Hi there! Welcome to my blog! I’m Sandi I’m a momma to two boys ages five and eight. My eight year old has Autism and Selective Mutism. After working a “normal” job and leaving my kids crying at daycare. I quickly realized there has to be a better way. I’ve been literally obsessed with business and home businesses and decided it was my goal and mission to test and try various work from home opportunities and pass this knowledge on to other moms that might be looking for a better way as well.
I started this blog originally eight years ago when my first son was born to fulfill my need for a creative outlet during his nap times, he was just three months at the time. This blog started out as a money saving/couponing blog. I got super excited when I realized how far I could stretch my very tight stay at home mom budget after my son was born. I figured my “finds” should be posted so I can help other mommies stretch their budget as well.
This blog is being updated and revamped. Started as just a blogger blog. I have a huge passion for not only helping moms save big, but also create ways of earning income online as well. After all, it’s not just about saving, but it’s about creating a life you love and earning enough money to enjoy your time. Being a good steward, with not only your money, but your resources and energy as well are all things I aspire to help you with on this blog/Youtube channel. I dedicated a lot of time and energy into testing work at home businesses ideas and passive income strategies to help you build multiple income streams at home, I hope to pass this knowledge on to other moms! I’d love to have you follow along! Mommin’ ain’t easy, but this blog will help you make mommin’ easier!
Check out what I’m up to on Instagram daily @ mommiesmedia!!!! Or on Facebook @ mommiesmedia
I was looking at a pic of my oldest son the other day and thought to myself. Look at that smile! Not a care in the world. He radiates geniune happiness and loves life. I think as adults we get caught up in making money and working at a job we often times hate. We trade our precious time for a few bucks, are on a schedule and never spend enough time, well, really living. No not existing…. But really living. And by that I mean enjoying what you are spending your time doing, everyday. Living with purpose, with fulfillment. So how do you live ‘like a four year old’? #1 Don’t let the little things bother you. I spent too much of my life overanalyzing stupid things like, why did that person say this or do that. I’ve come to the realization that the only persons actions I can control are my own. How I react to the things people do make all the difference. #2 Make time to do something that brings you joy everyday. Whether that means taking a walk after dinner, playing with your kids outside doing cartwheels on the lawn, put on a pair of roller skates or just allow yourself to indulge in a bubble bath and read a magazine. #3 Don’t let your life be all work and no play. This past year I have been on kind of a spirtual and personal journey. I have a lot of goals that I’v been putting off for years that I only this year, started really pursuing. Most of my goals have been financial and business related so this next year (2016) I’m making it a point to find more balance, not work less but just enjoy life more. #4 Take time for friendships. This is something I’m guilty of not doing as much as I should. I need to take more time out for friends. I find that picking up the phone and talking with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while really helps your mental mindset. Or meeting up for lunch. #5 Enjoy little moments and little victories. If you want to really enjoy life. View life though the eyes of a child! Kids light up when they accomplish little victories like catching a ball or putting a puzzle together. Why not enjoy little victories too? We as adults put so much pressure on ourselves to do better, have more, buy a bigger house, t.v or car. Celebrate the little things like getting your daily to-do list done or finishing that project you’ve been putting off. #5 Do what you love. If you are working at a job you hate find a way to transition into doing what you love. Find a way to make a living doing what you love. For me this is writing and making things. I write to help people. I feel like that is my calling and purpose on this earth. I remember working jobs I hated just to make a living and it was literally soul crushing. Everyday I would wake up feeling like a robot, like I was living life on autopilot just going though the motions. Now I own my time i make money the way I want to. Could I be making more money working at a job I hate, yes! But being happy is more important than money. You could be the richest person in the world, but if you aren’t happy or living with purpose then it is really worth nothing. I came to the realization that after the calculations (cost of working outside of the home) I realized my actual take home pay was $600 a month. To have someone else raise my kids for a lousy $600 a month and be a grouchy, worn down, tired, unhappy mom. It just didn’t make since. It’s actually pretty easy to make $600 a home check out my other blog bringingmomshome.blogspot.com for more on this subject. #6 Help others. Kids have such open hearts and are full of compassion. My oldest son has such a tender heart. He notices when someone needs help. He asks me questions about people he sees that are down on their luck. And I think he’s old enough to understand. He likes to help and says things like “mom, that person needs a coat on” or “do you think that person wants a cheeseburger”? He is a smart little cookie. Do you find joy in helping or serving others? Why not find joy, by bringing it to others. Do someone small everyday to make a difference. This Christmas Eve I fed a homeless man in my neighborhood. I try to makr it a point to think about people who are in a bad situation. After my divorce I was once there. Here I was with no car or house, two kids under 3 and $100 to my name. That was almost two years ago. I lived at a womens shelter for a few weeks and with my mom. Thank god it was only briefly but that was such a humbling and scary experience. Through a series of events. A sweet friend of mine gave me an old car that she wasn’t using.I also met my current boyfriend who started out as a good friend that has helped me so much along the way. I’m forver grateful for the things he’s done for my boys and I. I wss able to find a job and a place and through working hard and never looking back life is so much better. I just look at people who are homeless differently now. I’m only one person so I can’t help everyone,but i do try to pay it forward when I can. I think there is no greater joy than feeling useful and helping someone in need. Happy new year!!!! Hope you have joyful and prosperious 2016!
