Quick Tip Tuesday: The Easiest Way To Save Money Christmas Shopping

    If you don’t feel like giving your credit card a workout and letting Earny price check for you (check here to see what I’m talking about) try purchasing a discount gift card for the store or stores you plan on doing a lot of shopping at.
       I regularly use the site Cardpool.com to purchase gift cards at a discount to stores that I regularly shop at anyway.  The savings isn’t usually more than $5-$12 stores, but overtime that can really add up! They come in the form of a digital gift card so they aren’t the best to gift, but for BUYING gifts they are perfect!!!

5 Things To Do Before 2018

   Late last week, I watched a video from one of my favorite Youtubers, Miss Trenchcoat.  She is a productivity and organizational expert and she really helped me get into the organizational planner realm.
    The video I watched last week was, 10 Productive Things To Do Before 2018.  You can watch it here!   It really got me thinking to some things I would like to do prior to the New Year.

Here are my top 5 tasks I plan on tackling or implementing before 2018!

1.  Organize my clothes and sell what I’m not wearing on Poshmark

I have so much clothes and I really only wear about 30% of my wardrobe.  I got rid of a lot of my clothes prior to my move, I still want to get rid of a lot of the trendier pieces I bought on a whim or because they were on sale.  I have had great luck selling a few things on Poshmark and will continue to use it to sell my unwanted goods.

2.  Begin and get into the habit of gratitude of journaling

I have done so much reading about manifestation lately and a lot of begins with being grateful for what one has at the moment.  Gratitude journaling is writing down things you are grateful for and reflecting on them.  I think it’s a great practice to start to lead a more positive life by showing we are thankful for what we already have.

3.  Incorporate daily smoothies into my diet

There are days where I know that I don’t even come close to meeting my fruit and vegetable intake goals.  A smoothie is a great way to do so!  I’m thinking of trying strawberries, mango, spinach and water to keep it lower calorie.

4.  Meal plan

Over the summer I bought a fitness planner and I never used it!  Over Thanksgiving break I purchased a wellness plan from one of my favorite Instagram fitness girls and it definitely inspired me to break out my fitness planner.  For the next week I planned out 3 days worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners and mid-week will plan out the rest of the week.  It’s super motivating to see it written down and planned out.

5.  Start my must read book list and finish 2 books a month

Lately I have been reading a lot of network marketing books and found myself craving just a good story.  Prior to reading those network marketing books I hadn’t finished a book in months.  Reading is something I genuinely enjoy and I need to carve out time for it.  I want to make a must read list and alternate between non-fiction and fiction books.

Those are a few of the important habits that I am going to begin implementing now so I won’t have to worry about them being fad resolutions come 2018.

What are some tasks that you would like to accomplish or make habit before the Ne Year?

Playing House Series: Pre-Move in Talks

    You’ve decided to move in together! You picked the perfect spot! So you should just start packing right? Wrong!!
    There’s a lot of conversations to have before you move in together.  It’s important to work these things out prior to the move as it will definitely help to prevent a lot of stress and possibly even a lot of fights later on.

   Here are some of the pre-move in convos I recommend having:

  • Paying the bills- How is it going to work?  Is it going to be an even split?  Are you going to pay the rent, while he covers the rest of the utilities?  These are important decisions to make prior to the first bills rolling in.  Also, be honest about what you can afford!
  • What you’re bringing, what he’s bringing- Imagine moving in together and you both brought a couch or you move in and see he packed that leather chair that you just hate.  Prior to moving in it’s important to discuss what you’re bringing and also what you plan on getting rid of.  Prior to moving in with my fiancee I had to get rid of SO much stuff that I couldn’t believe I accumulated over the years.  It may be difficult, but also probably necessary.
  • The new items you plan on buying- There might be a few new large items that you guys need to purchase.  This is your chance to start crafting your living style as a couple.  Do some shopping around and don’t break the budget
  • Chores- This may sound like a ridiculous conversation for 2 adults to have, but a necessary one I think.  One person cannot and should not clean an entire house or apartment all of the time.  I’m not saying make a chore chart like from back in the day, but have a discussion.
  • Routines- I’m sure you’ve had a lot of sleepovers, but sleepovers and living together are 2 totally different ideas.  If you’re someone who falls asleep early or needs to make their own morning coffee or have 10 minutes to themselves after getting home let your significant other know ahead of time.
  • “House rules”- Boys night in on a Thursday when you have work the next day? Having your sister over for Real Housewives every night?  Your usual routine of having friends over all of the time or having your parents come over whenever they want is going to have to change.  You have someone else to think about now.
What other conversations did you have before moving in with someone?  Or did you skip the convos altogether? 

