Tag Archives: budget

eggs-diversify

Diversify Your Money

Recently I was a victim of debit card fraud and it reminded me of the importance of diversification. I am always saying, “Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket” and that is so true even when it comes to your bank account. Some jerk decided to copy my debit card and went shopping at a Walmart in Texas. I have never even been to Texas and I live in Pennsylvania. I have no idea how this even happened, but I am glad it was my credit union account and not my account with my other bank where all of my bills come out of.

My credit union was amazing at getting things resolved, but it took 3 days to have the funds returned back to me and I had to wait about 7 days to get a new card in the mail. If I would have only had one banking institution, I would have been so out of luck. Do they even still take checks in the store anymore? I can’t even tell you the last time I saw someone write out a check in the grocery store.

The point of me writing this short blog post is to encourage you to diversify your money. When I say this I mean all aspects of your money because you will never know when something bad will happen. You need to have multiple income streams, multiple bank accounts for checking and savings, a diversified investment portfolio, etc. I am working on that diversified investment portfolio so don’t you worry. I am building my empire one brick at a time to create lasting wealth for my family. The goal is to build generational wealth.

How do you diversity?

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Budget Graphic

When Your Budget Doesn’t Work Out

Things are not always going to work out according to plan, so you are just going to have to put your big girl or big boy panties on and problem solve. Sometimes you will have to really sacrifice until you are able to pull yourself afloat. I know this to be true because I struggled with this the past few months. No matter how much you budget things are going to happen and that is why I stress the importance of having an emergency fund. We all have to start somewhere so it doesn’t matter how much you start putting into it at first. Pennies will eventually add up to dollars so don’t be afraid to pick up that penny that is lying on the ground.

Since becoming a homeowner at the end of 2015, there are tons of things I never thought of before so I am constantly adjusting and incurring costs. I was doing pretty well for a while, but the past few months it seems like all of my unplanned bills are hitting all at once. Medical expenses, annual trash bill, I owe money on my taxes, things I need for the house, etc. I am just a middle class citizen trying to get myself to the next tier in the social economical structure. Like I say, money doesn’t buy happiness but it does buy choices.

My struggle the past few months was a lesson that I desperately needed so not all is lost. I was trying to figure out ways to force myself to save more and the universe sure did give me the answers. I was reminded that I needed to start spending less money so I can save more money towards my goals. Getting that wakeup call because I was forced to was very eye opening and proved to me that I can indeed spend less money. So when my budget didn’t work out, here are the things I did to get myself out of the hole.

Packed my lunch EVERYDAY!!!

Of course this is a no brainer for many people, but sometimes I would go on spurts of not feeling like packing my lunch. This adds up so fast because I would spend anywhere from $6-$12 on lunch per day. That is $1560-$3120 a year just on lunch. WTH was I thinking?!? I could use that money to buy stocks or something that will help my money grow or go on a nice vacation.

I planned my meals out.

Planning my meals worked because I didn’t just start throwing stuff in my cart when I went grocery shopping. I literally took inventory and only bought what I knew I needed for the next 2 weeks or longer. I normally do one big shop per month and one mini shop to pick up random items I need and anything that is a really good sale. Oh and I prefer to buy fresh fruit and veggies so you can’t buy that in bulk. Of course I stuck to frozen veggies for the most part while pulling myself ahead of my financial struggle. I also picked up things to put in my work freezer for any days I forgot my lunch.

Forced myself to make do!!!

I was determined not to touch my emergency fund on food because I am still trying to build it back up. I was getting very creative with my meals and working with what I had in my kitchen. Allrecipes.com is my favorite meal resource so check it out for yourself. You can plug in your ingredients and it will give you recipe ideas.

Stayed local

I tried to limit my driving and only traveled when I needed to. Ugh gas is so expensive!!!

Took advantage of free fun.

If you live in or near a major city there is always free fun for you to enjoy. Check out your local libraries or community centers and you will be so surprised what you find. I live in the Philadelphia, PA area and I search for free events all the time. I made sure we would eat at home before going out.

So no I am not perfect by any means and sometimes I need a reminder to focus on my big picture goals. I am working on building wealth and creating memories so buying random stuff that I know I do not need doesn’t help me meet those goals. So now back to sticking to my budget and saving for when my budget doesn’t work out. You have to plan for your successes.

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money and happiness

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But It Does Buy Choices

I believe in living a life that you are happy with and that is exactly what I am doing. Money is not going to buy me happiness, but it does buy me choices. I work hard at my 9-5 while I build my multiple sources of income. I do this because I know one day all of my entities and investments will allow me to replace my 9-5. Again money is not going to buy me happiness, but it will give me the opportunity to have more choices. No one wants to live a life struggling to figure out how to pay bills or give their children the things that they deserve and some of what they want. Yeah my little one doesn’t get everything that he wants just because I said he can’t and not because I can’t afford it. He has to learn how to work for the things that he wants. I may not be able to buy everything that I want at that exact moment that I want it, but with planning and over time I can have everything that I desire.

