Budgeting

Tips for Saving on National Savings Day

National Savings Day was set up by Capitol One.  A great way to market their business, right?  Despite the marketing aspect, it is a great way to encourage people to gain confidence about their relationship with money.  Believe me I get it!  Savings accounts have come and gone in my life and at the ripe old age of 60, I think I am finally feeling better about my relationship with money.

Most of us are great at collecting sentimental items – pictures, scrapbooks, or jewelry passed down through generations of family.  Why?  Because they mean something to us and they evoke emotion. These collections are the thing which helps me on the days when brain fog and MS lesions cause me to forget.  To same it is just “stuff” while for others it has a different meaning.

Why is it then so hard for us to transfer this concept to a portion of our paycheck every month?  Why is it so hard to pay ourselves FIRST in preparation for a rainy day or retirement?  What if you were to consider a savings account like your junk drawer or the sock basket?  Would it make it any easier?

Growing up my mom had a bottle she kept half dollars in.  When she was at work, if someone paid with a half dollar, at the end of the shift/day, she would swap bills for those coins.  She took the coins home and dropped them in the bottle.  Her savings account when she started working.

Life and my addictions got in the way of my saving money.  From drugs to credit card debt, I always had an excuse NOT to save.  I needed money for bills or groceries or whatever.  I know I am not alone, right?  Does the thought of paying yourself first and NOT touching the money seem crazy?

Here are a few tips which might help you get started on the savings road:

1. Organize your grocery shopping

Being organized when you go grocery shopping can help you save money. Have a list of what you need to buy, and coupons (I’m still working on this one).  Shop early in the week to avoid the stress of over crowded stores.

2. Eliminate one service each year you can do without

YIKES  Scary, right?  We cut our cable bill by almost half.  We went from what seemed like 1000 channels to about 300 although the cable company said there are only 143.  We use our cell phones all of the time.  We have a landline for doctors to leave messages.  So I cut the cost to less than $30 per month.

3. Don’t buy “off the shelf”

There are so many ways to buy things – Facebook, Craigslist are on top.  Then there are thrift shops, yard sales, and church rummage sales.  Surf the web for the lowest price, or upcoming sales.  You may not want to do this for small purchases but maybe say $50 and above.

4. Participate in – and use – your rewards programs

Admit it!  You have tons of reward cards, right?  How many of them do you actually use?  Sign up for them where ever possible, and keep tabs of your points. I love Ebates because the notification pops up about a rebate when I am shopping online at a store which offers it.

5. Sell what you no longer need

Instead of throwing away items you no longer use, try selling them first to make some additional money. Then put the money towards a bill.  We are not allowed to have yard sales at our condo complex so I have tried Facebook and Ebay.  Those require a little bit more time and organization.  When items don’t sell, donate them to a local non-profit and be sure to get a receipt for tax purposes.

6. Buy clothing in thrift or discount stores

I have been a fan of thrift stores for years, since before Belinda was born.  Thrift stores don’t have a huge selection, but you can often come across the perfect item from time to time, sometimes barely used. This is great  for kid’s clothing since they outgrow them so fast.  If thrift stores aren’t your thing, then take a look at discount stores like T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s.

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Thirty One’s Soft Utility Tote is perfect for these kinds of trips.  It can be a large purse and then expands to carry all of your treasures home.

7. Buy when everyone else is selling

Retail sales usually fall off in January, so nearly everything goes on sale. Wouldn’t it be better to do the bulk of your buying in January rather than November and December.  Buy your winter clothing in late winter or early spring, when winter items go on clearance.

What are some of your best tips to save money?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Budgeting

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!

Thirty One Business

Jumpin’ June at Thirty One

June is CRAZY busy….. end of the school year, graduations, Father’s Day, weddings, Christenings, baby showers, and of course birthdays and anniversaries.  Are you ready?  Do you have all of those gifts together?

In direct sales, June is one of those dreaded “J” months.  The story is “J” months are traditional bad for business.  Think about it – January is the month after Christmas so everyone is broke.  June is crazy busy who has time to shop.  In July, everyone is on vacation so the last thing they are thinking of is shopping or partying.  I am here to “debunk” the myth.  Over the years, June and July have been some of my best months.  Why?  Because Thirty One offers amazing specials.

So let’s see what is happening in June…..

#1 – Did you know you could make some extra money with just a little bit of work AND using some amazing products? Maybe you could pay off some bills? Or pay for the kids summer activities?  Maybe you just need some girl time?  Maybe you are looking for a career change?  Whatever your reason, I would love to help you reach your dream…For just $99, you get over $350 in FREE product.  You get to pick your print option to fit your mood or color palette. PLUS with $600 in orders, every month for the first 4 months, you get to pick ONE of these AWESOME bundles.  That is an additional $600 in FREE product during your first 4 months in our StartSwell program.

#2 – I get having a business is not on everyone’s to do list.  so why not host a girls get together? Sip some wine (or your favorite beverage), catch up with friends, shop and have fun.  When was the last time you hung out with the girls without the kids?  You supply the friends and I will do all of the work.

For just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party. Did you know only 6 orders of $35 will get you a $200 party? I offer home, catalog/online, fundraisers, drinks at a local restaurant and 31-minute Facebook LIVE parties. Which one will fit into YOUR busy schedule

With a $400 party (yes, just $400 NOT $600), you get this AMAZING hostess special for just $35.  The cinch sac is the new thermal one, along with the All About the Benjamins Wallet and the Getaway Tote.  The wallet along is $48 and you are going to get the whole set for $35.

#3 –  I get it, you don’t need extra money and parties aren’t your thing.  BUT you just LOVE to shop? So here is the AMAZING Thirty One Customer Special for June…

All Thermals are 50% with a $35 purchase.  For each multiple of $35, you get to pick a thermal.  Thermals are so much more than just for keeping things hot or cold.

So, to sum things up…there are THREE opportunities with Thirty One this summer:

3 options

Which opportunity is for you? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Party Ideas, Thirty One Business

Thirty One’s June Hostess & Customer Specials

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OMG!!!!   It’s June… last weekend was the “unoffical” start of summer.  Alright, so maybe I am pushing things BUT it was the start of the tourist (AKA shoobie) invasion at the Jersey Shore.  This month is full of graduations

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and end of the school year festivities.

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I know, you are thinking… “I have NO time for a party“.  Money is tight with end of the year expenses.  What if I told you that YOU could reap all of the benefits of a “home party” without the work?  What if I could meet you at the ball park or in the parking lot at work?  What if you just carried a catalog with you and sent all of your friends to an online Facebook party that was fun?

I know “too good to be true”, right?  The truth is I have a party to fit your lifestyle this month.  And WHY am I willing to do this?  This months’ Customer and Hostess Special is WAY too good to pass up.

#1 –  June’s Customer Special is AMAZING!

Thirty One’s Customer Special for June is the MEDIUM UTILITY TOTE AND the STAND TALL INSERT for the medium utility tote!  Have you never heard of this product? Well, once a year it comes out for a limited time.  The BEST part is the addition of the Stand Tall Insert.  The perfect way to let your tote stand on its own.  It also adds pockets to the inside of your tote.

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#2 – Be a hostess and the gifts just keep on coming…..

For just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party. Did you know that only 6 orders of $35 will get you a $200 party?

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BUT if you jump to a $600 party which is MY party average, here is what you can get:

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#3 – Now, what if I told you that you could EARN extra money while chauffering the kids to activities or sitting on the beach?  What would you do with that money? Maybe you could pay off some bills. Pay for the kids summer activities.  Maybe it would just give you a chance to hang out with your friends.  Do you want to know the details?  Here is the inside scoop:

For just $99, you get over $350 in FREE product

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PLUS with $600 in orders, every month for the first 4 months, you get to pick ONE of these AWESOME bundles.  That is an additional $600 in FREE product during your first 4 months in our StartSwell program.

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PLUS you have the chance to earn DREAM REWARDS…. Collect points from May 1st – September 30th and you can earn up to a $1,300 gift card!

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PLUS, if you collect $1,000 in PV during your Startswell, you will receive the Away We Go Roller for FREE!

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Yes, you read this right….FREE product, gift card AND commission.  YES, you are going to get paid to have fun and collect all of these FREE perks.

So, there are THREE opportunities with Thirty One this summer:

3 options

Which opportunity is for you? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Budgeting

Celebrating Money!

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No, I have NOT won the lottery!  No, I have NOT lost my mind (I’m sure there are some that would debate that).   🙂

I have often talked about the Law of Attraction…. BUT I had some doubts.  I mean could that one little inner gremlin who shouts for an hour really play havoc on all of the blessings that the Universe is waiting to share with me.  So, over the last week or so, I have been repeating some money mantras:

  • I feel Rich
  • I love money. Money loves me.
  • I attract money now
  • I am very happy & grateful that money comes to me from many sources on a continuous basis
  • I am receiving money now
  • I have more than enough money
  • I am willing, ready and able to receive money
  • I see abundance everywhere
  • I am a money magnet
  • I am grateful for what I already have and for all that I receive now.

I have not let any inner gremlins even squeak!  The result is some really exciting things are happening- personally and in my business.

Still feeling a little skeptical, why not try some of these tips to get your finances in order:

Refrain From Impulse Purchases 

I know that it is Spring and you want to shop for some new clothes BUT trust me, make room in your budget for treats before you splurge!  I have even avoided the mall so that I am not tempted.

Make A List – Stick To It 

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Lists are AWESOME, especially when it comes to shopping.  No matter what the occasion or if it is simply grocery shopping – always stick to a list! Check out this article on motivational lists to see just how important they are!

Don’t Be Drawn In By Offers 

Admit it!  We all LOVE a sale…ANYTHING that is buy one get one free, or half price on Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy treats? STOP. Don’t be drawn in by offers on things you don’t actually need.

Set Up Savings 

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I can hear the groans…. but there is a definite need for a separate savings account.  It doesn’t matter how small the direct debit is from your everyday account to your savings, it all helps!  I started with $5 a pay period and now it is up to $25 PLUS I put aside a portion of my bonus every month.  Remember baby steps.

The Law of Attraction WORKS!  There is a multitude of  people who will tell you how it worked for them.  Still a non-believer?  I challenge you for 30 days to say (with conviction) one, two or all of the money mantras.  Then come back and share the results.

I am not saying you will win the lottery.  I am not guaranteeing that you will be debt-free.  I WILL guarantee that you will have a healthier approach to money and that with a more positive attitude, more positive things will happen!

Are you up for the challenge?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!