As a young mother dealing with daycare bills, student loans, and a new house I am reminded daily of the burden finances can place on a family.  Part of my duty as a wife and mother is to be diligent about the state of our household finances.  With that in mind, there are a few strategies I have learned that I am trying to implement in my household abd there are lots of lessons I am still processing! With that being said, here we go:

1.  Budget, budget, budget!  You can't set financial goals if you don't begin with the end in mind.  What are your financial goals for this month, this year, the next ten years?  What's important to you-tithing, books, TV, vacations, school? 

2.  Name brands often equal money waste.  More and more store brands are as good as, if not better than, name brands!  I am in love with many store brands, particularly those found at Aldi's.  For those of you who have never shopped at Aldi's, you are missing out!  Here's one example- Bush's Baked Beans can cost over a $1 a can.  Aldi's has awesome baked beans that are even better than Bush's for less than 50 cents!  Give it a try!

3.  Coupons are our friends!  Many people do not coupon, or they randomly select coupons for products they want to try.  With just a little work, you can save $100's throughout the year.  For example, just last week with Harris Teeter super double coupons, I got $70 worth of groceries for $16!  Remember I am a full time working mother- I do NOT coupon everyday, nor do I carry binders and binders of coupons around.  Rather I focus on the staples I know my family will use, I focus on 2-3 stores that I know well, and I plan monthly menus to have a good idea of the products I will use throughout the month.

4.  It is never to early to think about retirement.  When do you want to retire?  What kind of lifestyle do you want to have in retirement?  Starting at age 30, investing $5,000 a year at a 10% growth will lead to over $500,000 by age 60.  A little invested now equals a whole lot of gain later.  Personally, my husband and I have set up Roth IRA's.  I would rather pay taxes now on my investments then worry about what the tax code will look like in 30 years. 

To be continued...