January Update and February’s Focus Challenge

February challenge

Wow, seems like we just rang in the new year and now it’s already February. I did good on some things in January like blogging regularly and drinking a little more water. Some things weren’t so great. I didn’t get to add to my emergency fund, in fact I dipped into it but part of that is just due to my paycheck adjustment I’m still dealing with so that will eventually settle out. January in Kentucky was extremely cold, which was a great excuse for me to stay indoors and not go to the gym. I finally got back to Planet Fitness last week though and I’m going to work on getting back into the habit of regular exercise this month. Continue reading

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5 Small Changes That Can Save You Some Serious Change!

 

Loose change

I am all about being frugal. Let’s be honest, it’s been a necessary way of life for me for quite awhile. I love hearing frugal tips but I am not going to the extreme like some people do. These are some strange, gross, or down right dishonest methods I’ve come across:

Pay for a movie and then sneak in another one afterwards without paying.

Share your partner’s toothbrush or floss. (Gross)

If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down. (Again…gross)

There are some simple things I try to do, especially if funds are tight to save a little bit of change over the course of the month/year though. None of these take much effort on my part, nor do they affect my standard of living noticeably. Continue reading

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How to Budget When You’re Broke

I’ve been interested in personal finance for a long time. This blog actually started after realizing I might as well try writing my own after years of reading numerous financial blogs. I figured my love of writing and having a few tricks at juggling a tight budget on a single-mom income could generate at least a few blog posts.

Thankfully it’s been a few years since I’ve actually been “broke” and truthfully I’ve never been truly broke. I’ve always been able to buy food for our family and keep the utilities on and a roof over our heads. I am aware there are people out there that are truly struggling.  If you’re reading this and belong in that category then please reach out to any local resources available to you. Contact your local government or perhaps a church if you need help finding assistance.

This post is for those who just find their budget to be a little tight right now. I get it, believe me. Somehow Christmas tends to sneak up on the best of us, even though it’s the same day EVERY SINGLE YEAR!!! The semester just ended for my kids and they tend to be a little tight on funds then since they don’t work as much with finals and they generally have new books to buy for the next semester. Continue reading

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January Challenge-Decluttering

messy house

Okay, I mentioned on my last post that I was going to create a mini-challenge each month. January’s challenge is decluttering. This is something that should be done routinely, especially if you live in a tiny home like we do.

I’m going to shock you here (unless you know me) but despite my love of planners and lists, I am not a naturally neat person. My work space is usually organized chaos and I’d really prefer you give me 24 hours notice if you want to drop by so I can make sure my house is presentable please.

I would love to be that person with the house that is always spotless but it just isn’t me (or my kids unfortunately). My husband may have been a bit OCD with cleaning and keeping things neat, my mom’s house is always very put together and neat, and you could literally eat off of the floor at my aunt’s house because she probably just mopped it. I am not that person. Walking into organized spaces makes me calm though so I’m determined to develop the neat habit this year to help bring some extra zen into my life. Continue reading

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2019-A Year of Creating My Empire

2019 Planner

If you’re one of the 12 people that regularly read my blog then you’re probably already aware that I’m a bit of a nerd. I love journals and planners, checking my budget, creating to-do lists, writing, and making big plans each and every year. Obviously I really geek out over New Year’s then, right? Just like not understanding people who operate without budgets, I really don’t understand why more people don’t get excited about setting New Year’s Resolutions.

I guess New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years because people tend to get excited about them on January 1st and then when their motivation fizzles out in February they decide resolutions are dumb. To me though, January 1st signifies a blank slate. It’s a time to look back at what you liked about the previous year, what you didn’t like about it, and what you want to accomplish in the new year. I have big plans this year to focus on my writing, hence the Year of Creating my Empire tagline.

It’s been proven (you’re going to have to believe me here, I’m not going to dig up one of the multiple studies to cite) that people who write down their plans/resolutions/goals, etc., are more likely to achieve them. Want an extra layer of accountability for yourself? Broadcast them to the world so your best friend (or enemy) can stay on your case about your progress throughout the year. So, without further ado, here are my goals/resolutions for 2019. Continue reading

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2018 Recap and Looking Forward

I truly can’t believe that we’re just days away from 2019. I’m still working on my 2019 Goals and Resolutions but I personally think you shouldn’t look forward to a new year before checking in on how you did with last year’s goals. Continue reading

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Should You Take That New Job?

comfort zone, new job

Remember how I said I was going to be more Bold this year? I thought my big Bold moment came when I invested a fair amount of money into a blogging course. You know how frugal I am and especially when it comes to spending money on myself but I took the leap. I’m moving at a slower pace than I expected I would due to life getting in the way this year but I’m still trudging along and expect to make some real progress in 2019.

My blogging course didn’t turn out to be my Boldest move though. A job opportunity presented itself unexpectedly a few months ago and after a lot of soul-searching and number-crunching I decided it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I’m still helping out at my former job on a limited basis but I officially started my new position earlier this month. Continue reading

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5 Ways Being Disorganized is Costing You Money

My closest friends and relatives are probably going to get a real kick out of this post. My house, work desk, life, etc., is never the most organized looking thing around.  I’m just not ever going to be one of those people who have a spotless house or perfectly clutter-free desk.  I like to call my areas organized chaos because I generally know exactly where to retrieve whatever I need but to outsiders it might occasionally look like I’ve been ransacked. Sorry mom…

One area I’m pretty organized at though is my finances and shuffling my life schedule. Granted I work in the accounting field and I’m a bit of a numbers geek so maybe I have a slight advantage there. I also tend to be juggling several responsibilities at any given time, such as multiple jobs and kid schedules and whatever creative endeavors I’m working on at any given time so being organized with time-management is essential.

Here are 5 ways your lack of organization might be costing you money: Continue reading

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5 Tips to Celebrate Christmas on a Shoestring Budget

 

Winter movies

Christmas is a little less than 7 weeks away. It shows up on the same day every single year but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever (always) found themselves a little unprepared for the extra expenses that comes with the holiday. Here are 5 tips for keeping your Christmas holiday in check.

Figure Out Your Budget

If you’re running low on funds then this step is especially crucial. Set your dollar limit and then create your list of people that you need to buy for and make that list fit into your budget. Don’t be tempted to increase your budget figuring you will play catch up in January…that never works!! Continue reading

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How To Pick the Perfect Part-Time Job

 

I currently work two jobs and have done so for almost two years now.

The decision to work two jobs was primarily due to the fact that we lost nearly $1,900 a month over a two year period.  I am grateful for the Social Security payments we received over the years after my husband died, but certainly wish the benefits could have continued through their college years. Living expenses don’t stop if the kids go on to college.

Our financial situation is certainly not uncommon in today’s times though and it’s not limited to only single-parent homes. I don’t know too many people that could easily survive on one income in today’s environment. One solution to ease the financial burden, regardless of whether you’re a single parent or a dual-income family struggling to meet your financial responsibilities, is to find a part-time job. Continue reading

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