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20 Money-Saving Hacks for Parents

20 Money-Saving Hacks for Parents

Regardless of your marital status, income, number of children or the amount of debt you carry, you want to save money. There are countless ways to save, but it helps to take a general, broad look at the ways parents can save throughout the year, in different areas of their lives. The following 20 hacks will help you save money across the board, from groceries to travel to gift giving.

Groceries

American families spend an average of $146 to $289 per week on groceries. Begin saving today with the following hacks:

1. Plan Meals Around Deals

If you want to save at the grocery store, everyone knows that planning is essential. Do your research and find out what will be on sale for the upcoming week. Plan meals around those sale items and use a recipe website if you’re lacking creativity.

2. Use Couponing Websites

Couponing is a time-consuming art form, but one way to ease into it is to use couponing websites. These sites remove the need to sort through pages of circulars and cut out what you need. Instead, you can search the databases for what you need. Try The Krazy Koupon Lady or Passion for Savings.

3. Create a Cooking Group

If you’re close with your neighbors, consider creating a cooking group. Each family in the group cooks dinner one night per week for the other families in the group. This way, you can enjoy a few nights off from cooking, as well as added savings from buying cooking items in bulk.

4. Order Online

Be honest with yourself and admit if you’re an impulse shopper. If you are, it might be wise to get your groceries delivered. Or, you can order ahead and pick up your groceries to avoid going into the store altogether. While these services come at a cost, it might be worth it if you’re prone to impulse buys.

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Gift Giving

Does it seem like your budget is shot every month because of birthday parties? Your kids won’t have to miss the parties if you consider the these hacks:

5. Stock up on Gifts for Birthday Parties

Toys go on sale every January, so use this time of year to stock up on a variety of inexpensive gifts. Keep a stockpile and add to it whenever you spot a good deal. Set a limit for yourself, such as no more than $5 or $10. When the inevitable party invitation arrives, visit your stockpile instead of the store.

6. Have Your Kids Hand Write Cards

Instead of paying $3 or $4 for a birthday card, have your kids create one. Kids love to get craft and people love handmade cards. Plus, your wallet will appreciate the added savings, come the end of the year.

7. Opt for Christmas Wrapping Paper in Solid Colors

Purchase Christmas wrapping paper after the holiday season at a discounted rate. Choose papers in solid colors like green, blue and red, and then use it throughout the year for birthdays and other holidays.

Kids’ Clothing and Toys

Clothing is a necessity and toys are important, too. Save money by purchasing clothes at the right time and finding toys in the right places. Consider the following tips:

8. Shop During the Off Season

Clothing is expensive. Smart shoppers gauge their children’s sizes and shop in August for the next warm season and at the end of February for the next winter season. Get into the habit of doing this every year, and the savings will be significant.

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9. Join a Toy Library

Toy libraries rent or lend toys to families. It’s a great way for your kids to receive something new to aid their development — and it also teaches them responsibility. As they care for the toys, they learn the concept of borrowing. Plus, they get to experience a variety of toys at very little cost to you.

10. Embrace Consignment

There are many different ways to consign today. Clothing exchanges, consignment stores and online mom swaps make it easy for anyone. But online consignment stores likely provide the most options.

Vacationing

Planning a vacation usually comes with some anxiety as you consider the costs involved. If you want to save money on your next vacation or make your vacation dollars stretch as far as they can, consider these hacks:

11. Join a Home Swap

Instead of paying hefty hotel fees, opt for a home swap. You can explore other countries and live like a local. The experience will be rich, and your dollars will stretch much further. Websites like Home Exchange match you with an appropriate swap family.

12. Avoid Busy Travel Days

This is a simple hack, but it’s an easy way to save. Flying Monday through Thursday is cheaper than flying over the weekend, but Wednesdays are the cheapest. Plan your trip from Wednesday to Wednesday to get the lowest fare.

13. Plan Early or Late

Planning early comes with many perks, such as being the first to book at the lowest costs. As soon as you get your child’s schedule for the upcoming year, plan vacations around days off. Opt for non-holiday days off from school, such as teacher in-service days, to avoid spiked rates. On the flipside though, spontaneity is sometimes rewarded through last-minute deals.

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Social

Children become involved in more activities as they age, and parents immediately notice how expensive it is to stay involved with social activities such as sports and clubs. Consider the following tips:

14. Make Playdates

Instead of opting for “Mommy and Me” classes that cost money, socialize with other moms and babies by creating your own group. Use social media to connect with area parents or try Playgroup Meetup.

