30 Day Challenges: Expand Your Mind and Comfort Zone

I’m coming to realize more and more that psychology and habits are more important than knowledge when it comes to making yourself into a better person. Honestly, if I could only observe a single trait that would let me know if someone will be successful in life it would be: Self Control. Wealth, health and fulfilling relationships all require high levels of self control to be successful. In fact, it is difficult to live a truly fulfilled life if you lose control in one of these areas.

challengeThe idea of a 30 Day Challenge appeals to me because a complete, permanent lifestyle change feels like a daunting task. But I can do anything for 30 days! I’m willing to try something extreme when I know I only have to do it for a short period of time. Giving up coffee forever sounds terrible but spending 30 days to break the caffeine addiction sounds both achievable and rewarding.

Lifestyle design is the art of figuring out what you want your life to look like and designing a plan to get there. Often, we have habits that are keeping us from living the life we truly desire. Have you ever identified exactly what you want out of life? How comfortable are you with change? Traditionally, are habits easy or difficult for you to change? Continue reading 30 Day Challenges: Expand Your Mind and Comfort Zone

Healthy Eating for a Family on $200 a Month

Author: Ms. Simple Economist (Awesome Mom and Registered Dietitian)

The new year is here and for most of us our resolutions probably involve eating healthy and taking control of our spending habits. These two goals interact on a daily basis as we plan our meals, prepare and eat food, allocate how much we are going to spend on food, and create new habits to manage our weight. Have you ever thought about how much you spend on food each month? Where does most of your food come from? Do you cook or eat out? These are the questions that ultimately affect our waistlines and our budgets.

What if I said you could eat healthy and feed a family for $200 a month? May sound crazy, but it’s possible if you start making some simple changes to your eating and spending habits. My husband and I have been successfully living off of a grocery budget of $200/month for almost two years now and continue to do so after having a baby girl this past December all without using coupons.

I know families come in many different sizes and with certain dietary needs or restrictions that can influence how much you allocate to your food budget. However, there are some simple steps you can take to start feeding your family for less. Continue reading Healthy Eating for a Family on $200 a Month

How to Get a Good Deal on Anything

This is the question I get asked most often: How did you get such a deal on that? For me, getting a deal is important because I enjoy having high quality objects. I would much rather have a few nice things than a house full of disposable items. The great part about having nice things is they typically maintain their value and produce less waste than their expendable counterparts.

The four steps to getting a deal:

1. Decide Exactly What You Want
2. Know What a Deal Is
3. Decide Where to Buy
4. Negotiation and Purchase

Step 1. Figure Out Exactly What You Want

The more information you have, the better chance you have of getting a deal. If you are looking for a car, take the time to research, test drive, and ask trusted friends or experts before you buy. Once you know what make and model you want, you have information to begin your search. Continue reading How to Get a Good Deal on Anything

Underestimated: The True Cost of Driving Your Car

The federal government estimates it cost 56¢ for every mile driven in a personal vehicle. Let that sink in for a minute. Over 50¢ a mile! How much does that short trip to the grocery store cost you? Your work commute? How many miles do you drive a year?

suvWhen most consumers think about the cost of driving, they typically estimate the cost of gas. Do you realize that generally gas only makes up about 25% of the cost of driving? If your car gets 30 mpg, at $4 a gallon, gas is approximately 13¢ per mile. That is less than one fourth of the cost of driving!

Transportation, and especially driving, tends to be one of the most underestimated expenses for the typical American household.

What are the true costs of driving?
Continue reading Underestimated: The True Cost of Driving Your Car