Monday, October 3, 2016
1. Stop The Behavior
The first thing you need to do is stop the behaviour. Try to figure out why you're spending is off track. Are you impulse buying? Emotionally impulse buying? Having a hard day at work is not an excuse to go shopping. That impulse buying is not going to help, and it might leave you with buyers remorse. Maybe something came up and you had no choice but to go over budget.
2. Don't Give Up
Just because you've gone over budget, doesn't mean you should give up. Don't continue to keep spending. Every dollar counts, just because your budget isn't where you want it doesn't mean you can throw the budget away this month. Things happen, you need to learn to be flexible. Life happens.
3. Reevaluate Your Budget
If you've shopped too much or something unexpected came up. Don't panic, don't be discouraged. These things do happen, and they happen to everyone. Look at the budget and see if you can adjust it. Can you spend a little less in another category to make up for it?
4. Tell Yourself that Credit Cards Are Not An Option.
Personally I will make it work without using a credit card. I don't want to feel like credit cards are my safety net, my safety net is my emergency fund. When you stop using credit cards, and use cash- you really feel the effects of spending too much.
Friday, September 30, 2016
A No Spend Challenge doesn't have to be a month, it can be whatever you want. Start with a week if you're scared to try a month. The goal is to reset your habits and evaluate yourself. When I started the challenge, I was eager and I had a plan. As the time when on it did get harder, but I also became more determined. If I found myself wanting to give up, I reset myself. If I failed, I decided to keep going. Don't give up because I bought 2 books.
The whole reason I did this challenge was to stop myself from impulse buying. I wanted to see if the items I REALLY wanted at the beginning of the challenge, were still "must haves" now. Honestly, they're not. I've moved on.
When you complete a no spend challenge, be careful not to go spending crazy once it's done. That will defeat the purpose. You need to continue to be disciplined. Remember why you did it. Look at what you saved, and the goals you accomplished.
When you're finished the no spend evaluate if some of the things you gave up were really that hard. If giving up your coffee or eating your lunch out wasn't that big a deal. Maybe you can cut the budget for that? I learned how to avoid temptation, and stay busy when I would normally go window shopping.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
- You know the saying “sleeping like a baby” well I learned babies don’t sleep that well... Atleast Caleb didn’t, he was literally up ALL night. This went on for weeks and weeks, eventually I had to start co sleeping because it was the only thing that worked. The minute I would lay him down in his bassinet or crib, he knew and would wake up. No matter how gentle I was...I spend MANY hours in my rocking chair.
- I had no idea that I would feel incredibly lost when I brought Caleb home. I would second guess myself, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I would just “know” and it was hard for me to realize that there was a learning curve, and I needed to give it time. Everyone gave me advice, and it gave me alot of anxiety. Especially when they were telling me to do the opposite of what I researched.
- My C Section was not as hard and painful as I was expecting. When I was in the hospital, I kept waiting for the excruciating pain, but it didn't come. It really wasn’t that bad. I was terrified. I didn’t even take pain killers, Tylenol was sufficient.
- I had pregnancy P.U.P.P (ITCHY Rash) and it was horrible! It was literally a rash that covered my entire body, except my face. I was so itchy, that I couldn’t even sleep when Caleb did sleep. My feet were probably the worst, and I didn’t know where to put them or what to do. This rash went away a few weeks after Caleb was born and came back 6 weeks later. I cried, I was so discouraged. The only thing they could give my was Benedryl, and I was already SO SO tired.
- I had no idea that I would be so scared of something happening to Caleb. He slept with a Levana monitor, and I would still check him all the time.
3 Things I Would Tell A New Mom
The first 8 weeks are the hardest, and you seem to settle into your new role. Both Mom, Dad and baby are learning how to fit into this new world. It’s normal to be afraid and feel lost, but give it time. I remember thinking “when will this get easier” it does, but it took awhile
If you need the help, and have it- Take it! I’m the type of person who wants to do every thing myself, and some times you need to step back and allow people to help you. Sleep deprivation will make you feel like you’re going crazy.
Take time to take care of yourself. Don’t forget that you need to be happy, healthy and sane to take care of baby. This new world is going to take some adjustment, and you need to figure out how to make it all work.
Monday, September 26, 2016
All the little cute outfits are tempting but my experience taught me that you want the baby to be comfortable. Your little one will be sleeping, in a chair/swing or your arms most of the day. Hoodies make it difficult to hold the baby. I'm sure cute tutus would be similar. I can't tell you how many outfits, Caleb never wore because it was just too complicated. A onesie was much easier to put on him day to day.
