Monday, March 28, 2016

5 Ways to Save Money This Spring

Hey y'all and happy Monday! If you've been around this blog for a minute or two you know I can't go very long without talking about saving money! :)

Right now we're really focused on cleaning all the junk out of our house and for some reason that always makes me think of saving money. I think it's the fact that I get to thinking about all the money I wasted on all this "stuff" that is now cluttering my life and stressing me out. So it sends me into this whole saving frenzy! However, Spring and Summer are also usually a pretty spend-y time of year for me since there is just so much to do after being holed up in the house throughout the cold Nebraska winter.

So how do I balance saving and spending when the weather is just begging me to run to the lovely little outdoor mall by my house and stroll around all day? Or when it's finally nice enough to ride my bike so of course I want a new helmet and maybe I need new tires and oh look those new bikes are so shiny!!!....Well, I'm here to tell you.

1. Spring clean your finances.
The first thing you need to do is take inventory. Where are you saving and where are you spending right now? Is there anything you can cut down on to make sure you have money for the things you want to do this season! Before you can do anything else you have to know where you stand.

2. Identify any trouble spots.
Do you need to pay off debt from winter? Rebuild that savings account you borrowed from when you slipped on the ice and had to go to the ER? Maybe you just lost focus trying to survive the winter and need a little financial fitness in your life.

3. Get organized.
Make sure you know exactly where you money is going. I'm not exactly a minimalist so I'm not going to tell you to drop every "unnecessary" expense, but I do believe strongly in knowing exactly where each dollar you earn is going, that way you can maximize your money in a way that works for you!

4. Make a plan.
Ok. You know where you stand. Maybe you like it, maybe you don't. But now is the time to make a plan. For me, one of the things I've realized is that I'm spending way too much money on buying lunch. So I've decided I'm going to start making my lunch at night so I have no excuse in the morning. All I have to do is grab and go. This should save me $20-$40 per week!

5. Get smart.
So you've decided you need to save more. You need to increase your credit score. You want to cut that cable bill. Whatever your need is, you need to learn as much as you can. One of the biggest things people realize around this time of year is that they need to work on their credit. Fortunately, websites like Credit Card Insider have tons of information and tips to help you learn what you need to know! The best defense is a good offense! :)

Well there you have it. That's what's on my mind as far as finances go right now. I'm sure you'll be hearing lots more as the Spring and Summer wear on. What are you doing to save money this Spring?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Things They Tell You...

They tell you the weight will "fall off" when you're breastfeeding. Then they tell you that if it didn't fall off while you were breast feeding, then you're body is hanging on to provide for you child and the weight will surely fall off when you wean. Fall. right. off.

Y'all. I think people just say this to make new moms feel better. Because everything is all squishy and saggy and different.

"Don't worry, hon! You'll have you're tight size 2 bottom back in no time!"

No. No you will not. Stop giving moms unrealistic expectations of their post-baby bodies. You just MADE A HUMAN (as my best friend so awesomely reminded me last night), then birthed it, and now are caring for it 24/7.

Ok, enough with the cynicism. The point is that it is time that I stop waiting for my body to magically spring back into pre-pregnancy shape and give it a little help (and with this comes the realization that many parts of me will never quite look the same again).

1. I signed up for a half marathon.
Yeah. I did this once before. Right before I got married and my husband was gone for a while and I "needed something to do." Only this time I have not had time to train until very recently and even now I barely have energy to do cardio a few times a week. I may be walking a lot during this race but I'm excited for it anyway.

2. I'm trying to eat a bit healthier.
Going on crazy diets has never really worked for me as I have very little self control when it comes to food. ;) However, I can do my best each day to make good and healthier choices. Yesterday, I had friend chicken, a tamale, and Mexican spaghetti for lunch...I will try and do better today. :)

Really that's it for now. Nothing crazy and drastic (ok, except maybe the half marathon), just trying to get back into some of the things I love (including blogging). I'm hoping to have the time and energy to not only keep going, but to keep documenting here. I always do so much better when I feel like I'm held accountable to my blog. ;)