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Monday, February 24, 2014

EXERCISE WITHOUT GOING TO THE GYM

A healthy lifestyle can save you allot of money in the future from possible doctor visits.

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Set a rule for yourself that any time you are going up and down fewer than five floors, you take the stairs.
 
  • If you take the bus, train, or subway to work or school, don’t board it at the closest stop to your home. Instead, make it a habit to walk to a stop twenty to thirty minutes away.


  • If it is practical, ride your bike to work instead of taking a car or other transportation. If this is not practical, ride your bike or walk on errands or when going to the market.


  • Leave your car parked at the farthest end of a parking lot and walk vigorously to your destination. Walk completely around a mall before you start shopping.


  • Next time you have to drive the kids to work, band practice, or Little League, walk them there instead.


  • Set your alarm fifteen minutes early each day and take a short walk to a special place near your home.

 

Carl Dreizler and Mary E. Ehemann
From “52 Ways to Lose Weight



 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

OVERSPENDING AND ITS EFFECTS




When I was in college, my Mom would give me money --- just enough for my bus fare to go to school and go back home. It was always budgeted.

I did not buy food for lunch because she already packed one for me 5x a week. I can remember I will only have extra money if a friend or relative paid my bus fare (which I always prayed ha ha ha ).

After graduation, I landed a job and for the first time I earned money. I felt “freedom” thinking that no need for me to budget my money because I will have a consistent salary on the 15th and 30th of each month but….that was a mistake! I kept wondering where my money goes and my salary only lasts for 5 or 7 days in my wallet and it is gone?!!!

There are probably as many reasons why we overspend as there are reasons why we should not. To build wealth and reach financial independence, you simply need to spend less than you earn. It is an easy concept to understand, but why is it so difficult for so many to comprehend? To answer this question, you need to examine the roots of overspending. When you know what factors drive your spending, you can fight back and save money so you can spend less than you earn.

Here are some reasons why we overspend and its effects on our budget…

MISUSE OF CREDIT CARDS
Credit cards are good if you use them wisely. Some say it is better to use credit cards when purchasing than cash because they can track down their spending without writing or taking notes of it.
Let us say you have a $500 credit limit and you overspend it by purchasing a nice dress and then you learn at the end of the month you can’t afford to repay the amount. Here comes the problem now. This is when the high interest rates on the card really begin to hurt you. If you continue to just pay the minimum balance on your interest, you’ll end up spending the next 20 years paying off that original purchase and spend more on interest than the cost of the original item. That is no way to build wealth.

YOUR LIFESTYLE’S BIGGER THAN YOUR BUDGET
If you were used to living a good life before then all of a sudden you encounter a financial hardship or additional expense, it is sometimes difficult for you to give up that lifestyle you have been accustomed to, even if staying the course means building up debt for you.

YOUR CHILDHOOD
Some people who grew up from a poor family may have feel the urge to overspend just to compensate for feeling deprived as a child or to make it seem like they are breaking the “lower-class” cycle (even if, in reality, they’re hurting their own finances by doing so). 

Similarly, many people who grow up in affluent families feel compelled to spend money to maintain the lifestyle they grew up with even if they don’t have the income to do it (Keeping up with the Joneses).

And regardless of class, there’s a tendency to repeat the bad money habits we observed in our parents as they’re often our only financial role models.

YOU ARE TRYING TO KEEP AN IMAGE
Some people would buy expensive things just to impress other people trying to keep an image that they are in higher class than their neighbors even though they cannot afford to buy them. This will put them into deep-debt situation.

YOU JUST CAN’T SAY “NO”
Learn how to say NO or decline an offer if a friend or a co-worker suggests a fun activity and you cannot afford it. Or say NO to your child if they want a toy in the store. Or say NO to your husband if he wants a new computer which you cannot afford to buy. Don’t squander your financial future for a few guilty pleasures today if it isn’t in your budget. If you know that you can’t afford it, don’t cave in.

To overcome overspending, you simply need to be more aware, more careful in spending. Write down a list of your everyday spending, keeping a journal, by doing so you can track down where your money goes. You will stop asking and wondering where you spent all your money.






Monday, February 10, 2014

MONEY SAVING TIPS FROM YOUR KITCHEN


You will be amazed of how much money you can save with these tips we are going to share with you. Here are some of the tips that might help you save money from groceries and paying bills monthly.

Reuse grocery bags as trash bags
Grocery bags can be used as trash bags? No need for you to buy trash bags anymore.
Have two small trash bins that a regular size of grocery bag will fit. You can separate biodegradable from non-biodegradable. When it is full of trash, tie it down and put it in your bigger trash bin. For these, the garbage men will know which is which when they collect it. Unlike if you have a trash bag, some people would just put the trash altogether because it has more room to fill.

