5 Greatest Financial Tips for Young Adults

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It’s no secret to my faithful followers that I have a senior in high school.  Now could not be a better time for me to gain financial knowledge, develop investing skills, and understand credit education.  I’m anxious to learn and share that information and the practices I’ve implemented to improve my financial situation with not only my audience but my children as well. Especially my teenager getting ready to soon transition into young adulthood.  Although, I have a wealth of information to share,  below are the greatest 5 financial tips for young adults!

5 Greatest Financial Tips for Young Adults

1.  Use Credit Wisely

When I started college in 2001 and even still now, freshman are bombarded with credit card opportunities.  It was those opportunities that introduced me to credit card debt myself.  I’ve been educating my high school senior on good credit practices.  This includes encouraging her to avoid credit (as best practice) or to only charge what she can afford to pay back at the next bill cycle.

2.  Avoid Student Loan Debt

As my high school senior approaches college, and even before, I’ve encouraged her to avoid college loan debt as much as possible.  I’ve encouraged to take advantage of the early college option which would allow her to have completed all her college prerequisites by high school graduation.  Taking college courses is another option available to juniors and seniors at her school.  Finally, picking a major and determining if she can reach the same goals with an associates degree as opposed to a bachelors.

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3.  Save 

My daughter has been working for about 6 plus months now, after quitting her first job.  Originally, we encouraged her to save something from her paycheck and she would, like $5.00.  Afterwards we challenged her to save $500 by Christmas, which she has and wants to continue.  She decided that she would like to save as much as possible so she will not be restricted by money (or the lack thereof) in college.

4. Minimize Expenses

Approaching college, I’ve taught my daughter how to shop with coupons, plan as much as possible, and determine needs vs wants.  These are all imperative in minimizing expenses.  Beyond college, we’ve discussed moving back home as opposed to renting, and avoiding purchasing a new car with a new job during or after college.

5.  Be Patient

If you are wondering what patience has to do with finances, I’ll explain.  In my debt story, most of my debt (aside from student loans) derived from wants over needs, and satisfying those needs immediately with credit.  Emphasizing the importance of patience as a life virtue, will hopefully prevent my daughter from those impulse purchases and additional costly (and unnecessary) credit transactions.

Honestly, all of these financial tips could be learned and implemented at any point in life.  Hell, I’m just learning them within the last 16 months or so.  As a parent, we can appreciate our mistakes so that our children can benefit from the lesson!

If you have a child in college or on the way, be sure to begin a Target College Registry.  Target has all the college essentials to make the college dorm room feel like “their room” away from home!

What financial tips are you teaching your children?  What financial tips would you have liked to have learned earlier?

5 Money Habits to Avoid in a Mate!

money-habits-to-avoid

Choosing a mate these days has become so effortless.  This “microwave society” that provides just about everything instantly is partial to blame.  With online dating sites and social media DM’s, it hard to know exactly who the person you’re talking to really is.  Whether you’ve met your mate in person, or via the internet there are 5 money habits in a mate that need to be avoided or addressed as soon as possible.

5 Money Habits to Avoid in Mates

1. Impulse Buyers

Impulse buyers usually make big purchases randomly, unexpectedly, and usually without any logical explanation.  Such purchases may include new cars, boats, RV’s or more.  Impulse buyers may also make reasonable purchases, such as clothes, but spend excessively.  Impulse buyers may also partake in random trips that can be costly without planning and may even invite you along.

It’s difficult to know if impulse buyers are spending cash or credit on such big purchases.  Either way, if spending cash, the cash will not be around long and if paying credit…run!  Just kidding!

2. Big spenders or Ballers

Very similar to impulse buyers, mates that are big spenders spend excessive amounts of money the majority of the time.  Specific behaviors, in addition to those listed above, include VIP services at the clubs, excessive  dining out at expensive restaurants with crowds of people, and/or shopping trips with lots of purchases and/or purchases for friends or family.

Again, it may be difficult to know if the “baller” is spending cash or credit.   If you’re the mate to the big spender and receiving the benefits then it may not appear as a “warning sign” but it can be.