15Implement a One-and-One Rule

There are many free activities to participate in if you look in the right places. When your children become interested in joining clubs and sports groups, implement a “one-and-one” rule. This means they can join one paid activity and one free activity every season. Examples of free activities include reading groups or story time at the library.

16. Create a Babysitting Co-op

Check out local churches and community centers for babysitting co-ops, or groups of parents that agree to help one another babysit at no cost. If there isn’t one available in your area, create one. Also, there are sites to help connect families such as Babysitter Exchange.

Bills

You don’t have to like them but you can budget for them. Get your monthly budget in the green with these simple strategies:

17. Check Your Family Plan

Cell phone bills are a big expense, and they typically grow every year, especially as your children become responsible enough for a phone. Check out the site My Rate Plan to see if you’re overpaying. And be sure to shop around for better rates every year.

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18. Cut the Cable

There are many ways to enjoy television without paying a hefty bill. Streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu offer more economical options for TV than cable.

19. Minimize the Water Bill

Reduce your water bill by replacing leaky faucets and adding aerators to them. Aerators reduce water flow by up to 60%, which can equal a huge potential saving. Fill a plastic milk container with stones and place it in the back of the toilet tank if you don’t have a low-flow toilet. This technique will minimize the amount of water needed to fill the tank.

20. Only List Teen Drivers Under One Car

To save money on your car insurance, only list teen drivers under one vehicle. List them as occasional drivers on the least expensive car to pay the lowest rate.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to cut costs throughout the year with minimal effort. What are some of the hacks your family uses to save money throughout the year? Share in the comments!

Featured photo credit: Steven Depolo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 7, 2018

How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

Not too long ago, you believed that making money with a blog was impossible. But after seeing dozens of income reports from other bloggers, you became hooked. Now you’re left wondering if you could achieve similar results.

In this article, I’ll consolidate the lessons learned from some successful bloggers and get you the advice on how to make money with a blog.

How to monetize your blog the right way

A blog is more than a website with words, it’s a brand that solves a problem. When you’re first starting off it’s difficult to make any money. Why? Because no one trusts your brand.

The solution is simple, provide engaging content to build a large audience. Once your blog’s traffic and subscribers have grown, here are the most effective ways you can monetize your blog.

  1. Affiliate Marketing[1]
  2. Selling Courses[2]
  3. Coaching[3]

“Get rich quick” schemes rarely work

Some believe that bloggers had their success handed to them, but this is far from the truth. Their success required sacrifice, discipline and courage to work. And this is where most people run into trouble because they’re unwilling to put in the work.

Your first step to building income through your blog is to stop believing it will be easy to achieve. The trick is to only listen to a few bloggers who are at the position you’d like to be and take massive action.

It can take months or even years before you start earning income.

And when the going gets tough, keep going. Don’t stop. Learn to love the journey more than the outcome and you’ll build a profitable blog.

Executing the right advice leads to success

You need to learn from bloggers with diverse backgrounds.

What motivates someone to build an online business may not inspire you. But there’re strategies some bloggers will share that you’ll resonate with.

So what’s the next step? To start taking action.

How to make money with a blog: Lessons learned from 23 successful bloggers

Browse the list of some of the most influential and down to earth bloggers in today’s time. Chances are that you’ll resonate with a few of them. Take their practical lessons and apply them to your blog.

These bloggers may spark light bulb moments for you and change your life forever.

1. Gary Vaynerchuck – Down to earth entrepreneur who’ll transform your life

    Gary is a proud “D” student who helped his dad grow his wine liquor store into a 60 million business. He left the wine business to start his own digital agency, which now generates over $100 million.

    Today, he inspires entrepreneurs of all ages through his blog, vlog, and Podcast to take full control of their lives doing what they love.

    Lesson: Have the patience to build a successful business.

    2. Pat Flynn – Online Jedi who’s fearless to try new ideas

      Pat built several sites, is an author of many books and has launched many podcasts. His blog is one of the most popular sites on the web for beginner and experienced entrepreneurs. Despite Pat’s success, he’s still humble and willing to help others.

      Lesson: Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone.

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      3. John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on fire, inspiring others through his voice

        John is the host of EOFire, an award-winning business podcast, interviewing top entrepreneurs. He’s interviewed successful entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and many more. John is also the author of the #1 ranked book for Podcasting in Amazon. He’s an excellent example of what happens when you chase your dreams and remain committed.

