Category: Home & Life

52 Week Money Saving Challenge

Are you familiar with the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge? I like the idea of a savings challenge, but I am not 100% on board with how it is set up. The typical plan challenges you to save $1 the first week, $2 the second week…until you save $52 the last week of the year. It’s a simple way to save an additional $1,378 in 52 weeks, but I do see how this can be a struggle when December rolls around.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printables

Compare what you are saving the first 4 weeks of the year to the last 4 weeks of the year.

  • During the first 4 weeks, you save a total of $10. Average: $2.50 per week.
  • During the last 4 weeks, you save a total of $202. Average: $50.50 per week. 

Saving $2.50 per week is probably not a huge struggle. $50.50 per week may be harder to accomplish, especially considering that this takes place in December.

I created a 52-Week Money Saving Challenge Printable back in 2014. The original printable was for the year 2015, but now I have an undated version for you to use any year. You can start this challenge at any point throughout the year.

The original 52-Week Money Saving Challenge ($1 per week, $2 per week, etc.) results in a savings of $1,378 in a year. You will still end up saving $1,378 with this updated challenge, but it will be easier to save when you spread it out. 

If you do decide to start this challenge in January, this schedule will be much easier as you will be set up to save the least amount in December. You will save $110 during each 4-week cycle, with an exception of the last 4 weeks of the year. If money is tight in December, you will feel relief! This schedule asks you to save only $58 during the last 4 weeks. You will only have to set aside $8 in your budget to save the last week of the year. $8 is much easier than $52!52 Week Money Saving Challenge Printables FREE Printable52 Week Money Saving Challenge

I am also including the reverse version of the original challenge. Save $52 the first week, $51 the second week…until you save $1 the last week. Pick the schedule that works best for you.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge Reverse Printable

FREE Printable: 52 Week Money Saving Challenge_Reverse

It can be easier to make saving a priority when you know what your goals are. Writing down your goals can make you feel more accountable. At the bottom of the printable, there is a place to write down your savings goal.

Write down what you are saving for: Mortgage? Vacation? Home updates? College fund? Credit card debt? Feel free to share in the comments:

Why are you saving? What is your goal?

Do you need to establish financial goals, develop a budget and stick to it, kill off debt, and get clear on what your financial picture looks like? Check out the Real Life Money Plan eCourse by Jessi at jessifearon.com.

Here is more info on the course:

  • The course includes 13 video lessons.
  • This is a self-paced online course, which means that you can take this course at your leisure. There is no time restriction on when you can start.
  • There is a 25 page pdf workbook to accompany the course that acts as practical application for the lessons you will learn in the course. 
  • There are bonus trainings that will walk you through setting up a zero-balanced budget and reconciling your bank statements. 
  • There is a 30-day money back guarantee. If you are unhappy for whatever reason, you get a refund. 

She is gifted at encouragement and is an enthusiastic teacher. If you have ANY desire to design a money plan that fits your life, I suggest you check out her eCourse.

I had the opportunity to view Jessi’s course and her passion for helping you is so evident. She asks you to commit and not just go through the motions as she wants you to succeed! She wants you to focus on progress, not past failures. She will motivate you to move forward with the best decisions for YOU.

Jessi’s work has been featured on Buzzfeed, Rockstar Finance, TIME/Motto Magazine, Money Saving Mom, and The Penny Hoarder. 

Don’t forget to PIN this post for later!

52 Week Savings Challenge Printable. Save money every week and track your progress on the printable

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Free Printable Habit Tracker

Free Printable Habit Tracker

I don’t make New Years Resolutions every year, but I instead like to break my goals into smaller time frames. Monthly, weekly, daily…it depends on the goal I want to set or the habit I want to create.

For some goals it’s easier to focus on creating a habit. I wanted to become a morning person and get up before my daughters every morning. By forcing myself to do it for a few weeks straight, I ended up creating a habit of getting up before my girls each day. Once it was a habit, I didn’t even have to think about it every morning. It became my new normal. I’m on a break from it as I have a newborn, but I plan on getting back in the habit in 2017!

When you want a change in a specific area of your life, sometimes annual goal setting is not the answer. Focusing on a mini goal or creating a habit can be a better way to succeed depending on the change you want to make.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer.

Free Printable Habit Tracker

Do you have a new habit that you want to create in 2017? One little task or activity that you want to focus on this year?

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Move or exercise
  • Take a walk
  • Take 10,000 steps
  • Drink X ounces of water
  • Enjoy dinner as a family
  • Technology breaks
  • Write
  • Read devotion
  • Complete cleaning routine
  • Complete morning routine
  • Make bed
  • Floss
  • Read with children
  • Get 7 hours of sleep
  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for
  • Complement someone
  • Read for enjoyment

When I decide what habit I want to create, I find that writing it down and tracking my progress makes all the difference. Once you decide what habit you want to create, find a place to track the habit. 

I want to share this free printable habit tracker with you. It’s available in teal or pink. Download and print. Check off each day you complete your task. Place in a prominent place so you can see your daily progress. 

Free Printable Habit Tracker: 2017

Free Printable Habit Tracker: 2017

Free Printable Habit Tracker: Teal

Free Printable Habit Tracker: Pink

What daily habit do you want in 2017?

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Free Printable Habit Tracker. Track your daily habits in 2017.

Hostess Gift Ideas

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

Have you received invites to holiday parties and get-togethers? The time is coming when your calendar may be filling up with invites to Christmas parties, dinners, or cookie-baking days. You may even be planning overnight stays at your friend’s and family’s homes. If you want to show up with a gift of appreciation and holiday cheer for your host, I have a few ideas for you.

There is no need to blow your holiday budget on extravagant gifts, as your host will appreciate even a small gesture.

Hostess Gift Ideas

Scarf or Other Homemade Gift

If you don’t want to show up with another holiday trinket or decoration that your host may not want, consider a handmade scarf for your host. It’s both a personal and useful gift.

Don’t knit? For an extended stay, splurge on a cozy sweater from Olive + Oak.

Another idea for a handmade gift is soap. Try this recipe for milk and honey soap with lavender and oatmeal.

Hostess Gift Ideas

Christmas Mug

Pick a festive coffee mug for the hostess. Don’t forget to include a pound of their favorite coffee beans!


 

Hostess Gift Idea

A Basket of Holiday-Scented Home Products

I always look forward to getting new seasonal soaps and cleaners. The holiday scents make cleaning a little more fun. Put together a basket of scented soaps and lotions for your host. Add in a candle or dish towel and I’m sure the basket will be enjoyed!

You can purchase great holiday scents from Grove Collaborative and now is the perfect time! From November 16 – November 21, you can get the following items for FREE:

  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday hand soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday dish soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday multi-surface spray
  • Grove Collaborative bubble up
  • Free shipping & VIP Trial

When there is no special deal going on, you can still get a free Mrs. Meyers hand soap and $10 credit with Grove Collaborative.

 

Hostess Gift Ideas

Candles or Essential Oils

I think most homeowners enjoy festive holiday scents in their home, especially when hosting a party in their home. Find a holiday-scented candle. Or give the gift of either the Fall Holiday Blends or the Winter Wonderland Holiday Blends from Plant Therapy. The Fall Holiday Blends essential oils set includes Autumn Breeze, Pumpkin Spice, and Spiced Orange. The Winter Wonderland essential oils set includes Merry Mistletoe, Snow Flurries, and Winter Wassail. 

Get $5 Off of your Purchase of $40 or more at Plant Therapy! Use Code ‘5OFF’ – Shop Today!

Plant Therapy Essential Oils

Hostess Gift Ideas

Fresh Flowers

Flowers are a great gift when you are short on time. Your host will enjoy having flowers to brighten her house for the days following the event! Wrap in festive holiday-themed paper. 

hostess-gift-ideas-6

Board Game

Does your host or hostess enjoy games? If so, pick out a new game to add to their collection. 


Other ideas:

Hostess Gift Ideas

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Christmas Planner

Get organized this Christmas! Christmas Planner. Holiday Planner.

Are you overwhelmed and stressed every holiday season? That is not the way it should be. A little planning can go a long way and can help us focus on the real meaning of the season: our Savior’s birth!

I encourage you to step back and focus on what matters the most this Christmas. While it can be easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season, I have found that planning ahead and staying organized minimizes the stress. It helps to keep my focus on the real joy of the season and helps me enjoy celebrating with family and friends.

I cannot promise you a stress-free holiday season, but I have a tool to help you get organized this Christmas.

My Christmas Planner is a simple 12 page printable planner. Many of the planners I have come across feel so hectic, so I wanted to create a simple version. I left off many of the pictures and icons to help save your printer ink.

I hope you find it helpful to plan ahead, get organized, stay under budget, enjoy your traditions, and create memories with your family.

Get Organized this Christmas

Get organized and minimize your stress this holiday and Christmas season with this 12 page Christmas Planner printable. Plus: print off the free gift list printable. Includes: Christmas Card List, Recipe List, Notes, Party Planner, Menu Planner, Traditions and Memories, Gift List, To-Do List, Christmas Budget Page, November and December holiday calendars.

The Christmas Planner includes the following pages:

  • Cover Page
  • Gift List – get this page free here!
  • Christmas Card List
  • Party Planner
  • Menu Planner
  • Recipe List
  • Traditions & Memories Tracker
  • Christmas Budget
  • To-Do List
  • Notes Page
  • November Calendar Page
  • December Calendar Page

Get organized and minimize your stress this holiday and Christmas season with this 12 page Christmas Planner printable. Plus: print off the free gift list printable. Includes: Christmas Card List, Recipe List, Notes, Party Planner, Menu Planner, Traditions and Memories, Gift List, To-Do List, Christmas Budget Page, November and December holiday calendars.Get organized and minimize your stress this holiday and Christmas season with this 12 page Christmas Planner printable. Plus: print off the free gift list printable. Includes: Christmas Card List, Recipe List, Notes, Party Planner, Menu Planner, Traditions and Memories, Gift List, To-Do List, Christmas Budget Page, November and December holiday calendars. Get organized and minimize your stress this holiday and Christmas season with this 12 page Christmas Planner printable. Plus: print off the free gift list printable. Includes: Christmas Card List, Recipe List, Notes, Party Planner, Menu Planner, Traditions and Memories, Gift List, To-Do List, Christmas Budget Page, November and December holiday calendars.

If you want to stay organized this holiday season, now is the time to start! 

While the calendar pages are for 2016, the rest of the pages are undated so you will be able to use the planner in future years.

Get your Christmas Planner here!

If you want to try out one of the pages, here is the Christmas Card List from the planner. Get the free PDF here. 

Christmas Gift List Printable

How do you plan to get organized this Christmas?

Get organized and minimize your stress this holiday and Christmas season with this 12 page Christmas Planner printable. Plus: print off the free gift list printable. Includes: Christmas Card List, Recipe List, Notes, Party Planner, Menu Planner, Traditions and Memories, Gift List, To-Do List, Christmas Budget Page, November and December holiday calendars.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

20 Ways to Get Healthy

Sometimes BIG health changes are necessary, but I find that it’s easier to make small, simple changes when trying to improve on my health. It’s easier to make simple lifestyle changes that last than to make changes so drastic that the changes are hard to maintain. Today I am sharing 20 ways to get healthy. Some of the changes are bigger than others, but just starting somewhere is the key!

Exercise

Schedule your work outs in. If you don’t write exercise into your schedule, you may not get around to it. At the beginning of the week look at your schedule and make a plan. Add your work out to your calendar and stick to it!

Make a Health and Wellness plan. Sometimes just taking a step back and evaluating where you are with your health and wellness can be motivating. Use this Health & Wellness Planner to help you set goals and track your progress.

20 Ways to Get Healthy

Pick an efficient work out. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is an efficient work out when you are short on time. When you don’t have a large window of time, focus on quality, not quantity. This list also includes links to videos and other work outs that are helpful if you have trouble setting aside a large amount of time to work out.

Set out your clothes the night before. If you are off to work in the morning, all you have to do is grab your gym bag as you head out the door. As you leave work, you won’t have the excuse that you don’t have your gym clothes along.

Track your progress. Write out the detail of your exercise each week or just check off that you did something. Many say a key component of achieving a goal is to write it down. It’s motivating to see the number of days you work out add up. It can also motivate you to improve week to week. Use my free Fitness Tracker printable to record your weekly work outs.

Have a list of work outs ready to go. If you work out at home, don’t spend the first 10 minutes of your work out finding the perfect online work out video. Have a list of your favorites, so you can use your work out time efficiently. Here is a list to get you started.

Walk on your lunch break. Not only will you be efficiently fitting exercise into your day, but you will probably feel more alert in the afternoon. 

Get more fitness tips here: Over 30 Ways to Add Fitness to Your Daily Routine

Diet

Stay hydrated. Be careful about what beverages you consume. Stay away from sweetened beverages that are loaded with extra sugars and empty calories. Stick to water for most of your beverage intake throughout the day. Here are 8 Ways to Drink More Water Each Day.

Or make your own drink with less sugar. Try Pomegranate Spritzer or Thirst-Quencher’s Lemonade.

20 ways to get healthy

Keep the junk OUT of the house. This is key for me! When I have a bag of candy or quart of ice cream in the freezer, it’s on my mind. Often. I sometimes wonder why I have so much self-control in some areas and very little in others! If I don’t even buy the treat, I am much better off! Because I joined the #GoodbyeSugar30 Challenge I learned many of the names for sugar. My go-to treats contained quite a few of them. Keeping the treats out of the house makes it easier for me to avoid the extra sugars and calories.

Be prepared and keep healthy snacks on hand. If I have fresh fruit or veggies cut up and ready to go, I am much more likely to reach for them instead of a less healthy snack. When you get home from the grocery store, spend a few minutes washing and cutting up the fruits and veggies. Put them front and center in your refrigerator so you are more likely to grab them. Once your veggies are cut up, try this Sweet Red Pepper Hummus recipe and avoid the added sugars hidden in store‑bought dips. Consider fresh fruit topped with full fat, plain yogurt.

Watch for places where you have total control over removing the added sugars. Tea and coffee are great places to start. Instead of sweetening your coffee or tea with sugar, consider adding SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener instead. For every two teaspoons, or two packets, of sugar you cut, you save yourself 8 grams of added sugar. You could also try a cappuccino or latte sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg, and sweetened with SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener.

20 ways to get healthy

Watch for sugar in condiments, store bought sauces, and salad dressing. Consider making your own. Try out this recipe for Citrus Vinaigrette.

Experiment with reducing or replacing sugar in your favorite recipes. I have been trying this out recently. I have reduced or replaced sugar when making energy bites, granola, french toast, oatmeal, and more. SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener gives a great sweet taste without the calories, added flavors, or artificial ingredients.

Get your entire family involved. It’s easier to make diet changes when you involve your family. Add more fruit and veggies to your entire family’s diet. Consider a garden and get your children involved in the maintenance. Teach your children the benefits of fueling their bodies with healthy food. 

Eat more whole foods. Your body will thank you if you eat more whole foods. Start with simply eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting out processed snack foods.

Focus on a daily habit. Sometimes the best way to start a new habit is to force yourself to do it daily until it becomes your new routine. Make it a daily habit to…

  • Start your day off with a healthy breakfast
  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Eat fruit and veggies with each and every meal
  • Eliminate late-night snacking

You may notice that many of the diet changes focus on sugar. I joined the #GoodbyeSugar30 Challenge in October. It wasn’t always easy to cut back on sugar as I neared the end of my pregnancy, but I was still able to make changes and focus on my sugar intake. 

Simply being more educated about sugar made me more aware of all the sneaky places sugar can show up. There are more than 40 names for sugar that may appear on the ingredient lists of the food you eat. SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener is an alternative that gives a great sweet taste with no added flavors and no bitter aftertaste. It’s available at retail stores nationwide in 40 and 80 count boxes. For more information, visit SplendaNaturals.com.

Self-Care

Focus on getting plenty of sleep. If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

Begin your day with quiet/alone time. I find that if I have even a few minutes alone in the morning, my day runs more smoothly. I enjoy waking up before my girls instead of with them, as this gives me time to enjoy my coffee, read my devotion, and hop on the computer. Consider creating a morning routine as a way to reset your morning and get your day started right.

Get outside. Getting outside can restore your mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, and improve your mental health. Get fresh air, exercise, vitamin D, and a change of scenery by getting outside.

Know what refreshes you. Figure out what quick activity or treat refreshes and relaxes you. If that gives you a little more patience to get you through the day…schedule it in!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

20 Ways to Get Healthy

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