6 Strategies I’m Using to Save Money and Pay Off Debt in 2018

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Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” I have big goals for 2018, so I need a solid plan to tackle them. I’ve been racking my brain for weeks now in order to come up with ideas to help me reach my goals. Strategies that help me save money and still bring myself closer to my goal of financial freedom.

In 2018 my strategies for saving money and paying off debt are going to center around the following:

Buying my kids clothing off season

I love buying used clothing for my kids, but sometimes good quality clothes that are in fashion are hard to find in my kids sizes. Maybe it’s because they are at an age where jeans can only last 3-4 months before holes are appearing in the knee, but whatever it is my last three trips to my favorite used clothing store have been a bust. I have had more luck on apps such as Poshmark (sign up with code OHANA1 to get 5.00 off your first purchase), but not enough to make a huge dent in my kids closets.

So this year I have devised a new plan, or really it’s an old plan that I am reimplementing, to buy my kids clothing a year beforehand. For example, an adorable sweater for my daughter over half off at Target in next years size.

This strategy requires patience, such as waiting until stores are offering additional discounts off of clearance wracks, but it can be very rewarding.

Meal Planning and Couponing

In 2018 I plan to get hardcore into meal planning again, as well as couponing in my own way. I plan to do a whole post and follow up YouTube video on my grocery shopping and couponing strategies in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned!

Balancing My Bank Account Every Week

It’s hard to save money if you are not keeping track of exactly how much money you have. In 2018 I plan to write down every transaction I make as I make it, as well as balancing the checkbook once a week to keep our household on track. To balance my checkbook I use a really easy system. Just a notebook where I can draw the lines myself and keep an entire years worth of transactions in one place.

Practicing The Art of Saying No

Aw, this is a hard one for me. I have a tendency to be a yes person, I really care about what others think. So if someone invites me to their new MLM business party, I feel obligated to go. Like being a good friend is tied into saying yes and giving them my money. Thankfully I chose strategically when I picked the first book from my 2018 Reading List. The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*CK has helped me learn that saying no doesn’t mean I’m a jerk, and that I can do so in a way that doesn’t hurt others feelings.

So this year I am practicing saying no more often, and saving my f*cks (and money) for things I really and truly care about.

Budget, Budget, Budget

I feel like this one is a given, but still needs to be said. A budget is the key to keeping your finances on track. If you don’t tell your money where to go it gets reckless. This year I am committed to budgeting every single penny. That way I don’t get off track like I did last year (and the year before).

Rewarding Myself

Finally, I will reward myself. Which may seem counterproductive to my end goal but I feel that it is important. Blow money every month will help control my impulse shopping, and setting rewards for goals will hopefully help me stay motivated. I just have to make sure my rewards are frugal but still fun. Like a new bottle of nail polish, or a coffee at my favorite local cafe.

My 2018 Reading List

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Before I became a mom I loved to read. Well, I still love to read, but motherhood has kind of made me put it on the backburner. I used to stay up all night devouring books, and now I barely get five minutes here and there to open them up. But I want to get back to it, I want to go back to that place where I can zone out in my own little world. A place where I can run off to at night once the kids are in bed. It has to be better than the world of Facebook.

Because of that I have decided not to do any crazy resolutions in 2018. Nothing full of massive pressure like lose weight, or stop cussing (let’s get real, I’ll probably never stop cussing) and instead resolve to do something that brings me happiness.

My goal is to read two books a month, each month in 2018. And because I am neurotic I have already compiled my list of books I will read. Some are new releases that I can’t wait to get my hands on, and some are a few years old that I am ashamed to admit I haven’t gotten my hands on yet. Check out my list below and let me know what you think.

My 2018 Reading List:

  1. Parenting With Love And Logic
  2. The Fault In Our Stars
  3. Eleanor & Park
  4. Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children
  5. The Casual Vacancy
  6. Get Your Shit Together
  7. White Houses
  8. I Thought It Was Just Me ( But It Isn’t)
  9. I am Malala
  10. Gone Girl
  11. Water for Elephants
  12. This Heart of Mine
  13. Go Set A Watchman
  14. The Nest
  15. The Cursed Child
  16. Love Your Life Not Theirs
  17. Start
  18. The Spring Girls
  19. The English Wife
  20. The Handmaids Tale
  21. The Millionaire Next Door
  22. The Lost Girls
  23. The Red Clocks
  24. The Go Getter 

    Do you have a book you think I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!