WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
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It’s no secret that in today’s world kids are growing up with a misrepresentation of how money should be saved, spent, and handled in order to ensure long-lasting financial success. More and more younger people are starting their adult lives with enormous amounts of debt and relying on credit. It’s not necessarily that parents aren’t teaching kids about money, but I believe it’s a lack of understanding of HOW to teach kids about money.
This post contains affilaite links.
How To Teach Kids About Money
What We Do
In my household, we started teaching our children about money at a very early age. We allow them to choose what they spend their money on (within reason) and we teach them the value of saving.
My children both receive a ‘commission’ for the work they do around the house. They are required to complete a set of chores each morning and they receive a ‘payment’ every other week. (We try to mimic a normal ‘job’ as close as possible.)
They also have 3 envelopes each hanging on their wall. One is labeled “Spend,” one is labeled “Save,” and one is labeled “Give.” They are required to stick a certain amount in each envelope.
The “Spend” money they are able to use to buy little trinkets – a soda at the store, some gum, etc…
Their “Save” envelope is for bigger purchases. We teach them to choose something they really want and then research the price at different stores – Amazon, WalMart, Target, etc… Once they’ve found a price they (and my husband and I) are comfortable with, then they know how much they need to save. This makes their purchase even more special since they worked hard towards their goal.
These are valuable life lessons for our children. They need to work hard and save for purchases – not rely on credit cards that they will pay off later. We believe that this is an important aspect of teaching kids about money. I want to set them up for financial success so they can be independent later on in life.
We believe in a Biblical foundation for giving money. Their “Give” money goes towards our local church.
Each aspect of the “Save”,”Give,” and “Spend” method is important. Our children learn the value of saving money, the excitement of spending their hard earned money, and we are teaching them that money isn’t everything. We should give what we can to those in need.
Where We Learned Our Technique
Most of these principles that we rely on come from Dave Ramsey’s teaching on money. I would highly recommend reading all of his financial books, but when it comes to teaching your kids about finances, I would suggest grabbing a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money, Smart Kids.
Another Great Resource – The Millionaire Next Door
8 Principles from The Millionaire Next Door
Another great resource for anyone trying to save money or who is looking to lay a foundation to financial success is a book called, The Millionaire Next Door.
See my other related articles on this book.
Within the book are 8 Principles for teaching your kids about money and tips on how to handle your child’s financial situations as adults. Here are those principles:
1. Tell your children that there a lot of things more valuable than money – including themselves!
Always and Often
2. Don’t try to compete with your adult children financially. Encourage them for their own successes!
3. Stay out of your adult children’s family financial matters – and never try and borrow money from your children. You are the adult and need to be financially independent.
4. Never give cash or other significant gifts to your adult children as part of a negotiation strategy. Money is not a tool to be bargained in reward for certain behaviors or outcomes.
5. Minimize discussion of the items that each child and grandchild will inherit or receive as gifts.
6. Assure your children won’t realize you’re affluent until after they have established a mature, disciplined, and adult lifestyle and profession.
7. No matter how wealthy you are, teach your children discipline and frugality!
8. Never tell your children that you are wealthy
While all of these principles might not apply to every household and every family, I believe they offer good advice and words of wisdom.
Teaching your children about money will help set them up for a successful financial future. Even if they never make a 6 figure income, teaching them to be content with what they have is also very important.
If you always stress about the life you don’t have or worry about money in front of your children, then they will grow up to be adults that worry about money – and may even prize money over everything else.
By using the principles found in both of these books you will be on your way to teaching your kids about financial success and setting them up for a great future!
How are you setting up your children for financial success? Do you have other resources or wisdom you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear them!
You Heard Me Right! Here are the Reasons Why You Should Live Like a Millionaire – Even if You’re Broke!
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to be a Millionaire!” Who hasn’t, right? Well, if you’ve ever wondered How to Become a Millionaire, you might be surprised by these 7 Principles that modern day millionaires live by.
I’m not talking about your “Hollywood” or Tony Stark millionaire…I’m simply talking about the millionaires who are living next door! You’ll probably never notice them or even think of them as “millionaires,” but in today’s world, becoming a millionaire is easier than you think!
This post contains affiliate links.
These seven Principles come from William Danko’s, “The Millionaire Next Door.” I highly suggest purchasing your copy TODAY and set yourself up for a brighter future! Who knows…you might just be the next Millionaire Next Door!
7 Steps to Living Like a Millionaire
Live Below Your Means
This one sounds a bit counter intuitive. We often think of millionaires as being able to spend money whenever they want on whatever they want. But it’s simply not the case!
Frugality Translates into Wealth.
Needing ways to save money? Check out these 50 ideas to start saving today!
Allocate Your Time, Energy, and Money Effectively in ways Conductive to Building Wealthy
Simply put – Are you spending your time and energy on things that will help you build wealth – like investments or building a business, or are you simply “Spending” your money?
