Hope Wissel

Saturday Spotlight: Money Saving Apps

We all love to save money but who has the time.  Do you cut coupons to grocery shop and then forget to take them?  I am definitely technically challenged but I am on a mission to pay off debt so I learning how to use digital coupons and money savings apps. So, pull out your smart phone and check out some of these money saving apps.

My favorites are:

Shopkick – rewards you with “kicks” when you visit participating retailers like Macy’s, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.). Admit it, you go to at least one of these retailers every week. You also can earn “bonus kicks” for scanning specific items while in store. NO, you don’t have to purchase them, just scan the UPC code. Once you’ve earned enough reward points you can redeem them for retail and restaurant gift cards.  This is a fun way to get the kids involved in grocery shopping by letting them scan the products.  They have also added online rewards too.

Ebates – my favorite site for saving money when shopping online! You have seen the commercials right, where people are getting thousands of dollars back.  Well, the truth is I do’t get thousands back but I do average about $25 per month which is pretty good. Right now, you can earn $10 for clicking my link and joining as a new member.  Then get your referrals link so you can earn $25 for each person who joins using your link.

Cartwheel – Are you a Target shopper?  Be sure to grab their Cartwheel app so you can save additional money on products you buy.  This is a savings on top of the 5% they offer by using your Target credit card or debit card.  There is no need to open a credit card to get the 5%, you can link your Target card to you checking account and use it like a debit card.

For the grocery shoppers who love to use coupons, here are three apps just for you:

Checkout 51 – to save on groceries. Every Thursday morning, Checkout 51 updates with a new list of offers. Simply choose the offers you like, purchase them at any store then upload a photo of your receipt through the mobile app or website. When your account reaches $20, Checkout 51 sends you a check.

Ibotta – Before heading to the store, choose the offers you like then go shopping. (The more offers you select, the more you can earn.) After you check out, take a photo of your receipt which Ibotta will verify and then credit your account. Cash rewards can be deposited directly into a PayPal account. Every time you redeem an offer a new one will be sent to you.

What are YOUR favorite money saving sites? Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Saving Money 

I don’t know about you but I always find summer a harder time to save money.  From farmer’s markets to flea markets, a little here and a little there is spent.  Before long, you are over your spending budget.  Yes, there are lots of things to do which are free BUT I always found the more we are out and about, the more tempting those quick stops are for snacks or dinner.

Here are some tips on how you can save some money and trick yourself into a fatter bank account.

Play A Mind Game
Target shopping for me is deadly.  I usually go in for just a few things and before long my bill is up to $75 of things I must have (or at least I think I need).  Try this mind trick (courtesy of the Peaceful Mom):

When deciding whether or not to purchase the cute new outfit or decorative item for your house, imagine someone holding the item you want to purchase in one hand and offering you the cash equivalent with the other hand. If you would take the cash then skip the purchase.

Carry a Savings Reminder
If you are a visually-oriented person, which I am, try this. Researchers at Duke University found study participants who kept a gold coin in their wallet as a reminder to save, saved more than twice as much as study participants who didn’t. I’m adding an arrow charm (to symbolize reducing debt) to the zipper on my wallet (see photo above).

So far, it’s working “like a charm” to help me remember to spend less.

Leave It In the Cart
How many of you are an impulse spender?  Admit it, many of us want instant gratification when we are happy, sad, angry or you can substitute in your reason.  I’m trying to curb the impulses.  When online, I put it in the cart and walk away from the computer.  It is easier for me to walk away in a store but online, I seem to quickly hit “order”.  This has really helped me to reduce my spending.  I have also found when I leave things in the cart, the store I am shopping with will usually send me an additional discount to encourage me to submit the order.  Another win, if I decide I really do need to place the order.

Use Automatic Withdrawal
I have an automatic withdrawal at the bank so when checks are direct-deposited, $25 or more goes directly into a savings account. If you don’t see it, you can’t spend it, so it’s probably one of the easiest ways to save more money every month.

Save All $1 Bills
If you are a cash person for spending, use this savings trick. Every time you break a larger bill and receive dollar bills for change, place those bills into a separate part of your wallet so you don’t spend them. Then every evening when you arrive home place those one dollar bills in a jar or an envelope. I have a friend who told me about this a long time ago but she uses $5 bills.  You will be surprised at how it adds up.

Calculate Your Cost of Time Spent
I haven’t tried this but maybe I should…..Whenever you want to spend money on a non-essential item, try converting the cost of the purchase into the amount of time you had to work to pay for it. YIKES!  Being self-employed, this could be ALOT! For example if you are paid $10 an hour then your $50 dinner out would cost you five hours of your life.

Thinking about your money in this way can help you to evaluate if the cute dress or dinner out is worth so much of your time — and many times it’s not.

Focus on the Positive
You know I am all about focusing on the positive to bring more positive into your life, right?  A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found people who focus on their reasons for saving (a fun vacation, a better car, buying a home, etc.) saved more than study participants who concentrated on specific strategies for cutting back like eating out less often or using coupons.  When you shift your mindset to focus on what you will be gaining, rather than what you are giving up, you will save more.

Saving money can be much easier when you “trick” yourself with these simple ideas.  What are your best tips for saving money?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

5 Habits to Improve Your Quality of Life 

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Yes, it is Wednesday and it is time to focus on YOU!

If you are like me, you are bombarded with “stuff” from the time you start your day.   From e-mail, television, interruptions or requests, something is constantly vying for your attention. What’s the result? The best laid plans for the day are tossed by the wayside and by the end the day, I am left wondering where the time went.  I get it – it’s life, some days are better than others.

The problem is that when it becomes the norm, it can leave you frustrated, scattered and ineffective. I don’t know about you but when I am feeling that way all of the time – there is  chronic stress and a lack of fulfillment, a low level of happiness and my physical health is a mess.  An unhappy momma (or wife) does not make for a happy household, right?

Did you know that what you do FIRST makes all the difference in the world to your day? Do you want to be more productive? Do you want to increase your energy level when your plate is full?

It’s all about what you choose to do first.  What you do the first 30 minutes you’re awake, the first 30 minutes at work, and with the first portion of your income ensures that no matter how overloaded you are, your most important priorities will not be lost in a sea of distractions. When you do the things that are most important to you first, you free up energy for everything else on your list. Be intentional. Make it easy to accomplish “first things first.” Make them automatic.

Here are five simple things you can do “first” to improve your quality of life right now:

1. Tackle the looming project.

Maybe it is a report you need to finish, a meeting you need to have, or a project waiting for your attention – get started early in the day.  Block out the time – whether it’s 15 minutes or four hours – and DO IT!  Believe it or not, once that is done, you’ll have more energy because that burden is lifted.

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2. Connect with loved ones.

Start the day with a kiss, a hug, or a phone call to someone who matters to you. These are the things that tend to get lost when our schedules get busy.  Instead of letting these loving gestures diminish. we need to increase them! Staying connected to others is one of the most important ingredients for well-being.  I have even found that when I take a break and spend at least 30 minutes with hubby (no distractions) before he goes to work, I am way more productive.

3. Drink a bottle of water

First thing in the morning, before you even put your feet on the ground, drink a bottle of water. Sit it by your bed before you go to sleep. Drinking water first thing in the morning gets your system moving and your metabolism kicking.

4. Meditate on what you are grateful for.

While drinking that bottle of water, why not think about all of the things that are good in your life. “Whatever things are good, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, think on these things,” the apostle Paul wrote.  Research shows that expressing gratitude has health benefits and meditation actually changes your brain chemistry for the better. So first thing in the morning, pray a prayer of gratitude.  This will also keep start the Law of Attraction for the day.

5. Save some money and give some away.

For some you are already letting the negative inner gremlins rear their heads, right?  This is a tough one for many.  The truth is that if we don’t give or save money when it first comes in, you’ll rarely have much left over to do. But somehow, when you give first and save first, your spending becomes aligned with your goals. That’s because you’ve made your goal – saving and giving – your top priority. Set up automatic debits from your paycheck or checking account so you don’t even have to think about it!  This was a tough one for me too!  The truth is that when I set up the auto debits from my checking account, it happens and then I don’t think about the money in the savings account.  Start with $5 once a month but start.

I challenge you to put first things first. See what a difference it makes for you and then share it with us.  What priority is not first on your list of actions today?  I can’t wait to hear from you…

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

 

 

Hope Wissel

New Year’s Resolutions Thirty One Style

Good Morning…Starting in 2015, my Saturday blogs will be all product related.  NO, not just Thirty One product but other products and services that I LOVE.  I would love to include YOU this year.  Complete the form below including a statement about your product or service and I will get back to you.  DO NOT LEAVE the information in the comment section, PLEASE!

Here are the TOP 10 Resolutions for the New Year in Top 10 format is:

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The NUMBER ONE Resolution EVERY year is:

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Which one is yours?

Interested in having your services or products highlighted, complete this form:

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!