Budget · budgetwithelly · Challenge · coupon · coupons · family · Family Share · free · frugal · mom · motherhood

Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Financial Life #BudgetWithElly

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By improving our financial lives, we also increased our happiness, in general. For this reason, I find important to share some tips and tricks that really works (at least for me).

I’m almost in the best moment of my financial life. because of the steps of Dave Ramsey. Also because we know how to handle money, not having debts, by saving and investing as much as we can.

Here are some tips and tricks that works for us (doesn’t necessarily work for everyone). Share what your tips in savings are in the comments!

#1. Use money

Rather than buying things with credit or debit cards, use cash for everyday expenses like eating out, fuel or supermarket.

Spending money makes the spending more real, and you still have the advantage of knowing exactly when the money runs out, avoiding spending more than you have.

#2. Stay home

Often going out makes you more likely to spend unnecessarily. Eating at  restaurants, going shopping, stoping at convenience stores for snacks. It is hard to avoid spending when you’re on the street.

Instead, stay home and find ways to entertain without spending. It is also a great way to be with your family.

# 3. Keep a “list of the 30 days”

If you often buy on impulse something that absolutely is not a need, go put it on the “list of the 30 days.”

You can not buy anything beyond what is necessary – anything beyond that goes to the list, with the date it was registered.

After thirty days, you can buy – but, most often, the anxiety to buy has passed, and you can evaluate the actual need more calmly.

# 4. Do exercises

Staying healthy is the best way to avoid medical expenses in the future.

# 5. Often talk to your partner

It is important that you and your partner are financially aligned. You should have the same financial goals, and from there on you must share the same spending plan and policy to avoid impulse purchases.

Make sure you both know what the monthly expenses are, how is the bank balance, among other things. A simple weekly conversation of 20 minutes is enough.

Communication is essential.

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# 6. Record all income and expenses

There are expensive software like Microsoft Money, Quicken, etc., which can do wonders to your financial information. There are also some that are free to both desktop and online, they also do the same things.

The problem is that I do not need it all. All I need is a way to track my money easily, no hustle, and the ability to access that data virtually, so that I can update them from anywhere.

An excellent way to really use is Google Drive (formerly Google Docs and Spreadsheets), who use Gmail. But nothing prevents you to use a financial spreadsheet or even a notebook.

The important thing is to maintain that record. And do it in the simplest way possible.

# 7. Work out at home

Some may disagree with this tip, and thats no problem. You should do what ever way that works for you. But I saved enough money (over US $ 1000 per year), who used to spend on gyms and changed for walking at a park near my home.

All though we don’t all have a gym in our homes, it’s still cheaper to buy some weights to work out at home, or even practice walking / running somewhere nearby. An academy is honestly not necessary.

# 8. Cancel your cable TV

I’m not saying you should stop watching TV – I even watch movies and football games regularly, for example.

The difference is that I’m sure I’m watching something I really want, instead of useless programs we see on TV most of the time.

In addition, there are enough online content, free and good quality.

# 9. Donate, lend and borrow

Get rid of excess things in your home, you not only make your life much simpler and quiet, but also will become much harder to buy things that will just lay around again.

Once your home is organized (and simplified), you will not want to go back.

Also, donate books, clothes and toys you no longer need. If you need something (a book, for example), send e-mail to your friends or post on Facebook asking if anyone has it. There is the chance of someone close by having it and give it to you for free if they don’t use it anymore.

# 10. Find happiness in life, not on spending

Often, people buy things because they think (perhaps unconsciously) that this will bring happiness. “I have to have those clothes or buy that car,” some think. So they buy what they want it to be, and are happy only for a few days.

Then they need to buy more. And it becomes a no yes cycle.

Instead, learn to value life. Find fun in the people around you. In doing something you really love. In exercising.

There is so much in life that make us happy, it is not necessary to try to find happiness in spending.

Budget · budgetwithelly · coupon · coupons · family · free

Coupon Thursday #BudgetWithElly

   

 Coupons Save Money on Must-Have Items
It’s not like I could stop buying toilet paper, so I might as well save money on it.

Coupons Help You Try New Products
Coupon+sale=a chance to try something new without spending a lot of money.

Some Coupons Get You Free Goods!
I’ve received free toothpaste etc, by combining a coupon with a sale.