3.Lenders/Enablers

Lenders or enablers are a bit different, but still people should raise concerns.  Lenders/ enablers may be financially responsible, have good credit, and savings.  They may pay bills on time and make mature financial decisions.  However, they may continue to lend money or enable family members or friends financially.  Continuously lending huge amounts of money or supporting someone’s life style can become a finical strain.

Dating a lender/or enabler, I feel is the most difficult.  As the mate you are placed in a compromising situation.  You may be aware that your mate is being taken advantage but how do you tell him or her to stop taking care of or lending money to his mother, sister, niece, or adult child?

4. Avoiders

Avoiders will usually avoid their financial responsibility.  Specifically, avoiding debt collector phone calls and avoiding opening bill statements.  This group may also avoid paying certain bills to either make impulse purchases, spend big time, or lend money.  Additionally, avoiders may also be avoiding financial responsibility because they can not afford it, even though employed.

Avoiders may be the easiest to confront about their habits and convince to a make financially responsible decisions.

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5. Debt Believers

Like the name, debt believers, believe that debt should exist, it’s okay to have debt, and everyone has it or should have it.  Do not believe this.  Usually the “debt believers” will contain all the qualities above because they see nothing wrong their habits.  Debt believers may also be living way beyond their means and also think that it is okay.

 

What Now?

You may have noticed one or all of the signs above and wondering what to do now?  If you have noticed any of these 5 warning signs in your mate then it may be time to make a serious decision about the future and how it may be effected by these traits.  If you feel that the mate is worth continuing to be with or you are already married then a serious conversation may be necessary.  Below are some techniques to facilitate that conversation.

How To:  Financial Conversation

The below tips should be kept in mind when having the financial conversation.  It’s important to keep an open mind to try and understand your mates relationship with money, as well as being able to offer advice.  Additionally,  avoid jumping to conclusions when it comes to this conversation.  There are several books, youtube videos, and blog post that address talking about money with your mate.

  • Open body language
  • “I feel” or “I think” statements as opposed to blaming or defensive “you” statements
  • being respectful
  • Listening carefully and reiterating what you heard to ensure clear understanding.
Have you ever dated anyone in the above categories? How did that go?

 

10 Helpful Tips for Parents with Side Hustles

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In my thirty three years of life, I’ve already worked half of it, beginning at 15 and most of that time, I’ve had more than one job or more than one stream of income.  I’ve also been a parent since 17 so, in my opinion the dual responsibilities  have gone hand in hand for so long that I think I have balancing the two down packed.

Although there are some times, that I feel stretched way too thin, which I discussed a little here and here, for the most part I do pretty well managing the multiple responsibilities of multiple roles.  Since I consider myself an expert side hustling parent, I’ve decided to share my tips with other parents who may want to begin a side hustle or are currently doing a side hustle and are feeling discouraged and overwhelmed.

My Helpful Tips for Parents who Side Hustle

  1. Determine what you can do, how to do it, and when and stick to that.

When considering a side hustle, obviously you want to do something that you can do or have passion doing and do well.  If you have that figured out, next it’s important to determine how much your willing to work and sticking to that.  It’s easy to lose yourself once you realize the earning potential.

Write everything down.

With so many responsibilites, schedules, meetings, and additional activities it’s important to write everything down possible.  I’m most creative in the morning (usually in the shower) and once out the shower, I write down all my daily plans, and blog topics, any connections or emails I need to make/send and even meal ideas.  I try to sync all important meetings into my phone so that I’m alerted prior too.

Plan as far ahead as possible

Planning as far ahead as possible is as equally important.  Planning ahead helps to release some of the stress that can come from the demand of pleasing or being available to multiple people.  Also planning ahead, in my opinion prevents the chaos that can come from having multiple responsibilities.  Some things I like to plan ahead are blog post, meals, appointments, activities, trips, and minor events.

Set goals

It’s important to determine why you want to side hustle and set goals to reach while doing so.  Otherwise you may begin to feel empty or feel that your working hard for nothing.  Before I set a goal to eliminate all my credit card debt, I was literally working part time and spending my money.  At the end of the month, I couldn’t remember where my money had gone. Afterwards, I set a goal to contribute at least half of the previous months earnings towards debt, place a fourth in savings and keep the other fourth.  When I felt burnt out, I had something to reflect on to bring back the motivation.

Celebrate accomplishments.

To go along with the previous tip of setting goals, celebrate once you’ve accomplished them.  I’ve successfully paid off six of my eight credit cards from side hustling this year and once the other two are completely paid off I plan on celebrating.  Also once I paid off cards with a thousand dollar limit or more, by or before my goal date, I placed the payment amount in my savings to celebrate!  I also treated myself to a new book and DIY materials.

Make time for yourself.

As previously stated, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of parenting, adulting, and side hustling especially if the money is good.  To maintain the stress of all the above, I like to make time for myself.  I recently made a “space” for myself where I can enjoy reading books or my morning coffee or gather my thoughts.  I’ve decided to do this daily. I also attempt to walk at least three times per week for an hour and have “no obligation” time on Sunday.

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Develop a support system

I would not be able to do all the things I do, if it wasn’t for my support system.  It’s important, especially as a parent, to have those people in place to help support you and the children when you’re unavailable.  My current support system consist of my mom is always willing to fill in where I’m supposed to be but unable, my husband for ongoing encouragement, and my friends for emotional support when I really just want to quit and live mediocre.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If your side hustle happens to be your passion or part time job for someone else, you may still have questions or experience feelings of defeat or overwhelm at times.  If this happens, do not be afraid to ask for help.  Obviously this blog is a side hustle for me, as well as a place to demonstrate my creativity, but wordpress and plug ins confuse.  I’ve been able to reach out to other bloggers and members of Facebook groups to ask for help with various questions.  I’ll also ask my support team for help when needed.  You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help because they believe in you and do not want you to fail!

Know your worth

About three months after I began blogging I began making money writing blog post for bigger blogs.  For one blog I was paid $15.00 per blog post and the other $20.00.  Three months into blogging, my purpose for writing was to get exposure and be able to build a portfolio in addition to GDTH for future options.  However, I think it’s important to know your worth, set a price, and stick with it.  The quality and time that went into those 1000 plus blog post, in my opinion was worth much more than $20.00, but the exposure was valuable as well.  Once you’ve determined your worth, then determine if you’re willing to barter for something else or not.

Be confident

Side hustling can definitely take a toll on you over time.  There will be moments of defeat, overwhelm, and burnout.  There is will also be times that you question yourself.  Which is why it’s important to be confident in yourself and you ability.

 

Did I miss any tips?  If so add them in the comments below!

How to Avoid Wasting Grocery Items

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Feeding a family of seven on a $300.00 budget requires, in my opinion, some skill, planning, and determination.  Although, I set a $300.00 budget for groceries even before I committed to a journey towards financial freedom, and have been successful at maintaining that budget I continue to look for ways to improve.  Sometimes those improvements include: spending less than the budget but still having everything needed, including more quality foods (fruits of vegetables) while within the budget, or avoid wasting foods and/or making the groceries last longer.

HOW I AVOID WASTING GROCERY ITEMS

MEAL PLANNING

Planning meals is a great way to avoid wasting grocery items.  When you meal plan and prepare a list, usually you only purchase foods that are necessary to prepare those meals, which in turn avoids wasting groceries or money on groceries.  However, if the extensive work involved with  meal planning is too much for you, then you could really just prepare meals with the foods that you already have.  As a result, you are 1.) avoiding more grocery store trips, 2) saving money by not purchasing take out and 3.) preventing the food from going to waste.

FREEZING

Although, I utilize both techniques to avoid wasting groceries and saving money, freezing items is my most favorite and less work.  I freeze most everything.  I was introduced to the concept first as a child.  My mom use to freeze our milk and sometimes our bread.  As an adult, I took a food safety course that, at that time, said that food is safe in the fridge for about 5 days.  Afterwards they should be consumed, discarded, or frozen.  The first two options were obvious but the third one, freezing, had many of the students puzzled.  The instructor shared that it was perfectly fine to freeze foods and that it was nothing more than “frozen meals” that we prepared ourselves as opposed to whomever prepares the frozen meals purchased from grocery stores.

