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!
The Kardashians are a glamorized, highly publicized, and an idealistic version of the modern day ‘Jonses’. Ok minsus, sex changes, alcoholism and big butts. Why do we as Americans watch this show anyway? I have watched this show a few times, I have a weakness for reality T.V. what can I say? For me the reason why I watch this show is just for the simple fact that these people have problems too. Just because they have millions of dollars doesn’t buy them a free ticket to a problem free existence and that makes me in some small way feel better about my life, wow did I really just admit that!? Some of what they go through feels very staged but in a way they are just a typical family underneath it all. While we might be able to relate to them in some ways, we all can’t live that lifestyle. We have what I like to refer to as ‘iwantitis’ we want what everyone else has. The latest iPhone, the bigger house, the more impressive car, the latest tech gadget but living this way is not going to buy happiness. It will keep you in debt, working long hours, paying for a house you only sleep in, financing a car you practically live in and providing for a family you rarely see. Is this happiness? What if we could change our mindset? Sc$#@ the Jonses!!!! Do the Jonses pay your bills? No! Focus on your own life, your own dreams, and your own goals, I changed my mindset. I used to care about what others thought about me. Now, the older I get the more free I feel, and I hope that transcends into my blogs and other work. I kind of speak my mind and am little more brash and realistic rather than idealistic. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m not optimistic….omg that sounded like a hip hop song, sorry about that. The point is, you can have a better life and be happier if you shift your mind set! Stop caring so much about what others are going to think and live your life. Do what makes you happy. The money will come. If you find a way to make money doing what you truly love that to me is true happiness. For me 2016 is all about new beginnings…making changes, tying up lose ends, saving money, building on what I started and finishing projects. I tend to take on too much at once so I’m definitely going to prioritize and try to be on more of a schedule. And decide what’s working, what’s not and emphasize my strengths rather than weaknesses. I don’t care anymore what the Jonses are doing or the Kardashians for that matter. As long as my family is taken care of, I’m doing the best I can everyday to make tomorrow better, I am on the right track and I’m happy, that’s all that matters. I’m just having faith, working hard and trying to save as much money as I possibly can. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to save money and live better. Some tips for saving in 2016 1) Buying used (stop yourself from buying that $2000 sectional) that same one might be on craigslist for $200. Save yourself $1800. 2) Go out to eat less, (I was spending $600 a month on just groceries now about $400) how much is dinner out? $60??? I can practically buy a weeks worth of groceries for that much. Try to eat at home more. If you work at home this is easy. If you work outside the home try bringing leftovers for lunch instead of frequenting the drive thru. 3) Buy used but gently worn clothing. I buy most of my clothing used. I use websites like, ebay, swap.com, and Thred Up. I also frequent thrift stores, consignment stores and yard sales. I still wear nice, name brand clothing, those who know me would call me a bit of a fashionista. 4) Reduce your flexible monthly bills and expenses. Switch companies, compare prices. 5) Save up for large purchases like a car, electronics or furniture 6) Pay yourself first. Make sure necessities are taken care of first always put some money away for a rainy day. 7) Trick yourself into saving. For me this is putting change in a jar. Change to me doesn’t feel like real money so I’m less likely to spend it. Also, when you go to the bank if you are having a hard time saving money. Ask for that amount you want to save per month in change. Want to save $100….Ask for it in quarters then add it to your change fund. If you do this you will probably have over $2000 saved at the end of 12 months. It’s amazing how it adds 8) Focus on your monthly bills that can be negotiated or reduced. Things like cable, entertainment and even car insurance can be reduced. Can you live without cable and just have Netflix? Can you switch insurance companies? Maybe entertainment will be less eating out or movies out? The less expenses you have the more financially free you will be. 9) Find ways to not only save money but also focus on bringing in extra money. If you are a stay at home mom then you have time on your side. Can you sell on eBay? I’ve been selling on eBay for years and it’s a great way to bring in an extra paycheck. Do you write? Take on some side gigs for people that need work done but lack time to do it. Sign up for a freelance virtual assistant job. There are so my companies that hire V.A’s it is a win-win situation. You do a project for them, you get paid. They save money by hiring per project rather than taking on a new employee full time. Sell on craigslist flip furniture….there are so many things you can do to bring in extra money. You can afford to be a stay at home mom, you just might not realize it yet. See my other blogs for more money making, money saving and work at home ideas Bringingmomshome.blogspot.com Mommiesfrugalfinds.com
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
Looking for ways to make extra money? Here are some ways that I make money at home, with no out of pocket cost, and you can too.
Sell stuff. We all have stuff we don’t need or want right? Why not sell it? One persons junk is a another persons treasure. There are several ways you can do this….
(fees are a little high but still worth it) I’ve been using ebay for years. I once paid for our family vacation with just my ebay money) The key to ebay is take gretat pics, write an attention grabbing description and be a fast shipper. One thing I like about ebay is you have instant access to the cash when you make a sell through paypal
Do you have a knack for handi crafts? Do you sew, knit or paint? Why not sell your items on etsy? This is the ebay of handmade items. You can always find unique items in here and this is a very popular site.
Craigslist….I use this website all the time. Love it. You can buy or sell with no fees attached. Always check the free section on this website. Sometimes you can get something free that you can turn into cash. Have a knack for design? Re paint furniture and make a killing. People love unique items…the weirder the better. Make it your own.
Love to write? Start a blog, write an ebook, write article’s for magazines. Do freelance writing through freelancer.com, odesk or elance. You can also use these websites for other areas of freelance work. I have personally used these websites for freelance writing and virtual assisting assignments.
Lots of companies now hire work at home agents…some companies I know of 1(800) flowers, delta, united, west co.
Hope these tips help. More ideas to come
Facebook…..we all use it and love it ( for the most part). We log in and see one post of our kinda friends beautifully dressed daughters on a near daily basis. These poor girls do they ever just play and get dirty? We see our old neighbors best friends cousin on her latest ” much needed” vaca the forth time so far this year. We wonder how one friend is doing since we never see her updates anymore and think ok shes been busy, only to realize she posted three times today.( oh the joys of facebook). Ok, so why am I posting this you may ask. I just read an article in a Ladies Home Journal about how fake everyone is on facebook and realized how this transcends into real life. Why can’t we just all be real and stop this vicious cycle of trying to one up each other on facebook…there I said it! I will be the first to admit I am not Martha freaking Stewart! I made cupcakes today that turned out like brownies ( which was actually even better) my kids are not random snap shot ready and facebook approved every second. My three year old may or may not be running around with his underwear on his head as I write this, I may or may not have my hair in a pony tail with no makeup, Ok, ok, so everyone is asleep in my house right now, even the dogs, but the point is not every moment is perfect…nor are any one of our lives always perfect. We can’t be superhuman. We are just moms trying to juggle the crazy misadventures of parenthood. Lets just be real and be supportive of each other because we are all going through the same things.
Here’s a link to my inspiration for this post….thank you Sarah Tuttle-Singer
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.