drawing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1784/all en-US The Key to Debt Reduction May Be a Simple Picture http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-debt-reduction-may-be-a-simple-picture <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-key-to-debt-reduction-may-be-a-simple-picture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_art_drawing_92715063.jpg" alt="Woman using simple picture to reduce debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you do a quick Google search for &quot;debt art,&quot; you'll be either confused or underwhelmed. It's likely you'll find articles on artists accumulating or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-debt-collectors-dont-want-you-to-know" target="_blank">dealing with debt</a>. But, there is another type of debt art that you need to know about. Not only can it help you pay off debt more quickly, or reach a financial goal, but it can brighten up your environment with something that represents a real personal success story.</p> <h2>First Thing's First &mdash; What Is Debt Art?</h2> <p>Quite simply, debt art is a piece of art that helps you reach a financial goal in a creative way. Whatever the goal is, be it eliminating credit card debt, a student loan, saving for a vacation, or paying back taxes, debt art removes the hard-edged numbers and spreadsheets and instead lets you visualize, and track, your progress.</p> <h2>How to Create Debt Art</h2> <p>It may sound corny, but the only limit to debt art is your imagination. Of course, people with more artistic flair can really go to town on it, but all you really need to do is find a fun way to track your progress. It's also good to have the debt art in a prime location in your home or office, so that you are reminded daily of your development.</p> <p>The simplest solution is a series of squares that you color in. Each square can represent a set amount that you are putting towards your goal &mdash; say, $50 per square. You want to save $1,000 for a vacation, so you create 20 squares that need to be colored in. As you save each $50, you color in a square. When every square is filled in, congratulations! Debt art has helped you reach your goal.</p> <p>Of course, that's not very interesting. Some people have taken debt art to much more creative extremes. Take, for example, Amy Jones. On her blog, <a href="http://mapyourprogress.com/blog/how-i-paid-off-more-than-26000-in-debt-by-coloring-this-in/">Map Your Progress</a>, she outlines a truly wonderful piece of art that helped her reduce her debts by $26,000!</p> <p>The art was not difficult to create. As you can see, it's a series of swirls, arranged in a kind of floral pattern. At first, the lack of color on the poster looks overwhelming. The goal, to have every $100 swirl filled in, looks like an impossible task.</p> <p>However, slowly but surely, Amy colored in those swirls. The sense of achievement, and the visual indication of reaching a goal, was powerful enough to keep her going. &quot;Coloring in those swirls month after month helped me feel like I was doing something, &quot;she said. &quot;It helped me see that I was making progress toward my goal of zeroing out my credit cards.&quot;</p> <h2>Why Debt Art Works So Well</h2> <p>It's all about breaking down something insurmountable into something very achievable. If you look at a debt like $5,000, it can seem incredibly overwhelming. So much so, that it's easier to forget it, ignore it, or hope it goes away.</p> <p>But, when you split up that $5,000 into more manageable chunks, it suddenly doesn't feel as tough. Instead of $5,000, you're looking at a picture of 200 circles, each one representing $25. How easy is it to color in one of those $25 circles? One leads to two, and three, and before you know it, you've made a $200 dent in that debt.</p> <p>The ability to track progress based on these much more achievable goals means that it's easy to see and make progress quickly. The great thing is, you can customize it to something you believe will work for you. If $25 chunks are too big, try $10, or even $5. You might like the feeling of coloring in several $5 chunks in one day, or week, over one $50 chunk. But as you see the black and white canvas become a rainbow of colors, you are spurred on to achieve your financial goal.</p> <h2>Ideas for Your Own Debt Art</h2> <p>You don't have to have artistic abilities or flair to create something that will be both fun to look at, and easy to track. Here are some ideas to get you started:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Bricks in a Wall</strong> &mdash; You can print out a simple brick pattern from a Google search, and then use it to create a building or tower. Each brick can represent a specific sum of money.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Legos</strong> &mdash; Here, you don't need to draw anything. And you can approach this piece of debt art in two ways. Either build something up, or knock it down. Each Lego brick can represent a sum of money, and you can either add to a tower, or remove a brick (perhaps revealing something behind it&hellip;an image of something you're saving for is one fun example).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Circles</strong> &mdash; Draw a series of circles until you have covered the page. You could have different sized circles for different amounts (big circles = $50, small circles = $20). When all the circles are filled in, you have reached your goal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Coloring Books</strong> &mdash; If you really feel put off by the idea of creating your own art, why not find a coloring page from a book and have it enlarged? These <a href="http://amzn.to/29IGiYh">adult coloring books</a> are all the rage right now. Find a pattern that easily translates to something that can be used to track finances, and print it out poster-sized.