Eat less meat, more vegetable
Researchers have found that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters. Eating too much meat has linked to health problems like heart disease, obesity, etc. 

Make your own coffee at home
Instead of buying your coffee at Starbucks, make your own coffee. If Starbucks is your choice of coffee you can buy a bag of Starbucks coffee for $10 and this bag will allow you to make about 20 good cups of coffee -- unlike buying one cup of coffee for $5!!! 

Reuse water for plants
When washing vegetables, meat or fish collect the water, and use it for plants. It is easy and you can save money on your water bill.

Re grow plants
We have already discussed this in my previous post --- Growing your Own Vegetables from Scraps. You can save money on your grocery bill by doing this.

Bring your homemade snacks when watching a movie in the cinema
Instead of buying snacks at the mall, bring your homemade snacks (You will notice the prices are higher if you buy from them). By doing so you can save money!

Save energy by not opening the oven door while cooking or baking; close the refrigerator as soon as you are done using it.

Store food properly for leftovers
Use zip lock bags or a clean food container when storing food in the refrigerator. You can microwave it or warm it using a pan before eating it.

Cook food good for a day
If you are a busy Mom, this can really help you save time.

 As much as possible cook your own food rather than eating out


Plan Your Shopping Trip & STICK TO IT

How to Shop as a Frugal Lifestyle Champion

Plan Your Shopping Trip & STICK TO IT


How do you plan your shopping trip? Is it crucial that you plan your shopping trip before going out of the door? My answer is YES! 

There are many ways to plan your shopping trip and go out from the store with a BIG smile on your face knowing that you saved time and money.  If you are a MOM or a wife or a student or a person who wants to learn shopping and save money and time from shopping, this might be helpful to you.

Every time you go shopping, you need a LIST. This list will make your shopping trip focused thus you will save time and money. 

To get this LIST, tell the members of your family to write down the things they needed for the next week and post it in the refrigerator. Like for example, if you have students and they will have a project to make next week (usually the teacher will give them a list of materials), this will be helpful to you so you will not be cramping out that day to buy those materials.
Then on the set day, go through your list thoroughly and make sure that you have all of your necessities that are needed for the next week and STICK TO IT.

While in the store, avoid buying things which are NOT on the list. You will end up spending money on unnecessary things wandering aimlessly around the store buying the things you don’t need thus wasting your money and time.

You also need to plan your route to the various places that you will be going to shop. This can also help out on the amount of gas used to travel to each destination. 

Looking at your list, you decide which store you should go that will have a better price or go to a store where the things you needed to buy are available so you don’t go in circles jumping from one store to another.

If in the first store you went to they don’t have the things you needed, you can ask the store personnel and get (give) you a recommendation so you will know where else to go to find what you needed. This will save you time and gas thus saving money.

You can also alleviate the spending of gas altogether by choosing to purchase your necessities online.  Some people find this more convenient and sometimes you can find better deals and coupons when choosing to shop online.

Comparison Shopping

How to Shop as a Frugal Lifestyle Champion

Do Your Very Own Comparison Shopping


We were looking for an iron --- with steam and spray. We started looking around and price shopping. Our target was to go to three stores in a mall and compare the prices of the iron we were looking for.

Note: We were looking for an iron with steam and spray (whatever the brand did not matter as long as we "think" it is in good quality and it is a cheaper price)---- that's the goal.

First store stop---3 different brands 2 unknown brands and one known brand. The same features. The other unknown brand is the one I really liked because it's heavy but it's so expensive. So we decided to look around more.

We went to another store. There we found one remaining iron with the features we were really looking for. It's a lot cheaper and well it's a known brand and heavier. (I like a heavy iron because it can press the fabric easily) I said to my lovey dovey (David Breth) ;-) one more store to go then we will decide which iron to invest in.

Usually during the month of January the stores have many New Year sales. But this time their irons were not on sale! Anyway.... From the last store stop we decided.....FINALLY....to buy  the iron from the second store! It was the best deal that we can get!!! Why? It has the features we are looking for plus it is the cheapest one plus it has one year warranty!!!

So you see... What I am trying to portray here is being frugal. Do not rush to buy things! Research where to find stuff and get a BETTER DEAL!!! By doing this you save money. Yes it takes time but it's worth it!!!

Do you have any FRUGAL STORIES? Please SHARE below in the comment section!! We want to hear your story....

Impulse Purchase


How to Shop as a Frugal Lifestyle Champion

Avoid Impulse Purchases

Do you have a story like you regret buying a thing in the store after finding out you are not going to need it? Or you found out that you can get "it" for a cheaper price in another store???

Well my friend, you have to change that mistake now!!!

From the previous topic, we talked about how to plan your shopping trip. First thing first--- make a list and AFTER finalizing it and you are in the store STICK TO IT!!!