Recently while reading another blog I had somewhat of an awaking…it talked about enjoying the now and not always trying to base your happiness in terms of the future. I will be happy when I find my dream house, dream guy, finish my degree or land that dream job! I have to admit that I have been guilty of this. I think I kind of lived with this mindset, constantly focusing on future goals and thinking that happiness will be found within these goals. Going through divorce, nearly losing my son when he got really sick, moving, changing career paths, my other son being diagnosed with Autism and going back to school have all been eventa in my life that have occured in the past year. I realized that life is short and not everyday is a guarantee so I have made a the choice to live in the now and be happy and content today, not tomorrow because we have no idea what that day will bring, but just appreciate the moment. I feel like I have gone through hell and back so just having some calmness, spending time with my kids, writing, working on my shop, my blog and website have all brought me so much joy. Happiness can’t be bought or sold, it comes from being content amd happy where you are right now and making time to do the things you enjoy. For me it’s writing, creating and helping orhers. With Thanksgiving coming up I am trying to focus on what I love, not on what I’ve lost. Hope you can find a way everyday to find some peace, calm and contentment. Make time to take a step back and enjoy the little things. Just having a cup of coffee and reading a magazine or listening to my boys play bring me happiness and peace. Try to embrace these little moments.
As you probably know by now I have been following Dave Ramsey. Now I’m not taking his financial peace class but I am atudying his advice and watching his youtube videos. There was one video in particular that caught my eye. He was basically saying in order to get ahead financially you can not think like everyone else. You have to be ok with being different and doing things differently. You have to look at money, debt and really life in general from a different perspective. I’m going to call it ” think like your grandma”. Let’s think about this for a minute, in our grandparents generation they had no credit cards, they used what they had and they did not shop fir recreation. They bought what they needed and most importantly, they were content, they lived and they lived within their means. I think if we took a step back and re- adapted our life styles to these simple concepts we could really get a lot further. Say goodbye to the Jonses too. If the people in your life can’t understand your new way of thinking you have to re- evaluate who are the important people in your life. If you have to try to impress people, they aren’t your friends. Friends will stick by you during good time and in bad. No matter what sseason of life you are in. Just a little food for thought.
