Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Snowy/Winter movies and Happy New Year!

The last day of 2015 where we all reflect on the year that has been and look forward to the year ahead.  Some people had great years while others will be happy to see it go but we all can say we made it through.  This week, the year ends on snowy/wintry movies so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have picked.  here are my 3...


I have not seen this film in a while but it doesn't mean it has not left an impact on me.  Chaplin wrote, directed, produced and starred in this classic as, of course, the little tramp. It takes place when there was gold found in the Yukon in 1896 and many, many men traveled to strike it rich. We all know the classic scene where, starving, Chaplin boils his shoe and starts eating it twirling the laces like they were spaghetti. I have a vivid, loving memory of my dad and I laughing until we could not speak, tears streaming down our cheeks when Chaplin is being chased by his prospector partner, played by Mack Swain,  around the table in the cabin. The cabin, getting closer and closer to the cliff but all that Swain sees is one huge chicken, not his friend. Of course there is the dance hall girl that Chaplin falls for and loves from afar. A gem of a film that kids could watch today and laugh til their stomach hurts.

2. DR. ZHIVAGO-1965

This is an epic romance film set against World War 1 and after, with the Russian Revolution taking centre stage affecting everyone in the most saddest of ways. Yes, the make-up and hair is mod 1960's but who cares-the romance and story is what grips us. Many may feel now that it is long winded but what I find interesting is that both my mom and her brother, who was not a film watcher at all, both stated this was their favourite film. The music is beautiful with the opening credits of the frost on  the glass. The cinematography is breath-taking. My mom and her brother endured communism after the war (They were now in East Germany) and they both stated that was when the real hell began. Starvation, the cold, lack of coal, stealing wood to keep warm-my mom and her brother did this. Their home was no longer theirs but "for the people" and so finally, my mom escaped and later, my grandparents walked out with what they could carry, leaving the door unlocked. Can you imagine doing this? This film brings this home  and more. I want to read the book since Pasternak based the love story on his own. Until the day he died, the Communist regime kept him and the woman he loved separate except for brief moments. Either he or she were considered enemies of the state and sent to the gulags in Siberia. Once Pasternak died, she asked for the letters he had written to her but the government never gave them to her.  I say, think of that when you watch this film.

3. INSOMNIA-2002

This film, I believe is not too well known but it is excellent and not so much due to the acting of Pacino but of the great acting by Robin Williams. If you are thinking Mrs. Doubtfire, think again! He plays someone very, very creepy. Pacino plays a cop ( always a cop or thug) who travels to Alaska to solve a murder of a young girl. He suffers from, you guessed it, insomnia, so is slow on his game. A cat and mouse game ensues and you wonder who will actually win. I don't want to say more because I don't want to give too much away.

I didn't pick Fargo since I have a feeling it will be popular-It is a great film. Which films would you pick? Planning to go out, watch movies, see the ball drop at Times Square or go to bed by 10pm? No matter how you celebrate, have a wonderful New Year and may this year bring all we wish for.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Holiday/Vacation Movies

Merry Christmas everyone! I have been a no-show a lot because of the season but hope to get back to the norm soon enough. This time the theme lands right on Christmas Eve which is when I celebrate Christmas so I probably will not be able to make the rounds until after the 26th.

This bloghop is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves and the theme this week is Holiday/Vacation Movies. Let's get to it!


This is the film where the song, "White Christmas" was introduced. I enjoy this film quite a bit even though the tribute to Lincoln's Birthday (a Holiday) makes one cringe in agony. Bing sings the song in blackface but what's worse is the female lead is done up as well with those crazy pig-tails that, if it were done now, every person in the world would be riled up and for good reason. One must take this certain piece from the time it was made and remember they thought they were actually paying homage to the African Americans. This has great dancing and singing as one song actually states this very theme. It also has some great funny moments and to see Astaire dance-just amazing. Just an FYI-when Astaire practiced his dancing for the 4th of July number, he lost over 20 lbs!


Except for my hubby, who I ignore when we differ in opinion, this film is a classic! We can all relate to this since we all were dressed up by our mom's to go out in the snow but we could hardly move. We all dealt with bullies- I even did stick my tongue on a pole (Get your minds out of the gutter ya filthy animals!:)) Yes my tongue got stuck but I cupped my hands around my tongue and breathed on it until the warm...or hot air let my tongue get off that's move on. We also have all experienced one meal in our lifetime that got ruined or at least delayed. This is also a special film because it was filmed in the city I live in. Sit back and just enjoy this gem of a film but hopefully no one has a lamp like that in their home.


I love the vacation films with Chevy Chase and this is a classic. It is not an award winner but man, does it make me laugh. When the cat chews on the lights, you know the cat will not see his 10th life. The uptight neighbours, one played by Julia Louis Dreyfus, really get their just desserts. We actually have similar neighbours living 2 doors down from us. My favourite scene... one of my favourites, is the sled scene especially the banter between Chase and Randy Quaid. What is wonderful about this film and the one above, is that we can all relate to it in some way even if it is over the top, that's what makes it funny.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Family Get-Together/Reunions

I have to say...I am going nuts. I am the hazelnut amongst all the other nuts that come out this festive season. If you have not seen me at many of your blogs, I must apologize as I am busy like all the rest of you but, I guess, I just can't get it together as well as all of you. At least I am doing some blogging of my own and hope to do more cards soon enough (After Christmas).

This week is Family Reunions/Get-Together and if you wish to see what everyone else picked, head on over to the host, Wandering Through The Shelves. He already has the new list out for 2016...anyone else want to join in on the fun? Without further ado, here are my 3 and I picked only 1 Christmas film!


Now, you know I was going to pick this movie at some point and talk about a great film! This IS my favourite film because of the message that we often take for granted. We all know the plot (I hope we all know it and if someone doesn't-tsk, tsk:)) This man, George Bailey, always wants to see the world and explore all he can but, whenever he gets a chance to, something always comes up. Christmas Eve is his crucial night when his guardian Angel, Clarence A2C (Angel, 2nd Class) comes to his hour of need to show him what the world would be like without him. Believe it or not, film noir comes into play while George ventures further than anyone else ever thought of. The ending with the entire family, blood relatives and beyond, come to his home,- makes me cry every time. Brilliant cast headed by the great James Stewart.


Westerns need some love and I love Westerns! I am a big John Wayne fan and am saddened by the negative crap that has been written about this man. He has his faults like any person but he was not a coward nor a savage right ringer ready to kill. I am going off topic, which I tend to do. This film is actually all about reunions. Ethan (played by Wayne) comes home after many years, to visit his brother and his family. You see, very early on, that he has an unrequited love for his brother's wife and she has the same for him. You can sense how tired he is and is glad to be back but it is short-lived. While he is away, His brother's homestead is attacked by the Comanche and all are killed except for the youngest daughter. Ethan and the adopted son of his brother (who is part Indian) start a 5 year search to find the young girl and reunite her with her brother and other families that will take her in and raise her as their own.... or will Ethan's hatred for the Indians make he do something horrible? It is visually stunning with a harshness not usually shown at that time but also filled with some comedic bits that just enhance the film even more. When Wayne comes to his brother's home and sees it burning, the music along with the look of pain on Wayne's face is one moment in film that I feel is brilliant.


This is a foreign film-French film starring Kristin Scott Thomas who should have been up for an Oscar for this role. She plays someone who, at first, you have little sympathy for, but as the story progresses, you heart just breaks for her. She has spent 15 years in prison and is reunited with her sister and lives with her sister and her sister's family. I do not want to reveal much more because it would take away from the brilliance of this film. Thomas's character starts off as a pariah but through the love and patience of her sister, her true nature is revealed. I was lucky to pick this film up for $2.99 because the place had no idea what kind of film this truly is...a gem!

What movies would you pick?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Joy Blog Hop

Over at Liz's Random Ponderings, To celebrate her 100th post, she decided to have a Christmas Blog Hop to talk about your favourite Christmas tradition, memory, gifts given or received, carol/song and/or why you celebrate Christmas. I love Christmas so thought this is perfect to partake in this blog hop.

I am Canadian, my father was Canadian but he always said that my mom, his wife (obviously) brought Christmas to him. Before that, he was a single man who went to the relatives and drank shots of whiskey. My mom changed all of this by bringing traditions that were handed down from her mom and her mom before her. My mom grew up in Germany-Wittenberg, Germany to be exact, where she and her siblings were always part of the Christmas play. My mom was always an angel as well as her older sister. Her one brother was the shepherd and her other brother was one of the 3 kings..a short king but a king nevertheless:)

They did not see the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve and it was decorated with hand-blown glass, candles and tinsel (lead tinsel which I have). In her province (Saxon-Anhalt), St. Nicholaus did not come with the creepy Krampus like it is done in Bavaria, but he came with an Angel. The shoes were polished up on Dec. 5th and placed out for St. Nicholas to place chocolate and candy in the shoes. If you were naughty, you got a potato.

