7 Laundry Hacks You Have to Try to Save Tons of Time and Money

You’ve gotten the motivation to get the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, the bathrooms are disinfected, and the floors are swept and even possibly mopped! Well done! But there’s still that one looming chore. The never ending monster in your home….Laundry.

Somehow it has to get done. So, to help you out in this constant chore and pain in the rump, here are 8 super time efficient and frugal ways to help you hack that laundry and get things done!

 

7 Laundry Hacks You Have to Try to Save Tons of Time and Money:

1. GET YELLOW PIT STAINS OUT WITH LEMON JUICE

8 Laundry Hacks You Have to Try to Save Tons of Time and Money

Most people think those yellow stains are sweat stains. That’s actually not true. The yellow tint you see around the arm pit area is actually a deodorant stain. Pour some lemon juice on the stained area and let it sit overnight. Your white t-shirts will look good as new in the morning!

 

2. USE MULTIPLE HAMPERS TO SORT CLOTHES

8 Laundry Hacks You Have to Try to Save Tons of Time and Money

 

Using multiple hampers keep your clothes off the floor and sorted in color and fabric category. You can find hampers at the dollar store. This saves a TON of time and frustration with sorting!

 

3. PUT SOCKS IN A LINGERIE BAG

By putting socks in a lingerie bag sorting socks has never been easier! The 2 socks you put in never get lost in the laundry! Holy Cow!!! NO MORE SORTING SOCKS AND MISSING EVERY OTHER ONE!!!!! Just grab the bag out of the pile and put the socks together! No mess, no hassle!

 

4. USE WHITE VINEGAR TO GET OUT MILDEW AND STENCH

You know that smell in your wash cloths and occasionally your towels? Yeah that one! It’s horrible, and sometimes super stubborn and hard to get out. I have friends who have rewashed the same things several times to get the smell out! Waste of time and money! Do this instead; throw about a cup of white vinegar into your wash or even into your fabric softener it will kill that musky and mildew smell instantly!!! Check out these other great uses for vinegar:

5. USE HAIRSPRAY FOR INK STAINS

I have vivid memories of standing next to my mother as a young child, pen still in hand as she sprayed the white leather couch with hairspray to get out the ink rendering I had just created(I was an artist) 😋. This doesn’t just work for leather! You can spray clothes as well. Let them set after spraying to effortlessly lift the ink out. If you have little “artists” in your home like I do, this is a total life saver!

 

6. SALT KEEPS YOUR CLOTHES FROM BLEEDING COLORS

8 Laundry Hacks You Have to Try to Save Tons of Time and MoneyOver time all clothes start to fade and loose their vibrancy. Slow or stop the process by adding a pinch of salt to your load right before rinsing. This gives life to your clothes again and prevent them from bleeding colors.

 

7. USE DAWN DISH SOAP FOR GREASE STAINS

Dawn dish soap has been known to rescue animals from the oil spills in the ocean and clean the dirtiest messes in the kitchen. Add a drop to the grease splatters on your clothes! It works like a charm and your clothes will have no more grease!

Bonus: USE BAKING SODA AND WHITE VINEGAR TO CLEAN YOUR WASHER

The thought of needing to clean your washer that washes seems strange, but everything needs a wash every now and again. Use a cup of baking soda and ½ quart of vinegar to your washer on the highest heat and let sit for an hour. This will disinfect and remove scum and soap build up.

So, there are the greatest laundry hacks you have to try to save tons of time and money! You’ll enjoy the extra time and money you have after implementing these great hacks! It has changed my dreaded laundry experience to a….less dreaded experience! J

It’s always so helpful to learn new and awesome hacks you had never thought of to make hard jobs easier! I would LOVE to learn more! If you have a trick you use to help you try to save tons of time and money please email me or leave them in the comments below!

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7 Things They Never Taught You in School About Money

We spend 12 to 16 years in school on average. I don’t know about you, but I never once learned about how to get rich, retire comfortable, or even budget my personal finances. So today we are going to go over the 7 things they never taught you in school about money!

Ever since the day I got married I have been on a quest to see how I can save the most money possible. Saving money and budgeting is a game and a job all rolled into one.

It’s a game because you must keep coming up with strategies for doing it differently or correctly over and over. You are always on the hunt for the cheapest option or best deal. You must keep tweaking the budget, finding alternatives and adjusting your habits. It all boils down to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

It’s a job because it’s an everyday conscience effort to make sure your money isn’t flowing out of your hands as fast as it is coming in or faster! It’s such a fulltime job my husband nicknamed me the “Stay-at-Home Economist”!

Recent research suggests that more than 25 million middle-class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Becoming free from the chains of living paycheck to paycheck takes diligence and discipline.

Here are some things that I have found extraordinarily helpful to help me turn the tables and get ahead of that paycheck!

7 THings They Never Taught You in School About Money

1: Identify and Cut the Waste in Your Budget

This one is huge. Waste in our everyday lives costs huge amounts of money.

I am always on the lookout for wastefulness. Having children makes it even harder to staying on top of this! Plates of food, running faucets of water while brushing teeth, 3 loads of dishes a day!!

Food alone can break the bank account!

Did you know on average a family throws away $2,200 of food a year?! That’s over 300lbs of food! Which is broken down to 20 lbs. of food per person in the U.S. every month!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like grocery shopping enough to warrant throwing away 20 lbs. of food per person in my family each month!!

Just by being more aware of waste will greatly help you reduce it and save money.

Check out How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half!!!!

2: Put Your Wasted Money to Work For You

By saving what you would normally be spending on wasteful behaviors you can put it aside into your savings, or retirement, or have that money start to work for you. Then in time these accounts will be able to become investment accounts and soon your money will snowball into making money for you! How exciting right?!

3: Consider Cash Flow

This one is a game changer. Get organized when it comes to your cash flow.

Knowing what bills are coming out and when you are getting paid so there is an even flow throughout the whole month, not only brings a peace of mind, but saves money. This way you are not “rich” one weekend and “poor” the next!

Over draft fees and bounced check fees are a ridiculous waste of money that nobody can afford!

