When’s the last time you had extra money lying around? Do you remember? I sure can’t think of a time when money has made a magical appearance in my life, but if you can, that’s awesome! How long did it last? Did you find something to spend it on? While it’s highly unlikely that many of us have an abundance of money, did you know that there are some tips and tricks to get you in a better position financially? Read on to see some things that have worked for me and that I know can work for you, too!
First and foremost, you’ve got to consolidate your debt, or better yet, eliminate it completely. It can be daunting to think about saving if you have buried yourself in debt. Try to think of a plan to pay off your outstanding debt. This process may take some creative thinking and a little time, but trust me, you’ll be able to breathe easier if you’re out from under those you owe.
Without boring you with a comprehensive plan on escaping your debt, I’ll let you in on the short version. Plan the attack. Who do you owe? How much do you owe? Which bills can you pay off quickly? Next, create yourself a simple budget and see where you can additionally save yourself some pennies to keep paying off the debt.
Wants vs. Needs
Let the games begin! This is a very critical planning point in saving you some serious cash. How easy is it for most of us to make excuses for our purchases? I mean, you work for that money, right? Why shouldn’t you be able to spend it on whatever you want? Why can’t you buy the top-shelf liquor even though there’s a knock-off brand a few shelves lower? Why should you have to sacrifice wiping your bum with cheap and scratchy toilet paper if you like the expensive, yet luxurious brands of the stuff?
Listen, friend. I’m not telling you that you can’t enjoy the things you love. All I am merely suggesting is that you find ways to focus on the needs of you and your family, while putting the brakes on your list of wants for a while. If it isn’t necessary to eat lobster, don’t buy it. If you don’t need new shoes this week, forget them. If you can get by on less, then create a pathway for that to occur. Sure, you may think you’re sacrificing much, but you did say you’d like to start saving a few bucks, right? Of course you did! Let’s move along.
Monthly Bill Reductions
Those dreaded bills. You never asked for them; why do they keep appearing in your mailbox? Someone has requested the service, and they’re not free. Listed below, find some of my ‘hacks’, if you will, that I have found can significantly reduce my monthly payments on items I still consider semi-essential.
As you know, it’s one thing to say you’re going to cut back on spending, but it’s an entirely different ball game to actually follow through. One thing I strongly recommend doing is to be intentional in each step of your saving plan. Once you realize that you have some extra money, make sure you put it in a safe place.
Recent research has shown that moving money to an online savings account could prove very beneficial. For example, if you have some money in a savings account at your local bank, you’re likely not getting much back in annual interest. Whereas if you moved some of those funds to a higher-yielding savings account, you’ll reap a better return. Having multiple accounts can be used in an advantageous way. You can earn a higher percentage and at the same time, you can allocate your funds for specific savings like vacations, down payment on a home, car, etc.
Once you have accumulated a bigger cushion, then my recommendation would be to learn about investing it. Again, it’s one thing to have money saved in a bank account, but you’re not actually saving. In fact, if you factor in inflation, you’re likely losing money. Educate yourself to find avenues for your hard-earned money. Invest it and your money will make more money for you and your future.
As simple as some of the advice may sound, if followed, I can guarantee you that you’ll begin to save a little money at a time. But as everything in life, it’s going to take some motivation, a course of action, and execution. It’s up to you, friend, but I’m confident that if you implement even just a couple of these ideas, you’ll start to see your cents pile up. If you’re interested in learning more about getting out of debt or how and where to best invest, don’t be afraid to reach out. Our team is here to encourage and guide you on the path towards financial freedom!
by Lyric Anders, writer
Hey, there! Thanks so much for your interest in this little secret of mine! I know you’re interested in being financially sophisticated and I commend you for taking the steps necessary to grow your knowledge! This is a great move on your part. Congratulations!
I’d like to start with a quote I saw a while back. Richard Branson, English investor and author once said, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later”. There is an opportunity for you today to check out a book that has been the secret to launching my own learning about finances. Please read on!
Months ago, a friend of mine recommended that I read a book. It all sounded great in theory, but I was not at a point in my life where I thought it mattered much. I didn’t think I was smart enough to understand its contents and didn’t have any desire to learn. As I’ve done so many times before to other great opportunities, I let it slip through the cracks. So much time has been wasted in the wake of my missed opportunities and this one, unfortunately, added another tally to the list.
Fast forward a few months. The same friend brought up the same book from months ago. Did I read it? Hell no! (I justified it at the time by blaming my age of 38 and raising my two children.) So this time, I heard him out. I was feeling guilty for putting it off and I was ready for a change. He was very much wanting me to learn for myself just how easy it could be to get myself out of some debt and on to saving for the future. He told me that investing in my own financial education at this point in my life would be more than worth the price of the book.
