Saturday, November 29, 2014

Alice's Art Therapy

I would like to introduce my art therapy that I can analyze my mental state.

Recently, I found some of music I can enjoy, but colors of music I indulge in are so different respectively. So I decide to paint what I feel while I listen to separate music so that I can analyze my mental state based on art and music. I think what I paint on canvas, and what kind of music I listen to express my emotion in my mind and who I am.

However, I like YouTube stars “ThePianoGuys” & “Lindsey Stirling.” I enjoy watching their performance on YouTube. But I know my taste will soon change to Christmas music because I like Christmas song and mood.

In addition, I painted on a tablet by using Corel painter X, instead of actual canvas and paints.

♥ ThePianoGuys "Christina Perri-A Thousand Years"

The tranquil forest scene in the video makes me think I used to be there a long time ago for some reason, maybe in my childhood dream...? Anyway, I wanted to express my feeling on the painting that I am in beautiful nature and fresh air, and dancing in peace. I expressed tranquil, calm happiness from pureness on my painting. But I know my painting looks a bit lonely because a girl is dancing alone and only one home is on the painting. Anyway I didn't like a busy scenery in my painting; or I might feel my limit to paint more complicated scenery.

ThePianoGuys Ants Marching/Ode to Joy”

Recently, I had some kind of angers in my mind. But when I decided to stay in positivity and forgive something; all of sudden, I felt some big stone in my mind was got ridden of. Then, unconsciously I kept listening to this music below. When I listened to this music, I felt the music seemed to congratulate me on solving problems in my mind. So I wanted to express harmony in angels’ ensemble and rainbow in the sunny day in my painting.

Lindsey Stirling Stars Align”

Music video shows universe and a girl playing a violin. This music motivated me to paint mysterious universe and also talk about my theory I have kept deep inside my mind. But I don't get too much into my theory, but sometimes.

First, before I go into my theory, I would like to point out that you would better be open minded to listen to me instead of locking yourself in the boring, small fixed frame. I think people only try to believe and accept what they used to learn and be brainwashed since they were born. So human beings are very much used to thinking “one is one, red is red”. People are unable to see beyond what they see, hear, believe and learn. Somehow, I think human beings are like a puppet on the string in the small frame.

My theory is that there are a lot of black holes in universe as we all know, but I think there must be white holes beyond black holes, too. There might be advanced civilization in another side of universe. Moreover, they can reach any planets with their advanced technology which makes them stand extremely high pressure when they go through black holes.

I even think God we used to know in our bible could be aliens from another side of universe. Long time ago, ancestors on earth were so ignorant so they thought aliens from sky were their God who could save them.

And I think spirit is like a host, in another world, when human being dies, a “host” which we used to know as “spirit” is planted to another experimental life by aliens or disposed of in universe.

In addition, if you know my story, you will know whom I am talking about. Well… I feel like I talk with a descendant of aliens who still has a very tiny fraction of ability aliens have.

Don’t you think people depend too much on human knowledge?

Lindsey Stirling Roundtable Rival”

When I watch this music on YouTube, I want to be a woman who wins over bank robberies in video. Moreover, powerful beats, strong sound and a battle in this music video makes me want to trample upon bad people I hate, and I become a winner over them. At least I can imagine I become a winner over bad, rotten people my high sensitivity has caught, while I listen to this music.

In that respect, I like rock music which has strong beats and sound because I feel power deep inside me for a moment.

Why don’t you have your free time on one of weekends to analyze your mental state by drawing with music you are currently stuck in? If you are not really good at drawing, you can express your feeling over music with line and dot; then, your drawing will tell you what you have in your mind and where you are in life.

P.S: By the way, have you well enjoyed my private information and some of my habits or pattern disclosed by I.A in Korea? Haven't you evaluated me within your limit? (You know what I am talking about if you know me)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Alice’s Effective System & Space

I am refreshed because it is fall season. In fact, I was exhausted by hot, humid, and suffocating summer, so I welcome the beauty of the fall such as cool air, colorful maple, and autumn mood. Besides, my favorite Christmas is approaching after autumn, so I try to enjoy all those blessings.

Anyhow, I would like to talk about how I hold myself not to go into a dark pit from negativity as well as my dolly space I can find stress free and tranquility.

