Friday, May 30, 2008

Beyond the Lemonade Stand

It's the last day of school in my neck of the woods today. So I thought it would be fun to compile a list of summer jobs for kids. Kids around here are pretty resourceful, here are just a few ideas we've had circulate the neighborhood over the years.

  • Painting house numbers on the curb so emergency vehicles can spot you better at night {black, white and silver combinations~~works especially well in new subdivisions) ~~$5
  • Washing windows~~$1-2/window
  • Power washing your house, garbage cans, etc~~$25 for the house, $10 each garbage can
  • Picking up dog doo-doo~~$2/week (I think I'd charge more than that!)
  • Walking your dog~~don't remember the price
  • Selling concessions at free family movies in the backyard (your own backyard with a projector~~you can't charge admission to the movie, but you can sell treats!)~~varies based on the concessions
  • Selling full size candy bars found super cheap on sale then resold at a profit (this one has worked well for my daughter), or smaller candies that just cost a few cents because kids will dig up money from all sorts of places to come buy candy~~varies based on the candy
  • Reading to small children~~don't remember, but my niece is doing it this summer
  • The basics: babysitting, lemonade stands, car washes and lawn mowing

What other ideas could kids do?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Garden To Cut Food Costs

According to this NPR article, thats just what people are doing. I think its a smart idea no matter what the economy is doing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stop Throwing Away Your Money!

I need a new mop. I've been using the WetJet but I ran out of the disposable pads. Which has been driving me crazy for like, forever! I hate that companies make products so that you have to keep buying. It's great for them, but not necessarily for my pocketbook!

So! I've decided that instead of buying new refills, and disposable pads for my mop, I am going to buy a similar mop that uses washable cleaning pads instead and an easily refillable {by myself! not by buying a new bottle of stuff!} solution thingy. Or I could forego that altogether and just go with a mop with washable pads and just pour my own solution {by hand} on the floor instead!

And I've been thinking. What other disposable type products can I switch from to save a little bit of money?

  • Ziploc baggies can be washed and re-used {unless they've had raw meat in them}
  • Dryer balls can be used again and again instead of buying dryer sheets
  • I've even been considering trying to make my own Clorox type cleanups with washable fabric {old tshirts or towels anyone?} instead of throw away type paper towel sheets
  • Some people even go so far as using washable feminine products and toilet papers {not sure I can go that far! eek!}

So are you ready for a challenge? During the month of June I will be giving up and transferring from some of my old throw away methods and trying to switch to better methods. I challenge you to do the same. Pick one or two items you think you can switch. I will be doing a few posts throughout the month on this too to hopefully give you a few more ideas.

And during this whole process hopefully we can re-gain a little more of our hard earned cash instead of throwing it away on disposables.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fighting Consumerism

I wouldn't say that I am an extravagant spender. I don't do it for sport or for therapy. But I'm used to going and getting whatever I want most of the time. And even that wasn't very extravagant. It was usually things to help things run a little more smoothly around the house. I even got to the point where I didn't really even check price tags a lot of the time.

So now I'm trying to be better with my money so that I can actually WIN with my money. I want a paid for house and a nice stash of money for retirement!

But changing spending habits can be hard. It's been hard on me the past week or so because I've really wanted to go out and buy some stuff that would really be helpful around here. But really, they don't fall within Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs so I'm sure I can survive without them. I just need to get some perspective here. I'm richer than I know compared to other parts of the world! I just need to remember that!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quotable Quotes

"Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happines. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one."

~~Benjamin Franklin~~

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's Snowing!

Well, not real snow, but it IS supposed to rain today but that's not really what I'm talking about to begin with anyway! What I'm talking about is the little extra payments you're sending off to your debts.

I think by now everyone has heard of the snowball method of paying off debts, right? But there are a few other terms out there floating around that I thought I would define for everyone:

*Debt Snowball = when you pay off the smallest debt first then apply that amount to the next debt, and so on and the snowball amount grows larger with each debt getting paid off and being applied to the next debt

*Snowflaking = any extra little bits of found money in your budget that you apply towards your debt

*Snowforting = building an emergency fund from little bits of money (snowflakes) from savings wherever you may find them. The more snowflakes that you add to your emergency fund, the stronger your snowfort becomes. Get a strong enough snowfort and you can shelter yourself from nearly any emergency

*Wealthstreaming = snowflaking for income; having multiple streams of income (every little bit helps!)

So let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

April's snowflake total: $102.10
Every little bit helps!
You may also enjoy reading: Get an Attitude and Stick It To The Man

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dave Ramsey

Last weekend I got to spend two days with Dave Ramsey. First to his Business Coach Live, then the next day to The Total Money Makeover event.

