How to File Your Own Taxes with Ease

This may be your first year filing your own taxes or maybe you have been doing it for awhile now.  Regardless, I hope that tax season does not induce large amounts of stress for you.  It really does not need to be that difficult.  The keys to success when filing your taxes yourself are staying organized, starting early, and using a tax software!  I have been using TurboTax online since the first year I started filing my own taxes and I have always found the process easy and even fun (mostly because I am a numbers nerd). TurboTax walks you […]


Baby Products You Will Use the Longest

Baby Products You Will Use the Longest Baby products are high on my shopping list right now as we prepare for our second baby girl.  We are lucky in that she is due the same month, actually the same week, as my daughter was born.  We already have tons of clothes in the right size as well as other baby products that we saved.  There are a few things, of course, that I would like to purchase for the new baby.  I have determined a few baby items that we need duplicates of because we are still using them for […]


$1000 Emergency Fund – Why It Works for Us

Ever since graduating college, I had been obsessed with having at least $10,000 in the bank.  I figured it was a good enough of an emergency fund to cover any “emergencies” that were not long-term job loss.  The problem was that I (and then we, once we were married) would either hesitate to dip into this money for “emergencies” and instead put it on a credit card or we would use the cash for something that we deemed important.  But looking back, none of those items were really that important, let alone emergencies.  Saving money is important, but make sure […]


Three Reasons to Organize Your Finances

The first three months or so, (maybe even the first whole year!) of creating and using a budget are going to be a learning experience.  If you have no idea how much money you spend in any given category when you first start out, it will take time to learn your habits, course correct, and organize your finances.  The process of creating a budget and tracking your expenses each month is going to help you tremendously. Funny how the actual practice of making and using your budget will help you become better at budgeting! How To Organize Your Expenses So […]


How Creating Financial Goals Will Help Your Finances

Last year after spending entirely too much on Christmas and putting the majority of it on a credit card, my husband and I decided that it was really time for us to take a hard look at our finances. I received my last paycheck in August of 2015 following our decision for me to stay home with our daughter.  For the next few months, we just spent time learning how to live on one income.  While we were able to do this fairly successfully, we were not being intentional with where our money was going.  As long as we came […]


How Your Morning Routine Can Change Your Life

Before I had kids, I prided myself on being super organized…in my head.  I definitely did not have a morning routine. What this means is that I could remember everything without having to use a calendar or write it down.  I had appointments, social engagements, the conversation I had with my husband about who’s turn it was to do what chore, and where I last left my wallet, keys, and phone all stored in my brain for easy access. My house, on the other hand, was not so organized.  We usually had piles of laundry (clean, dirty, and the in-between […]


Why I Create a Monthly Budget Every Month

Once upon a time I thought I was so smart and efficient for spending hours pouring over a spreadsheet and figuring out the PERFECT numbers that would make our budget work for the new year – usually based on our spending from the previous year (spending that was over budget for that year, mind you).  And thus, a vicious cycle began.  The problem was, I was setting the same numbers for each of my expense categories for each month.  So while we had a budget that we were following, we inevitably would go over budget one month because of an […]


5 Steps to Start a Budget

Did you know that approximately one in three Americans keep and follow a budget each month? This means that the majority of the country does not budget their finances.  I believe that there are two main reasons that people do not create a budget – the first being that they do not know how to start a budget and the second being that they are scared what creating a budget will tell them about their financial situation.  Today I am going to talk about how to overcome the first problem.  Below are my five easy steps to start a budget! 1.  Calculate an accurate number for the […]


What to Pack When Traveling with a Baby

What to Pack When Traveling with a Baby Everyone who has traveled with a baby knows that you basically triple the amount of stuff you used to take with you when traveling with a baby.  We went on approximately 5 out of town trips with E before she was 6 months old and I felt like I basically had to pack up everything and anything I might possibly need, because you never know, right?  The first time I think I packed too much but I had made a list so the next time I was able to look at the list and […]


Homemade Macaroni and Cheese | Tex-Mex Style

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese | Tex-Mex Style   Who doesn’t love good old fashioned homemade macaroni and cheese?  It is delicious, cheesy, and comforting.  During the holidays I feel like I am always preparing something for a party, get together, cookie exchange, or big meal so during the other days during that week I like to try and keep our dinners simple and cheap.  Not to mention, it seems to be super gloomy and rainy in December here in Virginia (but of course no snow!) so I am always craving some comfort food. Sometimes I like to put a little […]