7 TRICKS YOU NEED TO BE A TIME NINJA

7 TRICKS YOU NEED TO BE A TIME NINJA

Time is our most precious asset. You can’t get more of it and everyone on the planet has the same amount of it!

I have a revelation for you! What you decide to do with your time is completely up to you! It may not seem like that but trust me it is true.

 

I have great news!

You have ALL the time that you need if you want to accomplish more!

 

Today I am going to share my favorite time management tips that allowed me to get a lot more done in shorter amounts of time, or at least let me get more focused in the short time periods I have to do so.

People are not magical. We are not born productive. No one comes into this world planned, scheduled, and successful in all they do. No this is learned! It’s a culture. A way of living. It’s a choice!

The biggest changes cannot happen without the first critical step:

1: Mindset

time management Mindset

Our behaviors follow our beliefs. This is gospel. so, I think it deserves a repeat.

Our Behaviors Follow our Beliefs.

If I believe something, then my actions will follow suit.

Look at people who have succeeded at life, make millions of dollars, write best sellers, courses, and business. It all seems to pop out of thin air to us, and we wonder how these people were “born” with so much talent, and “ability” to have such amazing lives. They all have the same thing in common. They ALL HAVE THE SAME MINDSET.

Successful people know that if they make the difficult choices now they will reap the benefits of it in their future. The difficult decisions like waking up early to get a head start on a big project, going to bed late to launch a new product. Making sure they don’t pick up their phones and get lost in the rabbit hole of social media. These decisions are the ones that pay off.

You have to have the mindset of success, the belief that your time is a priority and then take actionable steps to putting that time into practice

Time is our most valuable asset.

We can make a fortune and lose it all, yet we can make it all back again. We can lose our health and get it all back again. Our energy can diminish, but we can replenish it, we can even lose the loves our lives, yet find new love. However, time NEVER COMES BACK.

 

 2: YOUR CALENDAR

 

 

Some of the most famous words in the workplace are: “Gotta Minute?”

1,440

That is the number of minutes that we have. Each one of us have the same amount. No more. No less. People, circumstances, children, pets, spouses, chores, traffic, everything is trying to take a minute.

Everything in it’s time and place is important. Even sitting on the couch and relaxing is EXTREMELY important.

I cannot emphases enough to you the power of your calendar. In whatever form you like to use one. It can be on the fridge, on you phone or computer, on the wall it really doesn’t matter. You MUST start using it!

 

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker

 

The calendar is where you are going to plan and track every minute of your time. It is right there in front of you. You can see right there how much you should be using to sleep, how much is being given away to other people, how much is free and not being used.

Track every single thing that you do on your calendar. Just like your calorie app, tracking or journaling everything that you eat helps you see where you can make improvements, where you are going wrong, maybe even that you are not eating enough.

The same goes for your calendar. It gives you the clear and precise data of where your time is going, where it can be freed up, or even where there is free time that you aren’t using properly. Cause let’s be real. Those 4 hours you spend vegging on the couch in the evenings binge watching Netflix and Instagram stocking your friends you have to put that in your calendar and be honest with yourself that it is something that you did for 2 to 3 to 4 hours! 😊

The benefit of doing this is that then tomorrow you can think, what can I do today in that 4-hour time slot that would benefit me and my life more than Netflix! Is it finishing the laundry? Scrubbing the floor? Writing a blog post or creating YouTube videos? Taking the kids for a walk? Having a meaningful conversation with your spouse? You know what it is!

 

  1. Focus

 

time management focus

So many things pull and distract us all day long. There are always a thousand things we can do at any given minute. We have more coming at us in one day than ever before in recorded history. The world has gotten smaller and we can easily access any remote corner of it at any given time. You can still get everything done in a day despite all your gadgets!

With the world shrinking and personal responsibilities rising, it is hard to know what to do first.

Here is where Focus comes into play. To be able to tackle any day’s schedule or list of tasks that seem overwhelming one of your greatest tools will be your focus.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t seem to be able to focus on things very long these days. We are apart of a “microwave” generation. 10 seconds is a life time. So here is my tip to you.

Focus for brief amounts of time. Set a timer for 5, 10, or even 25 minutes depending on your level of concentration, and the size of the task you are trying to tackle.  The Pomodoro Technique says that you are more prone to get things done if you are hyper focused for at least 25 minutes.  Give that thing your undivided attention and pure focus for those minutes you put on the timer. When the timer is up. Step away. Take a break. Do a different task. Go for a walk. Get a glass of water. Whichever you prefer or need.

Don’t bog yourself down. Forcing yourself to bog through when your focus has diminished only allows for you to become board, to procrastinate, or worse avoid a task that needs your attention.

 

  1. Prioritize

 

We all have our prioritizes in life.

It is important to take the time to put your largest priorities first! This is KEY!

First use your morning to focus on the most important thing of all…. YOU!

Do whatever makes you happy or fulfilled. Prayer, meditation, tea or coffee, hydration, stretching. Whatever you like, take care of yourself first.

Next; Do the most important things on your list first. The most important are usually the biggest most difficult and scariest things that we must get done. We generally tend to avoid them because of these things. But they are scary because they MATTER!

Sometimes people get hung up on trying to be more efficient. People think that by being efficient they’re being more productive. But this isn’t true!

 

BEING EFFECTIVE IS MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN BEING EFFICIENT

 

What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Go with your own flow. If you work better with music rather than silence, do so. If you work better with short bursts of focus rather than sitting down till your brain is numb, do that! Be effective in your priorities.

 

  1. Keep Things Organized and Minimalized

 

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You need a work space that is going to keep you productive not overwhelm you when you look at it. You need a space that you can get creative and really get to work when the time is right. That could be the kitchen, a desk space, an art studio, you name it, it needs to be organized and minimal, so you can really get to work when you decided to. Clear off away the clutter in all areas in your life. Don’t waste the precious time you DO have trying to find things that should have a home. Organize your work station to be the most efficient and productive possible.

 

  1. Reverse Engineer Your Time Line

By reversing your time line, you can see when and where the biggest things need to get done.

For instance:

  • Big Presentation June
  • Write notes
  • Research more on bullet points
  • Outline Topic Bullet Points

Than you can see at what points you need to work on things. By doing this I know that instead of writing on a to-do list Work on Presentation, which is overwhelming. Instead I know that first things first I need to write an outline my topics and create bullet points.

  1. Create a Ritual

Creating a ritual around your most productive times can really help you get into a flow state. Consider the environment or mood that you are creating when sitting down to really work on something.

For me I love to brew myself a cup of dark velvety coffee, clear off my work space, turn on some instrumental music that helps my brain to really be able to focus. I love having a plant near me, or something green. It makes me feel like sunshine is near me even on the greyest day.

I love having my certain pens and notebook near me for any ideas that pop up during my working time. Or being able to glance at my list of things that I prioritized during this work session of time I’ve allotted.

 

To sum up how to become a time ninja and accomplish everything you ever wanted to with your time:

  1. Manage Your Mindset           

  2. Keep Your Calendar

  3. Fine Tune Your Focus         

  4. Prepare and Prioritize

  5. Keep Things Organized

  6. Reverse Engineer Your Time

  7. Create A Ritual                 

 

Sometimes we learn new things but fail to put them into practice. The key to success is applying your knowledge to your daily life. Your busy schedule is no joke. It’s real. And it’s important. So is everything that you can’t get done in a day from your schedule right now. By taking the time to be a bit more disciplined in your everyday habits you will manage to accomplish things you never thought you had the time for!

 

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

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THE POWER OF PRIORITIZING YOUR SCHEDULE

THE POWER OF PRIORITIZING YOUR SCHEDULE

Are you so busy all the time, but when asked what you did that day or what is filling your schedule you can’t really answer?

I’m often asked how I accomplish all that I do in a day. Well, what I’m going to say is going to change your world! Yes, my friend, it is time to throw out your TO-DO list!

Getting things done and getting them done in at a quick pace is the key to accomplishing everything we need to get done in a day.

We all have 365 days in a year. We all have 24 hours in a day. Doesn’t it feel like sometime some people know how to get SOO much done in a day and sometimes it feels like such a chore just to get your bed made?!🤔

The key to being able to take on the world every day and accomplish everything you set out to achieve no matter what that is, is PRIORITIZING YOUR SCHEDULE!

Yes, prioritizing is the only thing that is going to help you get out of your head and get stuff done! Your to-do list is nothing more than a list of things staring you in the face with no rhyme or reason, no plan or strategy.   Looming over your head as a constant reminder of guilt and so called “busyness” we are all addicted to.

Prioritize Your Daily Schedule

Prioritizing is nothing more than setting plan and putting everything in its place of importance, relevance to your day, and urgency. This tells you what is important for you that day and forces you to tackle those important tasks. It’s a great way to stop procrastinating and also not get bored on big scary projects either! 😊

  • Take a list of paper and write out your regular to-do list on the left-hand side. Listing everything as you would normally.

Example:

  • Go to post office

  • Scrub toilet

  • Sign field trip permission slips

  • Call Mom

  • Clean out bathroom closet

 

  • Then on the right-hand side you are going to list those things in order of importance to that day. A),B),C).

Example:

  • A) Sign field trip permission slips

  • B) Go to post office

  • C) Call mom

  • D) Scrub toilet

  • E) Clean out bathroom closet

 

Next, you will make a third column and list everything in order of time-frame putting times that the most important things need to be accomplished and then adding the desired time you would like the remaining things accomplished by the end of the day. This creates a deadline for everything on your schedule and keeps your focused throughout the day.

Example:

  • A) Sign field trip permission slips  (8:00AM)

  • B) Go to post office (by 9:00AM)

  • C) Call mom (before 10:00AM)

  • D) Scrub toilet (by Noon)

  • E) Clean out bathroom closet (by 12:30PM)

After you have listed everything in its order of urgency you have your prioritized plan of action for the day. Now you can put it into a time-frame. Set 15 min. intervals for yourself to work on the larger more daunting tasks.

I like just using the timer on my phone and setting it in 15 minute intervals. I even use the 15 minute timer for half-hour tasks so that I know when I’m at the half-way point.

You’ll be shocked and amazed at how much you can fit into your daily schedule now! It’s like creating more time out of thin air for yourself! I love it! 😀

the power of prioritizing your schedule

I can’t stand huge projects. Cleaning out closets or painting rooms overwhelm and irritate me. So just like tons of other people, I put them off. I noticed however that the little things that don’t have such a huge impact on my entire day get done a lot easier, so I started tricking myself, to see if it would help. And guess what?! It did!!

I turn the timer on and put on some upbeat music. I tell myself that I’m only going to work on this “fill in the blank project” for 15 minutes and whatever I get done great, whatever is left is for tomorrow.

Surprise! Surprise! It almost ALWAYS gets done 5 minutes to 10 minutes into the timer!

 

It turned into a huge game where I would either race to beat the clock or get lost in the music and enjoyment of actually doing the thing that had been looming over my head for so long!

It’s really that simple! It only takes a couple extra minutes to do rather than a typical brain dump of a to-do list.

You will feel so much more organized and structured. You will know what is coming up, what is finished, and what you still need to accomplish every minute of every day! You will all of the sudden be that “put together parent”, that organized and always on top of it mom! Trust me prioritizing gets everything out of your head, on the paper, and in order!

Check out this Post:

How to Get Everything You Want Done in a Day! 

Creating a prioritized schedule really takes no time at all and it makes us focus on what the day should look like and plan it out in a good order. Sometimes I create my prioritized schedule the night before and that way I sleep better knowing it is all written down. This method works great for the week and planning your month too! It’s a powerful tool for those of us feeling like sometimes the clock is just ticking too fast to get everything done!

 

Remember to follow the steps to show yourself what is most important on your schedule and attack those tasks first in order to be successful!

 

Try it I know you will love it as much as I do!

Wishing you all the success and happiness in your every day life!!

WHY YOU CAN NEVER MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT A WRITTEN BUDGET

WHY YOU CAN NEVER MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT A WRITTEN BUDGET

Your income doesn’t matter, your age doesn’t matter, your race doesn’t matter! The only thing that is holding you back is math! This is why you cannot move forward without a written budget. a game plan for your money and your money goals!

When we don’t bother to do the math before we do the spending we do ourselves the biggest disservice.

“Adults devise a plan and stick to it, children do what feels good.” -Dave Ramsey

  Continue reading WHY YOU CAN NEVER MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT A WRITTEN BUDGET

HOW TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT DONE IN A DAY

HOW TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT DONE IN A DAY

This post contains affiliate links. See Affiliate Disclaimer

 

Everything you know about time management is wrong!

We have more gadgets and gizmos to keep us on track than ever before, yet people are more behind, overwhelmed, and stressed than any other time in history.  Why is this?

With all this technology made to keep us on track why can’t we do everything? We should be able to do EVERYTHING we want in a day!

When it comes down to it, it all boils down to TIME MANAGEMENT!

However, all this crap in the name of organization ends up stealing our time.

Continue reading HOW TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT DONE IN A DAY

HOW WE SAVED $600 IN JUST ONE MONTH

HOW WE SAVED $600 IN ONE MONTH!

We saved over $600 in just one month by changing some all-too-common habits that were draining our budget! Saving money starts as a choice followed by direct action. It takes discipline and intention. Your mind has to be made up that it is more important to save money for, (fill in blank) then to have instant gratification.

Saving money is hard. It takes discipline and dedication over a long period of time! We are not used to delayed gratification and things taking time these days. Just ask my 3 year old who complains if the load circle appears on YouTube! (Back in my day we had to actually rewind VHS’s)

This is why saving money for a future goal is so hard for us, probably more so than it was for past generations. It takes a lot of intense focus and drive, much like losing weight in a healthy way so that it stays off! My husband and I decided to see how much we could save in one month so that we could see some pretty quick results when it came to our saving goals.

See how we paid off $55,000 of Debt!

We have dreams of travel and adventure as well as putting our kids through college and so we have a lot to save for! So we focused our time and effort on saving money just to see what we could accomplish in 1 month and the results were amazing! We saved over $600 in one month by making some easy and some intense habit changes in our life!

And that’s really what saving money all boils down to; changing habits and goals. So rather than ordering Pizza at night we put money away for that car we have always talked about buying! It is all about your mindset and changing it to feel the gratification of knowing you are preparing for the future rather than comfort in the present.

Here is what we did to save over $600 in just one month:

Some of these may not apply to you but you may also have other areas of your life that could use adjusting in order to save money. The most exciting part about this is seeing the results in just one month! Feeling that excitement of knowing you are working towards your big dreams and taking charge of your future!

Cut Cable                                      $50         (Channel flipping is a boring waste of time)

Nix Netflix                                    $10         (More time to work on a side hustle)

Stop Eating Out                           $80         (Brown bag it and stop getting drinks/snacks at gas stations)

Grocery Shop Right                     $200       (Also see what you need to stock a frugal pantry)

Don’t go to Target                       $40         (Thrift shopping is a GREAT option)

End Gym Membership                 $50         (Enjoy outside instead)

Delete Shopping Apps                 $30         (It’s so easy to 1-click buy from a phone and spend a lot)

Consolidate Debt Payments        $100       (Lowers the payment in order to put more towards principal debt)

Stop buying expensive coffee     $40         (See how to “coffee” the right way on a budget!)

Total money we saved in one month:     $600!!!

That’s a lot of money to see in just a little bit of time! It really helps to see these kind of leaps so that focusing on your dream gets more exciting month after month knowing that you are working towards it!

See the Secrets of Real Millionaires 

Changing habits can be hard, but it does get easier once the determination is there. It also gets much easier to continue to save money once you can look back and see the benefit of it. For example; being able to look back and see $600 in the bank in just one month made us excited to do it again and again!

When looking at how you can save money this month, I would encourage you to stay focused on your dreams! Maybe even write them down in detail! That is something I have done many times! It helps while saving money for them in order to stay focused on what I really want! Comment on some things you have done that have saved you money fast!

TOP MONEY SECRETS OF REAL MILLIONAIRES

MONEY SECRETS OF REAL MILLIONAIRES

When we think about “success” we think money. When we think money, we think of having so much of it that it no longer brings concern. Some of us may even think in numbers like millions or billions.

If you have any ambition to be successful at all, why not learn from the best?

I’ve studied millionaires for the past 16 years and becoming a millionaire has been a life-long dream of mine since I can remember! Although at first, of course; I didn’t have much of a plan. It was just wishful thinking; a dream rather than a goal.

Through the years however I have taken the wonderful advice of the ones I have studied and applied it to my daily life. After hard work and detailed application, things began to fall into place in ways that have taken my life and turned it around 180 degrees.

By applying the things, we learn; our lives can start to look like the ones we want to emulate. It’s so easy to read quotes, read books, and watch movies about other people’s success stories fiction or non. It’s so simple to then dismiss their success as a “fluke”, or just cracking it up to it being what they were “destined” for, but that’s not OUR lives. It safe to stay put. To not ever go out of our comfort zone. Safety isn’t success it’s average.

Here are 18 Things that typical millionaires have in common regarding good personal and money habits:

  1. Get Up Early

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You don’t have to be up before the sun. But being up before people start pestering allows for time to focus and get the most done. It also allows for Personal time. Spiritual time. Mental time. These 3 things are things the world and other people do not allow for you, so you must chisel time out for yourself. Being up before the world starts pulling you each and every way allows for that time.

  1. Get Self-Employed

This one seems like a no brainer, it also seems to be said a lot these days with youtubers and bloggers up the wazoo. It was background to me for a long time. Something I dismissed for some unknown emotional reason. Self-doubt perhaps. But this one is truly an important factor. Either by a side-hustle or full on business getting self employed allows you the freedom to bring in any amount you set for yourself. Start with a budget!

  1. Take Risks

Taking risks is so far out of most people’s comfort zones that they literally never will do it. Not even once in their lives. Millionaires however have all taken some risk. Either on themselves or in an investment. Learn what risks are practical, safer, and will yield a return and then start.

  1.  Invest Consistently

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Learn the numbers and get comfortable with it. Take a course, ask an advisor, do whatever it takes for you to understand what you are doing with your hard-earned money but then do it. Teach yourself how to make your money work FOR you.

Invest often. Don’t get scared and quit. Don’t sit on one investment. Invest often.

Invest early. It’s the hardest and most important phase for getting a foundation under your belt.

  1. Gratitude and Satisfaction

Millionaires are people who have had massive amounts of gratitude and satisfaction throughout the entire process. They learned early on to enjoy the journey. By being grateful in our present states and having satisfaction with the things we have and the achievements we have conquered we stop looking outside of ourselves for happiness. The happiest people have the most to offer the world.

  1. Cut Waste

Becoming a millionaire isn’t always about MAKING more money. Part of it is taking care of what you have and not wasting it. See: the best ways to start saving! That goes for time and resources as much as belongings. Cut the waste out of your life as much as you can and keep what you have and your life will see great returns. See the best ways to cut the waste out of your grocery budget!

  1. Be the Best NOW

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People who are successful are typically the best in their field or expertise. Be the best NOW!!! Don’t wait until the money starts coming in. Give the best of yourself. Show up. Excel at whatever you are doing but excel NOW. Be the best waitress. The BEST cashier. Smile. Bring Joy and value. Make people laugh. Be attractive and you will attract. If you hate your job, change it. If you can’t change it create a business, you will love. Just remember you can’t start a business tonight and quite your job tomorrow, it will take time. But the time will pass if you start one or not. So, you might as well start creating your future today. While you are at it though, be the best version of you.

  1. Figure Out Your “Why” First

If you don’t have a reason you don’t have much of a pull. How will you be willing to do what it takes if you don’t have a reason behind you. It doesn’t have to be profound or elaborate. Figure out what your reasons for stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown are. This will keep you going in the hard times. This will be the drive to get you to the top.

  1. Believe in Yourself

More times than not we sit on the sidelines watching. We are all afraid. Don’t be fooled. All the millionaires I’ve ever spoken with have had a point in their lives where they were afraid.

Most millionaires didn’t have parents who handed them a bank account after school. They came from where you sit today or worse. Also most of them were so scared and they didn’t know what to do, but they kept putting one foot in front of the other. You can’t run the race sitting on the bleachers. You have to get off the sidelines and start. Believe that you have something to offer that no one else does. The world is waiting for you!

  1. Start Small

Little sacrifices add up. Start small and slow. You don’t have to go all in. Just do 1 small thing each day that moves you forward. You want to build momentum. These millionaires didn’t get here in a day. They followed a process. They started small and slow and eventually they won the race.

  1. Plan B

It’s important to have a plan B. Otherwise we let road blocks get in our way. We set ourselves up for failure. Create a plan B to keep moving forward. There will always be road blocks and doors that slam shut. Don’t let it be discouraging.

  1. Don’t Purchase These 2 Things

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There are 2 things in life that we are programed to need, want, and continually buy. New Car’s and New Houses. Resist the urge as much as you can. As the money starts to come in remember that the Mazda you drove to get to class will still get you around. The house can be fixed and upgraded.

  1. Make Your “Millions” Come to Life

What does being a millionaire mean to you? It means something different to each person. There are no two people alike. A millionaires lifestyle to you will be a completely different picture to me. Paint your picture. Dream. Visualize. Sometimes when we think “millionaire” we think in money, but money has no feeling. Think about what a day in your life would look like if you made a 7-figure income. This is your million come to life!

14. Planning, Commitment and Perseverance

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Plan your money so you have plenty at the end of the month. By making more or cutting expenses, whichever you prefer. Create and commit to a plan, then persevere. The hardest part is perseverance through the hard times.

  1. Get Rid of Bad Debt

Learn the difference between good and bad debt. Avoid consumer debt at all costs, but don’t neglect the benefits of good debt. Good debt is a debt that is an investment that will grow in value and generate long-term income.  Purchasing a home would be an example of “good debt.” It is an asset that typically grows in value and is sold for a profit.

  1. Avoid Peer Pressure and “The Jones’s”

Its super easy to get sucked into the trends and what other people are doing or having. Social media makes it even easier to be constantly up to date with what everyone is buying.  This is where remembering your “million come to life” comes in very handy. Always having that scene playing out in your head of what your day will looks like after you achieve your goals is the perfect tool to keep you on track and let the Jones’s be.

  1. Learn How to Work 10% Harder Than the Average Person

  • The average person comes home and watched Netflix.
  • They get up in just enough time to maybe shower before work and head out the door.
  • The average person lives paycheck to paycheck.

Learn to work only 10% harder than that and you are bound to succeed. See the Habits of Successful People vs Unsuccessful People.

  1. Never Stop Learning

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Never stop reading, listening to podcasts, studying the people you want to emulate. Don’t give up on your dreams and always be working on reaching them. The minute you stop learning, is the minute you give it all up. If you don’t understand something you must research it until you do. And if you fear something; do it until you are comfortable. Never stay comfortable, because comfort is average!

Remember becoming a millionaire is NOT hard to do, but so it NOT becoming one. It’s a choice in the little things.

  • Working a bit harder.
  • Setting aside instant gratification
  • Being grateful for what you have and are experiencing
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Investing in yourself

Through my 16 years of study these 18 things ring loud and clear as common denominators. If you can implement them into your life now slowly but surely you will start to see a snowball effect of results.

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
― Earl Nightingale

Where will you be in the next 10 years? Will you risk your comfort, learn to work 10% harder, and ignore the Jones’s to be able to give your advice for making 7-figures?

