The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Nine

It's Day Twenty-Nine of The $1,000 Plan and tomorrow we will finally be at Day 30. It has been a busy 30 days, and tomorrow I will share where we are at with regard to achieving our $1,000 savings goal.

Is it possible to save $1,000 within a 4 - 6 weeks timeframe?

Is it achievable to meet such a goal when you are a single income family?

With hindsight, what would we choose to do differently?

Are there things that worked particularly well, or proved to be quite difficult or challenging?

What were there advantages and disadvantages that stood out during this time?

What were the hardest/easiest changes to make as a household, in order to try and help ourselves achieve the potential financial breakthrough goal we set?

Watch out for tomorrow's blogpost for the details, on how the last 30 days of The $1,000 have panned out.

The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Eight

It is Day Twenty-Eight of The $1,000 Plan and today I chose to make some cinnamon rolls. I thought they would be a nice alternative to having muffins for breakfast each morning. Here is the recipe I used, for those who also might like to make them also. 




Cinnamon Rolls 

This recipe makes approximately 22 large cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients:

8 cups of Organic Flour
8 tbspns Organic Raw Sugar
8 tspns Baking Powder 
2 tspns Salt
100g Butter, melted

2 1/2 cups Rice Milk*
4 eggs


Cinnamon Filling:

2 cups Organic Raw Sugar
2 cups White Sugar ***
4 tbspns Ground Cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Brush a baking tray with 2 - 3  tablespoons of melted butter (Please Note: It is important to make sure the tray is well greased, otherwise the rolls with stick).
  2. Sift flour, raw sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. 
  3.  Beat the milk and eggs together in another bowl, and then add this and the melted butter at the same time to the flour mixture. Stir all combined ingredients until a soft dough forms**.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out dough until it is in the form of a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
  5. Brush some additonal melted butter across the surface of the prepared dough with a pastry brush.
  6. Sift the white sugar, raw sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. 
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the prepared dough. 
  8. Roll dough with the filling so that it forms a log. 
  9. Cut the resulting log into 1/4 inch rolls and place each roll onto the prepared baking tray.
  10. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven until rolls are golden and set. This will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Remove rolls from baking tray and place on a cooling rack.
These cinnamon rolls are lovely served for breakfast.

* Use whatever milk you prefer.
**I found it was best to add some extra flour, when preparing the dough, to turn it out onto the floured work surface.
***I used white sugar in the cinnamon filling, as this was what I had onhand. You could substitute the white sugar for brown sugar.

The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Seven

It is Day Twenty-Seven of The $1,000 Plan and today we welcomed some friends over to have lunch with us and so the children could have a playdate together.

Can you entertain and still potentially meet a savings goal you want to achieve in a short space of time? 

As mentioned in a previous blogpost in this $1,000 Plan series of posts (The $1,000 Plan: Day Nine blogpost to be exact), it is possible to be hospitable while you work away at a savings goal.

You can be hospitable by making the most of what you have, and by being as welcoming and friendly as you possibly can to those who visit you. People appreciate good, nutritious food and often the simplest of meals can still be one that leaves everyone feeling well fed and cared for.

I wanted to enjoy blessing our visitors who came today with good food as part of being hospitable towards them, and so I chose to prepare delicious tomato soup. 



Food is often such a big part of being hospitable, for both host and the guest. It just adds so much to the experience of endeavouring to be welcoming, friendly and experiencing fellowship together.

From the feedback received, everyone really enjoyed the soup and there was enough for my own family to also have soup later in the day for our evening meal.



I chose to make some cheese muffins go with the soup for our evening meal. Here is the recipe I used, for those who also might like to make some lovely cheese muffins.

Cheese Muffins 

This recipe makes approximately 12 large muffins.

Ingredients:

4 cups of Organic Flour
1 1/2 cups Grated Cheese
8 tspns Baking Powder 
1/2 tspn Salt
100g Butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten
3 cups Rice Milk*
A pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Method:

1. Mix together the flour, cayenne, salt, baking powder and grated cheese into a bowl. 
2. Stir in the eggs, butter and milk.
3. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cases. 

4. Before baking, sprinkle a little extra grated cheese on the top of each prepared muffin.
5. Bake at 200 degrees celsius  for 15 minutes or until golden.
6. These are best served warm and are a great accompaniment to soup.


*You may use whatever milk you prefer.

The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Six

It is Day Twenty-Six of The $1,000 Plan and today I want to again emphasize the importance of guarding your mindset, while you work away at a financial goal (or any other goal for that matter).

