Search Results: Job

You are browsing the search results for job

How to Rock Your Job Like a Boss

how to rock your job like a boss

With over 10 years of experience, I’ve learned how to rock your job and help you stick around for the long haul.

Between high school, college and now I’ve had a number of jobs.  Now, don’t start thinking that I’ve job hopped over the years.  That’s not true.  I typically stick at a job for well over a year, but I sometimes add 1 or 2 jobs on top of my main one.  You see, I don’t like to sit still and I like to make money.  So I’m willing to bust my butt to reach my goals, which I have to say, are mighty big!  

Over the years I’ve seen co-workers come and go.  I’ve seen bosses get agitated with some characteristics of my fellow co-workers. I’ve created a list and I want to share it below with you.  There are certain things that we all know we shouldn’t do on our job – steal, lie to our boss, procrastinate, etc.  But do we know what we should be doing?  What qualities do we need to possess to be a standout employee?  Well, I’m here to help.

I’ve always tried to put my work first.  Now, don’t get me wrong – if my family or friends really need me then I’ll be there in a heartbeat.  But I like to think that my strong work ethic at the office has helped my bosses to be more understanding when I do need to take off.  I also try to not make a habit of it.

A few years ago I was working in a small attorney’s office.  At the time, it was just the attorney and me.  Now, years later, the attorney has expanded well beyond the two-man operation from when I first started.  That has nothing to do with me, other than the fact that I was willing to help out and was honest when I couldn’t take on more.  Anyways… back to my story…

A few years ago, one of my closest friends lost someone very important to them.  Now they never asked me to attend the funeral.  They knew I was working and had school, they also knew the 6 hour round-trip car ride wasn’t going to be easy with everything else going on.  But I knew in my heart that I needed to be there.  This girl meant the world to me and she still does. So I asked my boss if I could have 1 ½ days off.  He asked why and I could tell he was thinking – this isn’t even a family member why should I give it to you.  But I said one thing that really helped – I understand this is short notice, I will work late the next few days to get caught up and I do not expect to be paid for vacation time.  He looked at me and said if it’s that important then you need to be there.  I can manage for a day without you, but be prepared to work when you get back.  So I left.  I drove 3 hours home, went to the funeral, sat by my best friend and was just present.  

At the end of the day, I drove back and showed up to work on time the next day.  I worked my tail off getting caught up and none of my work slacked in the least.  I proved that I was worth having.  But what I never admitted and was hoping that I wouldn’t have to is that I knew in that moment how valuable I was.  I knew that I was replaceable, but I also knew my friend wasn’t.  So I was willing to take that risk, but by being granted a little freedom and understanding, I was willing to prove him that I was worth keeping.  That’s what you have to do.  You have to be willing to give more than you take.

Let’s face it – employers are looking for key characteristics of a good employee.  

If you have a few qualities that’s good, majority then that’s great, but if you have all of them then you are going to be in a golden position to work your way up.  

Here’s what I’ve noticed over the past ten years as the qualities employers are craving for in their employees:

clock

SHOW UP EARLY – I understand rare mornings happen and your alarm doesn’t go off or the baby was sick and you just couldn’t get there on time, but the majority of your mornings you need to show up early.  I’m not talking an hour early, but a few minutes or so.  I know when I get to the office, I have to turn my computer on, get some water and set my purse down.  By getting there a few minutes early, I can take care of all of that without rushing around.  That way when 8:00 am hits you’re already at your desk ready to work.

STAY LATE – If the work isn’t done then be willing to stay a few minutes late.  It won’t happen every day and it will really show your employer you’re committed.  

I had a job once I loved.  It was hard and challenging, but I loved it.  My boss was great, my co-workers were wonderful and I went to work everyday loving what I was doing.  So on the rare occasion a client’s documents weren’t completed or a client needed a late appointment, I was willing to stick around.  I didn’t do it because I was hourly and liked the extra 30 minutes of pay – that wouldn’t be worth it.  I did it because I thoroughly enjoyed what I did and liked helping.  That’s how it should be.  

