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 […]

How to Not Spend Your Savings

I have been using the best little trick since I can remember to ensure that I do not spend money allocated for savings before I actually save it. If you do not already have your paycheck direct deposited into a checking account, STOP AND DO THIS NOW.  This may seem like a no-brainer but I just want to be sure you have it done as this is key to getting your money to where it needs to be.  I am not sure that most employers even send out paper checks anymore but having your paycheck directly deposited into your account is […]

How to Track and Manage Your Budget

If you are just getting started and do not have a budget created yet, be sure to check out my plan out my budget each month. Now that you have created a budget and started to plan out your budget each month each month, it is time to learn to track and manage your budget. Getting in the habit of checking in with your budget and your spending on a weekly, or even daily basis is going to take some practice. When I was first getting started in tracking my budget, I used a spreadsheet.  I still use a spreadsheet to […]

How to Plan Your Monthly Budget

If you have not created a budget yet, or are interested in how I suggest creating a budget, go ahead and check out my first post in the series to get yourself started! Alright, so you have determined your monthly income, listed out your mandatory and discretionary expenses, and balanced your budget to ZERO for your first month.  If not, go ahead and create your first budget here. But how do you keep yourself organized and accountable for creating a new budget each and every month BEFORE the new month begins? How do you plan your monthly budget? What you […]

Using the Cash Envelope System

Have you heard of Dave Ramsey?  One of his popular suggestions is his cash envelope system.   While we are not currently using cash for everything, we do our best to use cash only for eating out, fun activities, and groceries.   These are the budget categories that we were constantly going over budget – sometimes hundreds of dollars over!   Using cash has helped us control our spending and in the process helped us stay on track to paying off more debt. What is the cash envelope system? The cash envelope system is really just what it sounds like […]

How to Start the Path to Pay off Debt

I love creating a budget! I really do enjoy working with the numbers and getting creative in how to make money work for me and not against me.  Since college, I have had a wide array of different budgets depending on my situation.  From planning ahead just a few months to make it through a semester to planning for a whole year and beyond, I have used the same basic style.  I try to estimate what I will need over the course of a specific set of months for each budget category and put aside an amount each month based […]

How to Organize Tools When You Don’t Have a Garage

How to Organize Tools When You Don’t Have a Garage We do not have a garage.  We knew that was a sacrifice when we bought our house a year and a half ago.  I think it is probably something my husband curses on a weekly basis.  However, he has made do by transforming our shed into his “fortress of solitude” for all the big items and I helped out the small tool organization situation by coming up with this idea for how to organize tools by turning part of our laundry room into tool storage – sort of a mini […]

How to Create a Cleaning Schedule that You Will Actually Follow

A few months after E was born I finally felt like I had used up all the I-just-had-a-baby-and-I-am-still-technically-on-maternity-leave excuses that I could get away with and I started to honestly attempt to keep the house clean on a regular basis.  I am actually someone who “loves” to clean, it makes me feel better afterward and sometimes even during the process.  I am not the neatest person around but I really hate when things are dirty.  Michael is the exact opposite.  However, once I had E I just could not muster up the motivation to get my act together and care.  So […]

How to Improve Your Budget

I would venture to guess that most people have a hard time saving their money.  In fact, 62% of Americans have this problem.  Saving your money is a big step on the road to improve your budget. Don’t get me wrong, I know some people who are awesome at it and it has really paid off, but it definitely takes some self-control and perseverance! Michael and I are realllllyyy good at saving up a big chunk of money about every year or so and then deciding that we reallllllyyy need whatever it is that we splurge our savings on. Whoops! […]