See It to Achieve It

29 06 2010

For many of us it’s easy to get ‘off track’ when it comes to saving money.  But most importantly, when we derail we can lose sight of our dreams and goals. 

If this happens, we suggest refreshing your defeated thoughts with your goals.  Not only does this build your spirits, your goals become seemingly closer!  One way to refresh your thoughts and build up your spirits is seeing your future.  You’re probably shaking your heads thinking “Rolist, how can we possibly see our future?

It’s actually pretty simple.  Let’s say your current dream is to be a homeowner but you derailed from your budget last month.  You now feel defeated, unmotivated and your future looks foggy.  Heck, this has happened to us!  It happens to everyone!  The easiest way to shoot you back onto the savings bandwagon would be to walk around the neighborhood where you would want to purchase a home.  Seeing the homes puts things in perspective.  Not only are you seeing the homes, you are also experiencing them and neighborhood.

Take us for example, we walked into a shoe store with intentions of purchasing items because they were on sale.  But then thought, how many flip-flops and sneakers do we need?  To gain some composure, we walked into Home Depot and browsed their kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, fixtures.  During our Home Depot experience, we realized just how close we are to achieving our dreams of becoming homeowners.  It truly stopped us from derailing by purchasing things we really don’t need.

In summary, seeing your goals in “real life” form will only reaffirm what you want.  And that’s how you achieve your objective.

We’re Just Askin’: If you Won the Lottery

24 06 2010

Why you Should Sweat the Small Stuff

23 06 2010

Life is too short to sweat the small stuff“.  Or at least that’s what many people think.  Heck, Rolist Financial Group feels the same way too . . . . . sometimes.  For example, you are grocery shopping and forget a coupon or two at home.  Don’t sweat it!  The savings aren’t that noticeable.  However, if you forget coupons often, you are wasting money!

Without further ado, here are examples of when you should sweat the small stuff:

  • Constant Shopping.  Spending often and going against your budget is a big deal.  You may talk yourself out of feeling bad by saying “It’s only $5 !”  But if this occasional “$5” happens twice a week (and every week), you are spending an additional $40 per month.  This “small stuff” is added to your set budgeted expenses.  It just will not work. 
  • You Will go Broke Trying to Save Money.  What you may not know about Rolist Financial Group is we frequently shop at dollar stores.  Most times these items are great for short-term needs because quality is lacking, making most items flimsy and disposable.  For example, we purchased a number of kitchenware items at the dollar store and each item broke within a month.  In an attempt to save money, it has cost us more with having to replace each item.  Same thing goes for furniture.  We purchased a “cheap” coffee table at a discount store and one year later the legs chipped.  Sometimes it pays to spend a few dollars more on a quality product that will last.
  • Not Using Up What You Have.  Prior to making a purchase, you should evaluate your situation and the items you have in stock.  We all should use up the things we have on hand before purchasing anything else.  The savings will surprise you!

Giving: Animal Shelters

14 06 2010

Hi Friends!  We want to talk about local/state animal shelters for a moment.  There are many loving shelter animals looking for permanent homes.  It’s important to know these animals aren’t “bad”, they were just in bad situations.  Plus, all shelters ensure their animals are safe and good fits for their adoptive family.  Most times these animals are spayed/neutered by the shelter.  Not only are adoption fees relatively low, but you are saving that animal from a life of living in a shelter.  Ultimately, you would be giving them a second chance in life.  So if you are looking for your next fido, visit your local/state animal shelter.  Keep in mind, they need our help too, just as they are helping our furry friends in the world.

If you want to donate items or time, we suggest speaking with that shelter directly.  Most wish list items are food, blankets/sheets, towels, printers, digital cameras, treats, toys, etc.

We’ve amassed a small pile of treats/food for our local shelter which we will be dropping off next week.  As always, coupons went a long way here by making every item free(!) – the dry dog food were samples from our neighborhood pet store.

We want to hear from you, drop us a comment.  What items would you donate to an animal shelter?  Would you use coupons?

Tips to Save Money during a Deployment

4 06 2010

Deployments can be an extremely emotional time for everyone involved.  You scatter around tieing up all loose ends and prepare for the day your military member deploys. 

Adjusting to life without your loved one is difficult, but what you may not realize are the potential savings that are in store for you.  Going through a deployment ourselves accelerated those principles of saving money.

  • Participate in the Savings Deposit Program (SDP).  It was established to provide military members serving in designated combat zones the opportunity to build their financial savings.  Amounts up to $10,000 earn 10% interest annually.  You can read more here.
  • Place an Active Duty Alert on Credit Report.  Federal credit reporting law provides special protects for active duty service members, including reservists serving anywhere otehr than their usual station.  This helps prevent identity theft against servicemembers who are stationed far away from their home address. 
  • Stop the Cellphone Service.  Most combat areas are without cellphone coverage, resulting in no need to keep cellphone service on (Unless there is a need to receive calls from that number).  We had Rob’s phone turned off up until the last two weeks prior to his homecoming.  And during those six months we saved $270 (or $45 per month).  Keep in mind, you will want to ask your cellphone provider if there are any hidden fees, etc. involved. 
  • Notify Car Insurance Company.  Shortly after Rob deployed I notified our car insurance.  We received a discount!  Being upfront and honest pays off.
  • Prepare Wills and POA.  This area is not voluntary.  In fact, the service member is required to fill out these forms and these forms will prevent any future heartaches.
  • Fun Gifts at the Dollar Store.  The dollar store is a fun place to find small gifts for our deployed love ones.  Rob, not once, spotted a camel in the desert but I did at the dollar store.  They were party favors attached to string!  I mailed them with a note saying “Since you didn’t spot camels, I’m bringing the camels to you“.
  • Use Military Flat Rate Boxes at the Post Office.  Not only are they free(!) but the savings are remarkable.  To get the most out of these boxes, you will want to stuff them with as much stuff as possible.  My medium boxes ended up weighing 13 pounds and postage was $12.  I made sure to include heavy items in each package (canned fruit, vegetables, drinks, etc.).  The boxes have printed logos that read “America Supports You“.  That touched my heart!
  • Make Saving a Priority.  Each month I tallied-up our savings totals and notified Rob.  This was the only time (right now) that we had at making some decent money and it would be foolish to “blow it”.  Since he was spending all his time in the desert, I felt it was important to show him how our savings was growing.  It motivated him!  He always knew he was doing the right thing by being there, but to see the accelerated savings definitely reinforced that thought! 
  • Do-It Yourself Welcome Home Sign/Banner.  One week prior to Rob’s homecoming, I made a Welcome Home Sign using cardboard (it actually was the large box that housed the Post Office military flat rate boxes that I cut in half!).  Using red, black and blue permanent markers I went to work drawing hearts and writing welcome home!  This can be a bonding time with your family and friends.  I saved $25 by not purchasing a vinyl banner.  Not to forget having to store the banner afterwards.  [UPDATE:  I spied a Welcome Home banner, balloons and paper serve-ware at the Dollar Store last week!  These would come in handy for a homecoming party!]
  • Grocery Shop with Coupons.  There are plenty of coupons for boxed/microwaveable meals.  More often than not, my care package items were purchased using coupons.  Even if your service member wouldn’t necessarily use an item, someone in their unit will.
  • Shop Around for “Deployment” Items.  The month prior to the deployment was pretty hectic.  Rob wanted “this” and “that” – laptop ($400 with lifetime tune-up), electric razor ($98), headphones ($9), mp3 player ($40), external hard drive ($115).  My head was spinning with numbers!  I made sure to ask for a military discount as well as price matching!  We shopped around and chose not to purchase name-brand items in an effort to save some dough.  In no way did we feel bad purchasing a generic items because sand destroys everything!  In fact, the sand killed our mega-old camera mid-way through the deployment.  You must anticipate things breaking, especially during each flight, etc.  Finally, Rob had no source of entertainment except for his music and the movies he played on his laptop.  Sometimes these little splurges are needed to maintain some sanity!

This last tip was for my own personal sanity.  I have spoken to many other wives that had agreed with me regarding staying home was the best medicine to ease their pain.  This tip may not work for everyone.

  • Stay Home.  I cannot tell you how many times friends and family have told me to “go out“.  Staying home during the deployment was my security blanket.  That’s where Rob lives and I felt closer to him just by being home.  I kept myself busy by cleaning out the closets, reorganizing the food pantry, cleaning, writing letters and learning how to cook.  This worked for me and in turn I saved money by tending to the needs of my heart, rather than passing the time by shopping at the mall.

We want to hear from you, drop us a comment.  What ways have you saved during a deployment?

We’re Just Askin’: What’s an Appropriate Wedding Gift?

3 06 2010

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