How to Plan Back to School Shopping

Finally, an attack plan for the best of us.  Don’t let back to school shopping get you down.  Planning is the best way to get the most for your time and money. And when it comes to back to school spending, the goal is often to do it as quickly and as cheaply as possible. While it may seem too soon to start thinking about back to school shopping, it is right around the corner. Planning now will save you later.

Take a Look at What You Usually Spend

Take a look at your bank and credit card statements for the past few years to assess how much you usually spend. This information will help you set a budget for your children this year. Remember that school materials and supplies should be included in the budget along with clothing.

Take a Look at Your Current Budget

It’s quite possible that your financial situation is different than it was last year. Take a look at your current budget. How much can you afford to spend on back to school shopping this year? You may be able to spend more or you may have to spend less.

Additionally, knowing how much you spent last year can help you make good budgeting decisions this year. For example, if you know you spent $300 last year and can only afford $200 this year, you may be able to shift a few things in your monthly budget to find that extra $100.

Make a List of What You Need

How much have your children grown? What clothing do they need and what do they want? Make a list of the items they need and start prioritizing. Ask your children to get involved in this process. They can try last year’s clothing on and let you know which items they want to keep and which items are no longer appropriate.

What Stores Will You Visit?

As it gets closer to that inevitable shopping day, consider taking your child to thrift stores. Many used clothing stores sell brand name items that are in ideal condition. If your children are brand conscious, they may enjoy being able to purchase more for their money while still looking cool.

Give Them Cash

One of the best ways to stick to your budget and your shopping plan is to hand the budgeted amount to each child. Children have a tendency to go overboard when they’re shopping. They find that one brand name sweatshirt and spend half of their budget on it. Then they cry a few weeks later when they’re forced to wear the same shirt over and over again. They make much smarter buying decisions when they get to hold the cash in their hand. They tend to want to get more for their money – it almost becomes a game for them.

Decide when to Go

Finally, set the date. You can save a lot of money if you go school shopping about a month after school starts. Items go on sale and children are able to buy what the cool kids are wearing at school at a much lower price. If they absolutely must have a new outfit for school, then buy one outfit for that first day and then commit to taking them shopping in a few weeks when things go on sale.


Is Volunteering Worth It?

household budgets

Is volunteering worth the cost?

Is volunteering worth it…or would you (and the organization) be better off if you just gave money? As a RichMama you know I spend a lot of time micro managing my budget – so that you don’t have to – my goal is to find those unobvious (and obvious money sinks) and find ways to plug them.

And I recently realized that my good works were costing me money – way more money than I thought. Now I fully believe in giving time and money to worthy causes – from national organizations for diseases to more home grown ones like historic preservation and education. After all both of these causes are important – since I have kids and I live where I live because of its “charm”.

As a result of my dedication I have been asked, in recent years to head committees, join boards – in effect become more involved. I have met more people, had fun, planned cool things and raised money. In addition to my time I also made out right cash donations.

But as I counted those up – they seemed reasonnable – but still I felt like something was slipping through my fingers – I realized the hidden costs of being a volunteer…

– Babysitting, snacks and extra obligations
As a super volunteer, I was often asked to attend planning meetings and work at events…in many cases, I had to hire a babysitter in order to meet these commitments…(at about $60 a pop, with 1-2 meetings a month…)

As a super volunteer, I often brought refreshments to meetings to make it more fun – an app, a bottle of wine – (figure about $15-20 a pop 1-2 meetings month…)

Extras – donating anything from ribbons, to streamers to envelopes to tapes and markers – little things that somehow add up – $20 a month

Guess what my volunteering costs were close to $200 a month – not to mention the money I donated outright.

And then it hit me… wouldn’t it be better to split the difference – and give myself back a whole lot of time too (not to mention cost).

If gave the charity half of my volunteering costs they would see way more money and I would have way more money in my budget…for whatever…
I would have more time with my family or for myself…

But what does a charity need more — volunteers or cash. Are my time commitments priceless? Or is giving time better left for those without the obligations of young children, jobs, businesses, etc?

What do you think?

Is There Still Money to Be Made Flipping Houses?

Can You Still Turn a Profit by Flipping Houses?

Remember the flipping houses boom? For the last couple of decades, investors and people alike have spent their time and money buying, remodeling, after which re-selling houses for profit. Otherwise recognized as “flipping,” getting, fixing up, and selling a property can earn quick profits.Regardless of the lure of the quick profits, actual effort and savvy are essential to be able to be effective in the flipping method.

Flipping Houses the Right Way

Take advantage of these ideas for higher achievement in flipping houses:
One: Have some additional dollars within the bank. Several who flip houses pay money for a property up front and then invest far more funds to repair or remodel the property. So a lot of additional money comes in handy to ensure that it is possible to pick up excellent offers without financing delays.
Two: Be ready to work yourself for higher profits. Within the ideal of circumstances, you’ll want to start working on the property the day you purchase it.
* Initially, clear out any clutter or garbage located inside the house.
* Next, do a walk-through of each room to decide what needs to be updated before you attempt to sell the property.
* You or your contractor will then make a list of creating supplies needed to total the function.
* When the interior work is completed, it’s yard  time. Some bushes or flowers and perhaps a modest tree or two, and you are prepared to sell.