In order to allow me no further scapegoat, he went ahead and gifted me the book. Now I had no excuse, right? Wrong! I bucked it for a few days. He was relentless, though! He kept asking me what I had learned, if anything. After feeling guilty about just sitting on it, I knew I should at least read the first chapter. After that, if I wasn’t feeling like it was for me, I would quit, but I had to give it a fair shot. Do you want to know what happened? Once I started it, I couldn’t put the book down!
Now, I’m absolutely kicking myself because I waited this long. I have since learned that I could be much further along on my journey to financial freedom had I just listened the first time. I admit that I didn’t think that I was smart enough to learn what it took to become debt free and invest my future savings. What I’ve learned is that I was wrong. We all have the capability, no matter how much we think we don’t, to pick up a book or read a blogpost or inquire on our own about things concerning our finances and how to escape those sneaky debt traps.
What’s this book? If you’ve read this far, then give yourself a pat on the back. You are a great candidate for this book. You’re proving that you have a desire to learn and the ambition to jumpstart your journey. Keep reading; I’ll let you know which book I’m referring to in a moment.
Before you get to thinking that this financial education business is just not your thing, I’m asking you to give it a chance. Like mine, I’m confident that your eyes will be open to new realizations and opportunities.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be even more motivated to learn more. I have spent countless hours putting into practice the things that I have learned from American businessman, Robert Kiyosaki. The first book I read of his is called, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. Mr. Kiyosaki has written several books, but I would recommend you begin with “Rich Dad Poor Dad”.
After reading it myself, I promised myself that I would take what I had learned and apply it to my own life, my own finances. Not only that, I committed to learning as much as I possibly could about how to pay debt, save, and invest. This book has changed my viewpoint on money and I’m sure it will also change yours if you’ll give it a chance. You WILL see things that other people never see!
Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what others have said...
As you can see, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” has been eye-opening for its readers. I can’t thank my friend enough for introducing this book and author to me. Since reading the first book, I’ve read several others and feel so much more confident than ever before. While you may not think it’s for you right this minute, I’m begging you to just check it out. What can it hurt? You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain! (Read that last sentence again!)
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Some might say that the secret to having a clean house is to never let your kids enter it. That’s a crazy concept, isn’t it? It’s all fine and dandy...if you don’t have children! But you do, mama. And you’re a good one to boot! So what’s really the secret to keeping your living space clean and how can you do it on a budget? We’re so glad you asked! Let’s focus on cleaning your home with products you likely already have on hand!
Hop on over to this article, Quick Cleaning Hacks, and learn how you can clean your home in little to no time at all. Read about some tasks that can be done while your washing machine takes care of a load of laundry.
Chances are, you have some white vinegar handy in a cupboard somewhere in your kitchen. Even if you don’t have any handy, you can purchase some at your local grocery store for a great price. To clean most surfaces in your home, mix water and vinegar 1:1. This is an effective and safe way to clean those areas that get the most use in your home such as counters and cabinets.
Another use for that white vinegar is to disinfect and clean the inside of your microwave. Simply mix 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar with your favorite essential oil (optional) and set the timer on your microwave for five minutes and let it steam clean. No scrubbing is necessary; let it do the work for you!
Grab a lemon! Yes, that’s right. A lemon. Cut it in half and you have a fruit to help you scrub stainless steel. Don’t stop there. You can also use the lemon on sinks and taps! We’ve also heard that grapefruit sprinkled with rock salt can be used the same way in your bathtub. The benefits of using a lemon or grapefruit don’t end at money-saving. Just think about how citrusy and sweet smelling your home will be! That’s definitely an added bonus.
Unless you don’t like the stuff most moms crave called coffee, you’ve got a stash of filters for your coffee maker. It doesn’t matter the size or shape, either. With a filter, you are able to get dust off of your tv and computer screens. Sure, you could use a cloth to wipe it, but you’ve likely noticed that it creates static and somehow attracts more dust on the screen.
Toilets are gross and even when they’re clean, they’re disgusting. Agree? It isn’t the crowd favorite as far as chores go, either. You may have some cola-flavored soda in your refrigerator to help you with this task! Rumor has it that just pouring some into your toilet bowl will allow it to sparkle. Flush and check it out for yourself! Stubborn stains may require the use of a brush, though.
This is one of our favorite tricks. Grab the lint roller out of your bathroom drawer and use it on the lampshades. Just like that and you have erased all signs of dust accumulation on those tricky shades!
It’s real. One day you take a nice shower and the next day, your showerhead decides to reroute its water pathways and you have water spraying in every direction. Don’t do what most people do and go out to buy a new showerhead. You can solve this dilemma with a little baking soda and vinegar added to a sandwich bag. Fill the sandwich bag with baking soda and vinegar, place the showerhead in the bag and let it soak overnight. Use a toothbrush to scrub away what didn’t come clean on its own.
