Image via Pexels
by Hal Salazar
Our relationship with money affects every aspect of our lives, from how we view ourselves to how we approach our careers and personal relationships. Unfortunately, many of us have negative or limiting beliefs about money that can hold us back from reaching our full potential. However, with some intentional effort, it's possible to change your frame of mind around money and tap into the abundance that life has to offer. Today, we explore some key strategies for shifting your perspective and achieving greater financial success.
Let Go of Past Financial Mistakes
Shifting one's perspective on money involves a profound journey of self-discovery and growth. An integral part of this transformation is learning to forgive oneself for past financial missteps. Embracing the idea that mistakes are valuable lessons rather than permanent failures is essential. By letting go of self-blame and instead focusing on the knowledge gained, individuals can empower themselves to make better decisions moving forward. This process not only fosters a healthier relationship with money but also paves the way for more informed choices, ultimately leading to a brighter financial future.
Avoid the Comparison Trap
Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself and your money to others. It's easy to think that success is defined by material possessions, but that mindset is limiting and unproductive. Instead, focus on your own values and priorities. What really matters to you? Align your financial goals with those priorities and you'll find more motivation and fulfillment than trying to keep up with someone else's idea of success.
Cultivate Healthy Financial Habits
One of the most effective ways to change your frame of mind about money is by cultivating healthy habits around spending, saving, and investing. This might mean tracking your expenses, creating a budget, automating savings, or setting up a retirement account. Whatever steps you take, the key is to make small, consistent changes that will add up over time. By making your financial health a daily priority, you'll become more mindful and intentional about your money choices, leading to greater success and abundance in the long run.
Use Credit with Prudence
Credit can be a powerful tool for achieving financial goals, but it can also be a liability if used improperly. One key to using credit wisely is to maintain a low debt-to-income ratio. This means keeping your credit card balances low relative to your income, and avoiding opening new accounts or taking on new debt unless it is absolutely necessary. Another important consideration is to stay on top of your credit score. By checking your credit report regularly and disputing any errors or inaccuracies, you can ensure that your credit score accurately reflects your financial health.
Education as a Route to Financial Stability
For those seeking a transformative shift in their money mindset, consider the advantages of higher education as a catalyst for a brighter financial horizon. Getting a degree offers a strategic pathway to enhance financial prospects. For example, getting a degree in education offers a stable future as a teacher, and paves the way for long-term employment prospects. Plus with the rise of online degree programs, flexibility and affordability are within reach, enabling you to balance learning with existing commitments. To find a program that fits your circumstances, you may consider these options.
Connect with a Financial Advisor
For individuals aiming to reshape their perspectives on money, delving into the world of wise investments accompanied by a financial advisor can yield remarkable benefits. Embracing the guidance of a seasoned financial professional can demystify the complexities of investment, fostering a proactive and informed approach. By understanding risk management, diversification, and long-term planning, you not only fortify your financial literacy but also cultivate a sense of empowerment over your financial journey. A skilled advisor can help tailor strategies to your unique goals, ensuring your investments align with your aspirations.
Starting Your Own Business
Another excellent way to support future financial stability is by starting your own business, which not only provides an additional income stream but also allows you to build an asset that can grow in value over time. The process involves identifying a viable business idea, creating a comprehensive business plan, securing funding, and setting up your operations.
Changing your mindset about money can be a challenging but rewarding process that can lead to lifelong success. By shifting your focus from short-term gains to long-term goals, and by adopting a growth-oriented and proactive attitude toward your finances, you can achieve financial stability, security, and freedom. Remember that transforming your mindset is not a one-time event, but a continuous journey that requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn and adapt. With the right mindset and habits, you can build a solid foundation for your financial future and enjoy the benefits of a life well-lived.
Hal Salazar is a rcontributor for The Frugal Lifestyle. He has written several great articles on how to live a frugal yet richer life. Hal is newly retired, and as he embarked on planning and preparing for his golden years, he realized there was a lot of information to keep up with so he started gathering it all and created Elders.Today to lend a helping hand to other seniors via carefully curated resources. When Hal isn’t working on Elders.Today, he enjoys walking at his local park, testing out new recipes with his wife, Marlene, and playing piano.
