Spring Cleaning for Less: Surprising Ways to Save Money on Cleaning

You can spend a ton of money cleaning your home if you’re not careful. 

The benefits of having a clean home are easy to recognize, but saving money while doing so can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Between maid services, and over-priced cleaning products, it’s not hard to break the bank while trying to keep a neat home. 

With that in mind, if you know what you’re doing, you can save on cleaners and still see great results. 

In this article, we’ll discuss a few different ways to save money at home while still keeping things spotless.

Now then, let’s get started!

Buy in Bulk

Buying your cleaning products in bulk can be a great way to save money if done correctly. If you have space, and you go frequently enough to repay yourself for the membership, you can save a ton of cash buying from a warehouse club.

Keep in mind you can use your warehouse club membership to buy other things you need around the house. Using such a store for more than just cleaning supplies makes it much quicker and easier to reach the point where your membership essentially pays for itself.

Buy Store Brands

If buying in bulk doesn’t work for you, purchasing store brands can also help cut down on the cost of cleaning products. Oftentimes, the store brand products work just as well as the comparable name brand products at a fraction of the cost.

If you don’t have space or are worried about getting enough bang for your buck from the membership costs, purchasing store brand products is a nice alternative to buying in bulk.

Use What You Have

Odds are you already have a ton of products around the house that are cheap and great to clean with. Mixing water with a little bit of vinegar is a great cleaning solution that works on almost any surface.

Additionally, dish soap has more uses than cleaning pots and pans. It works well as a stain remover, jewelry cleaner, and can even work wonders on your patio furniture, just to name a few. 

Have a cleaning product that’s starting to run low? Add a bit of water to extend its life and save a few extra bucks in the process.

Uses Old Rags Instead of Paper Towels

Using old shirts and rags instead of paper towels is an awesome way to save a few bucks and reduce waste at the same time. Also, if you still receive a weekly newspaper, last week’s edition works well on smooth surfaces like countertops and windows.

Save on Cleaners

As you can see, purchasing a bunch of different expensive cleaning products is completely unnecessary. These are just a few tips and tricks you can use to save on cleaners in the future.

Be sure to check out our blog for more tips on how to save money around the house. We’re here to help you get things done while saving money in the process.

Now then, best of luck on your next cleaning adventure!

Success in School: How to Find a Tutor for Your Child Without Going Broke

In 2017, 13 jurisdictions fell below the national progress levels for grade 4 math. And a whopping 20 jurisdictions fell below the national level for grade 8 math.

The trends show that, as students get into higher grades, they are less able to keep up with the curriculum. Many parents turn to tutors to help them catch up and keep up.

But that can put a financial strain on the family budget. Read on to learn how to find a tutor for less money.

Understand the Tutoring Differences 

Many children struggle with math or reading. And there are many options you can choose from.

Before you pay for sessions at a tutoring center, learn your options so you can spend your money wisely. 

Ask Your Student’s School

If your child is struggling with any school subjects, the first thing you should do is talk to the school.

Your child’s teacher and principal may have options that could help your child. There may be free afterschool study groups or homework help clubs.

Or the school may have partnerships with community resources that provide tutoring services.

Consider letting them set your child up with a volunteer tutor after school. Or assign your child an in-class teaching aide. 

There may also be learning toys and math manipulatives that you can borrow for homework help. 

Visit Your Local Library

Your local library has many services beyond borrowing books.

Libraries often have homework help, reading buddies and access to subscription learning game sites. These sites let kids improve their reading or math skills by playing games.

Also, make sure you check out the library community board. You may find a tutor flyer there. And sometimes, tutors hold sessions right at the library.

These tutors will charge an hourly rate, so make sure to find out what that is and ask about their qualifications. You may even ask for a one-session trial to see if that tutor is a good fit for your child.

Connect with Local Colleges

A great way to find low-cost tutoring is to hire current students. College students need to earn money for their studies and often tutor to help pay for school costs.

