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Attitude Adjustment PDF Print E-mail
Your attitude about managing your finances will directly impact your willingness to do it.  Get excited that you're taking control of your finances and keep in mind all the different ways it will positively impact your life.
Storage Lessons From Tiny Homes PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

I've been a fan of small homes for a long time.  The movement toward smaller homes has gained steam, especially in the last year, with television shows about microscopic living cropping up across cable networks.

Just a few of the biggest perks include: 

  • A much smaller mortgage
  • Smaller utility bills
  • Less time cleaning

However, there are definitely challenges to tiny and small home living and storage space is the biggest one - especially when you, your husband and your 8 year old son are all book collectors. 

Tiny homes are loosely described as less than 1,000 square feet.  At 1,200 square feet, our home falls into the small category and storage is definitely a challenge.  In fact, one of our projects this spring is to cull through our attic and reorganize the space for better use.  Our more urgent projects are storage for Dante's room as well as my office.

There are a lot of lessons to learn regarding clever storage space from the tiny house movement and we've been paying close attention.  Today I stumbled on this article: 11 Lessons We Can Learn From AirBNB's Tiniest Homes.

My favorite lesson from the article is the use of vertical space.  It's a tip we can use, especially in Dante's bedroom!


Vacation Savings Account PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti 

There are many different ways to pull together or earmark money for vacations and other fun stuff. One of the most powerful tools is to create a savings account specifically for vacations.   Capital One 360 allows you to create multiple savings accounts so you can earmark your funds for a certain cause, i.e. vacations.  
One of the things I especially love about Capital One 360 is that they also offer a checking account with a debit card. When Paul and I are ready to go on vacation, we transfer the money from our vacation savings to our Capital One 360 checking account.   We then use that debit card throughout our vacation. The money stays separate from our day-to-day checking account and we are able to spend as we please because we know we are only spending our "vacation" money. There is something very freeing about this practice.
If vacations are a big part of your life, start automatically depositing money into your vacation savings account. Even small amounts will begin adding up and will keep you moving toward your goal.
One of my favorite habits for "finding" vacation money is to save the money you save. For example, our grocery store is Safeway and we have a Safeway Club Card that offers additional savings for being a member (membership is free). When I use my card, the amount of money I saved is at the bottom of the receipt. When I get home from the grocery store, I automatically go to my computer and transfer that amount from my day-to-day checking to my vacation account.
Through savvy grocery shopping, I save an average of $75 - $150 per month for our vacations. Also, the money saved by savvy shopping is used for a specific purpose instead of vanishing into thin air.
Other ideas to save include:
  • As you receive gift money, consider putting it into your vacation savings account. 
  • Do you get overtime? Instead of letting that money get absorbed into your checking account, immediately transfer it to your vacation savings account. 
  • Another option is to transfer any leftover money at the end of the pay period into your vacation fund. As you continue this process, you will be surprised at how quickly that money adds up.


Spring Cleaning Motivation PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

Despite what the weather looks like on the East Coast, according to the retail industry, it's SPRING!

That means, anything and everything related to spring cleaning will be on sale.  This is my favorite time to stock up on my go-to cleaning and home care products including:

  • Comet
  • Windex
  • Pinesol
  • Febreze

With an eight year old, a dog, a hamster and a husband who teaches martial arts for a living, Febreze is a treasured product in our household. 

In addition to cleaning products, cleaning equipment will also be on sale.  So, if you're in the market for a new vaccum cleaner or carpet steam cleaner, start watching your favorite store's sales ads.  Over the next six weeks they'll be at some of the best prices of the year. 

One Percent at a Time PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

One of the goals of Savvy Living is to: Save 20% and spend the rest with abandon.

Keeping in mind that the average savings rate in the U.S. shifts from 3.7% - 4.9% getting to that 20% goal may feel like an overwhelming task... but it can be achieved! The trick is to get there 1% at a time.

First of all, if you're only saving 1% - 3% of your salary, congratulate yourself for saving anything at all. At least you're in the habit of saving. Now, it's time to take it to the next level.

Start, by taking a look at your last paycheck and calculating how much 1% equates to. For example, if your paycheck is $2,000, 1% of that paycheck is just $20.

Now ask yourself, if you set up an automatic transfer of $20 from your checking account to your savings account each payday, will you really miss that money? If you can still put gas in your car and food on the table, set up the transaction right now.

The next step is to put a note in your calendar for two months from now to see if you can bump up your savings amount by another 1%. In fact, make it a habit to check in every other month to see if you can increase your savings amount.

Initially, your contributions will feel small, but you will have the opportunity to build on success and your savings will grow.

Don't wait for the magical day that you can start saving 20% all at once. That day is not going to come. There will always be something to distract you from your goal... especially when that goal is to start saving $400 all at once.

Even if it takes you 2 -4 years to get to that 20% goal, you will get there... and have had 2-4 year’s worth of savings built up along the way.


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