The Christmas season started with the first of Advent where a wreath hung from the ceiling and 4 candles were on top of the wreath. Each Sunday they lit a candle until the 4th Sunday where all the candles were lit. They would have a little Christmas cookie or chocolate or Christmas Stollen which my Oma made. My mom fondly remembers travelling through the snow to go to the nearby baker to have the Stollen baked (it was too big for the regular oven). Going back home, the sleigh, my Oma pulled, had the freshly baked stollen on it and my mom and her brothers and sister could smell it and could hardly wait to get home and try a piece.

My mom's grandfather told them that St. Nicholas's reindeer would be very hungry so they would need to make sure plenty of hay was left out for the reindeer to eat. My mom and the rest would put all the hay out for the reindeer and Christmas morning, it was all gone. My mom always felt happy that the reindeer were fed. Later on she realized her poor Opa was out there bringing all the hay back into the barn.

The Christmas market in the town's square would be on during the whole season and it would be so much fun to walk and look at all the pretty stalls and see what was created whether it was something baked or something to hang on the tree.

Since my mom always celebrated Christmas Eve, that is when they received all the gifts. She always got a new dress her mother had made for her along with a hat, scarf and mittens. Each of them received a whole orange and some special chocolates that my  mom savoured. One year, my mom received a complete doll house with all the furniture done exactly like the home she lived in. Her father built the whole thing. It was one of her treasures.

All this, she brought with her to my dad and she created Christmas for him and for us. We would go to Mass that Christmas Eve and then, after, we opened all our gifts. We never opened them on Christmas Day. I now make my own Advent wreath, decorate my home with garlands, Santas, other decor plus, the Christmas village and the Nativity. Say what you will, but Christmas is not just for kids. I may not be religious but it is CHRISTmas and despite this holiday being taken from a pagan festival, we now celebrate the birth of Jesus who did actually exist. People can dispute whether he is the saviour or not, but no matter what, he has changed the world.  It is not about Disney characters and what the kids want. It is about peace, joy and good will to all men ( that means women too-I never take offense to that)

My Christmas tree has coloured lights (no candles-not liking a fire), a variety of ornaments from glass blown ones to the eggs my mom made and I hang the tinsel, one at a time, on the tree. I play Christmas music from traditional German carols to the Bonanza Christmas album my father bought back in 1962 or 1963. Christmas would not be the same without that album. My mom, being an OCD German, taught us well and we never (I mean we really don't) rip the Christmas paper. I cringe every time I see beautiful paper being torn up. We take time and slowly undo the paper and have a box for paper, a box for bows and a bag for some garbage. I have paper from when I was a kid! I plan to use it in a scrapbook I want to make.

Christmas is special and it does not mean to break the bank, complain about what you didn't get and gorge your stomach with turkey, it is about family, peace and love. I wish people would remember all that and not go out on Boxing Day which should be a holiday (used to be in Canada) to fight for crap and exchange things. Take another day, sit back and enjoy. I do love every moment of it while I look at a book, take a sip of wine, enjoy listening to Christmas music while I look at the tree, think of my mom and dad and gives kisses to my hubby, our 5 cats and our doggie, Wallace.

Thank you mom, for giving Christmas to all of us. You are in long term care and don't get excited like you used to for Christmas but you still give me joy.

My Nativity scene

My Christmas tree with the tinsel hung one by one

My Advent wreath that I make every year

An egg (chicken) my mom created with St. Nicholas pulling a sleigh (she made the interiors)

My Christmas village  the upper left, partly cut out, is my local Cathouse, as every village should have one. I bought these for under $3 and painted them all. The last few my hubby painted also.

Now for one Christmas song that is one of my favourites-Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mock Squid Soup Film Society-My Pick!

Now it is time for the reveal! Last week, I gave 3 clues pertaining to the film I chose and I am actually a bit tickled that no one guessed correctly:) Head on over to The Armchair Squid to see what everyone else chose for their film of the month.  My 3 clues were:

When I saw this film, it made me dream of going to Budapest (I did end up going!)

The Female Character runs into her old love and brings him backstage of the Metropolitan Opera House. While she is changing, she talks about the letters she received from him on her travels. When she mentions Budapest, she says it with such love and magic in her voice that I thought Budapest must be a place of astounding beauty. When I was 18 I had a chance to go and I did!

2. It won awards but one star broke his

The film was up for 10 Academy Awards and won 8 including Best Picture. The Best Supporting Actor(who was also up for Best Actor before the rules changed about double dipping) won an Oscar but he, later on, knocked the head off his Oscar when he was practicing his gold swing. During the War Years, they made the Oscars out of plaster instead of Gold due to the metal shortage.

3. It co-stars a famous mezzo soprano

When I heard this lady sing in this film I was in heaven! Her voice was astounding and she seemed to be the perfect Carmen. Her name is Rise Stevens (2 dots are over the E but I can't do that here). She was a famous Mezzo Soprano who made a couple of movies.

So what is the movie?


It's December so I had to pick a Christmas movie and this is a classic. Everyone knows I love It's A Wonderful Life and could talk about that for hours but this film deserves some love too. Considering the famous star and the number of awards it won I am surprised fewer people know about it. 

The film stars Bing Crosby as a young priest having the difficult  duty to help out an older priest, played by the wonderful Barry Fitzgerald (who is the man who broke his Oscar), try to bring St. Dominic's out of financial ruin.  The older priest is set in his ways and is not one for the modern way of thinking so, at the beginning, he is at odds with Bing Crosby's character.  Bing helps many people find their way in life, often through song. There is comedy and drama both played equally strong. The singing is interwoven into the plot so it is not a true musical. Crosby's character, Father O'Malley helps juvenile delinquents get off the street by teaching them to sing. He meets his one time love, Rise Stevens, who is now a celebrated Opera singer and this all creates magic that culminates on Christmas Eve. The ending never fails to make me weep like a little baby.  I love the song Too-Ra- Loo-Ra- Loo-Ral which Bing sings  in this film-simply enchanting. 

For your listening pleasure... more that she sings in the film with the kids...but it is not this version. I know, I hope you have time to listen:)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Movie set in a Hotel

Another week and we are getting closer to Christmas. Sorry that I have not posted my creations in a while but I am busy as all heck with Christmas as all of you are as well. I am finding it difficult to keep up so, if I have not visited you in a while, my apologies. I will try to get back to everything soon. In the meantime, here are my picks for 3 movies set in a hotel. You can check out what the others have chosen...or participate yourself over at Wandering Through The Shelves. Every week there is a new topic and you get to choose 3 films you feel go with that topic.


This is one of the first big-budgeted all star cast style movies which takes place in Berlin. I find it a hoot because, nowadays, it is a bit stilted but you get to see some stars at their peek in popularity like John Barrymore (who will fall from grace, literally and figuratively in the years to come) and Greta Garbo to up and comers like Joan Crawford. Everyone comes to this famous hotel and you get to see their trials and tribulations. This is the film where Garbo utters that she wishes to be alone or left alone ("there is all the difference"). I can't help but giggle that she is portraying a famous ballerina knowing that Garbo loved to wear slippers while she worked (if her feet were not in a shot of course).


OK this takes place at an exclusive chalet but it still fits the theme I think. I love this movie because I find it one of the best comedies I have seen even with Capucine (Like that Patt:)) Actually she does quite a good job in this film playing the beautiful wife of Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau. The luscious Claudia Cardinale is an Indian princess staying at this Swiss resort with her big fat diamond-the pink panther. David Niven is the cat burglar and Robert Wagner his young nephew. With great Henry Mancini music, the comedic timing of Sellers and a masquerade party that I wish I could have been at, it is golden.


Another recent film for me to choose and one, I am expecting, to be at other blogs, but I can't resist. This is a film by Wes Anderson who directed The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom. He has his very own auteur style if I can say this. This is such a unique film starring Ralph Fiennes as the man who runs this exclusive hotel. Fiennes should make more comedies like this because he is great in the way he delivers his lines. It also has Edward Norton,  Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody and so on. I find the writing and acting brilliant as well as the artistic direction. Some people hated this film because it is different in its style. It is a film you will either love or hate so it is up to the individual.....which is usually the case:)

Which 3 films would you have picked?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mock Squid Soup Film Society-3 Clues!