College students that are studying to become teachers make excellent tutors. They also will charge a lot less than a teacher who has finished their degree.

You can also ask the college if you can post an add in the college newspaper or notice board. With this notice, interested college students could contact you directly.

Opt for Group Tutoring Sessions

One way to get affordable tutoring is to split the cost with other parents. Tutors may charge the same hourly rate whether there is one student or five.

Find a small group of parents in your community that wants to pay for group tutoring sessions. 

Find Out if Tutoring Qualifies for a Tax Deduction 

Talk to your accountant about getting a tax deduction for tutoring. Sometimes, it is possible to get tutoring entered as a medical expense. 

If so, the money you spend on tutoring could help you during tax season.

Browse Online 

With technology advances, you may be able to get affordable math tutors to help your child online through video calls. Or you can find various online resources to help improve your child’s skills.

Many sites offer comprehension quizzes to determine what level your child is at. Then they will create a learning plan based on the area he or she struggles with.

Find a Tutor Today!

Thanks for reading. We hope this article has helped you understand your option on how to find a tutor for your child.

Are you a working mom? Check out these 8 tips to help you balance work and family.

Planning for Retirement: Critical Steps You Must Take Right Now to Save Money in the Future

People joke about the day they retire and imagine all the grand adventures they’ll have once they leave the workforce. But did you know that 1 in 3 adults in the United States has $0 saved for retirement? That translates to millions of people unprepared for their non-working years.

If you’re someone who has yet to begin preparing for retirement, the best time to get started is right now. Learn all about planning for retirement and how to start saving money for your future below.

Start Planning for Retirement Right Now with These 5 Critical Steps

The earlier you begin planning your retirement, the sooner you can start enjoying it. Start now with these 5 important steps. 

1. Figure Out How You Want to Spend Your Retirement

The first step in preparation for retirement is to figure out how you want to spend it. Most people dream of the day they retire, so you likely have a vague idea of what you would like to do. 

Write down all your goals from the most important to the least. Concentrate on very specific ideas and don’t worry about budget yet. Try to limit your list to 5 big goals and be practical.

2. Consider Your Assets

What assets will you take into retirement? This goes beyond your salary, current bank accounts, and any retirement accounts.

Consider any physical assets like antiques as well as your skill set. Many secondary skills or fun hobbies can transform into income after retiring.

What about non-traditional assets like a life insurance plan? Do you have one in place to care for your loved ones? Read more now to learn why this is a good investment for your future as well.

3. Pay Attention to Your Health

Your health plays a major role in your ability to enjoy retirement. Evaluating and maintaining your health now means a longer and healthier retirement. Schedule yearly checkups and focus on making healthy lifestyle choices with good eating, sleep, and exercise habits.

4. Decide When to Start Collecting Social Security

Obtaining complete financial freedom during retirement is a possibility, but not a guarantee. That’s where social security steps in to supplement your savings.

The longer you wait to get social security, the more you can collect later. You receive 100% of the benefits only if you wait until the legal retirement age. If you wait past this minimum, then you can even get delayed retirement credits up to age 70.

5. Create a Budget and Stick to It

Finally, you need to take account of your current finances and compare them to your retirement goal. Consider all income, debt, and investments you may have. Be sure you diversify your investments as much as possible.

Get a plan to get out of debt and minimize your expenses to save more. That doesn’t mean giving up all your favorite splurges, but limiting them so you can turn them into future splurges after you retire.

More Great Advice on Retirement Financial Planning

You should now feel a little more confident when thinking about planning for retirement. Every little bit you save now will help keep you secure later in life.

Want more great tips on how to prepare for retirement? Or how to save money in general? Check out the Thrifty Momma Ramblings’ blog today for tons of personal finance advice as well as awesome coupons and giveaways.

Cheap Therapy: 8 Ways to Get Cheaper Mental Health Care

Are you part of the 44.7 million Americans who suffer from mental health issues? Whether you have anxiety, depression, or one of the other numerous conditions that can affect your mind, you’re clearly not alone.

