Give Yourself the Gift of TIME

The Greatness of Doing NOTHING

Realizing That its Not Always About Doing Something

We all work hard. We all deserve some self-care. Recently there has been a increase of conversations regarding “self-care” and how everyone, especially women and mothers, HAVE to make time for self-care. The days of martyrdom are gone. We know understand that it important, nay, CRUCIAL, for mothers to take time for themselves- to DO something for themselves.

There are so many ways to “do self-care” that are cheap or free. You can take baths, you can exercise, drink a yummy coffee, watch a movie etc. I feel like sometimes I bombarded with this. Take an exerciser class! By that drink! Eat that chocolate! Sometimes I feel like there are moments when I feel stressed out about the self-care that I haven’t done. Have I taken care of myself today? Am I prioritizing myself? I MUST go exercise, I MUST find a friend to have coffee with. Its almost become another thing on my to-do list.

The other night I was exhausted. I had a long day at work, the kids were less than optimally behaved. My hips hurt from being pregnant. All day long I had promised myself a hot bath at the end of the day. The problem was that at the end of the day, when the kids were asleep, the kitchen cleaned, lunches packed, I DIDN’T want to take a bath. I was too tired and worn-out to do all the things to get ready for a bath. I know its not exactly a laundry list full of things but I felt like even that was to much. I felt like screaming at myself ”YOU ENJOY THIS! WHY WON’T YOU DO THIS FOR YOURSELF?!”. So in the spirit of “self-care” and “taking care of myself” and “putting myself first” I dragged myself to the bath, filled it up, put in some bath salts to soak and got in. it was nice. Baths always feel good and when I got out of the bath I felt like I had completed my self-care of the day. Now that my checklist for the day was over I could get into bed and go to sleep.

I didn’t feel good though. I didn’t feel taken care of. I didn’t feel relaxed or happy. I felt pressured. I felt forced. I felt like my “self-care” was making me more stressed out than ever before. So I thought to myself, ”What did I really want to do tonight? What would really make me happy” and I honestly couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do. There was nothing I wanted to do for ME. There was nothing that would make me feel good and taken care of. And then it was if a light bulb hit. I DIDN’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING. In fact, what I wanted to do was NOTHING. Hats right. I didn’t want to take care of myself. I didn’t want to do something “nice” for myself. I wanted to do NOTHING. Absolutely zero. Zilch. No bath, no walk, no talking to a friend, no piece of chocolate, no watching a TV show, no reading a book, no mediating. Nothing. I want to sit and be. Maybe browse my phone, maybe think about things, maybe not. Maybe just sit and zone out and do NOTHING.
Continue reading “Give Yourself the Gift of TIME”

7 Black Friday Hacks

Best Black Friday Tips

Making the Most of Black Friday

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day in the United States. As it has evolved throughout the years, and with the addition of Cyber Monday, the actual day has become less of a focus and many stores have deals throughout the whole month and extended weekend. While many decry the demise of Black Friday, especially since Amazon’s big Prime Day has better deals on Amazon-branded items, there are still a lot of great deals to be had.

Reducing prices on new and exciting toys and gadgets are how many Americans are able to afford gifts for each other before the Holiday Season. Many people rely on Black Friday sales to be able to get their kids and loved ones the things they want.

I remember my parents buying the newspaper before Black Friday and waking up at 5 am to be able to get us toys and other things we needed. One year my sister and I got a Razor Scooter (remember when those were a new thing!?) thanks to a 5 am Walmart trip. They probably would not have been able to afford it had it not been for that sale. They were all the rage back then and “everyone” had one! We were so thrilled and could barely wait for Hanukkah when it was gifted to us.

How do you make the best of Black Friday?

I asked some of the best Personal Finance Bloggers around for their best Black Friday and Cyber Monday hacks and deals to help you get the best bang for your buck (and time!) without getting too caught up in the temptations that surround the biggest shopping day of the year.

Because, as great as the deals are, a deal is not a deal if you can’t afford it. Stores know exactly how to bombard with you with advertising and marketing that ensure that you spend the most money at their stores. Sometimes they do such a good job that they even pass off not such great deals as great sales and door busters. BUT: They don;t have your best interest in mind and they aren’t the ones paying the credit card bills months after Black Friday is over. They aren’t the ones paying interest on purchases that already in the trash or chasing after rebate money that you were counting on to pay for those pricey electronics.

So the best advice for Black Friday shopping is: Shop Smart. Make Smart Decisions and remember: A Deal is not A Deal if You Can’t Afford It!

