Mom Happiness Makeover Day 2: Get Happier About Your Finances
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?
*This challenge is sponsored by CafeMom and is not associated with Dr. Aymee Coget of happinessmakeover.com.