Grocery $ + Savings + Teachable Moment System [FORMULA]

Who doesn't want to save money at a very practical level.  But how? 

Is cooking your thing?  Many, including me, don't relish it.  If it can be catered, or arranged to "eat out", then I'm good with it.  

One of my friends is the opposite.  Ask anyone that knows her, really.  If she can create a concoction in the kitchen, 50 dirty pots and all, she is good with it.

I drive her crazy.

BUT, what do we both have in common?  More importantly, what might you have in common?  We are both frugal.  Some would describe us as CHEAP.  How about you?  I taught my kids long ago that whenever and however you can design a system or habit to save money, you are ahead.    

Parents ask us all the time for practical ways to teach the rewards of savings.  This is about as practical as it gets.  If fact, if you want even more practical teaching ideas, you can find them here:  (free) 8 - Step Parent Teaching Guide...

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How to Organize Those College Applications

College Applications Wearing You Down?  
Make it Easier to Track
Is it too late to apply for College for FALL 2018??? 
No!  Check out this article by which has a list of who/what/where and how much time you have left.  
2018 College Application Deadlines

Now that you have time left - - here's how to organize those applications.  

If you are a high school junior or senior – or have one living in your home, you've probably spent large amounts of time working on college applications. It is definitely a “labor” of love because many high schoolers apply to seven or more colleges these days. College counselors have been haranguing your juniors all last year to get those applications in as soon as possible. The mantra is that the earlier it is submitted, the better chance for acceptance. The process can be overwhelming, since each application has lots of moving parts. Most applications must be accompanied by a...

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How to learn who positively influences your "nearly grown" child and why


We parents are time-challenged in nearly every way possible.  Just keeping our head above water is demanding.  After working with many students, we want to share 3 simple questions that can help parents learn more about their nearly-flown kids and how to use it for this last full-time parent-season you may have.  

How much time is left before your nearly grown kids are truly out the door - and gone?  Answer?  Not much.  The fact is that as they get older, outside influences become stronger on them.  

Those outside influences are on an ever increasing scale in influencing them with dreams, goals, habits, and money management.  

We, as parents, can learn from those outside influences - especially the positive ones.  

Why do our young adults pay attention to them?  What positive communication tools do those people have that we can adopt?  

With those precious days we have left with our nearly-flown kids, we want to...

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College/Apartment Furniture for Under $100? Sure!

Spending Plans don’t have to get torpedoed for apartment or dorm move-in day. There ARE inexpensive ways to purchase furniture perfect for dorms/apts/houses.

Avoid Furniture Sticker Shock

You’ve figured out how to pay for your child’s college, you’ve enrolled them, they have a roommate, and have even bought the sports ticket package. You are done, right? We all wish. Perhaps they (or you) are moving into an apartment after graduation.  Many students move directly to an apartment, or a house, or have a college that provides minimal furniture. Here are 4 ideas that just might save the financial day!

#1 Know Thy College Seniors

Rumor has it that kids do eventually graduate from college. At least that’s what I’m counting on! Guess what? There are college grads moving out in December, May, and August. Odds are pretty high that they don’t need nor want their current furniture. And what’s more? They don’t have an easy way to get...

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Can you negotiate everything you do for a whole day? This guy did.

“I will prove to you that almost anything is price negotiable”. Mack Powers, of, said those words to his date/girlfriend.

To prove his point, he declared the entire day of shopping to be his test/proof. JellyGeneration interviewed Mack recently and you will find his experience fascinating. (It should be noted that Mack wanted to impress this particular date with his mastery of all things finance.)

There is more to negotiation success than save by using cash

This is not an article on “buying with cash helps save you money.” Paying cash often does help, of course, but teaching our kids (and reminding ourselves) that there are other solid principles involved in the buy-sell relationship is crucial.

Have you ever been to the Grapevine Mills Outlet Mall in yes, …Grapevine, Texas? If not, (ok, probably not!) the mall name is truly as advertised - a discount mall. Hence, the “I can negotiate everything challenge” was perhaps even...