I can't believe it is December. In my neck of the woods it has not been that cold and that's a bummer. I like a nice snowy day to put me in the Christmas spirit. I also wish to apologize to all my blogger friends whom I usually visit. I have been busy at work and at home. With Christmas approaching I am finding it tough to get to everyone's blogs and I feel bad about that. I hope to make it up in time.

Ok, over at Mock and The Armchair Squid, they have a monthly film society where a film is picked to review. This time, once again, we pick our own film and for this post we offer 3 clues. Next Friday the film will be revealed. Let's see if you guess the film I picked for this month. Venture over to see the other bloggers' clues.

here we go...

1. When I saw this film, it made me dream of going to Budapest (I did end up going!)

2. It won awards but one star broke his

3. It co-stars a famous mezzo soprano

Can you guess??

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Con Artists

This week, over at Wandering Through the Shelves, the theme is Con Artists. Every week there is a new theme and you get to pick 3 films that work with the theme. These are my three:

1. THE LADY EVE-1941

I love screwball comedies and this is a classic. Henry Fonda plays a very rich and naive (aka dumb nut) man who has been in the Amazon checking out snakes. Stanwyck is the wicked lady enticing him with an apple because all women do these things (eyes raise up to the ceiling). The Lady Eve and her dad are grifters and Fonda is their mark. It is very witty and sexy for its day considering the major censorship rules of the time.  A true classic.


This is simply hilarious-nutty, manic, but hilarious. Zero Mostel is perfect in this part and so glad he was able to achieve fame after being labeled a Communist during the witch hunts of the 1950's. He couldn't find work for years until the 1960's. He plays a down and out producer and brings in his accountant to create the worst play ever made and become millionaires. Little did they know that their Hitler musical would make it big. Now everybody sing..."Springtime for Hitler and Germany..."

3. THE STING-1973

This is the con film of all con films in my book. I am not even going to attempt to discuss anything about the plot suffice to say that Newman and Redford made a great team especially when they are trying to bamboozle Robert Shaw.  Add in great music by Scott Joplin set during the starving 1930's and you have a priceless film. A must see in my book.

I could have picked so many more...what would be your three?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Budgeting 101

Oh, there's that word so many know and so few do....budget.

When I say the word "budget" to people, many think of this

People feel they will be controlled, have no money for fun, be under someone's thumb etc... you get the idea. I also hear "I have nothing to budget with." This time of year, people are spending like Christmas will end and never come again.,,,, um,,,, not going to happen. We know Christmas comes every year as well as birthdays, car repairs, and bad colds. Why do we decide to ignore this until it happens? When you think about it, are you in control of your money if you ignore these things? Now if you don't celebrate Christmas or birthdays, don't have a car and never get sick...then, well, OK, but I bet there are still things that pop up which can upset the apple cart.

So here are some of my tips that I hope will help you on your road to controlling your money instead of the other way around.

1.  Don't think of all the negative words when it comes to budgeting-words are powerful and they can hurt, hinder or they can make you grow and soar! All you want to do is organize your money so it works for you. If you can pay your bills on time, know where your money is going and can save then you are on the right road.

2.  Why do people say "I make $60,000 a year. I have a mortgage payment of $1,100 per month, and I spend $2.00 at Tim Horton's (coffee shop all over Canada which people would cry for years if they ever closed up)- this tells me next to nothing..why? First off do we see $60,000? Ok I don't, but let's pretend and realize, we don't see this because the tax man takes a huge portion. People give figures that are monthly, daily or yearly and this is not consistent. We need consistency so mark down your take home pay (net) for the month from all sources and then mark down all your expenses on a monthly basis even if they do not come every month. Don't forget your coffee money, bank fees, pet needs, medicine, gifts, clothing...

3. You may, after composing this initial budget, find that you are in the hole each month or, possibly, have quite a bit extra left over and wonder how on earth you are functioning. Well, you are but you are actually unsure how much you are spending on certain items. We have a pretty good knowledge of our rent/ mortgage payments, hydro, heat, insurances but I bet you are guessing with groceries, coffee's out and gifts. What to do? You must keep track! The best is to keep track of every expense but, like New Year's resolutions, it soon fades. Many people keep receipts and then at the end of the month, they spend 2 hours sorting through the receipts resulting in this...

