budget · meal planning

How I Cut My Grocery Budget by 50% This Month

Let’s talk food people. Everyone’s budget for groceries varies due to the type of foods purchased and obviously the quantity. My typical monthly grocery budget (for 2 people) ranges anywhere from $250-$300. We typically eat lots of fresh produce, whole grains, minimal meat, and snacks galore for my daughter.  Cooking at home helps me to… Continue reading How I Cut My Grocery Budget by 50% This Month

castle savings · finances · freelance writing · goals · holidays

Castle Savings Update

One of the biggest goals that I am currently working on is to save as much money as I can towards my first home. I call it the Castle Savings because I love to dream big. I love castles – how they look, the history behind them and it being of a royal concept. Regardless of what I call the savings account, the goal is the same – to purchase a house!

I started saving towards this goal once I paid off all my debt last year. I’ve had months where I was able to save more than others. There have definitely been months where money was tighter because unexpected expenses popped up, “Murphy” visited, random vacations happened, etc. No matter the issue was I have made an effort to continue forward with this goal and not give up. I have been a renter for almost 10 years and I feel that it is time for me to invest in a home. Although I don’t know much about the whole home-buying process, I do know that I can figure out anything that I set my mind to. I have a supportive group of people that will also help lead me in right direction. I am actually excited about starting the process – going to speak with a mortgage broker and then connecting with a real estate agent that I can trust are the next steps.

In December I set a goal to jump from 30% savings to 50% savings. I felt like I was stuck at 30% for a few months and I wanted to kick it back up a notch. I set the goal a bit higher because we have to shoot for the moon, right? I’m happy to report that I was able to crush my goal and save up 51%.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Below I will list the steps that helped me get this huge goal accomplished.

Save my annual bonus

I am lucky enough to have received a bonus at work. I took the whole payment and put it directly in my castle savings account. I wish I could’ve taken a vacation with that money, but there will be a time for that. I just wanted to accomplish this goal!

Cut my expenses

This area was tough! I spent quite a bit of money in December – like ALOT. December was the month for Christmas presents, an unexpected hockey game {something I’ve always wanted to do with a certain group of friends & the opportunity presented itself}, holiday parties, a visit to Disney on Ice with my Goddaughter, and the list goes on and on. Still, I knew there were areas that I could keep in check like my grocery budget, gas, parking, and eating out. So I continued to monitor these areas and cut where I could so my month wasn’t a total fail.

Earn extra money

In mid-November I landed my first ever freelance writing gig. I submitted my first article in December and it was a wonderful experience. Thanks to my friend Kim Galeta who helped inspire me to start this side hustle. She has been such a big help and I definitely recommend anyone taking her freelance writing workshops if you’re interested in writing and earning some money from the comfort of your own home! I definitely plan on continuing with this side hustle in 2018!

I’m thrilled to have ended 2017 off strong and I have no doubt in my mind that I will do the same in 2018. I am soooo excited for what this year has in store for me! Here’s to being a home owner soon *cheers*!!!

budget · giving back · holidays

15 Frugal Traditions to Put You in the Christmas Spirit Today

Christmas season is upon us and in full effect. I feel like every year Christmas seems to come around earlier and earlier. I mean it’s barely even the day after Halloween and there’s already Christmas music playing in the mall. Christmas decorations are already in the stores. I love Christmas, but I’m not a huge… Continue reading 15 Frugal Traditions to Put You in the Christmas Spirit Today

budget · debt · finances · frugal · holidays

4 Quick Tips to Help You Stay on Budget During the Holidays

Today is officially Black Friday! November is almost over and Christmas will be here before we know it. This year my budget is pretty tight for holiday spending. I’m challenging myself stay within my $300 budget. I plan on buying gifts for about 15 people this year which is $20 per person. I love to… Continue reading 4 Quick Tips to Help You Stay on Budget During the Holidays

budget · debt · finances · goals · meal planning · no spend month

No Spend Month: Review and Highlights

I can’t believe September is coming to an end today. Time to reflect on how the month went financially. I definitely had some slip ups, but I had some great moments too where I stayed within budget on certain line items. As much as I wish this was a true no spend month, I did… Continue reading No Spend Month: Review and Highlights

budget · debt · finances · frugal · homemade

Five Lessons from the Depression Era

I became truly intrigued with what happened during the Great Depression after watching a YouTube channel called: Great Depression Cooking. Clara, the host of the videos, shows her audience meals that she ate to make ends meet. She also shares her stories of how life was during those trying times. After doing some more research… Continue reading Five Lessons from the Depression Era

budget · finances · goals · no spend month

Getting Back on your Financial “A” Game with a No Spend Month

I still can’t believe that it’s September already. This year is flying by. As the 4th quarter is approaching it has me taking a closer look at my 2017 goals and making notes of what actions need to be taken to finish the year off strong. Financially August was not a great month for me.… Continue reading Getting Back on your Financial “A” Game with a No Spend Month