Make money the easy way

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

What the tech? The virtual interview.

Technology...you either love it or hate it. But even if you hate it, you might as well just get on board because like it or not it's not going anywhere. Hey maybe tomorrow that Delorian will be on the market...as if (oh wait that was the 90's). Anyhoo, I just wanted to tell you about a rather weird and unfamiliar experience I have had in the past two days. I am interviewing for jobs, but get this, I have had two virtual interviews. What the heck is that you say? It's a video interview that is done on platforms like skype and facetime. I also had to do interview video questions through a website called Onjobs. Onjobs (I had never heard of it) is a website where you basically create a video resume and profile and interview for the jobs of your choice. I really think this website is on to something and I feel like this is going to be the future of jobs interviews. This approach really seems like it would save companies  a lot of time and money (and isnt that what everyone needs more of always?). I really found this to be a great experience, more of a personalized experience, in comparison to the boring, mundane, application and resume process. Update: I got a job offer for both jobs.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Money Making Mommies

Looking for ways to make extra money? Here are some ways that I make money at home, with no out of pocket cost, and you can too.


Sell stuff. We all have stuff we don't need or want right? Why not sell it? One persons junk is a another persons treasure. There are several ways you can do this....

Ebay
 (fees are a little high but still worth it) I've been using ebay for years. I once paid for our family vacation with just my ebay money) The key to ebay is take gretat pics, write an attention grabbing description and be a fast shipper. One thing I like about ebay is you have instant access to the cash when you make a sell through paypal

Etsy...
Do you have a knack for handi crafts? Do you sew, knit or paint? Why not sell your items on etsy? This is the ebay of handmade items. You can always find unique items in here and this is a very popular site.

Craigslist....I use this website all the time. Love it. You can buy or sell with no fees attached. Always check the free section on this website. Sometimes you can get something free that you can turn into cash. Have a knack for design? Re paint furniture and make a killing. People love unique items...the weirder the better. Make it your own.

Love to write? Start a blog, write an ebook, write article's for magazines. Do freelance writing through freelancer.com, odesk or elance. You can also use these websites for other areas of freelance work. I have personally used these websites for freelance writing and virtual assisting assignments.

Lots of companies now hire work at home agents...some companies I know of 1(800) flowers, delta, united, west co.

Hope these tips help. More ideas to come

Cut your monthly budget in half!

Ok, lets talk budgets. Yeah, there are more exciting things to talk about but let's get this out of the way to make way for some more exciting topics. As a newly single parent I am faced with a whole new set of financial challenges. Before the divorce my husband and I weren't rich my any means. We were the typical american family.  Well, maybe not totally typical. I stayed at home and earned money at home (this was our extra money) while he worked a  full time sales job to pay the bills. We did ok (more on this later on ways to make money at home), but we never felt comfortable. Let's just say there were no Hawaiian vacations...maybe one to Louisville Kentucky, lol,  but we really were just staying afloat.
Now as a single parent, there are even more challenges financially so I had to give my finances a kick in the pants, and myself. Lol Here's what I had to do to cut my budget in half.....


Determine what is your main expense? For most of us it's housing.
This is usually something non-negotiable. It's a fixed monthly expense. There are some ways around this expense though. Look into housing assistance programs in your area. As a single mom I now qualify for assistance with this. Call your local social service agencies. If one says no, there may be another, don't give up. Ask questions, tell them your story, people are mostly good and willing to help if you are just friendly and polite. If you don't qualify for any kind of assistance there are other options.
Get a roommate and split expenses in half. Move in with mom and dad or a brother or sister.  Also, another option is to buy, it may actually be cheaper to buy than rent...talk to a mortgage broker or do a rent vs. Buy comparison

Rent $800 ( cut in half) $400 with these tips

Ok, going down the list....
Car
Most of us have a car payment, this is another fixed expense (I don't have this one). I got a car from my friend Sarah (thank you girl, love ya). I will also be looking for another one that will be purchased with tax money (try to pay cash for a car if you can...payment monthly zero)
You can try to refinance your loan to lower your payment (this may lead to more installments, but less monthly expense)
You could take out a personal loan with a lower interest rate and pay the car off.
Let's say your payment is $300 you could reduce it to $150 buy doing this.