BE POSITIVE – No one likes Negative Nancy.  Don’t be a naysayer.  There is nothing worse than someone who complains all. the. time.  Stay upbeat and you will notice how easy it is to hit your goals or how much more willing your co-workers will be to help you out.  You never know – you’re day may actually go by faster, too!

Ask for more work – Once you’ve completed your daily, weekly or monthly tasks don’t just sit around on Facebook.  Reach out to get more.  Try to learn as much as you can because you never know when it’ll come in handy.  Plus, if you’re willing to take on more work to help out then that might cut back the nights you have to stay late.  Just a thought…

TAKE THE INITIATIVE – This quality goes with the one above it – asking for more work.  If you see something that needs to be done then do it, even if it’s not your assigned task.  It’ll keep you busy, help the office and you might just prove yourself a bit, too.  Plus, taking the initiative means not putting something off until the last minute.  There is nothing more frustrating than watching a co-worker be assigned a task to complete by the end of the month.  Here we are on the last day of the month and they are just starting the task.  Then you find out that they can’t complete their assignment because they don’t have all the pieces.  If they would have started 3 weeks ago when it was first assigned, then they would have noticed what all they needed and it could have been ordered.  

Here’s another example of taking the initiative.  I had a job once where the receptionist was suppose to clean while she had free time.  If we were extra busy one week then the cleaning would slack because she would have less free time.  So if I went to the bathroom, I would just grab the cleaner and wipe everything down when I was done.  It took less than 2 minutes and the bathroom was clean for the next person.  Plus, it really helped out the girl at the front desk who was swamped with calls and appointments.  She was instantly my best friend because I was willing to help her.  

man-person-hands-coffee-large

GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – again, show them you’re worth it.  I am a huge believer in NOT doing the bare minimum.  If I want my job to last and I want to prove that I’m irreplaceable then I am willing to take on more work, work harder than anyone else and commit to the company.  

In one job I had worked my way up to be the office manager, which meant I was writing everyone’s paycheck, balancing books, paying our payroll taxes, ordering supplies, managing and training the staff.  However, the office needed more.  The staff was behind and we needed help with drafting documents.  So instead of saying, “sorry, that’s not my job anymore.”  I figured out a way to help.  I took the smaller cases aways from the paralegals so they could spend more time on the bigger, more complicated ones.  It was hard and I was stressed some days, but being able to help out was so much more important to me.

BE WILLING TO LEARN – The first thing you have to realize in any job that you take on is that you don’t know everything.  With that in mind, you have to be open.  You have to be willing to try new ways of getting the job done and finding better solutions.

BE WILLING TO TAKE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM – I used to be the first one to become defensive when I just felt like I was going to be criticized.  It’s a hard pill to swallow to find out that the work you did isn’t good enough or right.  It’s rough.  But to grow as a person you have to be willing to take criticism.  Now, I am NOT talking about destructive, down-right mean criticism.  I’m talking about listening and learning from someone that is willing to help you grow.  

One really standout way to take constructive criticism is by taking notes.  In the moment, I may not be thinking clear because I’m trying to still defend why I completed those actions.  So by taking notes then I can process everything on my terms.  Plus, it’ll help me the next the situation comes up because I can refer back to what was suggested to me.  It shows the boss (wo)man that you’re really invested in getting better and are willing to learn.

BE OKAY WITH GRUNT WORK – Let’s go back to the time I cleaned the bathroom to help out.  Now, it wasn’t the only time I helped clean that office nor was it the only job I had that I cleaned at.  I remember working at Office Depot my first few years in college.  I liked it for the most part, but my least favorite task was cleaning the bathrooms.  Disgusting.  But it was a task that rotated between staff members so when it was my turn, I would roll up my sleeves and do the best job I could.  

I knew that job and that task wasn’t forever.  And I also knew that I wasn’t too good to scrub a toilet.  I was not raised to think that something was beneath me, so I gave it my all.  You have to be will to scrub a few toilets (figuratively or literally speaking) to get ahead.  What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.

