Category Archives: Blogging

More Families than Ever Use a Formal Budget

Recent statistics from the USA have shown that more than 30 percent of American households routinely prepare a detailed household budget each month to track their income and expenditures, either on paper or by using a computer spreadsheet.

As UK debt hits record levels, and more families than ever find themselves struggling to make ends meet, is this a practice that more of us should be adopting? Here we take a look at how to draw up a family budget and regain control of your finances.

Getting started

Those of a technophobic nature might prefer a traditional pen and paper, but for the vast majority a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel is the best bet. You could even use some simple accounting software such as Quickbooks if you are familiar with it.

If you are using a basic spreadsheet, take a look at the pre-loaded templates, and you will probably find one that is already set up for household budgeting. You will still need to adjust this to your specific needs, but it is easier than starting from a blank sheet.

Once it is formatted to your satisfaction, you are ready to get started.

You will need to be disciplined and record all your expenses, as well as your income, regularly. Ideally, do it every day, or it is easy to start slipping. A software program with a mobile app where you can record expenses as and when you incur them is ideal.

Keeping track

Keep track of the payment method, eg cash, debit card, bank transfer, etc, and run a reconciliation at the end of each month. This way you can also track your own performance – for example, if you withdrew £300 in cash over the month and incurred cash expenses of £200, there should be £100 in your wallet. If not, there is something going wrong somewhere!

Also record the types of expenses, for example, mortgage, utilities, insurance, groceries, leisure, etc. You might be surprised at just how much you spend in certain areas.

Be honest with yourself and include those big ticket items too – only by analysing the big picture can you get a clear view of how to manage your finances better.

Start to reap the benefits

You are now in a position to understand what is coming in and what is going out. If there is an imbalance, set yourself a revised family budget that is within your means. This does not just mean economising on the finer things in life. You can also keep an eye on any cost fluctuations and spot opportunities for savings there – for example, heating costs are going to increase in the winter, but by analysing the figures you might see a way to take advantage of super saver oil deals during the summer months.

With a clear picture of your incomings and outgoings, the next step is to start saving. It is not always feasible for everyone, but add a “savings” line item as an expense, and give it a try. Ten percent of your income is a good starting point – see how it goes for a month or two, and you might just surprise yourself!

Ways Of Saving Money When Buying Online with Zalora Discount Code

Zalora Discount Code or promotional coupons are one of the popular ways of saving money when shopping online. It has become very popular in recent years. You can save a lot of money and have a great shopping experience with just a few clicks and get Zalora Discount code on your purchases. Zalora is offering promotional coupons on everything, including accessories, clothes, beauty products, restaurants, jewelry, gifts, flowers, and Hotel and traveling, and more. You can save a lot of money on a large variety of items that are available at Zalora for both men and women by using the grand Zalora Discount code.

Shopping with Zalora discount codes

 You can find top-quality fashion clothes and accessories at the best price with Zalora discount codes. Now, it is possible to shop the new arrival clothing line, including designer bikini suit, summer dresses,  winter attire, or etc., when shopping with Zalora discoed codes.

At Zalora, you can get an exclusive opportunity to do completely personalize online fashion shopping easily.  You can find your new look for various events, including party wear, casual, sports, weekend and office wear. Not just women, men can also find all the latest fashion, and find their own style from thousands of items, including clothing, watches, shoes, and other accessories. You will have a lifetime experience and also it is the easiest way of shopping beauty and fashion in Singapore. Visit the Zalora website for exclusive discount coupons on new trends and style and prepare yourself to look stunning for the impending season.

How to use your zalora coupon: Using Zalora discount code or coupons is very simple.  Follow these below steps to use your Zalora discount code on your purchase.

  • Before paying the online payment, you just need to click on Add Coupon and then enter the given discount coupons, the code will be something like this “ZB879Kjl”.
  • Now, press Redeem and it will show the discount cost of your trend purchase.
  • Once the process is done, you can check out.
  • And you can enjoy your purchase after it arrives at your doorsteps.

At the beginning of each month, Zalora Singapore adds fresh Zalora Discount Code and Promo Coupons so that you can save a lot when you shop at Singapore’s preferred destination.

At Zalora, you will always get a discount code or unique offers available, and it helps you save a lot of money on more than 500 international brands and also on local brands.

Zalora discount code is not same for all kinds of attire; it varies according to the item you purchase. However, the promotions generally look somewhat like this:

  • On minimum purchase of SG $60, you can obtain 15 percent off storewide
  • 10 percent off on non-sale items
  • When you buy with a credit card (specific), you can obtain 18 percent off storewide
  • On clearance items, you can get an extra 20 percent off.

You can obtain various kinds of discounts at Zalora at any time, and some of these coupons last the entire year and some of them are available only for a few days.

Small Business Saturday

Let’s talk about Small Business Saturday. I know you were expecting a Wellness Wednesday, but that will return next week.

This Saturday (November 30, 2013) is Small Business Saturday. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Small Business Saturday is a day to support and celebrate small businesses for all they do around our country.

Being a Small Business owner myself (You can read more about M-Powered Lifestyles here.) and having grown up in a small family business, it’s easy for me to understand the impact of consumers choosing to frequent small businesses over larger companies.

But why should you spend your hard-earned money at local businesses?

For every $100 spent at small locally owned businesses (including locally owned franchises), $68 stays in the community, while only $43 out of $100 spent at big box stores stays in the community. And there’s more:

  • Small businesses tend to take care of their ‘regulars’. You may be able to receive perks such as a heads-up on future sales, special pricing for bulk orders, and service above and beyond what the shop is responsible for.
  • When making purchases, you may be able to haggle on price (if done politely and quietly), or you may be able to receive things such as free delivery and removal with your purchase (as is the case with a local appliance/furniture store we’ve dealt with for years).
  • Service: Small businesses want you to come back and care if you’re pleased with your purchase. They are willing to listen to your needs, and help you make a decision based on that. They don’t want you to have a bad experience or end up with a product you don’t really need. If you’re not pleased, chances are they’ll do what they can to make it right.
  • Knowledge. Many small business owners and employees have worked in that business for years and are very knowledgeable about their services and products.

Here’s something else to think about: Small businesses don’t often receive the tax incentives that the big box stores receive which simply draw more money away from the local communities. In Illinois, school districts are funded through real estate tax revenues, which will be lower when large businesses are given tax breaks (property taxes usually).

I could go on and on about why you should frequent small business, but I don’t want to lecture.

Shop your small local businesses this Saturday (and any other time you can). You’ll be enriching your entire community in the process.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Why have I been so quiet??

I have been asked by many of my blogger friends and blog readers, “Why have you been so quiet?”

Well my friends, there’s a good explanation…several as a matter of fact.

First of all, I’ve been less than inspired. I don’t want to write a bunch of fluff bullshit posts just to keep publishing. That is one of my biggest pet peeves of blogging.

Secondly, my family has been taking front seat. We’ve really struggled to get back into any kind of routine since our holiday break from school. It’s taken a month to get back into it all, and with one of my kids, that month of wishy washy school has really shown.

I’ve had to crack down on the mouthiness, the moodiness, and the unwillingness to do what is expected, and then I had to crack down on the kids ;) (Did you get that? Those first three were me in case you didn’t catch it.)

Third, my husband has been working a ton of hours, and I feel it’s my job to be his main support. Part of that job is to make sure everything around here is taken care of. After working 14 hours, it isn’t very fair for him to have to come home and take care of our finances, the snow blowing, etc. I make sure all that shizzle is done.

Fourth, my coaching practice is catching FIRE!! I have some super clients right now that inspire me to do even better in all areas of my own life. What?? You didn’t know I was a coach? Check me out: M-Powered Lifestyles.

Lastly, I’ve made several references in the past to my struggle with depression. This last year has been especially hard for me and has been an ongoing battle to come out on the winning end of it. I realized that some of my triggers are spreading myself too thin, expecting too much of myself, feeling overwhelmed, then feeling like a failure when I can’t get it all done and done perfectly.

When I recognize myself slipping into the pattern of extreme moodiness, unexplained anger, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning, and withdrawing from my family and from the things I normally enjoy, I can now (usually) redirect myself before I have a full on problem.

