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Category Archives for Saving Money

Organizing Your Finances {with a free printable!}

If you knew there was a simple step you could take that would add money to your family's bank account, wouldn't you take it? Today I'm sharing a finance tracking method that has done just that for me!

Money is a part of daily life in today's society. Whether we like it or not, we are required to use and have money on a daily basis. And I bet there is not one of us that is not concerned about our money to some degree – where it is coming from, where it is going, and what we are doing with it while we have it (however brief that might be!)

A couple years ago I became frustrated with the way I was handling my finances. In my case, I have no one to blame but myself! I found myself spending little amounts here and there, and finding out when it was too late that those innocent little amounts add up fast! Another scenario was not being able to remember where I spent the money…all I knew was that it was gone. Have you ever had that happen?

It was time for something to change. So I designed a printable Spending Record!

my finance tracker

The concept is pretty simple. It keeps track of all my money, coming or going. Because I have bank accounts on both sides of the border, plus a paypal account, I wanted to be able to see all the balances in one place.

I made a colourful sheet with 8 columns. Five of them show my different personal accounts, one keeps a running overall total, and the other two are for the date of the transaction and the Activity and Purpose. This is where I log the amount spent or received, and what is was for. I then add or deduct it from the appropriate account and write the new balance in the column.

spending record close up
I've been using this system for quite some time, and it works so well for me! Being able to keep track of all my money and accounts in one place is so simple.

spending record 2

The best part of this system is that now I can see exactly where every dollar is going. I don't have a lot of income, and every dollar counts! I am sure many of you are counting your pennies just as carefully. With this system of recording every transaction, I can see where I'm spending more money and what I can do to save in certain areas.

Since starting this system, I have my “total balance” column grow and continue to grow more steadily then it did before. I think that is happening for a couple of reasons:

1. Knowing I will have to record every dollar makes me second-guess impulsive purchases or just unneeded items. I'm not saying that I don't ever spend money on little pleasures (Hello Dunkin!!) but I do rethink the purchases that aren't as important.

2. I believe the Lord honours those that strive to be good stewards of what He has given us. I Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” In addition, I Corinthians 14:40 states, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” I believe both of these verses can be applied to our finances! The money God gives us here on earth is simply a tool to accomplish His will and working in our lives. I believe the least we can do is manage it decently and faithfully!

I'd love to help you take control of your finances and see your bank accounts grow and grow, so I'm offering this printable, which normally is sold at So Sew Organized, FREE for any Imperfect Homemaker readers! Throughout the month of April you can get your own copy of this Spending Record at no cost just by leaving your name and email address in the comments of this post. (You can also email me directly if you prefer: soseworganized(at)gmail(dot)com. Just mention you are from Imperfect Homemaker!)

The printable you will receive will have blank columns for you to customize to fit your own needs, and of course I'll put your name on it instead of mine. =) I can do other customization you may prefer as well…just give me all the details in your comment! Be sure to request your copy before the month is up!

This method has saved me money, and I'm so glad I can pass it on to you! What other ways does your family keep track of your finances? Any other tips to share? What methods do you use to stretch those hard-earned dollars?

 

8 Reasons I Hate Ebooks

8 Reasons I Hate Ebooks

1. Ebooks are way too short

Traditional publishers usually require the author to add a certain amount of “filler” material in order to make the book a certain length. An ebook author has the freedom to write exactly what they want to get across and nothing more.  I love wasting my time reading extra fluff! For a busy homemaker, an ebook is definitely not a smart choice.

2. Ebooks are not as high quality as print books

Because ebooks don't require printing costs, the price is usually considerably cheaper than a print book. But since money is no object in this household, (Remember? I waste money on purpose.) I'll go for the more expensive option since it's bound to be better quality.

3. Ebooks support undeserving women

I'd rather make sure the coffers of a large publishing house are filled instead of allowing my money to go directly to some undeserving housewife trying to share her heart and offer encouragement to other women. I mean, after all,  she should probably get a real job instead of trying to earn money by blessing others.

4. Ebooks are a pain to transfer to my Kindle.

When I buy through the Kindle store, I have to wait a whole 2 seconds while the book goes onto my Kindle. And when I buy those PDF ebooks I actually have to take 10 times that (20 seconds if you're not good at math) to plug in my Kindle via USB and drag and drop the folders into it. Such a pain.