If you’ve ever confided in friends and family members, you’ve probably heard the same response over and over again: “Maybe you should go see a therapist.” But for many, this is easier said than done.

The average therapy session costs $75-150 an hour. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to not live in a place like New York City, where the average cost is upwards of $300 per hour!

Of course, that $75 isn’t a once and done cost. You’ll likely need to attend multiple sessions before you even feel a difference. So, what can you do when you just can’t afford those prices?

Luckily, cheaper therapy is available across the country. Keep reading to learn how you can find it.

1. Talk to Your Insurance Provider

Do you know what your insurance covers? Let’s face it, the terminology and fine print can make it so hard to understand what you’re actually covered for.

Your first step will be to research your insurance policy. Don’t be afraid to call your insurance provider and ask them for clarification. You may already have mental health covered under your insurance.

If that’s the case, you’ll likely only have to pay a small copay up front.

If you’re on Medicare, you may notice there are some gaps in your coverage. These gaps (including mental health care) can be filled by purchasing a Medigap coverage plan. It’ll likely still be cheaper than paying for therapy out of pocket.

2. Find a Sliding Scale Therapist

If your insurance doesn’t cover mental health services, there are still plenty of other options for you. Many therapists understand how difficult it can be to pay for services, so they offer what’s called a “sliding scale”.

This means they’ll work with you to offer a rate you can afford. Call around to therapists in your area and ask if any work on a sliding scale —y ou may be surprised how many options you have.

3. Hit Your Local Graduate School

Therapists have to be trained somewhere, right? Just like doctors and dentists in training need someone to practice on, so do future therapists.

Visit your local graduate school or a teaching hospital that offers therapy services. You’ll get huge discounts and the session will be supervised by a licensed therapist, so you know you’ll still get quality care.

4. Ask About Student Discounts

That’s right — your student ID can do more than getting you a discount at the movie theater. If you’re a current student or recent graduate, you can actually get discounts on mental health services.

There are a lot of therapists that understand the pressure of being a student or a recent grad looking for work. For this reason, they may offer their services at a cheaper rate.

You likely have a better chance of finding these discounts at therapist offices near a university, so start your search there. Of course, you never know who is willing to give discounted rates, so it doesn’t hurt to ask around even if you’re not near a school.

5. Ask If They’ll Do Pro Bono

Are you in a real financial bind? When you have trouble paying your rent or putting food on the table, paying any amount for mental health care may be impossible.

Luckily, you can still get help even if you don’t have anything to spare. Call up your local therapists and ask if any will work pro bono.

This may seem like it’s too good to be true, but many therapists are willing to donate their time for those in need.  

6. Look into Community Clinics

Many cities across the country have community clinics. They are staffed with licensed psychologists, counselors, and social workers who can help with a variety of conditions, from schizophrenia to drug addiction.

These clinics are funded by the government, so they can offer services at a lower cost to you. Some are even free!

7. Consider Rapid Transformational Therapy

One reason why therapy is so expensive is that you need to continue coming back. For some, weekly appointments for a few months may be enough, while others need to continue for years.

One way to find more affordable mental health care is to opt for Rapid Transformational Therapy. This is a special type of mental health care that blends psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, NLP and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Patients can see results in as little as 1-5 sessions.

8. Research Group Therapy

While many people think of group therapy as a way to aid in drug rehabilitation, there are group therapy and support groups available to help with mental health too.

You can likely find them catered towards a specific mental health concern, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression. There are also groups for those struggling with a disease, such as cancer or HIV/AIDS, in which you could discuss the effects the disease has on your physical and mental health.

Group therapy sessions are anonymous and held regularly. They are far cheaper than traditional one-on-one therapy sessions and are sometimes even free.

