Before I had a baby I never would’ve guessed how much I’d end up talking about bodily fluids and functions. It all begins with the pregnancy, and it just continues on. It’s strange because throughout your whole life, it’s like, “okay, avoid these topics,” and then BOOM! All of a sudden you get to talk about all the gross stuff your 10 year-old self wanted to talk about back in the day.
Once the baby arrives, there are all these stages of poo that you have to be on the lookout for, too. You constantly get asked about the color, frequency, quantity, and consistency of said poo. Strangely enough, I’ve found myself bonding with friends over the messiest details of life. Asking them for advice. Asking if things are “normal.” Finding out what my friends know, then sharing what I know. It’s like this whole messy, beautiful, circle of life, kumbaya bonding experience with us ending every conversation by saying, “I never would’ve guessed we’d be talking so openly about poo.”
Aaron and I made the decision to use cloth diapers with Henry in an effort to save buckets of money. DiaperDecisions.com reports that “you need about 8,000 diapers from birth to fully potty trained. That equals approximately $2,500!”
We have 20 diapers and made an initial investment of $400 for all of them. If we were to do it again I would have hunted for these diapers used. Read More »
Insurance is one of those things that is NOT super fun to talk about. It’s right up there with the dentist, and prying yourself off the couch from a Netflix marathon to go out in the freezing snow for a 15 mile run followed by 700 sit-ups. It’s like, the very last thing on the TO DO list, ever (at least for me). Plus, I always feel like, “Am I getting the best deal? And, freakin’ a – how the hell am I supposed to know how much coverage I even need?!!” It can be a dreadful process but dealing with insurance is just one of those things that come along with being a straight-up Certified Adult.
When we were looking for homeowners insurance we went with the company our real estate agent recommended because we were in a time crunch. We had to have coverage by the closing date. Because we were in a rush we didn’t shop around, and we didn’t do our research. That’s definitely not an ideal situation so once things settled down, we went back, shopped around, found out that we were paying WAY TOO MUCH, and we ended up switching to a company that gave us far better customer service, along with, and most importantly, better coverage at a way better price.
Insurance is, no doubt, an important part of solid financial planning. We know this. We need to find the perfect combo of THE BEST DEAL POSSIBLE, and, ideally we would have an expert looking out for our best interests. Trusted Choice is a company that is basically what would happen if your best friend turned into a super knowledgable, trust-worthy, insurance agent. They know the ins-and-outs, they ask you all the right questions, they set you up with the best coverage at the best price and then come over and share a pizza with you, while watching The Bachelor. You know I just made up that last part but they would do that if they could:P.
So, here’s the deal- Trusted Choice connects you with an insurance agent based on your location and needs. The insurance agent then connects you with the best insurance policy (or policies) at the best price. Also, since their agents aren’t limited to writing policies for any one carrier they skip the sales pitch, and just get right to helping you as quickly as possible so you can hurry up and end the insurance misery, and get on with your life already.
I got to ask them a few questions about insurance, and about how they work. While it is a bit lengthy it’s def worth the read. Tons of great info.
Btw, the agent who answered these is named Paul Martin. Here’s a bit about him: Paul Martin, CPCU, is a 30-year insurance professional. Over the course of his career, Paul has focused on advancing the insurance industry, and has excelled in a variety of positions including independent agent, commercial underwriter, company manager, association director, and industry educator. Paul’s professional mission is to make members of the insurance industry better equipped to serve the public through education.
Just a heads up. If you have any questions about insurance that aren’t answered below you can send them a tweet (@askanagentTC), or submit a question and an agent will respond.
All the Insights about Insurance You’ve Ever Wanted to Know…
If you’ve visited the site this week you’ve probably noticed a cool new thing up there at the top of the site. That right there is the total amount of money that has been saved/debt that’s been paid off as a result of doing a Spending Fast or Spending Diet. That amount is the total from all the readers! I went through all the older and recent emails that I’ve received along with all the posts on this blog, tweets, Facebook messages, Facebook posts, and Instagram comments (all of it!) to get the total amount of debt paid off. Now, of course, this is subject to human error and there’s no way it’s going to be 100% accurate since everyone is self-reporting, and since I don’t have a staff to fact-check but I think we can take it for what it is, and be happy with the slightly imperfect, but completely encouraging and inspiring amount of debt that we’ve all paid off as a result of the Spending Fast/ Spending Diet. If you’ve somehow communicated to me an exact amount of debt you’ve paid off then that amount is included above. If you’ve contacted me with a success story (those are the best, btw! I live for those!) but didn’t tell me an exact amount than it’s obviously not included in the total because I wouldn’t know the amount to include.
On the 1st of every month I’ll update the total at the top of the site to show our collective savings. All you have to do is comment on the Collective Savings page with how much you’ve saved/paid off as a result of your Spending Fast or Spending Diet. You can report back everyday, every week, every month, or at the end of the year. Then, I’ll tally it all up so we can all see the total amount we’ve saved.