This can all be avoided by creating a budget. If you are looking for a quick and easy (non-techy) way of starting a budget you can read my budgeting post by CLICKING HERE.  The budget will help you know what is coming out, what is going in, and when to tighten all the reigns. However; this action is not enough on it’s own. What took us a while in the early years is ACTUALLY STICKING TO THE BUDGET! Sure, it’s great to see the spending plan on paper, but it’s a whole other ballgame to live by what is on that paper!

4: Add Income

This one is personal and can only be determined by you and your family life. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have battled the ever-unresolved discussion of whether one of us should get another job.

The timing must be right for you and your life.

However, if this is a possibility for you, adding a second part-time income would change your finances drastically. This money should be used completely for getting ahead and reaching your goals! It is easy to just let it go towards the “lifestyle” and forget that there is any extra money coming in at all.

Seriously, how many of us have been excited about a raise only to look back a month later wondering how the heck we made ends meet without it? This is the mistake of letting the “lifestyle” rise to the income level rather than setting a modest lifestyle to reach long-term goals with extra money. It takes consistency and self-discipline, as well as a clear vision and focus on what we really want!

If your life doesn’t allow for you to get another job, you can check out my post: 9 Side-Hustles You Can Do From The Comfort Of Your Bed7 Things They Never Taught You in School About Money

 

5: Get a Month Ahead

This one can be a bit painful the first month. You will have to make the “rice and bean” kinds of sacrifices to be able to do it. But after you have that extra month in the bank, in a separate account, you create what Dave Ramsey calls a “buffer between you and Murphy.” Getting a month ahead was what was key to my husbands and my own peace of mind and feeling like we had a bit of control.

6: Automate Your Savings

Learning your options for automating your saving is a fantastic hack for getting a savings account good and healthy. Sometimes things like putting money to savings needs to be automatic in order for us to do them. One of the biggest obstacles for people getting their adult life together is that they think it is just too hard, or that they don’t have the right tools to do it.

When it comes to money, the truth is that 90% of the battle is just getting the key automated systems into place. Once you set them up most money actions don’t need to be thought about that much, especially if you choose the right ones. StashInvest is a fantastic way to save money without really thinking about it. It’s an organizational app that allows you to save, budget, and organize your finances all in one crisp and clean app. I highly recommend this app as it has everything all in one, and you can start with as little as $5.

7: Dream With Your Goals

This one is just as important as the rest. It may seem superficial and not necessary to mention, but without a dream there is no vison. By keeping your eye on the ball, you most definitely will succeed.

Life has it’s ups and downs, it’s ebb and flow. There will be months it seems smooth, dare I say easy. And months you think nothing else could possibly go wrong. Getting out of the paycheck to paycheck life and putting some cushion between you and what life throws at you bring you peace. Setup smaller achievable goals with your money that lead to those big dreams that you have in you heart!

 

These 7 things they never taught you in school about money can be a life saver when applied to your finances. I’d love to hear if you were taught any of these things in school? I’d love to know if any of these steps helped you to move forward in your finances. Please drop me an email or leave a comment and let me know of any steps you’ve learned in your adult life that you didn’t learn in school that have helped you transform your money situation!

 

8 Financial TED Talks that will Change Your life

8 Financial TED Talks That Will Change Your Life

You’ve probably heard of Ted-Talks, a non-profit organization for spreading thought inspiring and motivational ideas. These talks are usually delivered in quick 20+ minute videos that you can watch in your free time and will no doubt leave you feeling inspired and motivated to create change in your life! These 8 financial Ted-Talks that will transform your life are my favorites.

Related Posts:

7 Things They Never Taught You In School About Money

How to Get Everything You Want Done in a Day

10 Habits of Highly Successful People

9 Side Hustles You Can Do From the Comfort of Your Bed

The Power of Prioritizing Your Schedule

 

I have gathered my favorite 8 Financial Education Ted-Talks for you to check out. And though there are thousands to choose from any topic you enjoy, learning about financial matters is always a good idea! Let me know what you think of the best financial TED talks, if there is one you love that has inspired you to take action in your financial picture.

WHY THE RICH GET RICHER:

Given by Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the #1 Best selling book “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” In this talk Robert talks about the power of financial education, and how it impacts financial equality.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

See Cheap Tasty Meal Plans! 

 

FINANCIAL LITERACY:

This financial TED talk is given by Mellody Hobson. Coming from an extremely hard childhood, she was desperate to understand money. To debunk the financial misunderstandings most people suffer from.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

8 Financial TED talks that will change your life

 

SELL YOUR CRAP. PAY YOUR DEBT. DO WHAT YOU LOVE:

Taking extreme action to lesson life’s burdens, Adam Baker challenges you to take massive action in your life and free yourself from the heaviness of debt.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO SAVE MONEY:

In this video she explains how saving money is done one dollar at a time. She found fun and unconventional ways to save her money on an organic farm!

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

WHY POVERTY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MONEY:

In this talk Ian Rosenberger explains how poverty is not the lack of money, but the lack of dignity. He gets his insight from a tragic personal experience, helping people. His story can help transform the way you think about poverty and how and why we get there.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

SAVING FOR TOMORROW, TOMORROW:

A talk about saving money not today, but tomorrow. Sometimes we put the most important things off till tomorrow. In this talk we learn the phycology of the way people think about money.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

ONE LIFE-CHANGING CLASS YOU NEVER TOOK:

Alexa von Tobel is passionate about personal finance and loves teaching people about how to make money and money decisions less taboo.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

 

LET’S RAISE KIDS TO BE ENTREPRENEURS:

This is an interesting talk about how to raise our kids to be entrepreneurs in a world where it is looked down upon. You can take away information from this video for yourself at any age.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT TED TALKS HERE

8 financial ted talks that will change your life

Each one of these financial TED talks  has a fantastic lesson in financial education that you can take and use in your daily life. I hope you find the same value in them that I did and apply each one to your daily financial life. Continue learning, never allow yourself to be confused or lost in the weeds when it comes to the knowledge of your finances!

