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  • From 2001 to 2005, the average homeowner saw the value of his or her house jump by more than 50 percent.
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    October 1, 2015
    Side Job Ideas

    Right now, I’m working three jobs. Two for my main income, and a side job on the weekend for a little extra spending money. I work at a movie theater and make a couple hundred extra bucks a week (the fact that I get to watch all the movies for free has absolutely nothing to do with it :) ). I use that money to pay off my student loans faster, bulk up my savings for a down payment on a home, and to occasionally splurge on a shopping spree or a mini vacation. Yes, I have to give up my weekends, but to me the extra financial freedom is worth it. Plus, it’s a pretty easy gig. If you are looking for a side job to help pay off debt, check out this post by Adeline at Frugal Fanatic for ideas: 

    -Start a blog {no experience needed}

    -Mystery shopping

    -Dog walker, pet sitter, house sitter, baby sitter

    -Make homemade items to sell on Etsy
    -Seasonal retail jobs
    (Theaters are always looking for people during summer and winter, especially if you don’t mind working holidays. Clothing and department stores are usually desperate for workers for Black Friday and December).

    -Cab driver, or drive for Lyft or Uber.

    Photo Credit: Michelle Tribe 

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    September 30, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Extraordinary Staircase

    Photo from Stylish Eve

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    September 28, 2015
    Make Your Phone Work For You

    Smart phones can be extremely expensive- heck, the new iPhone 6s is going for around $600 in my area. That seems absurd, but having a smart phone can actually make you money in the long run, and it can end up paying for itself- plus some! Check out this post by Enza Ketcham at EnzaBargains for ways to save money using your phone:

    The first one is Ibotta! I can usually score about $10 a month in gift cards using this app. 

    -With Swagbucks you can easily score about 1500 points a month which is about $25 in Amazon gift cards! 

    -ShopKick! This app earns me about $5-$10 a month in gift cards when I am using it on a regular basis! 

    Photo Credit: Jason Howie 

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    September 25, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Looking At Each Other’s Credit Card Statements

    This is funny, interesting, and a little tense. Is Chipotle really worth going into debt over?? I think this is something every couple should do. (Warning: very slight language).

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    September 24, 2015
    Tips For Paying Off Debt…Even If You Live Paycheck To Paycheck

    When you have a limited or unpredictable income, paying off debt is probably the last thing on your mind. You are probably making minimum payments and struggling to do even that on time (I know, I’ve been there.) But, there are some really great strategies out there for erasing debt out there, even if you have a low income. Check out this post by Shannon at Growing Slower for getting out of debt when living paycheck to paycheck:

    -Learn to budget: Once we learned about and implemented a Zero Sum Budget, including about 3 dozen sinking funds, everything changed.

    -Save money where you can: To get out of debt fast, get ready to buy nothing. I mean nothin’.

    -If saving isn’t enough: sell things, or start a side job for extra cash.

    Photo Credit: Christian Schnettelker 

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    September 21, 2015
    Start Saving For Retirement Today

    Whether you’re 18 or 38, it’s never early enough to start thinking about saving for retirement. In fact, the earlier you start, the more you will save (duh!). If you’re already in your mid-late 20s, or even early 30s, and haven’t started thinking about retirement yet- start today! You don’t need to have debts paid off and a perfect credit score (or even a full time, high income career) to start saving. Check out this post by Adeline at Frugal Fanatic for tips on jumpstarting your retirement funds today, and truly enjoying your golden years with no stress in the future:

    -Have a plan- How much will you save a month, exactly? Will you be investing? What date will you talk to your employer about opening a retirement account?

    -Employer contribution- make sure they are matching the maximum!

    -Start saving with automated withdrawals.

    -Put any extra money towards retirement!

    Photo Credit: J Elliot 

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    September 17, 2015
    Mortgage Rates Sink

    Good news for those looking to buy a house soon- mortgage rates have sunk since the end of August 2015. According to this article by Amber Nelson at the Mortage 101 Blog:

    During the week ended August 27, 2015, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) sank to 3.84 percent, excluding fees, down from 3.93 percent the previous week and down from 4.10 percent the year before.

    They speculate that this decline may have to do with events of “economic chaos” in China, and that it could continue to stay at this rate, or possibly decrease even further. Home buyers, keep an eye out, and don’t be afraid to ask for a new quote each day, since rates fluctuate so quickly! Don’t forget to lock in a low rate while you can!

    Photo Credit: Marc Falardeau 

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    September 15, 2015
    It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…

    It’s almost Fall, which according to some department stores, means that it’s time to start getting ready for Christmas. While I personally think it’s still too early to decorate for Christmas (wait your turn! It’s time for Halloween!), it’s not too early to start saving for gifts! I have a big extended family, with 30+ cousins, and we get each of the little ones a present each year. That can really add up! My mom has started buying one or two gifts per paycheck- we’ve gotten about 5 so far. That’s one good way to start buying gifts, rather than spending hundreds of dollars on Christmas Eve. For more tips on saving for the holidays now, check out this post by Lori at Grocery Shop for Free:

    -Have a yard sale, and sell all your summer junk. Put the proceeds towards buying gifts!

    -Stop eating out- One dinner a week for a family of 4 is about $40-$50. That’s $200 a month in savings!

    -Change your insurance policies- if you haven’t looked at what you’re paying for in a few years, take some time to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.

    Photo Credit: Mighty June 

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    September 14, 2015
    Habits Of People Who Are Debt Free

    You’d expect debt free people to be lavish spenders, after all- they no longer are paying hundreds of dollars a month towards credit card bills or other debts. However, usually just the opposite is true. Debt free people got to be that way because most of them are frugal spenders who are careful with their money. Try adopting these habits by Carlie Kercheval at, and see if it helps diminish your debt:

    -Don’t waste money- debt free people remain frugal once they’re out of debt. Download money saving apps, clip coupons, and eliminate unnecessary expenses.

    -Don’t go into debt needlessly- financing a home, a car, or an education are basically givens. But some people go into debt because they want to buy something, but don’t have the money. Don’t do that.

    -Don’t neglect building your savings- you don’t need to be debt free to build up your savings account, and people keep building their savings before AND after they are debt free.

    Photo Credit: Lauren McKinnon 

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    September 9, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Detailed Ceiling Molding

    Photo from Exotic Excess

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