Startup Stock Photos

BE A TEAM PLAYER – you have to be willing to put the company’s well-being above your own.  Now I’m not suggesting you lie, cheat or steal to help the company, but what I am saying is pitching in to help out.  At my current career (I say career and not job here, because this is what I will be doing for the rest of my life) we have quotas to hit. So, as a team we help each other reach our individual quota. If I’ve hit mine then I ask who needs help and vice versa.  That’s they way it’s suppose to be.  If we each hit our quota then we win individually (a nice little bonus!), but if we help the office reach the overall goal then the office does better, which we will see a benefit from in the long-run.

Like I said earlier, you have to have some of these qualities to be successful at any job.  I used a lot of office-type jobs in my example, but I’ve done most types of jobs.  The only one I haven’t done is food.  Well, I worked at an ice cream shop and snow cone stand one summer, but that’s the closest I’ve come to food.  I’ve worked at several different types of retail stores and office jobs, but they all have one thing in common to be successful.

You can check out my other career tips here

You have to be willing to work hard, show up and get the job done.  This is how your rock your job like a boss!

Talking To Your Boss About Leaving Your Job :: My Experience

leaving your job If you read my last post about knowing when it was time to leave a job then you know what decision I made.  I have been with this company for over 5 years and have worked my way up from a part-time receptionist to full-time office manager and bookkeeper and then came full circle to a full-time paralegal.  I had signs that showed me this job wasn’t the one for me, but when I realized that then I also knew it was time to talk to my boss.

It’s hard to sit down with someone that you’ve gotten to know over the past few years to have a hard discussion with.  Luckily for me, I can have a pretty open conversation with my boss and walk away feeling that it was productive.  Here’s how I went about talking to my boss about wanting to leave:

1) start the dialogue and letting him know that you want to talk.
2) be honest with how you are currently feeling.  Some may say that the workplace is not the place for feelings, but when you know someone for over 5 years and he’s seen a lot from you then it’s okay.
3) do not back down from what you want.
4) tell him the issues you are having – some may be personal and some may be the office procedures.
5) be flexible about leaving.

For me, there were some cases that we needed to finish up.  Yes, I could have left him without any help, but that wouldn’t have been very nice.  Plus, he’s been there for me in the past and the least I could do was be there.  I sat down and had this conversation about a month before wanting to leave.  That way we both had a specific date in mind and the chance to wind up some cases.

It’s never easy to start a new chapter in your life, but sometimes it’s a necessity.  Do not let being miserable at your job make you an unhappy person.  Life is too short to be angry and sad.  Only you have the ability to make change happen.

If you dream of having a different life or a different career then realize that you might be standing in our own way.  I had so many supportive people around me telling me it was okay to make a switch, but I had to finally believe it to make it happen.

Signs It’s Time For A New Job :: My Experience

signs it's time for a new job The end of the year has come and I can finally make a big announcement that I’ve been keeping from you.  The title probably gave it away, but I have decided that I want to change jobs.  It’s been a long time coming and a pretty hard decision.  I don’t love my job, but I am absolutely crazy about the people I work with.  It makes it so hard when you dread going into the office each morning, but know that you are making a difference with the people you work for.
signs it's time for a new job What happens when you think you are ready for a career change?  There has to be some signs that lead you along your way, right?  Well, I had a few signs it’s time for a new job:

1) I dreaded going into the office.  I am never one to dread talking to people and helping people.  So when I started to hate it, I knew I was in the wrong field.

2) It’s not where I saw myself in 5 years or even 1 one year from now.

3) I want to own a business some day and there was no potential for me to own a part this one.

4) I was tired of complaining.

A few simple and direct signs is all it took, well that and about 3 months.  The next step was talking to my boss.  I’ll go more into that in another post.

Image via behappy

Surviving Tax Season Like A Boss {A Guide}

surviving tax season like a boss, a guide to surviving tax season

It’s no secret that I work in an accounting, tax and financial planning firm.  I talk about it a lot.  Maybe it’s because I love what I do or maybe it’s because that’s where I spend a lot of my time.  I’m not sure, but either way it’s tax season.  Surviving tax season is a whole thing.  It starts in mid-January and continues until mid-April.  That’s 4 months… 4 months where your life is flipped around.  

I’m not an accountant or tax preparer… yet.  The plan is to become a Certified Public Accountant in the next two years, but first I need to get through becoming a Certified Financial Planner®.  You see, back in college I never dreamed that I would be returning to my hometown to help my Dad in his practice.  That wasn’t in the cards.  Then flash forward 4 years after graduating with my Bachelors and I feel the pull to come home.  

Naturally I didn’t study accounting in college, because why would that be fun?!  I studied Marketing.  Now to sit for the CPA exam I have to have a few more accounting classes.  The plan is for me to get through and pass the CFP exam.  I’ve already taken the courses to prepare for the exam so now it’s just all about passing it.  

Once I get through and earn my CFP designation then I will go back to school to finish those pesky accounting classes before sitting for the CPA exam.  Then when that happens my tax seasons will be even a bit more wild than they already are.

But right now my job during tax season is to review returns with clients, help with any financial planning needs during the next few months and continue rocking our marketing campaigns.  I work 6 days a week.  It’s hard.  I also am studying for the CFP exam and have night class two nights a week.  

I have a lot going on.  So does J.  Our schedules keep us pretty busy and when we have free time we prefer to be doing something as a family.  

Surviving tax season can be rough for those in the field or even connected to the field.  Here are my top 10 tips for surviving tax season like a boss:

  1. sleep when you can
  2. make it clear that you are unavailable starting the second week in January through mid-April to everyone you know
  3. Say goodbye to your Saturday social life
  4. Love what you do
  5. Take deep breaths
  6. Take time in early January to plan the next few months
  7. Learn to say no sometimes
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  9. Spend quality time with those you love
  10. Have a daily schedule

Small tips, but they really help.  I’m a huge planner so I need my calendar to be in order at all times.  It helps me from feeling overwhelmed.  At the first of January I sit down to really schedule out the next few months.  I ask myself are there any trips J and I need to plan for?  What days do I or J have classes on?  What about J’s bowling league, what does that schedule look like?  Plan for any doctor appointments for Baby Boy.  And so much more.  

Then I start filling in my calendar.  I’ve used the Purposeful Planner before and really liked it, but this year I’m going to try to stick with all digital.  I’ve setup our Google calendar so that it’s color coordinated.  It can be accessed from anywhere so I don’t always have to haul around a paper planner with me, which is nice.  About a year ago I wrote a post about what my day looks like.  It’s still somewhat similar, but I think it might be time for an update.  Baby Boy wasn’t here yet and our life sure has changed with him being in it.  

I remember that tax season is just the next few months so that means I may have to miss out on a few things, and that’s okay.  I don’t mind.  I really enjoy what I’m doing and love learning something new each year.  Tax season is all about sacrifices, but I still get amazing quality time with my family and the time I get with my friends and other family members is special.  

What are your busy times during the year?  I know when I worked retail that the busy season hit right before Thanksgiving and lasted through Christmas.  It’s all about phases and finding time to balance it all.  

Nothing Worse

nothing worse

You know what stinks? When you’re having a rough day and you need to put your foot down, but don’t have a voice. Like a literal voice, not a figurative voice.

I had an issue with a big insurance company not too long ago and I had this “guy” on the other end of the phone say something that was completely false. It made me mad. Normally I would have raised my voice a little – not yelling, just stern to correct him. Except I’ve been sick. I have no voice. It’s a little rough sounding and I feel like I’m screaming just to get a small sound out.

I wanted to so bad to call this man out on his assumptions. To correct him. But instead I was left holding back tears because I was so mad that nothing would come out. If only I would have talked to him the day before then I would have been able to lay into him like I wanted. If only he would have done his job and returned my call like he said he would then I would have spoken to him before my voice decided to give out on me.

There is absolutely nothing worse than feeling helpless. Feeling like you don’t matter and even if you try hard to get your point across they just don’t want to hear it. He kept cutting me off as if I wasn’t even talking. I know it’s probably a tactic, but it was awful.

Now I sound like a pipsqueak with no authority. Just wait until I get my voice back, buddy. You’ll be sorry.

