How To Save Up To Buy A House

Buying a house may be closer to your reach than you think. It’s all just a matter of controlling your money and making it work for you. In today’s article, I want to share with you the top 5 tips that have helped us save. I hope these will help you guys too so you can start this new, exciting chapter in your life.

1. My first tip would be to find the cheapest grocery store to buy your food. We previously did our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s (a health food store) but that would easily bring our total price to $200 and sometimes more per week. And we’re just a family of two adults and a toddler! I searched around to see what stores had the best prices for food. It turns out that Walmart has some of the best prices. So I now do the majority of my grocery shopping there. But…surprise, surprise…the 99 cent store actually has a whole lot of produce all for $1! When I shop there, we save $70 a week which adds up to $280 a month! That’s a whole lot of money to save on just one bill! And trust me, I was skeptical about dollar store food too. But we have already tried it for 2 weeks and everything tastes just fine. Nothing spoiled right away or anything. So just give it a try. Maybe you’ll like it too.

2. Another area where we’re saving money is on our electric bill. Im so sorry to say but we used to live with our AC going non-stop! Its so embarrassing to admit. But now, we’re rarely using it and only put it on when the heat is getting to be just too much to handle. Turning on the AC is now a last resort for us. We’ll open the windows, turn off the lights, close the blinds, take a cool shower, turn the fans on, we’ll do all that before we finally decided to turn on the AC. We haven’t gotten the bill back yet but i imagine that we’ll be saving anywhere from $100 – $150 a month minimum. I’ll try to update you guys once we get the actual numbers back.

3. We also limit eating out now to only once a week. That’s something I had already been doing for a while now just for weight loss reasons but now my husband is jumping on board too. So he no longer will order out for lunch while he’s at work. But I take responsibility for making sure he has meals so he won’t have to eat out. If I miss a day for packing his lunch, I wont blame him if he does have to eat out. But its rare that that’ll happen. Lately I’ve been making a lot of crockpot meals so we’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. I’ve also been focusing on making delicious recipes so he wont miss eating out over the weekends. Often times before, we would go to Jamba Juice and buy a smoothie but now if we’re craving a smoothie, we’ll just make one at home. Its a whole lot cheaper that way. And you’d be surprised how much it adds up when you’re eating out.

4. My next tip is to look through the coupons you get sent to your door. Before we wouldn’t even bother and would just throw them out right away. ( I know, we were super wasteful :/ ) but now I take the time to look through them. I’m not a super couponer or anything so you won’t see me at the store taking out a binder of coupons (not that that’s a bad thing, I’m just not at that level). But if I do see a coupon for something that we use on a regular basis or for eating out, I’ll make sure to save it. For example, just last week I found a coupon for a free pizza. There were no strings attached either, we didn’t have to buy anything else. So last Friday for our day of eating out, we literally spent $0 on dinner. That was amazing to me and quite exhilarating to be honest lol😄

5. I’ve also been loving no spend weeks. I often will just do one week at a time and then the following week I will let myself buy something that I’ve been wanting (home decor, makeup, etc…) But lately I’m doing no spend months (since we’ll be moving into our new home in a little over a month) and I want us to save up as much as possible so we can have enough to make the renovations on the house that we’re wanting. I have been loving the challenge of not spending any money though. It really forces me to get creative and to find local events that are going on for free. It makes me do more hands on and nature things with my daughter. It’s been so nice and its getting easier over time. This is now my third week in a row of not spending any money on personal things and I’ve been so proud of myself for it.

As we’ve gone over the numbers to see if we can afford a house, I’ve realized that we’ve had the money all along but because of our mindless spending, the money would just slip through our fingers and in the end we wouldn’t have enough for anything else because we had spent it all on meaningless stuff. But spending like we were was just keeping us in the same situation of living in a small outdated apartment that we really didn’t want to be in. I’m so happy that we’re finally taking control of our money so we can really do the things we want with it and not just waste it. It makes me feel so good too as a stay at home mom because I know that I’m helping my family save TONS just by spending smarter. Sometimes us stay at home moms can feel like we’re not contributing enough to the family but I can see now that I am. By being more mindful with our money, I’m enabling us to be able to buy our own home. If it wasn’t for that, we’d always be stuck in the same boat. Because even if I went out and got a job, with our reckless spending, we still wouldn’t have any money left over.

