Friday, 10 January 2014

5 ways to get out of debt

There is more to life than money?  Really?  Nah I'm kidding of course there is but if you are like me and financial freedom is all about actually being free to do what you like then you need some cash to do it.  Here are 5 idea's I am implementing to get me debt free.  Be warned, I'm an all or nothing sort of a girl so the idea's are not for the faint hearted

1. Stop spending- thats the key, until you increase your income to exceed your expenses.   By expenses I also include, savings, extra mortgage repayments as well as bills etc.  It is tricky to do, to be honest it can be physically painful at times as well, being a consumer is a hard habit to break!

2. Review your goals daily- every morning review your goals for the year.  I look at my 2014 resolutions every morning in the golden hour and remind myself what I am trying to achieve.  This makes it easier to stick to my guns when temptation comes my way.

3. Align your lifestyle with your personal goals.  I am frugal by nature, have always loved saving, love property and gardening and have a hankering to be self sufficient.  So we live on a lifestyle block and we started a property trading business.  This work well for me as I can implement my depression era values on the farm whilst still forging a financially independent future through our property business.

4.  Get control of your mindset.  Screen out the Jones's- who are they anyway?  If you can harness the power of your thoughts, stop looking and worrying what other people are doing/thinking/saying it will allow you to focus on what you are doing/thinking/saying.  Dig deep and figure out what you want and go for it.  Ask yourself "If I was guaranteed success what would I do"?  I reckon dream big cos' we only get one crack at this life and if its not the life of your dreams its time you made sure it was!

5. Create more money- I don't mean sell your eggs for $5 a dozen (although we are aiming for a cost neutral block so will be doing this) as that won't change your situation- but create a bigger income.  Start a business, import something from China and sell it online, get a pay rise, train to increase your position in the market place.  Stop settling for less and start asking for exactly what you want- you'll be surprised once you put your expectations out there how things start to turn around for you.

Good luck to you all in your journey to being debt free.  What is your top tip for getting out of debt?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Quinoa Bars

Quinoa (keen-wa), until today I had never baked or cooked anything with this but seen as I am trying to eliminate wheat and sugar from our diets I have been looking further afield for new idea's.   If you are wanting a gluten, sugar and dairy free snack this turns out pretty well.

Quinoa Bars

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds*
  • 1-1/2 cups almond milk*, unsweetened (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup applesauce*, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal*
  • optional:  1/2 teaspoon liquid chocolate stevia, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, dried chopped fruit

* Make this nut free by removing the almonds and using milk of choice, increase flax and applesauce to 1/2 cup. Bake as recipe follows.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop your almonds in your blender or food processor. Add your pitted dates and almond milk in a high powdered blender or food processor (slowly, a few at a time). Add chia seeds, applesauce, cocoa and salt and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add your cooked quinoa and flaxseed meal. Prepare an 8 by 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or use parchment paper. Place your cocoa quinoa mixture into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Add optional toppings. Bake for 45 -60 minutes or until firmly set on top. Mine were perfect at 45. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting into 12 squares. Keep refrigerated or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

The kids liked it, asking for more, the dog found one too and seemed to enjoy it as well!  

Do you have any great recipes using quinoa?

Friday, 3 January 2014

Life is all about choices

Hey, have you guys ever had someone say "you are so lucky" about something you have achieved?  I had that today and it makes me soo MAD!  Luck?  I do think you can attract good luck to you but managing to relocate a 100 year old house 150km to a 5 acre block that is minutes to the beach (sounds awesome I know!)- well luck had nothing to do with that, it was just plain hard work.....

We bought our 5 acre block 7 years ago.  We lived in a tiny flat in London, both had great jobs and lived our dream life traveling to where ever we wanted almost whenever we wanted. Anyway after a few wines one night we decided that we would like to have a lifestyle block/hobby farm- I'm not sure how our addled minds came up with this plan because neither of us had ever mentioned this idea before.. anyway with a few wines on board we came up with a plan..

We shall buy a lifestyle block near the coast (N.Z), so we jumped online and thats what we did, about a week later we had bought our block (site unseen) and that was that.  We never saw it until we moved back to N.Z with baby no.1 on the way (2 years later).  It was 2009 and there was the GFC.  I'm not sure how until this point I had been unaware of it but anyway we returned home to find the bank was no longer our friend.. we were heavily mortgaged with a bare block of land and 2 rentals and we still needed somewhere to live.

This was when the lightbulb went on for me... we needed to get out of debt.  Its an inopportune time to have this idea when one part of the couple stops working, a baby is born and you move countries and husbands wages halve.. never mind though I was not to be deterred.  The key I thought is to get a house on our block so we don't have to pay that debt plus rent.....

To do this we had to save $100,000!  Thats right, my husband was earning $60,000 at the time so it was going to be tough... we literally spent 2 years trying to come up with a plan while saving miniscule amounts of money.  Then we decided we would start our own business and make enough to move that house..... a year later we reached our goal and here we are.  I'll post later on how we did that but needless to say t could have gone either way and was a HUGE risk to us.... Do you think it was luck?

This is our house prior to relocating it.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Golden Hour

Robin Sharma talks about a golden hour, between 5 and 6am. A time when 95% of the world is resting but the top 5% are starting there day.  I want to be the absolute best that I can be and I think using this hour to get there has been very valuable.

So I start by taking a 3km run- this takes about 25mins by the time I am dressed and out the door.  Then I spend 15 minutes planning my day- what I'll do with the kids, any bills that need paying, anything that needs doing on the farm.  By writing it down I am committing to making it happen.  Then I have 20 minutes available to practice something.  That something at the moment is this blog!  Having never had one before it is a chance to practice writing creatively and try and figure out what it is that gets people reading.

What time do you get up?  Do you think getting up earlier would help you focus and achieve more?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years Resolutions 2014

Crikey 2014 is here- We tried to go to a party but the kids were too tired so left at 8.  A good chance to sit and write my resolutions however.  I always set out my goals.  I like to plan big and sometimes I even get there.  2013 saw a 50/50 success rate.  I made soap, started running each day and moved a house on to our lifestyle block.

So what's in store this year

Home goals:

Chemical free home
Zero waste home

Things to do:

Put in fencing and get an animal to eat the grass!
Get soil down in the garden
Plant a shelter belt
Picture wall
Bookshelf and art wall for kids

Family Goals:

Positive Healthy Family

Things to do:

Family holiday
1 day out a month for me and plus 1
Read home school books
Plan 6 family outings
Try 3 projects at home:

Life cycle of a butterfly
My Body
Healthy Eating

Financial Goals:

Mortgage Free by 2016
Passive Income of $500/week by 2016

Things to do:
Pay $75,000 off mortgage by August 2014
Continue to trade houses and research capital growth markets

Personal Goal:

Make 2014 my healthiest happiest year yet

Things to do:

5am club
Read 14 books (see this earlier post)
Deep tissue massage every 6 weeks
Dentist January 2014
No processed food
No alcohol for 6 months