These are also not fun things to have to scrub, which is why your oven probably hasn’t been cleaned in months or years. Don’t avoid it forever! We have a very cost effective and timely way to get this done. All you need is baking soda, water, and vinegar. Here’s the trick. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Use the paste on the grime inside your oven. We’ve found that leaving this paste overnight offers the best results. The next day, spray vinegar on the paste. A chemical reaction will occur and when you’re ready, you should be able to easily wipe the grime away. Fun fact: We’ve heard this same formula will work on your flat stovetop, too!
If you have kids or pets, then no carpet can stay clean for long. You may have something in your arsenal to conquer any tough-to-get-out stains. Try using rubbing alcohol if you have it. If not, we’ve also heard that vodka can do the trick!
To remove water spots from your shower glass, try using shaving cream. Let it sit for 15 minutes and wipe it off. It’s magic!
We know you’ll love this trick to clean other glassy areas in your home from mirrors to windows. In a spray bottle, mix some white vinegar, distilled water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake well and use it to clean your glass.
Lyric Anders, Writer
It’s easier to clean hard surfaces, but what do you do when odors are caught in your furniture? The scent can become problematic if not taken care of. Let’s face it, fabric retains smells. In a spray bottle, mix up some water and vinegar. To help it smell better, add some essential oil. Spray on the fabric (after you do a little test in an inconspicuous location first) and give your furniture a new and refreshing smell!
It’s easy to grab the steamer (if you have one) to give your floors a quick shine. However, most don’t have a steamer on hand, but instead may have a mop. Mix 1 gallon of distilled water with ½ cup of vinegar. Use this solution to clean your floors. You may be surprised by how clean they appear!
Who knew that cleaning could be so cost-effective? We’re guessing you had most, if not all, of these ingredients already in your home. If not, they’re easy to find locally and for a pretty good price. We hope you found some ways to clean your home safely, effectively, and on a budget.
Money, schmoney. It’s both a blessing and a curse. You work your ass off for it, and most often, it vanishes before you even have it in your hand. You’re probably thinking that in order to have a budget, you need to have money. We get it. While that may sound like a reasonable excuse to not sit down and formulate a budget, it’s not practical. We want to help you save the money you’re working so hard to earn.
Many people fall into a trap of living paycheck to paycheck. While they are making ends meet, it’s still uncomfortable. If found in an emergency situation, these people have no safety net. Basically, a budget is a plan. It begins with a plan to eliminate debt (or help keep you out of debt), save for the future, and prepare for unforeseen emergencies. Think of having a budget as having a money roadmap. It can guide you towards your destination of becoming financially stable. Don’t be scared to access your financial situation. You’re making a good decision by choosing to do so! Give it some time, patience, and don’t give up once you’ve started.
* Can get you out of debt
* Can keep you from debt
* Gives you a solid financial plan
* Gives you a reason to allocate each cent
* Could reduce arguments with others
* May eliminate some self-perceived guilt for not having ‘enough’ money
* Jumpstart your retirement
* Focus on the future
* They are not restrictive - they also allow you to spend
* You will have control of your finances
* May lead to better decision making
* Can save appropriately for your children’s future
* Provides motivation
* Allows you to identify problems prior to them occurring
* Details your earnings and all expenditures
* Makes purchasing something gratifying, because you have planned to purchase it
* Gives you some flexibility in your spending/saving
* Sheds light on bad spending habits
* It doesn’t take much time - the more you do it, the quicker it becomes
* You don’t need to be a mathematician (Hello, calculator!)
* It’s impossible to keep track of everything in your head
* Gives you peace of mind
* You’ll be more prepared for large purchases
* No more late payments and late fees
* Opportunity to save for a dream vacation or home
That’s right. Creating a budget will give you a reason to look very closely at your income, all your expenses, and how you’re going to save any extra that you may have. The goal is that by any given month’s end, you are not digging through your couch cushions or pockets to come up with a few bucks to purchase food or other must haves. Is the money you make sufficient to pay all your necessary bills and at the same time, allow you an opportunity to put a little aside for a rainy day?
You don’t need to cook gourmet meals, but you should also try to establish a healthy menu. Just because it’s cheap in the store or at a fast food restaurant, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Try to stay away from convenience foods. Have you ever thought about growing your own food? What about cooking more things from scratch? Shop the sales instead of sticking to a set meal plan (and don’t shop when you’re hungry).
Necessities. Essentials. You absolutely need to have money set aside for food, your housing situation, and transportation. Food and shelter are both essentials for you and your children. Decide how you can best provide for all of you in these categories.