Flipping Houses – Know the Market

Three: Know what buyers look for. You’ll need an eye for simple style and a vision for what the residence wants to help it sell quickly. Will new flooring spiff it up? What about fresh paint on the interior walls? Your know-how and style sense can pay off huge time whenever you program to flip a property.four. Do you’ve got building or remodeling encounter? If so, you stand to create some cold hard cash by way of buying, fixing, and re-selling properties.
* Even so, in the event you do not know how to undertake fix-it projects, you will need to have to hire a reputable contractor to do the work in the properties you want to flip. Doing so means you’ll have to pay for labor (in addition to supplies) to get the property in a salable condition, which will reduce your profit margin.
Four: Pay as little as possible for the purchase of the property. This makes it possible to spend more money on the remodel and still clear a profit.
Five: Vacation locations sell nicely. In the event you buy property near a common vacation destination, you’re efforts to flip the property have a greater opportunity for achievement. People are attracted to lower price vacation houses in vacation communities. You are able to reap the benefits of location for flipping houses, condos or duplexes.
Six. Know the real estate industry inside the region exactly where you plan to flip a property. You will find times to obtain in to the flipping business and times to hold off. * If nobody’s buying homes or mortgage loans are tough to get, it might not be the best time to flip houses inside your community. * Even so, if for example, you are able to acquire houses for $30,000 or $40,000, put an additional $10,000 to $20,000 in them to get them as much as speed, after which sell those houses for $80,000 or a lot more, you will make excellent profits from your efforts.Yes, you’ll be able to still turn a profit from flipping homes. In case you know your nearby real estate market place and you’ve the cash, skill, and know-how, you will be profitable when it comes to flipping for profit.

Save Big on Back to School with Tips From Shopping Maven Michelle Madhok

Hey RichMamas – I know some of you have already sent the kidlets back to school (it was the first day for some in Ohio) -while others have a week – gasp  – or more…but whenever the little darlings go back, I am sure you have been caught up in the back to school frenxy.  And since you’re  a RichMama you’re looking for a better (read – thriftier) way to do it.

back to school savingsSo to help you  save hours, dollars and the headaches of visiting multiple stores and waiting in long lines, I thought you might be interested in these top tips for saving time and money from online shopping expert Michelle Madhok. Previously featured on The TODAY Show, Martha Stewart, MSNBC, Rachael Ray and Fox & Friends, Michelle is a well-known expert who can help parents get through this year’s back-to-school shopping with flying colors!


  1. 1. Shop online. Only. Avoid the back-to-school mayhem entirely. Carve out time with each child to cybershop, saving contents of shopping carts until all the kids are done!
  2. 2. Sign-up for Price Alerts – Sites exist where you can sign-up to be notified when an item is marked down
  3. Earn cash back on purchases – Take advantage of websites like shopping websites that allow you to earn up to 20% cash back on online purchases
  4. Don’t pay for shipping – Join a service like ShopRunner that will give you fast, FREE shipping!
  5. Shop from the bottom up – Hit view all and then shop from the bottom up of the sale page. Everyone else will be shopping top down so things sell-out more quickly at the top of the page.
  6. Make a list – List out who you need to buy for on an organizing site like and check-off when you score something for them
  7. Know the and return policies – Many items may be FINAL SALE, and are nonrefundable
  8. Skip the sales tax – Get big savings when you combine a sale and a coupon with a state-tax holiday. Sixteen states have tax holidays this year. Check out the full list of states here

Michelle Madhok is the founder of some great online shopping sites like

Where to Get Men's Watches – The Watch Wearer's Toughest Problem

It isn’t all that hard to shop for men’s watch. That fact is that, if you like shopping, it can even be fun. If you don’t like shopping, however, doing your research ahead of time can help you save time and money. So how do you start looking for the watch you’ve decided upon? The first thing you need to do is to figure out what you want your watch to do for you. Do you have any favorite ideas that you’d like your watch to include? How much money can you afford to spend on this watch? These are the things that you most need to work out before you shop. goedkoper lenen nu geld lenen leen geld

Online retailers can often offer you the best deals for men’s watches. The reason for this is that online retailers have hardly any expenses to keep their businesses running, which means they are able to sell the same items for much less than a physical store. You can often get an even lower price if you find one of the many websites that distribute coupon codes that work with these online retail sites. The only problem with buying a watch online is that you don’t get a chance to put it on or to see for yourself that it’s in good working condition. So when you buy a watch online it’s important that the online store has a good record and allows returns. You definitely should have the option of returning a malfunctioning watch or one that you don’t like for some reason.

Did you know that you can buy men’s watches through the shopping portal? has a reputation for being a website where only handmade goods can be purchased. You can also use the Etsy shopping portal to buy and sell vintage items. Etsy has a fantastic reputation for excellence and its shoppers know that the products sold here are worth a high asking price. The problem is that purchasing a watch through Etsy just about always guarantees that the watch is going to be pretty expensive. If you have a small budget this probably won’t be your best bet for buying men’s watches. Of course, if you are okay with spending a lot of money to get something unique and vintage then this is a great option for you.

Have you thought at all about shopping in one of the many popular discount stores? If what you want is to buy men’s watches but you don’t have a lot of money to do that then the discounted shops are a great way to get them at a much lower rate. Stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Ross are all great options if you want to buy clothing or other accessories (like men’s watches) at a discount rate. It’s possible that you’ll find the perfect men’s watch at one of these stores. Sure it is true that you may have to dig through a bin or two to find what you want but think of all the money you will save by doing that! You have a lot of options when you want to purchase men’s watches. For a lot of men, finding the best seller is the hardest part of purchasing men’s watches. Finding your local watch sellers doesn’t have to be difficult. It is choosing which type of watch seller you want to buy from that is the hard part. This is why taking some time to research your options before you spend money is such a good idea. Buying will be a lot easier if you have some advance knowledge about the watch you want.