I am good at organizing my space, work system, and brain. My organizing habit and system help me not to collapse or fall behind mentally and physically, although I am in an awkward situation (you know what I am talking about if you know my story)

I know many people might ask me, “Do you think your life is normal? You are alone, and you must be very lonely.” The way to find happiness and peace is different depending on people. And I try to accept the reality that I have to accommodate myself into decayed world system as long as I live in this messy world where has war, dispute, revenge, decayed competition, corruption, deceit, discrimination, unfairness, and abuse, etc.

Frankly, I cannot say I am free from what makes me feel bad, but at least I know myself and wait for an appropriate timing for a chance; moreover I trust my intuition and sense coming from high sensitivity. I try to plan, prepare and develop myself, no matter how people think of me. 

However in modern period, so many people suffer from a lot of stress and disorder. Unfortunately, many people try to find the shelter out of stress in gambling, drug addict, promiscuous sexual intercourse, smoking, alcohol, adultery, and crazy raves, etc like dumb clowns. But I really appreciate I know how to control myself not to go astray by my organizing system.

I have observed so many people for a long time in a variety of circumstances that if people are not organized, they stumble twice more than organized people in personal task, work, household and any process.

Moreover, unorganized and messy people including hoarders have their own issues like loneliness, excessive stress, health problems, and mental disorder. Conversely, too much organized people must suffer from an obsession and stress. Therefore, moderate level to make things function would be better.

When it comes to working environment, all of work is related and connected one form or another after all. But if some persons are unorganized with what they do, they can affect and screw up other people’s work and system in any ways. Frankly, if I am an owner of company, I would hire an organized and sincere person rather than a clever but unorganized and messy person. If I am not organized, I would stumble easily with lousy mental system and it will take multiple times for me to process my task.

Also, I have observed many people, who are unorganized and messy, are usually very selfish or easy going person. And they don’t really care about other people around them. Moreover, they feel everything is fine with them if their unorganized way satisfies them, no matter they offend people or not.

Reasons I appreciate my organizing habit and system are as below.

     ●  It reduces possible forgetfulness and boosts my memory
     ●  I don’t have to waste time for search
     ●  It helps me under control regarding my projects, budget and expense
     ●  Organizing system and process boost my energy and passion
     ●  It develops my creativity and brain function
     ●  It holds me not to go astray or fall behind

In that respect, I would like to introduce some basic examples how I organize myself mentally and physically, although I already posted some methods 2 years ago. I would like to emphasize that “record” is the basic step to organize brain before action. It is the same concept that when people want to start a business, they have to organize their brain and information, and make a document of business plan to reduce any possible mistakes, then follow it through. Usually people acquire a lot of information daily, so they should prepare some space in brain to accept more information by "record" instead of trying to memorize everything.                             


I refer to my calendar every day. Many people use Google Calendar, App or binder planner stuff, but I have used a calendar I made with excel program for a long time. By the way, I carry App in my smart phone to check brief calendar or schedule, and I use my excel calendar for detail stuff and archiving purpose. The reason I use my excel calendar is as below.

         ●  It is easy to see and find records in calendar
ü  I do color coding by events records pop up easily by color code and CTR+F
ü  The file has 12 sheets from January to December in Excel easy to look through events monthly for my reference.
         ●  It helps my memory and decision
ü  I record all of expiration dates and any important future events in a new calendar whenever New Year starts.
         ●  It is easy to archive I am a person who refers to previous calendars


I get motivation from a planner. I make plans and motivate myself to carry out my projects, so I can boost my passion and energy rather than being a knucklehead.

Currently, I use my planner I made with MS Excel, but I would like to introduce my new template for a planner I created with MS Access Program last month. 

When I open a file, a small window pops up as below so that I can choose a year. I also archive my yearly planners so that I can refer to previous years.

Once I choose a year, a related form opens as below.

                      I scroll down the orange box on left to choose the month I want to work
                        on or use arrow icons to go to a next (previous) page.

                    ●  Left side is plans I accomplish by categories
                        Right side is my goals on same categories as left side
                    ●  I can refer to a small calendar at the bottom


I am under control for my expense and budget with my accounting system. So far, it works so well. You can refer to the previous post regarding my expense control ─

    Address Book

I don’t collect business cards or any paper stuff; instead, I refer to address book sorted by categories in my access file. I can find any information fast and I don't have to rummage through unorganized information about person or business. 

I would like to introduce my address book I created with MS Access Program. 
P.S:) If I have a family I live with, I would print it out and put it in the home management binder, so everybody can share it)

When I open my address book, a small window pops up, and let me choose which category I want to open. My categories are as below.

