The Loneliness Epidemic
Have your heard of this and do you think it’s a real thing today?
Here’s a theory I have. I believe it is a real thing and it’s scarey as heck. We are more disconnected than ever before but more disconnected from ourselves. Even though we have multiple ways of connecting, quicker, easier to just about anywhere in the world. But here’s the problem.

We don’t share authentically..and We have not caught up to the speed of technology yet.

Think back to when we use to take a picture. Typically it was a fancy thing and we had to go to a studio and have out portrait taken by a professional. We got all dressed up. Or your picture might of been taken by someone at a party, a special event. Then you had to wait for the pictures to be developed and once they came back to you. You went through them and would only showcase the good ones. 
Well we do the samething today, and we only show the good ones. Back in the day, we were living socially more open, we socialized more in person and stayed close to family etc.We knew what was going on, and what was happening in the neighbourhood.

Today this is not the case, we barely know our next door neigbours, Today we keep our doors locked and windows dark. Our families are not living near us at all and we only share time with them online or for special occasions.

I think this is why we have more crimes, more homelessness and on and on it goes. We care more in a way, and we have more ways of reaching out but less connections that are real.

We miss the perfect person behind the perfection we see everywhere. 
This is may even be why seeing a homeless person is difficult..we don’t know how to handle it and know that it could be us. They just couldn’t keep the mask up like the rest of us.

Do you feel like you’re downing in debt and can’t catch your breath? Has this been going on for a long time? Are you life lines being cut off? Do you fear homelessness? It seems most of us are living on the edge and just one paycheck away from being on the streets. It can happen to just about anybody.

I take this topic very seriously and I know there’s no quick fix but I know there is a fix. This is why I create Renovate-Your Life in the first place. To not only give hope and a pray but to help set up yourself for who you really want to become. We are not our circumstances, that is what happens to us when are striving to become a better version of us. Life is not all roses, and happy times, no, life is not a fairy tale. We need the balance to help remind us which direction we need to be going in. Life is working for us not against us.

Sometimes hanging on is all we can do but you have to be hanging onto something that is worth it. You my dear are worth it.

We have become a world in search of something but get distracted by what someone else wants me to see. This is why so many are lost. I say look up, look up to the light, look up to the eyes that are looking at you. See the smile from that one person who truely loves you. You matter and losing money is not the end of the world, it’s just an ending in a chapter of book that has many more chapters. Notice the things that money cannot buy. Start by looking in the mirror and see the mirror you are.

What really is money?
Money is just a tool and it magnifies who you really are.
I believe this to be true and it makes me completely understand why not many are actually happy with the amount they have. It completely makes sense that not many are rich. It’s as if we really know this to be true but complain about it as much as we can.

The more money you have the more you are exposed.
Not many of us really want to be too exposed. And this could also be the reason why even more complain and point out the flaws of those who do have money.

Do you really want more money? Are you ready to be exposed as much as you are wishing for? We are the ones who actually give it it’s power. Without use it is meaningless.
Think about it, what makes it grow are zero’s which are empty.

We only spend our money on how we see ourselves. Another way of putting this is what we “Pay” our attention onto. We are spending our attention like it doesn’t matter.
Take an inventory of your life. What would you like to change? Are you happy where you are? Do you spend your attention with intention or are you doing so in a fog?
Look at your life seriously, how much longer can you keep going on like this?
What’s your money really saying about you?

As I shared last week in Steps 8 and 9, we found more money. All too often we stay stuck in fear and forget that we have other options. And debt is one of those examples that cripples us in fear and we do nothing other than worry. Which stresses us out, put strains on our work, and can damage relationships that can last a lifetime.
I wanted to shine a light on some new ways we can add value to our lives and to show you where the money is.

Picking up extra shifts at work is one of the first things, if you have a job if not get your ass out there and get one. Are you able to do something part time on top of your regular employment?

I love this exercise:
Take 15 minutes to do this.
Make a list of all the things you’re good at.
All the things you love to do.
Anything you have talent in.
I mean Everything. This includes walking, if you can.
Look at that list, give yourself a pat on the back. There’s more than you thought.
Now from this list, what can do right away to make more money?

What can you can do in your community that will bring you more money? Every little bit helps.
Is there something that you already have that you can use to actually make you more money? Like a sewing machine; where you can sew for other people? Do you have a kitchen; maybe you could cook for others. Use what you have.
Get out and see where you can be useful. Is there a local community center near that you ask.

Here are some more ideas:
Sell what you do not need or use. Clothing, electronics, furniture. You can sell online or in person.
Have a yard sale and sell the belongings you have that you don’t use.
Downsize your home into something that fits your current income. Why are you keeping a home you cannot afford? Coming home to a place that causes you stress isn’t worth it.
Get rid of the big car, you can find one without payments.

