By Marla Bautista

Starting off the new year in a good place financially, for some, can be hard after spending, or perhaps even over spending on holiday gifts for the family. In my family, we save cash throughout the year to spend on gifts.  In this post, I’m going to talk about a few ways my family gets ahead financially in the new year.

Cash Bucket

First things first, a cash bucket.  We keep a bucket in our house that we put change and any cash we have leftover in our wallets every payday.  We do this every two weeks until Black Friday sales, when we’ll do most of our holiday shopping.  Now I know what you’re thinking, what if I don’t carry cash?  You can make a habit of taking $20 out of the ATM every few weeks and saving it.

Save on Family Outings

We have a Boredom Buster Jar in our home.  This is a mason jar with multi colored popsicle sticks.  We write on them fun free, or nearly free things to do.  Every weekend or when our children don’t have school, we pick a popsicle stick from the jar which will determine what we will do for the day or evening.  Some examples of family activities we do are: home movie night (this includes popcorn, other snacks and drinks), or board game night (also with a medley of finger foods).  A great way to control what activities are picked is color coding the sticks, for example; free indoor activities are colored green, free outdoor activities blue, paid outdoor activities another color and so on).  This way you can tell the children on Friday, we’ll pick one blue stick, Saturday a green one, etc.  The children stay interested because they don’t know what they are going to pick, and it helps you stay within a budget for your family.

Investing

Investing is another great way to save money and earn some as well.  A few apps I use are Acorns and Coinbase.  Acorns is a savings app that incorporates low risk trading.  You can control the moderation in which you invest.  Coinbase is a cryptocurrency app.  You can invest in different types of cryptocurrency like bitcoin or Litecoin. Although investing is a great way to save and earn money, it isn’t without risk.  If you think this will be a great idea for your family, do some research and find out how it will benefit you.

Creating and maintaining financial security is ideal for all families.  For some, it may be easier than others. No matter how you start the year financially, there is always room to grow.  Take your time, do your research and you will come up with a plan that best suits your family’s financial needs. 

Until next time, stay frugal!

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Marla Bautista is an Army spouse and mother of three currently living in New York. Bautista is a freelance writer and has recently released  her first book, My Thoughts Abandoned.  She has an associate's degree from The University of Maryland University College and is currently working on her bachelor's in communications. Bautista loves to volunteer in her free time within the military community and advocate for those in need.  She is also an avid couponer and hopefully one day, a millionaire because of her frugal lifestyle!  Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sgm_hh6/   

 

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