How to Find Cheaper Therapy Options

Don’t neglect your mental health just because you can’t afford the average therapist fee. From taking a second look at your insurance to visiting community clinics, there are plenty of cheaper therapy options that will let you get the help you need without costing you an arm and a leg.

Are you looking for more ways to save money in your daily life? Then check out our frugal health and fitness blog page today.

Get in the Driver’s Seat: 10 Clever Tricks to Saving Money on Car Insurance

At least 13 percent of all U.S. drivers are driving around without car insurance. Are you part of this group? If so, it’s time to make a change and invest in car insurance. 

Think car insurance is too expensive? Think again. There are lots of ways that you can reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums. 

If you’ve been wondering how to save money on car insurance, keep reading. Listed below are ten clever tricks that will help you make sure you’re protected without draining your bank account.

Factors That Influence Car Insurance Costs

Before getting into the money-saving steps, it’s helpful to know what factors might be causing your car insurance rates to rise.

Some factors involved in determining your car insurance costs include:

  • Your age and gender — car insurance is typically more expensive for young men and older women
  • Your marital status — married people tend to get in fewer accidents than single people
  • Your location — people who live in high population neighborhoods or areas with high crime rates tend to have higher premiums
  • Your credit score — lower scores lead to higher premiums
  • Your car’s safety rating — a reliable car with lots of safety features may help you get lower premiums
  • The size of  your car — larger vehicles tend to be in fewer accidents, making insurance premiums lower on them than on smaller vehicles

Your driving record also plays a role in determining your car insurance premiums. If you have a history of speeding tickets, car accidents, or other issues, your premium is likely to be higher.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance

Nobody wants to spend more than they have to for car insurance. Here are ten tips to help you get the coverage you need while also saving money.

1. Consider Insurance Costs Before Buying a Car

If you’re currently buying a new car, think about the cost to insure it before you make a decision. Get insurance quotes from a few different insurance providers based on different types of cars.

Be sure to include as much information as you can about the year, make, model, and safety features. This will help you figure out which car is going to yield the cheapest insurance premiums.

2. Get Multiple Quotes

Even if you’re trying to insure a car you already own, it’s still a good idea to get multiple insurance quotes.

Most insurance providers make it easy for you to get a free quote online, so there’s no excuse not to spend a few minutes comparing your options. This will help you ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

3. Choose a Plan with a Higher Deductible

If you choose an insurance plan with a higher deductible, you’ll have lower premiums.

The downside to this approach is that you will have to pay more out of pocket if you’re involved in an accident or need to file an insurance claim.

If you don’t mind doing this, though, a higher deductible plan can significantly lower your monthly payments.

4. Consider Semi-Annual Payments

Many insurance providers will give you a discount on your car insurance if you make semi-annual payments instead of monthly payments.

You’ll have to pay more money when you make these payments, of course. But, you’ll also save more money overall, and you won’t have to worry about making a payment every single month.

5. Look into Low Mileage Discounts

Some insurance providers will give you a discount if you drive less than the average person in your area. You might also qualify for this discount if you carpool to work and aren’t driving every single day.

6. Raise and Maintain Your Credit Score

As you know, your credit score impacts your car insurance premium. A low credit score can also hold you back in other ways. For example, your interest rates on your auto loan will be higher. 

When you take these facts into consideration, it makes sense to take steps to raise your credit score (and keep it high). You’ll be able to save money on car insurance, and you’ll save money in other areas of yourself, too.

7. Bundle Your Insurance

Many insurance providers, such as HH Insurance, sell more than only car insurance. Many of these providers also offer discounts if you buy multiple forms of insurance from them.

If you’re interested in saving money on car insurance, reach out to your home owner’s, renter’s, or life insurance provider. Ask if they offer a discount for bundling policies.

8. Drive Safely

If you have a history of being a reckless driver, it’s time to clean up your record. By taking some time to improve your driving record, you can lower your insurance premiums by quite a bit.

