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?

If you are looking for a home and would love more information on the home of your dreams from a team that knows what they are doing then check out Louisville Homes FAST today! Sneak a peek into the home of your dreams today!

While shopping is exciting and its a time to dream and plan for the future, it can be overwhelming! Put your trust in a team that can take the hard part off your hands so that YOU can focus on getting into your dream home!

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!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's good to be cool!

Having the coolest phone covers around is a GOOD thing! In this day and age most everyone has a cell phone. In FACT, more people have cell phones then home phones. Heck-even if you are homeless living on the streets in New York City you are handed a government cell phone!

As frugal as I am with most things in life, I still want to have nice and FUN things! But you know me, after all i AM the bargain hunting mommy... I like to find a deal! And that's why I always check with the website listed above. For great deals, cool styles and the ability to shop from home with ease I can always find the BEST and CUTEST deals! Rhinestone, rubber, hard covers, heavy duty covers--literally, this place has YOUR phone COVERED! :)

With prices cheaper than you will find in the mall, or at the department store, I GUARANTEE you a great selection from this company with wonderful prices and customer service. 

So go... make your phone cool! And tell them I sent you :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

What is it worth to you?

Here is the BOTTOM LINE... What is THIS worth to you? This big pile of money, that is... how much is it worth? What are YOU willing to do to have this?

Through other bloggers, readers of my blogs, and friends, I have to come learn that although I may think it's nuts, not everyone is ALL about saving money! :) and that is A-OK with me. To each his own. It is what it is.

If a new car and new clothes is worth more than having the money, then by all means--BUY IT! It comes down to each individual.

There was a time in my life when having STUFF meant more than having money. Not anymore, thankfully. For MY family, it's better for us that we aren't consumed with STUFF. Don't get me wrong--we HAVE STUFF! Lots of it. Too much. And we spend money on things we shouldn't. But we are seeing the "BIGGER PICTURE" as it pertains to our family. And to US, having a big pile of money means more than a fancy car, huge house and tons of STUFF.

Just because you do NOT feel that way does not make you wrong, nor does it make ME right. It makes us who we are.

Just like with anything, I try not to force MY beliefs onto anyone. Everyone likes different things. From different styles of worship in church, to different opinions on politics. I don't try to force-feed my frugality on anyone. Through my friends, family and fellow bloggers I have learned that I have a group of support that is with me on this journey to financial freedom and I have some that aren't. and that is perfectly fine.

So the question comes down to... what is it worth to you? What are your goals? What does your financial future look like? And if it looks differently than me... that is just fine! :)

6 month grocery challenge--UPDATE 2!

So far I have learned this....

It tends to ALL come out in the wash. Period. Plain and simple. So far I have seen that Walmart has some things that are cheaper than Kroger, and some things more expensive. Same thing at Kroger--some were higher than Walmart, some were less.

Kroger still has my vote, though! The .10 cents I save on gas has already made it a LITTLE better, but not a lot.

now it's time to embark on the last 2 months... here goes NOTHING!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Taking advantage of what you already have!

I realize that these will be different for EVERY PERSON. But think about benefits that you already have. 

1. health insurance. Could you save money by switching to your spouses plan or by getting on separate plans? Look for savings here.

2. Car insurance. Is there ANYTHING you can drop? Do you really need the rental insurance? 

3. Does your company offer gym memberships for free or cheap? You could ditch your current one and go cheaper!

4. Does your company offer discounts on cell phones and packages? I have had that happen before. You may check into that.

5. Does your company pay mileage? Find out! This could be HUGE!

6. Should you shop around for a lower interest rate on credit cards, home loans, car loans? On the car loan thing... I didn't know it was possible to re-finance a vehicle... but it IS! Check into it! You may have gotten a loan several years ago and now your credit would warrant a much lower rate. Happened to me just YESTERDAY! 

7. Do you have old gift cards sitting around with small balances? Check that out! You would be surprised how many times a card has several dollars left!

