How To Not Go Insane While Traveling With Your Family

Grab Your Free Travel Check Lists Below!

 

So you’re on your way to your destination. Bag in hand, kids in tow, and hubby is all ready to go.

 

This isn’t your first time traveling with your family. But somehow, someway, it always feels like it.

 

As always, you’re the last one to leave, so you rush out the door like a chicken with its head cut off.

 

But before, you do you make sure to lock all the doors. Grab any last minute items.

 

And of course, call out the door at your family for one last potty break before you finally decide to hit the road.

 

Because you know that inevitably someone’s going to have to go to the bathroom as soon as you pass the only rest area 3 miles down the road where there is no sign of civility anywhere in sight. (Smh)

 

No matter how much you think you’ve prepared ahead of time, it seems as though Murphy and his law is always out to get you. Rearing it’s ugly head at you, despite the fact that you’ve already done this same song and dance routine many times before while traveling with your family.

 

Short of leaving post-it notes everywhere or setting up reminders on your phone, you always seem to forget something…

 

“Arggh! Not again!” you tell yourself.

 

“What’s wrong with me?!”

 

News flash – mom brain continues well after pregnancy and giving birth! If anything, it gets worse! :/

 

At least this is the case for my family and I.

 

So on a recent road trip a couple weeks ago, a light bulb turned on and lifted the clouds from my foggy brain, as of late.

 

I sat down at the hotel desk and wrote down all of the things that we have forgotten from home, right onto the hotel notepad.

 

I also took the opportunity and made a game out of it by asking my very-bored-kids what they would have liked to take with them had they remembered to bring some of their belongings too.

 

And with their help, I wrote down everything that we could think of just to remind myself, not to forget about this for the next time we travel again in a couple weeks.

 

Thus giving rise to these handy dandy Travel Lists, one version for grown-ups and the other version, for kiddos.

 

You can download these Travel Check Lists below for free.

 

These lists will help you and your family to eliminate that,

 

“I can’t put my finger on what it is I am missing,” feeling the next time you are headed out the door with your hubby and kids in tow.

 

Just print one out for each family member, laminate it or put it inside of a sheet protector, and stick it right inside their duffle bag or suitcase so that you are all ready to go at a moment’s notice.

 

Because we all know that backing out of your driveway, driving down the street waving goodbye not once, not twice, but three times to the same neighbor will not win you any brownie points with anyone.

Especially your kids, who have learned to just roll with it and duck down further in their seats out of shame by the second time you’ve waved to the same said neighbor. (gulp)

No, we cannot turn back the hands of time, but we can all certainly benefit from my family’s constant mishaps of humanity and win at life with these free Travel Lists.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Tricks You Must Do Right Now To Get Rid Of Your Debt Quickly!

Grab your free printable Weekly Expenses Tracker below!

 

So now that you have graduated college, landed a good stable-income-producing job, you are now considered a bona fide adult. (Right?)

Not only are you now considered legally allowed to vote, consume alcohol, and pay taxes all on your own. (Yay you!)

Even though cash is king, there are several instances in life where cash is not preferred such as buying a plane ticket. You may have already noticed that before landing your job, renting your apartment, or leasing your car that you were asked for consent to do a background check as well as a credit check.

But you are also a newly minted credit user as well. This means that you, if you have not already done so yet, you are now subject to credit checks by credit agencies like TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, whether you like it or not.

So what exactly does this have to debt with getting rid of debt and more importantly, what does this mean for you, exactly? You may ask.

The short answer is, everything.

From the small purchases you make like your usual morning cup of latte to your one of your largest purchases like your first home, credit usage will depend largely on your ability to pay down and eventually pay off your debts, on time, every time.

Utilizing these 10 tips will quickly help you chip away at your debt and propel you forward in your life.

 

1-Freeze! (Stop Your Spending): Cancel all of those subscription services, cut up those credit cards, and let’s stop the trickle of spending from occurring to prevent a constant money leak from happening every month.

 

2-Assign Every Dollar & Every Cent: Track your money and really examine each dollar into and out of your wallet by first making a simple spending journal each week by writing down all your expenses for the week (to the penny) do this for about a month. Unlike that checking and savings account ledger that’s buried somewhere in one of your purses collecting dust, this will be an eye-opening exercise for you to really hold yourself accountable.

 

3-Needs -VS- Wants: Ask yourself these questions in your head each time you are faced with the decision on whether or not to spend money. It will soon become like second nature after a few times of practicing. “Is it really necessary for me to buy this now?”  “Will I die without it?” “Can this wait until I can actually pay for it in cash and not feel like I need to take a couple of doses of Pepto-Bismol to justify my purchase?”

 

4-If you must buy, then buy used: Contrary to popular belief, not everything you buy needs to be new. For instance, we buy used; books, electronics, appliances, vehicles, and even clothing (all except underwear because we believe in clean undies.) All of these are good contenders for this “rule.” We have recently bought our cars used and paid for them in cash and we couldn’t be any happier.  We even bought one of them online! You can check out it out here on: Carvana.com

 

5-De-clutter and sell your stuff to pay down debt: If you feel inclined to do so and if you’re brave enough, take this idea even further and go dumpster diving to flip goods for extra cash. If you have ever received any hand-me-downs from friends or family in great condition or new with tags, try your hand at re-selling them on some platforms like eBay, thredup.com, or swap.com for a profit. Our family does this on a quarterly basis as our kids continue to grow out of their clothes and shoes so quickly. It is a great way to save some much-needed space in their closets and, of course, recoup more money back into our pockets for a rainy day.

 

6-Downsize Your Residence: Is your high-end loft in the city costing you more than your arm and your leg? Then it’s time to trade down to start keeping your wallet from going empty and finally be able to hold onto your hard earned cash. If you are concerned about living in a certain area because of a school district, consider compromising by downsizing into an apartment to save up for a bigger place for the next school year. 

 

7-Meal Plan And Avoid The Drive-Thru: This doesn’t mean eating a consecutive meal of rice and beans for breakfast lunch and dinner for the entire month. But maybe you can consider buying your staples, such as rice, beans, and other dried goods, in bulk when they are on sale to get you through the winter months. Cooking a large meal once on a Sunday and then freezing the leftovers for a quick one-minute microwave warm-up will be a lifesaver on those busy swim meet nights. Revamp that rotisserie chicken that you got from the deli and turn it into two meals instead of one. You can serve rotisserie chicken one night and then make a chicken pot pie meal with the leftover chicken meat on a different night during the same week. We have done this on numerous occasions making shredded barbeque chicken sliders one night and then using the leftover meat for kicked up spicy chicken ramen bowl on a different night of the same week.

 

8-Kill Two Birds With One Stone: Put feelers around the office water cooler and offer to carpool to work with a few local coworkers and switch days or take turns driving. If that just won’t do, you can try biking to work and get in some much-needed exercise to boot. You will benefit not only in health (the exercise) but also in wealth (saving you gas money and wear & tear on your car)!

 

9-Swap Meals: Host a potluck dinner party with some close friends or neighbors. Ask each person to bring their own side dish and/or beverage to share. Take turns doing this each month or if you’re all really tight with one another, on a weekly basis and watch your wallet grow! Not only was this a popular choice for us during college, but it has proven to be a lifesaver for us during these child-rearing years as well. Everyone seems to benefit from eating something different and we all enjoy each other’s company just as well.

 

10-Switch your phone lines and share: Looking back on it now, I just cringe at the thought that we used to pay $118 per month on our cell phone bill for my husband and me when we had a plan with Verizon. 🙁 But since we switched to Ting.com we’ve only paid anywhere between $45-$60 per month, depending on data usage and roaming charges. Even so, we never had any complaints about our Ting service. That’s a huge difference in cash savings for us! We’re so glad that we finally made the switch and start keeping more of our hard-earned cash right in our pockets where it belongs.

So whether you are pulling out your credit card for that morning latte or saving up to plunk down a chunk of cash for a deposit on your first home, reducing and eliminating debt is vital to maintaining your financial health.