Believe that Financial Independence is More Important than Social Status
Strangely enough, very few millionaires will spend money on things like “New Cars” and houses with extra space they simply don’t need. Take a look at this table below. This is a statistic given in the book, “The Millionaire Next Door.”
It states that over 50% of millionaires drive a car that is at LEAST 2 years old.
Millionaire’s Parents Did not provide them with “Economic Outpatient Care”
This means that they how to get where they are on their own WITHOUT relying on “Mom and Dad’s Money.”
They know how to work hard and go after what they want! They stopped relying on other people – including the government – to give them money
Teach Your Adult Children to Become Economically Self-Sufficient
Children of millionaires can be surprising self-sufficient when it comes to managing their funds. This is because their parents taught them how to do so. When you teach your children how to handle money – they will grow into adults who can be financially independent.
On the flip side, if you have a child who is an adult and they just can’t seem to live below their means or follow the basic principles of spending less than what you make – it’s okay to QUIT giving them handouts. That way, the money you save when your children are young will be there for YOU to enjoy when they are grown and out of your house.
Be Proficient in Targeting Marketing Opportunities
I’ll be honest, this one is hard for me. I’m NOT very good at the stock market. But we HIRE someone to handle our investment accounts. We interviewed several people before we decided on who to trust with our money.
Make sure that IF you hire out that you choose someone who you KNOW without a doubt will have your best interest in mind.
See my post on How to Retire Like a Boss!
Choose the Right Occupation
Yes, you should choose a job that you love and that will bring your joy. But let’s face it – sometimes those jobs are not reliable and you can’t just sit around waiting for your “Big Break.” (otherwise you might find yourself waiting tables)
Find an occupation that will provide a stable financial income and one that will give you MORE money than what you need to live on. (Remember Rule #1).
I love what I do as an online social influencer and blogger! I can write about subjects I love and I can provide some financial stability to my family.
If you want to try out affiliate marketing – or are just interested in learning the ‘ins and outs’ of making money online, I suggest you Try Out Wealthy Affiliate’s Training Program. You will have access to 10 videos that will TEACH you HOW you can start earning an online income. You can Get Started for FREE Today!
Also see How to Build Your Own Online Business.
Another great Resource to learning how to save and spend below your means is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. This is a MUST READ for anyone in need of helping them create, plan, and stick with a budget. You’ll also learn about saving for your financial future!
Are you ready to become the next Millionaire Next Door? Let me know in the comments below how you are setting yourself up for future success!
Related Video: 7 Reasons Why You’ll Never Get Rich
Do I need to save for retirement? Yes. The answer is ALWAYS yes. Unless you have a rich uncle that will leave you millions of dollars – AND you are REALLY good at budgeting and managing your own money, then you should be setting at least something aside for your retirement each month in an investment fund. Personally, I prefer setting up a Roth IRA for investments. (see why below)
Topics Discussed in this article:
How much Should You Save for Retirement?
What is the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA?
What is the difference between a Mutual Fund and an Index Fund?
Why Invest Your Money?
I guess you could always just open a savings account at your local bank and begin setting extra money aside – or stick cash in an envelope under your mattress. I don’t suggest these methods because you won’t earn any return on your investment this way. See the scenario below.
Plus, it makes its tempting when you can have access to these funds. I suggest investing in a retirement fund – meaning placing funds in the stock market and leaving them there to earn interest over time. We’re talking 20-40 years!
My husband and I started investing in our early 20’s – and even then, we could only put away roughly $50 a month. But it was $50 a month going towards our future! Every little bit helps and the sooner you develop the habit of saving, the better off you’ll be.
How much should you save for your retirement?
This is dependent on a couple of factors.
Your current age
The age you Plan to retire
How much you have saved already
What your estimated return on your investment should be (historically, this will be anywhere from 7-11% return on your investment for the average investor)
Here is a Dave Ramsey Retirement Calculator where you can you input the above numbers and begin to play with these different amounts.
Remember that as your income increases over the years, the more you will be able to invest. So don’t worry if you’re numbers look low right now – you can always contribute more as your income increases.
Ideally, you will put away 15% of your total income into a retirement fund. Most employers have a retirement program – so know what your employer offers and ask questions!
Once you’ve played around with the numbers on the calculator, ask yourself, “How much do I need a year to live comfortably?” This answer will vary person to person.
Just for fun, let’s input the following numbers into the investment calculator. If you were 25 years of age and you had saved up $10,000 towards your retirement and you contributed $300 a month until you were 67 – let’s be safe and say a 7% return…. here are the results.
Doing a little math, you would have contributed $161,200 of your own money and your investment would yield over a million dollars. That’s assuming you NEVER add more into the account as your income ideally increases over the years.
THAT is the reason I suggest investing.
