Friday, May 17, 2013

That costs HOW much?

I know I have harped on this before... but if you took away insurances (all types--dental, health,car, etc) think about how much more money you would have every month? 


From my diamond engagement ring, to our home, to special insurances for guns, dental, health, car, life... the list goes on... we are one INSURED society. And it can suck your checking account DRY in a hurry. 

So what are some ways to cut back on insurance?

1. CALL AROUND!! Get the best rates. here's the deal... when you get a quote on insurance (mainly car insurance) they ask for your Social Security number. They run your credit--HOWEVER it's different. It does not give your credit a hit. It's called an IS score. (insurance score) and it is NOT a hard inquiry on your credit. So you have NO reason not to call every place in town! And TELL THEM that's what you are doing. You think there aren't little things insurance companies can do to lower your rates? THERE ARE. Trust me. Search for cheap auto insurance quotes that will be testing the cheap rate coverage waters FOR YOU! Saves you the trouble :)

2. If your home insurance/renters insurance covers, don't add additional!
That beautiful ring, that awesome big screen, and those shiny pistols... if your home insurance covers them (and it can and SHOULD because its cheaper that way) then don't buy an additional policy. There is no such thing as double coverage. If your house gets robbed and your tv gets stolen and you have that covered by your home insurance AND best buys plan... you don't get paid for it twice. So this is a lose-lose situation.

3. COMBINE when you can. Having a lot of policies together is CHEAPER. home, auto, motorcycle, RV, ring, life, health... stack em ALL together!

Hope that helps :) don't let these essentials suck you dry!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I saved $1000 on a new refrigerator!

It was actually very easy. I kept the one I had :)

Let me explain...

The fridge we have is, well, it has character. Which is just a fancy way of saying that it's old. And it's the truth, BUT, it still works fine. But its lacking in the fashionable department. The new house we are buying (EXCITING!!!!) has all black appliances. So our white fridge would stick out for more than one reason. We began pricing some and HOLY COW! How do people afford new appliances? So then I decided to go the used route. That is how we bought our washer and dryer a few years back. I got a wonderful deal on them and they are still working and look GREAT! But even a used fridge was outrageous.

So I did some searching and thanks to Pinterest I decided to paint mine! My husband was skeptical at first and I was too, but it was worth a shot. We spent less than $30 bucks on supplies and if it didn't work then we had only invested 30 bucks in the old thing. And if it did work then CONGRATS to us because we just saved a boat load of money!!

I think it turned out great... what do you think?!?! Now I can buy a new dining room table instead of a new fridge :) And that is WAY more exciting!!!

TADA! :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Losing weight on a budget!

Losing weight and trying to not spend money can seem like a difficult task. You find yourself wondering aimlessly around GNC looking at pills you should buy, and shakes you should drink... then there is the gym membership! It can seem overwhelming and can feel as though you cannot AFFORD to lose weight. Here are some tips for slimming down without slimming down your wallet in the process!

1. DRINK WATER. Water is free...even at restaurants. Drink it. Lots of it. Then you will help get rid of water weight and be hydrating your body in the process. By being hydrated you will feel better, sleep better, look better... its good for you and its free. Bottoms up!

2. Work out at home. There are plenty of ways to work out without having a gym membership. Don't get me wrong. I WORK at a gym. I am all about the gym. For me it provides motivation. If I have to drive there to get there I am more likely to work out. BUT there are ways to work out without spending a dime. Run, walk, outside in your neighborhood. Rent work out videos from the library and do them at home. Climb your stairs over and over if you have them. Use canned goods as weights. Do heavy lifting to help out and also get that muscle tone.

3. You can get TONS of protein through items that you already have. Yes, I LOVE protein shakes and I think they are a great part of any diet/exercise plan, but you can get protein other ways that does not involve spending extra money!


Looking for a new home?

I completely understand the pressure of house shopping. It's FUN, but it's so stressful. My husband and I have been looking at homes lately and it is so frustrating!! I find the kitchen I want in one house, the bedrooms in another, the laundry room in a third house but unfortunately I cannot combine them ALL INTO ONE! AGGHH!! Makes you wanna pull your hair out, doesn't it?

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Check out the link above today!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A huge money mistake

It is with a sick knot in my stomach that I type this. I have been making a HUGE money mistake and I didn't even realize it!

Let me give you a little back story... we are taking a beatin' from Verizon EVERY month. We pay WAYYYY too much for their services. In all honesty, it's ridiculous and makes me sick at my stomach. We can't get internet where we live so we rely on our phones way more than we should. in fact, our phones become "hot spots" so that I can do homework online. So basically our phones are a necessity since we cannot get internet otherwise. But OMG we are paying $227 a month for 2 phones. Can you believe it? Yep- I JUST said that amount outloud.

Okay so this weekend I was going over bills and stuff and I was like "ya know what! I have had it with this company!" We are under contract, BIG MISTAKE, and so I know that I have to stick with them for a while but in the mean time I was going to see what I could do to lower it. Even if it was just a few dollars.