20 things you should be buying at The Dollar Tree saving you up to $500 or more a year 1)Hair accessories, clips, barettes, ties, brushes combs 2)Shampoo conditioner and styling products 3)Socks 4)Baby wipes, baby shampoo, baby bottles, lotions, etc. 5)If u have animals pet products, leaches, collars, dog food, biscuits, bones, toys, sweaters 6)Cleaning sprays, wipes, bleach, air fresheners 7)Tupperware 8)Paper plates and paper products 9) stationary, office supplies 10) cards, gift wrap, 11) snacks drinks 12) beauty products like lotions, sunscreen, baby oil, makeup 13) vitamins 14) medicine cabinet over counter meds and bandaids, etc 15) books 16) ziplocks and garbage bags 17) phone accessories, like iphone cases, chargers 18) home decor frames, vases, flowers 19) toys, perfect for party favors, or stocking stuffers 20) frozen foods and pantry items. Some things I frequently buy in this dept…… Pasta Sauces Seasonings Frozen fruit Frozen pancakes and waffles Frozen Sausage Frozen entree for lunches Ravioli canned Olives Canned chicken Condiments mustard, mayo Tea coffee Creamer (they even have specialty coffee syrups like french vanilla make your own Starbucks on the cheap) Hot cocoa Soda Movie candy Popcorn
Welcome to Mommies Frugal Finds. My goal with this website is to help moms like myself find balance. I blog about money saving, couponing, making money at home, DIY, how to’s, recipes, parenting and more. You can view my other website @ mommiesfrugalfinds.blogspot.com
I decided it was time to re-evaluate my budget when my grocery bill per month got to $750 a month ( yes I got a little off track). I guess with everything that I’ve had going on in my life (divorce, moving, son in the hospital) the stress was too much and I stopped budgeting like I should have been. I used to clip coupons, meal plan, do make ahead meals, etc but all of that took the back burner for a while. So anyhow, now it’s time to put my foot down on spening too much!!!! I’m getting back on track. I have some goals in place (more on that later) and it’s time to make some changes. Here are some ways I am cutting our grocery bill down. One simple thing!!!! Shopping at the dollar tree! If you don’t have a Dollar Tree in your area maybe you have a .99 cent store or something similar. Just by know what to buy here you can save hundreds. Here are some of the things that I feel are a good value and I will do a price comparison Dollar Tree vs. Walmart Cream Cheese $1.00 vs. $2 @walmart (we go through a lot of this with bagels and crackers) Snack crackers $1 vs. $3-4 a box Bread or buns $1 vs. $3-4 Sour cream $1 vs. $2 Soda .25 a can about the same right now Juice $1 vs. $3 Pasta $1 vs. $2 Pasta sauce $1 vs. up to $4 Frozen waffles $1 vs. $2-3 Coffee and tea And hot cocoa $1 vs. up to $6 or more Snacks (this is the biggest budget breaker in our house) i would say just buying all your snacks here tou can save $50 a week (assuming you grocery shop once a week) Frozen foods $1 vs. 2 Misc Paper plates $1 vs $2 Tylenol $1 vs. $4 Band aids $1 vs. $3 Coufh or cold medicine $1 vs. uo to $10 Vitamins $1 vs. 4-$9 or more Tupperware $1 vs. 2-$3 See how fast the savings add up? You can basically cut your bill in half every week. I shop about once a week (big shopping trip) and a couple more for misc. items. So basically what I am now doing since the main stores i shop at are Walmart and the Dollar Tree, I am only buying milk, meat, eggs and produce at walmart. Everything else like pantry and household items I’m now getting at the Dollar Tree (not everything depending on sales but most)and I am back to clipping coupons. More on that in another post. Happy saving!
As I was lying in bed I couldn’t help but think about what success is, what it means to me and how we as as Americans define success. I couldn’t help but think about a conversation I had a couple weeks prior with an old friend. The way she defined success didnt sit well with me. She defined success as having a mortgage she can’t afford, a new car every year with a payment that she couldn’t afford ( really if you are financing a car you really can’t afford it let’s be honest), and a recent refi to make her new house better ( move over Joneses). And heres the biggie. She slaves away at a job she hates five days a week… This is success??? Living for the weekend? Buying a beautiful house that you never use and having a family you never see. Is this really what auccess is to most of us? To me it’s not. If you are happy, healthy and you have your bills paid and food on the table you are more successful than a lot of others I would say. I think we really have lost track of the important things in life. We are so consumed with accumulating stuff that we forget to enjoy that stuff we worked ao hard for. Are we working to live? Or living to work? I guess another reason this was running through my mind was becuase of Dave Ramsey. You know, the financial guru that teaches Financial Peace University? Well he was saying so many Americans are working ao hard for their money yet we don’t know how to make our money work for us. This is what we need to learn to change our lives. If we learn to do this we can work less and enjoy life more. So basically how this worka is tthis. If you don’t have the cash for it… You can’t afford it, so don’t buy it! Easy right? Well not really, but it can be if you change your perception. What I mean by change your perception is….stop trying to keep up with the Joneses!!!!! The Joneses are mot going to