8. Has your bank started offering new things? Maybe free checks, free bill pay--it would be worth checking into!

Look around you... what benefits could you find on your OWN!? Maybe even things you already have at your disposal and didn't know about it! 

Happy saving!

Name 3 things

Name THREE things that you can do without for 60 days and GO FOR IT!

Gym membership, bottled water, going out to eat, that EXTRA SUPER DUPER cable package, unlimited texting, the extra trips across town... whatever it may be... Name 3 things and go for it!


1. Eating out. We rarely eat out anyway but when we do we tend to go cheap. We drink water, we try to share plates or eat early to get the "early bird" discount. Or we clip coupons and take with us. BUT, for 60 days we are saying NO to eating out.

2. The afternoon munchies! Well, I can't do without getting the munchies but I CAN say NO to running and grabbing a Sonic drink or a bag of chips. all it will take me is getting up 3 extra minutes to prepare for my afternoon snack.

3. Tanning lotion. Sounds silly but the one I like is $75 dollars. I know, I know... RIDICULOUS! BUT, I tan for free because of my job. And I can pick any bed so I pick the bed that would cost me nearly $100 dollars a month. So already I feel like I am saving money but I can say NO to tanning lotion. :) even though I love it...

I'll see you back here in 60 days to talk about the savings! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

All the good stuff cycles back around

High top shoes need to NOT come back around. Those were horrific enough the first time.

And what about those tie dyed t-shirts? I think those can keep right on walking...

But let's face it... the good stuff ALWAYS cycles back around.

As I kid I used to watch Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles. ("Here's in a half shell--TURTLE POWER!) I loved this show. I was very much a girly-girl, but this show was my one exception! Not too many years ago, my daughter was asking about the stuff that I liked to do as a kid. I told her about the TMNT. She thought it sounded cool. I sung her the song and I even showed her a few of the action figures that I STILL have. Raphael was my favorite. He had the red thing around his eyes. And I knew Ava would think that was cool because RED is her favorite color. :)

Lo and behold--its BACK! Like I said... all the good stuff cycles back around. TMNT is BACK on tv. But, it's like "new fangled" as my mom would call it. Now they have different names. Like Michaelangelo is now Mikey. Donatello is Donnie. And so on and so forth. So it's kinda the same, but probably cooler to this generation of kids.

Visit this site to watch videos, order some TMNT stuff for your collection, and have fun just hanging out with OTHER fans of the coolest cartoon to every come on tv.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Debt relief in Canada

I actually DO have several readers, and friends, from Canada. So I hope that you find this post helpful. is a wonderful, informative site about recieving debt relief in Canada. Sheila Cockburn is a wonderful attorney that can bring forth some great insight into debt control, management, and relief.

This law office offers free information and different options to fit YOUR needs. This is not a "one size fits all" plan... this is a customized to YOUR needs Debt Settlement Plan. If your debt is a problem for you, or you are having problems meeting your monthly financial requirements, give the Law Office of Cockburn and Associates a call today!

On their user friendly website, you can view recent settlements, comments, and options that fit your financial needs!

you can call TOLL FREE at 1-866-551-8349. Or visit today to look for the answers to help with your financial problem! 

Saving on gifts

One way we save a LOT of money (I estimate that this saves us around $400 a year) is to buy gifts in bulk! STOCK UP!

I know during any given year there will be about 10 friends that I will want to buy a gift for, there will be 1-4 teachers that I feel like I need to give something to for either Christmas or a special holiday, family members, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and last but not LEAST ... CHRISTMAS! I know as of January 1st what to expect "gift wise" for the year.

So... here is what I do. I don't go HUNTING for the bargains, but if I FIND ONE, I grab my envelope marked "GIFTS" and I stock up.