This experience has helped me to see that we need to be in control of our money so we can take it in the direction we want to go. It all comes down to priorities and about what you want most. If you really want a house, then making these changes won’t be such a big deal. But if you rather have stuff, then that’s OK but just know that you may not be able to save for other things. I hope these tips will help you guys with getting a rein on your money so that you can soon move into a home of your own. It’s such an exciting, new chapter in our lives and I cant wait to share all the details, home decor, remodels, and DIYs that we do on the place. Which tip did you find the most helpful? And if you have any tips of your own, please let me know in the comments below. I’ll take all the help I can get!😄

Till Next Time,

Paula Moral

The Problem With Living Your Best Life

I’m sure by now so many of you have heard the phrase “live your best life”. A motto like that has good intentions I’m sure. But the more I see that way of thinking affecting people today (youths especially), the more I’m starting to feel that a phrase like that just does more harm than good. Let me explain…

I have seen that this motto of living your best life is actually starting to make a lot of people stressed out and feel under pressure. It creates this way of thinking that if at any moment you are unhappy with anything in your life, you need to drop it immediately because it’s keeping you from living your best life. It’s causing us, especially as a generation, to not work as hard as those before us. It’s as if we no longer want to have to endure the hard work that comes along with so many good things in life because why go through that if it’s not “your best life”. Here are some examples.

Take marriage for instance. In prior generations, marriage actually meant something. It was a lifelong commitment to your partner; a promise that even when things got rough, you would still stick it out and work through those it all. But now, we are so quick to give up! If we don’t feel constantly infatuated and in love with our partner, we want to end it. Instead of having that enduring love for our partners, we are so quick to give up because in that moment, we are not “living our best life”. We think, “why go through this if I can just end it and be with someone else who I don’t have problems with”. The thing is though, sooner or later we will start to have problems and disagreements even with that new beau. That infatuation wears off and before you know it, you’re right back where you were with your last partner. We are so quick to think about the what feels best in the moment rather than thinking about the long term consequences of our actions.

Another example is work. Before, it was long understood that you have to do the nitty-gritty, dirty work before you can make your way to the “top”. It was understood that you have to work your way up in your career which meant that you’d probably have to start out doing work that you hated. But it was worth it because there was a goal in sight and you knew that this was the way to start on your road to success. That was the understanding before but now, people just want their first job to be their dream job. They want to start out making millions. I have seen so many people that refuse to do any work (even though their dirt broke and living off their parents) simply because it’s not their dream job or not “what they want to be doing with their lives”. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! It doesn’t matter if this is what you want to do with your life or not. The bottom line is you need money right now for your day to day expenses. You may have to work a retail job, a waitressing job, or at as a gas station clerk for the moment. That doesn’t mean you have to work there indefinitely. You can work on reaching your career goals on the side while you also work a not so glamorous job to get by. That’s just life. But now that we have this expectation that we have to constantly be living our best life, the thinking now is “why work at a job I hate if it’s not my best life?” And I agree that you don’t have to stay at a job that makes you miserable (at least not forever) but you may for a time have to stick it out, just until you have something else you can lean on financially. We have lost our work ethic. We no longer know how to work hard and to endure anything. We want to give up and quit so easily and it’s all because we’re basically told that we should.

Another reason why I don’t like this motto is that I feel it keeps us constantly dissatisfied. Years ago, people would appreciate their “mundane” lives. They appreciated their family unit, their home, they had a steady income, good health, basically they had all their needs met and they were satisfied. Now, we are always constantly striving to be bigger and better. We no longer are OK in a normal family home. No, now we want to live a luxurious fast lifestyle. We want fast cars, exotic trips around the world, a mansion, lots of money, we basically want the life of a celebrity. We’re no longer satisfied with the typical family life because why be satisfied with just that when you can have it all? In a way, it causes us to be greedy because we think that there’s always better out there for us. But you know what, the grass is always greener and will always be. We will always think that there is more out there that will make us happy. But having that mindset is exactly why happiness will always elude us. We will never be content and satisfied in life so we will always feel that we need to trade in our life for a bigger and better one and then we will finally be happy.

I also feel like that saying keeps us from being content with our bodies. I don’t mind people working out and trying to look their best. But I do have a problem when people are constantly going through plastic surgeries and injections, trying to obtain the “perfect” look. It’s no judgement against any person. I think if I had some extreme “flaw” that really made me self conscious, I would maybe consider getting it fixed. But most of the times that’s not what’s happening. People want to give their lips the “perfect” pout, they want to shave their nose down ever so slightly and get injections in their butt to look like a photoshopped version of a celebrity. These aren’t major “flaws”. There is nothing wrong with them to begin with. This is obsessing over your body and trying to get it to obtain a look that you can never achieve (because it’s fake). But we are told to live our best life, which at times involves doing whatever it takes to be “happy” even if it is going under risky, life threatening surgeries. But again, these things hardly ever end with someone feeling happy and satisfied with their results. It often becomes an obsession. Once they see one thing “wrong” they start noticing all these other things they’d like to fix too.

Living your best life basically makes you feel like you can never be satisfied with your current life. You must always be improving and bettering until you one day you are living your best life. It causes us to see “problems” in our life that we never saw before. We are told that we can’t be satisfied being “just a mom”, or a dad who works a normal 9-5 job and comes home to his happy family. Why settle with that when you can have a bigger and better life?