●  Relationship such as family, friends…
●  Business such as vendors, doctors, etc

Once I choose a category, the form related to that category opens.

●  I scroll down the pink box on left side, so I can find any certain category or 
    company in an alphabetical order.

●  I can type any business name or category for a shortcut in the pink box on  
    right side

   Cook Recipe

I don’t really enjoy cooking, but I have to cook to feed myself. So I need recipes. That is the reason I made cooking recipe file with MS Word as below. I usually search what I want to cook on Internet, and record & save them in computer & the binder by categories such as Asian, Western, and Korean. So I don’t have to purchase cook recipe book stuff. Once I get really used to cooking some recipe, I discard that recipe in my file because I am ready to step up with advanced cook recipes. “Record” is all about helping my memory.

Cook Recipe in MS Word 
●  1st page  "Contents"
●  small thumbnails on left side, so I can go to the page directly without scrolling down

Cook Recipe binder → I divide recipes by categories and tabs

   My organized space

Lastly, I would like to introduce my home I manage to keep clean and neat. My space gives me not only cozy feeling, but also function. I would like to share some photos of my home. Frankly these are not really different from photos I shared two years ago, but I still like my touch everywhere in my home because there are my efforts.

♥ My living room

♥ Kitchen

♥ Bedroom

♥ Craft Room

Monday, July 21, 2014

Alice's Shouting on Corruption

I would like to talk about some aspect of corrupt capitalism in the world. I want to be frank with my thought on this topic and shout to corrupt society to awaken and see what is really going wrong with the very best example of the entertainment industry.

Capitalism originally started from good intentions and competition, but it has been getting so much corrupt and rotten. Consequently, the structure of capitalism has become a shape of the pyramid rather than balanced. It doesn't mean that rich people who have big wealth and belong to the top part of the pyramid succeeded from their pure efforts, capability, sincerity and integrity. In fact, some (or many) portions of rich people accumulated their wealth from dishonesty, lack of virtue, corruption, wrong business management which is seemingly successful, and trampling people, while sincere and honest people work so hard for a living on their own pure efforts and integrity. This corrupt capitalism also reflects imperfect human being, though.

I would like to give some examples with the entertainment industry to show the corruption of capitalism. I think the entertainment world (showbiz) represents corruption and unstable equilibrium in capitalism in some points. I have to tell you first before I go deeply into this topic that I live in Korea, so I have felt so much unfairness and incongruity in the entertainment industry in Korea, even though Korea entertainment business keeps growing up in a market economy. So my examples are mostly based on Korea situations. In fact, it is not only the problem in Korea, but also other countries, too.

However, I admit the entertainment industry becomes very important role to lead culture and contribute to economy growth and status. So we cannot ignore the entertainment industry.

Since the entertainment industry has been so much growing up, it also requires better quality management system, systematic strategy for improvement, qualified & competent directors, staff as well as entertainers, and transparent investment as well as fair distribution of pay & profits. All elements are needed to be in one place to produce great outcomes.

First and foremost, I want to point out that the entertainment industry is the place where art and business coexist and they should be balanced. But the balance between art and business is getting collapsed by unfairness and incongruity. Consequently, the entertainment industry is following the route of corruption of capitalism.

As an aspect of business, big entertainment management companies and production companies only pursuing a huge profit monopolize market; accordingly, it is very hard for people who pursue a work of art and true ability & passion to get a chance in the market monopolized by big major companies.  

For example; films invested huge amount of money by big major production companies occupy the market; conversely, valuable films as a work of art produced by minor production companies hardly survive in the market monopolized by big major companies. Also, sponsors who invest money in film production look for big major production companies and intervene too much in the process of production; and they often block directors’ capability and ideas because investors only pursue huge profits like gambling, so they ask directors to follow a style of Hollywood blockbusters. Consequently, investors’ taste always comes first and directors and staff have to be a kind of slaves for investors and production companies. For that reason, many capable directors waiting for a chance in a long line have lack of chances to show their ability and ideas; moreover, many capable directors have to be disappeared even before displaying their ability and ideas in this industry. Accordingly, investments and productions tend to lean to one side rather than balance in the market. Besides, big major entertainment management companies and production companies abuse their authority and power in the market.

