Thursday, March 26, 2015

Face Your Money!

Get out your notebooks, pens, receipts, and documents today! FACE YOUR FEARS. Did you know that most of America's hold up with money is that we're SCARED of it?

Are you scared of your money? Do you avoid it? Do you deny it? Do you criticize it? 

If your money was a person, how do you treat it? Are you tender? Aggressive? Angry? LEARN about your relationship with your money. Write down your family history with money. How did your parents handle money? Friends? Coworkers? Write down everything! How do you want to handle your money? How do you want your children to handle their money? 

Make a list of goals. Remember, you can do ANYTHING you intend to do. The world is at your feet. So stand up!!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mindfulness & Money

Be mindful with your money! 

I've been thinking about mindfulness a lot lately. To me, mindfulness is all about noticing the world around me. Noting my emotions, influences, observations, and being intentional about my life and the decisions I make. 

So how does this apply to money? 

Well, I've only recently started to think about money and mindfulness so forgive me if my ideas are a bit scattered. I think in the same way that we are spiritually mindful or mindful of others or even mindful with our food, we can give theat same awareness to our money. We can stare at it in the face. Not run in fear. We can make intentional choices about our spending, saving, and earning. 

This can provide a joy with our money that we have never known before! So try it! Try to form a relationship with your money. Look at it. Note the way it goes up and down. Observe your feelings towards money and your past history with it. This is a step towards mindfulness! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Let the money management madness continue!!!

This week we're gonna talk about jars. Yup, jars you read that right. 

Before you turn away and think I'm crazy, hang on for one more moment and I promise it will all make sense!

A fantastic budgeting tool whether you get paid in cash or checks is JARS. Use containers of any kind. Label each container with what you want to save for. Example, retirement, wedding, college etc. each month take out cash from your bank and put the money in the container! The big thing with this is DO NOT SPEND that money for anything else!!

In my house we stared an "extra jar." This means that any extra money's that was made that month after paying bills and adding to the savings jar goes towards the extra jar. This can be used for wherever fun purchases your heart desires (as long as you only use the money from the extras jar!)

Pictures to come :) :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Get Money Creative

Happy Friday everyone!! 

Looking for something fun to do tonight on a budget? How about bundling up, grab some hot cocoa and  head to River Walk for a nice brisk walk! 

There are SO many things to do for free or almost free! Just get creative! How about a make your own pizza date night? Or make a craft project with your special someone! You'd be surprised how much you can create from a few scraps of paint  and canvas? 

Try not to feel too down and out about your money situation...look at it as a creative opportunity!! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

You Can Own Your Life!

What do you think about this quote?

Do you agree with this? It doesn't mean you have to have money to be powerful, it means YOU can be powerful with the money you do have! 

One way to have control over your money is by knowing how much money you have! Keep track of it! Check weekly, daily if possible! You are in control of your life and your money!

Here's another picture from Suze Orman's book (you guys know how much I love her!) 

What do you think about her tips? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Honestly Budgeting

Time is your best friend with money management!

Even if you don't make a lot of money, you can use time to your advantage! Even if you make $100 per week that's still $400 every month! If you save $50 per month that's $600 per year! 

When you budget, do so honestly. So if you spend money on thing that your not proud of (shopping, restaurants, etc) that's ok. Be honest. Include what you would actually want to spend and see how the power of time can help. Maybe it sounds like spending $200 per month on something extraneous is a lot and it is but you only have to dedicate $50 per week. By being honest with your budget and give yourself the opportunity to make small and manageable changes. This is much better than pretending that you don't spend money on something that you do really want to spend on!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Know your score.

This is a page from Susie Orman's book "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke"

This book is one of my favorites because she is so clear and concise with her advice. This is the first page of her book! Her biggest most important tip is to KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE. Find it out. How can we start to help if we don't know where you stand financially?

That's our big assignment for the weekend. There are plenty of websites and organizations that can check your credit for free or a small fee. If you need help finding your credit score, feel free to TALK to us! Meet us at one of our church locations! We'd love to help.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Money Meeting 101

We're keeping it simple today: basic steps to get you to your own money meeting and what to do. 

1. Purchase a small notebook. We're big on writing things down rather than typing. The brain processes writing much better than typing. 

You can find a notebook at DollarTree or Meijer or your local gas station. 

Here's mine: 

2. Once you get your notebook make a list of all the things you (and your spouse/partner) purchased that WEEK. 

3. Divide your purchases into categories. Ex: kids, food, gas, eating out etc.

4. Look at your spending and decide where you spend your most money. From here, you can make a budget! How much can you afford to spend on these expenses per week/month? Where can you cut back? 

5. Consistency! The key to money meetings is carving out the time each week, no matter what! The more you observe your money and spending habits, the more you will save and grow if the long run!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Money Management!

Welcome to the month of March where we will post all of our goodies on how to help YOU manage your money better!

If you have any specific questions that you would like us to talk about, please leave a comment below or tweet to us! We love hearing from you guys :) 

First and foremost, ask yourself this question:

How often do I sort out my finances?

What is your answer? Do you look at your bank statement or cash once a month? Every other month? Once a week?

How often do you talk with your parter or family about money?

The answer to both of these questions should be ONCE A WEEK. Pick a day and a time. Try to keep it the same day/time every week! (Mine is 10am on Friday) Take out your receipts, computer, smartphone...whatever you use to look at your spending and WRITE DOWN what you spent that week. How much of it was on food? Bills? Random expenses?

The first step is to form a healthy habit of checking your money regularly. A weekly meeting is a great way to do this! 

Stay tuned as March Money Management will keep rolling on! Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to. Anything. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Read Outloud!

Our system here is down and confused, so thugs are a bit out of sorts for us today at ECHO. While we try to reorganize ourselves and get back on track with or monthly blog themes, we thought today we would talk about the importance of reading! 

If your child is having a tough time discovering the magic of stories and reading, why not try reading together? Before bed is a great time, or even after dinner! Snuggle up and rea out loud or have your child read to you! 

A great book to read together is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster! You  will be howling with laughter!! 

You can find it at your local library or even in your child's school library!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Let's Build A Snowman!

I know winter has been hard on all of us, but don't forget that cold days and nights can be inspiring! Before you know it summer will be upon us, so take a second to spend some time with your kids, put on some heavy layers, and build a snowman! It's the simple joys that kids will cherish for their lifetimes!