Image via Unsplash
It's that time of the year for All Things Pumpkin! I'm sharing this great article from The Penny Hoarder on creative and tasty ways to use pumpkins that you might've not thought of before. Enjoy!
Here’s the latest Halloween scoop: Pumpkins have an afterlife just like ghosts.
They aren’t just for jack-o’-lanterns anymore. Whether you’re into sustainable composting, pumpkin pancakes or Pinterest-worthy holiday decor, pumpkins serve so many more purposes than just becoming Jack o’ lanterns with scary faces.
When you make that all-important fall rite of passage and pick out the perfect pumpkin from a patch or the grocery store, consider all of this fruit’s possibilities (Yes, it’s a fruit.) Get the most out of your money and use that pumpkin for two, three or four more purposes.
What to Do With Your Pumpkin After Halloween
Whether it becomes a tasty snack or a creative project, you can get a lot more life out of your pumpkin.
The Top Choice? Eat Your Pumpkin
Eating your pumpkin is probably the most enjoyable way to use it. There’s a pumpkin recipe for every part of your gourd — even those stringy guts. While carving pumpkins aren’t quite as flavorful as other varieties (such as sugar or pie pumpkins), they’ll still work for any of these dishes.
Make Pumpkin Puree
While it doesn’t sound appetizing on its own, pumpkin puree is the gourd’s gift that keeps on giving.
It’s incredibly versatile: You’ll be able to turn your puree into pumpkin muffins, breads and soups down the road — or even a delicious Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Pumpkin puree is the base for most of the dishes on this list. Creating the puree is simple: Just boil, bake or steam your pumpkin, according to Good Housekeeping. If you used a real candle in your Jack-o’ lantern, make sure to cut off and discard any burned sections or leftover wax. The puree freezes well for future use; I like to use zip-closure freezer bags, filled and partially flattened for easy stacking.
Brew Pumpkin Spice Latte
Curl up on your own couch with a homemade pumpkin spice latte. Save time and money and make that “me time” a little more cozy. Here’s a recipe that can even be vegan from Champagne-Tastes.com.
Enjoy a Pumpkin Cocktail or Pumpkin Beer
For those looking for something a little stronger than a latte, pumpkins can give a seasonal touch to custom cocktails, too. Here’s an easy recipe from SeriousEats.com for making pumpkin liqueur to mix with vodka. And what goes better with Halloween than a pumpkin martini? Are you getting in a festive mood? Liquor.com offers 11 recipes for drinks that taste better with a dash of pumpkin. From a pumpkin Toddy to a pumpkin nog, there’s a drink with a hint of fall in it suitable for any palate.
Bake a Pumpkin Lasagna
Need a dinner idea for Nov. 1? Try this yummy vegetarian pumpkin lasagna. Taste of Home calls it a “comforting fall dish” — who doesn’t love those?
Make Pumpkin Butter
This seasonal treat is delicious on toast, in smoothies or on oatmeal. You can make it pumpkin spice season all year if you freeze extra pumpkin puree. Check out this simple recipe on Oh She Glows. (Bonus, if this is important to you: It’s vegan).
Snack on Roasted Seeds
They’re a classic snack for a reason. A handful of roasted pumpkin seeds is a delicious way to get iron, magnesium, zinc and a healthy dose of fiber. Roasting them is simple — just dry out the seeds and bake them on a baking sheet with olive oil and salt. Then, play with toppings to find the ones that work for you: salt and pepper, chili powder or cinnamon and clove are all good options.
Make Vegetable Stock with the Guts
While the flesh and seeds are often popular foods, the stringy insides of pumpkins usually go straight to the trash or compost. No more! Try adding them to other veggie bits like carrot tops and/or onion ends to make a flavorful stock.
Bake Pumpkin Gut Bread
If you’re looking for something a little heartier than soup, try this recipe from Diana Johnson of Eating Richly. She calculates that making two loaves costs about $2.
Cook Pumpkin Risotto
Another way to put those pumpkin guts to use: Try this delicious pumpkin risotto that Gothamist Editor Nell Casey adapted from The New York Times.
