Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Why You Will Save More in 2017 Than Before!

January 1st is less than a week away!  Can you believe it?  Has your bank account recovered from the holidays yet?

Some of you panicked when you read the title of this post.  You thought, "I'm so far into debt from Christmas, there's no way I'm going to be able to save any money next year!  I'll still be paying off my credit card at the end of the year!"  You can't think like that.  I love the beginning of the year because it gives us all the chance to start over.   You can effectively push an imaginary "reset" button on any area of your life that you wish.

So, why not make 2017 THE YEAR for your finances?

You didn't think I would suggest that without including a plan, right?

I do, in fact have a plan.  Actually, it's more of a challenge.  I'm going to take it, and I hope you will consider taking it too.

Let me give you some details:

2017 Savings Challenge!

  • 8 week savings challenge kicks off on January 2nd.  
  • Exclusive to this blog (meaning, you will only be able to access the posts and content here, although I will have links from my social media pages)
  • 1-2 blog posts per week with a weekly challenge "task" for you to complete.  Part of the task will be sharing your progress in the comments section.
  • Embarrassment-free!  I promise you will not be shamed in any way, shape, or form (shaming comments will be deleted!)  We're here to encourage and uplift each other, and therefore save a boatload of money in the process.
  • Spenders and savers are welcome.  If you have a plan and a community of like-minded individuals, you are so much more likely to succeed with your money goals.
  • This challenge is completely FREE!  I will be using material from my book 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save, so you are more than welcome to purchase that as your own resource, if you wish.
How do you join the 2017 Savings Challenge?  I'm so glad you asked!  It's easy. 1. Sign up for email updates from this blog (right-hand side of the page).  You will be sent a confirmation email and will receive a notification each time I post a new challenge.  2. Comment below saying, "I'm in!".  You can also introduce yourself in the comments section and leave any questions you might have about the challenge.  And that's it!  Pretty simple, right?

I promise, you WILL have fun, and eight weeks from now, your wallet will be fatter.  Are you ready to jump on this band wagon?  Let's go!

Happy Saving!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Use Your Resourcefulness This Christmas

I know I'm not the only one who feels the pinch in my budget during the holidays.  Ouch!  It's not much fun.  Now, I'm not talking about the act of picking out and giving gifts; I really enjoy that part. It's the deflated bank account I seem to have after buying all those gifts.

If you've read previous posts or my book 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save, you know that I don't use my credit card for Christmas.  I strive to pay cash or use my debit card, that way, I make it into January guilt-free.

This year has been extra interesting because I am not earning a steady paycheck as I once was when I was a teacher.  I say "interesting" not as a bad thing, because I've really gotten into shopping the sales, using coupons, and becoming very resourceful.  My husband works hard for our money, and I want to make sure to honor him by spending as wisely as I can.

In fact, one of my favorite gifts this year hardly cost me anything.  They are the presents for my music students.  I have five students and they will each get to enjoy this gift.  Here's some pics:

Here's the breakdown of these gifts:

1. A couple of years ago (after Christmas), I found these beautiful cupcake liners with matching embellishments.  I purchased them for at least half off, so no more than $3 because the holiday was over.  Then I put them with my other seasonal items in boxes so I'd have them this year.  Cost this year: $0.

2.  Cake mixes have been so cheap lately!  I guess it's just because it's the holidays and that's when baking supplies are at rock-bottom prices.  I stacked a coupon with an in-store offer and ended up with 3 of my favorite name-brand cake mixes for about .75 cents a piece.  I decided I would doctor a box of devil's food cake mix with a recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor (if you've never tried her stuff, do it today!).  Cost of my cupcake mix: .75 cents

3. I had most of the ingredients on hand for these chocolate cherry cupcakes with fudge frosting.  Still, I needed two more ingredients to finish off the recipe.  I bought canned cherry pie filling (store brand) and chocolate chips (name brand).  Both were on sale and I paid about $2.15 for each.  Cost for ingredients: $4.30

4. My students will appreciate the cupcakes the most, but their parents will appreciate this part the most.  I designed and printed out gift-certificates for a free music lesson in the future (not pictured).  I found my graphics online and they are commission-free, so I used those in a document and just added my text.  I printed them out and attached them to bags of leftover cookies I have from a party I hosted a few days ago.  Cost for certificates: $0

There you have it!  Some of my favorite gifts ever and I made five of them for a little over a dollar a piece.

There are many ways to be resourceful this holiday season and beyond.  You just have to think outside of the box!

What are some of your favorite ways to be resourceful during this season?  I'd love to hear about in the comments below.

Merry Christmas,