And without further ado, here are the tips that will get you the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

7 Black Friday Hacks

7 Best Black Friday Tips:

  1. Brian from Debt Discipline: The best tip I can offer for Black Friday, and it may be an obvious one, is to have a plan for what you are shopping for. Use the power of the internet to research any item on your list ahead of Black Friday and make sure you are getting the best deal. Just because it’s a Black Friday deal, doesn’t mean it’s the best prices, do your homework!
  1. JoeHx from JoeHx Blog: Plan what you want to get BEFORE seeing the “deals.” Make sure what you’re buying actually is a deal and isn’t simply discounted after raising the price the week before. Finally, don’t buy anything just because it’s on “sale.”
  1. Mr. SR From Semi-Retire Plan: Plan ahead! Especially when shopping Black Friday at a brick and mortar retail store, the big ticket items often quickly sell out. Check the sales at your local retailers online before the sale begins. Then plan strategically so you can be at the front of the line for the item that will offer you the biggest savings — like you would “bee line” to the most popular roller coaster at an amusement park right when the park opens.
  1. Jarek from Time in The Market: Check out websites such as slickdeals.net. There are people on there doing most of the legwork for you and posting the best deals. Even reddit has useful subreddits such as r/frugalmalefashion or r/frugalfemalefashion that will help you spot deals with almost no work.
  1. Kevin from Just Start Investing: Have a plan! There are deals everywhere on Black Friday, obviously, but just because something is on a crazy good deal doesn’t mean you should buy it. Scope out what you need ahead of time and find the best deals for it, and avoid making any impulse purchases that you’ll regret a few weeks later!
  1. MC at Keeping Up With The Bulls: Don’t use Black Friday and that something is “such a great deal” to justify spending. Instead, be very pragmatic about your purchases. What are things you buy regularly that you may be able to get a deal on during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? What gifts will you be buying for the holidays, what is the normal price of these items and is there a better price during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? There are lots of deals during the holiday shopping season, if you’re not deliberate with your purchases it’s easy to spend way more than you planned and regret spending so much!
  1. Enoch from Savvy New Canadians: Your Black Friday preparations should begin several weeks before. Start with making a list of the things you need to buy and do your research by clarifying the technical specifications for electronics, identify the models you prefer, compare prices, warranties, return policies and determine how much you plan to spend on shopping. Make a note of the time your preferred stores go live with deals online and also the in-store shopping hours on Black Friday. Be ready to jump online before the start time in order to avoid delays at the checkout and products getting sold out. I recommend buying big-ticket items first, especially when the discounts are deep. Keep an eye on your spending and don’t break your budget by purchasing what is not on your list. If you use a credit card, plan to pay off your balance quickly, so you don’t carry over debt into the new year.

Don’t forget to KEEP ALL RECIEPTS from your shopping expeditions so that you can return items if you do have buyer’s regret. While I wouldn’t recommend counting on rebates (they often have difficult/complicated rules that are designed to have a high rejection rate), if you are planning on applying for one- keep all the paperwork and receipts in a specific place so there is less of a chance of you misplacing it.

 

As you gear up for some super shopping here are some other great articles to help you keep the spending in check and the deals flowing!

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble- Black Friday

A Deal is Only a Deal if you Can Afford It

Shopping for Gifts

 

10 by 10 by 10

Hi Dime Savers!

My name is Jesse. Usually I write over at the Best Interest, but today A Dime Saved generously let me write here. And in honor of “dimes,” I’m going to outline a little investing plan today called 10 by 10 by 10. I think just about anybody could implement this plan, especially if you follow some of the awesome savings ideas offered here on A Dime Saved.

The Basics of 10 by 10 by 10

If one can save $10 on each of 10 separate purchases in a given month, and then repeat that behavior for 10 months out of the year, then my mathematical prowess suggests that this person would save $1000 a year. @BestInterest_JC Click To TweetOr you can mix up the numbers as you see fit. But 10 by 10 by 10 is catchy, like those TV lawyers and their easy phone numbers.

In the following 10 minutes (hey!), I’m going to break this plan down step by step:

  • First, what are some simple ways that a person could save those $10?
  • And, which of these opportunities for saving are repeatable, or frequent enough to accomplish multiple times in a given year?
  • Then, we’ll cover some ideas about sticking to the saving habit
  • Finally, what do we do with the savings? And what kind of long-term profits can we hope to reap?

10 Ideas for Saving 100 Dimes

10 ideas for saving 100 dimes

Saving $10 is easier said than done. But that said, it’s still pretty easy!

If I can quickly come up with the following 10 ideas in one session, then I know you all could double my list twice as fast!
Continue reading “10 by 10 by 10”