Quick Tip Tuesday: Makeup Storage

I have quite a makeup collection.  Not nearly as excessive as a lot of girls I see on Instagram and Youtube, but I do have quite a lot.  It’s a love and a hobby of mine and actually what inspired me to write my first blog.
   If you have an extensive makeup collection or if you have just a few products, it’s important to store them properly.
    Please, please, please do not store your makeup in the bathroom, especially the bathroom counter. The best temperature to store your makeup and/or skin care is actually at room temperature.  Steamy showers and fluctuating temperatures in the bathroom make it a less than ideal place to store your favorite foundation or eyeshadow.  The fluctuating temperatures and moisture in the air can shorten the life span of your makeup or even harbor bacteria growth.
   The best place to store your makeup and skin care is in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight.    

Money Matters: Earny

    If you are anything like me, your credit card got quite a workout this weekend.  I put quite a huge dent in my holiday shopping this weekend all from the comfort of my own living room!
    Normally, I would use my debit card for 95% of my purchases because I hate having any kind of credit card debt and I am still in the process of paying off my wedding dress on my credit card.  However, for most of my purchases I ended up using my credit card for one specific reason: Earny.
    A large majority of retailers and major credit card companies have a policy where if a price drops on an item purchased within 90 days you are entitled to the difference.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to stalk prices every day and quite honestly, I would forget after a few days anyway.  That’s where Earny comes in!

     Earny connects to both your inbox and credit cards and collects your electronic receipts.  “He” monitors the prices of the items you purchased and if he sees a cheaper price he files a claim for the difference on your behalf!
    You will be notified if Earny is able to receive a refund for you and it will be debited right back to the card used to make the purchase, although some companies choose to mail out checks.  Earny takes 25% of any refund issued to you, which considering I don’t usually track items to get any refunds, is not a bad deal.
   Currently Earny works with the following retailers:
Amazon, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Carters, Costco, Gap Group Stores, J.Crew, Jet, Kohls, Macy’s, New Egg, Nordstroms, Overstock, Sears, Staples, Target, Walmart and Zappos.

That’s a lot of stores!!

If getting some cash back in your pocket seems appealing, definitely give Earny a try by clicking here! 

Tip Tuesday: Just Say No

    The other day I was having a discussion at work with a friend of mine about how busy her schedule was.  While I have never had a super busy social schedule I came to a realization a few years ago that has been very important to me.  The power of saying no.
    Saying no could be very liberating and very empowering.  It could also be very freeing.  Saying no to people or situations that would bring you stress, agitation or that you just don’t have time for is ok! In fact, I feel it is the ultimate act of self-care!  So release the guilt of agreeing and just say no.

     Don’t get me wrong- it’s not easy to just start saying no to people you would normally say yes to.  At the beginning, the guilt of saying no is sometimes worse than what you were actually saying no to!  However, with practice and time you will begin to feel the freedom of saying no and you will be more open to saying yes to experiences and people you actually want to give your time to!

How to Beat Thanksgiving Stress

      The holidays can be a difficult time for some people, especially for anyone suffering from anxiety or any sort of emotional disorder.  I for one usually enjoyed the holidays, but never really felt that they were my own.  My parents separated when I was young and I never spent my holidays in one place- I bounced from location to location.  It became my norm.  So a lot of my holiday anxiety was centered around traveling or the worry that I was going to disappoint someone by not spending enough time at location A or location B or not being at one location at all. 
    This year I have decided to forgo all of that.  My fiancée and I just moved into our own place and are going to begin to make our own holiday traditions and start our own family.  I am going to allow myself to release the guilt and the burdens of family holiday stress and drama.
    One of the reasons I was most excited to have a place of my own was to be able to stay in one central location for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, but even the last few years as I lived on my own I still bounced from parent to parent and from relative to relative.  This year now that someone else is involved in my life, I made it a point to say this is OUR holiday, if anyone would like to join us they are more than welcome to do so.  
    Now, that comes with its own stress of hosting, but it’s a stress that as a former holiday nomad, I welcome with open arms.  I am looking forward to making my own holiday traditions with my fiancée, my family and my soon to be family. 
   However, just because I think my holidays are coming together as I have always envisioned them doesn’t mean there won’t be some bumps along the way and some stress and anxiety that I will have to handle.  So here are a few tips and tricks that I plan on utilizing in an effort to help keep myself as calm as possible.
Photo from istock
  •      Remember the reason for the holiday- to be thankful for what you have 
  •      Don’t worry about perfection, it doesn’t exist any way!
  •      If you’re preparing food, prepare as much ahead of time as possible 
  •      It’s ok to enlist help- don’t try to do it all alone
  •      It’s ok to ask people to bring stuff- if you’re cooking the main dish it’s ok to ask someone to      bring a side dish or a dessert
  •      Have a glass of wine, not the whole bottle!
  •      Try to get in some activity, the endorphins will definitely help!
  •      Have something fun and stress free planned for the next day, maybe shopping on Black              Friday isn’t your best bet! 
  •      Make sure you make some time to enjoy the day and the company!
  •      Remember, it’s just one a day and there’s always next year!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Make Gift Shopping Easier

   I love notebooks.  I love buying cute notebooks and have really had to limit myself from going overboard and purchasing too many.  One of the few notebooks I have allowed myself to purchase is a bullet journal.  I don’t use it as a typical bullet journal, but more as a book of handy lists and things for me to keep track of.
   One thing I love to keep track of is gift ideas.  Any time someone mentions an interest in a product or a gift I jot it down in this notebook.  If I don’t have the notebook with me, I make a reminder in my phone so I remember to write it down in my list when I get home.  That way when I go to shop for gifts, I have a list of ideas at the ready!