Also, entertainers who belong to big management companies have more chances to get jobs and success because big management companies almost monopolize the entertainment market. Since entertainers are kind of products in the market, management companies put all efforts to wrap their products with fake images and life to display them in the market and draw people’s attention to them. In some or many cases, there is bribery stuff going on to sell their products in the market. Moreover, there are wrong affairs secretly going on like sex scandals between corrupt & rich sponsors and entertainers because management companies cannot invest money to adorn each entertainer they contract to sell in the market, so entertainers like actresses or singers get private rich sponsors for their expense. Consequently, many talented, passionate entertainers who don’t belong to major companies or sponsors have to suffer from lack of chances, hunger and poverty. Wealth, chance, and luck are inclined to specific people (celebrities) who are wrapped by fake images and life made for commercial purpose and supported by big management companies and private rich sponsors in some cases.

Needless to say, there are many talented and competent entertainers, directors, and staff who are ready to devote their talents, ideas and passion into this field, but chances are always taken by people who have authority and power, and they are sacrificed by unfair situations and unequal distribution. In addition, weak & vulnerable common people are sacrificed by the mass media looking for baits for their benefits, too.

However, if I make a list of all elements investors and production companies need to prioritize for the production of films, it could be as below.

              good scenario / contents
              good director & producer
              firm plan & management skill throughout the whole process of film production
              sincere & passionate & talented actors and actresses
              competent & sincere staff
              marketing (actually, it is very important, but I put it in the last place)

Budget needs to be distributed fairly according to priority listed above. But the problem is a “balance.” Balance is often off in the entertainment business, especially when it comes to ridiculously huge salaries for famous actors and actresses whether they have true ability or not. Investors and production companies have wrong thoughts that popular actors and actresses can make films succeed by their fame, so these wrong thoughts make the structure of the entertainment industry broken. Actually, a successful outcome is from a combination of all elements. I want to point out that actors and actresses are only contract employees or one of elements in production. Famous actors and actresses should not be treated like an owner of a big company. The thing is there are many actors and actresses who play each role in film and they are as important as leading roles in film; in fact, leading roles can be saved and enhanced by them. Furthermore, there are many staff who stay all night to work, too. The successful outcome can finally come out due to a combination of all elements listed above and a “balance.” Rewards and honors should not be given to only leading roles, and any productions should not depend on famous celebrities who are paid huge amount of salaries because ridiculously huge salaries for famous actors and actresses collapse balance and fair competition in the entertainment industry.

I think the entertainment industry spoils entertainers by their wrong system; for example, some Korean actress gained fame so fast by her attractive appearance, but her acting skill was poor (lack of analysis and in-depth expression on her role, etc) Nevertheless, she was cast in some TV drama (soap opera) as a leading role with very high salary in contrast with her ability, but she ran away in the middle of the drama production due to the reason she was so tired and she didn't like the directing style of the producer while other actors and actresses worked so hard without complaints. After a big controversy, she ended up coming back to her work and finished the drama. Eventually, the drama failed. I believe one of factors the drama failed was a poor mindset of her who played a leading role.

Last time, Korea had an incident that the director committed a suicide because his epic drama failed, even though he invested a lot of money in this epic drama. After his epic drama was finished, he was sued by actors and actresses who played general and walk-on roles because he couldn't pay them at all while he paid huge salaries to leading roles. It showed that he could have paid salaries to other actors and actresses who sued against him, if money was distributed to the right place and right amount; moreover, he didn't have to be driven to the corner by the result if he didn't make mistakes on budget and marketing plan at the very beginning.

Also, some famous celebrities have selfish conditions on contract whenever they are cast in dramas or movies, etc. They list down conditions on contract at their own convenience that they don’t really care about other staff, although they receive huge salaries as well as huge incentives. For example, they request additional huge incentive on top of their huge salary, time limit of their work, limit of their scene or the scope of acting, using a pinch hitter if there are hard performances, etc. They think they are a king or queen of the world.

And some famous celebrities abuse drugs or cause social problems because they have been spoiled and rotten by the wrong system in the entertainment industry as well as fame and wealth they got easily. Nobody even tries to discipline or advise them. They are just left in a dark pitfall come with fame, success and wealth from devil.

