a little and a lot

Monday, August 28, 2006

a well-oiled machine

sorry for being a bit MIA lately. i have been working hard on two new systems in my life.

see, i am a systems girl. i love routine, order, organization, predictability, control, discipline, you get the picture... unfortunately, i am just not all that great at any of the above. so, i really get pumped up about systems--a budget, a routine, a habit that makes things run smoothly.

i am such a big fan of the systems that i've been working on recently that i'd love to share them with you:

1. flylady
my mom discovered flylady shortly after i moved to memphis, and i checked it out and it half-heartedly tried it (all at one time) and it didn't stick. flylady is a system for keeping your home clean and making your life more balanced. the flylady is marla cilley, and she developed an uberorganized system for doing a little cleaning at a time. the way you start her system is you visit her website (
www.flylady.net), and you sign up. she adds you to an email list where you start receiving a bajillion emails a day.

the emails are to remind and inspire her readers. she sets you up on a 28-day habit-forming system, and by the end you are cleaning your whole house for one hour a week (which she calls a "weekly home blessing"), you are cleaning a "zone" in detail for 15 minutes a day (she divides the house into 5 zones and you tackle one a week), and she has you on a morning and evening routine that you do everyday when you wake up and before bed (including getting dressed first thing and doing one load of laundry in the morning and shining your sink and laying out your clothes before bed at night).

it sounds a little anal as well as overwhelming, but she has you start small and add only one thing a day for 28 days. it is making me feel SO GREAT! i am a perfectionist and usually put off cleaning until i can spend the whole day doing it...aka, i don't ever clean. i am really getting the hang of this and have found one key phrase missing from my daily conversations (usually with people that drop by the house): "i'm sorry the house is such a mess...it's been a crazy week!"

if you are like me, you should check out this system. nick helps me with it, and although the flylady is a bit cheesy, she really is helping us out!

2. all your worth

in my humble opinion, this is the best financial book ever written. including dave ramsey. compared to these two authors, dave is nothing. it is easy to read, simple to follow, and it sets up a really efficient and smart system to manage your money for your entire lifetime.

the basic premise:
* 50% of your income (after taxes) should go toward your "must-haves." (rent, basic food, utilities, things you HAVE to have and/or under contract to pay for)
* 30% of your income goes towards "wants." (basically, anything not in the must-haves category. this can be as practical or lavish as you want it to be, but it works on a cash/envelope system and when it's gone, then it's gone for that week/pay period/month.)
* 20% of your income goes to "savings." this also includes credit card debt and loan debt (such as student-loans). this part helps you pay off all of your debts, establish an emergency fund in your savings as well as a little cash pillow in your checking account, AND it helps you save for retirement and your dreams.

does it sound too good to be true? it really isn't. i am just in love with how simple the system is, and although it can be challenging to tweak your percentages so that they are in the right place (which the book helps you do), it really gives me a feeling of empowerment over my life and what we own instead of the other way around.

so there are my passionate plugs for the day!


Ashley @ pure and lovely said...


Julie said...


amber said...

Yay! 2 things that I can always use help with... cleaning and finances! I'm going to check both of them out. Thanks Jesse!

Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more