Category: Life

My Goal Setting Method: How to Set Goals and Stick With Them

Set Goals & Stick to Them

Goal Setting Method: How to set goals and stick with them

It is true, any of us can set goals and New Year’s Eve is a popular time to start. A New Year makes us feel like we have a clean slate to get in shape, earn more money, or learn something new. But did you know, 80% of New Years Resolutions fail by February? And why is that?

Research shows that people who set goals are more likely to accomplish their tasks but are we all going about it wrong? Why do so many goals go by the wayside after a month or so?

First, we have to look at how we set goals. Are we just verbally saying we want to do something or are we writing out our goals with a plan of action? Creating a solid plan and putting it down on paper is an awesome way to start.

I am a former teacher and my students and I used to set goals every marking period. Yes, this was fun for me! I loved teaching the little ones how to accomplish a goal, revisit, and set new goals. We would revisit our goals every marking period and my best advice about goal setting was and still is we can always become a better version of ourselves.

So even if you got an A last marking period, why not set a goal to create better study habits or learn even more on the subject (at the time I was teaching Special Education Science – which I loved BTW.) Even if you excel in one area, there is always something you can improve upon to be this amazing version of yourself. What a positive lesson!

One of the best ways to set a goal is to write it down. Goals should also be measurable and it helps to create a plan of action. So whether your goal is financial, fitness, or travel success you can do it!

How Do I Measure a Goal?

What does “measurable” mean? It means you can check your goal at the end of your time frame and measure whether you achieved it or not. Setting a goal to simply lose weight is not measurable. However, by being more specific you will be able to check your progress. For example, you could state your goal like this: “I will lose five pounds in four weeks.” The second goal gives a timeline and a clear amount of weight you want to lose. You are WAY more likely to meet this type of goal than just randomly saying you want to do something.

Suggested Reading: How to Live Your Best Life: 15 Life-Changing Steps

Grab your free goal setting pdf here and let’s get started!

Goal Setting PDF: Goal Setting

(more…)

How to Live Your Best Life: 15 Life-Changing Tips

Live Your Best Life

I’ve always been preoccupied with the saying “Live your Best Life” made popular by Oprah Winfrey and as I flew home from a mini trip with my husband, I looked out the window of the plane. It occurred to me, I was looking at things from a different perspective.

On the ground, I could see the bottom of the fluffy white cumulus cloud, but now over ten thousand feet in the air, I was looking down at the beautiful, cotton balls of glory made of water & dust!

Yes, it is true… If you open your eyes you can see many things from a different perspective, personal finances being one of them. I, once a “stuufoholic” used to desire many things and thought buying more “stuff” would make me happier. However, I’ve thus learned the problem with this type of thinking is no matter how much you have, you always want more! Yet, the more you have, the more clutter you deal with and life begins to feel out of control. It can be a never-ending cycle.

We all marry our spouses for different reasons. My husband is a kind, caring person with a good heart. He has taught me many things in our life together, but perhaps the most important is how he prefers experiences over stuff. He would much rather take a trip or take our kids to a new museum than buy a bunch of clothes at the mall. His perspective got me thinking about what we could do to make our lives richer and more fulfilling. Could we all have a goal to live our best life with contentment and happiness? And what’s more, how can we achieve this “best life”?

According to a study done by Nobel Peace Prize winner Angus Deaton happiness peaks at an average income of $75,000 (source Forbes.com). After that, our happiness levels off. Research shows money does not necessarily equal happiness.


(more…)

9 Super Secrets to Staying Debt-Free This Christmas

 

9 Super Secrets to Staying Debt-free This Christmas

Is your budget bursting like the buttons on Santa’s coat? Is swiping your credit card making your anxiety run high? Holiday spending is a major cause of stress. It is easy to get caught up in all the gift giving and Holiday activities that we live in the moment and forget the Holidays can spin us into a whirlwind of debt.

The best way to curb the anxiety is to create a plan. If you make a budget and check it twice, you are bound to have a stress free Holiday Season with visions of a debt-free life dancing in your head.

According to an annual study conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics people plan to spend an average of $967.13  which is up about 3.4% from last year (source National Retail Federation). Not to mention, 56% of Americans plan on going into debt for the Holidays and although many realize how important a budget is 58% of families fail to stay on budget. (source: The Motley Fool).  Spending $967.13  is a HUGE chunk of change, especially if you are already struggling financially.

Many are tempted to dip into their emergency fund or retirement account or open a credit card to make ends meet during the Holiday Season. This is a bad idea all around. Your emergency fund should be used only when NEEDED and using a credit card only guarantees you will pay way more because of interest. Since going into debt this Holiday season is not an option,  I’m going to give you some jingly-good ideas to help save your budget and still have a nice Christmas or any Holiday you celebrate.