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Ask the Kids </strong>&mdash; Kids of all ages love creating and coloring. If you want something that you can have as a keepsake after, ask the kids to draw something that you can fill in every week. Maybe they will draw a bunch of happy faces, cats, trucks, or fruit. They can help you color it in, too, giving you something that has meaning beyond the monetary success story.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Use Amy's Debt Art Maps</strong> &mdash; Amy has some available for <a href="http://mapyourprogress.com/fancy-prints/">purchase at her site</a>. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you used art to motivate you to reach a goal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-debt-reduction-may-be-a-simple-picture">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-a-debt-spiral">5 Ways to Prevent a Debt Spiral</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-decisions-youll-never-regret">8 Financial Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management coloring creativity debt art drawing goals saving money Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1749902 at http://www.wisebread.com Fun and Cheap Ways to Get Creative When You’re Bored http://www.wisebread.com/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finger_painting.jpg" alt="Finger painting" title="Finger painting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time is short, you have a pile of things to do, and you&rsquo;re feeling a little less than stellar. Seems like every drop of creative energy has all but dissipated into thin air. And you&rsquo;re oh-so-bored with your ever increasingly mundane, do-the-same-thing-every-day lifestyle. So what can you do to amp up your creative juices and get some of the good stuff flowing down on the page (writers), on the canvas (painters), in your job (anyone), and in your life in general (everyone)?</p> <h2>Fire up your fingers and get painting</h2> <p>Finger painting, that is. And it&rsquo;s not just finger painting, really. It&rsquo;s finger painting; it&rsquo;s foot painting; and it's any other part of your body you&rsquo;d like to slather in paint (think clean thoughts here!) and apply to a canvas or piece of paper. Elbows make fine tools for swiping long swaths of paper. Big toes are good impromptu brushes.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s cheap to get a basic set of primary colors &mdash; around $8. Plus you can do this with friends, family, kids, and adults&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;anyone who likes their art to be a little more physical. I&rsquo;d say do some pottery, but that&rsquo;s a little more complicated and expensive. But a chunk of clay at the art store could be only a few bucks too.</p> <h2>Dust off the pencils and get drawing</h2> <p>It's easy to do anywhere you go. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper, and you&rsquo;re all set. You can draw anything, anywhere, anytime. If you want to engage the other side of your brain, use your non-dominant hand and see where it takes you. Sometimes all you need is twenty minutes of doodling and, wham! There&rsquo;s the new idea you&rsquo;ve been looking for right there in front of you, where you couldn&rsquo;t see it because you were too busy looking.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>A pencil and some paper. Sometimes that&rsquo;s free, and sometimes you need a couple of bucks to get it.</p> <h2>Pull on your tennis shoes and get moving</h2> <p>A little bit of physical action may be all you need to spark your creativity. A jog, a walk, some yoga, a round of serious salsa dancing, maybe a bike ride through your neighborhood. Bonus points here because getting your exercise gets both your creativity and your health on. My best ideas hit me on bike rides in the countryside.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got the shoes already, this one&rsquo;s totally free.</p> <h2>Change up the scenery and get traveling</h2> <p>Even if it&rsquo;s only to a different neighborhood. It&rsquo;s all too easy to get sucked into a routine that bores you to death. A simple walk somewhere new or a conversation with a stranger in a new café can be the perfect solution to your doldrums. And you never know, you might even meet someone who will become a great friend later on. I&rsquo;m all for random meetings. Some of my best friends are people I met in very random and unusual ways.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>Somewhere close to your house? Possibly free. Somewhere a little further out? Depends on where you want to go. Could be the cost of a bus or subway ride.</p> <h2>Dig out some pens and get writing</h2> <p>Writing is not only creative, it&rsquo;s therapeutic. So don&rsquo;t worry about what you&rsquo;re writing. Just pull out a piece of paper and go for some serious stream-of-consciousness writing. Whatever&rsquo;s in your heart and soul can hit the page and free up some space in your head for new ideas and concepts. Do it every day for 10 minutes, and see what happens.</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>Paper and a pen. Could be free or could be a few bucks. If you want to do it on your computer, it&rsquo;s totally free.</p> <p>No matter the cost, really, it&rsquo;s all about making space in your head and your heart for the good stuff to reach you. And doing a little something new in your life every now and again is the best way to create the space to receive those goods. So let&rsquo;s get to it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-go-for-inspiration">10 Places to Go for Inspiration</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Productivity creativity drawing exercise painting Sun, 31 Oct 2010 17:00:09 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 274723 at http://www.wisebread.com MegaMillions - Mo' Money Mo' Problems? http://www.wisebread.com/megamillions-mo-money-mo-problems <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/lottery.jpg" alt=" " width="180" height="226" /></p> <p>Last night&#39;s MegaMillions drawing was for $370 million dollars. They say that money doesn&#39;t buy happiness, but I&#39;ve got enough happiness right now. So I could totally use $370 million for, say, shoes. </p> <p>Did I say &#39;shoes&#39;? I meant &#39;for smart investing&#39;. In shoes.