Odd Ways to Simplify Your Life

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I know we have talked about simplicity before, but I never went in depth about some things that can really help you maintain a simpler, easier life. There are several ways you can go about this and many of these techniques can be transferred to other areas of your life. For example, one of the ways I have been trying to simplify my life is by unsubscribing from all junk emails. But the same could be applied to junk mail as well. It’s a waste for me to receive countless marketing ads when I don’t buy anything. It’s also a waste of time to sort through all this mail and delete the emails or recycle the actual mail. I can get up to 200 emails a day and most are junk. This advice isn’t just for people who have too little time in their day. So find that unsubscribe at the bottom of your emails and go to town! Or call the number listed on the magazines or circulars to get your name taken off the list. Ok so let’s simplify this so you don’t have to read as much!
1.Stop junk emails at the source and unsubscribe!
2.Stop junk mail at the source and end subscriptions.
3.Get rid of excess clothing that is not allowing you to see what you really have to wear.
4.Plan out your meals in advance and buy ingredients for that specific meal. Don’t try to throw things together at the last minute.
5.Touch things once. This means, don’t stack things up in piles to be dealt with later. If it’s in your hand, put it where it belongs, not on the kitchen counter. ( I know this is hard, but it will make a difference, trust me).
6.Get rid of apps on your phone you don’t use! Try this: move all your applications but one to the second or third screen on your phone. As you use an app, move it to the first. After a month, delete the apps you haven’t used.
7.Plan and make to do lists in one place. I have seen women who have three calendars and four places where they keep their to do or to get lists. Simplify. I recommend Erin Condren life planners. There is a whole community that can give you ideas and help you stay organized. You can see how I use mine by following me on Instagram @ LiveBreatheInspire. Get $10 off by using my referral code.https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/jesssonmore0225
8.If you have to drive somewhere, try to plan other stops that coincide. I learned this from serving my way through college. If your going someplace anyways, why not make the trip count and get other things done as well. For example, if I am dropping my hubby off at the airport I will oftentimes stop by Costco on the way there or on the way home. It’s about a 20 minute drive there and so I will plan in advance and make the trip once, accomplishing two tasks. Seems simple, but it can save a lot of time.
9.Have less stuff! This one is just as it sounds. I know I keep going over this, but when you have a ton of things in your life, you spend a lot of time organizing, fixing, and taking care of them. Ok, I am done, but seriously, try to get rid of some of it.
10.I am guilty of having several email addresses. I am in the process of simplifying it down to one. My bad, but seriously, keep it simple if you can help it.
11.Keep your digital life simple. Keep your files in one place and make sure everything is properly backed up. I can’t imagine how I would find anything without dropbox and my organization system in it.

These are just a few ways you can keep it simple in your own home. What do you do to simplify? We would love it hear it!
-Jessica

5 Ways to Save Money Everyday!

How to save money

How to save money

We are all looking for ways to save money.  You might be trying to save up for a home, for college, for a nice vacation, or investing for your retirement.  We are always looking for new ways to help us make the most of our money.  That is why I have written this post today.  Below you will find a list of 5 tips for saving more money everyday!  These tips have helped my family save some money, and I hope they do the same for your family:)

1. Eat From Home

Now if you are like me and like to eat out, I am not saying to never eat out again.  What you can do is make sure you are eating the majority of your meals at home.  This will save you a lot of money!  The key to eating from home is making sure you have the food you need and make a meal plan.  I cannot tell you how often I used to wait until the last minute to decide what to have for dinner.  This leads normally to a trip to Chipotle because I cannot think of anything to make quickly.  Now I normally plan out our meals and make sure to get all the materials (or at least most of it) when I make my weekly trip to the grocery store.

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Great cookbook for Gluten-free households:)

Another great way to make eating from home easier is by buying your food in bulk at a store like Costco or Sam’s Club Then you can create a lot of meals at once and freeze them.  Jess has created a beautiful post on how to do this!

2. Get Rid of Cable

I know this might come to a shock to many of you that I have even suggested this, but hear me out before you completely rule this tip out.  There are so many current alternatives to cable that costs a lot less!  The three I use are netflix, hulu plus, and amazon prime.  Between the three of these channels I have most of my shows I used to watch covered, plus I have an endless list of new tv shows that I can start watching whenever I want.  Netflix is around 7.99/month and huluplus is around the same price as that.  Amazon prime membership is $79 per year, but you also get free shipping on amazon prime purchases.  For me, it is worth it just because of that feature!

There are also some great devices that you can add all your accounts to and stream the shows on your tv so you don’t have to be stuck watching on your computer.  I currently own an Apple TV and love it even though it doesn’t stream amazon prime yet.  There is also the Roku and Google Chromecast as well.  The Google Chromecast costs the least at around $35 while the Roku and Apple TV are around $99.  Look on Amazon or other places on the internet to find the one that will be the best fit for you.

how to save money

Save Money with This Apple TV!