5. Ebooks make me feel poor

When I have 100 print books, they take up an entire bookshelf in my house. Although a lot of space gets used up, I can admire all the beautiful books I own every time I walk past the shelf. With ebooks, they're all stored so neatly out of sight on my Kindle or computer that I don't have the opportunity to do that.

6. Ebooks make decision-making too easy

When I'm on the go, I don't get the opportunity to showcase my decision-making abilities by choosing just one book to take with me. When I take my Kindle along, my entire library goes with me, and it steals the opportunity for me to exercise my brain making that decision.

7. Ebooks are detrimental to self-discipline

If I order a print book, I get to strengthen my self-discipline by exercising patience while I wait for it to arrive. If I purchase an ebook, I get instant gratification, which I'm not sure is healthy for me.

8. Ebooks are so unprofessional

Print books are only authored by the select few who manage to find their way into the door of an editor. Ebooks can be written by anyone about any topic – even homemakers just like me who write about the exact things I face every day! Wouldn't you rather read advice from a pro instead of a “regular” person?

 

If you couldn't tell, this post was meant to be sarcastic. I love ebooks, and I think they're absolutely perfect. They're concise, cheaper than print books, support the author directly, are easy to transfer to my ereader, take up much less room, can easily be transported, can be read instantly after purchase, and contain relevant content written by women just like me.

And I'm just a tiny bit excited about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle that's going on sale next week (November 4 – 9).

You'll have the opportunity to add 86 ebooks about healthy living to your library along with $158 worth of bonus products and free mentorship from some of the authors.

As I've mentioned before, just the value of the bonus products is far greater than the cost of the entire bundle, so it's pretty much a no-brainer. Click on the banner to see all the details about the ebooks, mentorship, and bonuses! It's all pretty amazing!

And if 86 ebooks seems overwhelming, just remember that this is an entire library. You don't feel the need to sit down and read every book on your bookshelf all at once, do you? This is the same situation. You'll have reference books on every health topic written by women who've “been there, done that“.

Be ready next Monday morning to get your bundle! The Bundle is ready for purchase! Get it here!

 

So tell me.  Ebooks — love 'em or hate 'em?

How I Got a Pair of Jeans for $.15 Shipped!

I just got my little guy a pair of jeans for $.15 shipped to my door!

You can get something for one of your kiddos for free or dirt cheap too!

Here's how:

  • Sign up for an account with ThredUP using my referral link.
  • You'll receive a free $10 credit which is automatically deposited in your account.
  • Find something priced at $3.99 or lower.  (There's tons to choose from!)
  • Go to checkout and enter the promo code AUGUST20.  You'll get 20% off, plus your $10 credit will automically come off too.
  • Check out and enjoy your free or almost-free clothing!

Discounted Kids Clothes

 

Important Update:  When you click the link to sign up, make sure you create your account using the yellow strip at the top of the page in order to get your $10 credit!  Do not click on “Sign Up” on the white part of the page as I do not believe that gives you the credit.

 

ThredUP credit

 

Awesome Deal on Coconut Oil

coconut oil

 

You all probably know by now that I love coconut oil and use it for a lot of different things. (Like my easy homemade granola.)

It can get a bit pricey, though, so I'm always on the lookout for the best deal.  I recently bought a gallon of it for what I thought was a great price.  It came out to about $.50 an ounce.

I just found it way cheaper than that!

Here's what you need to do if you want to get in the deal:

  • Sign up for an account at Vitacost using my referral link.  You'll receive a coupon code for $10 off via email.
  • Then, add four 16 ounce jars of Vitacost brand extra virgin coconut oil to your cart.  Since these are buy one get one half off, your total will come to $26.85 for all four jars.
  • Check out, and be sure to use the $10 coupon you received in your email.
  • Your total will be $16.85 and shipping will be free.  (Shipping is free when you spend at least $25 on Vitacost brand products, and as far as I know the $25 should be calculated before your coupon.  Let me know if that's not the case and I'll cook up a different deal for you.)

 

That comes out to $.26 an ounce!

If you've been wanting to give coconut oil a try (or if you already use it and just need more) I would definitely jump on this!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Yard Sale Time!

Oh boy, I don't even like my mother seeing my living room looking like this, and here I am posting it on the internet!  Anyway, I'll be just a hair busy this weekend getting all this stuff sorted for a yard sale on Saturday.   Happy weekend, everyone!