I say, take 3 expenses that you are unsure about, take 3 envelopes, label them (ie. groceries, lunches/coffees out, entertainment) and every time you spend money on that expense, get the receipt and place it in the envelope. At the end of the month, since it is already sorted, all you have to do is add up the receipts and write the amount you spent on the envelope. Do this for 3 months so you have a good average. You can see, after 3 months, how much you under-estimated or over-estimated and determine whether you need to cut back or have better knowledge of how much you need  for that expense.

4. Many people will take one of their paycheques and use that for rent/mortgage and the other paycheque would be for food, insurance etc... This style may not work the best especially if one paycheque just covers rent/mortgage. The paycheque planner works better. Once you have worked out your expenses on a monthly basis, divide those expenses by how often you are paid. for example, if your rent is $800 per month and you are paid bi-weekly, set aside $400 per pay for your rent. If your water works out to be $90 per month, $45 is set aside per pay to cover water and so on. This levels off all your expenses and makes it easier to buy food and cover gas for the car on a regular basis.

5. Think about having more than 1 bank account provided your bank does not charge you extra. This helps organize your funds even more. When you review your expenses, you will see certain expenses are "musts"-if you don't pay them you will be in trouble (All housing expenses, insurances, debt payments, bank fees). You can have a savings account for gifts, clothing, car repairs and house repairs and include any goals. The third account can be your main account for all "cash" expenses from groceries and gas for the vehicle to entertainment, child needs, pet needs etc... I have 3 accounts and, each time I am paid, I place "X" amount into my "Must" account, "X" amount goes into Savings and the remainder stays in my regular account for cash items. When a bill comes in, I simply pay it from the "must" account. When I look at my regular account I know that is what I have left to use for my cash expenses. I have one regular bank fee that covers all three so I am not charged extra. Again, make sure the bank does not charge you extra.

6. Make your savings account inconvenient. We live in the land of convenience making it so easy to spend. If someone has a hard time saving the best is to make that account hard to get to. You can deposit the money in but you have to stand in line to get the money out. If you are married, you can have an account where both of you must go in and sign not just one or the other. You will find this helps with building your money up.

7. Regarding your cash expenses, some people have told me if they have cash, they spend it, debit keeps them more in control, they document it and they don't spend as much, while others have said debit is "out of sight, out of mind." they don't see the money leaving so, in this case, cash is better because they do not want to spend as much. You understand both but you know one works better for you (not easier) than the other. You need to take the route that works better for you.

8. Set up "roadblocks" as I call them. Impulse buying often upsets a budget. We are all guilty of buying something we shouldn't have so how does one limit the amount of spending? Make things inconvenient! If you go to Wal-Mart to buy something you need and Wal-Mart has the best price, I am certain you already know how much it will cost. Take out the $20 in cash, go to the store, leave your debit and credit card in the trunk of the car. When you walk into the store, you may see other things you would like to buy but you can only get the item you actually need.  By the time you walk to get the item, stand in line to buy it and walk to your car, ten to one, you will not want to go back into the store for the items you saw...your curbed your impulse! If it is a Wednesday, you have food at home, gas is in the car...leave your debit card at home. It may feel weird at first but it prevents any impulse buying.

9. One only needs 1 credit card but often people have, on average 6 cards including an overdraft, loan and credit line. If you are up to date with everything and you are doing well, you can see about consolidating your debt with the bank but please, get rid of your 21% overdraft and the credit cards with the high interest rates. If you have a bank card at 19% with a balance of $3,000 on it, it can take you 24 years to pay it off. If you have a retail card, like Home Depot, it can take you 36 years because their interest is 28.8%. We only need 1 credit card. If you don't want to use your card but you are tempted to, literally place it in a bowl of water and freeze it! You don't have ready access to it plus, if you try to microwave it, the magnetic strip will blow your microwave.

10. Any budget or change in one's money style takes time and persistence. Nothing works over night. Be patient, follow these tips and know thyself. Part of budgeting is realizing your money style and working with the strengths and acknowledging your weaknesses.

I hope some of these tips help. Yes this is lengthy but I have a passion for budgeting and I feel if you budget then you feel more in control and have a sense of freedom instead of straitjacket city!