3. Use Natural Cleaners

When you go to the store to buy cleaners, they are always so expensive!  There are some quick, easy, and cheap ways to clean using natural cleaners.  One of the most common ones is using a half and half mixture with white vinegar and water. I know the vinegar has a distinct smell, but you can add some essential oils to it in order to help mask the smell.  Another great way to clean naturally and to save money is use baking soda.  There are so many ways to use baking soda for cleaning.  It can be used to clean toilets, glass shower doors, drains, faucets, and much more!  Not only will you be using less chemicals, but you will also save money!

Save money

Clean Naturally to Save Even More Money!

4. Get Rid of Your Memberships You Aren’t Using or Don’t Need

I know I talked about joining netflix, hulu plus, and amazon prime in number 2 of the “Ways to Save Money” list, but those memberships helped you cut a bigger expense (cable).  What I mean here is get rid of the memberships that you are not using or that you don’t necessarily need.  We all have signed up for an automated service to help better our lives, but do we actually use them?  If you are a member of a gym that you don’t go to, then I suggest getting rid of that membership right away.  I love fitness and working out, but if you aren’t using it now, no matter how good your intentions might be, you are wasting money.  There are so many other ways to workout that don’t require a gym membership or any money at all.  I would suggest that if you are a member at a gym, you should figure out if you really need it to workout.  I used to be a member at a gym, but after paying month after month I realized I was just giving that money away.  Most of the stuff I did at the gym I could do outside or in my own home.

Really analyze your subscriptions/memberships and cut where you can.  Your bank account will thank you later!

5. Use Coupons or Shop at Aldi

I know many of us have read about using coupons before, but it is a great reminder for saving money.  If you don’t like to coupon or don’t have the time, then shopping at discount grocery stores works well.  My favorite place to shop is Aldi!  You don’t need coupons there because everything is already so cheap.  At first I was hesitant because I like to buy healthy foods, but they actually have a lot of organic and healthy items as well.  If you haven’t shopped there yet, please make sure you at least give it a shot before dismissing it altogether.  I was shocked the first time I rang out!  The amount of money I spent vs. the amount of food I bought was outstanding!  There food is really good as well.  If you coupon or start shopping at places like Aldi, you will find that your monthly budget for food will slowly get smaller and smaller.  This gives us more money to invest, pay off our home, save for our children’s college, or just do some fun activities as a family.

Whether it be shopping at discount grocery stores, cutting back on your memberships, using natural cleaning supplies, or getting rid of cable there are always ways to save money.  I hope these ideas help get you started.

Here’s to saving money!

Rini~

What are some others ways you save money?

 

 

Amazing Finance Help That Everyone Should Have!

Save money

Save Money

There are so many ways to spend money.  Since there are an abundance of goods and services that we could spend money on, a lot of people are in need of some financial assistance.  It is so easy to spend the money you make each week and then some.  This leaves people owing more money each week than they bring in.  This is what we need to try to avoid.  I know it is not the “cool” thing to save money and not to buy the items we really want until we have saved up for them.  It is well worth it though if you decide to start living this way.

I am the typical “spender” in the relationship between my husband and I.  It is so difficult for me to save money and easy for me to find ways to spend it.  I try to justify every purchase regardless of if it is needed or not.  I am just very blessed with a mother and father that have taught me in recent years how to save money and why it is important to save.

In college, I would go on spending trips to Target and Kohl’s and spend money on clothes I just did not need.  It actually got so bad that I would find myself craving shopping just to shop.  It started to become therapeutic.  I don’t think this is bad, but we just have to make sure you check ourselves when going to buy an item.  Do I really need a new pair of jeans or just like the way this pair looks?  I still shop when I am feeling stressed, but I am so much better at controlling what I am purchasing.  I am still not perfect and will buy some “pretty” things sometimes that aren’t needed;)

My main turning point… my “aha” moment came while reading the book, Financial Peace Revisited, by Dave Ramsey.  He does a great job at not only providing great ways to save money, but also giving a great perspective of why you should care about how your money is spent.  I do not have kiddos yet, but I know when I do it will be even easier for me to spend money.  I think my husband is dreading this day!  I now have the knowledge that I didn’t before since reading this book.  I will be better able to manage the money we make and make our money work for us.

If you have never read any of the Dave Ramsey books, I would highly recommend reading one.  It not only helped me, but it has also helped a lot of my family and friends as well.  It is amazing to me how I have tons of conversations with people about these books.  If you are like me and have a spending problem or if you know of someone who likes to spend money, then these are a great tool to use.

I am still not perfect when it comes to money, but I can truly say that after reading Dave Ramsey’s book and really trying to incorporate it into my life, I am happier.  I don’t have all the “shiny” things that most people have, but as Dave Ramsey says it, “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else later.”  If you focus on saving money, investing, and planning for retirement now, then you will be able to live like no one else later and not have the worries/struggles that most people will have around that time in life.  Not only that, but since financial problems are the number one reason for divorce, it will help your marriage as well.  It is a win-win situation!  My husband and I get along a lot better now that I can control my spending habits more.

If you would like anymore information, I would love to help out or answer any questions you may have!  If you don’t want to buy the book, you can ask around and see if someone has one you can borrow or check out your local library!

What are some other resources you use to help you save money?

Rini~