Surviving Motherhood

Let’s get real here. Motherhood is hard. No matter how many kids you have, or if you work full time, part-time, work from home or stay at home. It’s hard. Being a Mom kicks you in the butt every single day. I mean it.  Surviving motherhood may be a misleading title, because I’m pretty no matter my son’s age I’m still going to be a crazed-filled Mom ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.

When my little guy was sick I was fortunate to stay home with him for 3 days straight. There I was 24 hours a day on call. No one to hand me anything, no one to help me when I went pee. It was just me and a sick little 9 month old… and three dogs that followed me wherever I went. Well…. Until my husband came home from work.

You never know how loved you are until you hear a baby start to cry because you set him down to run to the bathroom. Friday night rolled around and J asked me how my day went. I looked at him and with all seriousness said I’m in the same clothes since yesterday at 5. I don’t even know if I’ve brushed my teeth today. I can’t get a comb through my hair because it hasn’t been combed since Sunday night and because every time I get the comb out our little guy thinks it’s his to play with. Today has been great.

I meant that though… it really was a great day. Our kid was finally feeling better. It was worth it!

motherhood surviving motherhood

That’s motherhood. All is fine if the kids are doing good. You can get through anything.

There are so many sleepless nights and days where all you want is your kid to take an amazing 2 hour nap just so you can start a load of laundry and change the channel to something that isn’t animated. At least that’s how felt last week and that was only 3 days!

Most days I struggle with Mom Guilt because I have to drop him off a sitter while I go to work. I think about him and miss him the entire day. But I get a break. I get to have grown-up conversations and sit at a desk by myself. But as soon as evening comes I rush to pick him up just to hold him again. In the evenings I’m juggling dinner while getting ran over by a walker. If you’ve never carried a plate of food, a glass of liquids while having your bare toes ran over by mini plastic wheels then you haven’t lived!

You know what we need in this motherhood thing? Moms being nice and telling you that you’re doing a great job. Momhood is messy, it’s filled with too much caffeine, sleepless nights and too much judgement. We’re too busy judging ourselves and wondering what other people are thinking of us. Well let me tell you… I don’t even notice the other Moms because I’m the mom scrambling around.

I showed up for an after-work event for me and J, but since he had to work late I took my 9 month old son as my plus one. But don’t worry, it wasn’t cute. He spilled his bottle all over him in the car so it looked like he wet himself. I had to dig for my fleece jacket off the floorboard because I forgot his jacket. And I also couldn’t stay long because I didn’t have one single diaper with me… nope not even an old one that was too small. I was afraid I would have ended up wrapping him in swaddle blanket if he peed through his diaper just to get him home. And I wasn’t about to have to clean his car seat cover that night.

Mom. Of. The. Year. Right here, people. That’s me! To have another Mom say “I’ve been there.” or “Hey! He’s alive and doesn’t have poop all over his body. You’re doing great!” would be amazing. That’s what we should be doing. Encouraging each other because we are in this together.

If you see a Mom who looks frazzled and like she hasn’t slept in days, then let her know how great she’s doing.

When Your Little One Gets Sick

tips for when baby gets sick, mom tips

There is nothing worse then when your sweet, smiling little one gets sick. You would do anything to take away their pain and sickness. I know I would gladly take their fever or their earache so he wouldn’t have to feel the pain.

Last week our little man ended up with a cold that led to a double ear infection. Mix in some teething and we were in for an amazing week! Can you detect my sarcasm? I am so fortunate that my job is flexible. I can stay home with him if needed or I can take him to work with me on the days I need to be in the office. I’m lucky. Not every Mom or Dad gets to do that.

tips for when baby gets sick, mom tips

dog lounging, motherhood 

But when you’re not used to staying home day after day then by the end of the week you feel like you got punched in the gut a few times. I was exhausted. I had tried hard to keep the house clean, the dogs were getting too spoiled with having me home all day – meaning they wanted outside every 20 minutes to sniff around and bark into thin air. Not to mention there is only so many times you can hear Daniel Tiger’s theme song before you want to scream fast first into a pillow!