 

 

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF!

Want to know how we cut our grocery bill in half? Well, believe it or not there is a wrong way to use coupons and shop the deals, even when you are saving money with your grocery shopping. Grocery chains spend so much money on marketing and advertising. They spend this money knowing it will pay off! After all, they are a business that is in it to make more money.

It’s no surprise that they spend so much on studies and human behavior in order to know exactly what will attract the most spending by us! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these companies are bad! From a profit standpoint, they actually do a very good job! It is up to us to be smart enough to see and realize the right way to use their coupon and ad system to our advantage rather than theirs!

I learned this early on in our marriage when we started grocery shopping together for the first time. My mom was a devoted couponer and her mom before her. They didn’t go crazy enough to get shopping cart-full for pennies but they were pretty close!

 

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

It took a while for me to catch on to how I was being played by the grocery ads. I wasn’t using them to my benefit as my mom had done when I was a kid. 5 kids later and it is absolutely essential for me to get this right when I go grocery shopping! This is a great way to actually save money shopping instead of feeling like you’ve been played!

Before kids, we would grocery shop together (back in those romantic days) and I would bring my coupons along and know what was on sale. Like most newlyweds we had little money and wanted to keep as much of it as we could! We bought everything that was on sale or that we had coupons for, in the name of saving money.

This turned out to be a disaster! It seemed like we were saving money but ultimately that was not the case! We were missing some key elements that everyone should consider when trying to save money on their groceries!

 

Here is the breakdown of HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF:

  1. Comparing Stores

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

We did not look around at other locations once we found a coupon. If avocados were 2 for $3 with a coupon, I didn’t bother to see their regular price at other stores. This is a huge deal because sometimes the coupon or ad prices don’t beat the competitions regular prices on certain items!

Grocery stores do this because they can’t afford to sell everything at a deal and tend to try to make some good money (this is called profit margin) on high demand items. So it’s important to see if the “deal of the week” is actually a deal or if you could find it for much less at another store. Just because it’s a featured ad or on a coupon doesn’t mean it’s the best out there!

 

  1. Buying Only What You’ll Eat

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

This one was huge for us but is 10 times more important now that we have 5 little mouths to feed! Our kids tend to be picky eaters (as all kids are) and there is no point in getting a deal on something that will rot away in the fridge because no one likes it! Sure you can get ten cucumbers for $6 but if nobody likes them, then you’ve wasted $6-not to mention your time shopping.

My husband (who is in the Finance world) calls me the “Home Economist”. It’s my job to save money and keep our lives running as efficiently as possible just like it’s our business (which it is). I have to keep us running at a profit in order to use our hard-earned money for important things! And throwing out food is not on my list of important! See how I was able to save us hundreds by changing this one coffee habit!

It may look like a great deal on the ad page but it’s not worth it if it’s a waste of money! Just like those Black Friday deals that are selling luxury spa sets that you know you’ll never use but like the idea! You buy it and there it sits in your closet because it was “such a great deal”. We can’t afford to do this every time we go to the grocery store!

 

  1. Getting a Little Extra

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

Speaking of shopping for what your kids will actually eat; get an extra one or two when it’s on sale! If your kids eat bananas faster than monkeys in the jungle, buy some extra when they go on sale. Just don’t buy so many that you’ll have to be throwing them out at the end of the week.

When blueberries or some of their other favorites go on sale or have a coupon, I like to buy extra so that on my next grocery shop, I can skip that item knowing we have some at home. It saves money and adds to the concept of not throwing out expired or rotten food, because they devour it!

 

 

Even when shopping just for yourself this concept saves some serious cash! If you consume coffee like an addict (guilty) and your favorite brand goes on “buy 1 get 1 free” go for it! Buy 2 or more and stock up and save money! That way when it is back at regular price, you won’t be buying any at least for a while.

I had a friend who used this concept with gift cards. During the Christmas season his wife and he would purchase Target gift cards that were marked down on a sale for 10% off. They bought $900 dollars’ worth of gift cards! Yikes! However as a result; they now had $1000 dollars in gift cards! They use these the rest of the year buying NECESSITIES (that’s the key word there) at the store. Yes, still shopping the coupons and best deals there. So right off the bat they were ahead $100!

That’s some serious home economics!

  1. Learning the Layout

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

Grocery stores (and all stores) are laid out to maximize store profit (you’re spending). I actually know this because my husband has also worked in markwting and for a large grocery chain as well! This is why the toilet paper is usually at the back of the store! Therefore; you have to pass every other item to get to it! Let the spending commence!

From insiders: all of those cameras in stores are not just there to catch shop lifters. No, they’re there to study our shopping habits, how we enter the store, which direction we walk, what catches our eye. Yes they’ve put this much thought into it down to what you smell when you walk through the door and what music is playing to get you in the shopping mood! Grocery stores usually have the upbeat tempo and smell of fresh baked goods to put you in the mood!

No wonder they make so much money! My advice on getting through this system that is designed to make you spend is something that I force myself to always do:

Bring A Grocery List!

 

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

If you sat at home and wrote down all of the essentials that are needed than you can shop confidently knowing that anything not on that list is not needed.

When I have my list, something will catch my eye (like it’s supposed to) and I will sit there and debate if I need it. If it’s not on my list that’s my answer. It’s like the little Angel on my shoulder telling me what to do “if you didn’t write it down it wasn’t important enough to get you to the store”. If it is on my list, that’s my permission to get it, it’s a necessity that is needed in our household. Also, I’ve looked at the ads and researched which location it is the cheapest at!

 

  1. Getting the Best

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

This one is a personal habit and can be difficult if your schedule doesn’t allow for the right timing. Grocery stores have fresh delivers on specific days of the week. For some its Tuesdays and Thursdays while others could be every Wednesday.

Knowing when the store gets their product trucks unloaded is really nice! There have been a number of times where I’ve seen a great deal, but by the time I get to the store, they have run out of the item. You know, because everyone else saw that deal too! Instead of having to come back for one or two items, it’s nice to know what day they get their shipments in and make it there preferably that day or night!

This allows my grocery stop to be one stop, per store and I walk out with everything I’ve needed at the best price possible!

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

Before I followed these guides for shopping my food budget was much higher! I’ve managed to cut that budget IN HALF by spending a little more time planning for my grocery shop! It has been a life saver as our family grows and our kids eat more and more! See also what we did to save $600 in one month!

 

My grandma is a now a multi-millionaire and still cuts coupons and shops using these methods! These shopping tricks have helped us free our finances and free up income to use for our long-term goals!  I truly believe if you put in the effort to follow these rules you too will see your household budget grow rather than the grocery stores!

Remember that being a home-economist is a full-time job! The money you save is money you earn!

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

-Benjamin Franklin

HOW WE SAVED HUNDREDS BY CHANGING THIS ONE COFFEE HABIT

HOW WE SAVED HUNDREDS BY CHANGING THIS ONE COFFEE HABIT

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I’m not one to go out and get a Starbucks Latte every morning (although I have been known to treat myself) however I’m a huge Kurig pod coffee lover! So how we saved hundreds by changing this one coffee habit is NOT about how we just didn’t go out for coffee because we were already smart enough to avoid that expense!

I used to drink a half-pot to a pot of coffee a day depending on the stress level or business of that day. When the Kurig machine hit store shelves I switched to that and never looked back! That being said, for someone who drinks as much coffee as I do, This was quite an expensive habit! And I wasn’t even “going out” for coffee!

 

SAVED HUNDREDS BY CHANGING THIS ONE COFFEE HABIT

 

Some time ago I was going over our budget with my husband and as always we were looking at how we could change some of our habits and save some money. Our food budget is usually what we land on for flexibility and where we can change our meal planning or shopping habits. Be sure to check out How We Cut Our Grocery Bill IN HALF!!!

I realized I was buying around 2- 12 pod boxes of kurig coffee pods a week (it’s really not that much when you have a big coffee cup). So doing the calculations:

 

1 coffee pod box cost around $7.50 (for a non-decadent brand)

x 2 per week = $15.00 per week

4 weeks = 1 month so $15.00 x 4 = $60 per month of coffee! Yikes!!!

 

But hey if you are buying a Latte at the coffee shop every day you actually spend so much more than that!

I decided this coffee habit had to change! No I did not stop drinking coffee! I could never do that! I started looking at how to get a cheaper cup of coffee without taking away the bold flavor and convenience that the Kurig cups have to offer.  I found some options that were not great and was also not willing to settle for the super cheap Kurig cups that taste like coffee flavored water either.

 

If there was a word for foodie in the coffee world, that would be me!

I came across these AMAZING cup filters that make for a cheap cup of coffee but do not diminish any flavors or taste!

2 Solofill K3 Chrome CUP Chrome Refillable Filter Cup for Keurig-r (RED, 2)

 

These are by far the best ones that I have ever used (and I tried several early on). These don’t leave any grounds in the coffee and are super easy to fill and clean.Now I can buy coffee grounds that are so much cheaper and last longer than the pod boxes that seemed to rapidly leave my home!To do the quick math:1 bag of grounds per week = $4.50

$4.50 per week x4 = $18.00 per month (We don’t even use a full bag in a week)

$60.00 – 18.00 = $42.00 per month!

That means each month I am saving $42!!! And you can save even more if you currently get your morning coffee out of the house!

So let’s take the savings of 42 dollars per month and see what I have saved each year by making the switch:

 

$42 x 12 months = $504.00!!!

