Put Your House in Order Wrap Up {Giveaway}

With Spring in full swing and May just around the corner, those New Year’s goals and resolutions are likely long forgotten. Back in January, Connie spearheaded a group blogging series to inspire readers to “Put Your House in Order”. Last week concluded that series, and we hope it encouraged you to continue growing in the areas of faith, finances, home, family and kitchen all year long.

My topic was the area of finance, and I enjoyed sharing my perspective. Here are the topics I tackled if you missed them:

You can also check out the other participating bloggers who shared in their areas of expertise. Women Living Well (faith), Good Cheap Eats (food), The Casa Bella Project and My Blessed Life (decorating), and Smockity Frocks (children).

To celebrate the end of the series, the five of us are offering some fun giveaways you will not want to miss. Getting your finances in order is no small task and resources to help you along the way are a must.

I am offering the choice of two financial literacy books by Larry Burkett to one lucky winner! Larry Burkett is the founder of Crown Financial Ministries, and his solid Biblical approach to money left a lasting legacy. His books include such titles as Debt Free Living, How to Manage Your Money and The World’s Easiest Guide to Finances.

Enter to Win:

(2) Financial Literacy Books of your choice by Larry Burkett

If you are reading via email or in a reader, please click through to the post to enter.

For up to (2) bonus entries:

  • Subscribe via RSS or email for free daily updates. If you’re already a subscriber (thank you!) simply leave a comment.
  • “Like” KingdomFirstMom on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you have done so.

This giveaway will end on Wednesday, April 27th at 9 p.m. EST. The winner will be drawn randomly, and notified via email.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with Crown Financial. I will personally purchase the books directly from Amazon to ship to the winner.

MORE GIVEAWAYS! Be sure to visit my fellow bloggers in the series:

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Learning New Frugal Skills

There comes a point in your quest for a more frugal lifestyle where the same old tools just aren’t enough. Coupons of course, are a given. Meal planning is just smart. What happens when you are ready to take it to the next level?

Sewing, knitting, cooking from scratch and other homesteading skills are no longer passed on from generation to generation. If you do not make a conscious effort to seek out ways to acquire new skills, you will never learn them.

How do we learn? From each other. That is the beauty of having sisters in Christ to glean from. The blogosphere can bring those skills right into your living room. You can even learn to knit on You Tube.

Why should I make this effort? To become better stewards. The small steps we take towards managing our homes ultimately save money and honor the Lord. And our children are watching.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

This year is a year of firsts for me. I decided in January that it was time to go beyond coupons. Each month, I attempt something new – a recipe, a skill, something DIY. [Read more...]

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Earning Extra Money from Home

We’ve all seen it. Gas and grocery prices continue to climb. There are two things we can do to fight back: learn to maximize our savings in the kitchen (I’ll be tackling this topic in a new series this week) AND find creative ways to earn extra money from home.

She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night.
~Proverbs 31:16-18

I have been passionate about entrepreneurship since childhood. At the age of 11, I was running a road-side fruit stand with my  younger sisters. Today, I run my blog to contribute to our family finances. I believe that anyone can earn additional income from home with a little time and creativity. There are many things you can do, most with the help of modern technology.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Earn rewards for using the web

Since you are already online, make sure you are earning points and cash back for things you already do — like check email, search the web or shopping. I use and recommend Swag Bucks, MyPoints, Ebates and ShopAtHome.com

2. Sell Something.

For the biggest bang for your buck, sell stuff you already own. Have a garage sale, list stuff on Ebay, Craigslist or Amazon. Books are especially easy to sell and ship. Or if you are crafty, set up a simple Etsy Shop like my friend Kelly of Kelly Joy Boutique. Avoid home-business models that require a large initial investment.

3. Take Surveys

This won’t make you rich, but you could earn a few extra dollars per week for milk money. I don’t have much personal experience with this method, but I have seen other respected bloggers recommend Synovate Global Opinion Panels, Toluna and Inbox Dollars. Be sure to use an alternate email address if you sign up for survey opportunities.

4. Blogging

Blogging, if you are in it for the long haul, can be a great way to generate income from home. It takes a  whole lot of patience and hard work, but the rewards are many. The friendships I have formed during my three years of blogging are priceless to me, and the paycheck is an added bonus. Check out some of the affiliate programs I recommend and for more tips on growing a successful blog, visit BloggingwithAmy.com

Have any of these ideas worked or failed for you? What ideas do you have for earning money from home?

This post is part of the “Put Your House in Order” blogging series. Together we are exploring the topics of food, children, decorating, faith and finances as they relate to our homes.

For more inspiration, visit my fellow bloggers:

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Spring Cleaning Your Finances {Part 2}

It’s official. Spring is here! Have you started your spring cleaning? We last discussed how to beat financial clutter and get organized.  Now that your paperwork is in order, it’s time to give the rest of your finances a thorough scrubbing!

You won’t need a mop or a duster. Grab your computer and your files to get started.

Here are 5 steps toward a fresh financial start this spring:

1. Check your credit.

When was the last time your reviewed your credit report with a fine toothed comb? It is easy to obtain a free report, which you can then check over for any mistakes and assess your total debt. Do not be overly concerned with your score, it is the contents you should focus on. Learn why it is important to know your credit history.

2. Review your household budget.

A good budget is tweaked often, as income and expenses can fluctuate. If it has been a while, review your spending from the last three months to see what can be modified or where you need to cut back. You likely need to allow more for the rising cost of gas and groceries, unfortunately. If you do not have a budget to review, Mint.com is a free, user-friendly online budgeting resource I recommend.

3. Tie up loose ends.

Do you have stray bank accounts sitting open? Credit cards you don’t use? An old 401k to rollover? Now is the time to get those closed or converted, since they are doing you no good sitting there. Life changes like moving or marriage can leave all sorts of financial loose ends to tie up. Streamline your finances to reduce paper clutter and simplify your life.

4. Review your insurance coverage.

Most families need life (term is best), home or renters, auto and health insurance. Shop around for competitive rates if possible. There may be a discount you are missing, or perhaps your deductible can be raised to save money.

5. Assess your financial goals.

Finally, after completing the steps above, you should have a very accurate view of your financial “big picture”. Knowing where you stand with total debt, savings, income and expenses is very important. You can now nail down some long term goals for these numbers. Tackling debt should be a top priority, so use visuals to help you reach your goals.

Are you ready for a fresh financial start this spring? Which step is the most challenging for you?

This post is part of the “Put Your House in Order” blogging series. Together we are exploring the topics of food, children, decorating, faith and finances as they relate to our homes.

For more inspiration, visit my fellow bloggers:

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