Now, take that total and divide by 20 (this is assuming you live until you’re 97 years old.) That will be the amount of money you would receive each year is you divided up your funds evenly over the course of your retirement.
If we keep with the above scenario, you would retire making with approximately $53,000 a year.
To find out how much you should save for retirement, just play with the numbers until you’ve found one that would yield a nice retirement for yourself. Then, you can set your goals on how much you should start saving. Even if you can’t afford to save as much as you’d like right now, just starting is the important part!
Setting Up an IRA
You have options when it comes to setting up a retirement fund. I prefer a ROTH IRA account, but you can use the traditional IRA as well.
There are differences between Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs. See the chart below to compare the differences between the two.
There are some other terms you might come across when it comes to investing. There are multiple funds to choose from when investing some sort of money. One common question that is asked is what is the difference between a Mutual Fund and an Index Fund.
Here is an easy explanation.
Think of these as your ‘buffet.’ You can pick and choose which stocks to buy into. These accounts are actively managed – meaning your investment provider should be watching these to make sure they are placing your money in the stocks that will lead to a higher return on your investment. This is why it is extremely important to find a provider you trust!
Mutual funds have a lower buy in rate, however, the fees you pay your investor will be higher (generally 1-1.5% of your earnings). But remember, your investor wants to make money too – which is why they actively manage these accounts closely!
Mutual Funds also have more volatility – meaning they are more unpredictable. But the average return of your investment is roughly 7%.
***Some people will argue that the average return of your investment is more like 11-12% percent. Which, historically, that is the correct average. However, that includes the 80’s and 90’s where the stock market jumped and the average investment THOSE years were roughly 20%. Which is why the average over time is estimated around 11-12%. But if you only consider the past 10 years, the average is roughly 7%.
If mutual funds are you ‘buffet,’ then Index funds are more like your ‘summer camp lunch.’ Everyone gets the same thing and a little bit of everything. These accounts are passively managed because they are less volatile and more stable than mutual funds.
Think of it this way. An index fund can include a fortune 500 company. If one branch of that company goes under – there are still 499 that will carry your investment. Because of this, there is a higher buy in – generally $25,000 to begin investing in Index Funds. Exceptions can be made and this number can vary depending on your investor.
But, while the buy in rates are generally higher, the investor fees are lower.
If you don’t understand the stock market, I highly suggest hiring someone to do your investments for you. Click HERE to find some investors near you today and compare rates.
What We Use
We are 100% on a Dave Ramsey Retirement Plan. We use companies and investors endorsed by Ramsey (as linked above) because of his extensive knowledge of the stock market and his abilities to teach someone to plan, save, and setting you up for a great retirement – one that won’t have you depending on the government, or other people in your elderly years.
If you don’t want to have to take on a job after you retire – even though I love my Wal-Mart greeters – you need to be setting SOMETHING aside for your retirement. It’s about living a frugal life now, so you can enjoy the freedom later!
Do you need some ways to increase your income? You can create a website online and learn how to make money in the long term to go towards your investments.
Why not start an online business now – you can receive FREE basic training on how to set up your website and how to start making a residual income online with a website.
Are you looking for a side hustle? You can also check out THIS POST on how to make money doing odd jobs by posting your skills on websites like Craigslist and Facebook.
Or, simply start saving money with these 50 ideas! Sign up to receive a print out of all 50 ways you can save money. Hang it on your fridge and check them off the list as you save money each month towards YOUR future!
How important is saving for retirement to you? Let me know in the comments below! Comment and tell me what you want YOUR future to look like! What are your goals?
Are you a frequent flyer? Do you want to me be? Maybe you’ve always thought flying was too expensive. But YOU TOO can enjoy the luxury of air travel at an affordable price. Here are 3 MUST SEE site reviews for finding Cheap Airline Tickets and Discount Airfare. Let me show you how to save money on airfare!
Lookupfare is my #1 Recommendation for finding AMAZING travel deals. Not only do they have deals on Domestic and International flights – but they offer special deals that other companies CAN’T match!
Did you know that you can book a flight for Under $39?!?! Yep! Especially if you are a weekend traveler, you need to look HERE before booking anywhere else.
Most of their cheaper deals are flights that you could easily drive to in about 3-5 hours. But you would spend more on the gas money to get you there than you would on flying!
This is for the
business men and women who travel to weekend conferences
the college student who wants to go home for the weekend
or for the surprise romantic weekend getaway!
Here are some of the deals they were offering today!
I’m using these deals just to let my kids experience flying on an airplane. It’s about making memories that last a lifetime!
Here’s just some of what they have to offer in other categories!
…and so much more!
Smartfares is more of a coupon discount site. Smart Fares Cheapest Airfares can be found by calling and booking your flight over the phone.
However, you can also find great deals on this site, plus coupon codes for almost every occasion!