At first I wondered if it would be worth the money to go hear him speak in person when I can just listen to him on the radio. But it was sooo fun!

I mean it is all common sense stuff you already know you should be doing but going to the live event really pumps you up and strengthens your resolve to win with your money!

We decided to sign up for Financial Peace University because even though we've been listening to Dave for years now on the radio, it would be nice to have a support group of like minded people we can be more accountable to.

So I highly recommend attending a live event if he ever comes to your city! It was really fun and worth spending the money to go!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quotable Quotes

"To know you have enough, is to be rich"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gearing Up For Garage Sale Season

This year I'm going to try something new. Garage sales. I really don't see the fun in it like some people do. I've even been a few times with some of my friends.

But this year I've decided if I can get some of the things I'm looking for that is cheaper and helping it stay away from the landfill, then I'm all for that so bring it on!

This little tutorial so to speak by Northern Cheapskate was quite helpful to me so that I can be nice and organized when we hit the sales this summer.

Some of the things I will be on the lookout for?
  • Flintstones car (you know, the orange and yellow ones that have the steering wheel and the floor section open where the kids can make it move with their feet?)
  • Small slide play thing for the backyard
  • Booster seat for the kitchen table
  • Clothes for the Mini's (I have specifics all written down for what we need)
  • Canning jars and equipment

So there you go! Anyone else have things they're on the lookout for? I had this thought that we could swap lists (if you're Wasatch Front local) and if I find something you're looking for, and vice versa, we would be able to cover more sales (with less gas!) and get what we want! If you're interested, let me know!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quotable Quotes

"Avoid the philosophy and excuse that yesterday’s luxuries have become today’s necessities. They aren’t necessities unless we ourselves make them such.

Many of our young couples today want to begin with multiple cars and the type of home Mother and Dad worked a lifetime to obtain. Consequently, they enter into long-term debt on the basis of two salaries. Perhaps too late they find that changes do come, women have children, sickness stalks some families, jobs are lost, natural disasters and other situations occur, and no longer can the mortgage payment, based on the income from two salaries, be made.

It is essential for us to live within our means."

~~Thomas S. Monson~~

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Free This Week

Here are the items I was able to purchase for FREE this week. Yes absolutely FREE!
*2 Kotex Lightdays pantiliners
*1 Cascade Rinse
*1 Buddies soap
*2 Glade Scented Gel Plugins
*1 Kashi Go Lean cereal
*2 Live Active cereals
That was fun! A few even gave me a little overage!

So I think I will post my Walmart, Target and Walgreens posts still since it is a way for me to collect things I plan to purchase all in one spot. The Freebie Friday however, I think I will just refer you to other places on the good ol' web for those!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Little Quiet

I haven't been posting much. I've been trying to figure out what my focus is. Originally I had thought this blog would be about personal finance and taking charge of your own money.

It still is. But lately all my posts seem very heavy on the frugal side of the conversation and not much about other aspects of personal finance. Not that thats a bad thing, but you can probably tell where my own personal focus is lately.

At the same time, some of the things I've been posting such as Freebie Fridays and the shopping/coupon posts are taking up a lot of my time and having to stick to a rigid schedule of posting them on time is wearing on me (already) and I haven't even been doing them for that long. Plus some of it is reinventing the wheel so to speak.

And furthermore, I'm also struggling with knowing what to post on this blog vs. my own personal blog because some of them would work equally well on either. Posting the same on both doesn't work for me as I don't necessarily want to give myself away--though I know some of you know who I am (and I hope you'll keep that info private and not give me away on this particular blog because you never know who is reading this on the wacky wide web and if I blog about my "meeelions" of dollars I don't want them to know its me, kapish?)

So I'm a little quiet while I try to figure out my focus.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Quotable Quotes

Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours. …

Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.”

~~J. Reuben Clark Jr.~~

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Stupid Tax and The Audit

Ever heard of Stupid Tax? If you've ever listened to Dave Ramsey, you know that Stupid Tax = Mistakes made with dollar signs on the end. Well, in The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches Jeff Yeager has a similar exercise called, "The What the H*@! Was I Thinking Audit".

The purpose is to learn from your mistakes, acknowledge them, then take corrective actions to avoid them. By analyzing your past spending habits, you might notice trends you didn't realize before--more spending in certain categories more often than others (ie-clothes, technology, eating out etc), or regrets from purchases at some stores more than others. Ask yourself if you could do it over again, would you buy that?

If at the end you can identify certain areas you have problems with, then create a "What the H*@! Was I Thinking" list to carry with you in your wallet. Just seeing it when you're trying to whip out your moolah might be enough to keep you from making another silly money mistake!

For the complete how-to steps for the audit, read The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches.