Simplify Saturdays: Using Cozi to organize your family schedule

Simplify Saturdays: Using Cozi to organize your family schedule

My family has been using an app called Cozi to better organize our lives and manage our time more efficiently. So far, it’s working really well for us.

First, we loaded our family’s names into the app, and each of us were assigned a different color. Now, when we schedule events on the calendar, it’s color coded depending on which family members the event applies. Each family member then downloads the app onto their devices and logs into the family account.

We then get a weekly email every Sunday night with the schedule for the week.

We also can use it to create to do lists AND shopping lists.

You can also plan meals using a menu database, or you can input your own recipes.

You then just assign a day to the meal.

You really can use this app to organize your whole life. And while there is a premium version, the free version will work just fine. It’s also available on both iPhone and Google Play for Android.

I really encourage you to give it a try.

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Simplified Saturdays: Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy

Simplified Saturdays: Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy

3 Questions to ask yourself

 

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you know I love to shop. I love to spend money. But you know what doesn’t share my joy in shopping and spending money? My bank account.

As much fun as shopping is, real life happens and real life costs money. In other words, I’ve got bills to pay. Plus, I’ve spent too frivilously in previous years and now that I’m older, it’s time to do better. I’ve learned that I need to be more choosy about what I spend and how I spend it.

These days, when I buy something, I try to ask myself the following three questions:

  1. Do I need it right now?  2. Do I love it? and 3: Can I DIY it, or buy it secondhand?

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1. Do I need it right now?

I am trying hard to only buy the things that we need, but let’s be realistic. Sometimes, you have paid all your bills, you’ve put money in savings, and you want to spend a little on yourself. Sometimes, that mirror you’ve been eyeing comes on sale and you just can’t pass it up. It is OK to buy something you want but don’t need every once in awhile if you’ve taken care of your needs first. When I ask myself this question, it isn’t a deal breaker if I don’t need it. It’s only a deal breaker if it isn’t a necessity, but the necessities haven’t been taken care of yet. If it’s something you don’t need now, but may need later, it’s better to wait until you do need it to buy it. That way, you also avoid the clutter of having the item sit around until you need it.

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2. Do I love it?

I struggle with this when it comes to clothing. I might like an item of clothing and think it’s cute, but when I try it on, I don’t love it. If I like the clothing item, but can’t imagine at least three ways I can wear it, I need to leave it at the store. I may like a decor item, but if I don’t love it and I can’t imagine where I’d display it in my home, then I need to pass it up. I’ve bought lots of things over the years that I liked, but ended up giving away later on. If you don’t love it, and know immediately how you’d use it, don’t spend your money.

3. Can I DIY it, or buy it secondhand?

You can score some incredible deals at thrift stores, Craigslist, and consignment shops. I have consignment shopped for furniture, clothing, and decor items. We have bought several pieces of furniture off Craigslist, including our dining room set.

When it comes to DIY decor and furniture, Pinterest is your friend. Even if you aren’t sure how you could DIY something, Pinterest can give you the sudden inspiration you need to figure it out. I recently created these captain’s mirrors when I was unable to find new ones that fit my budget.

I hope these money-saving tips have been helpful to you. What finance tips are you practicing these days?

 

 

Simplify Saturday: Simplifying your savings goals

Simplify Saturday: Simplifying your savings goals

Simplify Saturdays

January is Financial Wellness Month, and even though it is now February, it isn’t too late to create some financial resolutions.  One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight, or exercise more, but how many people make resolutions concerning their finances?

I myself have set some financial goals this year: I’d like to build up our savings account, to pay off credit card debt, and reduce non-necessary spending.While most of us want to think big and make big goals, it’s actually better to create smaller, achievable goals and Earnest is available to help with your financial needs

In order to meet my financial goals for this year, I have divided them into quarterly goals.  I like this approach as it gives me a timeline to aim for. By March, I’d like to begin putting $100 in the savings account each month. I’ve already begun to do this.  By June, I’d like to eat almost all of our meals at home instead of eating in restaurants to save money. By September, I’d like to reduce our nonessential spending by implementing “no-spend months.” That means I’d only make nonessential purchases every other month. And in December, just in time for Christmas, I’d make it a habit to comparison shop to get the best deals.

Earnest created a graphic for setting financial goals throughout the year. I really love their plan for saving money and challenging yourself to set measurable, specific goals.

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I hope you’ll join me on the 2018 Money Saving Challenge. Have a wonderful weekend.