Tuesday, February 27, 2018

4 New Year's Resolutions To Make Your Finances More Manageable: Guest Post By Steve Barker

     Today on the blog my guest writer, Steve Barker, is here to share some foolproof tips on how to save money in 2018.

4 New Year's Resolutions to Make Your Finances More Manageable 

     Although many people pick New Year’s resolutions, they often find it’s harder than expected to stick with those goals. Perhaps you can relate. However, you’d probably be motivated to stay diligent if you knew the resolutions would make you end up with more money in the bank. If that happens, you’d have more cash to spend on fun things like dinners out, spontaneous trips, and event tickets. There are several things you can do to take a finance-related approach to resolutions this year.

Keep Track of Expenses

You may not even realize how much you spend in a typical month unless you look at your bank account balance and notice the total is lower than expected. However, if you’re aware of expenses as they happen, it’s much easier to be proactive if necessary and curb your spending until the amount you notice on the statement from your financial institution is closer to the amount you thought it’d be.

It’s easy to get in the habit of tracking your expenses each day. Simply buy a small notebook and start a new page in it for each day of the week. As you buy something, make a record of it there. Alternatively, you may wish to use a budgeting app that does the same thing, except on your smartphone or tablet.

Take a Day For Consideration Before Big Purchases

Did you ever buy something representing a major expense only to regret it later? Most people have. However, it’s a good idea to decide that in 2018 and beyond, you’ll give yourself a day to think things over before splurging on something pricier than the items you usually buy.

Get started by setting a dollar amount, such as $100, then committing to waiting at least a day before buying anything costing that much or more. As this habit becomes part of your life, it’ll be easier to avoid buyer’s remorse. During your waiting period, ask your things like “Will I use this product consistently if I purchase it?” and “Is there a similar product that I could buy that’s cheaper but performs a similar function?”

Take Advantage of Special Offers

The majority of your favorite brands and stores likely offer exclusive benefits to loyal customers. You may be able to save money by using coupons, agreeing to sign up to email lists, or typing in discount codes during the checkout process at an online store. It might seem like it’s time-consuming to do those things, but you’ll likely find each action only takes less than a minute and that by doing it, you save a sizeable amount.

Do Business With Local Service Providers

People often assume they can get the best deals by doing online searches for necessities like insurance, then choosing the cheapest provider, regardless of the company’s location. However, you may have much better luck by contacting Phoenix insurance agents if you live in Phoenix, for example.

Some well-known providers of insurance might have branches within a short distance of your home. Then, instead of solely asking questions and doing research online, you can get the necessary information while talking face-to-face with a specialist.

During a meeting, be honest about the fact you’re trying to cut costs as much as possible in 2018. You may get discounts for buying several types of insurance from one provider, driving safely, going a long time without filing claims, and so on.

     These aren’t the only New Year’s resolutions you could make for 2018 that relate to finances and helping you spend less. However, they’ll get you off to a good start and are easy to adapt depending on your aspirations for the coming year.

Author Bio

Steve Barker is a history lover and enthusiast of different cultures and places. He started blogging in 2013 as a way to share his travel experiences while he worked full time overseas. Now he balances his time between blogging and his job.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fly On The Wall In An Insomniac's Bed

     Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group postings, hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, six bloggers are welcoming you into their homes for a sneak peek at life behind closed doors.

     Both my husband and I have insomnia issues from time to time. If truth be told, only ONE of us has insomnia issues and likes to keep the other person awake so that we can be miserable together. From these late night conversations come the weirdest conversations, which is the reason I always keep a pen and paper beside my bed (yes, I still do it the old fashioned way, instead of using the note pad on my cell phone). Here is a small glimpse of the oddball stuff we discuss in the wee hours of the morning when NORMAL people are fast asleep:

"It's hard to sleep anymore with my inflammation issues."
"Well, there is one surefire cure----it's called, 'cutting off your limbs'."

"Is it really necessary to keep ten different flashlights in your nightstand drawer?"
"I like flashlights."
"You've become a flashlight aficionado---you collect them like people in the 1970's collected Hummel figurines."