And some celebrities brag about their huge wealth on TV. What a snob!!!! They are like a slave of money who live upon vain conceit and pursue only money and fame instead of shedding their passion and effort into a work of art. As a matter of fact, it is like a trend among celebrities to purchase buildings to add to their wealth. Do they do some kind of speculation in real estate? Even, the mass media compares celebrity couples with their real estate and wealth whether they can level with each other by their wealth; for example, “he has the building worth of $$$ and she has the building worth of $$$; therefore, they are a great couple.” “This actor’s family is so rich, his father’s job is blah, blah, his mother is blah, blah, and his brother is blah, blah... his uncle is blah, blah....; therefore, he is from a rich family background.” Oh! My God!!!! What the hell? I am so disappointed with this snobbish, disgusting society. What a pathetic human being!!!!!

Anyhow, entertainers & celebrities must be evaluated by their real ability, sincerity and passion, not attractive & artificial look like mannequin, wealth and fame. What people believe about their stars could be fake images made by mass media and marketing artificially & commercially in the entertainment industry. People should not be brainwashed by mass media. We should not applaud to celebrities who are haughty and live on vain conceit, and collapse fair market competition by their ridiculously huge salaries. Entertainers should not forget that they are an artist before “business”. Times have changed, so the entertainment industry should know what they have to focus on and develop for good outcomes from now on.

However, entertainers are public figures and affect people so much, though. Many of young generation look up to celebrities and dream of their future through celebrities. Also, they are brainwashed not only by society system and environment, but also by the mass media easily. In another word, they follow what celebrities show publiclyex: their style, life, attitude, sense of value, etc. For example, many celebrities have cosmetic surgery and pursue the thin body shape; consequently, many of young generation undergo cosmetic surgery to have an artificial look and even try to lose weight to have a thin body like celebrities, although they have very standard body shape and look. Also, many people follow celebrities’ style, fashion, life style, too. It means people are affected and brainwashed by mass media so easily. Therefore, entertainers as public figures really need to be considerate and discreet about their behavior and mindset ― ex: humility, sincerity, effort with passion and good sense of value, etc. And celebrities should not forget that there are many young students who look up to them and try to follow them.

In Korea, many young students want to be entertainers for fame and wealth because they think they can make big money like entertainers who brag about their wealth on TV, if they become entertainers. Nowadays, institutes and schools for performing arts have many students and applicants who want to be entertainers. In this regard, students needed to be educated not only on skills and techniques, but also on personality and good mindset not to be snobbish, spoiled and lose their soul as an artist because the entertainment industry is the place that has temptation from devil, corruption, vain fame, success, and hidden snares. Some celebrities lose their soul to devil and are ruined by fame and wealth from devil.

Lastly, all of people who are engaged in the entertainment industry should have integrity, passion, and sincere soul because the entertainment industry is the place that produces a work of art on top of profits in business; in the mean time, the entertainment industry is the place that makes people rotten and corrupt because their production is like gambling, so when they succeed with their production, they can earn enormous money at one time, but human being is easily shaken by devil’s temptation. Also, entertainers who grab a success and fame can fall into a hidden snare, too. Be humble!

One more thing, the entertainment industry has to make an appropriate system to give chances not only to famous celebrities or major companies; but also to people who pursue their true dream with pure soul in this industry. I mean the entertainment industry should evaluate people including entertainers by their real ability, firm mindset and integrity. They should not evaluate people by appearance, wealth and fake fame that can disappear easily. Fame can be achieved by fake images made by marketing and mass media. In fact, any entertainers can be famous celebrities if fake images are well made by marketing, productions and mass media (good movie, drama, commercial ad, etc) So the entertainment industry would better invest money to develop good contents, good directors and equipment stuff rather than pay enormous salaries to famous entertainers who are already rotten and spoiled in mind. In addition, monopoly by big major companies should be prevented in market. Again, chances and investment should be distributed fairly to people, companies and elements in each process to produce great outcomes and prevent corruption and imbalance in market

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alice’s Last Tear for Lovely Puppy

My lovely, angelic puppy, Lily passed away in Jun, 11, 2014. Now, I am ready to talk about my feeling on this blog. Hereafter, I will bury my feeling and memory about her deep inside my mind and move on because whenever I think of Lily, I miss her and even feel sorry to her. But I know I will reminisce about my life and beloved ones including Lily when I flip through life chapters in the distant future I become a grandma or a time comes to me to leave life.

My lovely, angelic, Lily, was Maltese a small breed of puppy. She joined my family when she was 3 months old in 2001'. I had shared feelings with her every day except living in America. She was a trustful, pure companion to me as well as she was not capricious, sly or selfish like human being.

