A Written Budget: The Best Way to Build Financial Confidence

Having a Written Budget Helps You Build Financial Confidence!

If you’re looking for the best way to build financial confidence, try setting up a written budget.

We’ve spent the last few weeks describing different spending plans or budget systems.

We’ve described several options for budgeting success and the amazing key to our budgeting success.

Today we’re sharing five benefits to having a written budget like we use. And yes, we do understand that a written budget may sound less tech-savvy than using phone apps or online budget systems. But honestly, most budgeting apps aren’t as usable as our system and the online (web-based) systems are very difficult to set up. Our … Read more »

The Amazing Key to the Most Powerful Household Budget Ever!

This is the Amazing Key to the Most Powerful Household Budget Ever! And it starts with Budget Tracking.

The Amazing Key to the most Powerful Household Budget Ever!

Budget Tracking and secrets to help you become successful financially. 

Lots of people talk about household budgets this time of year. With the holidays quickly fading in the rearview mirror, we’re motoring at full speed into a new year, full of optimism and powered by new resolutions. While some cruise down that road with apparent effortlessness, other will hit speed bumps or have collisions with unseen obstacles. The road to resolution heaven is often littered with derailed dreams.

What if there was a way to virtually guarantee that you could … Read more »

Linen Closet Organization: 9 Brilliant Tips, Tricks (and Hacks)

Linen Closet Organization/ Linen Closet Storage DIY/ Organize Linens

Reorganizing your linen closet probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list! But this task can really free up time and mental energy – here’s why and how.

The Last Time We Reorganized our Linen Closet

For us, it had been about 10 years since we organized our linen closet. With raising five kids,  writing books and speaking around the country, we had little time to think about this type of organizing task. We truly had lost track of what was in the linen closet.

 Watch the video at the bottom of this page … Read more »

Why Budget – Overcoming Budgeting Problems Now!

Why Budget? 6 Ways for Overcoming Budgeting Problems Now!

Why Budget? We’ve got  six reasons why you should overcome your budgeting problems! One of the top two New Year’s Resolutions is to get personal finances in order. Many folks want to get out of debt or set up a budget.

But too often this resolution is made, and then quickly abandoned.

We’ve heard it, we’ve seen it, and we’ve helped many families to overcome it.

Any effort you make to manage your money will immediately start producing positive dividends.

We’ve created a four-part series that covers the benefits and “How To’s” of setting up a realistic, workable and maintainable household … Read more »

Amazing Ways to Save Money & Eat Healthier this Year (12 Tips)

Save Money & Eat Healthier this Year - 12 Amazing Tips!

We’re always looking for easy ways to save money & eat healthier. And to be more aware of the nutritional value of the foods we buy and eat.

Here are 12 ways can we save money & eat healthier without going to extremes.

It’s a well-known fact that some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are to lose weight and to get finances in order.

We’re hoping that this blog will inspire you on both fronts if you’ve made either of these resolutions this year. You can lose weight by eating healthier and you can eat healthier without spending a fortune! So let’s … Read more »

How and Where to Cash a Personal Check (as Quick & Inexpensively as possible)

Writing a check with a gold pen.

Have you ever wondered how to cash a personal check without having a bank account? Or where you can cash a check and what the charges would be?

It could be because you’re traveling out of state, or you could have an online bank or you may simply not have a bank account at all.

If someone writes you a personal check and you don’t have access to your own bank, you may have a problem.

Don’t fret, there are several ways you can cash a personal check without a bank account.

Here’s how you can do it.

Places that will Cash a Personal Check

There … Read more »

The Best Types of Family Budgets

Here are 3 types of family budgets for Savvy Spending and awesome money planning!

Are you looking for the best budget for your family?

We’ve discovered that there almost as many ways to budget as there are people talking about it. Family Budgets can be expensive systems, cheap systems, apps, websites and grandma’s system for budgeting. With so many choices, it’s hard to know which kind will be the best budget for you!

What Type of Budgeting System will Work Best for Your Family?

Lots of people talk about having a budget for their money.
Lots of people want to budget.
And lots of people start to budget . . . but then stop.

Watch the video …
Read more »

50 Free Places to Workout – Cheap Ways to Get Healthy and Stay Healthy

50 Ways to Get an Awesome Workout/ Free Places To Workout

There are free places to workout all around us if you just know where to look. We looked to our Facebook friends and learned about dozens more that we’d never hear of. It’s time to get more exercise for less.

Get Healthy Stay Healthy for Less this Year!

We all know that to get healthy and to stay healthy, a regular exercise routine is a must. Our doctors recommend it, our friends encourage it, our government proclaims the necessity of it and of course thousands of health clubs, gyms, and manufacturers of exercise equipment tout the benefits of regular exercise.

Exercising to stay … Read more »

New Year’s Eve Party – Fun & Frugal!

New Year's Eve Party - Family Fun for Everyone!