 

That’s over 500 dollars saved per year in our food budget by changing this one coffee buying habit! My husband and I have both been extremely pleased with how we saved hundreds by changing this one coffee habit that we have recommended this to all of our family members! The financial results are really amazing and this is just ONE way to save some big money! We are always looking for more great tips and tricks to save some extra money and better support our family!

SAVED HUNDREDS BY CHANGING THIS ONE COFFEE HABIT

THE EASIEST WAY TO START A BUDGET FOR NON-TECH PEOPLE

THE EASIEST WAY TO START A BUDGET FOR NON-TECH PEOPLE

My husband has an MBA and works in finance. He is always coming home with new million-line spreadsheets with crazy formulas for our personal budget and gets excited over the entire budgeting process.

I couldn’t be more opposite! I like things crisp and clean and am more of an old-soul, pen and paper kind of person! So below I have laid out the EASIEST WAY TO START A BUDGET FOR NON-TECH PEOPLE who are like me and prefer the old school way of doing things!

1st: The main idea that I had to remember when we would go over our budget in the beginning is that it doesn’t have to be complicated! It’s MY BUDGET! I can make it however I want! I can grab flowery construction paper to write on with colorful markers if I want to! No matter how simple or stylish you want to make your budget, the key is actually writing down a budget each month! see my post on why you can never move forward without a written budget!

EASIEST WAY TO START A BUDGET FOR NON-TECH PEOPLE

 

2nd; As far as what formatting and design you use, there is no wrong way to make a budget! After all the whole idea here is to be friends with your budget and visit it often! Why not make it look appealing to you!

3rd: This being said, there are some wrong ways to create a budget and cheat yourself from your own money, but we’ll get into that at a later time. The easiest way to start a budget is to remember this simple principle:

 

                                Income – Expense = 0

 

Yes, ZERO. This doesn’t mean you spend all your money each paycheck! It means you have a place for every dime you make so that you can account for everything that comes and goes. Honestly I’ve scratched my head many times wondering where my paychecks went before sticking to a budget.

Also expenses does not have to mean bills. Millionaires always say the most important rule is to “pay yourself first”. This means your expense should include your savings account, retirement account and any saving for big expenses or purchases coming up (like a new couch or Christmas).

Let’s go over a sample budget:

The easiest way to start and stick to a budget for a non-tech person is to get out a legal pad (a plain notepad will work) and a pen.

 

Start with Income:           Paycheck 1          1000

Paycheck 2          1000

Total:     2000

 

Expenses:

Savings:                200

Rent                      800

Utilities                 100

Insurance            100

Phone                   50

Car                         100

Gas                        100

Grocery                300

Fun Spending    200

Debt                      50

 

 

Total:     2000

Balance Check: Income 2000 – Expenses 2000 = 0 Check!

Our simple budget is now exactly at zero and we know EXACTLY where our money is going!

 

This example is as basic as it gets. You can estimate your bills like heating and air based on the month and what you paid previously. This is how big companies plan for their expenses too! It honestly gets easier every month and you may have to do some adjusting through the month based on what comes up.

THE EASIEST WAY TO START A BUDGET FOR NON-TECH PEOPLE

But one HUGE TIP is to get out your calendar and see what is coming at you that month, holidays, birthdays, date nights, car maintenance, travel, really anything that will use money!

The main point of having any kind of budget is that you stick to it and are constantly referencing it. It’s like being on a diet, if you don’t follow it, it doesn’t work no matter what diet you are on! Having a budget written down is great, but it is your persistence and discipline that is the key factor in making your budget work for you!

With a solid money plan (budget) and the right attitude (see why your attitude is essential with your budget) you will see your money habits change quickly for the better and also feel like you have more money by just keeping track of it! The budget is a huge key for any kind of financial success! And now you know how the EASIEST WAY TO START A BUDGET FOR NON-TECH PEOPLE!

It’s as simple as that! The hardest part about a budget is sticking to it and staying consistent and dedicated in order to have control over your money!

The Easiest Way to Make a Budget for Non-Tech People
check out the easiest way to make a budget for non-tech people to get on a simple, easy-to-follow budget in minutes with no tech required!
9 Things Debt Free People Do That Will Change Your Life

9 Things Debt Free People Do That Will Change Your Life

Becoming debt free takes time, commitment and good habits! The things debt free people do are a way of life to them only because they have made them habits. We are not born winners with money and you can be debt free too if you follow these 9 things debt free people do all of the time in order to win with their money and stay away from debt!

1. Live On Less Than You Make

In a world of “Joneses” it can be hard to live within your means. Debt free people have mastered self-discipline in their belongings. By living within their means debt free people can manage their money to work for them, not be fighting against it. When we are satisfied with what we have we are content enough to not need to go buy things we don’t need, resulting in saving our money. Continue reading 9 Things Debt Free People Do That Will Change Your Life