What do you get when you combine money savvy frugal bloggers who can’t shut up about money? You get the #FrugalCrew! And now, they’ve invited me to hang out with them and periodically bring my personal financial know-how to their #FrugalCrew Twitter Chats on Wednesdays at 1pm EST.
I just love some old school hip hop (I just cringed at the thought of calling Naughty By Nature “old school”) and I love saving money. Oh, and I love having fun which is why I’m all about using our installation ITT office (aka Information, Tickets, and Travel).
I suck at using coupons. I never remember to clip them or if I do manage to clip them, I leave them at home or in the car or in my purse. I don’t have anything against coupons and by now you know that I love saving money, so it’s not like I’m trying to be a spendthrift. I just suck at couponing.
To make matters worse, I am not motivated to use coupons because, frankly, very little that I buy falls into the “has a coupon” category. I mean, if lettuce had a coupon or asparagus, count me in! But they don’t. And I know that a lot you experience the same thing.
You want to save money, you’re willing to use coupons, but there aren’t any coupons for what you buy. So, how do you save money on groceries if nothing you buy has coupon?
What if I told you that saving money has absolutely nothing to do with your budget? Saving money is all about habits and behavior. Sometimes if you change how you live day-to-day it can have a huge impact on your personal finances!
1. Take care of what you have
My dad always told me that almost anything you own can last forever if you just take care of it. I’ve applied this to my housekeeping, car maintenance, and personal well-being. You’ll spend less money replacing things if you just take care of them in the first place. Value you what you have and teach your kids to do the same.
Going from a two income family to a one income family is scary. All of a sudden you feel like the flexibility in your life is disappearing. The freedom to buy. The exhilaration of making a last minute trip. The nonchalance of opting to order out rather than fire up the stove.
On my birthday, February 28 (mark your calendars…I like Starbucks gift cards), I left my part-time telecommute job at a nonprofit I’d worked for since 2009. I didn’t make a lot of money, but I did make enough to give us a little bend and flex and spontaneity in our budget. It was a difficult decision to make, mainly because I find comfort in regular, reliable income. But it wasn’t as difficult as it could’ve been if we didn’t make a conscious decision to live on one income 6 and a half years ago.
A couple of years ago, I realized that I am not allowed to die. Seriously. Heaven forbid (not that I’m presuming I’ve earned my place beyond the pearly whites yet), something were to happen to me, I don’t think my spouse would be able to go on. Not in the completely inconsolable way (which he would be, I mean, I’m worth missing), but in the “where do the forks go” sense of going on. We’ve been married 8 years, and to this day, this preeminent military professional doesn’t know where we keep the toilet paper.
Today you can find me over at the Military Saves Blog sharing my tips on how you can save money on a limited budget. Military Saves Week kicks off on Monday, Febrauary 25 and goes through March 1. Join them on their Facebook page and on Twitter to get connected to an amazing week full of information, tips, and tricks to help your military family save money and secure your financial future!
You Can Afford To Save…And Here’s How To Do it!
“I don’t have/earn/make enough money to save.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this line as a financial counselor. It always stops me in my tracks, no matter who it’s coming from. I’ve heard it from clients when I worked in personal financial management in Airman and Family Readiness. I’ve heard it working with clients facing the decision whether or not to file bankruptcy. And any time I hear it, my first thought is, “Yes, you do. You can save. It’s all a matter of choice and perspective.”
That old adage “time is money” isn’t just advice for business owners or financiers…it’s great advice for us busy women, too. One of the most time consuming part of my day revolves around meal preps. I plan these elaborate meals and I burn myself out. I’ll get on this awesome kick and then…boom. I’m toast. I start talking crazy like “let’s order out” or “let’s go out to eat.” And there goes the money.
If you’re a military family, I hope that you’re making the Post 9/11 GI Bill a part of your college saving plan, whether you’re saving for yourself or for your children. When you talk about getting the biggest bang for your buck with college savings plans, nothing holds a candle to the higher education opportunities provided by the GI Bill.
Have I ever told you how much I love shopping at the Commissary? For my non-military readers, that’s what we call the grocery store located on base/post. Sometimes, I don’t even realize the savings until it slaps me in the face. To make matters worse, I’m a horrible coupon clipper, so you wouldn’t imagine my delight at being contacted to share a special program brought to you by General Mills to help military families save even more at the Commissary! [Read more...]
Parenting is a lot like investing. Think about it. Your kids are like little bank accounts. You regularly deposit your time and love into them and watch your investment grow and mature. Sometimes, you have to reassess your investment strategy…maybe you need to diversify your portfolio by targeting piano lessons or hiring a tutor (awesome metaphor, no? <takes a bow>). And as important as it is to nurture our kids, sometimes, we want to give them something a little more liquid than love and support…like…well…money.
When a good friend of mine tagged me with the now viral 52 Week Money Challenge, I got so excited, I knew I had to share this with everyone (thanks, Dawn O.)! According to my bloggy friend, 4HatsAndFrugal (go check her out), the 52 Week Money Challenge originated via a facebook group called “Kassondra’s 52 Week Money Challenge“. This ridiculously easy savings schedule is the perfect way to set aside money…like $1378… for just about anything you can imagine. [Read more...]
It’s that time of year again! 2013 BAH rates finally published and some of you might be dancing around thinking about how you’ll spend that extra cash, if you were lucky enough to see an increase. Maybe you’re thinking about moving or finally grabbing that premium cable, or maybe you’re considering saving the extra cash for a rainy day (my vote).
Oh, and don’t worry. If BAH for your area decreased for the area you’re already residing in, never fear. You’ll continue to receive your same rate…phew! Regardless, this is a great time to reevaluate your housing expenses and make sure you’ve got your budget in check! [Read more...]
As the official family tightwad, Black Friday represents all that is evil and unholy and spend thrifty. But, in true Shakespearian form, “I am fortune’s fool” because I’m married to the number one, Black-Friday shopping ninja, who laughs in the face of a midnight kick-off for rock bottom prices Yes. My husband, the love of my life, packs heat in the form of 5-hour Energy shots to make sure he misses nothing.
It’s confession time again. I seem to have a lot of guilt sitting on my plate, but I’m finding it cathartic to share my shortcomings with all of you. This time it wasn’t necessarily something that I did wrong. It’s actually something I can’t seem to remember. I get really caught up in the momentum of the relentless to-do list that is my life. It’s an endless mental tape of tasks, reminders, appointments, chores, personal notes….it’s like a thief hellbent on stealing every waking and, sometimes sleeping, moment from me, and most importantly, my family. Thank God for Halloween Cookies. [Read more...]