Saturday, November 28, 2015

Buy Thanksgiving Items Now; Bring Out Christmas Items Bought Last Year

Now is the time of year to buy Thanksgiving items! As you see here, you can often get up to 90% off Thanksgiving items if you buy them after Thanksgiving rather than before! Usually for the first few days afterwards, they are 50% - 75% off but, keep your eyes out through the month of December and you can get items for up to 90% off their original prices!

A Table Runner for $2.59 rather than $12.99.

Place-mats for .59 each rather than $2.99 each,

Now is also the time of year to bring out the Christmas items you bought last year for up to 90% off. Now is not the time of year to buy Christmas items. I would suggest going without what you want this year if you did not buy them on clearance last year. This is an exercise in self-discipline. If you buy what you want now because you forgot or didn't do it on clearance last year, you will likely overspend and not have the desire to buy more when it is on clearance. If you wait and make do this year, you will have given yourself the incentive you need to remember to buy clearance. 

Christmas cards for .39 rather than $3.99.

A tablecloth for .99 rather than $9.99. 

Ornaments for .79 rather than $7.99.

 When you are tempted to buy what you want at a convenient time, rather than waiting for sales, remember that buying like this is going to save you money for other things. Try to give yourself a thought of what you are going to do with those savings to better your life. Are you going to pay bills you would otherwise have to worry about? Are you going to pay down debt? Are you going to save your pennies so you can invest? You can buy smart and still enjoy almost everything you otherwise would. If you really wanted a certain color scheme this year, tell yourself you will in time. There are some sacrifices to be made to live frugally, but in time, you should be able to turn things around for yourself and be able to have what you want. In the meantime, you are being smart and having goals that will take you places.

Happy Savings!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Why I Don't Shop Black Friday Sales

                       $$Black Friday$$                       
I don't go out on Black Friday. I usually stay home and catch up on housecleaning and put up my Christmas decorations. The main reason for this is that I don't like big crowds and having to fight my way for deals. You can get some good deals on Black Friday. If I were looking for a certain big ticket item, I might look for a Black Friday deal, but probably not. 

As far as smaller deals, I find I can get smaller deals all year round if I just keep my eyes out for them. I don't have to get up early in the morning and fight for these deals, I can just quietly get them and put them up for Christmas.

As for the bigger deals, I am more likely to look on Craigslist for something used unless it is an electronic item. Electronics can be harder to get used. But often, Black Friday big ticket items have a limited number of items they are selling so, if I got up, camped out and fought other people for these items, the item might not even be available by the time I got to the counter. 

Some people enjoy Black Friday sales with family and love the competition. They look at it as a game and go with sisters etc and then have lunch together. For some people it is just fun and although they are hoping for some deals the focus is more on fun and time together. I think these are some good, fun reasons if you like that sort of thing and don't mind the crowds.

For me, often you'll just find me quietly enjoying the day, putting up my tree, cleaning and getting caught up (because I always need to catch up! Ha!)

For the rest of you, enjoy the sales and Happy Savings! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How My Husband Quit His Job and Retired at Age 48

After writing the blog on how I created my own online business, I thought I should tell the story of how my husband quit his job and retired at age 48. My husband just recently left his job. This took a lot of planning and thinking ahead.

My husband and I always had the dream of working for ourselves rather than for "the man". This was something we worked toward from the beginning (we married at ages 18 and 19. Too young, I know!) We were very poor at the beginning and barely had enough money to put food on the table. I received WIC for both our children, which is a government program for Women, Infants and Children and we got a little food from that every month. I'm sure we could have qualified for food stamps but we wanted to make it on our own as much as possible and we never wanted to be charity cases.

We were attending a church at that time where the pastor was involved in rental properties. We learned about rental properties from him and bought our first house at ages 19 and 20. This was a repossessed house our pastor had found. It was perfect for us and I loved that little house. This was the beginning of being on the right financial track as we were gaining equity and not paying a landlord. We actually got into this house with no money down. The bank was selling to another bank and I think they wanted their books to look as good as possible. So, we were blessed to get this deal. We lived in this house for five years. We bought another house and used this little one as a rental. We lived very frugally and rarely spent money on frivolous things. We saved up a lot of money and had a nice nest egg. However, in time we made some bad financial decisions as sometimes people do. Sometimes, in spite of best efforts, there can be setbacks.

We had to reassess. We looked at people who were very successful and realized that they too had made bad investments sometimes but the people who were still successful were the ones who brushed off and moved forward. We realized we had to do the same thing.

During the previous years we had owned 5 rental properties. Because of circumstances, we sold them all. This was fortunate, however, because we sold most of them around 2005. There was a housing crash in 2008 and many, many people lots great sums of equity in their houses. If we were going to sell, we sold at the right time.