Some insurance providers actually give you a device to keep in your car that monitors your driving. After driving with that device for a few months and proving that you’re a safe driver you can see a significant reduction in the cost of your insurance.

9. Take a Defensive Driving Class

Another way to decrease your insurance costs is to take a defensive driving class. These classes can also provide you with information that will help you avoid accidents (and potential increases to your insurance premium) in the future.

10. Increase Your Security

Finally, consider increasing your car’s security features. Invest in an alarm, for example, or add a stolen vehicle recovery system. Simple changes like this will keep your car safe and decrease the cost of your car insurance.

Looking for More Money-Saving Tips?

Keeping these tips in mind can help you figure out how to save money on car insurance without sacrificing your coverage. 

Are you interested in learning other ways to save money on everyday expenses? If so, we’ve got you covered.

The Frugal Living section of our site is full of helpful information.

You’ll find articles here on everything from saving money on home repairs to natural remedies that will help reduce your health care costs. Check it out today!

Need a Change of Pace? Here Are 5 Fun and Cheap Hobbies to Try in 2019

Would you like to lower your heart rate and stress level? How about elevating your mood and wellbeing?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Americans. And unchecked stress leads to physical problems such as heart disease. 

The good news is, you can lower your stress and improve your health by taking up a hobby. 

If you’re looking for a stress-free you in the new year, why not shake things up a bit?

Read on for 5 fun and cheap hobbies to try in 2019.  

1. Chess

The origins of chess are over 1,000 years old. But no one knows who invented the game. Most credit the birth of the game to several people. But no matter who invented it, it’s a fun and challenging hobby. 

A portable chess set can be yours for under $20. The return on investment is huge. Chess benefits your memory. Studies show chess improves reading skills.

There’s encouraging, though inconclusive, evidence that challenging activities like chess help fight Alzheimer’s

2. Book Club

Gather some friends and create a book club. Reading is another activity that’s good for your brain. Social gatherings are also beneficial for your physical and mental health. 

Serve healthy drinks and snacks and enjoy your friends while discussing the most recent read. A group of anywhere from 5 to 15 people works great, and you can get the books free from your local library.

3. Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom dancing combines a fun work out with socializing. It’s great for your mental and physical health. Learning new steps and keeping in shape keeps you young and energetic. 

There are lots of affordable dance studios. And you won’t even need a dance partner. If starting in a group makes you nervous, take a few private lessons first. Read more on dance lessons at that link.

4. Adult Coloring Books

This is a fun and entertaining hobby that’s also portable and inexpensive. There are so many books to choose from with different themes and gorgeous images.

Coloring is a great stress reliever. Let your mind wander as you turn beautiful patterns into bright, colorful masterpieces. From abstract patterns to animals, coloring is a quiet hobby for the introvert.

Or you could gather with a group of friends and several coloring books and make it a social hobby. 

Use colored pencils, crayons, markers, or even watercolor paints. Be as meticulous or easy going as your heart desires. 

5. Blogging

Blogging is another fun and inexpensive hobby as long as you have access to a computer. There are free blogging sites if you’re new to blogging.

If you enjoy writing and have a lot to say, your own blog is a perfect hobby. Write what you want and share it with others. You never know, your blog could go viral!

Cheap Hobbies: Wrapping Up

There are so many cheap hobbies, it’s hard to choose! But pick one and try it. If you don’t like it, try something else. Don’t sit and watch TV this year. Do something fun and challenging for your brain. 

Whatever you do, have fun! Read more about fun hobbies and crafts here

8 Cheap Man Cave Ideas That Will Help You Get Yours Built Fast

Original man cave ideas are tough to come by, especially if you’re on a budget. But saving money and designing an awesome man cave is possible if you know how to shop and know what to look for.

You don’t want to spend your life savings on a room you’ll use to watch the weekly game–but you also don’t want to build the exact same generic man cave every other has. Part of having a place to yourself is making it yours, after all. 

Maybe this is part of your house redesign or your spouse’s dream.