Next on the list.....utilities
This is usually somewhat of a fixed expense. Ways to reduce this expense...
Barter...for example, my neighbor and I share internet I use her internet and she uses my garbage service. A win/win scenario. We both save monthly about $50 or so monthly. My internet bill is a whopping 0.
I don't have cable but I watch movies and use Netflix steaming which is awesome and I don't even miss cable or the $150 bill that follows. I do have a pg&e bill every month but there are even more ways to reduce this. If you qualify there is a program called CARES that saves you a portion of your monthly bill. There's also a program called HEEP, its an energy assistance program that will help with your bill.

Moving right along.....
More flexible expenses
Groceries....this is my favorite one because this is my most flexible monthly expense. If you have a good panty stock you really can get creative with this one. You can use coupons (see my kindle ebook for sale on amazon to get started). If you aren't into that just meal plan around the weekly ad at your favorite grocery store. Buy produce that's in season, try cutting some meat out of your meals. You can still eat a balanced meal with other protein. Eggs for example, are so cheap and versatile.

Clothing
This is my weekness. I love clothes. But I refuse....absolutely refuse, to pay retail prices. You will not see me in Macy's. Sorry Macy's you have some cute stuff but I can't see spending $50 on a shirt when I can go to a consignment store and buy the whole outfit and shoes for $50. I always dress nice and my kids always have nice name brand clothing. There are several ways I do this...
Thrift stores (ask questions a lot of times these stores have bag days or half of days doesn't hurt to ask)
Consignment stores....I love stores that take items for store credit. This is a lifesaver when you have kids...they outgrow their stuff so fast.My son is four but as tall as a six year old. These stores always have like new items. No one will know you bought it used.
Garage sales...super cheap clothing and household items
Rummage sales....went to a church on (the best ones) today. Go on the last day of the sale for the best deals usually a dollar or two a bag
Friends and family....love the hand-me-downs. With two boys I pass all of my four year olds clothing to his lil brother then after he outgrows them we pass them on to friends or family or trade them.

Other expenses...credit cards.

This is a tough one. Best tip. Don't use them. If you can't afford to pay cash for something....you can't afford it. Sorry. I know easier said than done. If you have a credit card balance try consolidating to one card. A lot of companies like Capital One will have the zero interest for balance transfers...take advantage of that. When the offer runs out transfer to another zero interest card. Keep doing this until its paid off.

Student loans
Consolidate, apply for a forbearance, the main thing with student loan companies is communication...they are there to help. These to me are good debt. Student loans are one the lowest interest loans of there. Not that I would encourage taking out student loans but if you want an education  and would otherwise be destined to  a life of flipping burgers, this is your best option. And your credit score doesnt matter since it is backed by the goverment.

Entertainment
This is a tricky one. Most things that are fun cost money. But you can still have fun on a budget.
Utilize your local library...you can rent movies, cds, books, use the internet....free.
Redbox...movie night? Sign up for free redbox movie codes
Parks...pack a picnic lunch and have a park day with the kiddos. Bring some skates, kites, jump ropes, tennis rackets. Take advantage of the park.
Take a hike...haha...yes litetally. I love to explore my local area. I live in beautiful Northern California, an area rich in recreational opportunities. We have Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown, endless camping, hiking and adventures to take advantage of.
Summertime fun in the park...in my area during the summer there are family movies in the park one night a week..there are also Friday concerts in the park. Check your local newspaper and entertainment magazines for info on free local events.



Hope these tips helped trim your monthly budget. I will be posting more about budgeting and makign money at home. Stay tuned.

