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When you see your bank statement and realize how much money you spent, it can be earth shattering. Learning how to reduce spending and tighten that budget is possible, if you have the right tips. Slowing down your spending is a matter of determination and finding a formula that works for you.
Get everyone on the same page
The first step to reduce family spending is to get everyone on the same page. Also known as having that awkward money conversation with your spouse (and with older kids in the house, if they are aware of what’s going on). By getting the whole family on board, you are going to see success sooner.
Cut out extracurricular activities
This one is going to be painful, but it is worth it. If you can’t afford to pay your bills at the moment, then something has got to go. Usually the first thing to go are extracurricular activities. If your kids are old enough to pitch in and help pay, great. If not, it might hurt a little bit, but you have to get that budget under control. You can’t get it under control if spending is over the top.
Know what you are spending
Most people don’t keep track of their spending because they don’t want to know. The only way you will ever reduce spending in your family and tighten the budget is if you know what is going out. You can easily reduce spending by keeping track of your bad spending habits. Buying coffee, going out to eat, trips to Target – it all needs to be documented. It is going to hurt knowing the truth, but it will be worth it.
Work on getting rid of debt
I have noticed in our family that debt really hurts our overall budget. When I take time to look at our debt and figure out a way to reduce it, things look better. Credit card debt, medical debt, and vehicle debt can weigh your family down financially. Working on getting rid of debt can help you reduce spending and tighten the budget.
Stay organized in your finances
Last, but not least, you need to stay organized when it comes to your finances. Organization is the key to reducing family spending. Keeping track of finances, keeping track of the budget, and executing your financial plan are all parts of staying organized in the finance department.
How do you plan on reducing family spending this year? How do you plan on tightening your budget? Share your tips below!
More budgeting tips
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It seems like all my friends are using essential oils these days. And since I’m always looking for fun, cute, and affordable Christmas gift ideas, I compiled a list of some essential oil accessories I’ve been thinking of buying for my friends this year.
All the gifts are under $20 (most of them are under $10), so they are easy on the budget and the essential oil user in your life will love them!
We’ve compiled ten of our favorite essential oils gifts and they all are under $20! These gifts are perfect for stockings, secret Santa presents, under the tree, and more.
You can’t go wrong giving this beautiful diffuser necklace as a gift! You can diffuse your oils all day long when you wear diffuser jewelry. Just add a drop of oil to the pad and place in the locket. Your oils will be nearby at all times.
With this essential oil travel bag you can take up to 10 oils with you in your purse! The individual mesh pockets for each bottle means the oils are not rolling around or banging into each other. This bag will keep essential oils safe also make it easy to identify the oil bottles.
Diffuse in your car with this aromatherapy car diffuser that plugs right into your car charger. This one also includes a usb port so you can charge your electronics and diffuse your oils at the same time.
Diffuse on the go with this braided diffuser bracelet set. Place a drop of oil inside the bracelet and you can take your oils with you no matter where you go. This casual braided style is great for teens and adults. We like to layer them with other bracelets for a fun look!
These stainless steel drinking straws are perfect for drinking water with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. These hypoallergenic straws won’t react with your oils and are reusable!
These glass roll-on bottles are perfect for use with essential oils. Use the roll-on bottle to apply the perfect amount of product each time. The Amber glass provides protection from potentially harmful light and the convenient size makes it perfect for travel.
If you already have diffuser jewelry these refill pads are the perfect stocking stuffer. Includes 25 pads for use in diffuser necklaces.
With this TSA approved keychain you can take your oils anywhere! Includes bottles and lids.
Avoid using teeth, knives, fingernails, or other unwieldy tools to remove roller bottle or reducer caps. These universal keys work with all essential oil bottles and are great for replacing orifice and roller bottle caps without damage.
This diffuser wrap bracelet is slightly over our $20 budget, but it’s so beautiful I had to include it! Diffuse your favorite essential oils all day long in this hypoallergenic bracelet with double wrap leather band. Comes in rose gold or stainless finish and a variety of bands. Save 25% (and get the price down to $20) on this bracelet with the code SPARKLE.
Thanks The Oil Collection!