Bath and Body works is a GREAT place to do this. And not just for friends, family and teachers, but also for your childs gifts to hand out at parties. Those cute little hand sanitizers in the neat holders are a WONDERFUL gift. Assuming they are not on sale, the sanitizer itself runs around $3.50. The cute little holders are between $4-8 dollars. BUT when you catch them on sale you can do what I did! Which was buy 5 sanitizers and 5 holders. That is so helpful for those MANY birthday parties my daughter gets invited to. I spent $18.00 on ALL of those. They were on sale PLUS I had a $10 off coupon if I spent over $25. What a DEAL! And now when those invitations come in I don't think "GREAT, another birthday party to buy something for..." I let Ava pick out which one she wants to give her friend. I let her pick them out which made her feel special to get to select gifts for her friends!

Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Kirklands--all great places to pick up super inexpensive picture frames and candles. When they run sales, BUY THEM! I'm not saying go CRAZY or anything, but buy up some for teachers, co-workers, etc, so that when you DO have an occasion where you need to have a gift handy you don't have the task of going shopping and spending more than you should.

AND LET'S FACE IT... when we shop for someone else we tend to pick up one for them and ONE FOR US! By shopping like this it's easier to not get caught in that trap of buying one for ourself!

This is just yet another way to stock up and SAVE MONEY!

Share yours with me at!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Everyone has "2 cents", don't they?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am ALL about Pinterest. I love it! Not only does it keep me up to date on the latest fashions, but there are fun DIY crafting projects and money saving ideas.

When I searched for "budget, saving money, finances, frugality" I ran across several different PINS that were quite helpful. One thing I have learned while spending the last three years of my life really trying hard to save, plan for my financial future, get out of debt, etc... is that EVERYONE has their "2 Cents". I find myself getting super excited when I see a PIN titled "500 ways to save money!" I feel like its Christmas morning! :) then I open it and begin reading and I feel let down... 500 ways to save money and only 3 apply to me. BOO!!

In my blog I try to be very SPECIFIC. I get so tired of hearing that I can save money by only going to Starbucks 3 times a week instead of 7. If you are doing that then you OBVIOUSLY are not trying to save money! (Not trying to be harsh, just being real)

Let's go over some very basic ways to save money. They may not ALL apply to you are looking for post that says "ways to lower your 3.5 million dollar mortgage" you have come to the WRONG place.

1. Downgrade your cable. Notice I didn't say CANCEL your cable. Some bloggers and financial advisers will tell you to do that. I just can't tell you to do that. I can't do it myself. If you are in a place in your life where you are cutting back on EVERYTHING to save money, then taking away your cable is like taking away your entertainment. Just because you want to save money doesn't mean you should sit in a dark house and stare at each other. Awkard. Just downgrade it. Look at the package options. There HAS to be one that's lower that will still give you enjoyable channels.

2. Downgrade your cell package. Do you need unlimited? Or are you texting me than you are on the phone? If so, try to lower your minutes. Are you paying for features that you do NOT use? Then get rid of them.

3. GROCERY BILL. Ugh. Sigh. Barf. I get SO tired of trying to find ways to shave money at the grocery store. For the first time in a LONG time my husband went with me to the store Friday night. He nearly fainted when we checked out. Keep in mind, I only go to the store ONCE a month. So yes, it is more than the person that goes every week or even bi-weekly. when we got home and were putting things up I said "I HATE spending so much money at the grocery store!" So we started looking at everything we bought. We really HAD done well with what we spent and the quality/quantity of food we had. It's hard to save at the Grocery store without being a crazy couponer. And even then--is it necessary? Do you need 37 cans of green beans? If you do and you can get them cheap then YOU GO GIRL! But if you don't, then what was the point? I guess my advice would be this... coupon when you CAN and when it makes sense. AND WHEN ITS A BETTER DEAL THAN THE OFFBRAND! It took forever at the store the other night and my poor hubs was bored to tears--BUT, I had a good amount of coupons to compare with the regular store brands/current specials. I don't want to spend 20 cents more than I have to. ADVICE: go to the store when you have AMPLE time and when you have JUST eaten. If you try to do it quick you are more likely to buy things that you don't really need. Look up specials and match them with coupons. ALSO, if you plan a month ahead it's easier to know what you will need in the coming weeks. So if it's on sale, STOCK UP!

