Monday, September 26, 2016

Tips On How To Save Money On Child Expenses





Newborn Outfits

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

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.

Equipment

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.


Baby Food

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.

Diapers

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.

Clothing/Shoes

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

No Spend Update 3





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

How to Stay Motivated When Getting Our of Debt




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.

Progress

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

Reward Yourself

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

Why I Learned To Love Personal Finance



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.


Monday, September 19, 2016

How To Get Out Of Debt





You need to WANT IT!

The first step to getting out of debt is to really want it. It has to be YOU, not someone else telling you that you should get out of debt. It starts with you, because you're going to be living it. You're going to be the one paying it off. If you're wishy washy and not ready to commit to this, it won't happen. You don't wander out of debt, you decide to get out of debt.

Make a Plan

There are many debt repayment systems such as the debt snowball (paying smallest to largest debt) or the debt avalanche (paying largest interests to smallest) you will need to decide HOW you will get out of debt. You need a plan, without a plan you won't be focused and it won't be long before your running off the track.

Implement the Plan

Create your budget, and implement your plan. The budget is key to controlling your money. It's the contract that you need to make work. While creating the budget you need to make sacrifices, get current on bills, if you're not and you need to live within your means. You need to stop depending on a credit card, because getting out of debt means not putting more on credit.

Stay Focused

Remind yourself why you want to get out of debt. When you're in debt, and life happens you don't have alot of options. That's why it's important to have an emergency fund. If you follow Dave Ramsey, he suggests 1000$ baby emergency fund. This is the first step to his plan, after that you start to tackle debt with the debt snowball. Having that baby emergency fund breaks the dependency on credit when something happens.

Stay Motivated

Staying motivated is crucial when you're getting out of debt. It's not easy to cut out your lifestyle, and see others being carefree. However, you don't know their specifics. Worry about yourself, and fix your situation. You must make the changes necessary.




Friday, September 16, 2016

No Spend Update 2



The no spend month is going really well. I thought I would struggle alot more than I am. I've been staying away from stores, or when I do go, I don't feel tempted. During the week, I tend to read or blog during my lunch break. At home, we don't normally go anywhere in the evenings. The weekends are probably a little harder, but it's been okay.

I will admit that I had one crazy day where I failed on the no spend. The minute I turned on my PC at work, I had issues to deal with, and when I left I had a whole set of new issues. I had no breaks, no lunch and I was so drained. When I came home, I didn't have dinner prepared and I knew I needed to give myself a few minutes to stop stressing or my whole evening with my family would be ruined. I ordered a pizza....I didn't feel bad about it. It gave my a chance to reset and focus on my family. Leave work at work. Life happens, and sometimes you need to make a judgement call.

Week 2- all in all has been good. I think it might get harder as my vacation starts to get nearer. Hunting season is around the corner, and we'll be going back to our hometown to visit. I need to keep my spending in check, and realize I won't need any new things.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tightening Up The Budget




There may come a time when you will need to tighten up your budget, it may be due to an income problem, or a savings goal. Tightening your budget doesn't necessarily mean that your managing your money badly. It means that your are managing your money, and for whatever reason you're looking to make changes.

Learn To Say "No."

The first thing you need to learn when tightening up your budget is how to say "no." As Dave Ramsey would say "Children do what feels goods, Adults devise a plan and follow it." If you have to tighten up the budget, you're going to have to say "no."

Evaluate the Budget

Look closely at the budget, and see if there are some things you can cut out. Do you have magazine subscriptions that you're not using or don't need right now? Maybe the gym membership has to go. Cable is not a necessity, maybe you can cut down the bill or cut it altogether. You have to look at the big picture, and decide what sacrifices will need to be made. Maybe cut down the "eating out" category, and add to the grocery category.

Renegotiate Your Bills

Cable, internet, insurance companies, and cell phone providers may be able to offer you a promotion price. Talk to the loyalty department and see what they can do.

Grocery Bill

The grocery bill is one of my hardest budget items to keep in check. It's important to keep an eye on this expense. If the grocery bills are getting higher, you may be able to cut down on the bill. Remember that groceries are apart of your "Four Walls" and must remain a priority.

Track your Spending

When you're trying to keep that budget in check, especially when trying to tighten the budget. Track your spending. You can use an app, or even have a spending journal. When you keep seeing how much your spending, you're less likely to keep making those mistakes.

Stay Motivated

It's  hard to make sacrifices but the key is to keep motivated. Don't give up. There's a reason why you are doing this. Budgeting and tightening the budget can be done for various reasons. I firmly believe everyone should have a budget system.