Not all wealthy people are happy just like not all poor people are miserable. The difference is the choices that each group can make and the opportunities that come along with the wealth. I can afford to send my son to a private school that is close to my job so I don’t have to kill myself rushing thru traffic to pick him up from the afterschool program by 6:00pm. Yeah most places will charge you extra if you are late. I can afford to buy healthier and better quality foods for myself and child because of the investments I have made for myself. When I go on vacation I am diffentantly not staying at the Ritz Carlton, but I’m sure as hell not staying at the Motel 6 either. Yeah money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does buy you choices; choices that will make your life easier and help you enjoy it just a little bit better. I would rather buy a good quality $300 purse over a $10 purse that won’t last, but if I am shelling out $300 on a purse I’m making sure my bills are all paid and I have more than $300 that I can put into my new purchase. I am not a believer in living beyond my means because it is like a domino effect.

Yeah I know some of you are reading this post and saying it is better said than done and you are exactly right. At a certain point you have to stop blaming all of the outside forces as to why you can’t get ahead and start taking control of your life. If you can’t find a job than make your own; plenty of people do it every day so there is no excuse and the world owes you nothing. If you want something you have to make it happen; create your own opportunities. My 9-5 doesn’t pay me as much as I would like, but it gives me the flexibility that I need as a single mother so I had to be creative since I like it there. I have my own business www.happilynaturalyme.com and I am an independent business owner for Total Life Changes. Happily Naturally Me is growing and TLC brings me instant and residual income thru network marketing. I love what I do and so does my son. He is like my little business partner because he comes with me the majority of the time when I am conducting business. He is learning the art of selling at a very young age because he is always talking about selling the toys he doesn’t want any more at the Flea Market. That was my first stomping grounds when I was trying out how my Happily Naturally Me products would do and I would sell his old baby clothes. We would play games in between customers, watch a movie or he would ride his bike around the tent I had setup. Yeah no excuses because if I can do it, so can you.

If you want a life you love, you will have to create it yourself so stop waiting and start taking some action. If you are interested in joining a network marketing company to make extra income just contact me or signup by visiting my site directly www.totallifechanges.com/5819311. Make sure you use rep ID 5819311 and contact me so I can help you get started.

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kids clothes

5 Ways to Save on Children’s Clothes

I only have one child at the moment and buying clothes and shoes for him adds up pretty quickly so I can only imagine what it is like when you have multiple kids.  I have learned that I can dress my little one very nicely and not have to spend thousands of dollars to do it and here are 5 tips that can help you do the same.

  1. Clothing Swap- If you have a group of friends or family with children around the same age do a clothing swap to help with cost. Children can quickly outgrow things and often times wear things once.  I can’t even tell you how many times I found a clothing item that I completely forgot about that he can no longer fit.
  2. Consignment/ Thrift Stores- Thrifting is the latest trend and with consignment shops and events popping up all over the place it makes it so much easier. I have been able to find great deals at these places for the little guy. Sometimes I can find items with the tags still on.
  3. Shopping Out of Season- Why wait till the next season starts to begin shopping for it. Right now it’s spring and retailers still have winter items at discounted prices they want to get rid of.  If your kid doesn’t have a massive growth spurt, it should be easy to estimate his or her size for next year.  I just got him a new winter coat for $5 and sweaters for $3 each at Primark.  Primark is one of my new favorite stores.
  4. Discount Stores- The discount stores that I am referring to are hidden treasures. Normally you find these places because you happen to stumble upon it or word of mouth. These discount stores carry items from last season or they bought a batch that has a slight defect like a messed up stitch or something. Because of this, the items are so cheap. You really have to check these items before buying because you don’t want to buy something with a hole unless you plan on sewing it yourself. One of the hidden treasures I go to is called Rugged Wearhouse. They have a few locations throughout the US with 2 being in Delaware.
  5. Make your own- I do not have the time nor the talent, but if you do more power to you.  I did get crafty and make his birthday shirt with items I found at AC Moore.

Let me know your ways of saving on children’s clothes. If you have any hidden treasure discount stores in your area or know of a great consignment shop please share.

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Two Checking Account System

Keeping your spending money and bill money all in the same account can sometimes be dangerous. Can you count how many times you have over spent and ended up with a negative amount? Overdraft fees are not fun because that is money you could have used for something else. Now you have negative funds for over spending and a negative $30.00 if not more in overdraft charges. Let’s hope you didn’t have multiple transactions that put you in the hole or you will really be in trouble. Remember most banks will charge you an overdraft charge for each transaction processed that accumulates while you are in the negative.

The best thing you can do for yourself to keep your money organized is to have different accounts: 1 for bills and 1 for spending. Any monthly bills you have should be coming out of one account and all of your spending money whether for groceries, entertainment, etc. should be in the account associated with your debit card. Trust me; it will make your life so much better if you separate your money. Utilize the Two Checking Account System in conjunction with your budget and you should reduce the stress of over spending. Keep in mind you can’t spend what you don’t have so you will still have to keep a ledger of any checks you write and not go crazy swiping your debit card buying stuff that you want and don’t really need. Yeah I know that was a long sentence, but you get the point.

Stay organized mommies with your MONEY!!! I am paid twice a month from my 9-5 so I dedicate sitting down twice a month to pay bills and check my funds. I don’t spend unless I have it and I do not rob Peter to pay Paul as they say. It is really not that hard to keep track of your money if you discipline yourself because after a few months of doing this, it will become a habit. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the Two Checking Account System.

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