Make Pumpkin Pickles
If you’re pickle-obsessed, you’ll want to try these babies. For a sweeter pickle to go with desserts or cheese platters, try this pickled sugar pumpkin recipe from Serious Eats.
Dry Pumpkin Skin into Chips
This is a whole different kind of chip that’s filling and fun.
Use a dehydrator or your oven to dry the skin into crispy chips for snacks or garnishes, recommends Gina Harney of Fitnessista.
Decorate With Pumpkins
Even if Halloween is over, fall continues. Pumpkins make great additions to your home, garden and holiday decorations.
Use Pumpkins as Serving Bowls
Save on decorations (and dishwashing) by using pumpkins as serving bowls for soup or cider.
Here’s an easy way to make a pumpkin bowl, from Sanam Lamborn of My Persian Kitchen.
Turn a Pumpkin into a Planter
Keep the fall festivities going by using your pumpkin as a planter for a small potted plant.
The planter will last for several weeks, and then you can plant it directly in your garden to decompose.
Create a Pumpkin Bird Feeder
Feeling artsy? Feed your neighborhood birds by making this simple bird feeder from Instructables.
Save Them for Your Thanksgiving Table
No need to spend extra money on table decorations — plan to keep a pumpkin or two, and you’ll be all set. Use Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. Your pumpkins will make it to Thanksgiving as long as you choose wisely. An uncarved, healthy pumpkin “can last 8 to 12 weeks,” according to Cornell University horticulturist Steve Reiners on NPR.
Make Pumpkin Snowmen
Three white pumpkins or three pumpkins painted white make up a really hip snowman on your front steps. Look at this cute, crafty way to make it happen. You’ll get an early start on your winter decorating. And, if you’re feeling entrepreneurial, you could even try selling your creations.
Image via Unsplash
If you don’t want to cook or decorate with pumpkins, what else can you do? Try one of these fun ideas.
Relax With a Pumpkin Face Mask
Out late at a Halloween party? Recharge your skin with pumpkin’s good-for-you vitamins A, C and E.
You’ll only need to add honey and milk, according to this simple recipe from Beautylish. Add this to the list of fun ways to save money with DIY beauty products!
Build a Pumpkin Catapult
If you’d rather throw your pumpkin than eat it or decorate with it, try building a pumpkin catapult or trebuchet. This is not as quick and easy as most of our suggestions so far, but it could make for some good family bonding time out in the driveway.
Transform a Pumpkin Into a Canvas
Pumpkin painting is a great chance for kids to have fun creating art with pumpkins, especially if they’re a little young for carving tools. All you need is some butcher or craft paper, a few paper plates and washable paint. Or get a little more creative — The Artful Parent explains the details.
Save the Seeds
Not a fan of eating the seeds? Instead, hold onto them to plant in your garden next spring. Kids will enjoy watering the seeds and think they’ve seen a magical trick when those little leaves start to sprout.
Growing your own pumpkins will save you money — and let you enjoy even more homemade treats next year.
Compost Your Pumpkin
At the very least, your leftover pumpkin can help you grow an incredible garden next year. Cut it into smaller pieces and toss it in the compost pile, then mix it into your soil next spring.
Ahh, Fall is in the (crisp) air! The Autumn Equinox officially started Saturday, September 23rd. In some parts of the country, the weather is starting to transition to be a bit cooler. The leaves are starting to turn beautiful colors and it's time to pull out those sweaters stored away for the summer! I do prefer Spring and Fall weather because it's much more pleasant (and cozier) for me.
Enjoy the Fall season by indulging in some great activities that are not only fun but free (or practically free)! For more tips and ideas on Fall happenings, click here.
Here are my top 15 fun and frugal Fall festivities and activities.
1. Decorate your home with collections of Fall inspired items such as pumpkins, pine cones, autumn leaves, branches, twigs, etc...