Sad to say, Lily passed away last Jun, 11, 2014 around 5:45 am in my arms, although I tried my best to make her breathe again by my emergency action. In fact, Lily was diagnosed with a heart valve disease and swollen heart when I visited a veterinarian office in 2012’. Luckily, she had gone through her problems so well. When another puppy, Candy passed away in 2011',  I had suffered from so much grief for so long. So this time, I already prepared myself not to regret what I had done to my lovely baby, Lily while she was alive; and I had tried my best to be a good family to her. But I realize although I do my best, there can be another shape of sorry feeling or regret lingering on my beloved ones after they die.

On her last day, I barely fell into sleep deeply after 1 am. For some reason, Lily barked at me loudly to make me stay awake repeatedly after 3 am. It was unusual for her to bark loudly at this time. I woke up and soothed her for a moment, and went back to bed several times. But I wasn't able to notice any problems on her except barking, so I thought she couldn't sleep because she was hungry. Frankly, I was too sleepy and couldn't really stay awake beside her to observe what was really wrong with her. But after 5 am, I couldn't really stand her loud barking sound, so I shouted to her to get back to sleep.

Sadly, it was too late to realize she had to suffer from her heart pain all night, all alone and wanted to let me know her pain by barking. Finally, when I heard a low sound of moaning in my sleep, I immediately got out of bed and checked her out. She was already unconscious in her bed and her heartbeat was so weak. I tried my best to make her conscious and get her heartbeat normal, but her heart stopped in spite of my effort. I felt my heart seemed to stop with her and my soul was out of my body for a moment. I couldn't think or feel anything for a while. Soon, I could imagine that I will suffer from sorry feeling to her again despite my efforts not to have any lingering feeling on my dear puppy after her death. Unfortunately, I cannot avoid the reality that I failed to stay awake to take care of her while she suffered from her heart pain all alone. I cannot believe I was sleeping, even though she sent me a signal by barking something was wrong with her. Her image looking at me on her last day is still swirling in my mind.

However, while she was being cremated at the crematorium, some bible verses came to my mind,
“Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” ―Matthew 25: 13
“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” ―Mark 13:33  
I must be a lazy person to be awake to prepare what will come in the future.  Of course, I don’t want to be a person who misses any chance from God in any situations; meanwhile, I know it is also hard to be awake to grab a chance not to regret later in life. So many feelings came out of my mind like this and burnt me out while I was waiting for her ashes.

I immediately expected when Lily died in my arms that memories of her and sorry feeling will be lingering in my mind and make me sad. But I really didn't want to feel a big burnt hole in my heart and push myself in the deep grief again like the situation when I lost my previous little puppy, Candy. Therefore, in some way or other, I had to control myself to overcome grief and lingering feeling on her without hesitation. Now, I have been getting much better and back to my path due to kind of “my methods”.

Anyhow, I would like to introduce how I tried to overcome sorrows as below.

I discarded all of her products on the same day she passed away, because I already knew myself I would be crying and suffering melancholy whenever I thought about her. So I had to discard whatever it is that makes me think of her except her pictures.

I pray for her every day to control my grief, “God, please, accept her spirit to stay in heaven with happiness and joy. Please, let her free from me, loneliness and pain.” In addition, I remember what some monk said in the book, “Let beloved ones go. If you hold onto feeling toward beloved ones who die, spirit will wander around you because you are in grief for them.”

I purposely distract my mind from grief. In another word, I focus on other stuff – personal projects, household, reading a book, going out, and so on. Most of all, it is really lucky if there is a reliable partner to talk to.

From now on, I will move on from this grief and being stuck into memory of her. And I will bury her deep in my mind; then, I will focus on what I have to do further with fresh mind.

Lastly, I would like to share her pictures on my blog to shine my memories of her and I will bid her farewell.

It is the last picture of her this year.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alice's Expense Control

I would like to talk about several ways to control my personal spending. But before going into that topic, I want to talk about my short story how I have come to control my expense.

First of all, when I was a musician, I wasn't able to control my spending, manage household or my personal accounting stuff. I would rather call myself I was spoiled and didn't really care how much I spent. Sometimes, I used to splurge on impulse buying.

But I gradually changed myself through work experience and life in America. I met frugal people as well as people in sort of the humble classes in work and relationship. Actually, I was influenced by work experience and frugal people in society. And I still remember some co-worker said to me, “You have to appreciate what you have, and what is given to you. It is so hard to save money and afford to buy what I want to have, even though I work and live so hard. I envy you because you seem to have enough, but I can't afford to have expensive brand name stuff like you; besides, I have to support my single mom, though.” I was so ashamed of myself because I was not considerate enough to think of how I look and other people around me. I was only a person who lived upon sort of vain conceit without organizing plan and mind for my life.