When shopping check out your local thrift store only if there’s something you need. Or see if you can get it for free. Maybe someone is getting rid of that thing you say you need.
When grocery shopping try to do so in bulk. Price match and use coupons when available.
You can even share with a friend – this is where you buy the bigger bulk items and split it as the stores sometimes sell them at a lower price.
Get creative in the kitchen, learn new recipes. Host or go to a pot-luck dinner where everyone brings something to share. Share recipes with others. Get the family involved. Let someone help.
Reuse when at all possible, stop using dishes that you just throw away. Stop using the dishwasher.
Did you know that in some areas your electricity costs more during peak hours. Do your laundry in the off peak hours. And hang up your clothes if at all possible.
Turn down your heat if you’re paying for it. Put on a sweater and an extra blanket at night when sleeping.
Do a clothing swap if you need to change your wardrobe, this is great for business attire and kids clothes if they don’t wreck them first. Purchasing kids clothes is great to do at a thrift store, they’ll grow out of it so quickly anyways.
Maybe you can find someone to trade with. If you need some help with repairs, or if you have extra of something trade with someone else in your community.
Ask if around, if you need something chances are someone may be wanting to get rid of the very thing you need.

We’ve all come through difficult times. And money is one of those things we are still learning about. They teach us how to count when we are in school but nothing about money. Having money issues is the leading cause for relationship issues, health issues, and so on. You are not your circumstances, you are the result of some choices you made along the way and those choices can be changed. You can come out of this and on the other side is a brighter side to life. Taking control over your money and finding more of it is just one way to help you along your journey.

Oh and don’t forget to check the sofa…

Here are 10 steps to get you out of debt and on the right track towards your dreams

Step 1
write down the amount you made last year and subtract the what you have today in the bank account. Take a look at that number. You have to know the truth.

Step 2
Print off the last 3 months of your banking transactions.

Step 3
Write down all the income you’ve brought in and add them up.

Step 4
a) hi-light all the restaurants you spent money on.
b) hi-light in a different colour all the food you spent money on. * this is ONLY grocery money *
c) hi-light in a different colour necessities (ie: toilet paper, shampoo, tissues, feminine products)
d) hi-light in a different colour auto payments that come out every month
e) Add up each colour for each month and divide by 3 – this is your average.
Do you spend more than you make?

Step 5
Outstanding debt never makes anyone feel good.
a) Make a list of all the outstanding debt you have.
b) in one column write out the amount owing
c) second column write out the monthly payments
d) third column write down the interest rates

I know this may seem overwhelming but don’t give up. With everything in life those things that need change first need us to change and we need to adjust and that can be uncomfortable.
Life is not suppose to be comfortable.
First thing is to really look at this and see exactly what it is you’re dealing with. And know this, once you look at it, you don’t ever have to be there again. Everything you do is a choice and how you spend you money is just another choice.

Step 6
This is the Plan
Add up all of your outstanding debt. You want to be sure you’re making all your minimum payments and then the extra money you’re working for will go towards the amount that is the smallest.
Then once you have this one paid off, celebrate without spending money. Then the money you are putting towards it will then be going to the next outstanding debt. This is called snowballing your debt.

Contact the companies and tell them your plan and when you will be making your payments. You want to be working with them. You may negotiate for a lower amount depending on how much you owe and for how long it’s been. Sometimes this works but not always. They may want a lump sum so be prepared.
Call all the auto payments including your credit card and see about lowering your interest rate.

Step 7
Cut the FAT (Frivolous Actions Taken) This is where we need to trim up. Cancel anything you do not really need. Television, cell phones, cars etc. Anything that you do not really need. Get rid of it.

Step 8
Find More Money
This is where you are going find more money. Now if you’ve cut as much as possible and you’re still short then you have to increase your income.
Can you pick up extra shifts at work? Can you do a part time job on the side? Is there papers that need to be delivered in your area.
Here’s where the money is:
Take 15 minutes to do this.
Make a list of all the things you’re good at.
All the things you love to do.
Anything you have talent in.
I mean Everything. This includes walking, if you can.
Look at that list, give yourself a pat on the back. There’s more than you thought.

Step 9
Let’s find even more money.
Here’s some ideas:
Sell what you do not need or use. Clothing, electronics, furniture. You can sell online or in person.
Have a yard sale and sell the belongings you have that you don’t use.
Downsize your home into something that fits your current income.
Get rid of the big car, you can find one without payments. Sell it.
When shopping check out your local thrift store only if there’s something you need.
When grocery shopping try to do so in bulk. Price match and use coupons when available.

Step 10
You have a clear vision about what’s real when it comes to your money.
Now I am going to add one more here.
You also need an Emergency Fund!
I am serious. I’m sure your eyes just got really big and doubt crept back in. But hear me out. This is your own personal cushion and the just in case. This comes before you pay off your debts. You make your regular minimum payments but you put the extra you make into an Emergency Fund. At least until it gets to $1000.00. After you pay off your debt then your Emergency Fund should be 6 months worth of your expenses. Now that number’s a lot bigger.
This is ONLY for EMERGENCIES . Think about it, if your car needs repair and you need your car to get to work, what do you do?
You need to have the Fund and get it quickly.
You know the amounts, everything is written down and all payments are visible and set up to paid on time and for the correct amounts. You have additional sources of revenue coming and you have let go of things that were holding you back.








For many years now, I have been saying that I’m not in the Christmas spirit. I was a single a mother for 14 plus years and things were tough to say the least. Not knowing my own strength and believing I always had to get a job to survive is what I did. I was always able to make ends meet. Although that meant there was never anything left over. Which made me feel like a failure. There would be others around us who even added to this for me. Trying to give my son things that I just couldn’t afford. I was trying my best but always felt like I never did enough. Read more