Have a Frugal Easter Holiday

With Easter right around the corner, do you find yourself waiting for just ONE MONTH without a holiday?

frugal easter holidayJust one month so you can play catch up and ACTUALLY SAVE your goal savings amount. I understand you and a lot of other people out there are with you.

As parents, we are constantly pulled in two directions. Do we save money?  Or do we buy our little one that extra gift or two?  You tell yourself it’s what your parents did for you.  You rationalize it by thinking it’s a holiday!

Again, I’m with you and I get it. My wife and I are navigating these waters as well with our young son.  It’s not an easy thing.  You see the little face and you just want to give them the world.

However, we all need to be role models for our children. To do that, we sometimes need to make the difficult, but necessary decisions.  Can you say adulting?   (Side note: I hate that term and my spell check doesn’t even recognize it).

That’s why I found some top blog posts from the last few years that I wanted to share as we prepare for Easter. I know Easter isn’t as expensive as Christmas or the child’s birthday, but candy, baskets, and presents can begin to break any well-intentioned parent’s budget very quickly.

Fear not. I found some great tips from other amazing bloggers that can keep you on budget this Easter holiday.

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Cultivating Discipline in All Areas of Your Life

I want to discuss a topic that may make you cringe.  Cultivating discipline.

cultivating disciplineNow, I know the word discipline itself has a bad connotation.  You hate hearing it. It harkens back to days where you were told to sit up straight in school or you would go to the principal’s (disciplinarian’s) office (at least in Catholic school).  Or your parents would discipline you by grounding you for not doing your chores or something.  Yes, discipline.

As individuals in our 20s, 30s, and 40s here, we are responsible for fostering our own discipline and mindset. Sure, our bosses could reprimand us or the cop that pulled us over can give us a ticket.  Those are forms of discipline.  But, true day in and day out responsibility and accountability comes down to cultivating discipline in ourselves and our daily routine.

Would you agree?

Here with Run The Money, I am focusing on cultivating discipline in the areas of financial health and physical health. All of these require a mature amount of discipline to not only invoke in our lives, but consistently apply to our lives.

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Take the #ImSavingFor Pledge for America Saves Week 2017

im saving for run the money

Share Your Savings Goal and Win $1000 in the #ImSavingFor Contest To celebrate the upcoming America Saves Week (Feb. 27-March 4, 2017), America Saves is launching the #ImSavingFor contest. It’s easy to enter. Just share a short video of your savings story, or a picture of you and what you are saving for and enter … Read more

Become Financially Independent in Your 30s

I have always wanted to become financially independent in my 30s.  It has always been a goal of mine.  It all started for me around 2007 and it coincided with meeting my wife in 2006.  She introduced me to Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.  Kiyosaki talked about his Rich Dad, who understood how money worked and built businesses.  He was his friend’s father.  His Poor Dad (his own father) was a schoolteacher and was a slave to money.

become financially independent in your 30sKiyosaki spoke about how he learned that having a business is a bridge to building wealth and introduced us all to the E/S/B/I triangle.  E for Employee, S for Self-Employed, B for Business, and I for Investing.  The goal was to move away from being an employee or self-employed (which Kiyosaki called owning a job) and move into the B/I side.  Your goal was to build a business that you could use to invest  From there, you could build true, sustainable wealth.

And I was hooked.  I wanted financial freedom really bad.  These days it’s called “Financially Independent, Retire Early,” or FIRE.  Yes, it’s still a strong desire of mine and one that I’m committed to achieving in the coming years.

What about you?  Are you new to the concept of financial independence?  Have you ever considered it?  Consider some of the points below as a way to jump start your FIRE goals!

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Emergency Fund: Why You Need this 5 Step Savings Plan

We’ve all been there in some fashion: having to put a big unexpected expense on the credit card because we didn’t have an emergency fund.

emergency fundYou go in for your state inspection and you find out that your car needs new tires.

You wake up one morning to find out the toilet in your guest bathroom fell through the ceiling and is now in your living room. (This actually happened to my parents’ place at the Jersey shore.  Luckily, they weren’t there at the time and a contractor let them know).

Your little one gets sick and you have a high deductible. You take him to the emergency room and thank God he’s alright.  But, hooray!  We have more bills to pay!  Emergency room visits aren’t cheap.

The point is life happens. Expenses sneak up on you here and there.

If you’re like many people out there, you’re likely not prepared for them.

So, what do you do? You put them on your credit card.  That’s what everybody does, right?  Not exactly.  The Credit Card Catastrophe might be a reality for those in your inner circle, but there are actually people out there who are prepared for life’s emergencies.

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Debt Paydown: 9 Ways We Paid Off $60,000 in Debt

Are you in need of a major debt paydown?

I’ve been in thousands of dollars of debt a few times in my life.

debt paydownThe first was when I graduated college in 2006.  I left school with $20,000 in student loan debt.  Four years later, I was debt free.

That was until I bought my wife her engagement ring for $10,000.  Fortunately, it appraised for double and I paid the ten grand off in a year.

In 2016, we paid off $30,000 in credit card debt.  We accumulated this debt beginning in 2015.  My wife and I were working in real estate together.  She worked the business full-time and I helped manage things on a part-time basis in addition to my full-time job as an auditor.

Everything changed for us in the middle of March 2015.  It was when my wife saw the 8-week sonogram of my our son, Davey Joe (David Joseph).  My wife fell in love immediately.  It was indeed love at first sight.

After the appointment, we got in the car.  She turned to me and said, “I’m done.”  I asked her what she meant.  She proceeded to tell me that she wanted to close up shop with our real estate business and focus exclusively on nesting and motherhood.

We purchased our $455,000 at that time in a rather expensive zip code in 2011.  We bought that on an auditor’s and teacher’s salary.  My wife left teaching to become a real estate agent.  With our real estate business, we had $250,000 coming in annually.  Now, we were going to drastically drop that down to $75,000 — my salary alone.

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Budget Tips: 6 Ideas That Actually Work

BUDGET.  ​It’s that dirty word that nobody dare even whisper.  It’s so dirty it might even be considered a four-letter word (even though it has six letters).  The word strikes fear budget tipsinto all those immune to accountability and responsibility.  I can hear the audible gasps and sighs coming through the screen.  But, have no fear.  We’re going to walk you through this and give you some excellent budget tips so you can finally begin your journey to financial fitness.

Now, it’s time to learn about these 6 budget tips that actually work.  You can begin fixing your financial situation right away.  Ready?  Here we go!

Budget Tip #1: Figure out what your weekly expenses are and begin tracking every expense.

We all must learn to walk before were can run.  The same goes for this.  You need a budget before you can hope to squash debt or achieve financial freedom.  You need to be able to run 3.1 miles before you can run 6, 13.1 or 26.2 miles.

Your “walking” from a financial sense is budgeting.  And “walking” for budgeting purposes is getting all your expenses accounted for.  Begin by using every single one of these budget tips.

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Run Your First Marathon: 4 Tips to Get Started

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

I know you’ve heard this cliché, often attributed to life or some repetitive task.  It’s one of those things that is said so often that it loses the meaning behind its original intent.

run your first marathonRun your first marathon, however, and you certainly learn that whoever said it originally was probably a runner.  A marathon is bleeping hard.  There is no way around it.  The race itself is hard and the training is demanding.

For me, I trained while my wife was pregnant with our first child back in 2015.  I ran the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon in November of that year.  She was and wasn’t my biggest fan.  Anna always supported my running efforts, but being tired after an 18 or 20 mile training run while she nurses a newborn all night wasn’t exactly earning me brownie points.  So, yeah, don’t do that.

On top of that, training runs can get tedious, but they are so crucial.  As you probably recall from running half marathons and 10Ks, the building of endurance is absolutely vital.  Without the proper training runs, you will not make it.  I also found that the half marathons I ran as I was training for the full were much quicker.  I ran my first sub-2 hour half marathon at the 2015 Trenton Half.  What an incredible feeling!

Furthermore, keeping your body healthy during the process is key.  Cross-training is vital for recovery and strength.  That is something I regret not doing more of.  However, I did go to physical therapy each week for my shin splints.  That team kept me out there.  I had a doctor work on my legs, did exercises and afterwards, and did those same movements a few times during the week.  Stretching is so key, let me tell you.

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