Divorce

Hello money saving mommas!!!!! Just wanted to give you an update on my life...the joys, the chaos the heartache.lol Ok, that sounded like the intro of a soap opera. Anyhoo, after 17 years of marriage my hubby and I decided to call it quits. I normally don't blog about anything this personal but I thought that, number one I needed to apologize for the hiatus I've been on and number two I thought it could be helpful to some of my readers who are going through the same thing. Being a single mom now of two boys under four is hard but I think I've mentally prepared myself for this for years. I really think that going through this has really taught me some invaluable life lessons. It's opened my eyes to a new world and I've learned how to rely on myself and trust my own decisions. Something that I never learned until now because I got married way too young (at 19). But the scary part is doing this alone, being a single mom is the hardest job I've ever faced. Anyway, enough venting, hope you follow me on my journey into the misadventures of single parenthood.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Keep Your Cool This Summer

Don't forget about your furry friends this summer. In my area the heat is relentless. Our temp in july has reached 118 degrees a time or two. Hopefully if you live in an area that's this hot you have your pets inside. Here are some ways to help your pets stay comfortable in the midst of the scorching summer heat.

Take big ziplock plastic bowls and fill them with water, freeze and you now have ice blocks to put in your pets water dish. If your pets are outside make sure their water is in the shade and they also have shade.

If you have pets like rabbits they are extra sensitive to high temps. To keep them cool take a  towel and drape it over their cage. Run the hose over it several times a day to keep them cool. I had rabbits growing up and we did this in the summer to keep them cool. You can also put ice blocks (see above) on top of the towel on their cage to keep them cool. Always make sure they have access to water, food pellets and they love to crunch on veges like, lettuce and carrots.

Don't walk your dog in the middle of the day. Do it early in the morning or evening. The pads of their feet can be sensitive to hot asfault. The pads can even burn. A dog has tougher feet than humans but even their feet cant take the heat. If the temp outside is over 100 degrees you might not realize this but roads can be 40 to 60 degrees hotter than the air temperature. Which is hot enough to cook an egg so you can imagine how hot that would be to a dogs poor paws. Vets even summer have to deal with dogs coming in with burnt paws because their owners didnt realize hot hot pavement can get.

Hope these tips helped. Have a fun summer!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mommies (mis)adventures in.....Facebook

Facebook.....we all use it and love it ( for the most part). We log in and see one post of our kinda friends beautifully dressed daughters on a near daily basis. These poor girls do they ever just play and get dirty? We see our old neighbors best friends cousin on her latest " much needed" vaca the forth time so far this year. We wonder how one friend is doing since we never see her updates anymore and think ok shes been busy, only to realize  she posted three times today.( oh the joys of facebook). Ok, so why am I posting this you may ask. I just read an article in a Ladies Home Journal about how fake everyone is on facebook and realized how this transcends into real life. Why can't we just all be real and stop this vicious cycle of trying to one up each other on facebook...there I said it! I will be the first to admit I am not Martha freaking Stewart! I made cupcakes today that turned out like brownies ( which was actually even better) my kids are not random snap shot ready and facebook approved every second. My three year old may or may not be running around with his underwear on his head as I write this, I may or may not have my hair in a pony tail with no makeup, Ok, ok, so everyone is asleep in my house right now, even the dogs, but the point is not every moment is perfect...nor are any one of our lives always perfect. We can't be superhuman. We are just moms trying to juggle the crazy misadventures of parenthood. Lets just be real and be supportive of each other because we are all going through the same things.




 Here's a link to my inspiration for this post....thank you Sarah Tuttle-Singer

http://www.lhj.com/community/your-stories/facebook-or-fakebook/

Monday, February 3, 2014

A plethora of FREEBIES! Too many to list!

Head on over to www.raininghotcoupons.com and click on Freebies Roundup for some amazing freebies!!!!!All kinds, magazines, health and beauty, cleaning, you name it. Thank you Sarah!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hanes clearance! 70percent off!

Head on over to hanes.com and scroll through their clearance section. Bras for $2.99 tshirts $3.99 and less. Theres some really cute styles too, even dresses that I didnt realize Hanes carried. They are not just all about tshirts.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rite Aid Coupon Deals January 26 February 1, 2014

Rite Aid Coupon Deals January 26 – February 1, 2014

Walgreens Coupon Deals January 26 February 1, 2014

Walgreens Coupon Deals January 26 – February 1, 2014

HOT DiGiorno Coupon Deals!

