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  • Buying Generic Can Save You Money!

    Posted on August 30th, 2018 Jan No comments

    I went grocery shopping today and when I was putting away my groceries, I realized a lot of the products I bought weren’t any type of brand name at all.  They were generic products – you know, the store “brand”.  So I thought we could talk about that a little today.

    It seems sometimes that when we grocery shop, it is very easy to become brand loyal for some of the products that we use.  It might be a product that your parents bought when you were a child and you’ve just always bought it because it is familiar to you, or it can just be something you tried once that you liked and have continued to buy it no matter what the price.

    For instance, I was brought up on Kraft barbeque sauce so I’ve always bought it.  I never even considered the price of it or thought about buying any other brand of barbeque sauce, nevertheless the store brand of it.  I just got it because that’s what was always in our house when I was a child. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Small Savings WILL Make A Big Difference!

    Posted on July 7th, 2018 Jan No comments

    Living on a budget is the key to financial freedom, but getting started can be frustrating. When we look at our expenses and see all of those bills we’re paying every month, it’s easy to throw our hands up in disgust. But what about all those little expenses we incur? You might be surprised to find out just how much they amount to.

    It’s easy to dismiss cutting back on little things. A few dollars a month won’t make a significant difference in the big picture and you won’t be able to retire on those small savings. But a few dollars here and a few dollars there will add up each month. When you cut back in a lot of small ways, you could end up with a lot more money at the end of the month than you used to.

    Waste Not, Want Not

    One thing we can do that is good for the budget is stop wasting so much. This can apply to many areas in our lives. From eating to home heating, waste equals money going down the drain unnecessarily.

    Cooking for the family instead of eating takeout or dining out is a great way to save money. But if you’re throwing food out, the benefit is reduced. So if you have leftovers, don’t let them end up in the trash. Some dishes freeze well, and this makes for easy dinners when you don’t have time to cook. You could also eat dinner leftovers for lunch the following day.

    If your home is not well insulated, you’re probably wasting lots of money on home heating and cooling. Insulating will cost some money up front, but it will pay for itself quickly. If you have drafts around windows and doors, weather stripping can help maintain the temperature of your home.

    I’ve lived in some drafty and cold apartments and houses through the years and one thing that really helped was putting plastic on my windows.  It kept out a lot of cold air and kept in a lot of the heat.  It was a win-win for me and my purse each month.

    Most households waste an unbelievable amount of electricity. This can be prevented in part by using energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Turn lights, televisions, computers and other devices off when you’re not using them, and open blinds to take advantage of the sun’s light during the day so you don’t even have to turn your lights on until later in the day. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 4 Apps to Help You Save or Earn Money!

    Posted on February 23rd, 2018 Jan No comments

    If you’re like me you will do almost anything to save a little money or even make a little money here and there.  Because of that, I’ve put together a list of some of the most popular apps below that I hope you’ll start to use – I mean, we all can use some extra money can’t we?

    1. Ibotta – This app is available on iOS and Android phones and shows deals at retailers from grocery to drugstores to travel.  Using this app you just check off the offers you want to redeem and once you do the shopping you’ll earn cash back.

    Whenever I go to the store, I’ll sit in the parking lot and go through all of the Ibotta offers and check whatever I know I’m going to buy.  Sometimes if I see something I like I’ll go ahead and check it just in case I do decide to buy it while I’m in there.

    While it can be time consuming, it is easy to use and you really can make some money using it.  Sometimes they’ll offer something like $1 back on a gallon of milk (any brand), or ground beef (any brand).  And one of the best things is they offer some super bonus cash that you can collect over time.

    2. SavingStar – This app is available on iOS and Android phones and allows you to pick out deals from their site.  For most stores you need to have your loyalty cards linked to SavingStar but you can also take a photo of your receipt and upload it.

    You check the coupons you want to use that are attached to your cards and when you’ve saved $5 on your purchases you will earn some cash. They have also added a feature that allows you to get money toward your goal by watching a short video on the site.

    Some of the offers they have are you get $3 back after you spend $12, but if you watch the video on the site, you can get an automatic $2 toward that offer.  So, you’ll only need to spend $10 on products you were going to get anyway – you’re actually only spending $7 when all is said and done including the $3 back. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Get Your Finances Organized!

    Posted on January 30th, 2018 Jan No comments

    So, we’re almost at the end of January 2018 and if one of your resolutions was to get your finances in order I hope you’ve started working on it by now.  If not, don’t fear – you still have time!

    Some people simply can’t keep up with their finances because they aren’t as organized as others.  That doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means you have to work harder to keep up with the finances in your household that some people would.

    I used to be the worst at getting things organized in my home and I don’t mean just the finances!  When I’m at my 8:00 – 5:00 job I am one of the most organized individuals you’ll come across.  But get me to my house and holy smokes – hold on to your hats because it wasn’t pretty at all.  But that has all changed!

    I got divorced and had to learn pretty quickly how to keep up with what was going on in my financial life in my own house.  I had to come up with a system that worked for me and the first thing was putting together a budget.  UGH!  We all hate those because we feel like we’re restricted to go by that budget – but in reality, your budget will change as your circumstances change.

    I’ve put together a list of things that are important to keep up with when it comes to finances so you always know where you stand.  Some of it might seem a little silly when you first read it, but trust me – it all matters. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Your Electric Bill Shouldn’t be as High as Your Mortgage!

    Posted on January 24th, 2018 Jan No comments

    When you get your electric bill does it seem like – during the winter and summer months – it’s almost as high as what you pay your mortgage company?  It happens sometimes, but really, it shouldn’t.

    If you’re like me, you’ve tried to cut back by turning off lights when you leave a room or by making sure the television is turned off when it’s not being watched and these things might have helped some, but not as much as you thought they should.  Maybe there are things you can be doing that you haven’t yet considered.

    In the summer months try switching your thermostat to 80 degrees.  It might sound hot, but use your ceiling fans and buy some free standing fans that can help to move the air around for you.  When you use your ceiling fans in the summer make sure they blow down.  And did you know that using fans can help save you around $600 each year – that’s $50 per month.

    You can also wear fewer clothes in the summer while in the house.  Again, 80 degrees for your thermostat might seem high, but when you have on fewer clothes then it won’t seem too bad at all – particularly if the temperature outside is 90 degrees.  It will actually feel cooler.

    In the winter months set your thermostat at around 68 degrees or lower.  Wear layers and sweaters to keep warm and keep a throw or blanket on the couch for when you are watching television.  You don’t have to freeze in your own home, but you also don’t have to spend a ton of money to heat it.

    Consider purchasing small space heaters.  They don’t use as much electricity and it allows you to set your thermostat lower.  Take it from room to room so you’ll be warmer in the room you are in at the time.  There are a variety of types and looks that you can choose from.

    The big thing electric companies will tell you to do is to set it and forget it, but if you are going to be gone on vacation or gone over a long weekend it’s best to just turn it off.  Turn it back on when you get home and it should kick right on and have your house cooled off or heated up in no time at all.

    Always replace your air conditioner filter at least once a month.  If the filter is dirty then your air conditioner will work harder which in turn will increase your electric bill.  Clean all of the registers in your house so that air can flow through them easily like it should.

    Check all of your air ducts to make sure they don’t have any leaks in them that heat or air can be escaping through.  If you have an older unit then the duct work will be older which makes it more susceptible to holes or tears. Read the rest of this entry »