Tag Archives: finance

50 Ways To Save Money (With Minimal Effort)

Some of my most popular blog posts on Finding Delight are all about How To Ball On A BudgetAnd why not? Everyone would love a little help in this department. Which is why sharing ways I personally save money (with minimal effort) is something I’m happy to do!

As the holiday season approaches, saving that extra bit of cash for all the costs that go along with the time of year becomes a necessity. Presents and parties and vacations…OH MY!

With the impending holiday expenses in mind, I put together a few of my favorite money saving ideas. Pick and choose a few of these simple lifestyle changes to implement and you’ll be well on your way to a nice little monetary stockpile. However you choose to spend (EGGNOG FOR EVERYONE!)…well, that’s up to you!

 

Shopping

Check second-hand stores first.
If that doesn’t pan out, hit the clearance racks.
Check the weekly circulars for the best deals.
Shop your pantry before shopping the store.
Make a weekly grocery list and stick to it.
Shop the periphery of the grocery store.
Don’t be afraid of the generic brand.
Sign up for rewards programs and do your homework about the benefits.
Buy seasonal items during their off-season.

Food

Pack your meals for work and school.
Always have a water bottle on hand for free hydration.
Brew your coffee at home and learn to make your indulgent Starbucks order.
Buy from the bulk bins so you’re not paying extra for packaging.
Batch cook big meals in your crock-pot.
Get into the habit of meal planning.
Find a cookbook you love and cook your way through it.

Appearance

Give yourself at-home manicures.
Color/straighten/curl your own hair. Or let it go natural.
Create a fitness plan that doesn’t involve a gym or costly classes.
Set up a seasonal capsule wardrobe.
Make your own beauty products.

Travel

Stay at an Airbnb.
Stock your kitchen-away-from-home so you can prepare meals instead of eating out.
Give yourself a daily allowance (in cash) while you’re away so you don’t go overboard.
Bring along all your lingering gift cards to treat yo’self.

Entertainment

Bust your boredom. 
Cancel cable and pick a streaming service instead.
Cancel print subscriptions and subscribe to a few email newsletters instead.
Make a list of cheap date night ideas you think sound fun and cycle through.
Host a game night for your friends.
Get your books from the library.
Go out for brunch or coffee or happy hour cocktails instead of dinner.
Start an articles club.

DIY

Consider making gifts instead of buying.
Dollar Tree is a great place to pick up cheap craft supplies.
Learn to mix your favorite cocktails.
Create your own cleaning products.
Check for tutorials online before paying someone else to do your home improvement projects.

Utilities

Call your cell phone/internet/utility provider and ask for a cheaper rate.
Turn off the lights when you leave the house (or the room for that matter).
Don’t go crazy with your thermostat.
Carpool with your colleagues.
Make payments on time.

Savings

Kick it old school with a penny bank for your loose change.
Automate your payments and savings plan where possible.
Keep a spending diary.
Read budget blogs for free financial information and resources.
Challenge yourself to a no-spend day once a week or a no-spend weekend once a month.
Look through your bank statement for any recurring costs and consider canceling whatever they’re attached to.
Research any discounts you may be afforded through your work/school/memberships.

What lifestyle changes have YOU implemented to save money? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

 

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April Resolutions — How Did I Do?

Happy May, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out past months HERE.) Here’s how I did in April…

April Resolution #1. Spring clean my closets and drawers. 

I don’t know what it is but every Spring I get this terrible, insatiable urge to THROW EVERYTHING I OWN AWAY. Is that weird? Maybe it is something to do with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Hoarding everything away in a little nest during the Winter and then purging once the weather starts to get warmer. Whatever the case, my space starts to feel cluttered.

Instead of tossing stuff willy nilly, this year I evaluated what areas needed decluttering the most and focused my efforts. I hadn’t done a proper Kon Mari (ie. throw everything you own on your bed and go through it piece by piece) clothes clear out since moving to Florida and it was high time. So I definitely wanted to tackle my closet and dresser. Organizing my desk drawers has been on my To-do list foreeever, and so has our linen closet. So those went on the list too.

How did it go? Well, I Kon Mari’d the HECK out of my clothes and was able to rid my room of TWO TRASH BAGS full. (It still boggles my mind where this stuff comes from!) All the drawers are done…save for one pesky desk drawer that accumulates crap no matter what I do. (But doesn’t everyone have a crap drawer? Isn’t that like a law of LIVING?)

The linen closet still hasn’t happened. But there’s always this month!

 

Going forward: Declutter the dang linen closet! Oh, and actually transport those two trash bags that are in the trunk of my car to a donation location.