To help you further keep track of your hard earned cash, I have created this free printable Weekly Expenses Tracker so that you know exactly where to plug your money leaks. Start off slowly one week at a time and see where your money is actually going.

 

Once you’ve gotten the hang of this, you’ll feel more confident about how to handle your personal finances.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll even try your hand at creating a budget too!

Enjoy!

How To Streamline Your Entire Life So That You Can Finally Be Able To Enjoy It!

Get Instant Access to my freebie printable Daily Planner Sheet below!

 

Ever wonder what the difference is between you and that rich guy standing in front of you in the check out line at the store?

Why does it seem like everyone else is enjoying their day taking their sweet time, while you are running around looking like a hot mess like a chicken with her head cut off?

Why is it that you are always scrambling for time and you just can never seem to find enough time in your day to get it all done. So you rationalize by telling yourself that:

 

a.) Those folks just aren’t real! No one looks that perfect. Come on! That’s just a smoky mirrors trick!

b.) They don’t know the struggle! They probably have maids, a nanny, maybe even a butler or two?

 

Man, what I wouldn’t give to my very own Alice or Mr. Belvidere right about now. (sighs)

How do they make it look so easy and come out looking like a million bucks every day?

Then there’s me, I’m constantly rocking the “I give up,” look. I literally look like I got ran over by an 18-wheeler. I am just struggling to stay alive and keep it all together.

Some days it just seems like being an adult is literally like folding a fitted sheet. (I saw this on a t-shirt and it just about sums up my life!)

You know there’s got to be a super secret magic formula to it but you just can’t even wrap your mind around it somehow.

I mean something has got to give right? How do they do it all?

Aha! The answer is that they don’t!

How? Why? Because they streamline their lives with technology like smartphones and devices like Alexa, Siri, and automation subscriptions like Amazon Prime Delivery, and Audiobooks.

Automation (as in cold hard machinery like Alexa not sweet and lovable Alice from The Brady Bunch) is the secret sauce to looking like you just don’t care!

So if you want to start getting hip to the modern times and look like you seriously belong in this century. There are some must-have goals to get you on the right track to streamlining the chaos that is your life:

 


1- Daily Goals: whether you go old school by using paper & pencil and/or digital, plan to win by planning ahead. Currently, I am using both my Google calendar as well as my paper planner. We hve been getting several power outages this year and technology is not as reliable in my neck of the woods. Therefore, my handy dandy paper planner is always available to save me much-needed time and sanity in my day.
            -Digital Calendars: Google calendar, Apple/iCalendar, Cozi, or Asana

           -Paper Planners: The Living Well Planner, The Happy Planner

 

 


2-Meal Planning Goals: don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

-Freezer meals are the unsung heroes when it comes to saving your tummies and your wallets. They are cheap, efficient, and delicious if you cater to your own taste palette. Try: My Freeze Easy, Once a Month Cooking, or Eat At Home  

-If you’d rather have the convenience of an all-in-one meal plan and a choice of picking out your favorite dishes to cook your meals fresh from home, then try a meal delivery service like; (EMeals, BlueApron, HelloFresh, Plated, SunBasket),

-For free and seasonal meal ideas use store websites to plan a week’s worth of meals based on what’s on sale for your local store during that week. Stores like Kroger, Aldi, Meijer, & Walmart posts meal suggestions with pictures, ingredients, types of cuisine, and types of diet such as Vegetarian or Gluten to help you cater to your own family’s needs.

-To save even more cash, be sure to use a combination of rebates Apps like Ibotta, BerryCart, & Checkout 51, and store coupons, digital coupons, as well as printable coupons, and manufacturer’s coupons during your grocery trip.

-Grocery pickup (Walmart, Kroger pickups) and delivery options (Instacart, Amazon Prime or Pantry), shop locally and digitally at the same time with (green bean delivery service)



3-Cleaning Goals: multi-task, divide & conquer, and let go of perfection.

Baths: clean the walls of your tub or shower while you actually shower and you’ll kill 2 birds with 1 stone!

Kitchen: ill your sink with hot soapy water before your meal so that you are ready to tackle your dirty dishes while the stains are fresh and loose making it easy to rinse or jet load them right into the dishwasher for a quick rinse.

Toilets: spray after you go potty, put a multi-surface bleach cleaner under each sink so that you’ll always be ready to go (no pun intended)

Delegate: divide and conquer, enlist your army of munchkins and colonel hubby to help out.

Beat the Clock: set a 15 timer so that you can sneak in a quick work out when you try to beat the clock while you clean, finally check it off on your calendar/planner. (If that won’t do, try the 4, 5, or 7-minute workouts on YouTube, they’re wonderful! Every little bit only helps you get even closer to your goal!)

 


4-Personal Finance Goals: Do you know how much you’re spending, down to the penny?

-Set a budget and do It often with free digital apps like mint, personal capital, digits, or you can use budget spreadsheets or even plain old paper & pencil as long as you are diligent about assigning a category for every dollar.

-Want the next coolest toy? Figure out what you can cut from your budget. Make a line item for your specific need/want. Assign a deadline & make it a savings goal. Think ahead and plan for a future use, trade a service or go halfsies, or flip and sell an unwanted item to get quick cash for your new toy.

 


5-Relationship Goals: “Life is short man! Make your moments count.”  “Love like you’ve never been hurt before.” It doesn’t have to mean expensive gifts or exotic trips. Simply spending time together as a family and avoiding toxic people and/or situations. Go on a bike ride together. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores while stargazing. Play a game of Monopoly. Cook with your spouse and kids. They love to help, so let them, and show them how much you appreciate it when they do! (See #8!)


6-Fitness Goals: If you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds, try the free version of the Lose It! App. It allows you to track your weight, track your meals by calorie intake, and your physical activity. Remember to drink lots and lots of water (think close to a gallon a day!), and replace your regular meals with veggies instead of meats. Weigh yourself each morning, and exercise at least 30 minutes daily, while listening to your favorite podcast or watching your favorite show with your family. Kids are a great motivator when you are trying to lose weight because they are full of energy and they just cannot get enough of your attention.

 

 


7-Education Goals: Read something fun for at least 20 minutes, instead of watching TV. You’d be surprised at how much more productive you are as well as how much more you’ll learn in the process. We are using our kids’ favorite pastimes (such as their devices and video games) as a treat for the time they put into doing their homework because they seem to have a natural aversion to it. Just like we tend to have a natural aversion to exercise. 😉 I like the Little Things App, listening to kindle/audiobooks & podcasts, watching YouTube tutorials & webinars on Udemy, Khan Academy, while I am working out.



8-Whatever you do, do it together! Pick a fun project and do it together as a family. Then randomly choose someone who’d enjoy it and gift it away to them!

 



So go forth and win at life and then pay it forward!

Want to add more fun back into your hectic schedule and enjoy more time for yourself and your family every day? You can do that by getting instant access to my free printable Daily Planner sheet below.

Enjoy!

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

 

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! ?

6 Things You Must Do To Finally Eliminate Chaos And Embrace Order This Year

Photo Credit: Canva.com

 

Sigh, another year has gone and passed. As 2017 comes to a close, let us usher in 2018 with renewed hope and energy.  And let’s direct that renewed hope and energy inwards starting with us and our homestead.

If there was anything I have learned from the previous years, it was always a lingering regret of mine that I could have been a little bit more organized and a lot more intentional about my plans so that I could have reached my goals.

Every year, like clockwork, I have this little pep in me to start the new year off on the right foot with a clean slate and pour my thoughts out onto paper, all the things that I want to do during that particular year.

That’s all it ever was, just arbitrary things like painting the house or start a veggie garden or to simply just, put things into my phone’s calendar.

What actually ends up happening instead is me uttering for the hundredth time,

“Where in the world did I put my phone?”

“Has anyone seen it?”

“Are you kidding me? How in the world did it end up in the fridge?!”

This year is the year that I will get my life back in order once and for all!

Since I’ve discovered that I also like to moonlight as a detective (I leave myself post-it notes all over the house), I have found myself less likely to stray from my own worse enemy, short-term memory.

Here’s my 6 point checklist for how to combat my short-term memory loss and get us all back on track this year by slaying goals like fruit ninja:

 

I have used the Happy Planner last year and that was ok. However, this is the planner I am using this year and I love it! It has everything that I didn’t even know I needed, without me having to buy any additional sheets since it’s already included.

 

1. Plan It: For starters, I’ve been using a planner off and on during 2016 and 2017. I have noticed that when I actually take the extra 5 seconds to write things down in my planner, I tend to stick to it and things magically get done. Most people use either write out their plans using pen and paper planner or a type it digitally, directly into their phones or sync it up to their Google calendars to keep their lives in order. Me? I like both. In case, 1 dies unexpectedly, I’ve got a backup plan somewhere. I prefer to write it down, but I can’t stand the clutter that I create in the process, so I copy it digitally too.

  2. Divide & Conquer: If you’re married with kids, consider yourself lucky because you have a second battalion that you can enlist to fight your war against clutter. It’s pretty obvious that your family was the culprit behind your war on clutter, to begin with, so it’s only fair that you enlist them anyway. Make it a game and treat them to dinner or a treat at their favorite restaurant when they are finished helping the family stay clean and germ-free. Just like the FlyLady does, remind them that “many hands make less work and more time for play.”

 

This is a screenshot of my Iphone’s timer. However, I prefer the timer on my kitchen stove.

3. Set a Timer: If you must use your phone timer, great! That will work just fine! However, I prefer my kitchen timer because it is located in the central hub of our house and because no one knows exactly where my phone is at this very moment. This goes hand in hand with writing out your plan, see above in step #1. If you’re anything like me, you get sidetracked so easily that before you know it, the day is over and you feel as though you’ve accomplished nothing. Setting a timer will give you the motivation you need to stop dilly-dallying around and finally be able to knock out that task. You’ll be able to get more done in less time. It holds you and your kids accountable so they won’t see you as the bad guy when you try to enforce homework time. Remind them that we work now so that we can enjoy playing later.

Our weekly meal plan is nothing fancy. It’s a $3 dry erase board from Target that my daughter picked out. But don’t let the small price tag fool you. It’s nothing to shake a stick at because though it may be cheap, it makes up for its size and price by keeping us all within our food budget!

 

4. Meal Plan: If I have not said this before I will reiterate it again, I hate cooking, I only cook to survive. It’s true, my family will tell you a different story but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That is why I meal plan so that I can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying my family all while saving our hard-earned money. Thanks to MoneySavingMom.com, 5dollardinners.com, and PassionatePennyPincher.com, I have discovered that meal planning is a viable way to pinch our pennies so that we can pay down our debts. Not only is it much friendlier on our wallets, it is proving to be kind to our waistlines as well.

5. Switch-It-Up: Make a list, lots of them, in fact. Make them pretty, hang them up for your family to see, including yourself and your entire family in your tasks and goals. Then, everyone can either pick and choose their task or have mom & dad randomly assign them. This holds everyone accountable and we can all encourage one another so that Mom doesn’t always have to be the bad guy for yelling at her kids 20 times for them to put away their toys. We have found that it is a lot more fun to get each other on-board as a family to complete a task together so that we can all reach an end goal, such as  (drum roll) family game night!

6. Do Your Part: Do your part and go the extra mile. Not only does it spread goodwill within your family and friends, but it also instills a sense of responsibility in your kids when they see you overcome your own struggles and worked hard to complete a tough task. Along with that same thought, my daughter opened and ate a fortune cookie this week that read: “No one has ever died from sweating too much.” Now that’s what I call a smart cookie! 😉

 

 

Try these 6 things: keep on top of things with a planner, divide and conquer by delegating some tasks to your kids, set a timer to prevent shiny object syndrome, fatten your wallet by creating a weekly meal plan, switch up your routines whenever you get stuck in a rut, and finally do your part and go the extra mile.

So there you have it. If you’re looking to finally tame the chaos monster this year, look no further than the list above to keep your year free from chaos and achieve more than you have than ever before.

How do you conquer the chaos in your life? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

 

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by!