Till next time:

~Grace

How to Save Money when decoration your home

How to Save Money When Decorating Your Home

 

We are thrilled to have this guest post from Kim over at ourhomeliving.com! We highly recommend checking out her site for all things design and organization inspiration to turn your home into a sanctuary! She also knows how to stay frugal in the process of reaching your dream home goals! Just see how to start below!

Have you ever wanted to decorate your home and realize that kind of thing costs money?  So many times I get stuck in a jam when planning my budget and realize I don’t have the funds to redecorate. Here are some great tips on how to save money when decorating your home.

 

Hi there! My name is Kim from Our Home Living. Grace and Scott were kind enough to let me share some of my insight for decorating when on a budget. This truly is a topic most people tend to overlook when creating their budget. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Save Money When Decorating

What Can You Afford?

Most of us have a general understanding what our income is and where it goes after it hits the bank. The issue when it comes to decorating is having that allocated fund for everything you need.

 

What I want to stress first is that it is extremely important to pay your bills before you start buying decor. I have been guilty of this and it was a hard lesson learned. I was stuck in a pinch because I saw a pretty sign at Home Goods and thought it would look amazing in my living room. Little did I realize I didn’t have enough money to pay the car insurance bill later that week.

 

I knew I didn’t have a lot of money to work with when I bought that sign but I gave in to impulse. In that sort of situation, I wish I had started my fund/budget for decorating and had some cash on hand.

 

So make sure you have the money and it isn’t reserved for the important stuff before making a purchase.

Start With Baby Steps

This is in reference to figuring out what you can afford in order to save money when decorating your home.

 

If you know you want to redecorate your family room but are not sure where to start financially, take a step back. Plan everything. For instance, if I would have taken my time to plan the funds necessary I wouldn’t have succumbed to impulse and purchased that sign.

 

I would have planned out step by step based on my budget, even if it would take a while to get everything I would need to decorate.

 

If you don’t know where to start when decorating your home and need a little inspiration, check out my post: Need Inspiration for Decorating?

 

 

 

Getting What You Want for the Cheapest

Price shop. Really that is what it all boils down to. If you want to save money when decorating your home you have to shop smart.

 

Make sure to pay attention to sales. Some great sales are always after major holidays. So if you think you can hold off decorating a room until after such a time, I highly recommend you do.

Can You DIY It?

This is a question that should be asked every time you want to purchase something new if you want to save money when decorating your home. In the world of Pinterest and everything DIY, most pieces of furniture, signs, simple decor have, more than likely, some kind of tutorial on how to make it yourself.

 

For instance, I really wanted these industrial pipe looking shelves from Wayfair but when I found out they cost over a hundred dollars for not even three shelves my jaw dropped. So my husband decided to get creative. He created his own version of the shelves.

 

If you want to check out the shelves stay tuned at Our Home Living for the details as soon as they are ready.

Can You Get it for Free?

Free is always a good option but you still have to be careful if it is really worth it.

 

A few times I have been given old decor from family because they were freshening up the look of their home or it was trash to begin with. I think sometimes I am given things because my family might think I am crafty enough to repurpose things. Which isn’t entirely true.

 

Another great way to score awesome decor would be to ask if anyone is moving. I know it sounds weird, but hear me out. People that move give away so much stuff. They will usually host a yard sale before the big move. The goal of any yard sale is to 1.) Sell what you can to make a buck and 2.) get rid of it all even if you have to give it away.

 

This is a great opportunity to get free stuff.

 

I hope these tips provide you with guidance to save money when decorating your home.

 

 

Kim Calderon

Kim is a wife and a stay at home mom who loves spending time with her little boy. She likes managing her home and seeking out ways to improve her way of living.

how to save money
How to save money when decorating your home

 

HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON AND LOVE IT

HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON AND LOVE IT

This post contains affiliate links. See Affiliate Disclaimer.

 

In the bible, it says David woke up early the day he slayed Goliath. Think about that. Think about the reason why it was even needed to be said that he woke up early.

You won’t slay your giants hitting the snooze button and lying in bed!

We all have giants. Some are so overwhelming we can’t think about them. Some we’ve put in closets with bolt locks and almost forgotten about them. Others have been on our to-do lists for weeks, possibly months. Moving them from one list to the next. But for some reason, reasons we may not even be able to answer, we don’t have the gumption to make ourselves overcome those giants.

I like to believe that anyone can become a morning person. In a world structured around people who wake up early it is not only a good idea, but a necessity.

Waking up is one of the hardest habits to cultivate. Done slowly and intentionally it can be done your own way and at your own pace.

Here’s how my typical morning used to go. The night before I would crawl into bed, grab my phone and set the alarm for 4:30, excited and motivated that I was going to get up early and get stuff done! I was going to work out, have coffee, meditate and pray all before anyone else in my house (5 kids and 1 husband) woke up.  The next morning dawned bright and early, and the most painful annoying sound to my ears (the cute ringtone I had liked the night before) disturbed my soul like an unexpected fire alarm. I quickly smashed the snooze button with my thumb. Looked at the ridiculously early time on my phone. Furious that it woke me, and completely annoyed with myself for being so ridiculous as to have set it for that time in the first place. There were no kids up, why in the world would I crawl out of my warm cocoon to work out?!! Just 5 more minutes!!

We seem to think as soon as our alarm goes off in the morning we will jump out of bed like Superman jumping out of a phone booth ready to conquer life challenges. This is never the case and it never will be. It isn’t just because you lack the drive. I heard once that a sleep deprived body acts similarly to an intoxicated one. This means that simply waking up early isn’t necessarily an option. To become a morning person and love it; you MUST create a routine and here’s how:

1. Find Out How Much Sleep Your Body Needs:

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Benjamin Franklin

No matter how hard you try you will not be able to go from waking up at 9 am to 4:30 or 5 every morning. This will only leave you exhausted. If you don’t know how much sleep you need already, experiment for a few days. I am an advocate for slow and steady change. I don’t ever like to be imposed upon, or at all uncomfortable! 😊

I like to take things slowly, change things gradually as to almost not notice that I have changed at all.

Being a Rebel, as I found out from a quiz I took by Gretchen Rubin, called the 4 Tendencies Quiz, helped me figure out how to be more productive.  I now know that this is who I am and to stop fighting it.  Figure out how much sleep is too much, and how much leaves you feeling energized. Be consistent. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.