Crib bedding is so expensive but not necessary. It's not recommended to have the set in the bed, I skipped on it and bought a toddler set. It fit the crib, and I put the comforter/sheet away until Caleb was able to use it. I kept the fitted sheet on the crib.
You don't need a 300 dollar swing, a cheaper one will do fine. Actually, Caleb hated the swing altogether. We could have skipped it. The Baby Bullet or similar baby food making machines are not necessary. If you have a blender or food processor that would be perfect. Use what you already have. Be careful not to get caught up in purchasing top of the line swings, strollers and other expensive equipment.
I made my own baby food, and it was very cost efficient. I started with a blender and ice trays. I eventually bought a Baby Bullet because I got sucked in, but it wasn't necessary. I made food ahead, and froze it. It was very easy, and I was able to feed Caleb a wide variety of foods.
I know it's tempting to stock up on diapers, but if your baby/toddler grows out of the size before your boxes are done, you might be stuck with them. A store might let you exchange them, but there's a chance you won't be able to. Diapers are on sale often, I personally don't recommend stocking up. Caleb didn't even fit in newborn diapers.
You know how they say "Children grow really fast?" Well they do, and you will go through alot of clothes. Be careful not to over buy because within a few months, it's too small. Some of it may not have be worn. Caleb is 2, and he's gone through 3 shoe sizes in a year. Now, we only buy what we need because he grows out of it so fast.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
I'm still doing good on the no spend, but it's getting harder. I suspected that it would and it is. I also started this early, end of August. I actually bought 2 books this week that I plan to read on vacation. I found them cheaper on bookoutlet.ca and decided to order them. It wasn't much, but I know it wasn't a need.
I hope these financial posts have peaked some readers interests. I have seen alot more traffic on these posts, and that's been interesting. Personal finance is so personal, and scary but I've been loving it. I have many more posts outlined, and it's sparked my blogging interests again. I can't wait to get these posts out, and I have some scheduled in advanced. This blog has grown with my through the years, and I suspect that it will continue to grow with me. It's been almost 8 years, and even when I have no ideas, even when it's been long months without a post. I'm not ready to give it up. I'm happy that I have content ideas again.
Books are still apart of my life, but my love of writing reviews has dwindled. I'll still post some book reviews, and book posts but I plan to have a wider range of posts. I hope you'll stick around.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Find a Community
If you feel alone, it's hard to stay motivated. If you join a group, and see that you're not the only one. It gives you motivation to keep going. There are many Dave Ramsey followers on Youtube, and I love watching their channels. They're documenting their journey. It's a great way to stay motivated. There are also many Facebook groups out there.
Don't forget to check your progress. It may feel like you are getting no where, but look back at where you started. Document where you started from, and check in from time to time. There are also debt free charts online that you can print, and use as a visual. Debt Free Charts
Put a reward system in place. When you pay off a certain amount, get halfway or complete your goal to get the reward. Obviously, this reward has to within reason.
Remind Yourself of the End Game.
Imagine what you can do with the money when you're out of debt. Imagine the security you can have with a fully funded emergency fund.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
Expect that you will have bumps in the road, life happens, murphy happens. You will still be okay. The budget takes times, and sometimes something comes up. Learning how to deal with these bumps will be important. Don't let yourself get discouraged, and decide to give up.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
If you've noticed a lot of personal finance posts on my blog it's because Personal Finance is something I've been researching and learning about this year. Money touches almost every aspect of our lives, and it's really important but not something people talk about. When I hear that half of Canadians are living paycheck to paycheck, it makes me worry. It's so important to have an emergency fund and to have a backup plan. I've been learning so much, and I want to encourage others. You don't have to live a stressful life in regards to money. If you take control of your money, and you're disciplined, it will make a world of difference.
Money is common sense, but people don't use common sense when dealing with money. As a whole people are relying more and more on debt. If they don't have the money in their account, they charge it. It's normal, it's something we're all use to. Affording the payments, is not affording it. So many people don't really care about their debt, until they've lost their job and risked every thing. Life is not a competition, trying to keep up with the Jones when the Jones are probably broke. Live within your means- learning to handle your money actually feels like you have more.
I never had a finance class in school, I've always been intimidated by numbers but now that I'm taking the time to learn about it, it's really interesting. I see how carefree some people are, and their financial future is scary. My goal is to have financial freedom. Pay down/off debt, build a substantial emergency fund and continue to be on the same page as my husband. It doesn't mean we can't buy something, it means we plan for it.
Life happens and you need to be prepared. Retirement is something you need to plan. I went to school and didn't have any school loans, I had a different funding. If that funding for some reason doesn't exist when my son goes to school, I want us to pay for his school. We started an R.E.S.P when he was one years old. Personal finance is something I've really started paying attention to, and I'm fired up about educating others.