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Boss Your Holiday Money Around

This could be the year you not only get your Christmas and holiday shopping done early, but you can actually buy those gifts with less money, and less stress.

Per The National Retail Federation ( we spent an average of $730+ in past Holiday seasons:

After all was said and done, NRF found that holiday sales increased 3.8 percent to $602 billion. More than 90 percent of Americans celebrated Christmas, Kwanza or Hanukah last winter, the most-celebrated season of the year.

Here are concrete suggestions on how to get a handle on this expense:

#1 List whom/what you are buying this weekend.

Many of us can name the obvious family members, but go ahead and think thru those smaller gifts you buy at the last minute for those people that you always forget to buy for. Think thru your daily life and list those that might slip our minds: the piano teacher, your parents care giver, the mail man, the school teachers, friends, the boss, co-workers, the small hostess gifts for any...

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Fear No More

Does achieving “big things” seem daunting? Admit it, our “little small voice” can often be heard shouting “Who do you think you are? That’s way too big a dream for you!”

Imagine being a young adult and being told to dream big dreams. Great advice, but it often puts the cart before the horse. Surviving ACT/SAT, college applications, internships, a first job, or high school graduation can easily fall in the “fear” category, and the “huge” category to most. Huge & Fear quickly translate into a perception of “hard”.

“Missed Kicks Makes Brain See Smaller Goal Posts”

Hadley Leggett thru the Wired website writes of a fascinating study on perception vs. accomplishment:

“In a study of 23 non-football athletes who each kicked 10 field goals, researchers found that players’ performance directly affected their perception of the size of the goal: After a series of missed kicks, athletes...

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The "Money" Talk

I heard a radio report recently:  “Meg Ryan is Broke”.   And then I read this: “Elvis died almost broke”.

That caught your attention, didn’t it?  Well, it did mine.  I’ve always thought Meg to be a cute, rich, famous blonde.  I should dislike her on that alone, I think!  Elvis had two planes and a chef that made him banana/peanut butter sandwiches, right? 

But the beauty of the above is that the same “caught your attention” scenario works for our offspring, too!  They may pay attention to almost anything Kardashian, or perhaps for them it might be Tom Brady.  Regardless, it provides a great opening for we parents. 

How parents can start the “money talk” conversation 

Actually, there are several ways to capture their attention before dispensing your obviously fantastic words of money wisdom to your offspring!  We’ve noticed many of our students respond to...

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Use This Trick to Spend Only What You Planned

You are in the checkout line.  There sits that widget that screams "buy me".  
You need your morning caffeine.  On the way to work, gourmet coffee shops entice you.
You need your afternoon carbonated drink.  Your car practically knows the way thru the drive-thru.

Can You Avoid UnPlanned Spending?  Just use this Habit Trick

Yes, You Can.   
Wouldn't it be wonderful to decide how much you want to spend on the "silly" items in your life and then have the tool to stick to it?  Odds are, you've heard of this tool already but have just ignored it because you are just too busy or it seems too complicated to deal with.  But allow me to re-introduce you to:  Prepaid Debit Cards.  

How they work:

  • Get a card that you are able to transfer money to.  
  • Transfer your pre-determined $ amount for a pre-determined timeframe on that debit card.
  • Consider the card to be for your "silly" spending temptation.
  • Then, spend.  Think of using it...
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You Want to Buy Something Big? Check this 1st


Sadly, life isn't like monopoly where the person that gets Boardwalk and Park Place usually win.  The bigger truth today is that we often don't realize the importance of having checked our credit reports at the most crucial times needed.  We are inundated today with "check it once a year".  That's true, of course, but what is even more pressing is when we encounter these major milestones in our lives and don't check our credit reports first.  

I won't beat around the bush.  This applies to all of us.  It especially applies to our young adults.  So whether you are the young adult or the parent, avoid heartache and CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT.  

WHY check your credit report?

  • potential employers can look at your credit report (not the score, but the report)
  • home buyers will have their credit checked
  • car buyers can have their credit checked
  • student loan institutions will also check your credit history  
  • any time you...
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