It’s so incredibly inspiring to see how much all that hard work has been paying off and to see that the Spending Fast and Spending Diet really work, and it’s really changing lives. Every single penny that’s getting paid off is one more step closer to the Freedom Land!
I’ll admit it. I’ve considered doing some scandalous/shady things in an effort to save money. Semi-scandalous stuff I’m usually okay with but I would never rip someone off or do anything illegal to save money ’cause, you know, that’d be stealing.Which is obviously not cool. The key is going right up to the scandalous line but not crossing it.
If you are extremely frugal, you are most likely ALWAYS trying to find new ways to get things completely for free or totally cheap. After all, there’s no point in shelling out your hard-earned money for something you can get for free! While there are a variety of ways to score free goods, some of them may be borderline immoral or perhaps even illegal so use your judgment.
Scandalous (and Semi-Scandalous) Ways to Get Free Stuff…
A friend sent me this link to the Portlandia sketch called Birthday Loan Officer that originally aired a year-ish ago. (I don’t know how in the world I’m just seeing this now!) Raise your hand if you can relate. (I’m raising my hand over here, btw.:P)
Recently I saw this article on The New York Times called To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. It is a super interesting article that talks about how over 20 years ago psychologist Arthur Aron got two strangers to fall in love. It all starts by asking each other a series of 36 questions (The 36 Questions That Lead to Love). The questions start out broad and then one-by-one get increasingly more intimate. Basically fast-tracking the whole “get to know you” period. Then, the questions are followed up with a four-minute eye-to-eye stare down. This whole thing got me wondering, “Can you replicate what these people did even if you’re already in a relationship?” What if you just ask your partner all the questions right there in your living room? I figure that asking each other questions and staring into each other’s eyes is far less-expensive than relationship counseling and it could give you a major closeness booster so it could be worth a shot, right?
I’ve rounded up A TON (1,831) of questions for you to ask your partner (not all at once. lol). I’ve been trying to not assume I know how Aaron is going to answer because it’s so easy to do that after you’ve been with someone for awhile. That way it keeps me open-minded and he’s allowed to change, grow, evolve, and maybe even surprise me sometimes. :)
Use these questions in conjunction with a date night (24 Date Night Ideas for $10 or Less) or when you’re just emptying out the dishwasher together. It’s a free way to get closer and deeper your love.
1,831 Questions to Ask Your Partner to Get to Know Them Better…
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of spending money to get money but Dave points out 8 situations where spending actually helps you save- helping you to ultimately get out of debt quicker.
Dave B. is a small business owner who resides in Atlanta and writes about strategies to save money and get out of debt. – Anna
When it comes to getting out of debt, it seems obvious that the first thing you should do is save money, right? And the best way to save money would be to spend less of it, correct? Well, yes and no. Actually, there are some instances where spending more money can actually help you get out of debt. Once I finally wrapped my head around this idea, I managed to conserve more money than ever before and ended up getting myself out of debt much faster. Here’s a list of things that worked for me on my quest.
8 Ways Spending Money Can Help Get You Out of Debt…
1. Down Payments
The zero-down offers made by car dealerships are tempting, but you might pay more in the long run. For example, I recently purchased a car for $15,000, and put $5,000 down. I financed the rest for 60 months at 4% interest. In total, I’m going to be spending approximately $21,575. Had I put $0 down, this number would be $22,100. That’s $525 I saved just by making a significant initial payment. The same is true for money put down on a home. Bumping up your down payment from $6,000 to $10,000 on a $200,000 30-year fixed mortgage with a 4% interest rate saves you almost $3,000.
2. Insurance Premiums
In the past, when my auto insurance bill came in the mail, I just made each monthly payment and moved on. After I took a look at it, though, I found that I could save a full month or even more by paying it all off at once. My provider had a discount program in place where I essentially got one month free by paying it in full. I also noticed that I was being charged a $3 processing fee each month, so by paying the full balance I saved another $36 for the year.
3. Large Purchases
If you spend $400 on a 46-inch flat-screen TV made by a lesser-known manufacturer, you may think you’re getting a deal. However, if the TV malfunctions a year after you buy it, you might be left out in the cold. Most of the time, it’s cheaper to replace these high-end items rather than pay to have them fixed. If the power supply or picture tube on your flat-screen TV goes out, plan on spending $400 or even more to have it repaired.
That’s why it makes sense to spend a little more on quality. In most cases you can get yourself a mid-level flat-screen TV for about $100 extra, which is money well spent. You don’t necessarily need to purchase a Sony or a Samsung, but stay away from the really cheap brands like Seiki, Westinghouse, and Dynex. The same holds true for laptop computers and any other major purchases.
Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this!
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