New Year’s Eve Party – Family Fun, means ringing in the New Year with family and friends.

We host a New Year’s Eve Party – Family Fun each year.  It is a tradition that started years ago and is an open house. And it doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon. Even though our kids are grown, they love inviting their friends and helping put on a great event.

When the kids were younger we would invite several families whose kids were the same ages as our kids. Now, we just invite anyone who wants to come. And we have every age group … Read more »

The True Meaning of Gift Giving – Reducing Holiday Gift Pressures (with grace)

The True Meaning of Gift Giving can reduce the Holiday Gift Pressure You Feel.

If you’re looking for the true meaning of Gift Giving and how to enjoy Christmas and the whole holiday season without feeling obligated to spend gobs of money. We’ve got 7 ways to overcome Holiday Gift Pressure.

We believe that gift giving is a tangible way of saying “I love you.” But we also believe that spending lots of money means that I love you more than spending time and carefully selecting an appropriate gift.

A Reader Question about Holiday Gift Giving Pressures

I really enjoy reading about how your family enjoys holidays like Christmas without spending a lot of money (we all … Read more »

Family Christmas Traditions: 8 Inexpensive, Fun Holiday Activities

Family Christmas Traditions for the Holidays. 8 Inexpensive Christmas Activities

Family Christmas Traditions can occur whether your family is large or small, and young or old. Establishing traditions can enhance relationships, evoke warm feelings and create memories that last a lifetime.

Over the years, we’ve read numerous books about the value of family traditions. They add stability to the yearly calendar as the kids eagerly anticipate and participate in the preparations for each special event.

Our Family Christmas Traditions really are a “month-full” of activities and routines that we’ve established over the course of many years. Here are a few of the many we have:

Holiday Music / Performances

There are many holiday … Read more »

Sonic Happy Hour Deals on Drinks and Snacks (you can get today!)

Sonic Happy Hour & Sonic Drive In = Happy Hour Deals Galore!

Sonic Happy Hour, America’s Drive-In fast food restaurant serves up Happy Hour deals every day (Monday – Sunday) between 2 and 4 pm. This information was confirmed and updated in December of 2017.

We drive by a Sonic location several times each week, but it wasn’t until recently, when an online friend tipped us off, that we discovered these half priced Happy Hour Deals. They are amazing!

If you’re looking for an awesome bargain on drinks and some tasty snacks check out Sonic’s Happy Hour Deals.

You can drop in on your way home from work or during an errand run and get … Read more »

Dressing Up at the Holidays for Less

Holiday Clothing that looks great but doesn't cost a fortune!

Holiday Clothing can be expensive, and everyone wants to look fantastic for the holidays. How can you get a great Holiday look without spending a fortune of money? We’ll share how you can dress up for the holidays with a minimal cash outlay, and look fabulous in the process.

Reader Question About Holiday Clothing Expenses

I know that I’ll be invited to several holiday parties this season and will need to get dressed-up. And there isn’t money for new clothes right now. But I want to look good, and not put a balance on my credit card. What should I do?

Less Stress … Read more »

My Christmas Budget – Make your Holidays Jingle with Joy

My Christmas Budget - Six Saving Tips to Make Your Holidays Jingle with Joy

Are you wondering how we set up (Our) My Christmas Budget for Gift Giving? We’ll share that and some other tips for saving on gift giving so that your holidays will Jingle with Joy.

Christmas is coming, and it seems to get here faster and faster each year. And for many families what accompanies the approach of the holiday is the accumulation of lots of presents and . . . lots of bills or credit card debt.

Is there a way to break the cycle of obligatory gift giving and the weight of January’s debt regret?

My Christmas Budget Doesn’t Include A lot … Read more »

10 Ways to Take Your Christmas Home Decorating to the Next Level on a Budget

Christmas wreath on a classical blue door.

Without a doubt, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. We get to spend time with our loved ones and show them our appreciation. Also, decorating the home for the holidays is one of the favorite activities of the season. And, contrary to popular belief, making your home festive doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune.

That being said, we would like to give you top 10 suggestions on how to take your Christmas home decorating to the next level on a budget.

Use lights

Lighting your house is a mandatory step you should take if you want to make … Read more »

A Magical Christmas on a Small Budget – 27 Amazing Ideas for 2017

A Magical Christmas on a Small Budget. 26 Creative & Out of Box Ideas!

How can you have a Magical Christmas on a small budget if your bank account is less than magical?

We all want to make Christmas a special time of year for our kids and other family members, but we don’t want to wake up in January with huge credit card bills and a large dose of Christmas regret.

It really comes down to time versus money. If you don’t have the money to buy every present you want to give, then you’ll have to invest some time to make the magic happen.

If you can involve your spouse or kids as elves, you … Read more »

23 Christmas Movie Favorites for the Whole Family (2017)

Here's a List of Christmas Movies that are Family Favorites!

