Archive for the ‘Budgeting’ Category

Hallmarks of an Adult?

November 16, 2016

Together, success is a given

The other morning I was listening to my local news station as I was catching up on my ‘words with friends’ and I was really surprised. I had only been listening half way, concentrating mostly on my strategy in the game I was playing on my phone, when something caught my attention. It was something about millennials taking classes in what the reporter called ‘adulting’. I didn’t know what that meant and still don’t really. The report went on talking about things adults do, for instance; chores around the house, budget their money, pay bills, file papers, and manage their time (although that’s a subject for another day).

The point of the report was that some millennials seem to be so lacking in knowledge in these areas that they feel a need to take classes.

Actually, I do get that because some of my clients are millennials and they haven’t the slightest idea how to go about cleaning their house, organizing their kitchen, putting away their clothes – I could go on but I think you get the idea. These millennials, the ones I work with (and possibly the ones in the news report), have grown up without any sense of what it takes to lead an organized life.

They have successfully completed school and, for the most part, have jobs. They want to live independently – to be adults.

Unfortunately, schools do not teach home/life skills otherwise known as home economics. I never took home economics in school – I think that was phased out even before my generation. So, what happened? Why is it that some of these young adults are not equipped with the basic skills and information that are the hallmarks of being an adult?

I think it’s a combination of things.

Some of these young people did not have the skills modeled for them. Maybe their parents weren’t great at organizing themselves, maybe they outsourced things like bill paying, maybe they didn’t ask the children to help with routine household chores.

Whatever the reason, I’m happy to know they are taking classes to fill in the blanks.

What are the hallmarks of becoming an adult?

For me, it’s taking care of myself and those in my family, taking care of my home (meaning keeping it clean and tidy), being a good friend, doing my job to the best of my ability, paying my bills, and having fun working on my hobbies which are gardening, needlepoint, and dancing.

What does being an adult mean to you?

PS I have written a book which covers all of these subject areas and more. You can learn more about my book on my website:





Under Pressure?

October 10, 2014

I know I’ve taken a break from writing this blog for sometime now. Usually, I’m all about not taking on too much – knowing that when I say ‘yes’ to someone to do something I not only know that I will do that task but that the task will take time away from something else. Well, I have really been over scheduled and over-committed the past few months and the pressure will not be off until the middle of November. That’s still almost a month more of living in a time-sensitive pressure cooker.

Are you wondering what tasks, projects, and chores I’ve taken on or maybe you’re wondering why I did this to myself? Let me answer the last part of the question first.

I took on all these projects because each one appealed to me on some level. Have you ever taken on a project because you are friends with the person asking you for help and you didn’t want to let them down? Well, I have and I did recently. I agreed to do the other projects because I believed (and still do) that they are very worthwhile. So there you have it. I over-committed myself without any regard to the fact that all these projects would be due within several weeks of each other. If they had been more spaced out during the year I would not be in this state of over-whelm.

The tasks or projects I took on are widely varied. One is a volunteer project for the community in which I live. It’s a great project, I like the people involved and wanted to join forces with them. I just didn’t count on the project being quite as time consuming as it is. Two of the other projects I’m currently working on will have an impact on my role as a certified professional organizer. I’m excited about being involved in these projects because I love being a professional organizer and these projects (if I do a great job – which I plan to do) will reflect my passion for organizing and the clients I serve. My final project is to get the word out that my book: Now What? A Simple Organizing Guide is now published! YIPPEE It is available for purchase on my website and will be up on Amazon within a few weeks. I know I should have been marketing this book for months now – building a buzz – but I was working on all these other projects and simply didn’t do it. So, now, marketing my book is another project.

I truly understand what it feels like to be under a lot of pressure with time demands hitting you right and left. Coming to the end of this season of over-whelm for myself I can fully appreciate just how heavy the pressure can get. Having said that the next time someone asks me to volunteer for a project I plan to ask what the deadline is, how much time they anticipate it will cost me (double whatever they tell me) and then I will check my calendar before jumping at the bait!

How about you? Are you under pressure? Can you relate? Please let me know! Also, if you have any marketing tips for my book I’d love to have them!

Receipts – take them or not

October 28, 2010

Recently, I have noticed, when I pay for an item at a store the person accepting my payment asks this question ‘Do you want you receipt?’  I always answer ‘Yes!’ So, yesterday when I was paying for a haircut and the woman asked me that question I asked ‘Does anyone ever say no?’ The cashier told me that most people do not want the receipt. Her answer really surprised me and I indicated that. My question was ‘ how do you track your expenditures without the receipt?’ The cashier told me that she never takes a receipt. She tracks her expenses online. I track my expenses online also but I enter my expenses in a money management system. I don’t wait for it to show up in my bank or credit card account online. I take a pro-active approach by entering the expense as it occurs. The cashier’s point was that a person saves paper by not taking the receipt and it shows up eventually online in the account regardless. I understand her point and I think I could say no to a receipt if I took a moment and recorded the transaction in my smart phone so that I would know how much to enter in my money management program when I returned home. BUT that seems like a lot of work to me. It is easier for me to take the receipt and follow my routine. Additionally, I think taking a receipt prompts me to remember to track my expenses. If you don’t take a receipt how do you remember what you have spent? Do you wait until the end of the month when your statement arrives in your e-mail box to find out if you are staying within your budget? I would love to know what you think about this.

Back to School?

August 18, 2010

Is the young adult in your family going back to school soon? If so, this is a very busy time for you. I remember somewhat fondly when our boys would get ready to go back to school. What they needed to do to prepare often depended on their upcoming living situation. In other words, if they were going back to a familiar dorm and had put some things in storage nearby then we had less to do to get ready. If they were moving into a house or an apartment with some friends in a completely new town then we had lots to do. Usually, my guys would put off asking me for help until the eleventh hour, when they were scrambling to collect everything. Then there was the issue of how to get it to school. It was no big deal if we were driving – assuming it all fit in the car. Once or twice, I remember, we shipped some things via UPS to the UPS store nearest the school. That worked out really well. The duffle bags were waiting for us to pick up at the UPS store – we just had to get them up into the dorm. Enlisting a few of our son’s friends to help was never a problem.

There are other things to do to prepare your young adult. Talk about budgeting money. How do you work within a budget? What do you have to do to create that budget? These are really great topics of conversation. Give your young adult some strategies. Tell them to use cash. One of the most effective ways to stay within your budget is to have only a certain amount of money in cash to spend each day/week/or month. Once the cash is gone – it is gone. Advise them that using a credit card is similar to renting money. Unless you pay the balance at the end of each billling cycle you pay rent on the balance in the form of interest – at a very high rate. Boy, does that interest ever add up! Need more tips – check out Chapter 4 (Organzing Your Budget) in my book: Flying Solo: A Guide to Organizing Your Home When You Leave Your Parents’ Nest.