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Mom Happiness Makeover Day 2: Get Happier About Your Finances

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It seems that most of us have the same problem with money: there’s not enough of it! The bad news is, it’ll take some work to get control of your finances and grow your savings. The good news is, it’s definitely doable. Here are some tips to help you out:

Spend less:
Ok, that's an obvious one, but we all know it's easier said than done and worth repeating! If you're looking to get out of debt or drastically reduce your spending, for the love of Pete, cut up your credit cards! Keep only one credit card for emergencies, and try to live on cash only.

Save more:
Really, you can do it! Find lots of simple ways to save here!

Start a budget:
This might take a bit of time, but it will really be worth it when you see how you're spending less, saving more, and easily tracking your savings! See how to start one here!

Save for YOU:
Start a change jar just for YOU and deposit any spare change you have at the end of the day. When it's full, treat yourself or deposit it in your savings account and earn interest on it! (And remember: finders, keepers!)

Get Organized: Automating and organizing will help keep things simple and less stressful! Here are some tips:

  • Go paperless! Most utilities and creditors give you the option to stop paper billing altogether and make payments online. You'll receive your bills through email, and you can even set up automatic payments. You'll be saving trees, cutting clutter in your home, and you can easily track payments online!
  • Create calendar reminders: Set one up for a specific day each month to pay all your bills -- OR make a reminder to set up automatic payments so you really can forget your finances!
  • Set up automatic savings: That way, you're saving money without even thinking about it. Even it's it's only $5 per month, every penny counts -- and adds up surprisingly quickly!
  • Use tools: Sites and apps like mint.com and adaptu make it super simple to keep track of your spending and budgeting.

Talk About it: Make an effort to get on the same page as your partner about your savings goals. Make sure you're both aware of how much money your family has, and how much you're spending month-to-month. Talk about what you would do if one of you lost your job, or if you had to care for a sick relative, and about your long-term goals for retirement and your kids’ education. Ironing these things out could save you major moolah in the long run.

Make More Money: If you’re looking to change jobs, advance in your career, or go back to school and get a job, here are some tips:

  • Update your resume: Send it to a friend to proofread, and then send it out to any or all of your family, friends, and contacts – you never know who might have access to a great opportunity for you.
  • Boost your salary: See if there are any courses you can take to enhance your resume and boost your salary – and check to see if your current company will pay for them.
  • Start a business: If you’re a stay-at-home mom, consider a business you might be able to start and easily run from home. For example, a daycare center, a catering or cater-water service, or a calligraphy business. Ya never know, you could turn your special talent or favorite hobby into a money maker! 
  • Get cards: Have a few business cards printed with your name, phone number, email address, and professional title (even if you just use "supermom" – hey, it’s accurate, right?). Keep them in your wallet so you're ready to hand them over to any contacts you meet, whether at the supermarket or a networking convention. 
  • Go back to school: If you’re considering going back to school for a degree, you can calculate the cost here.

What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to saving money? What are your ultimate goals and how will you achieve them? Do you have any new goals after reading this?

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If you missed yesterday's tips, click here. To sign up for The Mom Happiness Makeover, click here.

*This challenge is sponsored by CafeMom and is not associated with Dr. Aymee Coget of happinessmakeover.com.

by on May. 8, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Replies (11-20):
Saille717
by on May. 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM
1 mom liked this

Our biggest obsacle to saving money is that there isn't much more than what our needs are at the moment.  I do have some set up to automatically go to a savings account, and it comes in really handy when the brakes go or some other fun surprise like that!  lol

We also do the change jar....I rarely give a cashier change, I prefer she give me some, then at home I put it in an old glass milk jug.  I don't use it for 'mad money' though.....it's the emergency gasoline fund!  lol  

I have long range goals all laid out and we're working toward them as a family.  It does mean a few more tight years right now, but then it'll ease back up in about two more years, maybe three.  In the meantime....bargain shopping, doing without, saving for big items, less treats, coupons coupons coupons!  

Merry38
by on May. 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Do you have any new goals after reading this?

My new goals after reading this is to organize my time at home better and to treat my business like a business.  I don't "just" work from home. I'm running my business along with raising my children to be the best they can be by being an awesome role model for them.

MrsNewman
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM
My husband. he is the worst with money.
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Pandapanda
by Silver Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

My main issue is my husband.. he's very spendy.

Barabell
by on May. 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM
1 mom liked this

Unbudgeted expenses that come up (like my son outgrowing clothes, needing new sports equipment, unexpected field trip) are the things that ruin my financial goals, even when I try to put "slush" money aside every paycheck.

Our income amount isn't consistent either, and so that adds a hurdle too.

gmadiane
by on May. 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

dh and I have a few big expenses we are trying to pay off, after that we can start saving

MichelleK41
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Obstacle is we have more going out then coming in. Things changed quickly with no warning and we're still working towards recovering from that.

WheelerWife
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Saving is my Achilles heel.
MooNFaeRie30
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM
My main problem is spending on things we don't really need or eating out a lot. We have gotten better, but there is still room for improvement.
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BonitaM
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

My obstacle is getting money.  I can't work and DH barely makes enough to pay the bills.  I really need to find a job....I'm in a catch22.  My ultimate goal is to have my farm....preferably a working farm that I can make money on and still live out my dreams.  Winning the lottery is the only way to achieve any of this.

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