10 Must Read Money Saving Tips For 2016 1) The more you run around, the more you spend. Those extra trips to the store for eggs, milk, bread…whatever can add up. Do you really ever just buy that when you run to the store? Most of the time probably not. The more times you go to the store the more you will spend. The solution. Meal plan and go with a grocery list. Plan your meals around what’s on sale for the week too. 2) Utilize free public activities. Get your taxes worth! Use free services like, the library, you can check out books instead of buying them, rent movies, music and even use the internet. Walk your kids to the park. If you have a neighborhood park like I do, take a walk, get some exercise (save money on gym as well) my kids love our park. You can take a ball and play soccer, have a picnic, or just use the trail. Our local park has an amazing nature trail and even has work out equipment like exercise bikes you can stop and use. 3) Research sales cycles. I don’t know about you but I love saving money on everything. I rarely pay full price for anything. It pains me to pay full price. Plan ahead. It’s Jan. 2016 now so I like to think 6 months ahead so I will be looking for summer clothing, shoes and even things like camping items, pools, etc. This is the best time to buy these kinds of items when the demand is the lowest. If you are a re-seller (see my eBook Money Making Mommies for more on this) you know this is the best time to buy your inventory for the next season. You can get your max. return this way. 4) Change adds up. Think you can’t save? Think again. When you get paid go to your bank and ask for the amount you would like to save for the week or the month, etc. in change. Want to save $100 every time you get paid? Ask for that amount in quarters. Then put this money in a 5 gallon water cooler jug. Save for one year and then either take to the bank and get cash or even better if your company does 401k matching contributions use it for that. You will have $4800 for just one year, just from some quarters. Not a bad deal right? An easy way to trick yourself into saving. I don’t know about you but for me change feels less like real money, so I’m less likely to use it. 5) If you are thinking of making a big purchase like new furniture. Stop yourself! Think to yourself first….can I buy this used? You can save half or more just by buying used. I have young kids so I took a vow not to buy any new furniture until they are off to college. 6) Evaluate your budget and if you have cut back everything you possibly can. You may just need to earn more money. There are so many ways you can do this at home these days in your spare time. Check out, textbroker, Upwork, Elance, even Craigslist under gigs, sell on ebay (see my ebook How to sell on Ebay like a BOSS: Seller Secrets revealed). 7) Make things yourself. Learning the value of doing something yourself is priceless. Learn how to fix a faucet, dry wall, or even learn how to repair a seam or take in a dress. Save your money and do it yourself. 8) Learn how to do your own taxes. Many tax schools offer free taxes; you can even secure employment this way. You can save hundreds every year just learning this one skill. Save money on other fees like legal fees by learning how to prepare legal forms yourself. Or instead of hiring a lawyer, hire a paralegal. Yes they don’t offer any legal advice but you can save big on things like divorce and bankruptcy. 9) Don’t be afraid of discount stores. I love The Dollar Tree (see my youtube channel mommas2monkeys for haul videos) I find so many things that other retail stores like Target and Walmart have like name brand makeup, hair products, household items, décor, birthday supplies, but for only $1. 10) Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Raising your credit score could mean the difference in thousands in interest or it could mean you won’t qualify at all for that car loan or mortgage. Knowing you score is invaluable.
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!