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?

 

 

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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.

Simplify Saturdays: Simplifying Your Laundry Routine

Simplify Saturdays: Simplifying Your Laundry Routine

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When you have kids, you often have mountains of laundry and full laundry hampers. Our house is certainly no exception. We also both work outside of our home full time, so there is often little time for large loads of laundry (how’s that for alliteration?)

To combat this, we have begun to use the following routine when dealing with our dirty duds.

1. Do a little laundry every day.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is start a load of laundry. Since it takes me about an hour to get myself and two kids ready, I have time to wash one small load. I usually do the “non-dryables,” so I can just hang them up and I don’t have to worry about leaving a dryer running after I’ve left the house. Then, when I get home, I start the second load, which does need to be dried in the dryer. This eliminates the worry of leaving home with the dryer running. Then, I just fold the clothes when they come out of the dryer.

2. Get a washer with a timer.

You can put a load of clothes in your washer, load the detergent, and set the timer. This way, when you get home the washer has already started, and all you have to do is take the clothes out when they’ve finished washing, and pop them into the dryer.

3. Fold one load of clothes each night

If you wash a small load of clothes each day, then you’ll only have a small load of clothes to fold each evening. A smaller load of clothes to fold makes for a smaller load of clothes to put away.

4. Invest in a steam dryer

Did you know you can use a steam cycle on some items of clothing and then they don’t need to be ironed? This saves a lot of time in my house.

5. Iron on Saturday morning

Whenever possible, I like to wake up before anyone else and knock out the ironing. I don’t have to worry about the kids knocking over the ironing board, and I get a few moments of peace to listen to podcasts, watch the news, or just enjoy the quiet while I iron. It’s kind of like me-time that also happens to be productive 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed these tips for keeping up with the laundry. Have a wonderful weekend.