Monday, May 23, 2011

Clean it, eat it

Here's a shout out to Shaklee's Basic H.  This stuff is natural, it cleans great, it's safe, you could drink it (that's me saying that, not Shaklee, and I'm not saying you should drink it just that you could and you'd still be ok).

Basic H is strong enough to clean your bathroom and safe enough to clean those nasty pesticides off your apple.  If you buy one natural cleaning product this should be it and you'll never need to buy anything else.

Disclaimer: I suppose I should also say that I don't get any money from my Omma Brands shout outs.  Just want to give my praises where they are due.  ^_^

Monday, May 16, 2011

Budget Tracking

I'm a fan of knowing your budget.  Realistically knowing what goes out in a month.  Knowing those "odd ball" expenses that don't come up every month such as paying insurance premiums.  If you don't have a budget here's how to start.

  1. Write down every penny that goes out of your pocket during the month.  Every.single.penny.  If you don't know what's going out and where it's going it's rather difficult to get a realistic budget.  Use a spreadsheet or just write it down on a piece of paper, whatever works for you.  It sounds fine and dandy to set a goal of $x for say groceries but if you actually spend $y and it is no where near $x then it isn't realistic.
  2. Add up all of the "odd ball" expenses.  Divide that up over 24 pay periods (assuming you or someone in your household get's paid twice a month) and then take that out of your paycheck on payday.  If you do online banking you can do this automatically.  That way when that car insurance bill comes in your mailbox you won't be scrambling to pay the bill.  (I'm also a fan of doing automatic savings this way too.)
  3. After you see where all your money is going over the course of two months you can see where you may need to make changes.  You may not have realized you were spending so much money on renting movies for example.  Spending a $1 here or there does add up.
  4. Write your budget down.  Be realistic but set goals that you think you can reach.  You may have been spending $y on groceries but with some organization, coupon clipping, sale hunting, baking more from scratch, etc. you may be able to lower that amount spent.
  5. Put that budgeted money in cash, in envelopes.  David Ramsey (Omma "brand" shout out) is a fan of this method.  We "feel it" more when we use cash.  It's more "personal."  And it is visual.  I've tried the method of writing down what was spent on our credit card to stay within that limit and it didn't work for me.  I always ended up spending more.  But when I have cash in hand I can see how much is there, how much is for each week, and how much I have left.

Let 'em Know

I have found a great new way to get clothes for my kids, let people know what I need!  It's amazing.  Someone has something sitting in their kid's closet (or attic or basement) that they've outgrown and will say "oh I have that for you" or Grandparents will pick up on the hint and give it as a gift for birthday or Christmas.  Or grandparent like people will find them when they are out and about at rummage sales.  It makes it easy when it is one specific item.  People don't feel that they are giving you their whole stash of clothes as hand-me-downs and they feel good that they helped you out with what you needed.  So next time you need say size 2T shorts for your kid, just post it on Facebook or mention it in passing and all of a sudden you may not need to go to rummage sales for them anymore.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Magnets make a great craft project.  Chances are you have extra magnets you didn't know about such as the calendar ones free at grocery stores or banks.  The one that random Realtor sends you for who knows what reason.  Your local team's schedule.  Those magnets.  They are thin and flat.  They are perfect for gently scoring and gluing construction paper on.  They are great for art projects.  The grandparents will love getting home made magnets from their grandkids and the kids will have fun making them.