Still, we were back to the beginning financially and had to start over. This was hard. My husband got cancer. It was a hard fight emotionally, financially and physically. We both worked and I did what I always do with my income; I squirreled it away. Since I stayed at home when the kids were young, we were used to living on one income, no matter how tight. And it was tight.

With the money I squirreled away and money my husband saved up, we eventually began making more investments. In the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, he talks about passive income. Passive income is income you make from investments. It is money that you don't have to work for and don't get paid by the hour. This might be rental income, dividends or some other type of income that you get from using your mind rather than using your physical labor. This was our goal.

It took a number of years yet again to save money and make investments that would give us this passive income. My husband had a really good job and it was a very difficult decision to make for him to leave. However, we felt we were at the place where he could leave and we could still grow the business.

Another plus to this business plan, besides being able to retire from a day job, is the fact that it is a family business and you have something to pass on to your children. If you have a day job, you have nothing to pass on. You are not building equity. You can't pass an education on but you can pass a business on.

So, in building passive income there can be lots of ups and downs. It is not for the faint of heart. But it can give you great options and an exciting life. It can give you freedom.

It starts with saving pennies. This is why I am passionate about writing about savings. You can start with a small family getting WIC and end up with a retirement party at age 48. The first thing to do is begin to educate yourself. Begin paying down any debt. Save your pennies. There is the idea in our culture that if you are poor there is no way to climb up. It can be done but it takes diligence.

Right now, we are poised to grow. We have passive income and our needs are met. The sky is the limit! It depends on how hard we want to work.

So, Dream Big and Happy Savings!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How I Built an Online Business and Quit My Job (And How You Can Too!)

I work for myself. I love it because my time is flexible and I only answer to myself. If I'm sick, I take some time off. If I want to take a vacation, there is nobody to ask! Many people have asked me how I do this since I left my job about 2 years ago. Many people would love to do this but have no idea how.

The first thing I would like to say is that working from home doesn't mean sloughing off. Working at home means literally, working at home. First, you need to be a self-starter. You need self-discipline. You need to be able to work without anyone to be accountable to except yourself. Many people say they would like to work for themselves, but then don't really do what it takes to make that happen. They feel it's just too hard. So, step one is deciding if this is what you really want or if it just sounds nice.

I started out on this journey and goal about 10 years ago. As I said previously, I left my job two years ago. This means that I worked at trying to figure out how to build my business, what products to sell, how to get inventory etc, for 8 years before I jumped ship. I even gave up and went to school for a while thinking this was not going to happen, but eventually, it did! It took perseverance and a willingness to work when I wasn't at my job.

Being a frugal person (I assume since you are reading this blog you are one!) is the first step to running your own business. The reason this is the first step is because as a frugal person, you know how to buy products for less than what other people normally pay. The secret to having your own business is to buy low and sell at a higher price. This is called your margin. The wider a margin you can have between the products you buy and sell, the more money you make. I try to have at least a $10.00 margin on my items in order to make it worth my time to list them.

Finding your product is important. It took me a long time to find the right mix of products to sell. After eight years of trial and error, I was on my way. I found some products that I could find regularly to buy and sell. These products had a decent margin. I found a platform to sell on. There are a lot of different online places to sell. Some of the most popular are:


I sell on both Ebay and Amazon and sometimes on Craigslist.

Learning your way around some of these sites can take a lot of time. I would suggest while you are looking for your products to sell, you list some things on your site of choice to familiarize yourself with the site, payment methods, communications etc. You tube can have some good tutorials for some sites too. 

Another thing that took me a long time was actually making the leap. The reason for this was the time I spent at work was actually holding me back from seeing what could be done and spending that time on my business. My Mom sells on Etsy (handmade seaglass jewlery. See her website at She also has an etsy site at She is retired. Watching her, I began to see what a person could do with more time and online selling. So, finally, I took the leap! I spend maybe on average 25 hours a week working on my online business. Last year, I made more money at my online business than I did at my highest paying job (I usually worked part-time). As I said before, this means working those hours and not diddling them away (like on frugality blogs haha!) but is also means much more freedom and no office politics! (Hear those angels singing?? :))

Another prerequisite to running your own business is you need to be able to manage money well. (Goes hand in hand with frugality!) The reason for this is you will have bills and you will need to pay them. If you spend all your money and can't pay the bills your business accumulates, your business will fail. Last year, more than 2/3 of the money that came into my business was business expenses and then there are taxes too.  

I love working for myself and find it has great advantages. If you want it badly enough you can make it happen with some time, patience and diligence!

Here is an article I found with some ideas:

My husband also recently left his day job. Besides my online business, we also have a mini-storage business and some rental property. Reading some books on these subjects can be helpful. A couple books are Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and The Millionaire Next Door  by Thomas J. Stanley.

Happy Building!