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10 Budget-Friendly Moving Tips

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Today’s post is from writer and commenter here on BFS, Kate (Mrs. COD).  Thanks to slaying her debt demons, she’s now able to stay at home raising her two rambunctious little boys. Kate blogs about lifelong habit changes and “finangelism” at Changing Our Default, which she started early in 2016. Hi, BFS readers! Since my family and I recently moved from Illinois to Kentucky for my husband to pursue his university teaching career, I’ve got several great tips for moving on a budget. Here’s what we learned during the moving process about keeping the budget in line! Research Before even deciding to move anywhere, do some research! Check out the new town or area online or in person. Learn about its faults as well as its attractive features. For example, if your prospective job there will pay more, but the location also brings a hefty cost-of-living increase, you might want to think twice about it. For us, the housing prices in our new city were MUCH more reasonable than where we previously lived. Ask About Relocation Funding If doing on-location job interviews, be sure to ask about travel or relocation funding. Some employers reimburse travel expenses (hotel, gas, flight, etc.), … Read more

Quality Counts…and My Boba Addiction

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Do you love Boba shops?  I’m talking about the places you go to order tea or fruit smoothies finished off with tapioca pearls or bursting balls of fruit juice.  Until this week, I would have said boba is boba no matter the location.  And I would have been wrong. My Boba Transformation I stopped at a cute hole-in-the-wall place, Q Boba Tea, this past Tuesday on my way home from a pet sitting job 15 minutes from my house.  I ordered my usual go-to, a strawberry smoothie with tapioca balls.  It was the best one I ever drank.  This place only uses real fruit and other ingredients, so I was treated to actual strawberries being blended into submission instead of strawberry powder.  And the tapioca must be made in the store, because it was amazing.  Soft outside with chewy centers.  The smoothie itself was creamy and light.  I finished the whole thing way too quickly and wanted another on as soon as I parked at home.  But I waited.  I waited all of Tuesday night and most of Wednesday.  I knew I had the same pet sitting job close by Q Boba at 7pm and I would be drinking down another sugar high with tapioca 35 minutes later.  … Read more

6 Free or Cheap Summer Fun Ideas

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Today’s post is from writer and commenter here on BFS, Kate (Mrs. COD).  She is passionate about helping people make smarter decisions with money in order to be able to spend money on what really matters to them. Thanks to slaying her debt demons, she’s now able to stay at home raising her two rambunctious little boys. Kate blogs about lifelong habit changes and “finangelism” at Changing Our Default, which she started early in 2016. As soon as the weather starts to turn warmer and the allergies start acting up, we know summer is just around the corner! Whether you work full-time in summer or have some time off, as I always have as a teacher, summer promises oodles of extra fun. Making memories with family and friends doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Summer is ripe with opportunities for free and cheap entertainment. Let’s dive into a few of them! Picnics and Barbecues What summer is complete without a few cookouts with friends? You have to eat anyway, so invite a few pals over and fire up the grill. Set this up however you prefer–either you can provide everything, or you can take care of the food while everyone BYOBs, or … Read more

How to Be Content with Your Life

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How to Be Content | Tips for Practicing Self-Care | Goals in Life | Achieving Peace | Enjoying Life | Living in the Moment

I’m 34 years old.  My life has been great, yet I still wake up some days and feel completely unsatisfied.  I felt like a raging success when I leapt into self-employment in 2011, about 16 months after starting this blog.  My husband joined me in 2012, I started a second successful business in 2014 (Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting), and we are still doing well with our businesses, yet I’ve lost that soul singing feeling of triumph.  Why Do I Feel Like a Failure?  Because I suck at being content.  My online business peaked 3-4 years ago but is still chugging along.  I’m making efforts to grow it again.  My pet sitting business is blossoming more every season, and we just hired our first official pet sitter team member.  Yet, I keep comparing myself to others and feel like all my efforts are “meh”.  Since I started researching contentment and making a list of steps for myself, I figured I should share it with anyone else out there kicking their own butts for no good reason. How to be Content Weirdly, being content is harder for me than making money.  Yet contentment comes in handy no matter where you are in life.  It is a priceless … Read more

3 REAL Ways to Make Money from Home AND How to Get Started IMMEDIATELY

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3 Real Ways to Make Money From Home and Get Started IMMEDIATELY | Legitimate Work from Home Jobs

Yeah, I know there are gazillions of posts about making money from home.  How is this one different?  Well, my husband and I make $75,000+ per year doing these three things.  On top of that, keep reading to see how to get started right now! 1.  Blogging The most frequently asked question I get about my online income is, “How do you make money blogging?” You make money through advertising deals, selling products and services, or using your blog experience to get other jobs online too. You can get the traffic to sell ad space, your products, and/or your services by growing your site. So first, you need a site and you have to start writing. To start a blog, you’ll need to choose a domain name (like and buy it.  I used Go Daddy to buy my URL and it costs about $15-$20 per year.  You will also need a website host (a company that uses its internet servers to support your site). I use Bluehost for all of my secondary sites (smaller ones, $6 a month for all of them combined) and Pagely for my big one since it’s too large to fit in a discount host server … Read more

How to Save Money on the Top 5 Living Expenses, Really

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How to Save Money on Your Top 5 Expenses | Budget Tips | Budget Busters | Ways to Save Money | How to Get Out of Debt | Fix My Finances

You know that I can be anal retentive detail-oriented, but when I first give advice or suggestions about money, I target the big stuff.  In general, that means making more or spending less. Specifically, here on the top 5 everyday expenses I harp on the most and specifically how you can save money on them…I know because this is how I do it. Housing Can you move somewhere cheaper?  Or do you need to stay where you are (job, family, friends, etc.)? Is it fiscally better for you to buy or rent where you plan to live?  If you’d like a little push, check out guesstimations like this interactive Rent or Buy calculator (I just used a search engine and thought that one worked pretty well…no affiliation). What are your personal preferences on general location, size, and type of home? No matter how you answer, there are ways to cut costs. Live in the minimum amount of space in which you are comfortable.  That can be 300 square feet or 3000 square feet.  Just remember, the less space, usually the less it costs. Research the going prices for what you want through Craigslist, realtor websites, appraisal district websites, etc. Shop around and negotiate for overall price, options, … Read more

6+ Free Family Activities for Summer Fun

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6 Free Family Activities for Summer | Things to do with Kids | Children's Activities | Frugal Entertainment | Free Things to Do

Mr. And Mrs. Beatles blog about their frugal life at Stacking Pennies. They recently began their journey towards frugality and write about different things they learn on their way to a debt free lifestyle. In the Beatles household, family activities are what we look most forward to in the Summer. We believe that frugal families tend to be closer and stronger than their counterparts because rather than paying someone else to entertain them, they find entertainment together and within each other. This creates special bonding moments! While entertainment costs have gotten out of control (have you seen the price of a movie ticket and popcorn lately?), there are plenty of other ways of having fun without paying a dime; these are cost-free activities that anyone can do with their families. Let’s look at some family activities that don’t require you to open your purse or wallet: Visit the beach (or water near you) Beaches are a ton of fun and make no impact on the budget!  You can collect shells, swim, build sand castles, feed the seagulls, fly a kite without getting it caught in a power line, etc.  Jazz it up with a pitcher of homemade lemonade and sandwiches. If there’s no … Read more