Last years list!
Do you have any tips or tricks to make gift shopping easier? Comment them below! 

Side Hustle: Network Marketing- Is It For Me?

   I am all about the side hustle.  I think it is so important to have multiple sources of income or having different ways of earning money outside of your full time job.  I have been participating in the side hustle for years and considering I have a wedding in less than a year I am continuing to look for additional side hustles.
   My first and main “side hustle” is my network marketing business.  I have been selling Younique Cosmetics and Skincare for over 3 years and I really, really love it.  It is something that not only makes me a few extra bucks, but something that I really enjoy as well.
    Do I make tons of money from it? No.  I use Younique as my fun money.  If I want to get a Stitch Fix box one month or get a couple mani/pedis I use my Younique card to pay for it!  Currently, I am saving my Younique earnings to pay for my bridal hair and makeup and already used it to get my hair and makeup done for my engagement pictures!

 

What is network marketing?

Network marketing provides a great opportunity for those looking to own and run their own business with little or no up-front investment.  After you decide on a company or product, you are most likely going to have to purchase a “starter kit” which provides you with basic materials to help you begin and market your business.  From there you have the opportunity to sell the product and/or service to friends, family and others.  Most network marketing companies also suggest you to recruit others to join your “ranks” in order for you to really see the best financial benefit from network marketing.  
What kind of companies/products are there in network marketing?

Literally, anything!!  From makeup, to food, to wine, to books, to home goods, etc.  If you have a passion, there is most likely a network marketing company out there to meet it!  
   I personally feel it’s important to join a company that fits a passion or hobby of yours.  If you aren’t into makeup, it won’t come off natural when you are trying to recommend products to your friends.  You want to be genuinely excited and interested in what you are selling and that doesn’t mean that you have to love every product your company makes!  
Who can become a network marketer?

Really, anyone.  Most companies require their presenters to be 18 or older.  You also need a social security number for tax purposes. Some companies may have additional requirements to it’s important to do your research and ask questions to either a fellow representative or an employee of the company itself.  You will also need whatever the initial sign up costs are so remember to keep that in mind.
The Advantages of Network Marketing

*You can invest as much or as little time as you want.
*You can invest as much or as little money as you want.
*Most businesses you can work from anywhere.
*You are in business for yourself.
*However, most companies provide some sort of new seller training and a lot of companies provide additional support with the people who you joined under called your “upline”.
*You can learn while you earn (which is what I did).
*If you purchase anything for your business, it can possibly be tax deducted (talk to your accountant first!)
*Provides opportunities to make friends globally
*Provides empowerment, especially to women
*…and many, many more
The Disadvantages of Network Marketing

*Not all companies are legitimate, please do your research!
*Some can be quite expensive up-front
*Some may require you to carry stock, which means you will need space
*It may be difficult to get friend and family support
*You may feel pressured to buy new products
*You may feel pressured to market products you don’t personally like or use
*It might take a while to see true financial gains
*It’s not a quick fix or get rich quick scheme
*Some people can be skeptical of direct sales companies
So, is network marketing for me?

Unfortunately, that is not for me to answer.  I think it can be  a great side hustle if you are someone who can self-motivate and likes to either interact with people on a face to face basis or via social media (depending on the company).  I also think it’s a great way to empower yourself and learn a lot about business, marketing, branding, social media and graphic design which are all things that I have learned about on my journey as a network marketer.  It’s also great if you have realistic expectations of what you want to accomplish with the money you earn. Also, realistic expectations of the time it may take to grow your business and that what you put into it, is really what you get out of it.
  If you possess these qualities- you are well on your way to becoming a fab network marketer, it’s just about finding the right company!  A great place to start is by visiting the Direct Sellers Association website.
…..or if you’re a makeup/skincare junkie consider joining me in my Younique adventure! #shamelessselfpromo 

Quick Tip Tuesday: Shaving Hack

    This was a hack I think I read about many years ago, but only recently tried and have fallen in love with!  I used to have a favorite shaving cream- yes a favorite shaving cream.  It was from Trader Joe’s and I loved it so.  One day I went to TJ’s and they didn’t have my favorite shaving cream!  I was completely out of it at home and I refused to purchase a different type!  I went home ready to give up on shaving altogether when I remembered I had another shaving product in my shower…..

CONDITIONER!!!
I have now been shaving my legs with conditioner exclusively for over 3 months and I refuse to go back!  I always have conditioner in my shower, and considering I don’t use very expensive hair care products I have no problem slathering up my hair and my legs with a creamy conditioner.  I have never had a closer and smoother shave in my life!  
Even if you don’t run out of shaving cream, I urge you to give this a try!