Unfortunately, throughout life we often have people come across our path who, on reflection, can be tiring due to their negativity. They are people who give off a draining, low-level energy vibe and you are left feeling tired after you have spent time in their company. Their negative mindset has encroached, both literally and figuratively, on your own outlook and experience of the world about you, and perhaps your hoped for goal and plan now feels a little shaken.

People who often have an underlying predominately negative mindset, one that focuses on lack & limitation, will unwittingly project that mindset on to others. They will voice what is an underlying spirit of pessimism rather than a spirit of optimism. They will often make much-a-do about the cons, and not so much about the pros, from the outset, when any changes are being sought to be embraced.


When you are working towards a goal, a vision or a dream, you need to guard yourself against the influence of those that would try to always sway you down a path of negativity. There is no value at all in dallying with that which is heavily weighted towards the negative, when approaching something new.

There are those who, as you share something of your plan and vision, will feel it is their duty to remind you of all the great possible risks, negative consequences and obstructive possibilities that could come your way, if you try to do things differently.

They will intentionally focus first on what could go wrong, rather than what could go right, because they have sadly developed that habitual negative way of thinking. They over emphasize the what ifs, and the what coulds, from a habitual negative based thinking. They can repeat it again and again, because for them it is worthy of being a noted deal breaker.

They make a big deal of what could go wrong, because from their viewpoint, it is the negatives that will stand out first and foremost with any venture. This is a pattern of thinking that is a habitual way of thinking.

They are the nanny naysayers, and they find people doing something innovative, creative and different, to be people that need to be reminded of risk, the potential danger, that the unchartered territory they may journey over may perhaps hold.

They leave a toxic energy in their wake, and you walk away feeling drained, your ability to make sound judgements questioned and your previous clarity of mind is nothing but clouded. They essentially project that your ability to reason and rationalise is not as good as theirs. This is draining discouragement working at its most potent. Take care!


It can be incredibly challenging to not let these downers bring you down. Their unconscious gift for discouragement can be quite the damp and heavy blanket to pass on.  When you wish to try something new, when you want to work towards a goal, you need to guard your thought life. You need to see with clarity just what it is you are valuing and upholding, and rest assured that it is positive and good for you.

The following are some points that can help when it comes to guarding your own thought life, plus also assist with dealing with a Debbie Downer (that family member, friend, colleague, or some other individual), who rather habitually take a negative stance in response to hearing you share about a plan and hoped for dream.

(1) Create distance. You don't need to ever reply immediately to a Debbie Downer who questions and sends the clear message that they wish to challenge your wisdom or process of decision-making. Take your time.

Where possible, create distance in terms of how much contact you have to literally have with this person for a while if they are overly pessimistic. If necessary also seek to retain ongoing distance as you look to go forward.

Don't go out of your way to seek spending any additional time with them for a while, particularly while you are working through your plans. Should it be necessary or unavoidable to spend time with them, keep any further conversation brief, polite and then calmly turn and proactively walk away when it is clearly time from your perspective for the conversation to alter.

Stand behind a desk or on the other side of an actual physical barrier when interacting with the person, if this will help remind you that this person need not overpower you own sense of personal empowerment.

Having a literal physical barrier can sometimes be just what is needed to help you retain a sense of disengagement from their negative feedback and pessimistic words, while you are in close proximity.

If you are struggling to not feel overwhelmed by their negativity, a literal gap or barrier can help remind you that this person's critical mindset is just not one you are willing to freely allow access to your own thoughts and viewpoint.

(2) Share less. We can sometimes be our own worst enemy in our excitement and enthusiasm. We unwittingly share in too much detail that which is currently dear and precious to us, because we are excited and thrilled about what is unfolding for us. Too much detail and too much information can sometimes be used against us. Know your listener. Pick carefully your listener.

The listener who will no doubt throw a bucket of ice cold water on our dreams and plans, because pessimism is their dominant guiding perspective, is not a listener who warrants hearing about what is precious to us. They simply will not share reciprocating joy in any measure. Share less.

Be discerning about what response anyone may give you. If the listener has a history of always having a negative, obstructive viewpoint no matter the subject, don't go outlaying your plans before them. Pick your audience and your timing wisely.

(3) Do your research carefully. Lay your plans done well by doing sound research. Plans that are not well thought through will prove to be easy fodder for those who routinely want to be criticial. It can be very helpful to have feedback from others, and it is wise to seek it. The pessimist however, will only see red flags if you leave too many out for them to see.  Prepare wisely.

