How to stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget

I will teach you today, how to you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

How do you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget? For me it’s self control and willpower. I think it’s important to have a strong emotional connection to your goals. Rather than having a goal of I want to stick to X budget or save this much. Why are you saving? For your family? For financial freedom? Keep going with the whys until it’s so clear to you, you can’t see why you would do anything else. This can get you pretty far. 

Remember how hard it was to claw my way out of debt. I remember how painful it was being unemployed for 9 months, coasting along for the first 3 thinking I’d be fine since I had 7 months’ savings plus unemployment for 6 months, then the unemployment and savings running out, then the credit cards getting maxed out, finally finding a job and clawing my way out of debt in a year.
I also keep a written monthly budget on my phone (EveryDollar App), and I put every penny I spend into the app. Before I buy anything I look to see if it’s in the budget. If it’s not then I either have to not get it, plan to save up for it, or not spend somewhere else and modify the budget accordingly. But I also have “poor kid syndrome” so I’m always horrified of being broke even if I’ve got a good job and money saved up. 
Also work with cash – once it’s gone it’s gone for the month. Remembering that you can’t spend more than you make. Remembering I can’t afford it…
So let me know how you stay focused and inspired when you’re tempted to go off your budget.

How our family saves $10,000 a year!

I will teach you today, how our family saves $10,000 a year!

Are you ready to save some money? Here are a few ways our family saves about $10,000 a year!

1. We make breakfast at home.

It is so enticing to hit up the drive through for breakfast because there just isn’t any time. But we began meal-prepping breakfast at home. Every Sunday Shelly makes a breakfast frittata. It’s basically eggs, diced potatoes and onions. It costs a little less than $1.75 per day to make a nutritious breakfast at home! Saving us $17.50 a week or $910 a year.


2. We pack our lunch’s.

I take leftovers for lunch. Every now and then, I will have to buy lunch. But most of the time I take leftovers from home-cooked meals.

This saves us about $40 a week (or more!) or $2,080 a year. And we are wasting less food.

3. Remove credit cards.

Did you know the typical credit card user embraces about $15,000 in debt? If their interest rate is 14 % that is $2,100 in interest annually. (Source)

4. We negotiate our bills.

We simply called our provider and asked, very politely, if they would lower our bill because we are loyal customers. You can negotiate just about anything, credit cards fees, car insurance, and your cellphone bill. In total we saved about $40 a month or $480 a year!

5. We started driving less.

We are now saving $65 a week by reducing one tank of gas a week purely by deciding to drive to fewer places.

That means we stay home more, but we find lots of ways to entertain ourselves and save about $2,230 a year.


6. We started buying our meat in bulk.

We were able to get boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.89/lb. per pound from Zaycon and 92% lean ground beef for $3.99 a pound. I am not sure on the actual math on what this will save us. But here is a rough analysis of some expenditure.

  • Chicken: 40 lb case for $1.79/lb. Grocery prices: $3.39/lb
  • Ground Beef 93/7: 40 lb cases for $3.79/lb. Grocery prices: $4.29/lb
  • Hickory Smoked Bacon: 2, 15 lb cases for $2.99/lb. Grocery prices: $4.81/lb
  • Salmon Filets: 25 lb cases for $7.99/lb. Grocery prices: $8.99/lb
  • Cod Filets: 20 lb case for $5.29/lb. Grocery prices: $6.99/lb

7. We cut out our cable plan.

Instead, we use Netflix and Amazon prime, factoring out the cost of those two items per month that is saving us $59 a month or $708 annually.

8. We cut the club.

We ditched Costco, which was $55 annually and instead use Amazon to order bulk items like toilet paper and shampoo.

In total, that’s over $10,000 a year! Just by making small and simple choices to eliminate the small things.

What about you? What are some ways you cut out the little expenses?

What’s Worth Buying at the Dollar Store?

I will teach you today, what’s worth buying at the dollar store.
Dollar Tree

Dollar stores can be very hit-or-miss. Sure, there’s loads of stuff well worth a dollar. But there’s a lot of rubbish, too. If you’re a dollar store shopper, tell us what’s worth buying.

Here are a few thing I think are worth a buck cleaning products, micro USB cables, AUX cables, birthday cards, get well cards, really any cards. Cups and plates. They are cheap, fairly durable, and most people won’t even notice (or care). If something breaks, no big deal. Save the fancy stuff for special meals or when it’s just you. Oh and party supplies! What else is a deal?

Tell us: what’s worth buying at the dollar store? If you have any advice on what items aren’t worth it, go ahead and mention those, too.

How to Keep Utility Bills Down

Looking to reduce your utility bills? Well I have a few tips for you!

Replace your standard bulbs with LEDS

I would replace all the bulbs with LEDs right off the bat. They’re going to last a very long time anyway. Also, you can install dimmers for the main bulbs to reduce electricity. You have to be careful here about product selection, because not all dimmers actually reduce consumption and not all LED bulbs are dimmable.

Dry clothes on a rack or line

Another idea is to dry clothes on a rack or line. It takes a bit getting used to, but avoiding that damn dryer can save you quite a bit, depending on how often you wash clothes.

Dry clothes on a rack or line

Change out your shower-head

For shower-heads, you are probably looking for something at 1.5 GPM or lower. Taking shorter showers will help as well.

Get out of the house

The less time you spend in your house, the more you’ll save on heating and cooling. If you have interests that involve being outside, feel free to capitalize on that. During the summer, you can save on cooling costs by cooking outside on a grill. You can also invest in a smart thermostat. Some smart thermostats can automatically learn when the house is likely to be occupied, and when it is likely to be empty. This allows it to automatically pre-heat or pre-cool the house, so that it’s at a comfortable temperature when a resident arrives. If the residents’ lifestyle changes, these smart thermostats will gradually adjust the schedule, maintaining energy savings and comfort.

Get out of the house

Find alternative forms of entertainment

Find alternative forms of entertainment that don’t involve running a big TV for a few hours. If you like the news in the morning, you can listen to a similar news program on your phone using TuneIn.

Find alternative forms of entertainment

Check insulation

Check the insulation in your attic and other areas. If there is a lack of proper insulation, take care of that or you’re going to blow a bunch of money in heating/cooling costs. Also check to see if there are air leaks around windows and doors. Get some weather stripping foam to minimize this.

Probably the most universal advice I can give is to just look at everything that uses electricity or water and figure out ways to use it less or find an alternative that uses less or none at all.