2. Create a welcoming DIY Fall decor at your front door like the photo above.
3. Bake a delicious pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread or some pumpkin cookies.
4. Visit a local pumpkin patch with your children for a kids point-of-view experience.
5. Do some Fall Cleaning... keep, sell, donate, or discard items you no longer want or need.
6. Before the weather gets too chilly, plan a picnic in the park and bring a blanket.
7. Take a relaxing stroll down your favorite Old Town and browse the shops for Fall inspirations.
8. Host an Autumn potluck party with dishes such as pumpkin soup, turkey sandwiches, etc...
9. Go for a hike or a bike ride while taking in the season's beautiful scenery.
10. Make your own creative DIY Halloween costume.
11. Sit in your favorite comfy chair with a great book while sipping a hot apple cider.
12. Start making homemade Christmas presents.
13. Attend a free local Fall festival or Oktoberfest event.
14. Check out a local museum on their free admission days.
15. Make a list of what you are thankful for. Not just for Fall but all year round.
By Loretta Kilday
Managing debt is critical to the journey when striving to achieve financial freedom. While cutting back on expenses and following a strict budget are essential, it doesn't mean sacrificing your personal life, especially when it comes to spending quality time with your partner. Frugal date night ideas offer a perfect solution, allowing you to strengthen your relationship, create cherished memories, stay out of debt, and get out of debt. In this article, we'll explore how frugal date nights can be valuable in your quest for financial stability.
One of the most romantic and cost-effective date night ideas is to have a stargazing picnic. Find a nearby park or a cozy spot away from city lights, lay out a blanket, and pack some homemade sandwiches and snacks. As the night sky unfolds its celestial beauty, you and your partner can relax, talk, and enjoy each other's company under the enchanting stars.
Ditch the expensive movie theatres and host a movie marathon at home. Select a theme or favorite movie series and prepare some popcorn and snacks. Snuggle up on the couch together and indulge in a cinematic experience without the hefty price tag. This cozy date night will bring back cherished memories and create new ones.
Unleash your creativity together by engaging in artistic endeavors. Visit a local art gallery on a free-entry day or create your mini art session at home. Buy inexpensive canvases, watercolors, or clay, and let your imaginations run wild. The process of making art together can be a deeply bonding experience.
Cooking Class for Two
Rather than splurging at a fancy restaurant, explore your culinary skills with a cooking class for two. Many local community centers or culinary schools offer affordable classes. Not only will you learn new recipes, but you'll also get to savor the delicious results of your joint efforts.
Board Game Bonanza
Rediscover the joy of board games during your date night. Dust off those classic board games, or borrow some from friends. You'll be surprised at how much fun and laughter can be shared over a friendly competition. Board games provide an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy each other's company without spending a dime.
Give back to the community by volunteering together. Find a cause you both care about and spend your date night making a positive impact. Whether it's at a local shelter, food bank, or environmental organization, working together for the greater good will strengthen your connection and foster a sense of fulfillment.
Bookstore or Library Date
For book-loving couples, a date night at a bookstore or library is a dream come true. Browse the shelves, recommend each other books, and find a cozy corner to read together. Reading in each other's company can be surprisingly intimate and insightful.
DIY Spa Night
Pamper yourselves with a relaxing DIY spa night at home. Prepare a soothing bubble bath, light scented candles, and put on some calming music. You can take turns giving each other massages or facial treatments. This date night will help you unwind and create an intimate, serene atmosphere.
Embrace your wanderlust by going on a spontaneous adventure around your city or town. Walk in a neighborhood you haven't explored, visit local landmarks, or discover hidden gems together. A sense of curiosity and discovery will make your date night exciting and memorable.
Set a date; at home.
Who said you have to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner? You can very well have a candlelight dinner at home itself. The soft and warm glow of candles creates a romantic atmosphere, setting the perfect mood for a date night. It adds an intimate and cozy feel to the setting, making the experience more special and memorable.
A candlelit dinner at home can be significantly cheaper than going to a fancy restaurant or engaging in costly activities. You can prepare a delicious homemade meal, saving money and adding a personal touch to the evening.
Frugal date night ideas provide financial stability and help you stay out of debt. By embracing simplicity, exploring nature, cooking together, volunteering, and hosting game nights, you can have enjoyable and memorable date nights without sacrificing your financial goals. Remember, the key to a successful frugal date night lies in the love, connection, and effort you put into creating lasting memories with your partner, reinforcing that true happiness doesn't require expensive price tags.
Attorney Loretta Kilday has over 36 years of litigation and transactional experience, specializing in business, collection, and family law. She frequently writes on various financial and legal matters. She is a graduate of DePaul University with a Juris Doctor degree and a spokesperson for Debt Consolidation Care (DebtCC) online debt relief forum. Please connect with her on LinkedIn for further information.
How does $200 cash sound to you? All it takes is to open a new Quicksilver card from Capital One.
Once you're approved, spend $500 within 90 days of account opening then receive your $200 cash bonus.
I will also receive a bonus for every referral which you can also do once you're approved. It's a win win!
There are so many other perks with this Quicksilver credit card, see complete list below.
1.5% Cash Back Everyday
Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase everyday.
5% Cash Back Bonus
Earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Cash Back Never Expires
Redeem your cash back when it suits you best, any time for any amount.
No Annual Fee
There are no annual fees EVER.
Capital One App
Manage your card anywhere with their app.
FICO® Credit Score for Free
Monitor your credit health for free with Credit Wise.
Summer is here and this favorite season is synonymous with the word fun!
The best things in life are free, which are our priceless memories and experiences.
Enjoy this summer with these fun, free or cheap & cheerful activities that won't break the bank.
1. Head to the beach or swimming pool
2. Explore new neighborhoods
3. Enjoy summer concerts
4. Stroll street fairs and festivals
5. Experience outdoor movie nights
6. Picnic under a shady tree
7. Explore free local museums
8. Plant a garden
9. Check out flea markets
10. Host a yard sale
Image via Pexels
1. Use Cash for Gas: I only pay cash for gasoline. The cash price per gallon is less expensive than if you’re paying with a credit or debit card. I use the app GasBuddy to help me locate the cheapest cash priced gas station near me.
2. Maximize Product Use: Extend the life of most personal care product by either cutting the tube of toothpaste or adding water to shampoo or conditioner to get most of the remaining stuff inside.
3. Do Meal Planning: Rather than going out to eat, cook at home more. Plan the weeks meal ahead of time and always prepare food that has been sitting in the fridge first.
4. Eat Rotisserie Chicken: Speaking of meal planning, one of the best and least expensive meal planning hack is the delicious already cooked rotisserie chicken that you can buy at most grocery stores. Stretch your budget and leftover chicken with these 5 meal ideas: chicken tacos, stir fry chicken, bbq chicken sliders, chicken salad, chicken soup. I’m sure there are countless of other delicious chicken meal options.
5. Drink Water: When you do go out to eat, instead of ordering expensive drinks at a restaurant, order water instead. This also applies when you’re home, this not only saves money, it’s a much healthier option.
6. Eat Leftovers: Do not waste perfectly good food. Be creative and whip up something tasty by adding other ingredients to your leftovers.
7. Shop Secondhand: Before heading out to a retail store for furniture, home goods or clothes, buy from yard sales, thrift stores, Goodwill, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, NextDoor or Craigslist instead. Some of these sites also have a Freebie section.
8. Re-use and Re-purpose: Instead of throwing something out you thought you didn’t need anymore, see if you can use it for a different purpose. For example, use your husband's old t-shirt as a sleep shirt, old sheets as dog bedding or a lone chair as your “new” office chair.
9. Pay the Balance: If you use credit cards (most of us do), make sure to always pay on or before the due date to avoid late fees, and always pay the statement balance amount to avoid incurring any interest fees.
10. Propagate Herbs: Even if you don’t have a garden, you can propagate rosemary, basil, green onions, etc. by placing fresh or cut ends in a container with clean water by a window. Once you see roots, you can transfer them to your yard or a bigger container with soil.
11. Get a Cheap Haircut: If you’re like me, I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a haircut at some fancy salon. Instead, try a no-nonsense salon that only cuts hair and does not require you to have them wash your hair (for more money of course).