Seek good counsel where and when you are able to, and the benefit will be that your resulting conviction will be even stronger. Pick your audience and be wise in determining what feedback you should in fact take onboard.

It is so much easier to persevere when times do eventually get tough when you have good foundation behind you. It helps to support your conviction to work towards a particular goal when you have quietly done your homework. Lay out what steps you feel are best to take, and lay them out as best you can, from the outset.

(4) Take one step at a time. Rome was not built in a day. It is highly likely that all the pros and cons were not resolved in one day either. Remember to approach your goal one step at a time, one day at a time, and take heart that that IS actually sufficient.

We sometimes have a big picture outlook and have only several steps sorted in which to take us off and along towards achieving a hoped for goal when setting out, and that IS okay. It isn't always the way that things are all sorted before we begin.

Stepping out in faith is sometimes what is required to get started. We can step out to try something new and it is okay to not have all the answers straight away. Sometimes it is on the actual journey towards our goal making that everything finally falls into place. Sometimes it is only then, while we are on the way, that the actual pathway to take is finally revealed.

We can step out and still be learning and seeking wisdom along the way. One step at a time still allows us to practise wisdom and discernment. We can be confident in the current step, while we are still investigating all that is good and right for the next step.

I hope by sharing these points that they will be a source of encouragement. It is always wise to be aware of the pros and cons involved with any endeavour, yet this can be worked through without letting pessimism have a field day.

We can guard our mindset and be wise about looking after the first growing shoots of our hoped for plans and dreams, when working towards a particular goal. When it comes to achieving our goals, a positive, sound mindset is a very, very healthy mindset.




The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Five

It is Day Twenty-Five of The $1,000 Plan and today I wanted to share & reiterate what have proven to be 5 helpful tips for my own household over the weeks we have been working towards the goal of The $1,000 Plan.

I hope by sharing these 5 helpful tips they may prove to be helpful for your own household, particularly if you are currently endeavouring to achieve a financial breakthrough also.

The 5 helpful tips are as follows:

1. Make using what is currently in your freezer or pantry a priorty, when it comes to planning & making meals. It has helped my own household tremendously, over the weeks we have been working on The $1,000 Plan, to always shop the freezer and food pantry first. If you shop from what you already have at home, to help plan and put together a meal, you are making the most of your current available resources.

With a little creativity, innovation and a bit of research (online or via your collection of recipe books) it can sometimes work out that you can create several meals from just one 500 gram pack of mincemeat. The simplest of ingredients can often surprisingly lend themselves to the most delicious as well as nutritious of meals.

Being able to plan ahead and plan creatively, when it comes to each & every household meal, helps towards achieving a hoped for financial goal. Your freezer might just stock what you need for a week or two of wonderful meals.....it might even supply you with even more!


When you shop your freezer and pantry first before doing a grocery shop, it also helps with keeping track of use by dates of frozen items as well. Rather than discovering sadly that there were items lurking in the depths of the freezer that are now no longer food safe, a regular audit helps to keep food rotation occurring.

Alongside keeping the need to grocery shop within budget being carefully met, by shopping your freezer you are kept up to date with the actual contents of what you have on hand within your freezer. Why discover too late that what you purchased on sale 12 months ago, is now freezer burnt and no longer consumable? Shopping from the freezer or pantry is a very wise means of keeping within a concise food budget as shrewdly as you can.

2. Buy generic brands when you can. With allergies needing to be considered in my household when it comes to product buying, I know firsthand that it can be tricky to work through what can potentially be purchased from amongst the range of cheaper brands of certain products.


I choose to purchase that which does work well for my family members health-wise and budget-wise. You may not be able to buy cheaper generic brands of bread for instance, if you are a gluten-free or dairy-free household, but perhaps you could purchase a generic brand of aluminium foil instead. Choose what will work best for your household and make the most of what options you have available to you.


3. Be more conscious of your electricity consumption. Over the colder, darker winter months it can be particularly challenging to keep your electricity consumption from jumping and steadily increasing. It can be too easy to get caught in the trap of turning overhead lights on as you pass from room to room. It is wise to keep stock of just how much usage you are making of what you have available to you.

It is far better to aim to have everyone on the same page and making a combined effort to not leave lights randomly on about the house, rather than receive a shocker of an electricity bill at the end of any given month.

Can everyone work quietly in the same room with one overhead light and with one source of heating, rather than have people in multiple rooms all using different sources of light and different sources of heating?

Could ambient light be sought out instead during the daylight hours, rather than a light switch being habitually flicked?