2. Find a Reason:

Let’s be honest. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow morning bright eyes and bushy tailed just because you came across my post.

You must have a reason.

A drive for getting your body out of that warm and comfortable bed. When it is dark and cold outside you must have a real motivation for getting up. Set an intention the night before for exactly what it is that you want to achieve by waking up early.

how to Become a Morning Person and Love It

Is it exercise? Journaling? Being creative? Getting organized before the storm of children crawl out of bed? Find your reason for wanting to get a head start with your day.

By making a to-do check list the evening before, you set a concrete intention of what you would like to accomplish when you have gotten up. Learning how to be a Time Ninja and prioritize helps you figure out WHY you want to start adding more hours to your day. Put check marks next to each task so that when you’ve accomplished them you get the satisfaction of putting that fantastic little  next to it. (That’s my favorite part!) 😊

3. You Need to Start Hydrating

The third way to become a morning person and love it is to get hydrated! When you wake up, you have been in a sedated state for at least 8 hours, so the first thing you need to do is hydrate. Go straight to the kitchen and make yourself a lemon water and start the coffee pot or tea kettle. This way you are waking up your brain, your stomach, and your liver and kidneys. By waking up your internal organs you are more likely to clear your mind and be able to start to make good decisions and choices.

4. Optimize Your Sleeping Environment

It’s time to shut off the screens. Do this about 1 hour before you lay down and shut the lights off. It is essential to shut off TV’s computers, laptops, iPads, kindles, and smart phones. The blue light from these devices drain your natural melatonin leaving you exhausted yet unable to sleep. The best thing to do before you fall asleep is read an actual book. Especially a self-help book as it will condition your brain for success even as you fall to sleep). If the last thing your brain was thinking about was improvement, your subconscious brain will dwell on that all night.

Get a white noise maker. This could be a fan or you can purchase a White Noise Maker. This is the best ones I’ve found so far, and I like that I can pack it and bring it where ever I go.

 

how to Become a Morning Person and Love It

This is extremely beneficial for falling asleep as it helps drown out annoying sounds outside or in your home and it helps to relax your brain as it is hearing the same sound over and over. The white noise machine gives off the same sounds as a fan without the chilly breeze. I personally can’t sleep without one. The silence makes my ears ring!

Make the room COMPLETELY DARK. It is also essential that you darken the room as much as you possible can. You can purchase Darkening Drapes that help block out street lights or full moons. Or you can put a towel behind your existing drapes to help with this as well. Also remove any TV’s or fish tanks from your room.

5. Dress Warm

Most people dress in very little when going to sleep. Boxer shorts and a tank top or camisole are very common. This makes getting out of bed a torturous task. To become a morning person and love it; dress warm with long sleeves, and pants when going to bed. Have less covers if you tend to sleep on the warm side. But when it is time to throw the covers off and rise and shine you won’t feel so prone to getting warm and cozy again. This results in you drifting back to sleep!

If this repulses you because you are a naturally warm sleeper like my husband, then lay out your robe and slippers next to the bed. Because even if you are a warm sleeper you won’t want to get out of that cozy bed in the early morning hours.

6. Gradual Change

I said it before, but I think it’s worth reiterating! I can’t stand drastic abrupt change. I truly believe that real change comes from slow and small changes to build new habits.

I found that moving my bedtime and rise time slowly back by 15 or 30-minute increments I didn’t feel the change as drastically. I actually enjoyed the process and WANTED to get up earlier!! I also found my body waking up before my alarm because I had taken the time to go to bed just as early just as many hours I was waking up, allowing myself the rest I needed.

 

In conclusion, to become a morning person and love it takes intentionality and a thought out plan, but it doesn’t have to be bad! Look I get it. No one wants to get up early after a long hard day just to start another hard day. Yet there seems to be a theme in the lives of successful men and woman. A theme of self-sacrifice for the betterment of themselves. They worked hard to better themselves, so they could make the greatest difference in the lives of those they touched.

Getting up early seems arbitrary, and yet it holds a significant importance. When you can rise before the rest of the world you can accomplish more than the rest of the world.

Good Luck!!! 😀How to become a Morning Person and love it

10 Ways to Save Money on your Food Budget

10 Ways to Save Money on your Food Budget

The dreaded food budget. I despise the food budget. I can’t help but feel that I pay hundreds of dollars for good food that gets eaten by my 5 kids, just to pay for toiletries to clean up after it! J If you feel this way then you are always looking for ways to save money on your food budget too!!

It isn’t hundreds of dollars spent on new carpet or fixing the broken air conditioner! It just goes out the window on food that has to be spent the next week on food again and again. But no matter how I feel about the food budget; we all still need to eat!! 😊

SO with that said I am ALWAYS on the lookout for ways to save money on food.

The food budget is one of the biggest money suckers in the family’s typical budget. Especially if you have gotten the rest of your budget so low that there is no more wiggle room in it.

Personally with 7 people in our house it is one of our biggest expenses. I swear the people at the grocery store know me by name!

We have tried everything and let me tell you there are certain things that work and certain things that just don’t. Each family and situation is different. Finding what works for you is secret trick number one. Don’t be afraid to do unconventional things to make it work!

I’ve come up with a list of 10 Tips that I have found help me keep to my food budget AND save money, which is always the frosting on top of the cake for me! Here are 10 ways to save money on your Food Budget:

1. Meal Plan

First on the list of ways to save money on your food budget is meal planning!

Meal Planning used to always feel like such a big chore for me. Every time I would read those words I would skip over them, writing it off as information I already knew. Yet I didn’t apply.

WHAT A HUGE MISTAKE!

 

Meal planning isn’t a strict schedule, only an outline of what is on the menu for your week. This doesn’t have to be day to day. Here are some of the easiest and most efficient ways I’ve discovered how to meal plan:

A: Ask your family what they are hungry for!
B: Check out what is about to go bad in your fridge or what you have in the pantry.

C: Check your calendar for any late or rushed nights this week and plan a easy meal that day.

