Invest in your future, you will survive today!

images-193

Today, take time to think about what you are spending money on. Do you buy things outside of  paying your bills? You may be surprised to find out  how much extra money you actually have.

When you are struggling to make ends meet, buying a $5 dollar Starbucks, a pack of cigarettes, or a bottle of wine can possibly add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year and quite possibly be the reason why you are struggling to begin with, think about it.🤔

Make a short-term goal to eliminate this thing or activity that is costing you the little bit of extra money you may have. If you get your nails done once every two weeks, try for one month to save that money and put it away. In only a short time, you’ll realize that you actually have extra money that you can save, it’s a matter of, if you really want to.

Go on a money diet. Make a goal of a few weeks or a month. Eliminate everything extra that you spend money on that is not a necessity. This is a great challenge, even for myself, but doing this on the regular basis will help you build up to saving for a larger financial goal.

b0c0b87d893c17624e99b6f612e698b2

Track your money,  become aware of what you actually to spend. You can do this! It just takes a little bit of time and discipline.

Emotional Stress & Spending Habits🤑😫

Emotional stress can negatively contribute to the way you spend and budget money. When I am stressed, I tend to buy fast food everyday. This is definitely not a good financial habit. Is there anything you impulsively spend money on when you’re stressed?

Below is a link with a few tips on how to reduce stress.

http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot

A few things you can do when you’re stressing to avoid impulsively spending money, take the money that you want to spend and put it into a savings or a money bucket. You can also go to the grocery store and purchase staple items for your home that you will eventually need. I do this sometime when I really just want to spend some money and you always need groceries right? At least that’s my way of justifying it. LOL😉

The biggest advice I can give about impulsively spending when you’re stressed is to get to the root of the problem. Find out why you are stressing and why that stress makes you want to spend money.  There are many reasons that people stress; family problems, physical health issues, mental health issues, boredom, etc.

Take time to get to know yourself. Know what you like, what you don’t like, and what you are or aren’t willing to accept in your life. Doing this what help you recognize the issue and find a solution to your stress.

Rest easy,  trouble don’t last always📿

Cooking on a Budget🌮🍗🍜

Over the years I have learned how to cook budget-friendly meals. This used to be difficult for me.  Growing up, my family cooked very large meals, enough to feed an entire brigade of soldiers. When I became an adult and was single, I didn’t have to cook at all if I did not want to.  Now that I am married and have children, I am the person responsible for preparing most of the meals my family eats.

I have learned over time to make smaller meal portions. I have also learned how to cook budget-friendly meals.  I don’t know about you, but in my culture we eat a lot of meat. Meat is the most expensive part of a meal.  We make at least one or two pieces of meat per person, in a large family that can easily be 10 or more pieces of meat.

In order to save money, I began making more casseroles,  soups, stew’s and pasta dishes. This way I can still make a meal that can feed my entire family without using a lot of meat.  I have put a few links for budget-friendly meals for large families below.  FYI these are not five-star gourmet dinners🍝 LOL, but they will help you get out of debt and further your financial goals.😉

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/218493/melindas-porcupine-meatballs/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/garlic-chicken-and-potatoes-recipe-2120118

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222582/baked-spaghetti/

There are plenty of recipes that can fit your financial budget and even help you excel.  It’s as simple as making a few changes in the meals that you already eat. You can check out http://www.myfridgefood.com if you’re not sure what to make from the food you have in your refrigerator. This site lets you enter ingredients that you have and helps you put together a recipe with them. Google is my best friend when looking for easy, budget-friendly meals.

Food is used to provide nutrition for our bodies. The meals I make are not Food Network competition ready, but they are good and they do help my family get ahead financially and that’s what’s important to me.

I hope you get a few good tips and begin to research more ways to save a few dollars on your families meals.

Bon Appetit🍸

Ballin’ on a Budget😎

So I have a confession, I love to shop! But, who doesn’t? There is a way you can have the things you want and still live within your budget. If you are truly serious about securing your financial future, the first thing you have to learn is financial discipline. The hardest part is saying no, especially when there is something you want.

I have a weakness for clearance sales! When I see an item with a reduced price tag, something in my brain triggers. I start having racing thoughts; why do I need this item or how I can use it? I basically convince myself to buy the item.

There are ways that you can shop for the things you need and not break the bank. Buying clothes off season is cheaper than buying clothes in season. For my children, when clothing becomes deeply discounted (like a winter clothes sale in March),  I like to purchase the next size up so that when my kids grow, they always have new clothes and I don’t have to rush out and buy regular priced clothing.

There are plenty of great stores to watch for off-season sales, also when they discontinue items. Walmart, Old Navy, (If you’re military,  the Exchange), Target, Drjays.com, etc. You just have to do a little research to find out when these stores are getting rid of discontinued or off-season items.

Did you know there are places like hotels, rental centers, and banquet halls that have furniture, appliance, and other household item sales regularly? Call around, see if there are any happening near you!

Over time I have taught myself financial discipline by comparing the importance of things I may want now, to something that I want in the future. For example: A Coach purse is $200 dollars.  You can buy it now and have a pretty $200 dollar purse sitting in your closet, or, you can take the $200 dollars and save it for the down payment on the house you plan to purchase in the future. The choice is yours, but remember,  so is the consequence!

Saving up & Eating out

Eating out is my biggest weakness when it comes to saving money.   I eat out a few times a week.  Do you eat out? If so, how often?  Eating out is considered impulse spending when it is not planned. It may also put a damper on your savings. In this article, I will let you in on some of my money-saving secrets while eating out.

Reward cards are the best thing since the invention of Caller ID, lol.  I have a reward card to almost every fast food chain, grocery store, and coffee shop there is. These cards are normally free. Some offer exceptional deals on their products. Many reward programs also offer free items for a certain amount of items purchased.

Dine in restaurants and fast food restaurants also offer coupons. You can find the coupons online, on the company’s app, and in the restaurant. Sometimes the coupons are free, but places like McDonald’s and KFC offer coupon books starting at $1. These books are totally worth it! They contain high value coupons and coupons for free items as well.

When my family eats fast food, I try my best to keep the total around $20, but this can be hard with a family of five. Here are a few things I do to achieve my budget goals; I do not order combo meals. Often buying a combo meal is more costly than buying the items separately. I will order sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and fries from the value menu and one cup of water for each person, if we are traveling.  If are going home, we do not need any drinks with our meal.

There is nothing wrong with indulging every now and then. Setting limits and planning are best when deciding where, how often, and how much to spend when you eat out!