Relocating can be a headache. You might have to look for a different job, your kids will have to change schools, friends, etc. The whole idea of it makes you nauseous. However, you just can’t afford to stay in the place you’re in now. Money is tight. Instead of uprooting everything at the start, try to look for cheaper places locally. It may not be your idea of perfection to live in an apartment, but if it fits the budget right now, it’s worth a shot until you have saved enough to afford other amenities.
It’s always something, isn’t it? You have to have a means of transportation and that likely includes your vehicle, its fuel, maintenance, and insurance. If a car is needed, then think of some alternatives. What about something of lesser value? You may be able to get a fair trade at a local dealership for something that will cost you less, but is still reasonable. Check it out. Shop around for lower insurance rates and payment plans.
What if you’re feeling like your financial situation is already a nightmare? Everything you make is owed to others and you’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole? Be encouraged, friend. It is never too late to begin a budget! There are ways to catch up - and crush it!
~ First, start with making a list of those you owe money to. It may be friends, family, credit card companies. It doesn’t matter who it is, but you won’t feel better until you have paid these debts off. Get a total amount assessed so you have a goal to work towards.
~ Formulate a plan. This is when you will write down everything and have a written plan for your money. Create the budget plan that works for you and set off to pay off your debts. Pay the squeaky wheels first, as soon as possible. This will help to eliminate added stress.
~ Track and eliminate. Track all of your spending. Don’t think you can do it all in your head. Keep your receipts and write everything down. Don’t forget about the pack of gum you bought at the gas station. Include all expenditures. You can begin to accumulate a record each day of the week and when it’s organized, you’ll be able to see where your money is going and eliminate unneeded spending.
~ Increase income. This may seem either a no-brainer or something you’re just not into because you don’t have the time. However, having extra money at the end of the month makes everyone feel better. Money isn’t everything. That’s true. But, considering the fact that you may be a bit less stressed, anxious, and feeling guilty, it may be worth considering taking a little extra on to make it happen.
When things are tight financially, it can cause a lot of stress. There are a bunch of options available to you to earn a few extra bucks each month. Granted, they may not be appealing, but they are viable options that you shouldn’t dismiss. Read on.
* Side gigs
* Tutor online
* Have a garage sale
* Shop on consignment
* Be someone’s virtual assistant
* Help out in the community
* Take surveys
* Cash back apps
* Be an online influencer
* Learn how to become an affiliate marketer
* Sell items online
* Find a social media marketing job
* Earn cash back for shopping (apps)
* Grocery shop for other people (neighbors, elderly)
* Earn interest on your savings
* Rent out your car / give rides to others
* Walk the neighborhood dogs
* Declutter and sell your excess
* Freelance proofreading / writing
* Sell the giftcards you’re not going to use
* Offer resume help
* Develop or test apps
* Data entry
* Donate plasma
* Become a notary
* Take and sell photographs
* Offer snow removal / grass cutting services
* Wash and detail vehicles
* Deliver newspapers
* Do chores for others
* Become a brand ambassador
* Offer meal prep services
* Offer in-home help for elderly/disabled
* Participate in clinical trials
Stop wondering where your money went
Begin telling it where to go!
Cash and coins do stink, sometimes. They are covered with germs and maybe this is why most of us now handle money online and also with credit and debit cards.
There are some gurus around who say that money is never the problem but you and I know that it feels like it is sometimes, unless of course it isn't for you.
Do you have a budget, to plan and control your money? Are you spending less than you make? Do you save money? Do you invest money? Do you know everything there is to know about money? Let's explore some ideas. If you don't use a budget, maybe you should. You can find a little 2 page free PDF that lays out a simple budget here.
It used to be crucial that you know how to balance a checking account. In our current world, a lot is now automatic. Still you need to have control over where money comes from, how much, and where it goes. The consequences for not handling it properly are sometimes severe: being broke, getting evicted, losing a mortgage, or even having to declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can stay on your credit for ten years and if you've never been bankrupt, you may not know that in some ways you don't personally control where your money goes, not all of it. Still, if you're in dire straits, the only option to get out from under the stress may be to find a good attorney and get some advice on your situation. You'll want to be fully informed about the process and all the ramifications of it before pulling the trigger on it. Always seek the advice of accountants and/or attorneys if you're not sure what to do.
If you're in a good job or have a viable business running, you may not need a resume but it's still good to keep it up to date. If you don't have a resume, start one. If you need help, there are services around but check them out before hiring one. You may have a friend who is good at resumes, too.
Personal assets aren't just about money and property
These things can always be improved or added to. You are worth more than you may realize, at first.
Did your credit take a hit from going through a divorce? Maybe your ex was not paying bills on time or did other things to trash your credit score. Don't just sit back and wait for it to get better. Do something!