12. Buy Refurbished Electronics: Save a substantial amount of money by buying refurbished smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc. Instead of buying the latest model, I chose to buy my iPhone and MacBook Pro from BackMarket, plus they offer a warranty.
13. Go on a Day Trip Getaway: No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a destination that’s just a short drive away to enjoy. Start early and spend the whole day discovering, exploring, dining, shopping and more! No need to spend money on accommodation either since you will be driving back home after your adventure.
14. Exercise at Home: No need to join an expensive gym or buy over-priced equipment, why not set up an area (or room) at home where you can work out. You can even do easy stretches, arm curls, leg lifts, etc while watching your favorite show. Pick an exercise video, such as yoga that you can follow along in the comfort of your own home. Be disciplined and set aside time in your schedule and make it a routine.
15. Buy Generic Brands: Save money by buying generic store brand vs. name brand products. I only buy generic brand toilet paper, paper towels (which also double as paper napkins), tall trash liners, coffee pods, etc. The quality are usually just as good as a name brand but for a lot less.
Image via Unsplash
Weddings don't have to be costly! Have a memorable yet frugal wedding, here's tips for every bride-to-be.
For more tips, check out this helpful guide in Planning a Low-Budget Micro Wedding.
by Hal Salazar
When you buy a new home or choose to renovate your current house, you will likely hear an offer for a home warranty. The home warranty is a contract that protects you if your appliances or new systems break down. Understanding how to find a home warranty can alleviate some of the stress of insurance shopping.
What to Expect While Shopping for a Home Warranty
Think about the age of your home and the systems you have installed. If you renovate a house and install brand-new appliances, you need a warranty that will keep you from overpaying if any of the appliances break down. Call different companies and pay attention to those who are responsive and helpful. You want a company you will feel comfortable working with in the future. A reputable company understands the importance of customer service to draw in new clients.
If you’re interested in purchasing a warranty with a home warranty company, review various quotes from reputable providers. If you’re asking, “does the cost of a home warranty pencil out?” you should understand that the overall price matters when you have to consider your budget. However, keep in mind that cheaper options might also have less coverage. Consider the types of appliances and systems that you want coverage for and compare which companies will provide coverage for those systems.
How to Benefit From a Home Warranty
The home warranty protects appliances and systems from general wear and tear. Be careful not to mistake a home warranty for homeowners insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurance protects your property in the case of a disaster or crime. Most homeowners require a homeowners' policy and a home warranty to protect their assets. In addition to helping pay the repair costs, a home warranty can also help expedite necessary repairs or replacements. A warranty can save you time looking for a trusted, local contractor.
With a home warranty, you do not have to worry about attempting to DIY any repairs in your home. When an appliance shuts down, some people choose to fix it themselves because of the cost of hiring a contractor. Unfortunately, attempting to repair an appliance alone can become a fire or electrocution hazard or you could damage the appliance more.
Where to Organize Home Warranty Documents
You never know when you will need to access documents from a home purchase, including your home warranty documents. If you have important documents organized neatly, you will never feel stressed when accessing a certain document. You can organize your files neatly at home or save them digitally. Many people choose to have physical and digital files available. Digital files allow you to access them wherever you are.
If you ever need to make a claim, you must have your home warranty documents available. Enos Tech suggests saving the files as PDFs. PDF files save space and allow you to make edits. If you want separate files, a PDF splitter lets you split PDF files. Once you save the file, you can rename, download and share the PDF with others. If you use digital files, back them up to prevent data loss.
Whether you purchased a new home or plan to renovate your current home, you should consider a home warranty. The home warranty offers coverage for various systems and appliances. If your appliances break down because of wear and tear, the warranty will help cover the costs of fixing or replacing them.
Hal Salazar is a regular contributor for The Frugal Lifestyle. He has written several great articles on how to live a frugal yet richer life. Hal is newly retired, and as he embarked on planning and preparing for his golden years, he realized there was a lot of information to keep up with so he started gathering it all and created Elders.Today to lend a helping hand to other seniors via carefully curated resources. When Hal isn’t working on Elders.Today, he enjoys walking at his local park, testing out new recipes with his wife, Marlene, and playing piano.
Some of our popular articles