Money

All things money; loans, taxes, budgeting, shopping, divorce, and more.

14 Ways to Save Time and Money on Family Meal Planning

14 Ways to Save Time and Money on Family Meal Planning

When I first became a stay-at-home mom, my children were younger and fairly easy to please. At the time, I had an infant, a two-year-old, and two in elementary school. Family meal planning was virtually stress-free because my girls would pretty much eat whatever was in front of them. My kids were great at giving me a false sense of what homemaker life would be like. Eventually, they went and did what every child in the history of children has done: they got older. And with that, my days of making small, simple meals every night went right out the window. I didn’t realize an eight-year-old girl could eat like a teenage boy! Not only was my growing family draining my pantry, […]

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young man who learned to navigate love and finances playfully holding credit card away from smirking young woman

How to Navigate Love and Money: The Importance of Being Financially Saavy as a Couple

When you get married, you are not only marrying that person, but you are also marrying their family and their credit score. We love our significant others and we need money to survive, but how do we talk about our finances together? Do you know what kind of spending habits you are marrying into? Is the person you’re marrying a saver or a spender? Those questions are all things that need to be considered before the wedding bells ring. Being a financially savvy couple takes open communication and hard conversations to avoid marriage pitfalls. What Money Mindsets Do We Value in Our Relationships? According to the Jimenez Law Firm, “Money is widely known as one of the leading causes of divorce in

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7 Money Tips When You Are Thinking Marriage

7 Money Tips When You’re Thinking Marriage

Before you take the plunge from dating to marriage, there are a few things that you and that “oh he’s so darn cute and sweet—nothing else matters!” guy you’re smitten with need to discuss. One biggie that every couple needs to have a serious conversation about is money. Yep, the subject we all want to avoid… but this is one of the top issues that lead to divorce. So a smart girl takes care of business applying these money tips before it ever becomes a problem. Here are the top money tips you need to know and do: 1. Talk about it! You need to discuss everything before you put on that wedding dress, so don’t avoid this subject; jump in. It

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7 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

7 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

We recently had to put a new, expensive tile roof on our house, and we didn’t have enough to pay for the entire job, so my husband and I applied for a home equity line of credit. When we went to meet with the banker, she coolly informed us that my credit was better than Kevin’s, so my name would go first on all the documents. Of course, I had to gloat a little. We both have excellent credit, so I’m not sure why my score was over 800, and his was lower (although still excellent), but it was a sweet little opportunity for some momentary teasing. Credit scores, however, are not a topic to be taken lightly. Most of us, especially

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My Secret to a Long-Lasting DIY Manicure

My Secret to a Long-Lasting DIY Manicure

I’m a girly-girl, but I’m also practical… So I’ve always aspired to have an enviable set of nails. However, when I paint them myself, it seems to only last a day or two (at best) without chipping. When I loosen my money pouch and go to the salon, they look lovely—but it’s time-consuming and expensive to maintain. Then I met Cayly. Cayly is a friend of mine who happens to be a hairstylist at Ulta. She always had great-looking digits and finally told me her secret… CND’s Stickey Base Coat and Super Shiney Top Coat. Each bottle is about $12.50, but totally worth every penny. Plus, you can often find each item on Amazon for a cheaper price. Application Tips for Maximum

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family of four at the airport looking out a window at a plane. Feature image for 9 Tips to Travel More and Spend Less

9 Tips to Travel More and Spend Less

In the first few weeks of meeting my husband, he asked me about my screensaver on my phone. I explained that I had taken the picture of that beach nearly 15 years prior, and it had been my screensaver ever since. I told him how much I loved living on the Florida panhandle, and how I wish I could go back and visit. His response? “Sounds like 15 years is long enough; let’s go.”  But, travel isn’t cheap. How do people afford to travel? Between the cost of getting there, the hotel, the food, and the things to do… you have to be borderline wealthy to travel. Right? Wrong. My husband and I take about 4-6 trips a year. Some with our

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7 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Like a Pro

7 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Like a Pro

Do you know what the three scariest words are in the English language? Student Loan Debt! For something as frightening as this, millions of people are diving headfirst into this anxiety-inducing, stress-evoking, overwhelming money pit! But have no fear; solutions are here: ones that can help pay off student loans—or most any type of debt. Many years ago, I started dating an amazing man, the kind of man a girl wants to marry (and marry I did). Along with all his super positive husband qualities came one unfortunate piece of baggage—a whole lot of student loan debt from four years at a private university (you can imagine the dollar amount that can create). But I said to myself, if that’s the only

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Conquering Cutter Will Reveal the Things that Matter

Conquering Clutter Will Reveal the Things That Matter

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) I spent the better half of 2020 preparing to move, and it taught me a lot about what I don’t need. The reason for moving, however, was all positive. I’d recently gotten engaged and planned to move to Virginia with my fiancé after our wedding. So, in between days of full-time work and after-hours wedding planning and Skype calls with my other half, I was figuring out how to cram 25 years-worth of stuff into bins and boxes for a somewhat less stressful life transition. The Process of Moving Shows You How Much Clutter You Own Anyone who has ever moved knows that it doesn’t seem like your belongings will take long to

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5 Must Ask Questions for a New Roommate