 One of the best tips I found online was a way to track our Baby Boy’s medications.  You think once in the morning and once in the evening would be easy to remember, but it’s not.  Especially when you have two adults trying to help and a dog that is on daily medications as well.  Some days J has time in the mornings and sometimes he doesn’t.  Instead of just having to rely on one another or call each other with “did you give the dog his meds?  what about the baby? did you feed the dogs?”  It’s too much.  I quickly grabbed a Sharpie and drew two sections – AM and PM.   Then drew lines going across so there would be one box for each day.  Now if you give him the medicine, just mark it off. Problem solved!  I love Pinterest!

tips for when baby gets sick, mom tips

I also found a few baby-friendly activities that we did together.  First, we played with our Tupperware.  We pounded it together, we threw it around and it was the best!  When that fun wore off I jumped onto the next activity.  Mess free painting.  Again, that was another win but it didn’t last long.  Why can’t this boy of mine have a longer attention span!?  Finally, I discovered his love of the dogs’ water bowl.  He’d race to it as fast as he could and I would jump up and tell him no.  We would go back and forth until I finally barricaded him in using the excersaucer and bouncer.  He wasn’t happy and tried to climb through the walker to get to it.  

There is nothing worse then when your little one gets sick.  Am I right?

By Saturday morning our little guy was feeling so much better. But of course J and I woke up feeling awful. Great! You know, I said I would take his sickness from him? Well that didn’t mean when he was finally getting over it. I didn’t want him to suffer at all. Now I have (an almost) well kid that wants to play and two parents who feel like crap.

Awesome!

Let’s hope these meds kick in fast because I can hear him in the kitchen knocking over the trash can with his walker as I type this. Cheers to the weekend!

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Can you believe 2017 is here? I seriously feel like I just rang in 2016 and now here we are a year later. I never understood when my parents or other adults said that time just seemed to speed by. “In a blink of an eye.”

In school time just felt like it was dragging on. I couldn’t wait to be graduated, working a job, having my own home, etc. I just couldn’t wait to be an adult. Now here I am. 30 years old and time is flying.

It’s hard to imagine our little guy turning ONE in just 4 short months. It’s crazy to think we will be living in my hometown for 3 years this summer or how J and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary this fall.

Life does really fly by. I don’t know what’s changed since school. Maybe I’m busier, maybe I have more commitments then I used to. Or maybe… just maybe I can’t keep up like I did when I was 20.

I am so thankful that I didn’t have a ton of responsibilities at such a young age because I just don’t think I was mature enough. But I can tell you having a baby at 30 isn’t easy. It’s so much harder to pull an up-all-nighter or to go with very little sleep.

Well.. that’s enough about getting older and time just passing quickly. This post is all about the New Year. So alright, we’re starting 2017 off right. I’ve jotted down my top resolutions for this next year.

I’ve never been crazy about using the word “resolutions.” It just seems negative.  Something about saying my 2017 new year’s resolutions just seems like I’m in trouble.

Like I resolve to stop this bad habit.

I want to be more positive. I’ve never really liked calling them resolutions.  Even last year I called them my goals.  

I’m continuing with that and I am making my 2017 list all about goals. I want to continue striving and working towards something that will benefit me and my family.

So here it is… my 2017 Goals:

new year resolutions, new year goals, 2017 resolutions, 2017 goals, family goals, family resolutions

I started looking back at my goals since I started sharing them on here.  It’s crazy to see what’s changed and how I’ve grown over the years.  One thing is certain – my new year goals are getting simpler.  No more crazy lists, crazy achievements that I know will be difficult to attain.  I’m pushing myself, but only in the areas that are most important.  I’m keeping my goals broad so I know when I’ve achieved it in my heart and not on paper.  

Here are my previous goals:

2014 goals

2015 goals

2016 goals

No matter if you call them your 2017 New Year’s resolutions or your new year goals, either way it’s time to kick butt.  

Want to Save 20% at the Grocery Store? Here’s How

money saving tip for grocery store, Want to save 20% on your grocery bill-

I want to share with you, my favorite people, my #1 money saving tip when at the grocery store. It occurred to me that I hadn’t shared this specific tip before when I created my other grocery money saving tips. I thought it was so simple, but after talking with some friends and sharing this photo on instagram, I realized it needed to be said.