D: Check the weather, any freezing nights where soup would be good? How about scorchers, 90 and up where watermelon and grilled chicken would suffice? Meal planning will help everyone in the family eat what they like and make your schedule SO much easier! It will also allow some good thought out meals in your head (or on your list) when you are walking the grocery aisles, keeping you focused and frugal!

ways to save money on your food budget

 

2. Meal Prep

Meal prepping is essential if you are anything like me. I am an extremely lazy cook! (Just between you and me I really hate cooking). But there isn’t much of a choice. I have found that I don’t like to sit in the kitchen for hours on end. I am much happier if I can make things when I am in the mood and have it ready to serve. Also, if you are making meat, prepping it for better flavor and texture is always best. Prepping is essential so you aren’t calling your husband to make that quick fast food stop because you have got it all handled for much less $$$!

 

3. Batch Cook

Third and going hand-in-hand with meal prep is batch cooking. Batch cooking is simply making large amounts of one item of food to be a quick “go-to” for later. I have certain items I ALWAYS batch cook such as beans, rice, and soup. These are great go to things to throw into a tortilla or make a bowl of when you just don’t have time and are on the go. You can batch cook roasts or whole chickens as well leaving you great options for sandwiches soups, casseroles and the like. This can provide a filling and cheap item to be used in with your meals in a pinch! For example if you are having tacos but just don’t have time to make the beans or rice (cheap fillers) you can just grab from the batch you made earlier in the week!

ways to save money on your food budget

4. Be Creative with Leftovers

Learning how to create a masterpiece out of a leftover is a skill! But knowing this will most certainly save you a lot of money in the long run. Like batch cooking, having the items pre-cooked and ready to go will help you to create many different dishes from 1 meal.

A leftover roasted chicken for instance can turn into the following:

  • Nachos
  • Loaded Baked Potatoes
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole
  • Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
  • Enchiladas
  • Soup and Homemade Bread

And so many more! It’s a great way not to waste food or money!

 

5. Never Get Low on Supplies

Shocking as this sounds it is one of the best ways to save money on your food budget! Whenever I let my resources in my fridge and pantry get low, I tend to lean toward takeout. By the time my husband gets home and dinner should be made or at least almost ready, I am in no mood to run to the store (You should never shop hungry anyway)!  For some reason I am terrible at timing when my food is going to run out. (Probably because I am always wanting to save money, I want just one more day before I must shop!) So a good rule of thumb is to not let your fridge get too low.

Going grocery shopping when you are on empty at home is an excuse to “over shop” and spend WAAAY over the food budget! It triggers the crises mode in our brain and suddenly budgeting goes out the window! Knowing we have some food back at home enables us to shop with a level head and stick to the food budget and grocery list!

ways to save money on your food budget

6. Make Your Favorites

There seems to be a trend or thought process that if we are eating at home the meals need to be extra healthy.  Unless extra healthy is your thing right now don’t let this thought process block you from making your favorites at home.

At home burger night or pizza night usually winds up tasting 500x better than if you went out and got it! And you save so much money by not eating out for those prices!

Give yourself permission to do nothing but good ol’fashioned pot of creamy mac n’ cheese once in a while! I bet the kids will love it! J Lighten up on yourself and enjoy life!

 

7. Track Your Spending

This is seventh on the list but was a huge game changer for us!

We would go to the store with our list, and our meal plan, but there was always something that caught our eyes that we needed to have or would be a nice little treat and we would grab it.

It wasn’t until we started tracking what each item cost and how many we purchased and knowing exactly how much money we were going to spend on our food that we started to realize how much we overspent every single shopping trip. You don’t have to be a math genious to calculate what you are putting in your cart! Simply round up or estimate close to where you are at with each item. It gets easier the more you do it!

Try it and you’ll be surprised. Remember if it isn’t on the list, then you didn’t initially need it.

 

8. Go Ahead and Eat Out

I like to eat out! As a mom, I like to have someone make and clean up dinner for me every now and again! Can I get an Amen!?

I know it’s expensive and puts a HUGE dent in the food money for the other meals I have to make. And yet…….the fact remains I LIKE TO EAT OUT!ways to save money on your food budget

I have lived many years feeling guilty for facts like these. For instance if I was to walk into a store I would bet that I will pick out THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM in the place because it is my exact taste! I’m naturally attracted to the more expensive items everywhere!

After feeling guilty for years about being this way, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to be ashamed of who I was, I just needed to work with it.

So I’m here to tell you, go ahead and eat out if that’s what you like. Pick the day that works for you, budget for it, plan the place and know your strategy. Split a meal and only get water if that’s what it takes, but don’t stop living life or worse drop the budget because it makes you want to cry knowing the things you enjoy are no longer yours until the distant future!

This actually can save you money on your food budget because it is easier to stick to the food budget and frugal meals knowing you get a “go out” night later that week! There’s no panic of getting sick of always cooking and meal prepping because a break is coming! It’s like getting to eat a cheat meal when you are on a diet but knowing that you have allowed it and will be right back on the diet for the next meal! It helps! 😁

 

9. Don’t Get Tricked by Coupons

Coupons! They make me laugh!! Have you ever gotten the ad for the week and all of the sudden find yourself needing things you didn’t even remember existed just because they have a coupon for them?

Don’t get me wrong coupons can be great especially for toiletries but when it comes to food, unless you had it on your list of things to purchase that week, don’t add it just because you found a coupon!! This makes you spend more, not less! And if it is something the kids won’t eat, your just throwing it away in the future anyway!
However if you are going to use coupons I discovered this amazing toolbar that you can download to your web browser that finds a coupon somewhere on the entire internet for the item that you are purchasing. Called WIKIBUY. It’s completely free and incredibly useful.

Don’t forget about Ebates. A fantastic service that offers you literally cash back on purchases you were already going to make online! Great way to put money back in that food budget!!

10. Keep a Fridge List

A life saver for me is my fridge list. This is an actual list you keep on your fridge! As soon as an item runs out I slap it on my list. This is a great help when you are focused on meal planning and forget that the salt is low or other essentials are getting down to the end. It also helps you to know, when you are walking through the store and see something you think you need but forgot to put on the list. It wasn’t essential enough to be put on the list so it can wait for next time!