This is our updated list of 23 Christmas Movies that are Family Favorites. They are appropriate for children, some are animated, and some will make you laugh out loud they are that funny! And remember that almost all of these are available at your public library for free! We have an online account with our city library where we put items on hold. We just go in and pick them up when they email us and notify us that they have been pulled and are on the “hold” shelf. So easy to run in and check them out!

Do you have … Read more »

Holiday Entertaining on a Budget – More Food, More Fun, More Festive!

Holiday Entertaining on a Budget doesn't have to be boring or costly!

Holiday Entertaining on a budget does not have to be boring! Does the cost of hosting a holiday party overwhelm you? Here are 4 inexpensive ways to host holiday parties this year that are fun, frugal and full of holiday cheer.

We just attended a holiday party at a friend’s home. It was a pot-luck (of sorts)—some people brought nothing. The hostess provided a small turkey, drinks and some dessert. Annette cooked up a huge pot of turkey barley soup. It was a cold night and we were amazed to see 6 quarts of delicious soup get consumed in just a couple … Read more »

The Wood Puzzle: A Retro Challenge in the Age of Electronics

You may have never thought of a wood puzzle as being a challenge, and perhaps it seems like a very outdated way to have fun. However, there are still many who enjoy spending their time working to finish a puzzle. Completing a puzzle challenge has many benefits for children and adults.

Puzzles have been around for thousands of years, but they are still popular today.  Puzzles can still be found in many places, and of interest especially, are wooden puzzles. Child care facilities usually offer little kids wooden puzzles to play with. They are durable and easy to clean and usually … Read more »

5 Top Tips for Saving Money on Household Essentials

A plastic grocery bag full of zuchinni, carrots and peppers.

Eliminating unnecessary expenses from your spending is easier said than done. Even if you cut out trips to the movies, meals at restaurants, and superfluous shopping outings, you’ll still need to pay for your household essentials.

However, just because you need to buy these things doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money on them. Use these tips to save money on the things you can’t get around purchasing on a regular basis.

Switch to a Different Brand

While name brands come with a peace-of-mind guarantee, they’re also far more expensive than bargain brands. In some cases, this increase in price … Read more »

7 Financial Decisions that Your Parents Need to Make

An adult daughter talking with her retired father about funeral plans.

Your parents cared for you for years, and now it’s your turn. As you parents start to reach an older age, there are several financial decisions that they will need to make. By not making some key choices now they could leave you and your loved ones with some difficult decisions later.

Talking about money and death is never a fun topic, but it’s important that you have those hard talks with your loved ones before it’s too late. It will save a lot of pain and frustration in the future.

1. Life Insurance

Let’s get one of the most difficult out of … Read more »

The 5 Major Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies - Stacks of Bitcoin on a black tabletop.

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about Bitcoin and other emerging forms of Cryptocurrencies. We’re hoping that cryptocurrencies will transform the money exchange industry so that foreign exchange transactions are less costly and more secure. So when Ron Johnson approached us about providing an article that explains what Cryptocurrencies are, we welcomed his input.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be created and it remains the leading of the pack. However, it is certainly not the only cryptocurrency out there. In fact, there are now up to 3,000 cryptocurrencies that have been created, although many of them are not worth taking … Read more »

Is it Better to Give Presents or Cash to Kids?

Gift Giving for Kids - Should it be Cash or Presents?

Gift Giving for Kids, it’s an age-old question. Should we give our kids money for Christmas or should we just give them presents. You might be surprised by our advice to this family!

Question About the Holidays and Gift Giving for Kids

I have your three books and have read about the MoneySmart Kids System that teaches kids to manage their own money; I have a question regarding giving money for holidays (to your children). Do you give money to your children for holidays or do you have a rule to not give … Read more »

Light String Fix and Repair

Looking for a way to fix Christmas lights strings that don't work? Here's your answer and saved loads of money and time!

Do you need a Light String Fix? Learn how a fun and frugal family fixes holiday light strings that won’t light, by using a very simple tool. No more frustration and no more dead strings of lights. Watch the video where Steve shows you how he fixes holiday light strings now. 

We put up our Christmas lights on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s been a family tradition for decades. We turn on Christmas music, pull out dozens of boxes full of decorations, ornaments, and garlands, as well as the tree, several wreaths and a huge box full of green strings of lights.

Working … Read more »

Stores Open On Thanksgiving Day – Starting Black Friday Shopping

Here's a List of Stores Open on Thanksgiving Day and which ones that are closed. This can help a lot with your Black Friday Shopping schedule.


How does the commercialization of the holidays make you feel?

You know we love getting deals and saving money, but where do you draw the line? When Black Friday was on the Friday after Thanksgiving we reveled in getting up early to catch the sales. As retailers strategically moved their opening times earlier and earlier in the morning we cringed. Then when the midnight opening started, we cringed some more, yet we were still attracted by some of the great prices. Now stores are open on Thanksgiving Day, and the start times … Read more »