"Our pug needs to go on a diet. She's starting to look like a tator tot."

"I can't believe we both have this miserable head cold."
"Yes---our dueling coughs at bedtime are the new mating call."

"I'm not eating that 15 grain bread for breakfast tomorrow because it's going to turn into 15 grain poop once I'm done."

"I saw online that there weren't very many reviews listed for that doctor you want to see. They were all pretty mediocre, but there was one five-star review."
"Yeah, and that was probably from his wife. "

"Eating that dry, low-cal salad for lunch today was like eating a bowl full of tumbleweeds."

"Tomorrow morning, I refuse to clean out that nasty sink drain---it's the portal to hell."

"I know you're trying to be romantic, but don't bother sliding your hands down the back of my pajama pants while I'm sweaty---I  have sticky buns."

"If we ever run out of lubricants, we can always improvise with cooking spray to give you a non-stick va----"

"I hate it when you have insomnia and stay up late to watch TV, because I know I'm going to find some new charges on the credit card for stupid stuff like Elvis plates---the "King Special"---or crocheted squirrel afghans."

"Yes, we're getting older, but you're still quite handsome for your age."
"Yeah, nothing like being a babe magnet at the senior citizens' center."


***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I was featured in Humor Outcasts with a fun Valentine's Day post. You can read it here: https://humoroutcasts.com/2018/gifts-not-to-get-for-your-sweetheart-on-valentines-day/

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado. com
Menopausal Mother                     http://www.menopausalmom.com/
Never Ever Give Up Hope            https://batteredhope.blogspot. com
Bookworm in the Kitchen             http://www.bookwormkitchen. com/
Spatulas on Parade                   https://spatulasonparade. blogspot.com
Go Mama O                              http://www.gomamao.com

Friday, February 2, 2018

15 Things I'd Rather Do Than Watch The Super Bowl

     I've never been a fan of televised sports, and that includes the Super Bowl. I realize this puts me in a category of about 1% of the U.S. population, but as I watch everyone else get caught up in the hype of the game, all I can think about is what's on the menu that night. I don't fawn over photos of Tom Brady. I don't even care that he's still wearing that damn glove. Instead, I drool over Pinterest photos of game day snacks. All the dips and hot wings and cookie bars and mini sub sandwiches..... this is almost as exciting to me as a Thanksgiving dinner.

     Back to the point. I'm not a fan of watching the Super Bowl---I usually find something else to occupy my time during the game. However, I'm not immune to the funny commercials, and for this reason, I will endure sitting on my couch for several hours while the lunatics in my family clap and scream loud enough to make our dogs howl in protest.

     There are a ton of things I'd rather do than watch the Super Bowl on game night, and some of those things include:

1. Host a neighborhood Deflategate/Tuck Rule/Spygate party.

2. Sell my old crock pot on Letgo before "This Is Us" airs after the Super Bowl.

3. Trim my toenails and contemplate making a set of avant-garde earrings out of the clippings.

4. Watch videos of potty trained felines flushing toilets.

5. Read War and Peace.

6. Pluck stray chin hairs.

7. Drink copious amounts of boxed wine and pretend to be interested while my guests scream at Bill Belichick.

8. Wax my eyebrows.

9. Watch for people double-dipping their chicken wings in the bleu cheese dressing.

10. File my taxes.

11. Rearrange my husband's sock drawer.

12. Trim rogue nose hairs.

13. Read the Ikea instruction manual for my new entertainment center.

14. Binge-watch Rick and Morty during the third quarter while eating all the cocktail meatballs originally made for the game.

15. Finish the entire box of wine in preparation for watching Jack Pearson's demise on "This Is Us" after the Super Bowl.

***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I'm honored to have a NEW and very personal essay, "The Healing Stone," featured on Mamalode about loss, grief, and recovery. You can read it here: http://mamalode.com/story/loss/the-healing-stone/. Meno Mama was also featured on the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop with another humorous spin in the Super Bowl game, which you can read here: http://humorwriters.org/2018/01/26/10-reasons-lovehate-relationship-football/


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