 

There you have it! 10 ways to save money on your food budget and make your  money/meal relationship much easier!

Let’s be honest budgeting is hard work. It takes sacrifice and planning. But I know you can do it. I know that the life beyond this point is going to be amazing. See how we cut our grocery bill in half and continue to save money on food!

ways to save money on your food budget

SUCCESS MEANS GOING FROM FAILURE TO FAILURE WITHOUT LOSS OF ENTHUSIASM

Success Means Going From Failure to Failure Without Loss of Enthusiasm

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

Success means going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm

 

If success means going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm, then we have to find success in our failures!

It’s hard to fail, however if we learn in our failure is it really failing? Yes I know it’s hard to do something over and over and get up and try again! My husband is consistently doing this and trying to better himself in many ways! He fails but always manages to shake it off and get back up and start again! Sometimes I don’t know how he does it, but he does and that is why he succeeds! That is the only way any successful person succeeds is that they never let their failures get the best of them. They keep fighting!

The only way to climb a mountain is one step at a time. You might slip or fall but you have to take that next step over and over and keep going! It is a struggle and will challenge you to your core! That will make reaching the top so much more worth it! When you’ve been beaten down and want to give up; just take one more step!

It is only when we stop getting back up that we truly fail!

I encourage you today to embrace the failure and reflect on it! It is healthy if you make it healthy! It is strengthening and rewarding if you are willing to see it as that and learn from it!

Don’t give up on your goals or your dreams! Embrace the journey and don’t ever give up! It is time to rise and look at the mountain in front of you and just say, “Here I go; One more step…”

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm

9 Side hustles you can do from your bed

9 Side Hustles You Can Do From the Comfort of Your Bed

Let’s talk about some side-hustles that you can do from the comfort of your own bed.

We feel at The Willow Brook Life that not having a side-income is one of the biggest financial mistakes that you can make.

Having a side-hustle from the comfort of your own home is the dream isn’t it?

Being able to be at home after your 9-5, working on something that interests you or something you have a passion for. These are things that make a side-hustle a fun and interesting way to make an extra income. The freedom and power it gives you of taking control and working for your goals is exciting!

Paying off debt and/or saving for something can be a daunting task; especially when you feel maxed out in your budged. Believe me I’ve been there. People often feel that having a side-income would mean never seeing their family or having a life at all. They might think it is too hard, or they don’t want to learn a whole new line of work. They feel that they don’t want to go to another “job”. This is why it is important to find a side-hustle you can do from the comfort of your own bed, or at least your own home!

 

Having a side-income is one of the most fantastic ways of getting out of debt faster AND adding more room to the BUDGET!!! All good things right?! Check out how we cut our monthly grocery bill in HALF and added some fuel to our budget!

 

We have always believed strongly in spending quality time with our family and having more time to live than to work. We believe in spending time with your children and loved ones far more than at the office. I think most people feel this way. But we also believe strongly that a debt-free and financially abundant life are essential to happy living!

 

What better way to achieve all of these things quicker than by having a good side-hustle?

Having a side-hustle that ANYONE can do from ANYWHERE is the goal today.

We’ve picked 9 basic side-incomes that we would like to share with you. They tap into different skill sets, are really flexible to your schedules and abilities, and they are something you can do just a couple hours a month if you want! But the key is that they are side hustles you can do FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR BED!!

 

Side-Hustles You Can Do From the Comfort of Your Bed!

 

So without further ado, here are 9 SIDE HUSTLES YOU CAN DO FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR BED:

  1. Customer Service Rep

    Now that Millennials have come into the work force things have drastically changed with how much “virtual” work gets done. Customer service is a field where more and more representatives are being allowed to work out their own schedules and work from home.

There are agencies like Live Ops which will pair you with a company if they approve you to be a part of their system. Or you can apply online at the specific companies that you would like to work for and apply at their direct site looking specifically for “work from home” reps. You would be surprised how many companies are doing this in large quantities. This makes for a perfect job while the kids are at school or if they still go to bed early! 😊

 

  1. Review Websites, Apps, & Programs

    This is something I recently came in contact with and was surprised that it was a real money making option! I had my website reviewed by a site called User Testing. The experience was fun! I gave my information and within 20 minutes someone had a voice recorded video in my inbox of their first impression review of my site. This is a fun, super quick and easy way to make extra money and you never have to get out of bed for this one too! Other websites are User Feel and User Lytics.

 

  1. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants do everything from making calls, setting up meetings, emailing and tedious tasks that busy business owners or managers are looking to outsource for their busy days. There are A LOT of agencies that will hook you up with people who are looking for virtual assistances. These can be great ways to stay in your comfy pj’s sip some coffee and never leave your cozy bed all while scheduling appointments and responding to emails! It’s like having a hygge moment while actually getting paid!

 

  1. Copywriter

If you are someone who really enjoys the English language, you’re great at writing essays, articles or even just a great reader you might be someone who would really love a copywriting gig.

It’s super easy to set up an online portfolio. You can go to places like Contently where clients come and find you and you can seek out freelance jobs.

Side-Hustles You Can Do From the Comfort of Your Bed!

 

  1. Online Language Tutor

If you have a degree this one may be for you. I have a friend who tutors a Chinese girl in her kitchen and makes a beautiful side-income while homeschooling and being a stay at home mom. Taking this one step further you can stay in bed while you tutor people in English online. This is a great way to help people better themselves and learn something yourself!

 

  1. Selling Used Books

This one is a great way to make a side-income. Look at places like Book Scouter or Book Finder and of course Amazon. This one may require you to go to the post office every now and again but then that’s it and money trickles into your bank account. My husband once worked with a man who was a self-made millionaire. He recommended this as a great side gig and explained how fun it was! He said that he and his wife would go thrift shopping for fun date nights, hunting for books and vintage games or toys. He said he easily made $400 to $500 a month just from this fun hobby! Not too shabby my friend! Not too shabby!! 😊

 

  1. General Online Tutor

This one applies again to someone who has a college degree. A great way to really use your degree is to go to an online tutoring website and become certified to tutor k-highschool grade students in whatever field your degree is in. This is great for anyone not utilizing their degree to its fullest in their everyday lives, and a fantastic way to help out, giving your knowledge and expertise to the next generation!