5 Must Ask Questions For a New Roommate

Maybe you’re about to get your dream apartment with your college besties or maybe you’re crossing your fingers and setting up house with people you’ve just met. Either way, new living situations call for some late-night Target runs (yay!) with your new roommate and a few uncomfortable, but necessary, conversations (boo). I’ve lived in multiple dorms, apartments, houses, and one trailer park, and over the years, I’ve learned a few things about how to start off on the right foot with new roommates. There are some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid and a few things you can do proactively to make home a happy and peaceful space for all of you. So text your future roommates, schedule a time to meet at

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6 Steps to Prepare for a Potential Recession

6 Steps to Prepare for a Potential Recession

No one wants to live in fear, but the reality is: what goes up, must come down. Growing up during “The Great Recession” in Detroit, the Motor City, I remember what it was like watching all my friends’ parents get laid off and their savings turned to nothing. The recession hit Detroit hard when all the car companies were getting bailed out by the government. Not-so-fun fact: if the government bails out a company, their stock price and 401ks are now worth $0. Multiply that by the over one million people in our city, and a decade later, Detroit was still in recovery. It became very clear to me how important it was to prepare one’s self for the most unforeseen circumstances.

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5 Clever and Cheap Ways to Decorate for Easter

5 Clever and Cheap Ways to Decorate for Easter

The change of season and warming weather and Easter holidays often bring along a renewed motivation for spring cleaning. I certainly love a home refresh for spring, especially when it comes to celebrating Easter. With any holiday, though, it’s so easy for spending on home decor and holiday accessories to spiral out of control, and by the time Memorial Day runs around, a quick look at the bank account turns into frantic wondering, “how did I spend that much on my Easter party?” Over the years I’ve come up with a few tried-and-true ways to enjoy that renewed springtime feeling and celebrate an Easter meal with friends and family, without accidentally breaking the bank. 1. Thrift Store Glassware Treasure Hunt ($10-$20) Every

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5 Ways to Cut Your Monthly Bills

5 Ways to Cut Your Monthly Bills

I recently made the decision to begin searching for a van to purchase. With a growing family, my small SUV wasn’t working so well! However, I knew that in order to get what I wanted I would need to take out a loan. Then I began to consider my budget and exactly what I could afford without being stretched. That’s when I decided it was time to reassess my bills. Maybe it’s time you did the same thing. When evaluating your monthly bills and expenses: 1. Look at the bills that are not utilities. Typically there is car and homeowner insurance, home alarm, cable/internet, and home mortgage. Since we had been loyal with the various companies for several years and always paid on

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5 free or cheap ways to entertain your kids

5 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Entertain Your Kids

Ever find yourself on a budget with kids to entertain, especially in the summer months? Seeing that “free kids activities near me” seems to be my number one Google search lately, I’d like to think I’ve picked up a thing or two. So, here are a few ideas that will keep your kids on an adventure while you protect your pocketbook. 5 Free or Cheap Ways to Entertain Your Kids: 1. The Library My personal favorite go-to is the library. They consistently offer storytelling and art projects, and we’ve even gone to Lego building, an animal show, and family board game night at the library—all for FREE. There are usually multiple libraries within driving distance, so I’d recommend trying various libraries to

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why i stopped letting social media trends control my money

Why I Stopped Letting Social Media Trends Control My Money

It all started the night my husband and I were arguing over nursing chairs. My husband didn’t understand why we needed to purchase a brand new plush gray glider. He couldn’t comprehend why I needed this chair to sink into while staring at my precious babies as they suckled themselves to sleep. He didn’t appreciate how, months ahead of schedule, each piece of furniture and décor had been selected with precision to match: the soft muslin blankets (white and gray); the plush bunnies and safari animal prints (white and gray); the lamp (white); the dresser (gray); the nursing chair. I sobbed uncontrollably while he reviewed our budget with squinting eyes. As I watched him, I thought about how unfair it was he

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Episode 143 Deb Meyer

This Grit and Grace Life Podcast Preview – Episode 143 with Deb Meyer on Family Wealth

Every family wants to accumulate enough money to feel secure and enjoy a few things here and there. They also want to be rich in love, comfort and happiness, but those are different types of wealth, right? Deb Meyer, author and owner of financial planning and investment advisory firm, WorthyNest, would have to disagree. Deb joins Darlene and Julie in this episode to explain how families can attain their dreams and build lasting financial wealth by identifying their priorities. And she lists them out here for you, so you can get started immediately.  

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

Know Yourself, Know Your Money With Rachel Cruze – 153

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | More The fresh start of a new year often causes us to evaluate many areas of our lives, including personal finances. With that in mind, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender brought Rachel Cruze (two-time #1 national best-selling author and financial expert) to the show to share a whole new framework we can use! She’s taking us all the way back to our childhood to consider how we were taught about money and what that says about how we use it. You’ll love how Rachel’s concepts will improve your relationships, your confidence, and your ability to know yourself and your money! We’re confident this episode will

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How to get aware from the comparison trap

Everyone Seems to Have It All but I Refused to Let Jealousy Steal My Joy

The other day I saw a meme that said, “Your ice cream is melting because you’re too busy counting someone else’s sprinkles.” It was completely random, but it has stuck with me. 2020 has been rough—super rough. We’ve lost people to a virus we can’t seem to get under control, our economy is confused, our society is super divided about everything, and we’re scared. It is so easy to fall into the trap of “if only I had _______” to make myself feel better. If only I could have it all, I’d be happy. If only I had a million dollars. If only I had subway tile instead of the cheap ugly tile that came with the house. If only I could

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