Coupons Help Manage Food Costs
If you’re trying to save money on food but want to buy more fresh, coupons can help you manage the costs.

Coupons Save Money on More than Groceries
I’ve received coupons to clothing stores, restaurants, and local services.

Couponing takes time, effort, and patience, but anyone can do it.

( A few tips I learned from a mom )

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I love good deals 🙂

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Budget · Challenge · coupons · family · Family Share · frugal · savings

#BudgetWithElly the @DaveRamsey Style

Let’s start today with what I did to become frugal and try to be Debt free.
My husband inspired me by listening to ” The Dave Ramsey Show ” and he came home one day and said, can you listen to this guy I think he’s awesome. I decided to listen to Dave Ramsey for the first time and I thought to myself. Can we do this? Can we really be debt free? Is it possible to pay over $10k of credit card bills and actually live like ” No One else, so later in life we can live like no one else? __ Dave Ramsey”
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So, who is this Dave anyways?
Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, radio talk show host and TV personality who over the years has helped thousands of people become debt free and change their financial lives.

Before I started to listen to Dave, we had to make a decision, to either listen and apply or don’t do it at all. I started to believe we could and believed in GOD we could do it. AM I there? no! not yet, but we have a lot less to go. 🙂

We started with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps that are

Baby Step 1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Baby Step 5 – College funding for children
Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!
we are obviously not anywhere close to where we would like to be, but we will get there.
We had to make some sacrifice, especially at the beginning. It’s not easy because it requires sacrifice. And it’s not a lot of fun. We started less than a year ago.
So, I decided to start looking at all the ways I could save, and I started doing the frugal mom thing (Coupons) I save over $200 a month just on coupons alone. Some people are embarrassed to use them, I’m not simple as that. they are there to help you and you’re not stealing from someone, So why not?

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A lot of people talk about how to change their financial lives but never touch on the fact that if you or your spouse isn’t ready to change, it isn’t going to happen. You have to want to change.
His plan might not be perfect for everyone, but it does point everyone in the right direction.
What is your life’s purpose? When you find it, you’ll find the motivation you need to live according to your financial plan, even when it’s tough. Making these steps require a budget. In order to succeed with these bigger goals, you’ve got to make it work day-by-day. Paying off your debt snowball requires snowflakes. And you and your spouse need to regularly communicate.
Give it a try, visit the Dave Ramsey site and other budgeting sites and get started. Believe me, It’s never too late 🙂

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Family Night

#FamilyTime Saturday Fun ( Hotel Tips )

A Cleaner hotel rooms

Get a better night’s sleep during your next hotel stay by quickly wiping down your room.
I’ve worked as a housekeeper at a hotel in Boston for a little while.

I remember very clearly my cleaning routine.
When I visit hotels today, I particularly recall how the cleaning of rooms were done.
Just the way they trained me. After training, I did my own cleaning.  Use to make sure everything got cleaned.

Typically, hotel maids have a checklist of what they’re obligated to tend to. Stripping and replacing the sheets and towels, vacuuming the floor, dusting the table tops, wiping down the sinks, and sanitizing the toilet and tub are part of the routine.

Considering the parts that probably don’t get attention, here is a checklist of what you can do to sanitize your next hotel stay.

You’re not the only guest in the room. Who knows what types of germs, cover the many surfaces in a hotel room.

Before making yourselves at home, take an antibacterial wipe or spray soap and wipe the places touched by thousands of fingers. The doorknobs, TV remote, light switches, phone, refrigerator handles, ice bucket, toilet flusher and faucet handles are probably pretty yucky.

Be careful with drinking from reusable glasses,  Who knows what might be going on there.

What’s the first thing we do when we enter a hotel room?

Usually, we plop down on the bed. But how clean is that bedding, really? The bedspread and blankets are likely dirty When I worked as a housekeeper, I don’t remember the bedspreads ever been washed. The sheets, of course.

Clean sheets are normally a given in a room. But the coverlet or comforter and extra blanket in the closet possibly haven’t seen a washing machine. One solution is to strip them from the bed altogether and sleep in the sheets. Bedbugs have become a major epidemic in many hotels. Rather than setting your bags on the floor, elevate them on a table. Or, store them in the bathroom, where bed bugs normally don’t hang out. ( even though I have found them there. )

Don’t leave your clothes on the floor. This decreases your chances of returning home with uninvited friends. Wear slippers or shoes Have you ever wondered how often the floors are shampooed? I have too. I cringe as my bare feet walk over dirty hotel carpeting. The occasional night away in a hotel or inn is always an adventure. If you don’t worry about a little grime or bacteria, you’re lucky. But if you’re like me and want an easier night’s sleep, take a few precautions.