Not to be disrespectful, but I try to use the "Chat" option with most companies when I can. Otherwise I get a person on the line that I cannot understand, and they rarely can understand me when I talk. Apparently my accent is thick. Anyway... I was chatting with this Verizon support person asking for HELP on lowering my bill. She immediately came back and said that the plan I was on was the best considering the amount of internet usage we go through every month BUT she said I could cancel the insurance on the iPhones. That would save me $20 bucks. So then i'm like WHAT? I am paying 20 bucks a month for insurance? So then I hop on apple's website and find out that I am paying for insurance, but my deductibles are still 100 if I had to use the insurance. WHAT A WASTE? I could buy an iPhone on ebay cheaper than what I pay to "protect" this one?

So mad at myself. I cannot believe I have been wasting money like that. Check into it! Insurance is a must have, and with phones as expensive as they are I GET it. But weigh it out... if you are paying enough in a year to buy a new phone, OR if your deductible is so high that you'd be better off to buy a refurbed phone for less money--then you MIGHT be paying too much for insurance!

Whew.. so glad that ordeal is over with. Now... what am I gonna spend my extra $20 on each month?!?! :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

52 Week Money Challenge

You have probably heard of this before, but if you haven't, this post is for YOU!

Very simple, very fun, not hard to do but has GREAT results.

1st week-set aside $1.00
2nd week-set aside $2.00
3rd week-set aside $3.00

and so on and so forth until the FINAL week when you are setting aside $52.00

At the end of a year you will have $1378.00 set aside. Not a TON of money, but what a great way to START saving. Put a name on that jar. VACATION. CLOTHES. NEW COUCH! name it and claim it! This is going to be fun! You can start at anytime during the year. I am just now on week 4 and I haven't missed any of those dollars! But this time next year you will be JEALOUS if you haven't done it!

Happy Friday, ya'll! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finances 101

Basic tips to getting your finances in order:

1. Know what you make. Sounds easy, right? Well unfortunately some people (maybe they are paid differently each pay period, or on commission) don't know EXACTLY what they make. Try to find out EXACTLY what you bring home. You can't have a perfect budget if you don't know the answer.

2. Know your expenses. How much to the CENT is every single bill??

3. Start a budget. Use numbers 1 and 2 to create an incoming column and an outgoing column. Write down EVERY bill. Don't skip any! Included gasoline, sonic drinks, movie rentals, entertainment money--EVERYTHING!

4. Don't panic. There are ways to fix it if it's not balancing!

5. Make a zero budget. Google some info on Dave Ramsey. He can explain it in detail. I can just say this very simply... GIVE EVERY DOLLAR A PLACE TO GO! That means if you bring home 2,000 each month and your expenses are 1,500 then on paper you have to find a place for that extra 500... even if its to send it to your savings account, or put some in your christmas fund, or new tire fund. Every dollar has a name... and if it doesn't--assign it one!

6. Pay your bills on time. You save money and save stress.

7. Keep up with the "randoms" as I call it. Trash bills that come only every quarter, insurance premiums that come once a year, things like that. TAXES! This one gets a lot of people each year. Start setting aside money for those. Even if it's only $10 each month.

8. Use the debt snowball. Start with the low balance. Pay the minimums on everything EXCEPT this lowest balance. Put everything extra you can towards it until its paid off. Then snowball down to the highest ones.

9. Work as a team. I had to learn this one the hard way. I wanted to keep my independence and handle MY stuff MYSELF. but the day we decided to be a team my life got easier.

10. Set aside money for fun! If you don't, you will end up quitting and get right back into debt!

11. Look for ways to scale back. Cancel the primo cable subscription, lower your minutes on cell phone plan, quit eating out as much!

12. At the same time... look for ways to INCREASE your income. Sell some stuff, get a part time job, list items on EBAY. look for ways to increase your income!

13. Stick with it! don't give up!

14. blog about it. :) Okay so that's probably not a qualifing statement for "Finances 101" but just like with anything, you need accountability. Having a place to write about your journey towards financial freedom keeps you accountable. And you can make money blogging.

15. Organize it! Keep a binder, notebook, drawer, etc. Some place that is designtated SOLELY for finances. That way things don't get lost, bills don't go unpaid... it just keeps you on top of your GAME!

16. Make goals for the future. This won't be a fun process, but it can be less painful if you have GOALS in mind.

17. Be excited about it!

18. Consolidate student loans, car loans, home loans, credit cards... anything you can! Get it into ONE place so that you have ONE payment to keep up with!

19. Use bill pay. But don't PAY FOR IT! That is ridiculous. Most banks will offer it for free, or at least free for so long. Don't pay for things that you can do yourself. Bill pay is NICE and HANDY to have, but if it costs you money to spend YOUR money on YOUR bills... well, am I the only one that sees something wrong with that picture?

20. Call your credit card companies and ask to have your interest lowered. Beg them, in fact. The lower the interest the sooner you can pay it off.

21. Trade down. If you have 3 people in your family then you PROBABLY don't HAVE to have a huge gas gussler of a car. (I'm not knocking them, but if it's not a necessity, then during this time you should get rid of it)

21. Refinance your car. Didn't know you could do that until recently. Do it! save money! And that extra money can go towards paying down debt!

Just some handy tips! I hope they help!!