They also offer special deals on International flights as well. Just for fun, I wanted to see how much it would cost if I were to book a flight from Chicago to Mumbai, India. The result was surprising cheaper than I would have imagined!
I couldn’t believe I could travel to India and back for under $700! THAT’s pretty cool!
CheapFlightNow is another Coupon Site that offers special deals on flights and airlines. It’s very similar to Smartfares in the sense that they want you to call and book your flight to find the greatest deals.
This time, I wanted to see what kind of a deal I could get on a domestic flight. I decided to see what a trip from New York City to Las Vegas would cost.
When booking at least 2 months out, I found the price to be under $200!
No matter when you travel or where you travel, these sites can help you find the Cheapest Deals so you can spend more time and money on the things that matter! I hope you find them as helpful as I did!
Bonus Ninja Tips
Plan ahead – book most flights in advance. (unless you find a great weekend deal from Lookupfare under $40!)
Have a friend drop you off and pick you up at the airport. That way you can avoid a car rental fee or taxi fare.
Did you know that the ‘magic’ booking date for flights is the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August? Most airline tickets will be discounted 20-40% if you book a flight during those weeks? Why? Because of the ‘back-to-school’ season, most airlines see a decline in flights for those weeks.
Travel off season! Don’t travel over major holidays – you can always celebrate Christmas in July with those relatives you missed during the already busy holiday season!
For more tips and tricks on how to save money see these related posts!
What’s your #1 hassle when it comes to dealing the airport hustle and bustle? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you looking for an easy, stress-free way to plan your family meals? Do you find yourself cooking the same old thing every week? (not that I’m against Taco Tuesday) … But if you’re like me and challenged in your culinary skills – or you just need some fresh ideas, MyFreezEasy makes meal planning and prep super easy – which saves you time, money (because you won’t be buying things you never use), and gives you back your sanity!
What is MyFreezEasy?
MyFreezEasy is a subscription service that delivers meals plans straight to your inbox – complete with a shopping list and assembly video! It’s designed to give you 10-12 easy freezer meals you can prep in under 1 hour!
The meals change each month and it’s designed to save you money by planning for meals around produce and meats that are in season.
The MyFreezEasy basic plan gives you 5 options for different meal plans depending on your dietary needs and/or preference. They offer:
Traditional Meal Plans
Gluten Free Meal Plans
Slow Cooker Meal Plans
Clean Eating Meal Plans
20 Meals Meal Plan (this is 5 meals from each category above)
But it’s not Just Recipes!
With the Premium Membership, you have access to all the basic membership plans plus the desktop app. This allows you to swap out meals and create your own unique plan.
Their drag and drop option makes it easy to customize your own plans. Plus, you have access to a My Favorites section which gives you the ability to save the meals you really love and re-work them into your meal plans!
This gives you the ability to Build and Create Meal Plans that Fit Your Family and Your Lifestyle!
I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable this program is! I’m not one to spend money on subscription services – but THIS one is a MUST in my household! You can try it month to month for only $12! That’s less than what you actually save on shopping – and it’s worth having stress free dinner prep!
You can get 2 months free if you sign up for an entire year at a time – but my absolute favorite part is that you have access to everything no matter how you choose to pay! There is nothing offered in the yearly membership that is not offered in the $12/month membership (apart from the discount for the entire year). But you have access to all the videos, all the plans, and even a FREE meal planning video course!
This is the best meal planning program I have come across and it’s so affordable – especially for what you get each month! But don’t just take my word for it. Here are what others have to say about this program!
So, go ahead – give it try today! You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family! $12 a month is worth your sanity!
Looking for other ways to save money? Check out these related posts!
What’s your biggest hassle when it comes to meal planning? Let me know in the comments below!
This post contains affiliate links. See my Private Policy | Disclosure Page for more information.
Whether you’re saving money for a trip, trying to get out of debt, or simply want to keep your hard earned money in your wallet – this is a list of 50 Super Simple Ideas that can save you money each month!
Be sure to Pin this post so you can come back to it later! Let me know your favorites in the comments below!
Sign up and receive a FREE print out of all the ways you can save! Hang it on your fridge and try to make your way down the list – you’d be surprised how truly easy it is to save money each month!
How to Save Money on Food at Home
1. Keep nonperishable snacks in the car so you won’t be tempted to do drive through.
Make sure your cans have a pop top, or keep a spare can opener in the glove box.
2. Eat at home.
If you plan accordingly, you won’t be tempted to go out to eat if you already have a plan in place!
3. Eat leftovers…or get creative and make brand new meals out of leftovers!
4. Make your own coffee at home.
Skipping the sugary cappuccinos can be better for your wallet, and your waistline!
5. Make large portions of meals at once.
Freeze your leftovers for quick meals later!
6. Brown Bag your lunch and your snacks!
If you take your own lunch to work, you won’t be tempted to eat out or give up your money for a food run!