Shortly afterwards, I began freezing most left overs.  I purchase the compartment containers, section the meal into the compartments, cover it, and then place it in a freezer ziploc bag to ensure that it does not become freezer burned.  At the point that my family or I are ready to eat it, then I thaw it out and reheat in the microwave.  A very similar concept to “frozen TV dinners” with less preservatives.  Aside from some left over meals that I’ve frozen, I also freeze these grocery items:

  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Fruits except citrus fruits: I peel and cut up for smoothies or smoothie bowls
  • Seasoning vegetables:  Onions, peppers, celery, tomatoes for soups, omelets, or juicing

The two above methods combined with how I shop for a family of seven on a $300.00 budget almost ensure that I stay within budget and sometimes under.

Do you freeze dinners to eat later? Do you freeze any grocery items that I didn’t mention?  Please share your food preservation or money saving tips?

 

Mommy and Money Issues: Series 1

Mommy and Money Issues: Series 1 appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!
Mommy and Money Issues: Series 1 appeared first on Goal Digging to Happiness!

Right now valued readers of GDTH, I’m struggling internally. Here is why.  My Big Girl (BG) just got a job!  I still tear up when I think about the fact that she can work now.  Literally, she was hired on January 8, 2016.  She worked Wednesday 1/13, Saturday 1/16, Sunday 1/17, and was supposed to return Tuesday 1/19.  On Tuesday 1/19 she contacted the supervisor and quit.

BG let me know the night before.  We had a long talk text about her decision.  She says that she thought it would interfere with her semester because she is taking 3 core classes necessary to graduate. She also said the environment made her anxious, her supervisor’s were unsupportive and sat in the back of the store on their phones, and her crew members and/or store was disgusting, too disgusting for her to bare.

I encouraged her to finish the pay period and then talk with them about her concerns with school, she did not want to.  I then attempted to convince her to at least finish the schedule and suggested that maybe she could better tolerate her personal issues with her working environment once she got her first pay check, again NO!  I finally said that if she was certain that it was not a good fit and she was determined to quit then call first thing in the morning and explain why she would not be returning.  She did and she states that she was thanked for calling and letting them know.

Now I’m struggling with how I handled the situation.  I attempt to prepare my children for the real world and I’m not sure that I did this in this situation.  In the adult world, is it that easy to quit a job or should it be?  Should I have given her the “in the real world” talk?  Should I make this a teachable moment?  Or should I support her decisions and continue to encourage her keep looking for suitable employment?

The other reason I struggle is because I blog, study, and breath personal finance.  I feel like I should be living the example and demonstrating what I want my children to learn about responsibility and money management.  Therefor, because I would never walk away from my employment (unless I already had something else) nor quit something because of how uncomfortable it was, I’m uncomfortable with not encouraging or maybe demanding her to do the same.

Additionally, I’m a firm believer in when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.  I’m living proof.  In high school, I had a child, maintained the honor roll, was in the National Honor Society, and worked!  I took 5 classes for three semesters to graduate in 2008, with three children, and a job.  I entered grad school with three little children and a full time job.  One semester I had to complete an internship at night so I literally worked from 7:30 to 5:30 pm and then went to an intern at a mental health facility from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am for an entire semester.  I now work a full time, 2 side hustles, and blog.  My ish is tough, so I’ve gotten tougher.  But is that unrealistic for her.

I often struggle with traits of my own that my children lack.  I internalize it, and feel that I’m insufficient.  I get hard on myself to feel better about what I think are their inadequacies.  This may very well be one of those moments.  Maybe I’m more upset that I didn’t have the opportunity to teach her more about money management.  I don’t know.

I am very proud of her.  She was determined to get a job and she got one!  She is standing for what she thinks is of more value which is her education, and I agree.  Finally, she still does want to work, and is diligently putting in applications for weekend employment, so no disappointment there.

So valued GDTH readers, what do you think?  What would you have done?  Would you have handled the situation differently?

 

Life’s Lemons: How I’m making lemonade.

Life's Lemons

I recently posted my 2016 goals and the mini monthly goals to accomplish them. To refer back to them click here.  More specifically, my goal was to fully finance out-of-pocket our home  renovation of finishing the upstairs to add an additional bedroom and full bathroom to total but not exceed $10k.  The monthly mini goal(s) to work towards accomplishing this was to get the permit, purchase the floor boards, and have the mister to install the floor.