 

  1. Search Keyword Terms

Go to any company you prefer and search for “work from home” “virtual” or “remote” and see what it is that you are qualified for that you can do at home! Keep your eye out for especially part-time positions for side-hustle perfect positions!

 

  1. Craigslist

Last but not least is to go to good ol’ Craigslist! Go to that hidden little “Gig’s” tab all the way down at the bottom. You would be surprised what you find there. It isn’t as taboo as you’d think! There are tons of great little jobs in there that are perfect for someone just looking for pocket change! So go check it out and see what you can find that fits you perfectly!

 

 

9 Side Hustles you can do from the comfort of your bed

These are only a couple of the ways to make an income from a side-hustle from the comfort of your bed or the couch! There are so many fun ways to turn a hobby into an income or even just those quiet hours when the kids are off at school! Like I said before getting out of debt and saving money for big ticket items or even just to start investing can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Having a side-hustle is in my opinion the greatest way to speed up that process and make it all the more fun to save money! Because let’s be honest, money is more fun when you have some to work with!

 

Till next time!

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE A CAR PAYMENT

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE A CAR PAYMENT

For middle class America, car payments are a normal way of life, everybody has one! I’ve even been told; “a car payment is a sign of being an adult”.

Yes most of us were raised to believe that this is the norm and that every car we own comes with a car payment! This does not have to be true! In fact, today more than ever before it shouldn’t be true! It has to change!

We all know that excess credit card debt is a bad thing and that student loans are outrageous today! But for some reason car payments (as crazy expensive as they are these days) get a free pass when talking about debt and money smarts.

There are many reasons why this is, for one it is because of the way it is constantly advertised to us. Second it’s because cars are necessary (yes for most of us a car is necessary, but not the payments J) and third is that we feel the value when driving a car and physically using it. That all being said, no car is worth what we lose when we have a car payment!

Car payments are stealing your money and here are 5 reasons WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE A CAR PAYMENT:

  1. Depreciating in Value

When something depreciates it reduces in value with time. Cars depreciate in value faster than almost anything!

We all pretend like spending $36,000 on a new car is acceptable! However; if we had that racked up on a credit card we’d be banging our heads against the wall!

Here’s where the problem lies in thinking the car payment is okay: What’s the big difference?

According to Kelly Blue Book the average new car price in January of 2018 was $36,280.

This means that half of the new cars purchased were more expensive than that!!!!

If I bought $36,000 worth of clothes on a credit card people would say that I have a spending problem (and they’d be right). Also, after some time of wearing those clothes (hopefully a long time for that price) they would no longer be returnable. Sure I could sell them in a garage sale and get some money out of them but never the full amount that they cost me when they were brand new.

Now let’s look at cars. If I spend $36,000 on a new car (below average) most people would find that perfectly acceptable. However the same thing happens to the car as it did with the clothes; each time I use it, the value of it goes down. I could never sell it for what I paid for it and as time goes on the value keeps going down.

 

5 Reasons why you should never have a car payment

 

In the meantime, I’m making payments each month (with interest) on something that I am wearing out faster than I am paying off.

Cars should be looked at as a necessary expense, but the payment isn’t. We spend enough on car maintenance and repair to not have a car payment to add to it! And it’s never worth it to buy a new car for how fast they depreciate in value.

 

  1. Opportunity Cost

The opportunity cost of money is basically the missed opportunity of what you could do with your money if you had not been spending it on car payments. Basically what are you giving up in order to make those car payments, 401k, vacation, investment, savings, buying a house etc.

Our car payments are robbing us from being truly wealthy and successful with money! The average new car purchased in America is $36,270 according to Kelly Blue Book and most people who take out a car loan and make payments on that for many years to come.

According to Edmunds.com:In 2014, 62 percent of the auto loans were for terms over 60 months. And nearly 20 percent of the loans were for 73- to 84-month terms.”

So not only are car prices getting bigger, but we are paying for them for a longer amount of time! Therefor taking away all opportunity that we had to put that money to better use! Also here’s a thought, after 60 months (five years) you have an “old” car on your hands…time to go get a brand new car and repeat the cycle.

5 Reasons why you should never have a car payment

 

-Leases are no better, you are just making a car payment for something that isn’t and will never be yours (again charging you an opportunity cost of that money).

Breaking down the car payment:

The average interest rate on an auto loan was 4.21% in 2017. That means many rates are higher than that! So not only are you making outrageous payments on something that is tanking in value but you are paying interest to do it!

So we have the average new car price of $26,270 and the average loan rate (remember this is average so half of them are higher! Scary!) of 4.21% over the average car loan term of 60 months….putting that into a payment calculator (google it) comes out to

Beep…Bop…Boop…..

CRUNCH:

$670 per month!

 

That is what the “average” American is spending per month on a new car! If you are not shocked by this think of this –according to the census bureau for 2016 the average household income was between; $57,000-$59,000 annually.

That is a take home pay after taxes of $3,900 per month! Are we killing ourselves with car payments here? Not to mention student loans, house payments, credit cards, and putting money away for when you finally get to retire!

What could you do with that extra $670 a month that is being wasted on a car? Is it really worth it?

 

  1. Interest Working Against You

The average interest rate on an auto loan was 4.21% in 2017. Sure that’s not as bad as some credit cards but it does add up over time, especially on $36,000. Instead of paying someone to spend money we don’t have in the first place we should be getting interest paid to us!

How do we do that?

What if we live with the car we have for a few years or buy a cheap car and start putting a “car payment” worth away in a money market or mutual fund account? This would mean that the amounts we are saving to buy our next car would actually being growing interest FOR us!

On top of this, when you go to a car lot with cash, you can always negotiate a better deal than if you are asking for a car and begging to be accepted for a loan in the process. Doing the latter puts you at the mercy of the car dealer (and they aren’t known to be merciful).

Check out Dave Ramsey’s 5 Tips When Buying A Car.