make that car payment for you. Stop trying to impress people who don’t care. Worry about your life, your financial goals and your own definition of success. I think this lesson has taken me some time to learn myself. It really took going through a divorce, living as a single mom with two boys under four and no help or financial support from my kids’ dad to realize this harsh leasson. I need to cut costs and only spend money I actually have. No credit cards! No car payments! I now live within my means. Not that I didn’t before but I did have a car payment and used credit cards from time to time. I don’t even buy furniture on credit now. I buy nothing on credit. If I can’t buy it then i save up for it. But otherwise I don’t need it. Its more important to pay yourself by saving than to pay a bank interest. Duh, right??? You would think that would be a no-brainer. Why they don’t teach finanical planning and credit to high school seniors is beyond me. I’m sure that would have changed so many peoples lives. Anyhow back to my point. My finances look a lot different. And I can honestly say I am happier and feel a hell of a lot wiser. Funny how divorce does that.😃 I have now cut my budget in half These are the only things I now pay for…. Rent Food Gas Utilites Cable ( this one is going bye-bye soon going to comcast and netflix for movies and t.v) Car maintenance Insurance only liability Misc household expenses Misc healthcare amd beauty products (hello Dollar Tree) Clothing (i have a couple friends that own thrift stores and i exchange clothes with friends So this one has been cut way down i would say $60 a month Kids clothing about $60 a month some months more like this month which will be back to school shopping so atound tjis time and Christmas more like $200. My set expenses are less than $1000 a month which I feel pretty good about. The rest there is some wiggle room. I will be doing some more posts on saving money after divorce as well as saving and earning more as a single mom. 😀
Technology…you either love it or hate it. But even if you hate it, you might as well just get on board because like it or not it’s not going anywhere. Hey maybe tomorrow that Delorian will be on the market…as if (oh wait that was the 90’s). Anyhoo, I just wanted to tell you about a rather weird and unfamiliar experience I have had in the past two days. I am interviewing for jobs, but get this, I have had two virtual interviews. What the heck is that you say? It’s a video interview that is done on platforms like skype and facetime. I also had to do interview video questions through a website called Onjobs. Onjobs (I had never heard of it) is a website where you basically create a video resume and profile and interview for the jobs of your choice. I really think this website is on to something and I feel like this is going to be the future of jobs interviews. This approach really seems like it would save companies a lot of time and money (and isnt that what everyone needs more of always?). I really found this to be a great experience, more of a personalized experience, in comparison to the boring, mundane, application and resume process. Update: I got a job offer for both jobs.
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The Cost of Work: How Much Do You Really make
by Scott W. Danger, CPA
The decision to be a stay-at-home mom is one of the most difficult many new or prospective parents face. The main reason many parents feel it is not a possibility is because of their financial situation. How can a couple with two wage earners get by on one salary while adding another member to the family? It’s certainly not easy. Every family is different but they all have one thing in common: Nobody takes home their entire salary. That is where the “Cost of Work” comes in.
Let’s use an example. Joe and Julie are married and expecting their first child in three months. They live in a modest house in the suburbs. Joe is an Electrician with good benefits including family health insurance and Julie is an Office Manager downtown. Joe and Julie both would like her to stay home with the new baby, but they don’t see how they can make it work. How could they ever get by without her $25,000 salary? Let’s look at how much of that $25,000 salary they would actually see:
|Taxes (7,500)||15% Federal, 7% State and 8% FICA and Medicare|
|Commuting (2,500)||$.25/mile x 40 mile round-trip x 5 days x 50 weeks|
|Daycare (6,250)||$2.50 per x 10 hours per day x 5 days x 50 weeks|
|Work clothes (1,200)||$100 per month|
|Meals out (1,000)||Twice a week at $10 each time x 50 weeks|
|Other (500)||Office gifts, professional fees, convenience items|
Total $ 6,050
Of Julie’s $25,000 salary, they would only see $6,050. Based on a 40-hour work week, this is only $2.91 per hour. The difference of $18,950 is Julie’s cost of work. Julie may be able to find work at home to make up the $6,050 gap in their earnings.
While this example is specific to Joe and Julie, it is typical of many couples. For them, it may make sense to have her stay home. For you, the answer may be the same. The decision to stay home is one of the most difficult decisions families face. Only you can decide if it is right for your family. Just remember that you need to look at the cost of work just as closely as your salary when making this decision.
Scott Danger is a C.P.A. with ten years’ accounting experience. He is a husband and father to 11-month-old Sydney. His column, Moneywise, can be seen on http://www.mommysavers.com.