7. Grate your own cheese…it’s really not that hard.
8. Make your own bread…it tastes better and makes your house smell AMAZING.
9. Go through your pantry.
What’s hiding in there that you forgot about??? You may even find some sweet treasures (or things that really need to be tossed!)
How to Save Money on Groceries
10. Plan your meals and snacks for each week. Only buy what you need!
11. Never go grocery shopping hungry!
That way you won’t be tempted to buy every snack you come across.
12. Buy Generic.
13. Buy Produce and Meat in Season.
14. Buy Meat in Bulk. Take advantage of your freezer space!
15. Save big with Groceries Apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51.
16. PRICE CHECK. Buying in bulk isn’t always cheaper. But when it is, do it!
My favorite things to buy in bulk are Rice, Sugar, Flour, and Dry Beans. We store them in 5 gallon buckets and we generally only have to buy them once a year!
17. Look for coupons in ad sheets and newspapers!
But only use them if it’s something you were going to buy anyway. Remember, you don’t save money by buying something on sale that you wouldn’t have bought in the first place.
18. Price Match at Walmart!
You can even download their app to scan your receipt and you will automatically be credited money for items that are cheaper at competing stores.
Related: Kick Your Grocery Bill to the Curb!
Save Money While Eating Out
19. If you want to eat with friends, suggest doing desserts or drinks and eat your main meal at home.
20. If your friends want to go out, volunteer to be the designated driver.
Most restaurants and bars will give you free drinks (non-alcoholic of course.)
21. If you want to eat out with the family, go for lunch for take advantage of Happy Hour Specials. If you’re going with kids, see where kids eat free on certain days.
Save Money Around the House
22. Keep a spare change jar and every time you find loose change or you get cash back, start filling up your jar.
Make it fun by seeing how fast you can fill it up. Make it more fun by keeping multiple jars for each member of the family and see who can fill theirs up the fastest!
23. Make your own laundry detergent and tooth paste!
24. Drink Water!
Not only is it good for you, but it can also help cut food cravings on unnecessary snacks.
26. Shop for clothes and ‘seasonal items’ out of season!
Take advantage of clearance racks and save big on next year’s needs.
29. Put on a Sweater.
During colder months don’t run to turn up the heat – layer clothes to keep you warm and your heating bill down.
30. Just the opposite, don’t run to turn down the air during the summer.
Spend hot afternoons at your public library (or other places where you aren’t tempted to spend money).
31. Hang your clothes up to dry.
32. Take cold (or colder) showers. You won’t be tempted to waste water and you’ll save money on your water heater bill!
33. Use natural light. If you can utilize a window instead of keeping the lights on – do it. Make sure you turn lights off when you leave the room.
Bonus: I charge my kids 10 cents every time they leave the light on in their room. It doesn’t happen very often anymore, but I can put that dime in my spare change jar!
Save money on Special Occasions
34. Have a Date night in. Put the kids to bed early and rent a Redbox!
35. Make Homemade gifts.
People will appreciate them more and you’ll save money on the things they won’t remember in 10 years anyway.
Know your needs vs. your wants
36. Take a second look at your cell phone bill? Is the cost really worth it?
Check out low cost – not contract plans from Republic Wireless and see how much you can save today!
37. Do you need cable? Really? If you want to save big try going without.
You can even buy a Roku and still enjoy your favorite shows for half the price!
Just Good Advice
38. Take a glance at your bank statements. Are there any old subscriptions (magazines, memberships, etc.) that you don’t really use? If so, cancel them!
39. If you frequent a store, see if they have a rewards card. NOT a credit card.
(I’m not a fan of using money you don’t have!)
40. Have some fun! Give yourself some ‘blow’ money each month and don’t go over your allotted amount.
This will make you think about what you REALLY want instead of purchasing those little items you don’t really need.
41. Buy it used!
Go to thrift stores or garage sells to find birthday presents, clothes, etc. It’s even easy to thrift shop online. Find local Swap Shops or Facebook groups in your area!
42. If it’s something you only need every now and then – rent it. Or borrow it from a friend!
I’m always borrowing my friend’s carpet shampooer or my neighbor’s power tools!
43. Always get second opinions on household repair jobs!
We’ve saved a LOT of money over the years by not going with the first quote we’ve received on a repair job!
44. Carpool, Walk, or Bike when possible.
45. Cut your own hair and your kids’ hair…or ask a friend.
You can probably think of someone you know who cuts hair for a living. If they won’t do it for free, see if you can make a trade. Make them dinner in exchange for haircuts.
46. Have no spend weekends! Take an entire weekend off from spending money each month.
Go to the park, play board games – think of ways you can have fun without the funds!
47. Live minimally. It’s not worth keeping up with the Joneses!
48. Build up your emergency fund!
That way, when you need those repairs done around the house, they won’t eat into your normal budget.