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Resources Book Club for 1 & own experiences

 

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#Coupon Thursday

The basics to couponing, combining coupons with store sales to get the best deal and stocking up when the product is at its lowest price.

just like everything in life, it takes money to make money and couponing is no different.
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My CVS trip today total $170 I paid $58 

Jo-Ann Fabric 20% 40% 50% Off

$10 Off $25 @JcPenney

Yankee Candle B1G1 ( buy 1 get 1 free )

29% off $40 Carters

Don’t forget to print these ones 🙂 Happy Shopping

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coupons · entertainment · family · free · Vacation

Boston Tour #MomsOnABudget

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There are so many great things to do in Boston that are completely free!

  1. Boston Common, Free
  • Park Street Church, Free
  • King’s Chapel & King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Free
  • Benjamin Franklin Statue & Boston Latin School, Free
  • Granary Burying Ground, Free
  • Old Corner Bookstore, Free (Note: Currently being leased by Chipotle)
  • Site of Boston Massacre, Free
  • Massachusetts State House, Free State House Tours (Weekdays 10am-4pm)
  • Faneuil Hall, Free
  • Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Free
  • Bunker Hill Monument, Free (Suggested Donation)
  • USS Constitution, Free tours every 30 minutes of the boat (The Museum has a suggested donation of $5 for Adults, $3 for Seniors, and $2 for Children, but any amount is appreciated). *You will need proper ID and go through a security check*
  • Old North Church, Freedom Trail Drop-In (Suggested Donation of $1 per person)

Take a Freedom Tour

There is always something happening here > Faneuil Hall Marketplace live street performers, restaurants, vendors, shops, and more. Free to explore and enjoy.

Boston Common, Public Garden & Swan Boats: Enjoy the Boston Common and the Public Garden.

Take a stroll at Castle IslandCastle Island is a 22-acre park and is a great place to walk, jog, roller-blade, sunbathe, and more. Castle Island is also home to Fort Independence, which gives free guided tour daily until 3:30pm.

Star-gaze at the Coit Observatory at Boston UniversityThe observatory is open and free to the public every Wednesday night at 8:30pm in the spring and summer and 7:30pm in the fall and winter.

Tour The Boston Public Library: The Boston Public Library offers free art & architecture tours during particular times by volunteers.

Charles River Esplanade: Great way to spend a beautiful day; During summer months enjoy free movies and music at the DCR Hatch Shell.

History at the Massachusetts Historical Society:  library founded in 1791. Free to visit.

Get on the water at Fort Point PierThe Fort Point Pier is free to the public.

Scenic stroll on the Haborwalk: Walk alongside the waterfront with the public walkway connecting the best of Boston Harbor.

Kismet at the MIT Museum

Free Museums in Boston

Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art on Thursday Nights: The ICA is free every Thursday night from 5-9pm and free for families (up to 2 adults accompanied by children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of every month (except December).

Discover the MIT MuseumAdmission is free all day the last Sunday of every month from September to June and free the first weekend of every month for Bank of America cardholders for Museums on Us.

Closed on the following holidays in 2015:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • May 25: Memorial Day
  • July 4: Independence Day
  • September 7: Labor Day
  • November 26: Thanksgiving
  • December 24 & 25: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
  • December 31: 3 p.m. closing

Head to Cambridge and explore the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Massachusetts Residents can visit free with valid ID on Sunday mornings from 9am-12pm year-round or from 3-5pm on Wednesdays from September to May. Proof of residency required. This offer is not available to commercial groups.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts on Wednesday Nights: Admission is voluntary on Wednesday nights after 4pm and certain days of the year. Also, Bank of America cardholders can receive free admission the first weekend of every month, part of the Museums on Us program. Youth 17 and under also receive free admission daily after 3pm, weekends, and public school holidays. Otherwise admission for youths is $10 adults $25

Explore the Commonwealth Museum for free, always: The history and treasures of Massachusetts and is free to visit and park.