(more…)

25 Best Learning Toys for Preschool Children

 

25 Best Learning Toys for Preschoolers

Toy shopping for young children is quite overwhelming. There are so many choices and it is difficult to know just what toys are the best learning toys for preschool children. Lucky for you, I was a teacher! Part of my studies included early childhood education and I taught preschool for two years in college. Then I worked with preschool age children that were struggling while I was a special education teacher. Yes, this gives me the inside scoop! Oh and I forgot to mention, I have two sweet, sticky-faced preschoolers living with me! My sons are ages three and five and attend junior kindergarten and preschool three’s respectively.

With all this inside info, it will be easy for you to find the best learning toys this year. Yes, it is great to have that cool action figure or doll your son or daughter adores, but in this gift guide, you will find the best learning toys for your children so you can give them something you feel good about.

Furthermore, I will describe why the toys I picked are useful and beneficial for growth and learning in young children.

After teaching for thirteen years, I’ve concluded that all parents want the best for their children. No matter where we come from or what age or stage of life we are in, we are all pulling for our children and want to do right by them.This is why it is crucial to have some preschool age play-based learning toys under the tree this year, instead of the same old toy that your child loves for one day and then throws in the closet and never uses again – parents, we all know that toy! So this year follow along and let this be your number one toy gift guide!

Keep in mind, there is something for every budget and you do not have to spend a lot of money to help your child learn.


(more…)

5 Amazing Blogging Tips to Try Right Now

One Year Blogging + 5 Best Blogging Tips One year of blogging has come and gone! It has been an amazing ride and I have learned so much along the way! As I move forward, I am really focused and ready and I want to thank all you for joining me thus far!

Blogging is such an amazing journey! I mean, I get to write about a subject I love, SAVING MONEY and make a real connection with people by helping them with budgeting. Nonetheless, I chose personal finance because I have always loved budgeting and bargain shopping and have been pretty smart with my money thus far! (I think Suzie Orman would give my husband and me an A.) We have paid off over $100,000 combined worth of debt (mostly being student loans) because we believe in the value of living debt-free and being smart with our money! Finding a hubby with similar money values was a win-win for me (love ya, hubby).

Blogging is also an awesome side hustle for me since I am a stay-at-home (well I guess I can now be called a work-at-home) mom of two young boys, ages five and three! It has given me a hobby, I can call my own (instead of always being M-O-M – picture someone yelling that loudly about every five minutes – ha!) and I have made a little extra income with my blog, so for that, I am thankful!

If you are interested in starting a blog, check out my free tutorial! Do some soul-searching and find your passion! Then start writing! Honestly, I was so nervous about starting a blog but I am so glad I did! It has been a fun way to stay busy and I love learning about all the fun, creative things you can do with blogging! I would have to say my favorite thing about blogging is creating pins in Canva and writing, of course!

(more…)

20 Ridiculously Useful Teacher Gifts For Any Budget


Teacher gift roundup

I often have people ask me, “What does a teacher want for Christmas.” Why would they ask me this? Well, I used to be a teacher. For thirteen years I worked as a special education teacher with kids from preschool up to middle school. So today you get the inside scoop! I can definitely give you some thoughtful ideas that your kid’s teacher will love and appreciate.

Let me start by saying, I never expected anyone to give me a gift at Christmas time when I was a teacher. I worked in a low-income school district and gifts for teachers were not the norm. I also taught middle school, so at this age, it is difficult to buy all five to seven of your kid’s teachers a gift. I think teacher gifts are more common in preschool and elementary and lucky for you, I taught all the above.

I find one easy way to stick to my budget during the Holiday’s is to shop early and make a list with my budget included! Below you will find gifts that fit any budget and I suggest buying your teacher gifts first because you will be giving these out before Christmas. All of the gifts below will also work for the end of the year or teacher appreciation gifts.

If you are stuck on what to give your kid’s teacher this year keep reading and there will surely be something you can buy and feel good about to thank them for all of their hard work.

Life Lesson

It is so nice to teach your child the value of giving instead of only wanting “stuff” during the Holiday time, and this is surely one way to teach it. Kids like to give and it makes them feel good about themselves. One of my son’s favorite parts of visiting the firehouse over the summer was giving the firefighter donuts! Also, every time we gave my older son’s teacher a gift, I allowed him to hand it to her and see the smile on her face. This put a big grin on my son’s face too and kept warm fuzzy Holiday feeling alive!

(more…)