Giving My Family Financial Peace of Mind

Peace of mind with Capital One 360 Savings

Saving money isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially if you’re working with a small budget. We’ve had many ups and downs financially, and we’ve had more of the “downs” over the last few years. The recession hit many just as hard as it hit us, so I know many people have been in the same boat.

My husband will admit he has a problem spending what is in his pocket, and that’s a very bad thing when you’re dealing with multiple layoffs over a 3 year period. He doesn’t purposely overspend, but he has a habit of picking up “extras” when he stops for gas, etc. We tried the envelope method, putting bill money, grocery money, gas money, and savings into envelopes, but that just didn’t work for us. We needed a way to keep that money out of reach and unavailable on a whim.

We came to the conclusion a savings account would be the perfect solution. I took advantage of a promotion through Capital One 360 much like the Black Friday deals Capital One 360 is offering this weekend, and I opened a savings account. I liked the fact that Capital One 360 savings accounts are fee free and earn interest plus I can access my account 24-7 online or through my smartphone. Setting up that account turned out to be one of the best moves I’ve ever made financially. Each week when the paychecks arrive I automatically send a set amount of money to our Capital One 360 savings account. I started with $15 every time I received payment for a freelance job knowing we wouldn’t miss such a small amount. That’s less one dinner out for our family.

When Ben found a new job I began depositing a set amount each week from his check. We saved a little over $2000 in our emergency fund over 2 years, enough to provide us with an umbrella if he was laid off again or something else came up.

Little did we know how important that emergency fund really was until both of our vehicles broke down in the same week this Summer. Ben couldn’t get to work without a vehicle, so we had to do something quickly. Our emergency fund was what we needed to buy a new motor for my Blazer and get a vehicle working again.

Peace of mind with Capital One 360 Savings

This holiday season Capital One wants to help you stay on track with your finances by offering some great deals that include referral bonuses, account bonuses, and closing cost credits. New members can take advantage of great offers such as $100 bonuses for new Checking and Savings accounts. That’s definitely a bonus that can help provide your own family with financial peace of mind this holiday season! Current members can earn $40 per referral, too, but hurry because the Capital One 360 Black Friday deals are only available Nov 28-Dec 1!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode with Crystal Paine’s New Book (Baby Product Giveaway)

Crystal Paine "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode"

I received free products from Perrigo Nutritionals and Moneysavingmom.com in exchange for this review/giveaway.  All opinions are my own.  The Perrigo Nutritionals product, information and gift packs have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals.

Do you feel like you are running in a never ending circle of chaos and clutter? Do you find yourself saying “yes” to everyone and everything even though you already have too much on your plate?  Do you feel like you are running on steam, maybe even running in survival mode? If you answer yes to any or all of those questions you are not alone.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to share a new book with you that is all about getting our chaotic lives in order. Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com shares 9 simple strategies to get rid of chaos in your life in her new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life.  I’ve been given the opportunity to read this book and share one with my readers as part of a money saving prize pack from Perrigo Nutritionals.

Crystal Paine is best known as the author of the extremely popular blog, MoneySavingMom.com where she shares money saving tips, coupons, and freebies as well as information on home-based businesses, homeschooling, money management, and even recipes and menu planning.  I’m a big fan of Crystal’s freezer cooking section.  I recommend checking out Money Saving Mom if you aren’t already a reader. Crystal is also a homeschooling mom of three, active in her church, and a speaker for many conferences and events.

 The Book- Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life is an easy read.  Crystal’s steps to breaking down your current routine into a manageable one or creating a routine (if you’re like me and suffer from lack of a real one) is outlined in 10 chapters with easy to follow steps.

I read the book during the little one’s hour long nap and found myself flipping back through a few chapters later on.  Crystal discusses setting goals you can actually reach, focusing on the important aspects of your life and putting them first, budgeting, and organizing your life in a way that works for you.  She provides quizzes, lists, ideas, and forms to write your goals as well as examples of how she has applied each to her own life.  You can also find free customizable versions via her website. The book is broken into sections to help you take control of your budget, life, family, and time, and begins with Crystal’s own testimony of reaching that breaking point and rebuilding her own life with purpose. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and hope you will, too.

Shopping Frugally With a Budget

As a mother of three Crystal has plenty of experience feeding a family on a budget.  She teaches you to save on shopping by using cash so you don’t overspend, menu planning, and using coupons through a coupon database.  She also recommends options such as buying store brands. Check out Crystal Paine’s money saving tips for families.

  • Create a Budget- A budget gives you parameters and purpose, it gives you boundaries, and it gives you freedom to live creatively within those boundaries.
  • Shop With Cash- When you shop with a credit card (or even a debit card, for that matter!) you can have your budget in your head and you can do the best to stick with it when you check out, but it’s so much easier to go just a little bit over here and there when you’re swiping!
  • Plan a Menu- When you have a plan in place for what you’re supposed to be eating each meal and you’ve already purchased the ingredients for those recipes, it’s a lot harder to justify chucking the plan for takeout.
  • Use Coupons Coupons- are a great way to save a lot of money on your grocery bill, but they can be hard to keep up with. Clipping, sorting, and organizing coupons takes time — so enter a coupon database! You’ll have access to printable and other coupons currently available and it’s one of the most effective and efficient ways to save money on groceries.
  • Buy Store Brands- One way to save a great deal of money on your grocery budget is to learn to like and use a variety of brands. The sooner you can get over being a brand-snob, the more your pocketbook will thank you. For example, while I breast fed my children, moms who choose to formula feed can save up to 50 percent by switching to store brand formula, which meets the same FDA quality standards as expensive name brands. There are also coupons available at a website – StoreBrandFormula.com.  This one simple change can save moms about $600 a year.

Crystal has teamed up with Perrigo Nutritionals, the largest supplier of store brand infant formula and nutrition products in the world, to make others aware of the many infant and toddler store brand items that are available to help you save money.  I’ve received the opportunity to share these products with you with a special giveaway! Yogurt bites, puree pouches, and puffs are all big hits in our house (I even have to hide the baby’s snacks from the 4 year old!), and we always buy the store brand. I prefer them over the big name brands for many reasons including the lower price.

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One winner will receive:

  • 1 Copy of “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life” by Crystal Paine
  • 1 Container of store brand formula
  • 9 Assorted Store Brand Puree Pouches
  • 5 Assorted Store Brand Puffs
  • 4 Assorted Store Brand  Yogurt Bites

To be entered to win follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below! A winner will be chosen on Monday, April 21, 2014.

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Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and Perrigo Foods Giveaway

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Week’s Rundown

Things may not be perfect around here, but they’re definitely getting better.  I’m still dealing with postpartum depression, but I’ve been getting the help I need to get through with it.  I think one of the hardest parts about the depression has been dealing with all the new and different feelings towards both of my girls, but especially towards Ellie.  I had a very hard time adjusting at first, but so has she.  I love both of my girls more than anything, but I didn’t realize just how different (for lack of a better word) things would be.   

My relationship with Ellie has completely changed in some ways, and I see how much closer she has grown to Ben over the last few weeks.  In a way it made me sad to see my little girl not needing me so much, but I also had to come to terms with the fact that she’s growing up and realizing how much more the baby needs Mama right now.  I had a few good cry sessions over that one.   I really felt like I waved goodbye to one Ellie when I left for the hospital and came home to another one.  Truth is I think I didn’t want to allow myself how much she was growing up, and when I came home with a brand new helpless little one it hit me in the face how much Ellie has grown up.

Anywho, things really are starting to feel more “normal” around here this week.  Ben was supposed to go back to work last week, but all this nonstop rain we’ve had prevented that from happening.  It’s just as well because the job wasn’t working out anyway.  What was supposed to be 2 weeks of training to be a cable tech turned into almost 2 months of training followed by lots of run around trying to get his tech id number so he could actually start working on his own.  Excuse the pun after all this rain, but we were barely able to stay afloat between the crappy training pay, weeks of no work because of the weather, and all my hospital stays.  It was getting to the point I was considering getting a free bankruptcy consultation.  I’m very thankful for family members who came to our rescue, but we can’t rely on them forever.  

All things happen for a reason, though, right?  While waiting and waiting for things to happen with the cable stuff Ben got a call he’s been hoping to get for a long time.  He’s been looking to get away from all the industries that keep him working outside, and it’s finally happened.  A CNC operator position opened up at a local plant, and he got the call about the job last week, and he started Monday.  The downside is it’s 2nd shift.  That doesn’t bother me at all, but Ellie is going to have to adjust to it.  She’s used to relying on him for a lot in the evenings, and now she’s got to learn to be patient until I can get to it.  We had a pretty rough evening yesterday, but I’m hoping things will be better this evening.  With that said I’m going to keep her occupied by making her my little helper in the kitchen, so we better get some dinner cooked before Aubrey wakes up from her nap!