I started shopping this way back in college to save time. What I found out was that I was saving so much more than just time. I had started saving money. Now when you’re in college, money is harder to come by. I was in school full-time, working full-time and 2 part-time jobs, but still I just never had enough money. Now here I am, 30 years old with my own family and it’s not that I don’t have money to spend, it’s that I want to save money so I can save more for our future.

Here we go… my number 1 money saving tip for grocery store…

Make your list in order of the store’s aisles.

Seems so simple, right? But most people don’t do it. They create their list as things pop into their head.

You’re making dinner and realize you’re almost out of cooking spray so you jot that down. The next morning you throw away your empty body wash bottle so you quickly add that to the list.

Next thing you know your shopping list is a hot mess. You will either have to do A LOT of backtracking to get everything or you’ll have to skip around on your list as you shop. Which means the likelihood of you skipping something has just increased. It also means you’ve just stepped up the possibility of adding items to your cart you don’t actually need.

J and I keep a running list in the kitchen. We jot everything down that we need as we think of it. Then on Friday or Saturday we create our meal plan. I try to only go shopping for the majority of our stuff every 2 weeks. That way we can buy in bulk, split packages of meat better, and save money.

Now if I have to go to the store in between it’s usually for produce.

Once we have our meal plan done, then I sit down with my list from the kitchen and the meal plan to create the master shopping list.

money saving tip for grocery store

My master list goes in order of the store. The first thing you see when you walk into my Wal-Mart is the produce department, so I start there. I go aisle by aisle of what I need. It took some time to learn where everything is, but for the most part we stick to the same basic meals so I tend to go down the same aisles week after week.

Now I don’t have to wander down the cookie aisle trying to find the next thing on my list because we all know that package of Oreo’s is going to end up in my cart. Let’s be honest.

Once we moved back home it took me awhile to get used to the store’s layout, but once I did I noticed a huge drop in our grocery bill. I’m talking 20% savings just by creating my list in the order of the store’s aisles.

Try it. See how it works for you. I recommend it to everyone.

Getting Over Money Comparisons

Getting Over Money Comparisons

Scrolling through your Facebook feed can create loads of different reactions. You can be thrilled to see your college friend welcome her new son into the world. You can be happy that your little cousin is engaged. You might even feel disgust when you see some of those news articles pop up, but there is another side to Facebook most don’t think about.

Keeping up with the Joneses.

You see only what your Facebook friends want you to see. Their new car, their fancy vacation, beautiful engagement ring and so on. You don’t see what’s behind the camera.

It’s like the fancy neighborhood in town, you drive by dreaming of what it must be like to live in that home. But what you don’t see is the bare furniture through out the home. They are barely keeping their head above water and can’t afford to actually furnish the home.  This is just an example.  Not everyone with big homes are drowning, but you get the idea.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to others. It’s severely hurting ourselves.

We start thinking how unfair it is that so-and-so can travel to the Bahamas while you’re putting every dime you have away to buy your first home.

What you don’t realize is that we are all in different stages of life. Sure you and your friends are welcoming kids into the world around the same time, but other than that nothing is the same. Your job is different than her job, your husband’s is different that her husband’s. You live in a rural community and she lives in a big city. Everything is different.

Money works differently for every person. What might be a priority to you, may not even cross the radar of another.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to others and work on our own goals. (Tweet that!)

Who cares if you aren’t where you think others are. They probably aren’t as accomplished as they are portraying in that staged Facebook post.

So how do you stop the money comparisons?

It’s hard since we have it thrown in our face every day. You have to remember that we don’t see what’s behind the camera. By remembering that one facet, it can really help stop the jealously.

I tend to not get too hung up on Facebook and Instagram images. I see a pretty picture and like it, but then I tend to let it go from my mind. I don’t get caught up on where they are or how they afford it.

You don’t know what others are saying or thinking about you. You may be the point of envy for someone else. Remember the grass is always greener.

If you are wildly focused on reaching your goals then you won’t have time to think about what others are doing. Just stay on your dream and keep working hard to accomplish it.