I used to be only a naive frog living in the small pond which tried to see only the small pond before I worked and lived in America. Finally, I could open my eyes to see there were different people and class in society through my work experience and life in America. I know there are many hard workers who work so hard for a living day by day while a lot of corrupt business owners or rich people try to exploit and take advantage of poor hard workers to fill in their greed unreasonably. The corruption is getting stronger; and sincerity is getting deteriorating. I think modern system is favorable to rich people including corrupt people who have authority; and unfavorable to people of common class.

And I realized money, even a penny from my own pure efforts is worth and valuable. I thought if I depended on parents’ wealth, I couldn't really manage my life and value of money for a living and future life; Surely, I would have been spoiled and rotten, and used to pursuing only vain conceit in my life. I felt I had to wake up from my comfortable dream, and needed to discipline myself to see reality in society.

When I worked at small sized companies in sales, marketing, accounting, and managing general office work, I studied about income statement, balance sheet and cash flow to understand sort of strategy in each position to carry work and analyze how company was going.

Also, I applied sort of analysis and ideas to my personal household accounts. So I make my own record in Excel (I already introduced my file in Excel I made on my blog in Jun, 2, 2012) which is easy to see and analyze my personal expense and budget control.

Of course, there is one of  accounting software like "QuickBooks" for personal and small business owners, it is easy to reconcile with record in bank account, file a tax, or manage category and inventory, etc.

If any people can't afford to purchase this kind of software stuff, we can jot down our expense on a notebook or make our own file in Microsoft Excel or Access. My one of methods to control my expense is to record my expense and income, or more detailed stuff if needed in spreadsheet in Excel. Certainly, this kind of record helps track and analyze my expense and budget. And I have used this method for about 10 years since I worked in the U.S.

I would like to explain about my household ledger and personal financial statement briefly before talking about other methods to control my expense.

ledger (household accounts)
Whenever there is any expense, I record my expense in Ledger.
Below elements are important for my ledger. And I divided sheets monthly in Excel.

Category is really important for me to analyze and compare my expense.
My category ― utility, credit card, tax, charity, eating-out, grocery, shopping, project, and transportation, etc.
     Total expense under each category
     Grand total in expense of the month 

personal financial statement (income statement)
―At the end of every month, I update this file following by the household ledger. What I like this about is not only do I see whole months on a screen, but also I can compare monthly expense by category, even yearly. Moreover, I know in which category I have to cut down my expense if needed, and how much my average annual expense and gain&loss would be.
Below elements are important for my personal financial statement. And I divided sheets yearly in Excel.
 (I have more detailed stuff in my file, but the below is only showing a simple table with categories)

     A table showing 12 months with categories same with the ledger
     Monthly total expense by category
     Grand total in monthly expense
     Monthly Income
     Monthly Gain & Loss  
     Average annual expense by category, income and gain&loss 

Loan & Investment
―I save loan & investment in different file and I track variable interest rate and savings in 
detail for my reference.

My lists to control my expense
I am a single and I don’t have a big household or children to take care of, so I don’t really 
go out of budget. But if I have a family to take care of, it is a different story. I might have 
to stick to analyze monthly expense and budget plan meticulously for family, and discuss 
with family, too.

Finally, my methods to control my expense are listed below.

     List I always make a list of what I really need to buy, and take a list with me so that I can prevent impulse buying
     Simplicity relief and relaxation are in simplicity, not in complexity. I think luxurious decoration, furniture or etc. is only for showing off, not for actual comfort and function.
     NO!  Hoarder ― hoarders come from their loneliness, stress and obsession. They need to learn how to reduce items and enjoy life in simplicity
     Motivation I try to learn from frugal people how they manage their life and money; and avoid people who are on vain conceit and extravagant
     Think twice I don’t purchase souvenirs or any items on impulse. I always try to think more than twice whether I really need or not

Overall, it is my methods to control my expense. Those lists become my habit, and I am 
already used to living upon those lists. I know people have different income, size of 
household, or number of family, so there should be different methods fit in each person’s 
life. No matter how much we earn for a living, we would better be sincere and organized 
in life rather than vain and materialistic beyond our ability.