4. FREEZE. Along the same lines as saving on grocery bill... FREEZE THINGS. EX: 1 month ago at Kroger strawberries were 3.89. YIKES. Friday night they were $1.49. Buy them when they are cheap, take them home and clean them, shave off anything like a steam, seeds, etc, (Depending on the fruit or vegetable) and then freeze it. I eat a LOT of salads. And I HAVE TO HAVE carrots on them. I love carrots. But when I buy a bag of carrots (usually around 2.39-2.99) I can never eat them all before it's time to throw them out. Not anymore! I came home from the store and kept out enough for me to use for that week and froze the rest. Saving where I can.

5. MAKE WHAT YOU CAN. I have a fabulous recipe for homemade detergent. If you want it, email me. ( It's pretty lengthy to put on here but I would love to share it. For a year supply of detergent (based on a fam of 4) it costs around 10 dollars to make. MAKE YOUR OWN COOKING SPRAY. (1 part oil-either olive, canola, etc-, 5 parts water) use a spray bottle. Shake it and TA-DA. There ya go. It's better for the environment, it's better for ingesting, and it's better for the pocket book.

6. PLAN. Not crazy planning, but plan. Plan meals ahead of time. Plan for birthdays. Plan for those things that come up ocassionally. We have a propane tank that fuels are heat for our home. It's EXPENSIVE to fill because it's all at once, there is no monthly bill where you are taking small bites at a time. No, we eat the WHOLE rhino at once. And it's pricey. So I keep up with it. I put money away in an envelope so that it doesn't feel like we are hit with a huge bill. PLAN AHEAD.

this is by no means a brilliant or brand-new idea list, but there are practical ways to save money.

Can you add to this list?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Meals made easy

Listen up my friends!!!! I have a GREAT new tool for you to try out... AND, it's backed by the man I have a love-hate relationship with--DAVE RAMSEY :) go figure...

Try out the easy to use emails weekly planner and set up your family meal plan in SUCH an easy way.

Here's how it works...

You pick a meal plan based on what your family loves to eat and what you as the chef of your household LOVES to cook!

Then you start recieving emails every week with recipes that fall into your already picked "meal plan". These recipes include side dishes as well as entrees.

THEN you recieve a shopping list that fits perfectly with these recipes! It even allows you to coordinate with the stores in your area and it goes by what they have on SALE!

Emeals takes care of finding the recipes and the grocery lists (and the sales) and you get to sit back and take credit for it all!

How fun is this? Try it out today!! And try something new and fun for your family while enjoying the hassle being taken out of it!!!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tax time!

It's that time again... TAX TIME! Some people look forward to it and others dread it... but either way, it's here again! Time to file those taxes!

One issue some people run into is needing to file an extension. If you need extra time AND peace of mind, then check out Turbo Tax today to see about filing your extension. Visit this site here for all the info you need! Filing an extension will help you avoid penalties and allow you the freedom to take more time to get all of your 'ducks in a row'.

Are you needing info on filing a state exension? Then check out Turbo tax by clinking on the link above.

What about an extension to file federal taxes? Get all of the info at the above link.

tax time can be stressful. I know personally I never look forward to it. There is this knot in my stomach until it is completed... I never know if I am going to be paying in OR if I am going to get a big fat refund. Either way--ignoring it will NOT make it go away! Find out your options today about filing an extension!

To expand your business

If you are a business owner looking to expand your website and marketing tools then you need to check out THIS website. This is a great and affordable way to market using a mobile website. It's affordable, easy set up and will help bring new people in.