49. Get out of Debt! Take your savings and pay off your debt as soon as possible so you can stop paying extra money on interest payments!
50. Spend Money Like a Millionaire! No – not the Hollywood kind.
I’m talking about the everyday millionaire living next door in a modest house and driving a modest car. See how easy it is to build up wealth – meaning save now so you can have money later!
Recommended Reading: The Millionaire Next Door.
Do you have a favorite way to save and I missed it? Share it below in the comments section. I’m always looking for more good advice!
This post contains affiliate links. See my Private Policy | Disclosure Page for more information.
Everyone looks forward to their vacation time! It’s important to be able to escape your everyday routines and enjoy your time away. But what’s my #1 Stressor when it comes to vacations? Finances! Here are some tips to make your vacation a little less stressful and how to budget for your vacation!
1. First off – BUDGET.
I’m a huge fan of budgeting for EVERYTHING! If you want to be smart about your finances (even while you’re on vacation) you need a budget! It’s easier on your wallet if you’ve spent time saving up for your vacations a little each month. Even if you put $50 a month into a savings account – you’ll be glad it’s there when you need it!
See how I budget with my Envelope Budgeting System.
2. Next, PLAN
When you plan the details of your vacation beforehand you can know how much money you will need each day of your trip. Give yourself a daily allowance and stick with it!
If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
Look up restaurants near your destination and check out their menus – that way you won’t be surprised when the bill comes!
Plan every stop and every sightseeing outing. Check ticket prices online beforehand…most places even offer discounts when you book tickets early online.
But put a few extra dollars aside for those impromptu outings as well…let’s face it, you ARE on vacation! Having a little extra ‘just in case’ is nice! You’ll be relieved when realize that you CAN live it up a little!
Do you want to see what type of vacations you can plan on a budget? Click HERE to put in your ideal travel and budget information and World Of Magic Travel will send you an estimated quote on how much your trip will cost! It’s a really neat tool to help you plan your next destination!
3. CUT SPENDING
If you want to save up for your vacations, it’s best to start cutting your everyday spending. This could be as simple as making your own coffee from home, meal planning to cut your grocery bill, or not eating out for a few months to put that money into your vacation fund.
Keep it Fun! Every time you save money, put that amount into a jar and watch it grow! See how much you can save each week and how fast you can fill it up! But don’t touch it! You’ve already budgeted for your NEEDS (step #1). Save that money for your vacation so you can fulfill those WANTS later! You will appreciate the delayed gratification once you’re on your vacation and you don’t have to pinch pennies!
4. RESEARCH EARLY AND OFTEN
Research different companies offering package deals that can save you money when you book flights and hotel rooms together. Check and see when companies will be offering cashback rebates or having special deals and take advantage of them!
Always ask your hotel if they can provide you with special ticket prices to nearby attractions or discounts at local restaurants.
See what kind of deals you can make! Check out How to Make a Deal: What I learned in China!
6. IF POSSIBLE, PLAN AN OFF-SEASON VACATION
Sure, we all love summer vacations, but you can usually find the BEST deals if you travel off-season. It might be fun to take a trip over Christmas Break – it will cost less…. plus, you can avoid seeing your in-laws!
Extra Travel Tips:
Did you know that flights are can up to $100 less when you book them the last few weeks of August?
Cruise lines are also less expensive when you book your cruise between fall and spring. Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from the cold for a week with a Mediterranean cruise? Sounds nice, right!?!
It’s always nice to bring home some sort of ‘memento’ from your trip. But do you really need another trinket that just lays around the house? Never underestimate the power of pictures! Pictures make great memory books and can generally be made pretty cheap.
Choose what you want to look for beforehand. My husband and I try to get either a shot glass or a coffee mug from our destination. They’re cheap, practical, and I get to reminisce on our vacation every time I drink from one!
Magnets also make great gifts!
Never underestimate FREE gifts! You can always bring home the sand from the beach or dirt from the Rocky Mountains!
If you want to know some other Travel Stressors and how to avoid them, click HERE.
I hope this list gives you a good idea of how to budget and plan for your next vacation! What’s your next destination? Let me know if the comments below!
How to Make a Deal: The Art of Haggling
I’ll be honest. I’m not one who tends to negotiate with people. I’m too ‘nice’ and I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to pushy salesman. (Which is why I usually leave situations like that up to my husband). Of everything I learned in school, ‘How to make a Deal’ wasn’t been one of them.
So when my husband and I traveled to China a few years ago, I was a little culture shocked by the constant haggling and ‘wheeling and dealing’ that went on in every shop and on every street corner.
Different vendors were selling the exact same products throughout the malls and street merchants. And each vendor had a different price listed for the same product! I’m not talking pennies, but prices varying as much as$10-$50! Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed. Okay – I was A LOT overwhelmed.