There are so many "temptations" you will encounter as soon as you walk down the aisle of the store.
Our eyes brighten up if we see SALE on bags, on beautiful dresses, on shoes, on make-up, Etc. (Come on ladies you know what I am talking about)!

Of course girls that is OUR thing ;-)

Sometimes we cant ignore looking at those things that most of the times without further thinking we just grab it and go pay for it!!!

If you are like that and you are reading this, you still have time to change your shopping behavior.
AVOID IMPULSE PURCHASES or you will end-up paying your high bills on your credit card or worse yet you will have a zero balance bank account (YIKES)!!!

It is not bad to spoil yourself from time to time...but be sure THINK FRUGAL...first things come first...buy what you need before buying what you want. Be a frugal lifestyle champion!!!

Secondhand / Thrift Stores ....... Your Advantage

How to Shop as a Frugal Lifestyle Champion

Use Secondhand Stores to Your Advantage


The date was approaching, I've already have the dress I wanted to wear on that special day (the OATH TAKING CEREMONY when I received my teaching degree).

Okay, so I have a dress but the "problem" is I needed a coat. The preferred attire was business attire. And I was working off a tight budget--- oh and did I mention I was on a tight budget ;-)
I can't spend much money for that occasion even though it will just happen only once in my LIFETIME.

So..... I needed a coat.

I've asked around.... in the mall and boutiques....the coat is more than $25 (OUCH)!!! Remember I was on a tight budget! What am I going to do?

A friend of mine suggested for me to look for a coat in a secondhand store. So I went there to try my luck! The BIG event will be in 24 hours!!!! I need to find that coat that will match my dress.

It was a small store with a sign outside that read: "NEW ARRIVALS"!!! I felt like I was in "heaven" walking in and seeing a large selection of dress coats!!! The feeling of finding a TREASURE... Is what I felt that very moment!!!!

You can't imagine... I bought the coat for $6 and it still has a TAG on it. It was still new!!! From then on I love going to secondhand stores!!!

(HERE I AM IN MY NEW COAT FROM THE THRIFT / SECOND HAND STORE)

You never know what "treasures" you can find in second hand /thrift stores if you will not at least look.

Be a frugal lifestyle champion!!! Going to a secondhand / thrift store is not "disgusting" or "lowering your standards" as some may have you believing.

Some of their items still have "box store" tags attached. You just need to be patient enough digging through the piles to locate the good stuff ;-)

Do you have a secondhand / thrifty store story??? Please share...we want to hear your story!!!

Getting Organized

A Frugal Lifestyle Champion is also organized. Getting organized helps you to take control of your space, time and your life. It will allow you to become more focused, productive and achieve your goals.

One thing for sure, organizational skills CAN BE LEARNED! You can learn to do things more quickly and take control of a chaotic schedule if you are organized. The challenge is how to get started and keep the system in place. Being organized does not take away from spontaneity and fun, but rather it increases your ability to accomplish more and enjoy life to its fullest.
Why a Frugal Lifestyle Champion should be organized? Here are some reasons...
Aid Relaxation
Having a de-cluttered home and an organized schedule, will give you a feeling of in-control and less stress. It is stressful and time-consuming if you forget things, climb over clutter and search for things at the last minute. 
Coming home and seeing an orderly and tranquil atmosphere is like a feeling of  entering a sanctuary away from the stresses of the outside world.
 
Provide More Space
This does not require you throw everything away but consider this -- if there are things you have not used within the last 6 months you should strongly consider giving them away!

Reorganizing a drawer, closet or room will give more space. An organized Frugal Lifestyle Champion prepares for the future and thinks that having too much stuff is an hassle. Your life can be made simpler with less stuff!
Find Things Easily
When organizing, put a label on it so you will be able to find something when you want it thus saving you time and the need to buy it again. 
Use containers, baskets, shelves, and cabinets for commonly-used items so they are easier to find. Keep you containers stacked, racked, boxed, bagged, or hung.

Save Time and Money
Make a list of the stuff you need to buy then plan ahead. By doing this, you will avoid buying things again thus saving time in your life focusing and minimizing the time you spent on unnecessary things.

Provide More Time and Balance in Your Life
Getting projects done quicker, delegating and finding things quickly gives you more time for the things you want to do. You will have more time for yourself, your family and your friends. An organized person is in control of their time and is able to schedule on time for the important things.
Achieve Goals
You will achieve your goals. Making your organized plan and lists for the next day, weeks and year can help you get closer to your goals. You will also achieve more by eliminating the barriers and by streamlining processes that take too much time that prevent you from achieving your goals. 
 
Organization Brings Health and Happiness
By being organized in scheduling your time, you'll make more time for other stuff like exercise and eating healthy. Your life will be less stressful. You will have more time for yourself and do the activities you want to do and time for your loved ones.

Source: http://www.howcast.com/videos/410113-How-to-Get-Organized