Last week, I talked about cutting down on kids costs by simplifying kids parties and wardrobes.

Today, I’m going to share three more ways to simplify. It won’t be easy, but I’ve found that the more I simplified areas in my life (from the kitchen to my daughter’s bedroom), the more time and money I had. Not only that, but that feeling of being weighed down started to melt away.

3 More Ways to Cut Down on Kids Costs

1. Baby supplies & gear

You can always identify the home of a new parent because it looks like Babies”R”Us threw up all over the living room. When my daughter was an infant, I remember feeling overwhelmed and buried by all the baby stuff we had. Family members urged me to buy this or that, or told me to hang on to items for the next baby. [ continue reading... ]

Whether or not you realize it, what you do on a daily basis forms the core of who you are and how successful you are in life.

Recently, I read an article listing the routines of top CEOs, world leaders, stars, and other notable figures. What I found interesting was the fact that no two routines were exactly alike.

That being said, there were a few key habits shared by many of the world’s most successful people — habits that anyone can adopt.

So, though you’ll have to discover what a successful routine looks like for you, you can start implementing these habits of success today. [ continue reading... ]

We’re in the market for some new patio furniture, so we thought now was the right time to go shopping. After all, it’s the end of the summer season, and retailers are looking to get rid of their inventory before the fall. A major furniture company was even advertising 50 percent off all outdoor furniture.

We went to several major retailers, including Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, and the aforementioned furniture store — but we came home empty handed. Each store had very little to choose from, and what they did have was cheaply made, unattractive, or damaged.

“I guess that’s what we should’ve expected,” I told my wife. “This is all the stuff that’s been sitting here all summer that nobody wanted.”

Why Pre-Season Sales Might Be Better

On our way home, I thought out loud, telling my wife why it’d be better to wait until spring to buy new patio furniture anyway: [ continue reading... ]

Have you ever had the “more” mindset? You know, where it doesn’t matter what you’re doing or what you have — you always want more? Maybe you want to earn more money, have a nicer house, or buy a better car.

I used to be the same way.

I’d set financial goals, hit them, and then immediately set other, bigger goals. I was never satisfied. I felt like I deserved better. I wanted more.

After a year of struggling to keep my head above water, I had a mental shift. Things were tough for my two kids and me; we were on our own, living on a poverty wage. But I avoided debt, built up some savings, and made it work.

It was a year full of hard work and sacrifices. And during that year, I started practicing gratitude. It was the only way I could stay positive.

Being thankful for what I have started to become a daily routine, one which has stuck with me. And since then, my entire relationship with money has changed.

Here’s how being grateful has made me a better manager of money: [ continue reading... ]

When we think of smart money moves, we don’t often think of something as mundane as taking care of ourselves. However, the truth is that taking care of yourself can be great for your finances.

Here’s what I mean:

Better Health = Better Finances

Adequate Sleep Means Intelligent Choices

It’s clear that a lack of sleep can impair your judgment. In fact, some studies indicate that a lack of sleep is similar to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent. This is the point at which your ability to drive begins to be somewhat impaired, and it’s also the point at which you’re less able to make rational decisions. [ continue reading... ]

There’s no doubt about it: saving money is hard work. Even if you try to save, it’s not uncommon to get to the end of the month with nothing left. And those funds you have sitting in that traditional savings account? Don’t expect them to grow astronomically, because interest rates are at an all-time low.

The smarter solution: incorporate money moves that will trick you into stashing away your hard-earned funds before you know it.

My Favorite Money-Saving Tricks

1. Envelope system

Stop swiping and start pulling out the green. To implement the envelope system, you’ll need to come up with a plan for your money and allocate it to the appropriate envelope.

Say, for example, your monthly budget allots $200 for groceries, $50 for entertainment, and $100 for savings. You’ll need to stash those amounts away in envelopes as soon as the funds hit your hand. Once the money’s gone from the envelopes, you have to wait until the next pay period to access additional funds.

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