And that is family time around here.
How Mom Can Save on Family Finances
Moms are known for a lot of things – being great cooks, giving great hugs and picking just the right spot to kiss to make a booboo feel better. But today moms are becoming known for being smart shoppers and creative money savers when it comes to the family finances. There are a number of resources out there to help, like online deals, discount stores, and so much more. By doing a little due diligence, moms can learn easy ways to save money on the finances at home.
Across the Board
No matter what your household income may be, there are always things you can do to help curb your family expenses. Finding little areas to trim here and there can really add up each month, and over the course of a year. Alexandra Kirkman of parents.com shares ideas from virtually all areas of the home where you can save.
Keep More of Your Money
Lower Car Costs
Using even just a few of these tips like watching your phantom power usage, or finding free online coupons will save you more money than you may realize. Every little bit of savings combined with smart investing will make your personal dollars go a great deal further.
Budgets can get a bad rap, but if you’re willing to try to maintain some healthy boundaries with your money, the savings can be huge! The geniuses at money.cnn.com admit, “Budgets are a necessary evil”. They also offer 3 basic steps to creating one.
1. Identify how you’re spending money now.
2. Evaluate your current goals and set new ones that will consider your long-term financial aims.
3. Keep track of your spending to regulate those intentions.
It is also recommended that you use software to help walk you through the budget process. And because budgeting can drive you to the brink of insanity if you’re not careful, CNNMoney also offers some warnings.
And if you find yourself really wanting to buy large ticket items like new furniture or something to spruce up a room, but it’s not in your budget, then find budget-friendly alternatives, such as repainting the space or using a Pottery Barn discount code to purchase a few new accent items.
Not everyone can be mini-Martha Stewarts, but learning to become a little more D-I-Y can save you money on everything from groceries and household cleansers, to homemade room décor and children’s play things. Pinterest.com offers some ideas for homemade items that can save you some bucks. A few ideas show how to uncap sealed cleaning solutions, so instead of buying costly replacements you can refill with your own soap. Or homemade ‘oxi-clean’, deodorizers, and even self-made makeup wipes that can double as diaper wipes. You can create ribbon topiaries, D-I-Y wrinkle or spot remover, and even mix-up some glue in 4 easy steps.
Saving money and developing smart money habits doesn’t have to be an overwhelming thing. Start with just a few of these tips and integrate more as you feel comfortable.
This is a post from Clayton Curtis of Instawares, an online restaurant supplies company.
It’s a dream for many to open their own restaurant. If you’re passionate about the food you cook and believe that you have what it takes to open your own cafe, bar, or restaurant here are a few helpful tips before you decide to dive in. Keep in mind that the restaurant business is not for everyone and success rate is low compared to other industries. They require a lot of capital (money) and are risky because of fierce competition, rising real estate costs, and the sheer amount of work and patience that’s required to be considered a “success”. Unless you plan on opening a turnkey franchise like Taco Bell or Burger King you’re restaurant won’t be running out of a predetermined binder. Just like your first child a restaurant doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
If your passion is wine and you want to open a bar that hosts tasting parties and serves cheese and meats you may want to start off by doing some “demographic” research about the area you plan on opening your wine bar. Consider that wine is usually enjoyed by middle to upper-class individuals with discretionary incomes. It may be wise to research the per capita income of the area to see if a wine bar could be sustained. Also, you can get a general feel for an area by taking note of the surrounding businesses. If you’re seeing Wal-Marts and Dollar stores then you may want reconsider. If there are Starbucks and high-end shopping malls then a wine bar may be appropriate. Typically, these kinds of businesses are indications of a healthy economy. Areas that feature stores supported by discretionary income rather than utility (grocery stores, generic retail, fast food etc.)
What restaurants are all the rage these days? Tapas, Southern Goth, Organic Burgers? It doesn’t make sense to open a 50s-style diner in a “hip” and up-and-coming neighborhood like Wicker Park, Chicago. Nor would it be wise to open a tapas bar in an economically depressed area where people seek to get more “bang for their buck”. Doing thorough research will allow you to make an informed decision on what kind of restaurant to open in a specific area.
In a service-based industry like restaurants it’s important to hire the right people. Often, many complaints levied against restaurants are related to the waitstaff and service. How many times have we heard the term slow service to describe someone’s restaurant experience? When hiring your waitstaff make sure to have a few bases covered.
Getting people to buy into your restaurant venture is an art in itself. Investors are a huge part of the process and unless you have thousands of dollars to kick around they’re absolutely vital if you want to open your own restaurant. It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is a risky and tough one to get into. A significant initial investment is required to get your restaurant off the ground. Some factors that make it so expensive.
“It’s all about who you know”. As cliched as it sounds this is especially true in a cutthroat industry like restaurants and in fact should be applied to any business where there’s high risk, high reward. It’s important to be in touch with people who have experience (preferably in an ownership or managerial role) in the restaurant industry. Also, there are local restaurant groups in every city that provide plenty of resources like possible investor info, contacts of other restaurant owners, and monthly meetings on how to approach opening your own restaurant.
This goes along the same lines as “it’s all about who you know”. You’ll find that networking is arguably the most important part of the “pre-opening” stage of your restaurant business. These people often have infinite resources and will steer you in the right direction.