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Penny Pinchers don’t waste a single drop of their toiletries, and they implement simple tips and tricks to make them last. You don’t need to go to extreme measures to make the most out of your toiletries, you just need to try these few tweaks. Take a look below at 6 ways penny pinchers make toiletries last so you too can get every last drop out!
1. Follow the usage instructions
How often do you pour yourself a handful of shampoo, not even looking at the instructions on the bottle? Chances are you only need a nickel sized amount, but we typically use much more. Before using any toiletries, read the usage directions to make sure you aren’t over using. Using more than recommended is wasteful and may not give you the intended results.
2. Use the rinse out method
Before tossing any shampoo or conditioner bottles (or soap or detergent bottles for that matter), try the rinse out method. Pour some warm water into the bottle and give it a good shake. Let the bottle sit upside down for a few minutes and then you should be able to get a few more uses out of it. Using warm water is important, as it can help loosen the product and get it moving easily.
3. Store bottles upside down
Penny pinchers store toiletry bottles upside down. This keeps the product from getting caught in the corners of the bottle where it gets stuck and wasted. It also makes pouring product out much easier on you. Store your products upside down, if possible, to keep the product flowing and out of those tricky corners.
4. Keep scissors in the bathroom
Penny pinchers keep a pair of scissors in the bathroom to cut open stubborn tubes. If you think your tube of toothpaste is out, just cut it open down the center and see how much more you can squeeze out. Chances are, there is a ton hiding in there. You can also use this trick when dealing with tubes of hair product, lotions, skin products, and other tube toiletries.
5. Model moderation to your children
Many times children aren’t shown how to use toiletries, and so they waste them during use. Show children how much product they should use so that when they wash their hair or face or brush their teeth, they are using the appropriate amount and not over doing it.
6. Don’t open a new product until the old one is empty
Many times we reach for a new product when the old one is only 80% empty. Be sure you aren’t opening a new product until the previous one is 100% gone using the methods mentioned above. This way you are getting every single bit out before moving on.
Penny pinchers use these tricks for making the most of their toiletries. Give them a try and see if they help you stretch your products and your budget.
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Penny pinchers make thoughtful purchases and think out every dollar they spend. The truth is, there are certain items that penny pinchers refuse to spend money on. They can save the money they don’t spend on these items or use it for more important needs. Take a look below at 7 items penny pinchers never spend money on, so you can pinch and save as they do. Here is what you need to know!
Penny pinchers love hanging on to their carryout and restaurant condiments. The small packets work great when tossed into lunches or meals on the go. And they prevent the need for having to buy regular sized bottles. Penny pinchers save ketchup, mayo, and salt packets, knowing they will always come in handy. While they are at it, they hang on to those carryout utensils and napkins too!
2. Reading materials
A penny pincher knows that their library is an excellent source for free reading materials. They also know that Amazon offers hundreds of free eBooks for the taking. These are two wonderful sources for all the reading materials one could want!
Just as a penny pincher goes to the library for books, they go there for music as well. Libraries have huge selections of current music free for the borrowing. Penny pinchers also take advantage of free music streaming from stations and apps such as Pandora. By listening to just a few commercials you can get all the free music you want.
A penny pincher would never pay for something they can do themselves. This includes housekeeping and cleaning. Penny pinchers do these household tasks themselves as opposed to hiring someone else to do it. In turn, they save big. They also take care of laundry, lawn care, and other household jobs themselves.
5. Premade cleaning products
Why pay for store bought cleaning products when vinegar and baking soda clean just about everything? Vinegar makes counter tops and floors sparkling clean, makes glass shine, and can make your sink as clean as ever. Baking soda cleans out disposals, absorbs drain odors, and can scrub away grime. Penny pinchers use these products to clean instead of buying premade products.
6. Paper products
A penny pincher never buys paper products. Instead, they use cloth napkins, tablecloths, and towels. They also use organizational apps instead of pen and paper. Penny pinchers don’t waste money on disposable paper products but instead use cloth whenever possible.