</p> <p>I know, I know. It&#39;s not what you earn, it&#39;s what you save. But earning a little more can&#39;t hurt, can it? Now, I don&#39;t buy lottery tickets. My sister does occasionally, but our parents view the entire process with a certain amount of distrust, so I&#39;ve never gotten into it. Also, I&#39;ve always viewed lotteries as a <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/gamble/odds/house.html">tax that feeds unfairly</a> upon people who are struggling financially. This may be annecdotal, but I&#39;ve never seen anyone who appears to be well-off buying a lottery ticket. </p> <p>However, something about the <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&amp;id=5098922">recent MegaMillions</a> drawing made me wonder if perhaps I&#39;m being too harsh on the lottery system. After all, who doesn&#39;t want a chance at a piece of $370 million dollars? </p> <p>And come to think of it, can&#39;t being insanely rich take away problems that plague so many of us, thus reducing stress and contributing to happiness? According to <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=124324&amp;page=4">Money Magazine,</a> more money can make a difference, especially in reducing stress, but only up to a certain point.</p> <p class="blockquote">Money magazine columnist Jean Chatsky polled 1,500 people for her book You Don&#39;t Have to Be Rich and found that more money makes people significantly happier only if their family income&#39;s below $30,000, but by $50,000, money makes no difference. </p> <p>But isn&#39;t the winning alone enough to totally revamp your mental outlook? Researchers at Emory University <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4971361">studied how the brain reacts</a> to receiving money randomly and receiving money in exchange for work performed on a computer, and found that satisfaction is higher when money is received for work. </p> <p class="blockquote">In the Emory study, published Thursday in the journal Neuron, volunteers played a computer game in which they had to push a button every time a triangle appeared. The 16 volunteers played while their brains were scanned by a magnetic resonance imaging machine, or MRI. The researchers found that some reward centers of the brain were activated whenever a volunteer received money. However, the striatum was activated only when volunteers worked for their reward.</p> <p>Sure, I can understand that, but the researchers weren&#39;t randomly giving the subject millions of dollars. Surely people must be happier when they receive millions of dollars?</p> <p class="blockquote">[O]ther studies have shown “there’s substantial evidence that people who win the lottery are not happier a year after they win the lottery. It’s also fairly clear from the psychological literature that people get a great deal of satisfaction out of the work they do.”</p> <p>The <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3479213.stm">BBC reported</a> mixed feeling on the matter, pointing out that among lottery winners in the UK, those that are dissatisfied with their lives prior to winning are rarely helped by the earnings in any substantial way. But then again, most people who win are buoyed in some small psychological way, even if the winnings are only a few thousand pounds.</p> <p class="blockquote">&quot;Lots of people would like to think that there are a lot of miserable millionaires out there, but even quite small windfalls show up in our statistics on psychological wellbeing. Large sums are better than small sums.&quot; </p> <p>It&#39;s worth noting that in the UK, anyone who wins more than 550,000 pounds gets automatic access to investment advisors.</p> <p>Brad Duke <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/20/magazines/fortune/lottery_winnings.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2007022807">won the Powerball jackpot in 2005</a> and has since parlayed his winnings into investments that have made him even richer. Duke has invested in new businesses and earned a good chunk of change in the process. Duke seems to be an example of someone who was pretty happy with his life beforehand, and he certainly isn&#39;t turning me off of the idea of the lottery with his attitude. Ask if he is happier since his win, Duke replied:</p> <p class="blockquote">Absolutely. When it comes down to it, I get to do the things professionally that I&#39;ve always wanted to do. I get to invent a piece of equipment that I&#39;ve always been thinking about doing. I get to give back to some people that have given to me over years.</p> <p>Ah, so the road to financial happiness is paved with investment wisdom and hard work. I&#39;m hoping the MegaMillions winners are able to use the windfall to increase their happiness rather than exacerbate any current miseries. </p> <p>How about you guys? Do you buy lottery tickets? Just for fun? </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/megamillions-mo-money-mo-problems">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-win-the-lotto">4 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Win the Lotto</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watching-ads-could-be-your-ticket-to-a-fortune">Watching ads could be your ticket to a fortune.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optimize-your-ira-and-401k">Optimize Your IRA and 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance drawing investing loterry lotto MegaMillions millionaire Powerball ticket winner winnings Wed, 07 Mar 2007 18:19:40 +0000 Andrea Karim 330 at http://www.wisebread.com