Could a hot water bottle or two be used to warm a cold bed, rather than an electrical blanket?

Rather than everyone showering or bathing daily, could you set up a rotation over the colder winter months, so everyone has their shower or bath on alternate days?

Give your use of electricity greater thought, as it can make a significant difference to your overall utility bill each month, and also to how you go about achieving your financial breakthrough goal.


4. Set up automatic payments where you can. When you make partial payments, over a greater length of time, rather than as a lump sum payment biannually or annually it helps to not make things too tight and uncomfortable on the financial front when those payments are finally due. 

It helps cut down the worry that can linger in the back of your mind about making and keeping up with utility payments when you make regular part payments via automation. We have found it helps clarify what is truly left each payday, as those payments that are defined commitments are dealt with first and foremost always, via the automation process.

Keeping on top of payments lessens one's overall worry and stress. Plus, it helps to provide a clearer picture of just how the balance of expenditure versus income is really going. An automatic payment ensures your financial commitments will be served first and served well.



5. Use your surplus to generate additional income. If you have surplus items that you no longer require, it can be wise to look at selling them. We recently sold a no longer required small outdoor shed and are looking forward to using the money gained to purchase some firewood.

Over the winter months it can be a good opportunity to do some decluttering and list things for sale online on Trade Me or other local sale sites. This can sometimes help generate some additional income and help aid achieving your hoped for financial goal. 

The bonus of decluttering is that you not only gain extra space around your home & property, but you also gain some potential extra dollars also. These are both wonderful pluses, when it comes to making the most of your current resources and what is surplus. 

It really is my sincere hope that by sharing these 5 helpful tips, they may prove to be helpful for your own household, particularly if you are currently endeavouring to achieve a financial breakthrough also. It takes perseverance and often courage to make changes, and where we can learn and gain from the experiences of others, I personally have always appreciated having the insights shared with me. May these 5 tips prove to be helpful for someone else also.

The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Four

It's Day Twenty-Four of The $1,000 Plan and today I wanted to share some words of encouragement. Words of encouragement give so much. They are what lift us from feeling down & discouraged, and often they give us in a timely fashion just what we need: further courage.

The $1,000 Plan was and is a plan to achieve a financial breakthrough over a 4 - 6 week timeframe. Encouragement is a valuable tool to achieve such a goal. Here are several key points of encouragement that I wanted to share via today's blogpost:


Continue to work faithfully away at that which you have put your hand to. 
Perseverance makes a huge difference towards achieving a desired outcome. Practising perseverance, is key to aiding your mindset see abundance and positive change come to fruition. You've got this. Keep going. Do keep persevering.


Remember the value of being part of a community. When we contribute and give to others, we in turn are often given just what is needed also. By sharing from our abundance, we bless others. When they in turn share with us, we are also all the more richer. 

Be open to seeing where you are already experiencing abundance and blessing. Be at peace about being generous and share where you can with those who are your community. Joy is sure to be a reward for your courage, your kindness and your generosity.


Dream and visions often get worked out, step by step, by putting on diligence daily. Be conscientious, be earnest and keep up the good work needed, regardless of how little progress you may currently see. 

Wintertime on the surface looks to be a time with little happening. Yet deep inside, hidden away, each and every tree is about to be fully ready for Springtime. 

Likewise, you may not think you see anything like the end result being about to happen just yet, but you are most definitely on the journey to it coming about. Keep on with keeping on. You have got this.


Guard your mindset. Guard your thoughts as well as your words and actions. Do not let others discourage you with their lack of vision and their focus on limitations. A positive mindset is a healthy mindset. 

When you want a financial breakthrough, there is no room for a poverty mentality to be in control of the steering of your mind. Seek out that which will buoy you over, seek that which will keep you working steadily away at your goal, and what will keep you on target for your plan. 

The $1,000 Plan is the $1,000 Plan, it is not a plan for anything less. Embrace those constructive steps that will aid you. Make changes where you need to, and persist with what is working well. A breakthrough can be achieved. 

It is my hope that the above words of encouragement may be a source of inspiration for anyone perhaps also seeking to work on achieving a financial breakthrough now, or at some other point soon.

The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Three

It's Day Twenty-Three of The $1,000 Plan and today I thought it would be helpful to discuss one of the biggest mindset blocks that exist when it comes to achieving a financial breakthrough.

"It is too risky." 

"You can't spend that amount of money!"

"It is best to be safe."

"It's only temporary."

"No one else I know has done that."

"My situation would be better if only XYZ hadn't happened to me."

A poverty mentality is one of the biggest mindset blocks, one of the strongest glass ceilings that people have to breakthrough when it comes to seeking to make a financial breakthrough. A poverty mentality is a habitual behaviour that colours thinking and resulting action (or in a lot of a cases inaction), and it is not constructive.

Engaging in limiting thoughts has been proven by numerous actual studies to have a detrimental effect on what actions we choose to take, and most significantly, also on one's actual health.

A poverty mentality is a mindset learnt in childhood. Those that grew up in a household where the focus was more often than not on lack and limitations, end up embracing a lifelong mindset that sets them up for living a life with underlying habitual habits that reinforce that very outcome; one of continual lack and limitation. 

The natural law of gaining what we sow manifests just that which we sow: a result and outcome that will always be shaped as lack and limit, when a poverty mindset is at the root of how and what we think about doing. 

A poverty mindset is a very powerful mindset, because it is one that sadly always holds back, always limits and always constrains.

A poverty mentality mindset is a negative mindset. By limiting your ability to succeed within the confines of your thoughts, you put in place the exact outcome you are unwittingly desiring: an outcome focused on lack and limitations. 

Habitual thinking creates patterns of not only thinking, but also of actual behaviour. 

Those who hold fast to a poverty mindset will do the same repetitive constraining behaviour and show an unwillingness to try something new or alternative. They want to stick with what is known, because it is perceived to be safest. They want to emphasise risk as being always a negative to avoid, rather than seeing risk as part & parcel of building a sound launching pad for potential gain. 

Those with a poverty mindset will too easily and quickly abandon any thought of abundance being able to be present in their lives. Rather than seeking out the best alternative of multiple alternatives, those with a poverty mindset will always focus unwittingly on seeking the cheapest, the least, the most limiting of options. They will tolerate discomfort, rather than aim and hold on to obtaining that which would in fact give greater joy. 

Those with a poverty mindset will uphold blame and claim they are the victim of misfortune, rather than taking personal responsibility for just how their own thoughts and actions have shaped the outcomes they are in fact experiencing. A poverty mindset can become the internal jail cell that you do not realise you are in fact occupying.


Start saving what little you can. Make an empowering choice about your financial situations from this very moment, in order to break the cycle of a poverty mindset. By taking that first step to do things differently, you actually will end up doing things differently, and having a completely different and more positive outcome.

Connect with like minded people. Seek out people who have a positive mindset. People who are embracing creativity and innovation. Find those who are endeavouring to implement a plan, a change, a constructive step forward into a new and exciting direction. Leave the naysayers behind you, where they truly belong. Those who have an uplifting attitude will make your own outlook & attitude lift higher.

Monitor and guard your thoughts. It can take time to make the shift within your own mind towards embracing a more positive mindset. Start right now! Be conscious of doing an audit of your thinking from now on. Negative thoughts affect us chemically and therefore health-wise. Take stock of where your thoughts tend to lead you. Some people find reading a positive affirmation each day and displaying it around their home helpful. You need to seek out that which creates a more positive energy for yourself. We create our reality by our perception of the world around us. Be disciplined in your thinking, as that will shape your actions and therefore what outcome you experience.

Embrace your creativity and innovation. The ability to think outside the box is a tremendous gift. There is always more than one way to solve any given problem. Look for possibilities and opportunities. Invest energy in positioning yourself to prosper. Invest in your dream and vision step by step, no matter how long it takes you.


The following are some wonderful words of wisdom about breaking free from a poverty mindset and its resulting fruit:

The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.  Proverbs 21:5

Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame.  Proverbs 13:18

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.  Proverbs 10:4

Stop complaining and seek to focus on making the changes needed to put a sense of lack behind you. Shift your perspective and address your attitude. When you rearrange your thoughts, you rearrange your world. Be the talented, hard-working, good-hearted person that you are and literally seek to see your life go from greater strength to greater strength. Consciously turn your mindset away from one of lack and limitation to one of abundance and fullness, TODAY. The results................................. they will amaze you.

The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Two

Sometimes you have to find joy in the little things while working towards a goal. It is Day Twenty-Two of The $1,000 Plan and I am still enjoying the memory of my visit to a beautiful garden or two yesterday.


When you have a goal you are working towards, there can be times when there are ups as well as downs. Keep going. Keep believing in yourself. Keep being the best you, that you can be. Your goal will be reached, as you keep your hand steady on the plough, and perseverance as your guiding mindset. Keep going.