7. Prepackaged snacks
A penny pincher knows that when they buy prepackaged and snack-sized food items, they are paying for convenience. Instead, they buy their favorite snacks in bulk and divide the servings up if need be. There is no point in paying for easier packaging or convenience.
Are you ready to implement the practices of a penny pincher? Consider these 7 items penny pinchers never spend money on and see if they make a difference in your life.
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This post is in partnership with Splender. All opinions are my own.
As you know I love shopping online. My online shopping obsession began when we lived in Cuba and we didn’t have anywhere to shop on the base. It was right about that time that most retailers really started investing in their online stores and it was great to have options when we were living overseas.
We moved from Cuba to West Virginia and we lived over an hour from the closest Target, Walmart, or clothing store (gasp!). My friend and I would spend hours using dial up internet, shopping for our kids at OldNavy.com and LandsEnd.com. It probably wouldn’t have taken hours if we had faster internet, but you take what you can get in the middle of nowhere.
My online shopping continued as our family continued to grow and we moved back to civilization. It was the IKEA trip of 2004 that had me swearing off in-store shopping for the rest of my life.
When I first started shopping online there weren’t many coupons or deals. Sometimes I would search online for a coupon, but many times the coupons I would find were expired or were “one time use” so they didn’t work for me.
Thankfully all that has changed drastically in the past ten years and if you are a savvy shopper you will never again pay full price for the rest of your life.
Here are three ways I save when shopping online.
Back when we lived in the arctic circle (aka Maryland for this Florida gal) I would do most of my winter clothes shopping in March. By then all the major stores had discounted their winter gear because they wanted to make room for their spring and summer inventory.
Currently I’m shopping for patio furniture, swimwear and shorts. Just last week I was able to stock up on goggles for under $3 a pair. (If your kids swim you know goggles are a hot commodity!)
Get Cash Back
Getting cash back is probably the easiest way to save when you shop online. Last summer I heard about a cash back site called Splender.com. We’ve talked about cashback shopping sites in the past, but in case you aren’t familiar with how they work, I’ll walk you through it.
Go to Splender.com and sign up for a free account (this takes under 5 minutes). Once you have an account search Splender for coupons and deals for your favorite sites.
I love Old Navy for my kids’ clothes, so let’s start there. Right now, when I shop through Splender I can maximize my savings by using the 20% off sale merchandise coupon plus an additional 3% cash back. All I have to do is click on the “Shop Now” button to start saving.
I can shop on OldNavy.com and use the code ENJOY to save immediately and then next month I’ll receive my cash back from Splender.
What I like about Splender is that unlike other cash back programs you only need $10 in your account to get your cashback. Also, they pay every month which is really fast.
There are so many ways to get discounts and coupons when you shop online. Since I like getting cash back I first look to see if Splender has any coupons or discounts on their site. Since they have partnered with over 800 stores they usually do, but if not, a quick google search will almost always bring up a coupon.
If I can’t find any coupon or discount on Splender, I go directly to the website and see if they have any discounts for loyal customers. Almost all retailers offer a discount when you share your email for the first time. I ALWAYS do this for additional savings.
Remember to also check for free shipping. Lately I’ve been shopping for uniform shorts. Since almost every children’s apparel store carries them, I’m comparing cash back percentages between stores (Splender usually has the highest), coupons, and free shipping to decide where I’m purchasing the uniforms. I’ve been able to get uniform shorts for under $8 a piece (including shipping) when I am strategic about it. That sure beats the $17 price at the uniform shop!
If you are hesitant about giving your information to another website, Splender has been a trusted partner in the cashback space for ten years (which is about a million in internet years). Also, you can request for payment via paypal so all they need is your paypal email address.
Finally, you can actually MAKE money when you shop Splender.
When you refer a friend to Splender you get $10 in cash. Not only do you earn $10 for every friend you refer, your friend receives an extra $5 after their first purchase of $50. So not only can they save using a coupon and cash back, they will get $5 after their first purchase.
If you are like me and don’t like to take five kids shopping regularly, I highly recommend shopping online more often.
I’m able to compare prices and maximize my savings from the comfort of my home.
If you haven’t tried Splender yet, you should sign up for your free account. You can start saving without even trying!
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