Long sigh….

Well, I thought I would jump start that goal on Wednesday January 31, 2015.  I contacted the city to inquire about a permit and am informed that I would need to get permission permit from environmental health to ensure that the renovation can be accommodated by the septic tank and well that we already have.  “Okay!” That seems simple was my initial thought and I proceed onto the health department.

Well… I arrive and complete the application.  As the man, Bill, overlooks that application frowning and shaking his head he concludes with depressing news.  The septic tank will not accommodate and additional room and bathroom because the current septic tank only accommodates three rooms and up to six people.   To fully assess our property there is a $300.00 fee (nonrefundable).  If any accommodations can be made the cost could range from $3k-$10k placing the total for the renovation at $13k-$20k.  There is no guarantee that they can come up with a solution, although they try very hard, and if not they do not refund the $300 assessment fee, nor do they grant the permission permit to get the building permit.

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The upstairs renovation was only a portion of the home renovations we had planned to make to our home over time.  We would like to extend our bedroom to add a sitting area and an updated bathroom to include a tub, update our kitchen, and add a detatched two door garage/man cave.  The total of all these renovations could range from $50k-$100k.

This brings me to the lemonade making process.  Do we:
  1. Continue with the out -of- pocket renovation
  2. take out a loan to cover the unfinished attic renovation
  3. sell our home and purchase what we really want and can afford within our means

Financially, option one makes the most cents (see what I did). However, we needed the room finished yesterday and could potentially take close to a year as we plan to accomplish many goals based on our pay periods.  The plus is that we have contractors that understand and are willing to work with us.

Option 2, could provide quicker results that option 1, however we would not apply for the loan until I have eliminated at least three of the five cards I have left.  Hubby would eliminate all of them by June which is when we are considering applying for the loan if that’s what we did.

Option 3, is only being introduced because of the time and money that would be required for options 1 or 2.  We wouldn’t be able to place our home on the market until October 2016.  This would allow us to aggressively eliminate debt, maximizing our affordability and ability to manage a possibly larger mortgage.

Our plan is to talk with a realtor and/or mortgage lender about our options.  In the meantime, you guys are so financially wise…what would you do? What other options would you consider?

November Budget Review

Finally...My Budget

I was able to put my budget into place for the month of November.  Check out my original budget post here.  Prior to completing my actual budget, I tracked my spending carefully with hopes of developing an accurate family budget that would prevent overspending, encourage disciplined spending habits, and allow money to be saved.   I had mini budgets for transportation and groceries but not a complete budget.  So lets see how we did.

November 2015 Budget

Fixed Expenses Projected Actual
Mortgage $1000.00 $1000.00
Utility $319.00 $329.00
Cell phone $60.00 $120.10
Cell phone2 $298.00 $293.00
Cable $123.00 $102.11
Car payment1 $354 $365
Car Payment 2 $414.00 $150.00
Car Insurance2 $175.00 $165.00
Life Insurance $70 $70
Total $2,813 $2524.91
Other expenses Projected Actual
Groceries $300.00 $302.05
Eating out $50.00 $83.09
Clothing 0 $119.76
Transportation $160.00 $181.00
Entertainment 0 0
Credit Card (s) $394.00 $601.00
Miscellaneous 0 $356.37
Allowance $20.00 $20.00
Savings $25.00 $0
Totals $949 $1664.08

As you can see my budget was unsuccessful.  I had way more red areas than green. After reflecting, I’ve discovered what I did right, what I did wrong, and what needs to be changed in the following months to be more successful.

What I did right

  • My projected bills compared to actual bill amount was pretty accurate.  I tracked the spending accurately and usually do not have a problem ensuring they get paid.  Now that the Mister and I have switched bills, due to pay schedules, he usually is able to pay bills so that we avoid the late fee (although not the case in November with the utility bill).
  • I was able to drastically decrease my “eating out” budget from the high $100’s to just below, although not sticking to my $50.00 monthly budget.
  • I actually really spent $289.12 on groceries, coming in under budget, after uploading receipts to Ibotta, Saving Star, and Walmart Savings Catcher.
  • I was able to pay extra on Car payment number 1 because of how we have the payment arranged.  I do not mind, although I should be contributing it to my credit card, but I plan on having this paid off by next year and don’t mind paying the extra $11.00.
  • I was able to pay almost double towards credit cards, resulting in another card being paid off in December.