        Lesson: Follow one course until success (FOCUS).

        4. J Money – Rockstar money expert who injects “cool” into finance

          J Money is an award-winning personal finance blogger, company advisor and money rockstar. He injects a “fun” personality in his blog, adding a sense of “coolness” to personal finance. He’s the founder of RockstarFinance, a personal finance directory filled with useful resources.

          The fresh perspectives J shares about money will leave you pondering for days.

          Lesson: Have fun with your blog to stand out and create engaging content.

          5. Mr. Money Mustache – Badass blogger who’ll transform your financial lifestyle

            Mr.MM’s goal is to help you live a “badass” life. He has unique money saving ideas up his sleeve, such as cutting your grocery bill in half, and DIY solar panels. There are no “generic” articles in his blog, only thorough and well-thought ideas.

            Mr.MM is financially independent and willing to share his secrets if you dare to listen.

            Lesson: Focus on your needs and wants to live your dream lifestyle.

            6. Sam – Thoughtful blogger sharing smart insights

              Sam is a blogger and a real estate investor. His blog has received millions of views and featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, CNBC, and many more. Sam dives deep into topics like real estate, retirement planning, and career strategies. Read his blog and discover why it’s “bookmark-worthy”.

              Lesson: Keep investing in yourself to be better prepared for the future.

              7. Joshua Dorkin – The persistent entrepreneur who never lost hope

                Joshua is a well-known entrepreneur and speaker who’s featured in major publications. He’s built the nation’s largest real estate investing blog and co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast.

                He’s the ultimate example of what’s attainable when you pursue your dreams. His blog is one of the only few you’ll need to reach financial independence with real estate.

                Lesson: Keep working towards your goal despite who tries to stop you.

                8. Ramit Sethi – That “cool” teacher who’ll help you reach your next level

                  Ramit is a New York Times Bestselling author. He prides himself on being different, which is why he loves giving away 98% of his material for free. His content is binge-worthy and will bring out the awesome out of you.

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                  If you’re ready to master your inner psychology or finance, then stop by Ramit’s blog.

                  Lesson: There’s always a way to get what you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

                  9. Paula Pant – The entrepreneur who took an enormous risk chasing freedom

                    Paula is a writer, speaker and freedom enthusiast. It didn’t take long after landing her “dream” job to know it wouldn’t offer the freedom she’d craved.

                    Today, Paula has reached financial independence by building many income streams. Her writing style is engaging will leave you questioning your limiting beliefs.

                    Lesson: It’s worth risking the odds to live your desired lifestyle.

                    10. Steve – Early retiree, fearless to take a stance

                      Steve reached financial independence 30 years earlier than the typical American. You can find his work in major sites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and many more.

                      Currently, Steve writes detailed content on his blog helping readers achieve financial independence. If you’re looking to save money, or retire early, you’ll love Steve’s blog.

                      Lesson: Plan ahead to reach your desired goals.

                      11. Robert Farrington – Millennial Sensei for college students

                        Robert is a consultant, and a writer dubbed as America’s Millennial money expert. His passion for managing money at a young age led him to create The College Investor. In his blog, you’ll find great resources to crush student loan debt and invest your money.

                        Lesson: Be open-minded with how you can express your passion.

                        12. Joe Udo – The writer who took the road less taken

                          Taking risks ain’t easy, but there are always a few people who take it anyways. Joe is a blogger, investor and a great example of what risk takers do. He retired before turning 40, after leaving a job he’d been working for over a decade.

                          Joe’s blog shares proven ways to building passive income, and managing your money.

                          Lesson: Taking risks becomes easier when you prepare daily.

                          13. Elle Martinez – The financial superwoman for struggling couples

                            Elle has a passion for money, so much that she’s been writing about personal finance for over a decade. She enjoys helping couples build their finances together, and live on one income.

                            Elle’s blog helps you avoid money fights, boosts your savings, and much more.

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                            Lesson: Find ways to solve the problems you’re obsessed about.

                            14. Len Penzo – Creative blogger who makes personal finance entertaining

                              Len’s blog has received over 9 million visitors. He’s featured in major publications such as the NY Times, Forbes, and many more.

                              Len transforms boring money subjects into engaging content that hook readers for more. If you want to make smarter financial decisions, his blog is a must-read.

                              Lesson: Create engaging content to build a large audience.