HOT DiGiorno Coupon Deals! Super cheap @Target and free 2 liter

Get ready for the big game! Head over to coupons.com and print the Digorno coupon. Buy two get one free. At Target they are 2/$9....so 3 a piece plus free soda. Oh, also there is a cartwheel coupon on this one too. Be sure to download this app to your phone if you are a Target shopper. Gotta love Target. My local Target was remodeled not too long ago and it really wasn't ever a place I would by food items...now with a huge grocery item selection you can really save big buy matching target coupons with manufactuers coupons on top of a sale and cart wheel app for Huge savings!

CVS Coupon Deals Month January 26 – February 1, 2014

CVS Coupon Deals Month January 26 – February 1, 2014

Albertsons NW Coupon Deals for January 22-28, 2014

Albertsons NW Coupon Deals for January 22-28, 2014

Endless Coupons!

Where to find coupons
Sunday newpaper (smart  source, redplum and at the end of the month procter and gamble inserts)
Magazines
Allyou (walmart)
Cvs beauty book
Good Housekeeping
Family Circle
Better Homes and Gardens
just to name a few
At the grocery store
Safeway has e coupons you can load to your card or clip the ones in the weekly ad
Albertsons store coupons >Winco has manufacturers coupons sometimes as doea walmart
Target printable and moblie ones like cartwheel app.
Kmart store coupons and they will double manufacturers ones up to a dollar
Also, never throw out junkmail, look through it for coupons first. There are usually good ones for arbys, mcdonalds, hometown, burger king and sometimes I see the $10 off of $50 at foodmaxx (food4less)
oh, and also if you are a costco member you will receive monthly coupons
Walgreens has coupon booklets
Cvs has printables from their coupon machine, you can scan up to three times for more coupons
Riteaid has coupon booklets sometimes and their video values coupons you can watch to get coupons
You can sign up for manufactuers coupons just like all your favorite brands on facebook and watch for special offers
You can print them online from coupons.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com, or directly from manufacturers websites
Sign up for coupons from your favorite chain restaurants just look at the bottom of their website to sign up. I get coupon alerts via email all the time for bogo lunch or dinner specials.
Look one packages for special offers and coupons. There was one I kept seeing on the Ihop breakfast bowls a while back i bought a bunch of these with coupons so they were only about $1.11 each then on each one there was a $1 coupon inside. So I basically bought a bunch for .12 each. That is definitely my stock up price.
Look for peelies on packages
Be on the look out for ones next to new products at the store
Order them from a coupon clipping service when you find a good deal on something and you would like to stock up. @.10 each
Follow coupon blogs like this one  ;-)....going to be making it more functional in the coming months so its easier to navigate.
Some of my fav blogs are hip2save, fabulouslyfrugal, raininghotcoupons, coupondivas and the krazy coupon lady.
As you can see there is really a plethora of coupons out there.
fyi you can match store coupons with manufacturers coupons fof the sweetest coupon deals. Think Target, cvs, walgreens.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dollar Tree Coupon Deals January 26 February 1, 2014

Dollar Tree Coupon Deals January 26  February 1, 2014

DIY Reusable Swiffer Cloths

With two boys (three if you count my husband) and two dogs(also boys, yep I'm very out numbered) there are always messes to clean up. If you're like me you love your swiffer for quick clean ups but hate all the things you have to buy for them contantly.

Here are some easy tips to help you save on these cleaning products....

Make your own reusable, washable cloths, super easy about two mins to make one.

Just take a peice of fabric (you can use an old tshirt or sweatshirt, or even scarf) fold in half (this will give you 4 pieces if you use a shirt which will make two reusable cloths) trace around swiffer mop head, cut out with a one in. seam allowance. Lay two peices together and sew all four sides. Cut a hole about 4 in in middle and turn inside out. Voila...super easy swiffer cloths.

Ok, so maybe you have a wet jet swiffer and you are buying the cleaning liquid like crazy (especially if you have a lil one that likes to help, or shall we say waste) then this will help you save.

Make your wet jet container reusable. Bet you didn't know that was possible (sorry swiffer company).

Take the container and run the top under super hot water for a few mins to loosen, should come right off...refill with dish soap and water) you're good to go! Your welcome.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Get paid to shop! :-)

Get cash back for buying your favorite products - yes, real cash! Once you try it, you’ll be hooked. http://ibotta.com/r/H75iw

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

$20 challenge!

This shopping trip was from last week and I keep forgeting to post, so here it goes. In the last p&g insert (usually the last sunday of the month) there were coupons for $3 off haircolor and $2 for the shampoo and conditioner. Had two of each.

Total spent after coupons amd sell for everything after coupons and sales $20 saved $39. Total would have been $59 and change. The cashier was floored. $aved about 75 percent so not a bad shopping trip.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Water Conservation: 25 ways to conserve water in the home and yard | Eartheasy.com

Water Conservation: 25 ways to conserve water in the home and yard | Eartheasy.com

Creative Way To Save (trick yourself into saving)

Is one of your new years resolutions to save more?  If it is, here are some creative ways to save for a rainy day, that vacation your dreaming about, your next big purchase.

$ Get a water bottle! No, not that kind. A 5 gallon water cooler bottle. If you don't have access to one you could ask someone who has a water cooler, get one at work ( ask first), or purchase one at the a store like Winco, for example.
At the end of everyday dump in all of your loose change. This is like a savings account, but its a way to trick yourself into saving. When the bottle is full take it to your bank and cash out. Even if you just put all pennies in the bottle you would have upwards of $300 when the bottle is full. If you put in all your change you would have a pretty substanial amount of money to work with
(2000-
&3000
)...more than enough for a nice getaway, new furniture, to pay off debt or whatever you are saving for...( mine is half full as I'm writing this)

The Creek Line House: Make Your Own Reusable Swiffer Cloths!

The Creek Line House: Make Your Own Reusable Swiffer Cloths!: This maybe my favorite little home-keeping pearl of wisdom ever. I love my swiffer. It's so easy to use and lightweight and it pick...

Rock With You blog: Loaded Potato Soup

Rock With You: Loaded Potato Soup

Rock With You: Cheesy Potatoes

Rock With You: Cheesy Potatoes

Thursday, January 9, 2014

U gotta try Ibotta!

Earn $10 just for trying the Ibotta app. It pays you money for buying your favorite products. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked! http://ibotta.com/r/H75iw

Monday, December 30, 2013

Minute Meals

Not even sure how many people follow this blog anymore considering I have been on a bit of a hiatus. I want to let you know who ever you are that are still with me. I had a c section July 19th, 2013 and had some complications, in between, dr. Visits, trying two keep up with two little boys under 3, working on my B.A, and writing something had to give, which was unfortunately this blog. Anyhow, I'm back, with a new perspective and some new ideas.

One thing on my to do list for the new year. Get organized. I thought this was a good way to do that while saving money and that oh so precious thing we all would like more of....time.

So today I spent a few hours cooking make ahead meals. Lately I've realized we spend way too much on convenience foods, not only fast food, but packaged food. This can add up fast. Especially with two little ones.

Here's a way to cut down on your grocery budget. Try to avoid prepared meals and produce. You can prepare it youself for way less.

This took about 3 hours but I felt a sense of accomplishment.  Well I cleaned my freezer too I can count that too right?

First I did a batch of oatmeal, (which is pretty much pennies a serving) just plain old fashioned oats. Added Brown sugar, butter, milk, and raisins to stir in. I only made 4 bowls since I might be the only one eating it besides my lil guy. My husband and oldest are picky and only want eggs and bacon or sausage for breakfast.

Then I made 14 breakfast burritos with egg, cheese, hashbrowns and sausage scramble. I figured this would be about .50 a piece to make from scratch.

The night before I made a white bean and ham soup and froze for individual lunches. About .75 a serving. Froze that in four containers.

Then I made pancakes and french toast. Made a double batch of both for about 10 servings of each. Total cost per serving abt .50.

That night for dinner I made a mexican casserole. Froze the rest in individual containers for lunches. Abt .75 a serving.

By taking a little time out of each week, or even month you can do make ahead meals and avoid fast food and eating out. Your budget will thank u.

You could save about $100-200 a month just meal planning and thinking ahead. Or just make a double batch of whatever your're cooking for dinner and freeze the other half could save you time and money.

This has been so helpful for me lately with a 5 month old and a three year old that have me going non stop.

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