I’m so thankful for our translator, Susan, who traveled with us. She was a strong woman with a good sense of authority. She made sure we always got the best prices possible! I learned so much from watching her interact with the vendors.
With Susan’s help, I was able to browse the different stores, pick out what I really wanted, and then I let the Negotiations began! (all through Susan of course!)
I’m an introverted woman by nature. So when I see a woman who can rock the art of deal making, I take notice!
Why are Introverted women notoriously bad at making deals?
We are too nice.
We tend to think that we will hurt the other person’s feelings if we say no. Women are driven by emotion more than men and so we feel bad for turning away someone’s offer.
We don’t like to argue.
Not only do we not to like to argue, but we really don’t want to make a scene. We tend to give into things so we can avoid a potential conflict or uncomfortable situation.
We tend to think it’s ‘good enough.’
Sure, we can shop around all day searching for the best price online, but when it comes to negotiating the price with someone in person, we want to get it over with as fast as possible and will usually cut a deal that is ‘okay’ instead of landing an exceptional one.
How to Make a Deal
So here are the tips I picked up from watching Susan. I was able to bring these tips home with me and now I am more confident in my haggling skills!
Get to know the product you want, who has it, and see who is willing to negotiate the price with you.
A practical example would be if you’re going to buy a car. Research sites like Blue Book to see what the suggested price point is for the make, year, and model you want.
You won’t get a better price unless you ask. And let’s face it – the worst they can say is ‘no.’
I’ll never forget the time I took son, who was 6 years old at the time, garage selling. He really wanted a stuffed penguin, but he had to pay for it with his own money.
It cost $5, but all he had was $2. He, very politely, walked up to the woman and asked if he could have it for $2. And she said Yes! (4 years later, he STILL sleeps with that stuffed penguin – now named Fluffy).
3. Show Cash
Never under estimate the power of ‘showing’ someone the amount of money you are willing to give them. For example, if you want to buy a car that’s listed for $8,000 from someone – start counting out your money in front of the seller.
But only bring $7,000 with you. You can show them that you are willing to pay $7,000 right now if they’ll drop the price. It’s really hard to say ‘no’ to $7,000 when someone is trying to hand it to you.
4. Negotiation is a Two-Way Street
Remember that sellers want to make money. If you low ball them too much, they’ll not want to negotiate with you and you might be out of a product you really want.
Know what price you want to pay beforehand and stick to your guns! Offer them a lower price at first but be willing to have an open window for them to negotiate too.
5. Be Prepared to Walk
Never be afraid to walk away from a deal that isn’t worth your time! This is why your research is so important. If you can truly find it cheaper – do it!
Where to Haggle
In China, locals never expect to pay full price on anything! (That was for tourists like me!)
Let’s face it – haggling is not generally a western mindset and so it can be hard to think of places where the prices are not fixed.
The obvious places that come to mind are garage sells, used car lots, thrift stores – or anything that is not overseen by a larger corporation.
But it’s perfectly okay to haggle with your cable provider or your phone provider (I do it!), and see what deals they can give you.
I signed up with our internet provider during a special they were running. I received a discount for 12 months – and at the end of that 12 months, I asked to be placed back into that deal. I’ve been with them for over 5 years now and have kept my discounted price the whole time – BECAUSE I ASKED! I also make sure they know I’ll switch in a heartbeat if they don’t. It’s not personal – it’s business!
I even haggle with hotels. You might not be able to get a cheaper room, but most of them can offer deals for local attractions – all you have to is ASK!
Bonus Ninja Tips
No one wants to negotiate with someone who comes off as a jerk.
Be willing to go back and forth on the price.
Know your price, but start by offering a lower amount. Be willing to negotiate until the seller will agree on your top dollar amount.
Dress for success to have the right mindset. When you look confident, you feel confident, and others will know you are force not to be reckoned with!
Maybe you have some coupons lying around. You could offer them cash plus your coupons or other valuable item.
Do you have awesome negotiation skills? What are your tips on how to make a deal? Drop me a comment below.
Or maybe you’re like me and haggling makes you feel uncomfortable to the extreme! Come on ladies, let me know! I’m sure you’re out there – don’t make me feel alone in this! Tell me your worst haggling fear in the comments below!
Looking for ways to save money? Check out these posts!
Need to bring in more income? Click HERE to see how easy it is to start your own business TODAY!
OR check out these other ways to make money from home.
This post contains affiliate links. See my Private Policy | Disclosure for more information.
Why You Should Think About Christmas In July…or sooner!
Wow, summer seems to be flying by! I can’t believe it’s already July! Although it may be swimming season, here’s a list of how and why you should start planning for Christmas NOW! (if you haven’t already)
Remember last Christmas when you were scrounging around for last minute gifts and gift ideas? Sometimes Christmas shopping can be a huge headache and the hassle can leave you with either spending too much money just to get it over with, or relying on last minute trinket items that people really don’t care about anyway.