Think about it... advertising is so important to a business. There are so many businesses competing for your business and nearly everyone uses some type of website to locate you. Make sure that your website is informative and EASY TO FIND. It is so frustrating as a consumer to spend endless amounts of time trying to LOCATE you. A mobile website could be JUST the thing to help consumers find you and therefore you will earn their business!

In today's world of internet and surfing the net, be sure that your mobile website gets to your target audience! Expanding your marketing can be affordable and easy! Check it out today!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Simple ways to simplify your life

Occasionally I find myself looking around and feeling overwhelmed by stuff! Do you ever feel this way? There are times that i'm cleaning house and think to myself how QUICK this would take if we had less stuff. And I am already TRYING to live on less. I want a simple life. I am ok with a simple life. But some things tend to make me crazy!

PLASTIC BAGS. This weekend I finally went through and did some purging. I was tired of these plastic bags attacking me when I opened the cabinet. This is nuts. No one needs THIS many plastic sacks.

My SPAM folder. I have no clue how I get so much spam. Fortunately it all goes to SPAM but I get this tight feeling in my chest when I see that I have 219 messages in my spam box. SO, I took the time to go through and click "unsubscribe" at the bottom of EACH email. I have no clue why I am unsubscribing to something I never subscribed to, but at last it seemed true... and I took the time to handle that. 

PAPER. I have no clue how there are ANY trees left in the world because I feel like they are ALL in my house. Between my school and Ava's school, and bills and junk mail... it seems that paper is everywhere! I am working on getting THAT organized. 

My stock pile room. Somehow I have lost the organization that I once had in that room. I would go to the store and buy something and then come home and see I already had it. That makes me nuts. I tended to that.

These are just some recent examples but we ALL have things in our lives that would be much more simpler if they were tended to. Here are a few ways to simplify your life:

1. clean out your car every night! I am so guilty of NOT doing this. And then every morning I sigh and try to find the bottom of the clutter so I can grab the ONE notebook I need for class. By spending 3 minutes after getting home and cleaning out your car this can make your mornings seem SIMPLER. And isn't this something we would ALL enjoy?

2. Clean out your inbox. If you have read it and don't need it... delete it. Or move it to a folder. Don't keep your email a mess. Because when you DO need that ONE email, it will be easier to find and will cut our stress.

3. Dump the plastic. Keeping more than 10 bags is probably overkill. Dump them. Recycle them. Do something besides keeping them piling up in your house!

4. Put stuff in the SAME spot. This has eliminated stresses for me. I NOW put my keys and sunglasses in the same spot every day. This has saved many a mornings running around like crazy searching for keys.

5. If you don't use it-dump it! Pretty simple.

6. (Some will call this overkill but...) Keep a list of what you HAVE in your closet. Make one. Try it. This will eliminate shopping when you need nothing and this will make mornings easier. When you see a list of what you have it just HELPS.

7. See #6 and do this for anything and everything. 

8. Do the laundry RIGHT after the dryer dings. Don't let it pile up. This will only cause stress and LOTS of work at once. 

9. Plan meals. Plan your day. Plan plan PLAN! Doing this doesn't mean you can't change the plan. It does not mean that you aren't fun or spontaneous (Even though some people will think this). It just keeps you organized and therefore simplifies things. 

Sure wish I had a #10 but at the moment I do not. :)

What do you do to simplify your life? What should we add to this list? 

comment or email me at

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saving money on just about anything

Isn't that what it's all about when it comes to your finances? Do you often ask yourself "HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY?" I know for a long time I did that, and sometimes I still do. It's OK to have to stop and reevaluate what you are doing to see if you can cut back on some expenses. Just recently I have had to do that and I have once again gotten motivated and am ready to save even MORE! It's like a new diet or a new work out plan... you know you NEED to do it, but you don't really want to. BUT, once you start seeing results then you are fired up and ready to do more. Same thing with money. Not always easy or fun, but once you start seeing the $aving$, you will want to do MORE!

