Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How the Journey of Saving has Changed My Life

When I began to pen the book, 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save in January, I was really just doing it to challenge myself to save more money.  I wanted more creative ways to do it.  Practically all savers will give the advice to shop at the dollar store (which I do) and use coupons (which I do on occasion), but I wanted to come up with some unique ways to save that would work for me and my family.

At the time, I still had a few thousand dollars left to pay on my student loan and I still owed a lot on my car loan.

As I wrote the chapters in the book, 8 creative ways of saving emerged:

1. Grocery shopping savings- It's about more than using coupons because, let's face it, not all of us are extreme about our coupons, or even excited to use them at all

2. Habit building and savings- For those of us who want to develop positive habits while growing our money

3. Piggy bank party- A savings tip and celebration the whole family will enjoy and remember

4. Percentage savings plan- It's amazing to discover the power of 1%.  This tip will help you save more money than you can imagine

5. Christmas in June- December 25th won't catch me by surprise anymore.  I have a plan and as a result, I have holiday shopping money

6. Buy it used- Buying used doesn't have to be scary if you know where to shop; also, it's important to recognize that some items just aren't worth it used and you should buy them new

7. The $5 ban- For all the visual people out there, this one will "catch your eye" and grow your savings like a wildfire

8. Pantry raid 'n' save- Did you know dinner can be both entertaining and save you money?  It's true

These are the tips I cover in the book.  I love each of them because they are creative and they work.

What I didn't realize at the beginning of this writing process is that using these tips would change my life.

I became inspired to use some of my savings to pay off my student loan.  I did!

My husband made a huge personal sacrifice which allowed us to pay off my car loan, 4 years early!

I am not the same person that I was in January, and as a result of the savings tips above, my family is living debt-free besides our home.

If you don't think there is any way you can learn to save, I challenge you to read the book (get it here).  If you're not inspired, you can return it for a full refund.  But maybe, just maybe, you will experience a transformation like mine.

What if saving money could change your life?

(Holding the book that changed my life for the better.  To get your own copy, click here.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

8 Awesome Holiday Savings Hacks

The following excerpt is a bonus chapter from my book 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save.  For more tips like these, pick up a copy of the book here.

8 Awesome Holiday Savings Hacks

Ready to put more “Ho, Ho, Ho” in your holiday savings this year? Check out these money-saving ideas for the most wonderful time of the year!

1.   Buy all your wrapping paper from the dollar store. They actually have great selections, as long as you get it early (before Halloween!). The longer you wait, the more picked over it will be.

2.    Have Christmas after Christmas. Stuff goes on deep discount on December 26. Yes, you run the risk of lower stock, but you’ll practically have the mall to yourself, and you won’t have to pay full price for many items!
3.     Establish a spending limit with those you exchange gifts with. Have an honest conversation with extended family and friends about what you can all actually afford to spend on gifts for each person. It’s also ok to decide not to exchange gifts and simply enjoy one another’s company.
4.   Visit your favorite thrift stores for decorations and quirky gifts that are one of a kind. Many thrift stores have a full aisle dedicated to holiday decorations. There are treasures and bargains to be found if you look hard enough.
5.      Make a giant batch of holiday cookies and divide them by the dozen to give away to neighbors, teachers, coworkers, people who provide services to you through the year, etc. Most everyone appreciates a box of baked goodness! And even if they can’t eat it, they can surely find someone who can. It’s the thought that counts!
6.     Put your special skills to work by printing and gifting coupons for free services. Whether it’s music lessons, babysitting, or organizing, gift your friends and family with your services and encourage them to use the service!
7.    Set a holiday budget and stick with it! Have a family meeting and make sure everyone knows that you’re going to spend a certain number of dollars and after it’s gone, it’s gone. Brainstorm creative, inexpensive gifts that will mean something to the recipients and set a spending limit for each person on the list.

8.     Shop for the holidays all year long. Always keep some extra cash on hand for buying presents. When you see that item your sister would love go on sale in February, you’ll be able to snatch it up and have a great gift when December arrives.

I just went shopping over the weekend and used tip #1 at the Dollar Tree with awesome results.  I found some cute character paper to wrap my son's gifts in and he also picked out a roll that he liked.  I got 3 rolls of wrapping paper for $3!

What are some ways you save money for the holidays?  I'd love to hear!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's the dream?

My new book, 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save is about two things: 1. It's about saving money in unusual ways and having a little fun while doing so and 2. It's about dreams.

You see, everyone has a dream.  And, most everyones' dreams require money to achieve.  So that is the first thing I cover in my book: focusing on your dream.  If you can start to think about what your dream might look like, feel like, smell like and sound like when you achieve it, you are going to be easily motivated to work hard to get you to that place.

Today's post is going to challenge you to think.  What is your dream?  Now, don't start putting qualifiers on it like, "Well, I want this certain type of car, but it's too expensive," or "I want to eat healthy foods, but we don't live in an area where a lot of healthy food is available."  No, simply think about your dream, as if you can instantly achieve it.

Once you have your dream, I ask you to take 5 minutes at some point today and think about it.  Imagine yourself living your dream.  Describe your surroundings.  Who is living it with you?  How does living your dream make you feel inside?

If you actually complete this exercise, you will feel amazing after 5 minutes of thinking about your dream.  That's because it is already a part of you.  You just need a way to bring the mental picture to reality.

And this is where the 8 creative ways to save will help you start to work toward paying for your dream.  In cash.  And probably a lot faster than you imagined because you will be motivated as you see the numbers in your savings account grow.

So, spend some time dreaming today.  After all, dreaming is free!  And if you don't mind sharing, I would love to hear about your dream in the comments below or on my Facebook page.


Ps. One of my current dreams is to get my new book into the hands of every person who wants to increase his or her savings!  In order to do that, I reduced the price of the eBook to just $3.99!  If you would rather have a paperback copy, you can get it for $9.99.  I hope you'll consider making this small investment in yourself.  Get 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save in either format here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Some days I save, Some days I don't!

I wasn't planning on starting a blog about saving.  And then 5 different people (who know what they're talking about) said I should.

I released my 2nd self-published book today!  It is called 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save and is all about saving money in order to fund your dreams and goals.  It is available on Amazon here.

Here I am, riding the wave of success that comes with publishing a book.  Ok, make that imaginary wave of success because life is pretty much the same as it was yesterday.  I had to go to the doctor for an on-going sinus infection.

I headed to the front desk after the appointment.  "Ok, Mrs. King, that will be $134.21."

I thought about asking her if there was a discount for people who just wrote books on saving money! Then I changed my mind and paid the bill.

The point of the matter is this: Some days I save money and some days I don't.  I guess I'll be reading my own book and working on some of the creative savings tips to make up for an expensive doctor's appointment!

Life happens and life is expensive.  Wouldn't you agree?