So, go ahead, plan for Christmas in July and watch for those special “Christmas July Sales.” That way, when winter rolls around you will not only be the Queen (or King) of gifts, but you can sit back and watch everyone else stress while you relax and enjoy the season!
Here are some things you can do RIGHT NOW that will lead to a less stressful shopping season come winter.
1. Make a list!
Your list is golden! This can help avoid last minute shopping and overspending when you’re tired and want to avoid the mall!
Make a list of everyone you want to get a gift for. This includes co-workers, kids’ school teachers, neighbors, bosses, etc.
Try to remember all those important people that impact your life on a regular basis (trash guy, mailman – anyone you usually forget but later think to yourself, “I should have gotten them something!”)
2. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!!!
Think about how much you ideally want to spend and start setting that money aside now! Try and put away a little each month. Then, when you start shopping it’s not a big hit to your budget come December!
Decide how much you want to spend AND stick to it!
Need a budget? See How to Create A Budget and stick with it!
Or, if you want to see the system I use, check out My Enveloping Budgeting System.
3. Start shopping now!
The hot summer items are coming to their peak, which means stores are going to start rolling out their fall lines soon. The good news – summer items go on sale, or even better, on CLEARANCE!
Browse your favorite store’s clearance items while you’re out and start collecting your gifts now! Carry your list with you and mark off what you buy and who you buy it for as you go. (that way you don’t buy for someone twice because you forgot you already spent money on them)
Store your items in a storage container in the garage or spare bedroom and come December, all you have to do is start wrapping! Or you can take advantage of store’s layaway programs if you don’t have room to store an item in your house!
4. Start Looking for Deals!
If there is a certain item you KNOW you want to purchase, start looking out for those deals now!
Did you know Google will send you notifications anytime a new post or article goes live? You can go to Google Alerts and type in certain phrases you want to receive notifications about.
For instance, if you want Google to Alert you when there is a sale on Drones, you can set your Google Alert to “Drone sales” and when they go on sale, Google will send you a link to the corresponding article or website.
You can also browse Restaurant.com under their Deals Beyond Meals page where you can purchase gift cards for more than half off the amount! – stock up these and people will LOVE you come Christmas!
5. Buy Trinket Items in Bulk
If you know you have a big group of people to buy for come Christmas, i.e. if you’re the boss and need presents for your employees, then search for deals and buy those items in bulk!
It’s also a good idea to buy a little extra ‘somethings’ because if you’re anything like me – I still forget someone (even with my list!)
Bonus Ninja Strategy
Write down what you spend on each gift. At the end of the season, see how much you spent, divide by 12, and start saving at least that much money each month come January.
That way, you have an entire year to dedicate setting a small amount of money aside for NEXT year’s Christmas!
What was the most stressful part about last Christmas for you?
How are you going to rock Christmas This Year?
Let me know in the comments below!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Private Policy | Disclosure page for more information.
Are you looking for Cheap Cell Phone Plans with NO contract?
Look no further!
Do you want to save money by cutting down the cost of your cell phone bill? Cell phone plans are ridiculously expensive these days and can cost well over $100/month per line! But did you know that there ARE cheap cell phone plans with NO contract involved? Yes, they do exist. I just discovered one and I’m SO excited to share it with you!
Let me introduce you to Republic Wireless. It’s seriously the next best thing in cheap and effective cell phone coverage! Take a look at your old cell phone bill and see how much you could save today! They have plans starting at $15/month!
Republic Wireless is not just another cell phone company. They truly focus on the importance of the customer and want to create a community with outstanding customer service. Check out their mission statement!
Our goal is lofty: To be less of a phone company and more of a phone community. If you’re into transparency, honesty, collaboration and trust, come join Republic.
How do can they compete with the big companies at such low prices? They offer a WiFi talk and text model – which simply means that they connect your phone to available WiFi hot spots for usage instead of relying on data. But don’t worry, they still have cell tower service for when there is no WiFi around! (But seriously…there’s WiFi everywhere)
Their newest feature is their Anywhere Program – which allows you to text and manage your cell phone from other devices – tablet, computer, etc…
So, if you’re tired so spending hundreds of dollars on a cell phone plan – Republic Wireless might be good fit for you.
These plans are perfect for people on a budget, seniors, kids, families – absolutely everyone can benefit their service. So go ahead – choose your phone and start saving money today!
Don’t want a new phone? No problem! You can bring in your old phone!
Click HERE to head to Republic Wireless and make the switch TODAY!
Are you looking for other ways to save money? Check out how you can SAVE $1000 Pain Free!
Or, save on Groceries by Kicking Your Grocery Bill to the Curb!
Need a budget? Learn how to Create a Budget and Stick with it!
Questions? Comments? How much money can you save by switching to Republic Wireless? Let me know in the comments below!