The good news is you can do it without . Here are 8 cheap man cave ideas that will help finish your set up faster than you thought possible.

1. Do Inventory

The best way to save money on your man cave is to identify what you already own that’s going to go inside of your space. There may be some obvious things, like a TV or a sofa, but think about the little things, too. Maybe even do some spring cleaning of the garage or attic.

Before you worry about any other man cave ideas on a budget, see what you can come up with that would look good in your new space. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself by digging out something useful that will make your friends think your space is awesome.

2. What’s Your Space Like?

One more prep tip, then we’ll dive into some original cheap man cave ideas.

Unless you own a huge house with multiple empty rooms, chances are that you have one location for your man cave available: an empty room, your basement, or an extension room like a metal garage (Victory Buildings has some sweet ones if you’re in the market).

Consider your spacing-what do you have room for and what might not fit? Honestly, this is an overrated tip for saving money. You might buy too much furniture and realize you don’t have room for it, then have to resell it or be stuck with it. 

Don’t take away from your budget by buying unnecessary things.

3. Thrift Stores Are Your Friend

Hey, don’t judge thrift stores. In terms of do it yourself man cave ideas without going broke, they may just be your secret weapon.

Here’s what you should do: make a list of all the thrift stores in your area and hit them all in one fell swoop. You’ll be shocked how much $100 to $200 can buy you and what people give away to thrift stores. 

Seriously–furniture, TVs, movies, carpets. All the big things you need can be bought for pennies on the dollar at these stores. Hit them first.

4. Become A Master Craftsmen

If you want to make the process of building your man cave more fulfilling, considering building some of the elements of it. YouTube is home to hundreds of DIY workshops for building anything from desks to home bars.

You’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for in a video that’s less than twenty minutes long.

5. Discounts!

Search sites like Groupon and Coupons.com for discounts on some of your bigger purchases. You may be able to save 20% or more on items like TVs or couches by waiting an extra weekend or two for new sales.

Every dollar counts, after all.

6. Man Cave-Share

Here’s a funky idea for how to build a man cave on a budget: pool together cash with some of your buddies and build one together. Seriously, why not get the people who are going to use the space to help chip in?

The truth is, the person that owns the house should probably contribute the most. But you’d be surprised how many friends might be willing to chip in $50 for a minifridge if it means they’ll have a place to drink beer on Sundays.

Food for thought. I mean, Airbnb and Uber did it and that worked out, didn’t it?

7. Sports Equipment Decorations

You ready to kill two birds with one stone? Okay, here goes: garage cleanup and man cave art. 

How? Use your old sports equipment to make furniture and decorations for your new pad. Hang picture frames from a hockey stick on the wall or use baseball bats to make something that stands.

You can easily repurpose stuff that has been cluttering the garage by looking at Pinterest or any other site. Just type in “sports decorations”.

8. Save Your Bottles!

Similar to number seven is the advice to repurpose your stuff. Just this time, you’ll be repurposing domestic beer bottles or saving up beer caps.

Seriously, you can make tons of fun man cave art and gadgets out of recycled alcohol vessels. Make a table out of beer caps, lights out of beer bottles, or crush up some cans and make something a little funky.

Even though you’ll lose your $.05 deposit, you’ll save a few bucks by getting thrifty with your leftover beer paraphernalia. At any rate, it’s a good way to set the done for what’s about to happen in the room you’re designing.

Man Cave Ideas, Wrapped-Up

When it comes man cave ideas, the key is to decide on what you can do given the space and budget that you have, then to get creative. Truly, you don’t have to break the bank to build an awesome man cave that your friends will love come over to enjoy on game day.

Some tips we recommend include going to thrift stores, building your own stuff using YouTube tutorials, and making “manly” art with things like beer bottles and old sports equipment. If it’s any consolation, every penny you save can go towards buying a slightly bigger flat screen TV.

For more frugal living and craft tips, check out our website. Good luck with your build.