Nothing about opening a restaurant is easy. It’s a long road to “success” and it takes extreme passion and follow-through to make it work. If you’re the type to give up on something easily this business is not for you. The mistake many people make is assuming that their passion is enough to open their own restaurant. It simply isn’t. Everyone has great ideas about what a restaurant should be but very few lack the resources and skills to execute. A restaurant has to be seen as a growing, evolving business that constantly needs TLC.
When people want to open a restaurant they think of celebrities owning their own restaurants while putting their own quirky touches on them. We romanticize the idea of opening our own place where friends and family come to fill their stomachs and empty their wallets. Popular culture has made the restaurant business seem “whimsical” and lighthearted, full of partying and beautiful people. Movies and T.V. don’t accurately depict what goes on behind the scenes of restaurants.
Charlotte came home with this from school yesterday.
I got a real kick out of Check Yes or No.
At least there was no “maybe”.
This girl was all in.
Last week we went to Hollywood Studios…right in the of Star Wars weekend (festival guide here). It was hilarious walking around the park with all the dressed up families. I saw so many Princess Leia and Queen Amidala “Moms”. LOVED IT.
Here are some of the sights we saw walking around…
Our Darth Vader Cupcake
Jedi Training School
If you want to go, its still going on for a few more weeks.
Feel the power of the Force! Enjoy a weekend filled with classic Star Wars characters and celebrities, out-of-this-universe entertainment, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and your favorite Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions—from May 17 to June 9, 2013.
Mialisia Jewelry, launching in July 2013, is a new home party plan company offering today’s busy woman a fabulous and fun career alternative. Boasting a patent-pending jewelry concept unheard of in the industry, Mialisia (pronounced mee-uh-lee-see-uh) expects to shatter records with its outstanding new jewelry concept which provides women with stylish, on-trend jewelry pieces that are interchangeable and customizable.At Mialisia Jewelry, we believe the jewelry you wear is an extension of you. It expresses your mood, your attitude, your personality. That’s why Mialisia’s interchangeable jewelry, backed by a lifetime limited warranty, converts into a dozen different looks providing both options and value to the woman on the go.
This month I am doing something crazy.
I am putting my house on the market.
My dad whom is broker assures me that things will be fine (and of course we can always rent our house, its an investment, etc etc) but I am just SO ready to move. We have lived in Theodore for about 5 years, our first move after a stint in the military. We moved here since it was close enough to “home” that we could visit and see our families and a far cry from the many states away life we had been living. Yet although we are closer to one another, the 2 hour time difference still prevents the last minute drop bys, the quick movie meet ups and the little league attendance.
Basically…we are just not where we want to be yet.
Its hard when you are in a steady lifestyle and decide you want to make a change, which is exactly what Chris and I are ready to do. Going from a stable life to the unknown of selling your house and moving is not something we take lightly. But its time. Chris’ grandmother and father are not in the greatest health, my grandmother is going through Chemo (started today) and the thing is, we are NOT promised tomorrow.
I want my kids to grow up around other family. We have cousins and both sets of grandparents not far from here and I want the Barbeques and visits to the beach and backyard parties without it being an all day adventure in and out of town.
Plus Mobile kinda sucks.
Right now we are going through the motions.
Now I just need to get it all done and packed and then let the universe takeover. At least that is what I tell myself.
Of course as all these questions come up about building a home, new loans, rent our current home or sell it, buy a pre-owned home or a new one, put money down or keep it for emergency savings, it just causes my head to spin! Now in our case because we are VA, we don’t need mortgage insurance, but in many cases people do and doing the homework on it is smart!
If the down payment on your home is less than 20% of the price of your home, your lender may suggest a few financing alternatives. Conventional loans with private mortgage insurance and FHA loans both allow for low down payments. If you have a very limited down payment (less than 3%) or a low credit score, an FHA loan may be the right choice. However, a loan with mortgage insurance provides significant benefits for borrowers.
Check out this guide on comparing mortgage insurance from Genworth.
We also spend a ton of time scrolling through houses and saving our favorites.
Right now I may be in lust with a few homes that are a bit out of my price range like this one…
And this one:
And this one…
(kidding on that previous one…)
I am trying to tell myself that this is our LAST home. Get the one I really want to retire in and buckle in and pay a little more for what you want. But going up $150K from our current house is so, so hard!!
No matter what we do, ‘Ill be ready for the change. Even if we had to get a smaller house to move, I would do it. And this will be my 3rd home buying experience!
How many houses have you bought/sold? Have you been on the market recently for any advice?
Supported by Genworth in association with Brandfluential. Stories and personal information are all my own.
Because every now and then I get a chance to spend a few days with some amazing women that are business leaders, fantastic mothers, inspirational humans, and above all, friends for life. I never had really good friends as a kid or even as a teen. It was one or two here and there…I was kinda a loner and that carried well into being an adult. I am so grateful that I finally find people that are OK with that and STILL want to talk to me.
So to all you bloggers….even though I am a bit quiet, a bit serious, and a bit focused, I want you all to know that you are all very much my very best friends and I love you all.
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