Envelopes? How can they help me save money?

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

For almost all of 2009 I have been trying to stick to a budget. Some months are way better then others. I started researching the Envelope Budgeting System by Dave Ramsey. I found some articles online that explain how to do this.

It is so cool. Basically you make envelopes for all your bills that you pay monthly and your spending habits. You have one for gas, cloths, food, entertainment, and even one for fun. You fill the envelopes with the designated amount of money each month. When the envelope is gone, the money is gone. You don't reach for your credit cards. This helps keep you honest and on track. This can also help you save money for the INA conference or something else big by having an envelope and putting money in there too, and then putting it into your online savings account at ING or WAMU, etc.

I think that after my beach trip next week I will be implementing this system for the rest of 2009 to see how it goes. They say it might take a few months to start getting the hang of it and seeing results. Why don't you join me and we can be "budget buddies" together making sure we are staying on track.

14 steps to the Envelope System

Modified Dave Ramsey Envelope System

update on Modified Dave Ramsey Envelope System


Time to get some things for free!

>> Sunday, July 26, 2009

July is wrapping up and there are several ways to add to your professional nanny career with upcoming conferences and membership giveaways.

We are entering the 4th and final week over at Regardingnannies of their Partial Year INA Membership. So don't delay and go enter!

There are several ways that you can earn free conference registrations and a hotel stay for the upcoming Nannypalooza.

Nannynetwork has a giveaway that ends on July 31 which features a hotel stay and conference registration!

What are you waiting for? Make sure you have this blog in an email subscription or reader so over the next few days you can enter these contests...some of them just requiring you to email your contact info!

Good luck!


Really why is he interested in tipping?

>> Thursday, July 23, 2009

The other night at dinner, my teenager asked her preteen brother why he was so interested in what I gave for a tip at lunch. I shared with her the fact that he now puts the tip on our bill when we go out to dinner. Here is how this started:

Last year I started having my preteen figure out what the tip was on our meals when we went out to eat. The family eats out a lot and I thought this would be great practice at percents and fractions. There are several reasons for having him do this. The main ones are to have a grasp on how much things cost and practice with practical math applications.

We worked on taking 10% of the total bill ( $49.83) which would be $4.98Then you take the $4.98 and double it to give you 20% of the bill to give you a 20% tip.If you want to do a 15% tip you divide the 10% tip ($4.98) in half $2.49 and add it to the 10% total making the 15% tip=$7.47

The majority of the time we round up the change portion to a whole number. This also helps my kidlet understand that things do cost more than just the list price.Here is a website I found regarding tipping.

What do you do with your kids to encourage teaching math skills in every day environment


Free DVD Movie every Monday!

>> Friday, July 17, 2009

About six months ago, I cancelled my Blockbuster Online account. The main reason was that it was 18 dollars a month and I used it more for my kidlets than me. The store I went to also closed, so it made the decision easy!

This is when I discovered Redbox. They are located in grocery stores ,some convenience stores, McDonalds, Walmarts & Walgreens. The cost per rental day is ONE DOLLAR plus tax! To check out the DVD you must use a credit card or debit card. No cash is accepted. To me this is kind of a no brainer. When I go to the grocery store, I see if they have a movie I like, if they do great, if they don’t ok. I can also reserve one online. Redbox will tell me which location has the movie I would like to rent. I can return it to any location as well, not the original location. If you happen to not return it the next day they charge you an additional dollar plus tax.

I also like using this DVD rental as a friendly bribe for my charge who dreads going to the grocery store. He is a teenager, so the chance to get a movie is a good deal for 40 minutes at the store. A lot of people also enjoy Redbox because they rent movies whenever they travel and return them at the other end of the destination. Great for kid rentals!

How do you get the free movie? Each Monday, Redbox releases a code for a free rental. You can grab that code and take it to the store or reserve online.

The how to’s of REDBOX:
Sign up for an online account
Sign up for emails to get the latest movie releases & deals.
Reserve your movie online with your credit card
Go pick up your movie with your credit card0A
Pop some popcorn and enjoy your movie!
Return your movie the next day and you will receive an email confirmation that you returned it.

Don’t delay sign up for your account and scope out what movie you want to watch for FREE on Monday! Let me know what you watch!


What is your Opportunity Cost?

>> Thursday, July 9, 2009

A few months ago, several nannies who are members of the INA sponsored an essay contest. The topic of the essay was “Why you are committed to being a professional nanny?” Now you may ask what does this have to do with finances. A lot of this essay contest has to do with finances. I saved $276 by writing a 300 word essay on why I am I committed to being a professional nanny. I saved that money by making the decision and taking the time during one day to write this essay. It took about an hour to write. So one hour of my time was worth $276. This is what my opportunity cost was. This is about the only phrase I remember from my Economics class. What opportunity cost means basically is what is the cost of doing something when your decision has been made. I choose to give up an hour of my day so that I could save $276. For a more detailed explanation visit opportunity cost.

Over at Regarding Nannies, they are giving away 4 partial year INA memberships for a few minutes of your time during the month of July. There is one entry that you have to do for being entered, and if you want to increase your chances of winning, there are additional opportunities for entries. Will you take this opportunity to show what your economic cost is when wanting to become a member of a National Nanny Organization, such as the INA. Will take this opportunity of winning a $39 partial year membership? I hope you review your finances and see what this opportunity cost might be worth to you.

Here is a copy of my essay that was worth an hour of my time:

One of many reasons, I feel committed to the profession is because as a child I was taught to be self sufficient among many other things. Being self sufficient is a stepping stone to having life skills. I was that person in college who knew how to check the oil level in my car, while many didn’t.

Today’s world is so busy with academics and knowledge, that the simplicity of common sense and achieving life skills is often forgotten. As a professional I bring a certain level of “common sense” or “life skills” to my job. I have seen the brightest children not know how to wash clothes to not knowing how to mail a package. With all my jobs I have helped children become self sufficient, even just getting a bowl of cereal prepared to figuring out how to order tickets online from Ticketmaster. Children are often catered to by their families that they often “sink” once they reach the “real” world. I feel that by helping them achieve “life skills” and “common sense” it helps them become a stronger person.

“Basic Skills” is something that I have enjoyed helping my charges, other nannies and even moms utilize. Through communicating about the basics of nannying like having taxes paid, getting health insurance, set work hours, communication with employers, a work agreement and how to find a job or nanny, I have reached many people. I am involved locally in a nanny support group, nationally in many online groups, INA and the late National Association of Nannies. Many people outside of my nanny circle come to me for information on hiring nannies or what to do with their nannies if there is a problem etc. I am committed to being a professional nanny by spreading the word of the “Basics”.
Thank you ladies for choosing my essay. See you in Dallas on the 23rd of April!



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