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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?

credit cardgraduatelunchbagsimple smile


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 (41-50):
Bmat
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Mine is that I need to stop spending.

cjsmom1
by on May. 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I'm actually reading Dave Ramsey right now

Aurorasmom
by on May. 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

our biggest obstacle is always justification.  its harder to justify why we dont need something that we really just want.

our ultimate goal is to be debt free and having monthly utilities be the only required bills.

Aurorasmom
by on May. 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

oh, and after my daughter is done with preschool and starts kindergarten this fall, i am planning on taking a majority of that $800 i pay a month for her preschool tuition and apply it to my husband's car loan and our mortgage since its money we are used to not having in our pocket anway

TigerofMu
by on May. 8, 2012 at 4:12 PM

 This one we've done :).  Dave Ramsey is my friend!

marisab
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM

My only obstacle was me lol but i just graduated from financial peace university and am on baby step rking om baby step 2 and completing baby step 3 3-6 month emergency fund !!i am so excited and recommend dave ramsey fpu to everyone,if you really wanna get a head its the only way!!

MommyOfOne2710
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM
My SO is my biggest challenge.. He thinks we can afford everything under the sun. I need to make a budget for him.. I also want to start saving! I have nothing saved right now.
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Jillysmom
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM

great ideas

MrsBLB
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The biggest obstacle is my disability.  My son is looking for a job to help out.  The goal is to move to CO eventually so that DH and I can combine our incomes again...

dingysfamily
by on May. 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to saving money? Not having enough after paying bills to save much!

What are your ultimate goals and how will you achieve them? To have enough to live comfortably when dh retires. We plan on achieving this by smart investments of dh's retirement money from his retirement account & 401K from his previous job (he retired from one job after 39 years) and his 401K from his current job. He hopes to permanently retire in about 1 1/2.  Monthly payouts from those, plus his SS, which he doesn't plan on even collecting until he can collect full benefits in May '14, plus my SS (I am already collecting early SS; not much though since I've been a SAHM/W most of my adult life) should do us ... as long as we are careful.  We already own our house/land outright & have virtually very little debt except for our family car & a small home equity loan & a small hospital bill (which should be paid of in a few months).

Do you have any new goals after reading this?  Just to continue as we are.  We are very good with our money for the most part and our financial guy is always handy when we have any questions.  He is someone we know & trust extremely.

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