And that ladies and gentlemen is why I hate when we say “live your best life”. I understand that it has good intentions. It basically is supposed to be motivation to better yourself and your life and I am always for that. But I feel the actual outcome of trying to live by this motto is just a generation of people who are never satisfied. When ever we have problems, we just want to drop whatever is causing them and runaway from it. We no longer want to put in the work that most great things in life require. But the thing is that most of the time we have to muddle through the rough times to enjoy the good ones waiting for us on the the other side.

Let me know in the comments below what you guys think. Do you agree with my viewpoint or do you think I’m just taking it all too seriously? I would really love to hear from you and see how you guys feel about it. But until then, I’ll see you all next time. Bye!

Paula

Self Love Series-Part 1: Why It Is So Important To Wear Clothes That Fit You Right Now (And Get Rid Of Those That Don’t)

To many that may seem like a basic concept: just wear clothes that are your correct size. But for years, I and along with so many others, have been wearing the wrong size. It’s normally because we want to use it as a motivator to lose weight or because we’re too embarrassed to have to shop for larger sizes. I personally just realized right now as a 22 year old that I have been wearing clothes that were about one to two sizes too small. And I would always wonder how come my clothes always felt so tight and uncomfortable no matter how much weight I lost. I figured that as long as a certain size fit me, that meant that it was my size. So even though XS clothing would be super tight on me, I would buy it thinking that was my size. Even when I would feel terribly uncomfortable in that clothing, I wouldn’t dare size up. I feared that would just cause me to gain more and more weight and that I would just continuously size up from there. I felt that this was the size I was supposed to be so if my clothes felt tight, I would just have to lose more weight (even though the clothes never really fit me to begin with). I want to talk to you though about why I think that’s such a toxic thing to do for your self esteem especially if you’re someone like me who’s on a self love journey.

Wearing clothes that are too tight for you because you think it’ll motivate you to lose weight may be doing more harm than good. When you wear clothes that are so restrictive that it makes it hard to breath, it feels like you’re torturing yourself. And why do we do it? So that it could hopefully move us to lose weight. But doesn’t that seem like an act of hate towards our bodies, like we’re punishing ourselves? I sure feel that way. Plus, when you wear clothes that are too small, it just doesn’t look good. So not only do you not feel comfortable, you also probably don’t feel your most attractive. Why do we do that to ourselves? We then say, well when I lose the weight these clothes will finally fit better. So are we supposed to just endure our achingly tight jeans and shirt that is so small it shows off each and every roll we have? That may take months. By doing that, we send ourselves the message that we don’t deserve to feel good in what we wear or how we look until we make ourselves smaller and that’s not right.

I’ve just recently sized up in my clothing (like literally this past month) and finally got the right size for me. I was still trying to fit into the same size that I wore as a 15 year old girl even though I am now 22. My body has changed so much in that time, just as it rightfully should. In that time my hips have widen, I have grown and birthed my beautiful baby girl, and I have completed puberty. How can I expect my now grown and womanly body to still fit the same size as a young teenager? I finally bought clothes in a size medium and let me tell you, I feel 1000 times better about myself. I am so much more confident about the way I look. My clothes flatter me now. And I just generally feel so much better about myself. To be honest with you, I was scared of going up to a medium size. I wanted to stay with the label of small or extra small. It’s silly, I know, because just because your clothes have a certain label on them doesn’t mean they’re going to look good on your body type or size. Isn’t that what we all want, to look good in whatever it is we’re wearing? And the crazy thing is, depending on the brand you may have to go up or down a size. So that just goes to show that a size label is just that, a label.

By writing this article, I’m not saying that you can’t have weight loss goals or want to be a smaller size. I believe in self improvement and bettering your body with exercise and healthy eating. I just feel when self loves comes into play, it’ll help you to still strive towards those goals but in a way that is allowing you to still be kind and loving to yourself. So you won’t have to starve yourself or wear clothes that make you feel bad all in the name of weight loss. You can still lose weight but in a way that shows your body and yourself that you love you. You can do it with clean eating and exercise because those things make you feel good, and not because you hate yourself or your appearance.

So please go into your closet today and get rid of all those clothes that don’t make you feel good about yourself. It may be a process that takes some time. It all depends on how quickly you’re able to replace those clothes with new ones that are your true size. But it is definitely something that is worth doing. Stop forcing yourself to feel uncomfortable day in and day out in hopes that one day you’ll lose the weight and your small clothes will start to fit you better. You deserve to feel good now and if you did happen to lose weight later on then you could always buy yourself some new clothes then. You don’t have to wait till you’re a certain size to feel confident. You can do that right now.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article and that it was something you could take to heart. If you did like it, then please leave a comment or a like down below so I know to write more pieces like this for you guys. I hope you all have a good day and I’ll see you next time.

Thanks,

Paula Moral