What I did wrong

  • As you can see, I only paid $150 of my car payment as a result of car taxes and registration fees along with an inspection which totaled $277.00.  I was prepared to pay for the registration fee but not the other fees.
  • I did not originally set a budget for miscellaneous spending and ended up adding it once I totaled the amount spent on  items that were not originally in a category.
  • The cable and telephone bill was not paid timely resulting in a late fee.  In addition to the late fee, I drastically went over my data causing my bill to double. However, I will be moving over to a prepaid plan that is much less and includes unlimited data.
  • Although gas prices are at an all time low of $1.89 in NC, I went over my travel budget which was developed when gas was almost twice the amount per gallon that it is now.  However, I received a milage reimbursement of $302.06, so I actually came in under budget for transportation expenses.
  • I did not save a penny.  ALL my money went to “something or someone” which resulted my realization that we may be living way above our means even after paying off four credit cards!

What I will do differently

  • To be much more successful in December, I will better track the items I’m purchasing and categorizing the “miscellaneous” items.
  • I plan on setting up a savings account for the coming year to avoid having to skip bills to pay the taxes, registration fees, and any additional car related expenses for 2016.
  • Make sure I pay myself first, even if it is just $25.00 at each pay period.
  • Change cell phone carriers to an unlimited package to better meet my needs and avoid additional fees.
  • Continue to look for ways to reduce or eliminate bills.
  • Be more diligent in tracking spending throughout the month instead of totaling the amount at the end of the month.  Periodic or routine checks will help to prevent my overspending in all areas.
  • Continue to notice weaknesses and make improvements or changes where needed.

Developing this budget and reviewing it has encouraged some 2016 money goals to put into action.  I’ll share those goals closer to the end if the month.  I’ve most recently been inspired by Chone @ My Debt Epiphany who has recently paid off her car loan and was contributing $1000/ month towards debt!

 

What helps to keep you on track with your budget?  Are there any applications that assist with tracking spending?  Any advice on how to be more successful in the future.

Absolute Best Frugal Gifts

 

This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission for items purchased with the link and NO additional cost to you. I promote quality products, that I personally use. All opinions are my own.
This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission for items purchased with the link and NO additional cost to you. I promote quality products, that I personally use. All opinions are my own.

As the holiday approaches,  we may all begin to feel the pressure of a commercialized and costly holiday season.  Commercialized and costly, do not align with my family’s long term financial goals.  This is why I’ve developed a list of the absolute best frugal family gift ideas!

My family and I have been on a disciplined journey towards financial freedom since August 2015.  Since beginning our journey we’ve been able to develop a budget and are well on our way to paying off credit card number 4 by the end of 2015, leaving us with five more credit cards to pay and nearly half way out of  consumer credit card debt.

My family, like many others would consider themselves a frugal family for one reason or another.  We limit eating out, we avoid shopping as much as possible and limit any costly activities.  We’ve also have cut cable and home telephone packages, and are currently shopping around for a cheaper cell phone carrier.  If you know a family living paycheck to paycheck, struggling financially, or on a disciplined journey towards financial freedom, like mine  the following gifts would be very appreciated.  Not too mention, purchasing a family gift can be budget friendly for the gifter as opposed to purchasing individual gifts for everyone, especially a big family of seven like my own.

Absolute Best Frugal Family Gift Ideas

The very first gift I would gladly appreciate is no gift at all. I would accept the no gift policy from friends or family members.  I actually have a best friend with as many children and me whom has agreed to never expect a gift from her or her children to mine in exchange for the same expectation.  Our gift to each other’s families is not to give or expect a gift at all.  This applies to birthdays and holidays.  However if you just can not see yourself doing something like that then the following gifts are just as good or better!

 Family passes

Family passes to movies, theme parks, a zoo, or aquariums can be a great frugal gift to a frugal family.   As stated above, our family has limited our costly expenses of going out to maybe once every other month or more (in some cases). This gift may or may not be as financially friendly, however the valuable time spent together at your expense I’m sure will be priceless to the family in addition to the memories that will be created.  Depending on your location, Groupon and Living Social provide some great family passes to theme parks and indoor activity centers that could be more affordable (in most cases) than purchasing them directly.  If you decide to gift a Groupon, read this first.

Receive up to 20 percent off of your first transaction.  Groupon usually is running a special with a percentage off often on specific purchases, such as family getaways.  Finally, Groupon is great to have even when visiting places outside of the home or to give to families in other cities or states.

Family Board Games

Family board games or card games can be very cost efficient and encourage also encourage priceless family time.  Some of my favorite board games are Monopoly, Trouble, and Uno.  Our family really enjoys playing Uno.  We sometimes, purchase a big bag of candy to barter while playing cards. All of these items can be found reasonably priced at Target and Amazon.

 

My absolute favorite family game is Monopoly!  It’s a great game to teach children about money, investing and saving!

Life is my second favorite family game.  It’s a great simulation of real life problems and should promote problem solving skills.

Memberships

I’m sure a frugal family, at some point, has considered or actually has eliminated cable with efforts of reducing household cost.  If that is the case a Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime membership would be an appreciated gift as a cable alternative for a fraction of the price. An Amazon Prime membership provides television shows, movie rentals, and the option to watch free movies, Kindle book borrows, and free two shipping as an added bonus.  Amazon Prime memberships are renewed annually.

Additionally, Netflix and Hulu memberships can be set up for automatic payments and can even be paid with a Paypal account.  Finally, Hulu offers a variety of options as well as premium channels that you may have only thought come with cable such HBO and Showtime, as well as a “no ads option” at an additional cost.

Why I love Hulu
  • Only $7.99
  • Contains all the popular Prime time shows and seasons
  • Offers a student discount
  • Automatic billing

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Hand made or special made items

My neighbor makes my family an assortment of edible treats, peanut butter cookies are one of my favorites, that we really look forward to.  Other hand made or special made items you could consider are matching monogramed pajamas (which would be great for a Christmas day photo), monogrammed t-shirts, or hand and special made quilts, blankets, or knit scarves and toboggans.  Be mindful of the extra time making these crafts may cost you and determine if it’s worth it.

Gift Cards

My personal favorite is a gift card, specifically to a restaurant.  Most frugal families not only have considered or actually eliminated cable, but they have probably reduced or eliminated eating out as well.  If this is the case ( like in my home) a restaurant gift card would be make you a God sent.  Not only is mom relieved of preparing a meal, but the children will be excited to actually return to eating out and again the memories and encouraged family time is priceless!

Not interested in any of the above gifts?  Additional gifting ideas to consider include:

  • weekend getaways
  • family fun day activity passes (bowling, ice hockey, indoor or outdoor golf)
  • sport game tickets or equipment (we have a huge enough family to play basketball with just us)
  • family photo session
  • other cable alternatives such as Amazon Fire Stick, Ruku, Apple TV, or Google Chrome Sticks.

Do you give a family gift or individually?  How has your gift ideas changed since being on a journey towards financial freedom?

 

3 helpful tips to save time in the morning

Things I do to save time in the morning!

Having four children, three of which attend school my mornings are very busy.  My girls are in high school and junior high and now have to be at school by 7:23 am.  As a result, my days begin by as early as 5:00 am.  However, I’m able to get an additional 20 to 30 minutes of sleep by completing the below three tips the night before.  Continue reading “3 helpful tips to save time in the morning”

How to save more and work less with financial fasting

 

www.goaldiggingtohappiness.com-3

As a financial blogger, I’m often intrigued by anything having to do with finances. I read other blogs, watch youtube videos, and have joined Facebook groups.  When I ran across #financialfast, I reached out to learn more.

Shannon is a mother and wife of two lovely children.  She worked as a full time cosmatologist, however after successfully managing the finances has been able to work part-time and become more available for her family. Her and her family are currently participating in a 21 Financial fast and was willing to do a brief interview to educate the readers at GDTH!

Continue reading “How to save more and work less with financial fasting”