                              15. Farnoosh Torabi – Finance expert, inspiring women to unleash their full potential

                                Farnoosh used to borrow clothes and eat $5 Footlongs until she climbed out of debt. Today she’s a journalist, author, TV personality, and financial expert. Farnoosh is the host of SO Money, one of iTunes’s top financial Podcasts. She’s a leader and inspiration to other women.

                                Lesson: View your shortcomings as gifts and use them to stand out.

                                16. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Young entrepreneur achieving success on the road

                                  Michelle started blogging in 2011 with hopes of improving her finances. Today, her blog is one of the most popular personal finance blogs you’ll find. There’s a slim chance you might catch her on the road, as she’s touring around the US with her husband. Her blog contains advice for growing your income and living a better lifestyle.

                                  Lesson: Be transparent about your struggles to build a supportive audience.

                                  17. Phillip Talyor – Money expert who knows how to throw a finance party

                                    Phillip Taylor or “PT” is a blogger, CPA, and a finance enthusiast. At one point, he’d accumulated a ton of debt and was in need of financial wisdom. He created his blog to document his financial wins, and collaborate with others.

                                    Because of Phillip’s passion for finance, he created FinCon. Today, Fincon is the go-to conference where influencers and financial brands meet.

                                    Lesson: Hard work is more important than experience to achieve your goals.

                                    18. Stefanie O’Connell – The financial role model every woman needs

                                      Stefanie started blogging around 2008, at a time when most of America was in a financial crisis. Despite this, she went from living on less than $500 a week to dubbed as a Millennial money expert.

                                      Stefanie spends her time helping ambitious women adopt “rich” habits. Join Stefanie’s tribe and start feeling empowered with your finances.

                                      Lesson: You can be a role model for others if you’re brave enough to face your fears

                                      19. J.D. Roth – Finance enthusiast who’ll leave you thinking smarter

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                                        J.D. was a contributor of the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. His blog is one of the best personal finance blogs on the web and has received millions of visitors. You’ll find in-depth articles that will leave you making smarter money decisions.

                                        Lesson: No matter how big your problems are, there’s always a solution.

                                        20. Catherine Alford – Entrepreneur mom, inspiring women to chase their dreams

                                          Catherine is a speaker, writer, and a proud mom of 2 twins. She’s an inspiration for women looking to spend more time with their families. Catherine became best Contributor/Freelancer for personal finance in 2014.

                                          Discover why you don’t need to choose between your career and family at Catherine’s blog.

                                          Lesson: Your story can become the inspiration many are searching for.

                                          21. Natalie Bacon – Life coach and entrepreneur inspiring women to design their dream lives

                                            Natalie is an inspiration for those looking to pursue their passion. She’s featured in major sites like The Huffington Post, Forbes, and many others. Natalie follows her dreams and isn’t afraid of hard work. Her blog contains quality content that will inspire you to take action.

                                            Lesson: Don’t be afraid to change course because you’ll be one step closer to finding your dream life.

                                            22. Crystal Paine – Inspirational entrepreneur who loves to give back

                                              Crystal is a personal finance blogger who’s been writing since 2006. Her site has creative ways to save money on groceries, clothes, toys, and much more. Crystal donates a percentage of her blog’s income towards life-impacting ministries.

                                              Her blog will not only teach you how to save money but also how to live an abundant lifestyle.

                                              Lesson: Focus on helping others first and you’ll build massive wealth.

                                              23. Liz – Frugal expert who’ll transform your bad spending habits

                                                Liz is an author, writer and a frugal expert who enjoys helping others save money. She’s featured in NPR, Forbes, Liz’s blog contains creative ways to save money and reach financial independence.

                                                Lesson: Be bold enough to prioritize your opinion above others’.

                                                Start your blog and achieve jaw-dropping results

                                                Imagine waking in your pajamas and opening your laptop. You notice a few hundred dollars were deposited to your Paypal account. This money didn’t fall from the sky, it came from your blog.

                                                Not too long ago you believed making money from a blog was impossible, but now you’ve finally achieved it. Amazing isn’t it?

                                                This can be your reality if you learn from these successful bloggers. Go through this list and pick your top three bloggers. Take a look at their content (Blog, Podcast, Video), and break your bad habits.

                                                The time has come to transform yourself into the blogger you’d like to become. You’re not someone who only wants to accumulate a ton of cash. You want to live your dream life and impact others doing what you love.

                                                What’s stopping you now?

                                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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