 

See exactly how this works:

 

  1. Save Your Payments

As explained above; if you were to save or invest your car payments rather than let the bank do it, you are gaining interest rather than paying it.

If you can be proactive with your money rather than reactive. You can live without ever having a car payment.

Being proactive would be saving your money for a car realizing that cars have a limited lifetime before they fall apart. Being reactive would be to wait until your car breaks down to think about needing to get a new one and not having any money to do so. This is what most people do.

Instead, be a proactive person! Think of your health:

A proactive person exercises and eats healthy in order to keep his/her body from getting sick.

A reactive person does nothing until they are laying in a hospital bed about to have an operation due to not proactively taking care of themselves.

The same is true about our financial health. We should be PROACTIVE in all our financial matters! It is how we are able to pay bills on time, take a vacation, and eventually retire!

Why should cars not fall under the category of things we save for? Because it’s easy to get a car loan? Because it is considered normal?

Being normal is being that reactive person on the hospital bed. Normal people do not run marathons and normal people do not become wealthy.

It is something that must be proactively worked on! It takes time but it is worth it! Financially successful people know these reasons why you should never have a car payment and they avoid them like crazy!

Which brings us to #5 which is one of the most important points about car payments that financially successful people always keep in mind:

 

  1. Time Adds Up

Spending 60 months on a car payment kills 5 YEARS of potential investing or doing ANYTHING else with that money. Instead you are left with a $5,000 dollar car and nothing in your savings or retirement from those car payments.

5 Years of paying someone else with interest is a long time! Not to mention the actual principal payment amount! Imagine putting that money into an investment every month or just under the mattress! You would have around $40,000 to do whatever you want with!

When it is spent on a car payment for that long, it is wasted on something that is really a luxury. If you can afford it and still put money towards everything else you want to in order to reach you goals (for example if you are a millionaire) than go for it!

5 Reasons why you should never have a car payment

 

For most of us however; it is foolish to waste that money over such a long period of time on a new car. And as stated before, after 5 years…you are left with no money and an old car, only to repeat the cycle again.

As explained in the video above; save your payment and start making time work for you! Ask anyone over the age of 50 and they will tell you that they wish they would have started putting money towards retirement earlier than they did…because time plus compound interest works miracles! But that’s another topic all together.

When it comes to money and looking back on what we “should have done” time flies by! Think about how you could have saved more for college or not spent so much on that last….fill in the blank. The same goes for your car payments.

The time will go by no matter what you do with your money, so do the thing that will benefit your goals and dreams the most!!!

So to recap 5 reasons why you should never have a car payment:

 

  1. Your Car is Rapidly Depreciating in Value

  2. It Robs You Through the Opportunity Cost

  3. Don’t Let Interest Work Against You

  4. It’s Better to Save Your Payments

  5. Time adds Up –Have Something to Show For It

 

For middle class America, car payments are a normal way of life, everybody has one! Is it our goal to be like everyone else? Do we want to achieve normal?

No if you are like me you have dreams and goals that sound scary when you mention them out loud! They get you tingly and excited when you think about them for 5 minutes! Don’t let the excitement of a new car rob you of what you really want for your life and your future!

I wish you all the success and happiness in your daily life!

Get Out of Debt Faster Without a Car Payment
5 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Have a Car Payment
Stop waiting for life to happen

STOP WAITING FOR LIFE TO HAPPEN

I think it is safe to say that every person in modern society is saving something in their lives for a “special time.” People tend to put many things away for later.

Do you have a hutch full of china waiting for a special Christmas Dinner? Or a box of beautiful clothes that don’t fit anymore. Do you save the expensive candles for a romantic evening that never seems to happen? Are you waiting for life to happen?

These are the things that wind up in storage units and basements, all too often forgotten. Never to be enjoyed or lived.

My mother is a collector of beautiful dishware and home décor items. I watched as she decorated our home in lovely elegant items for my sisters and I. No matter our age she made our home elegant and lovely. As I grew up I started my own hope chest of beautiful things. As I saved, purchased and stored away my own future home I vowed to myself to carry on the tradition of making my life beautiful every day. To use my china for my family on Sunday’s. To burn my expensive candles on a random Wednesday winter evening. To drink water out of crystal goblets and to dress in my nice clothes even when at home with the kids.

There’s a story of a poor girl who lived in poverty with her family. She remembered how her grandmother always made it a point to make their home beautiful despite living in a terrible neighborhood. She hung gingham curtains in her kitchen window and would save to buy fresh paint. She always made sure her clothes were clean and well mended, and she always acted like a lady. The girl learned from her grandmother to live today to it’s fullest. To make the most of everything you have. To be grateful for your life by making it beautiful. She grew up to become a multi-millionaire and an influential part of society.

We are the grandmothers, mothers, friends, aunts, daughters, and mentors of woman all over the world who carry the responsibility of living and passing on this knowledge, and way of living.

 

WAITING FOR LIFE TO HAPPEN

 

 

 

 

We have a duty to our society and gender to live the most beautiful lives we possibly can. A life of purpose, of gratitude and elegance.

How can you live your life more beautifully today?

You can start by getting dressed in your nicest clothes. By doing your makeup and putting on jewelry.

You can start to burn candles at the breakfast table and drink coffee out of a cup and saucer.

You can take the china out of the box and serve dinner on it for your husband and kids this weekend.

You can choose to stop waiting for that “special day” to come and make today special!

On the radio I heard a man telling of his grandmother who had recently passed away. As the family went through her belonging and cleaned out her little old house they discovered boxes and boxes of exquisite old china that had never been used or unboxed. He said his mother recognized it as her mother’s wedding china. She said that the grandmother had found the china so beautiful and precious that she had always been saving it for a VERY special dinner. His voice expressed his sadness when he said, “and that time never came.”

Why do we wait? Why is today not very special? Who defines “special”? What may be special to me may not even be special to you. YOU define your special.

Stop WAITING for life to happen and realize that every day is a gift worth celebrating! Start making today a special time for you. Make moments into memories and stop letting them blend together.

Life only has to be ordinary if we choose for it to be. You can make any day extraordinary. What will you unbox today that you have been saving for a special time that may never come? What will you change to make today extraordinary?