of the best weekends of my life!
  6. Create passive income stream(s). The second half of 2018 will be dedicated to this goal. I’m a knowledge whore. I read, read, research and read some more, but I have yet to really plan and act. Having multiple streams of income is paramount to getting out of debt quicker, pursuing financial freedom and giving myself the opportunity to work and travel at will—not out of necessity.

AND THERE’S MORE!

2018 mid-year reflections Wise Woman Wallet_2

Find out what else happened.

How to Form Rich Habits in 30 Days or Less

*This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission that could help me on my debt-free journey —at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase using the links.

“Most people don’t struggle with money. They struggle with habits.”— Anthony Coleman, Financial Lituation

Let that marinate. “Most people don’t struggle with money. They struggle with habits.” What we do day in and day out weighs heavily on our lives a year from now, five years from now and so on. If we want to be financially independent, then we have to create good, daily habits that support that goal.

Tom Corley studied the habits of the rich and poor for five years. That’s when he realized that the majority of the rich share certain habits. The poor have their own mindset and habits, too. Corley’s book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, outlines 21 wealthy habits anyone could follow to help them attract money.

“Our habits, good or bad, determine the financial circumstances of our lives.” — Tom Corley

Here’s the thing. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you want to be rich, then do what the rich do.

6 Rich Habits You Could Form in 30 Days or Less

Here are a few Rich Habits you could form in under three weeks, Corley says.

  1. Do aerobic exercise 15-20 minutes a day for at least 18 days. This promotes brain and body health. 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week, according to Corley’s research. 23% of the poor do this.
  2. Eat healthy every day for at least 18 days. This promotes brain and body health. 70% of the wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.
  3. Read to learn 15-20 minutes a day for at least 18 days. This a personal and professional growth activity. 88% of wealthy people read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor people.
  4. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts during your commute or some other time during the day for self- or career development. 63% of wealthy do this. 55 of the poor.
  5. Write a to-do list every day to keep you focused on accomplishing your goals—big or small. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of the poor.
  6. Limit television time to less than 1 hour per day. Yep! A whole hour! 67% of wealthy maintain skip TV vs. 23% of the poor. Guess who watches the most reality TV! 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of the poor. Wow!

Forming these habits could take 18 days or fewer! Not bad, right?! Brian Tracy considers these habits to be of medium complexity (can be formed in 14-21 days). If you get these habits down, then you could build discipline and form more habits based on the ones you’ve already mastered.

Click here read more and get your free worksheets.

How to Get Out of Debt with Sheri Riley’s P.O.W.E.R. Process

*This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission that could help me on my debt-free journey —at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase using the links.

Getting out of debt is quite simple. There are three steps:

  1. Spend less.
  2. Earn more.
  3. Pay off debt with the difference.

Simple, but not easy. Debt slayers are acutely aware of this. If it were all about the  numbers, then everyone would be debt-free in a heartbeat. But the debt-free journey also calls on you to fix your mindset and find strength, courage and creativity you probably didn’t think you had.

Sheri Riley’s awesome book Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are lays out a solid process for setting yourself up to achieve any monumental task. She calls on you to live in your P.O.W.E.R.

  1. P – PerspectiveAdopt a point of view that empowers you.
  2. O – OwnershipOwn what is important to you.
  3. W – WisdomIdentify your one or two next basic steps.
  4. E – EngagementCommit to the implementation of those steps.
  5. R – RewardStay consistently engaged with the process in order to experience the positive outcomes.

Let me explain how to use your P.O.W.E.R. to slay debt.

P – Perspective – Adopt a point of view that empowers you.

If you want to make a change in your life or respond effectively to a challenge, the way you look at the situation—your perspective—is critical.

Sheri writes that if you see the situation as an opportunity or chance to elevate your game instead of a crushing blow or bad luck, then you’re halfway to a positive resolution. I believe her.

On a podcast, a journalist who eliminated over $100,000 of debt in two years said he stopped thinking of his debts as burdens. Instead, they became targets. Then he set his sights on getting rid of the first one on his list. And then the next one. And then the next one. I had started using that tactic, too. Each line in my debt snowball has a name, for example, Operation: I’m So Over Undergrad Loans and Operation: Old Navy is Old News (a credit card). Those names make me feel empowered. It’s like I’m a soldier on a mission, no longer the prey.

How do you view your debt and your current circumstances? It’s easy to feel down on yourself. Being $40,00, $50,000 or $100,000 in debt is no fun at all. But if your perspective is “I’ll always have debt,” well, chances are you’ll always have debt.

Forgive yourself for your past money mistakes. Shed limiting beliefs—yours and those you’ve adopted from family, friends and society. And instead of spewing negativity into the universe, speak positively about where you want to be and how you’ll get there. Say “I’m going to be debt-free. Wealth is mine!” That’s the self-fulfilling prophecy you want to manifest.

Get Out of Debt with the POWER Process

Click to read more about the P.O.W.E.R. process.