April Resolution #2. Examine spending habits through the lens of happiness. 

Recently, I signed up for a FREE Money + Happy Bootcamp through one of my fave blogs — Yes and Yes. The whole thing was chock-full of helpful advice about how to navigate spending habits while staying in tune with what brings you joy. (Sound helpful? You can sign up in the sidebar of the site.)

One exercise that really resonated with me asked us to take our bank statement and go at it with three highlighters. Pink, yellow, and green. The pink highlighter was for regrettable purchases. The yellow highlighter was for necessary purchases (like bills and groceries). And the green highlighter was for those purchases that brought about happiness.

Since taking the mini-course, I’ve kept up this highlighter rigmarole and have found the visual wildly helpful. And since I had data for the entire first quarter of the year, I thought April was the perfect time to crunch the numbers, evaluate how I did, and decide if there were changes I wanted to make going forward.

I pin-pointed a few trends. I got a clear picture of how much I’m spending and on what (as well as if the “what” brought me joy or regret).

 

Going forward: I will continue to go through my bank statements with highlighters every month and examine the results more thoroughly each quarter. I’ll try to get my pink purchases down and my green purchases as up as my bank account will allow. 😉

Alright friends, let’s keep things going in May!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Four months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

mid-week round-up

orange-butterfly

What are you up to today? I have some errands to run (including getting my hair cut which I’ve been putting off for ages) but I’m feeling a little mid-week lazy. Can’t I just drink coffee and read books every day??? I hope everyone had a fun Halloween however you chose to celebrate. I was pretty pleased with my last-minute farmer costume. (Overalls!) Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, and here are a few links I’ve gathered for your reading pleasure…

The Dakota Access Pipeline protest is unprecedented and 150 years in the making.

How a poster in a bar restroom cleverly combats sexual assault.

“I dressed like Rachel Green for a week and here’s what happened.”

What was the Princess Diana Beanie Baby?

House Tour: An art-filled Nashville home.

How to host a dinner party in a small space.

Our financial errors vary by age.

Lady Gaga does carpool karaoke.

Why American and European cities are dramatically different.

Why is Election Day on Tuesday, November 8?

Humans of New York and the cavalier consumption of others.

The feminist power of female ghosts.

mid-week round-up

tobacco barn

What’s new in your world? Inspired by our recent foray into “local park as personal backyard,” we nabbed a sun-shield from Amazon. Hoping to use it this weekend to extend our visits to the beach or park without baking in the sun (or getting in low-key fights with strangers over the public umbrellas, lol). Thanks for stopping by today! While you’re here, check out a few links…

Louisiana’s quiet crisis.

The price of Zika? About $4 million per child.

How a Kenyan javelin thrower mastered his sport by watching YouTube videos.

Dancing to raise awareness about climate change.

Breaking period taboos.

This Miami startup makes amazing superfood bars!

The coolest sport in Brazil takes place outside the Olympic bubble–Footvolley.

How a dead millionaire convinced dozens of women to have as many babies as possible.

A North Carolina woman is the daughter of a Civil War veteran, and still collects his benefits.

Olympic medical history: It’s not all about doping.

12 20-somethings on how they saved their emergency fund.

Netflix’s chief executive isn’t worried about losing out to rivals.

P.S. Clearly my Olympics obsession continues…

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mid-week round-up

weather vane

Wednesday again! What are y’all up to? Chet and I got dressed up and went to The Frost Museum on Saturday night for the opening of the Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit. It’s always fun to have a reason to get cute AND geek out simultaneously. Haha! The book was open to the “To be or not to be” page of Hamlet which was definitely a nice choice. There’s just something so wrong about a book behind glass though. I wanted to flick through it so bad! Wouldn’t it be amazing to feel all that history at your finger-tips? I’m headed to Bowling Green, KY on Friday and I’m looking forward to giving some friends a squeeze. But what should I pack?! Half a year in Miami and I’ve already forgotten how to Winter. In the name of packing procrastination, let’s wander around the internet…

Bill Maher, Charlie Sheen, and modern day snake oil.

Why are men missing from the Zika Virus warnings?

A video game that mixes animation and magical realism to tell the story of a family’s profound loss.

A rape case which highlights differences in legal cultures and the colonial dynamic in the nineteenth century.

Broadly documents the fight to end revenge porn.

Leslie Knope + Ann Perkins = BFF

A yummy Valentine’s treat.

Thoughts on Gilmore Girls.

Remy Charlip and the problems of dance notation.

Financial advisor for millennials.

I totally want to stay at this Icelandic hostel.

Lessons from the longest study on happiness.