Thursday, July 26, 2012

Money Saving Tips

It's the little things that we do that can save a buck here and there-but it totally ads up! Here are just a few ways to save money!

1. Brown bag your lunch. Let's say you eat out 5 days a week at just $5 a pop. That is $1300 a year to have a probably not too delicious 5 buck lunch during the work week. What in the world could you do with $1300?? Wouldn't THAT be nice!

2. Don't touch your air/heat! Set it and forget it. If it's blazin' saddles at your house set it to 72 and then do NOT touch it. Don't turn it down, or kick it up a notch. LEAVE it alone. Studies have proven this will save an average of $40 each month which comes out $480.00 per year!

3. Cancel the magazines! I KNOW that you love the National Enquirer (don't we all), but your local library has it for free! And you probably have a neighbor or friend that has a HUGE stack of these that they are about to trash... get it for free. Depending on how many magazine subscriptions you get, cancelling them could save you up to $100 each year!

4. You want your diamonds to sparkle... who doesn't?!?! But that $10.00 bottle of cleaner you are buying every few months is nothing more than ammonia and water. Trust me--I had a jeweler tell me to save my money. SO, I went from buying a bottle around 3-4 times a year (average of $40.00 per year spent) to buying a gallon of ammonia at the Dollar Tree for $1.00. TADA! There ya go :) Let's spend that money elsewhere.

5. Laundry time! Do it early in the morning or late in the evening. Energy costs are cheaper when the sun is not up in the high sky yet. According to GE's newsletter published in 2010, by doing so you could save easily $15-25 dollars EACH month! So start the load at night, and then throw it in the dryer before work. Save that money!

There are ALWAYS more and more ways to save money. I plan to do better about sharing these. What are your money saving tips???

Getting the 'gazelle'

Dave Ramsey often talks about paying off debt with "gazelle like intensity." I went through his "Financial Peace University" class years ago and he said that phrase a lot. I wasn't THERE. I wasn't at the point where I was going to be all gung-ho-let's do this thing-let's get outta debt! FLASH FORWARD several years and I AM all about it.

So what does it mean to get the "gazelle"? It means to get MAD And FAST about paying off debt. It means to look at your statements every month and scream at the top of your lungs and say NO MORE! I WILL NOT DO THIS ANYMORE!!!

It means seeing that balance of what you owe and going nuts. Having a yard sale the next day, listing movies and electronics on EBAY, it means deciding that you DON'T need that nice new car. It means selling your house, taking the profits and paying off debt. It means going fast and furious at getting out of debt!

Getting out of debt with gazelle like intensity means being mad at your debt and wanting to wash it away. When you catch this "Fever", you can't stop! Once you see that first balance gone, then the second one starts dwindling away, then you realize how QUICKLY you are making progress--it's like you simply CAN'T stop!

That's what getting the gazelle means... It's a fever--have you caught it?!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Frugal Fashion #177

Shirt: Free!!! My mom gave it to me. I love love LOVE hand-me-downs
Capris: TJ MAxx for $12.99
Shoes: $15.00 at a half off sale in September about 4 years ago! BUY SHOES OUT OF SEASON FOR THE BEST DEALS!

Necklace: Free! Got it at a clothes swap party. We included accessories and I snagged this cute necklace!
Bracelet: Dollar Tree. ONE whole dollar :)

FRUGAL FASHIONS BABY! That's where it's at!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Getting ready to sell your home?

Some of my favorite blogs to read are about "do it yourself" projects, or home renovations on a budget. I love to see transformation pictures of people's homes! And I LOVE to see how little they did it on! :)

The value of a home is truly important. It can make you a lot of money when it's sold or it can COST you a lot of money when it is sold.  You want to make smart decisions to make it easy to sell when the time comes. A few tips to keep in mind when selling your home are:

1. Keep colors neutral. Saying THAT let me say this one is hard for me. Any house I have ever lived in I have wanted each room a different color, different theme, and to really show off my personality. But when it comes to SELLING a home, you need to keep things neutral.

2. Laminate floors help sell it. Carpet shows wear and tear. It holds in odors and germs. It fades. Laminate floors really make a huge difference and with the right money saving website, you can purchase flooring for little amounts of money!

3. De-personalize it SOMEWHAT. Some people go extreme. They take down all photos, all decor and make the house look boring. When looking to buy a new home you DO notice pictures and decor and that is a good thing! Seeing photos of a family make a house look like a home and that makes people WANT TO BUY IT! It's when it's too much. Too much either way. Don't take it all down, don't keep it all up.

4. Yard. Mow it. Plant it. Water it. Spruce it. Spray it. Keep your sidewalk and driveway clean. Plant a few flowers. Have your grass being GREEN, not dead, and just take a few minutes before a showing to spruce it up.

There are tips for selling your home! Is there any that you would like to add to the list?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

investing in...WHAT?

Investments are rough. Well, not ROUGH per se, unless you are ME. I just do not understand investments.

What I do understand is the simple stuff:

1. I need to invest in something!
2. I am looking forward to retirement one day... I will need investments to live off of :)

That's about it.

I know that the economy is not GREAT right now, but that there is no time like the present to begin putting money back. Whether it's in a stock, bond, or some type of investment it is a necessary act in today's times. But before you start jumping in and throwing money here and there-- FIND AN EXPERT!

I do know that you can invest in gold, silver, stocks, bonds, chemical ma&a and LOTS more. It's difficult to know what steps are right for you. How much you need to start the initial investment process, what all info you will need to gather--that's why it is SO helpful to have a great team like The Valence Group available to help with all of your questions.

When starting out with chemical investment banking, you need someone there that you can TRUST, that has knowledge, and has LOTS Of experience!  you need a company that has dealt with chemical banking before and knows the ins and outs.

Bottom line--you need an EXPERT. And that is where The Valence Group can step in and help you make the right decisions with your investments!

Frugal fashion #237

One thing that I feel very confident about is buying articles of clothing that can be mixed and matched. People often tell me "I never see you wear the same thing twice!" I get that A LOT! And I laugh, because the truth is that I am wearing the same thing VERY often, but when you switch it up and mix and match, it never has to look the same!

Here ya go...

This outfit was SUPER cheap!

Yellow short sleeved cardigan: Calvin Klein brand $1.00 at Goodwill
Black tanktop: $.50 at yardsale
Blue jean skirt: GAP brand $4.50 at consignment shop

And as ALWAYS, I never tell the price of my shoes :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

The cost of education

Just last month I attended a seminar at National Park Community College on the cost of education. It is INSANE. Just that small school alone handed out 12 million dollars in student loans in 2011! THAT is nuts. With only 4,200 students enrolled.... imagine what a huge school with 25,000 students would hand out?!?!

People do not pay their loans back. And that can SERIOUSLY hurt your credit! Not only that, but if you do not start repaying your loans, your employer can be contacted and your checks can be garnished. Not only would that leave you STRAPPED for cash, but it would be humiliating!!

Go to school! Better yourself! GET AN EDUCATION! Take out loans... but PAY YOUR LOANS BACK!! :)

Wherever you plan to go to school, just do it. It's so easy to wait and keep putting it aside... I would know. I have done that :)

For more information on a great school, furthering your education, and financial aspects of school, click HERE!

Navigating the financial aid system infographic by Southern New Hampshire University, SNHU.EDU
Brought to You by SNHU.EDU Online College Programs