When Tom and I first started getting serious about money, budgeting and paying off debt, all the things we read got to be really overwhelming. The different books and articles we would read would say things like, “Build up your savings.” “Get all your debts paid off.” “Don’t get behind on your bills!” “Don’t have a credit card.” It all felt so overwhelming that we weren’t really sure where to start. Even though we got the debt snowball rolling, and kept adding to our savings we weren’t really able to fully dedicate ourselves to our finances because we were getting pulled in so many directions without any real guidance or game plan. Enter Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We were given the answer to this question that had plagued us for a while and I want to lay it out for you if you’re asking yourself, “Should I save money or pay off debt?”
I’m going to get really honest with you; I did not want to be a stay at home mom. It was a thought that never had crossed my mind. My mom always worked. Sometimes from home, but mostly, I grew up in daycares. No, I don’t have major memories of horror stories or feelings of being neglected by my parents. That’s not why I decided to be a stay at home mom. In fact, it all happened very quickly. My previous step dad was stopping in for a quick visit. I say previous because at one point my mom had been married to him. They were married through my whole childhood, really. Then the family I had known was completely ripped away. The good days. Days of family dinners, outdoor sports and Sundays with extended family. So when he stood in my home and told me he believes children benefit highly from stay at home parenting, I took it very seriously. At that point, I had graduated with my graphic design degree and had been hunting for jobs hoping to work for at least a year before starting a family. His advice change all of that. Being a stay at home mom was my new plan. Financially, I knew it would be a challenge but I had no idea the other challenges it would present. This post is about surviving SAHM status. Mentally and financially.
If you are new to budgeting, it can be a tough thing to get the hang of. At least it was for us. First of all, it’s tough to lay everything out to begin with. When you’re used to just letting money spend itself it can be tricky trying to tell it where to go. Then there are those weeks or months where you feel like the entire budget blows up in your face and you are left scrambling to figure out what went wrong. Don’t worry, I’m here to tell you you’re not alone and give you a game plan on what to do if this has happened to you. So let’s talk what to do when budgeting goes wrong.
Whenever I watch shows like Extreme Cheapskates, I usually start out thinking, “That’s a pretty good idea, actually!” “Oh my gosh, we could totally do that to save some cash!” Then, of course, there is the turning point where I start going, “Okay…yup…too far…too far…” This is when the cringes and the permanent Mr. Ick face comes into play. If you have no idea who I’m talking about, Google him. If you’re as old as me it may just bring back some childhood memories. Let’s just say Mr. Ick wants nothing to do with Extreme Cheapskates when they start urinating into plastic bottles and serving their house guests road kill. That’s why Mr. Ick and I highly suggest watching the show to get some money saving ideas and look away when the dumpster diving begins. With that in mind, let’s talk about 88 Extreme Cheapskates money hacks that are actually pretty normal. So normal you might actually be able to use them without changing your life or bailing on your dignity.
Taking vacations has always been something that has been important in our family. We try to get away a few times a year, even if it’s only for a weekend. When planning these vacations, very little planning actually used to go into them. We made snap decisions with our finances that just would up making life more stressful when we returned from vacation. Now that we have finally gotten financial smart I want to share with you how to plan and save for a cheap family vacation that you will all enjoy!
I have researched and looked up different rebate apps, coupon sites and even tried taking surveys to make money. Now, it could very well be that my low attention span is to blame, but I feel like life is just too busy for most of these “great” ways to make money. Some apps are far too detailed, and require a lot of my time and attention. Since I already spend all my time working from home on a computer, the last thing I want to do is find ways to spend more time fiddling around behind a screen. I am a fast paced, multi-tasking kinda gal, so finding the simplest ways to make or save money is really the only way to do it in my book. Instead of a big, long, list of different ways to make extra money, I’m going to get honest and share with you the BEST two that I use weekly to save on groceries, outings and more.