4 Tips to Saving on Valentine’s Day

Chocolate covered strawberries, heart M&Ms, red roses and tons of jewelry commercials are all indicators that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. From last minute floral deliveries to quick Kay’s Jewelry shopping runs, Americans spend over $18 billion on Valentine’s. That’s billion! To minimize the need to get into more debt to impress (or even remember) the love of your life, here are four tips that will help you save money and eliminate the need to create more debt.

Plan ahead.

Unlike, Easter and other “floating holidays”, Valentine’s Day is on the exact same day each and every year—February 14th. So, it should not be a surprise each year when February arrives; therefore, when creating your January budget, make sure you include a line item for Valentine’s Day. By allocating funds to this day ahead of time, it will not only help you remember this special day is forthcoming, but will allow you to properly plan for it, thereby, reducing the need to overspend.

5 Steps to Setting & Executing Goals in 2018

It is 2018 and it is snowing in Savannah (a rarity)! It is during this season, however, where we set our goals for the year as a means to help in decision making and to aid in ensuring we are getting things accomplished as a family and individually. Why is it important to set individual as well as family goals? According to a specialist from Consumer and Family Economics of University of Missouri Extension setting family goals aids in building stronger families. “Goals strengthen the family’s ability to function and live their dreams” as well as provides guidance, aids in better communication and helps individual family members take greater control of their circumstances (http://extension.missouri.edu/bsf/goals/).

We want to be very intentional in our faith, family and finances and the best way to be intentional is to PLAN IT. Success does not just happen; it has be planned. So with God, good intentions and a plan in place, here are the 5 Steps We Implement to Set & Execute Goals Each Year!

14 Ways to Leave a Legacy

We are nearing the holiday season and I have so many memories of setting the table for Thanksgiving, searching the house with my sibling to determine where our parents hid the Christmas gifts, and watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” to jump-start the holiday season. Setting traditions are a vital because it “creates family bonds, provides a source of identity, teaches values, connects multiple generations, passes on cultural or religious heritage and creates memories for your children” (Passing on Family Traditions). With the the “busyness of life”, however, it can sometimes be a little difficult to become intentional about creating memories. What’s interesting is whether we are intentional or not, we are leaving something to our children. The question is “What Are We Leaving?” Are we being intentional in creating healthy family traditions? Are we being intentional in showing our faith walk? And are we being intentional in breaking bad money habits and showing our kids how to build wealth.

At times, all of this can be overwhelming, but I am learning not only to pass on our faith, family and financial legacies, but to build upon it and ensure our children are in a better position in each area of their lives. So, here are 14 ways to leave a legacy to our children.

4 Tips to Kick Off the New School Year

Today is one of the best days of the year…THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Although I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my boys this summer, I am ever so grateful for the wonderful teachers and staff who will educate my children seven hours a day for the next 9.5 months. Yeah, Teachers!

But with all the shopping for school supplies, getting fit for new shoes and haircuts, I will say I am a little anxious of what the new school year will hold.

Will the boys have good teachers?

What friends will they have?

Will they be leaders and not followers?

Will they make high honor roll?

After a bit of worry and anxiousness, I remembered a quote by Mark Batterson, “Work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God.” And that is all I can do as a parent—train them to be the best little people they can be and pray they grow up being God-fearing, responsible, purpose-driven men. Until then, it is me and my husband’s responsibility to ensure we do everything in our power for them grow up to be and do just that!

So, in our quest to have another successful school year, here’s four things we are doing (and you can do too) to make it a great one!

Money, Matters & Marriage

Lessons on Marriage & Money

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated 12 years of marriage which is a feat considering the times we live in. But I began reminiscing over “married life” and how various money “matters” affected our marriage.

From having enough just for the two of us, to working hard to pay off everything to purchase a home. From having to buy “new” furniture to fill the home, to creating a new credit card bill after just paying all of them off to buy the home. From coming home to work as a part-time contractor after giving birth to our 2lb 15 oz, 29 week preemie, to finding out when he was 7 months old that we are expecting another little one while living off one and a half of a salary. To having medical bills, more baby bills, daycare, credit cards, new car note, and having a third child, there were many of days where we (or at least I) did not know how we would make it. But 12 years in, I can say “We Made It”. We made it with the fall outs, temper tantrums, and “Why Me?” (and mind you, I am talking about myself and not the kids, lol). Was it hard? Yes! Is it hard? Yes. But throughout these 12 years, no matter what “matters” have come into play concerning our money, looking back, it only made our marriage stronger.

Here’s some of a few lessons we learned about money in our marriage: