There are lots of items I would consider absolutely essential as a mom, but honestly there’s only one item I can’t go 20 minutes without and that’s my phone. And it’s not because I’m playing Candy Crush or posting pictures on Facebook. It’s because of the collection of free apps I’ve gathered that tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Ones that calm my baby, put him to sleep, then calm me. And ones that tell me what’s going on outside the world of baby. And for those moments when I do have time to post on Facebook, it makes the process possible (and fun).
I can’t tell you how excited I am at this discovery. I’m a total LUSH bath bomb addict, but as you may or may not know, those things are expensive! They are hands down the highest quality bath bombs you will find, but at $7-$8 a bomb, it becomes a true luxury. I can’t pay that much every time I want to relax in a bath!
When my husband and I bought our first (and current) house, we loved it because we felt like it was the perfect starter home. It is small and cozy and perfect for two people – maybe a little baby too. The plan was to live there for 3-5 years and then move onto a bigger, more spacious McMansion-style home where we’d raise our kids.
We’re now 6 years in and each additional year we seem to dig our heels in further, finding new reasons why our small starter house may actually be our perfect forever home. Because believe it or not, there are some amazing perks to living in a small home.
So before you sign up for 30 years of paying off your mansion, consider these reasons for picking a small house right from the start:
Coupons can be a confusing thing. On one hand, we know that most coupons are a gimmick to get us to buy products we don’t really need. On the other hand, we’ve all seen Extreme Couponing and know that it’s possible to not pay for groceries at all. And for many of us, that would be a gold mine.
Even the best budgeters usually spend $500+ a month on groceries for their family! Imagine how much could be saved by figuring out how to really make the most of coupons….especially when it means getting free products.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to start saving a bundle (and not spending more!) using coupons:
One of my BIGGEST goals right now is to pay off the mortgage. I won’t lie, it’s sooo hard to stay motivated when you’re chipping away at such a big number, but the benefits are just way too huge to ignore. But the reality is that if you prioritize getting it paid off, it CAN and WILL happen. And your future self will thank you for it!
Related post: 7 Important Reasons to Pay Off Your Mortgage
So if you’re in the same boat as me, consider these different ways for getting your mortgage paid off way earlier than you ever expected:
In the personal finance world, I feel like all I read are posts about ditching the credit card and shifting to an all cash world. I’m not going to deny the potential downside of credit cards (or the upside of cash), but I just can’t stop myself from laying out all the benefits of doing the opposite – exclusively using a credit card instead of cash. The only important rule you have to remember with this method is that you have to pay off your full balance every month. But if you can do that then you can seriously improve your finances. This is what I do and I’ve never had a moment where I regret it. In fact, I think it’s the smartest way to manage your money.
I’ve been using Swagbucks for a while and I’ll be honest with you – it’s not a game-changer and it’s not going to make you rich. BUT it’s still an easy way to earn some extra money, especially if you use it for things you would be doing anyway. If you’re lucky it will put a couple hundred dollars in your Paypal account each year, and it can definitely earn you some nice Amazon gift cards that will help out come Christmas time. The key is to know what is worth your time and what isn’t.
Lucky for you, I’ve wasted enough time for both of, so take my advice and ignore most of the bells and whistles that Swagbucks has to offer. There’s really only a couple of features that are worth your time, so if you focus on them, you’ll pad your wallet without even thinking about it.
This year is packed full of goals for me, one of which is to drastically cut my grocery bill… ideally in half. My husband and I are pretty good at not splurging on fancy restaurants, or even eating out a lot, yet still our grocery bill is by far the largest bill we’ve got (aside from the mortgage). So after the holidays died down, I got to work…and holy moly, what a pleasant surprise! I made a few big (but ultimately easy) changes and the results were phenomenal – I saved over $500 the first month of my attempts! As far as I’m concerned, that’s the same as making $500/month, so I couldn’t be happier.
So here’s what I did (and what you should do) to cut $500 off the grocery bill this month:
Building wealth and paying down debt – the unattainable goal that most of us statistically never reach – is ironically very, very simple. Foolproof even. In fact, I think one of the biggest reason that most people don’t build wealth (or pay down debt) is because the real solution, the one right in front of them, is just too simple. It’s boring. It’s slow. It isn’t glitzy and it’s not something to write home about.
But it works.
Without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite times of year is the one little week sandwiched in between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The craziness of the holidays are over and I start to get really, really motivated for the year ahead. And hopefully you already know that I LOVE GOAL SETTING. So that’s basically what I spend the whole week doing…and not surprisingly, a lot of my goals tend to be financial ones. Then once I’ve settled on them, I work really, really, really hard to get them accomplished.
So as you start brainstorming ideas to tackle your own financial goals, use these tips and resources to get them totally accomplished this year:
Related post: The Life-Changing Power of Goal Setting