Author Archives: Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

Credit Card Advantages

Public domain photo “Credit Card Illustration” by Melody Dobbs

Advantages of Credit Cards

Too often credit card companies are the ones who get money off of us and not the other way around. We have to be careful not to get too many credit cards, get the right credit cards, and pay our statement balance in full. So how can we play the credit card system to our advantage?

Choose the Right Credit Card

First, it’s a matter of choosing which credit cards are the best to take out. You can only use store credit cards in one place and don’t offer rewards outside of that store. You also run the risk of taking out too many store credit cards, which will hurt your credit. Choose two or three major credit cards that you can use worldwide.

Inexpensive Ways to Stay in Shape

Do we need expensive gym equipment or a gym membership to stay physically fit? No, there are many ways to stay in shape without spending a lot of money. Staying fit will also reduce medical bills and increase your energy.

Drink water

Water is cheap from the tap and it does the most to keep us healthy. Water cleanses our system and keeps our blood flowing. Drinking enough water prevents headaches and so many other health problems. Generally, you need to drink eight glasses of water a day or half the ounces of your bodyweight in pounds.

Inexpensive Mental Health Resources

Being a mom is overwhelming at times. We struggle to cope with all the emotional strain, maybe even a mental illness. We can create good habits to improve our mood and seek help without breaking the bank. In fact, there are many free and inexpensive resources. The first step is to educate yourself.

 

Take Care of Yourself

 

I need about nine hours of sleep a night to function. Other moms can function on seven hours. Seven to nine hours is the recommended amount of sleep for adults. Follow sleep hygiene to achieve a better night’s rest. That may include skipping naps, unless you are pregnant or have infants.

 

Find Affordable Babysitters and Daycare

We all love to spend our time with our children, but many of us work or need some time away. For this, we need daycare or a babysitter at an affordable price. How can we find affordable caretakers? You may need to be creative for some of your daycare needs.

Find a Support Group

Several years ago, I read Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. (I don’t recommend this book.) The author moved to each place to find a job and a place to live on minimum wages. She went to every place without a community of support and, thus, “failed” to get by. From the many times I moved, I always found a support group with a local congregation of my church. I had friends and support within a few weeks of moving to a new place. What a blessing—but one I had to look for.

Curbing Addictions to Save Money

Many of us have our guilty pleasures to deal with stress as a parent. Some of us may overeat or escape too often in entertainment. For me, I like my sugar, books, and TV shows. These cost me extra money, so it would be a good idea for me to practice moderation more often.

So how can you and I curb our addictions and save money in the process?

Be Honest and Identify the Addiction

Be honest as you work to identify any addiction. An addiction is a compulsion to have or do something that is sometimes harmful or done in excess. Almost anything can become an addiction. You can recognize an addiction if it negatively impacts your relationships, finances, or mental and physical health. Ask family and friends to help you identify any addictions.

Inexpensive Entertainment

Sales reps come by my house several times a year and offer “great” cable and satellite TV deals. We tell them we’ve found better options for TV entertainment and movies. However, we do have to practice patience that we often won’t see the latest episode. But the cost difference makes it worth it.

First, we have an antenna so we get broadcast television for free. We only had to pay for an antenna we can use for years. We avoid watching broadcast TV most of the time because of commercials.

Freelance Work from Home

freelance work

For a while I made quilts from home and sold them. I barely broke even making quilts—even using old jeans and sheets. I spent hours making quilts and I couldn’t guarantee that I would make any money off of them. I didn’t make grand quilts, but the amount of hours I put into it weren’t worth it.

This year I started doing freelance work from home. I’ve found more advantages to doing freelance work. I also have learned some from my mistakes through this process.

Teaching Children about Money

teaching kids about money

As moms, we want to instill lifelong lessons about managing money into our children’s brains. Children gain self-confidence as they learn to manage their own money.

Set an Example

Children learn the most through osmosis. They observe and mimic adults from an early age. So how you spend or save money matters from the beginning. I want my children to follow my positive example, but not my negative example. If you need to improve, like me, you can begin now. We can show restraint and buy only what we can afford and set aside savings. Or work on getting out of debt.

Don’t Go over that Rock!

thinking cap

So, I do stupid things all the time and sometimes they can cost a lot of money. I feel so chagrined and I want to hide out for a few days. My husband is telling me that life happens. It does. I suppose I can only learn from my mistakes.

My kids and I were coming home from Grandma and Grandpa’s house early, so I decided we needed to do some more outdoor activities. My son had asked about climbing a hill several times when we’ve passed it going to and from my parents’ home.

Build Your Credit Score

raise credit score

Building your credit score can help save money on loans, lower deposits, and help you get a job or a place to live. However, you need to build your credit in a certain way without taking too many credit cards or loans. So how can you build a better credit score?