I recently saved money the following ways:

1. Dish. I started examining our bill and thought to myself "This is nuts"!!!! We basically watch the main channels (4,7,11) for our news and TV shows and then other than that everything we are watching is RERUNS. I love TV Land, and Nick at Nite but let's face it... we own half of the shows on DVD already! We were also paying for a second dish with 2 dvr boxes in two rooms that we rarely used. So I called to see if I could cancel the 2nd dish with the 2 dvr's we dont use and they said SURE! Shaved 17 dollars off our bill just like that! Then I have spent time evaluating the packages offered by DISH and it looks like we are about to save an additional 23 dollars a month when I downgrade our package. As long as you don't cancel your membership with them then you can make all the changes you want and still be within your "contract". handy piece of info. I didnt think I could do that.

2. Clothes shopping. I am not extreme. I have seen the show "Extreme Cheapskates" and Dear Lord Please NEVER let me be like that!!!" BUT, there is nothing wrong with asking for a deal. I recently found a super cute dress and it had the tiniest of rips in it, but hey--it was worth asking. And I saved an additional 15%! Not too shabby!  Don't hesitate to ask. Also, some places will offer up a discount just for asking. Just an FYI, if you ever shop at Shoe Carnival and they are not currently advertising a "Buy one Get One 1/2 off sale" just ASK. They will honor that ANYTIME if you simply ASK. There are savings right in front of you!

3. Electricity bill. I HATE paying this bill. I DESPISE it with everything in me. It seems ridiculous to pay THAT much just to have electricity, but alas it is a necessity. :) Turn off lights. Turn the heat down when you leave the house. Unplug things. Don't leave fans going if you aren't home. Close doors that you don't use so the heat isn't trying to warm those. Shut off vents! We have done that in two rooms that we rarely go in. What's the point in heating them? Close your blinds and curtains at night to help your house stay warmer and this will allow you to turn your heat down!

4. Call your cell phone carrier. They now have (at least Verizon does) a way to run a little test to see the average minutes/texts/data that you use. I did this and was shocked to learn that I was paying for FAR more than we ever use. $17 dollars saved just by making a phone call.

5. Grocery store. I'm still in the middle of an experiment with our local stores--trying to see which one is REALLLLY the best deal. Avoid Walmart for meat. Go to a GROCERY store. Ask the butcher if he has any markdowns he's about to put out OR ask when would be a good time to come back and get some deals. Ask him what he's marking down. They love talking to customers. They hack meat all day for goodness sakes... they enjoy the break! THIS can save you some serious cash.

Alright, of course there are more things but here are some reminders for you. What can you add to the list? Comment or email me at to let me hear YOUR tips!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

6 months of bargains: UPDATE

In case you missed the first post, check it out HERE!

SO far, so good. I have already come up with a few conclusions about items that are cheaper elsewhere, BUT, I am sticking with the plan!

I have 15 more days left to do my shopping at Walmart. I have determined thus far that:

1. Their meat department BLOWS. It's an awful selection and it is SO expensive!!! WOW--I am so ready to get to Kroger. I miss their meat.

2. Their household/beauty item prices aren't THAT much lower than Krogers. I have always said that Kroger is where I would buy my food but we all needed a Wal-Mart close by for facewash, tampons, makeup, and cleaning products. I'm starting to think that's not true... with coupons I bet I could at least MEET if not BEAT Walmart's prices... i'm anxious to find out.

3. Walmart is a dirty store. Don't they have a cleaning crew somewhere? It's just gross...

Walmart, you have NOT impressed me enough to make me stay here, but I am a trooper so I will finish out this month with you... and then I hope to NEVER return.

Things that are cheaper:
tuna fish. I noticed that right off the bat because I buy about 10 cans a month!
Snack food (fruit snacks for Ava's lunch, chips, etc)

Now i'm not saying that other people couldn't save a TON by shopping at Walmart. I am strictly going off of MY list. And for the Matthews household... Walmart didn't save us any money.