Part of that redirection is pulling back from some of the things that are going on, getting back on track and then forging ahead at a pace that is conducive to me not driving myself and my family insane (literally and figuratively).

So pulling back has involved writing less on this blog. I never intended Missy Homemaker to be a dumpsite for my ‘crazy’ brain. I don’t want it to be completely filled with rants, although the occasional one does make an appearance.

I want Missy Homemaker to be that part of me that is mostly positive, helpful, occasionally sarcastic, and most of all, honest. Sometimes honesty means disappearing for a week or two because I just need a break.

I thank those of you who continue to check in with my blog…those readers who have signed up for emails and who don’t stop by just to get a reciprocal comment on your own blog.

I appreciate you more than I could ever say.

If you would like to read more snarkiness with a wealth of profanity thrown in, head on over to my friend Rhonda’s blog Bitch & Whine. For realz…hilarious, well researched, and extremely well written commentary on the stupid things and douchebaggy people making today’s headlines.

SMART Goals for 2014

I’m not a big one for New Year’s Resolutions, but ask me to write down my goals and I’m all over it.  Many people struggle with goal setting-either setting goals that are too vague or too aggressive. Often when the goal isn’t met or the actual goal isn’t understood, a person becomes discouraged and gives up.  In setting my goals, I’ve found the best strategy for me is using the SMART Goal Setting Method.  SMART is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Action Oriented, Realistic/Relevant, and Time Bound/Trackable.  How do you use the SMART Goal Method? Here’s an example of one of my goals for 2014.

When setting a goal, first make the goal Specific:

  • I want to have more followers on my Facebook page.

Next, make the goal Measurable. How will the goal be measured and how will you know it was obtained?

  • I’ll have 1000 followers on my Facebook page.

The goal must be Attainable. What Actions will be required to achieve it?

Is my goal a challenge yet still able to be achieved?

  • Yes, it’s attainable.

What Actions will be required for me to achieve it?

  • Network through various social websites.
  • Join new blogging groups.
  • Pimp my blog where I can.
  • Participate in Facebook Page Hops.

Goals must be Realistic and Relevant.

Are my goals realistic considering the sources I have? Am I committed to achieving my goals?

  • Yes, internet time is all I need. Yes, I’m committed.

Is my goal relevant to the Big Picture? Will reaching this goal help me create the life I want to live?

  • Increasing my numbers will give me more blogging opportunities and future monetizing opportunities.

Goals need to be Time Bound.

Is my goal trackable?

  • Yes. It has a specific number.

When will my goal be reached?

  • I’m setting the goal date at May 1, 2014.

Finally, re-state your goal using all the above criteria:

  • I will reach 1000 followers on my Facebook page by May 1, 2014 by joining new blog groups, participating in various Facebook fanpage hops, and committing to 30 minutes a day for strictly promoting my blog and fan page through various networking channels.

And just for you, I put together this basic template using my pathetic design skillz to help you create your own SMART Goals for 2014.   You are free to use this template as you wish.  Best of luck with your goal setting for 2014.  Would you like join our link-up to help yourself be accountable for your goals, please grab a button! We will be doing a link-up on Thursday January 2, 2014 and then the last Friday of every month.

Wellness Wednesday: The END of New Year’s Resolutions and a Big Surprise!

Welcome back to this week’s Wellness Wednesday with M-Powered Lifestyles. In this post, I’m daring you to put an END to New Year’s Resolutions.

Yes, you read that right. I dare you to NOT vow to lose those last 20 pounds by swimsuit season. I dare you to NOT say that you’re going to start the exercise program you’ve been putting off. Don’t swear you’ll eat better…beginning a complete lifestyle overhaul on January 1st (or 2nd after the hangover has subsided).

I’m urging you instead to “Make 2014 The Year of the Best You!


What exactly does this mean?

This means that instead of making promises to change your eating and exercising habits (that you know probably won’t last to February), I’m asking you to make SMART goals for this next year.

Here’s an example”

What is it that you really want to accomplish? If you normally resolve to lose weight, why do you want to lose that weight? Do you want to be able to move better or perhaps even just walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath? Those are specific goals. Do you normally say you want to eat healthier? What are you hoping to accomplish by eating ‘healthier’ and what do you consider ‘healthy’? A more specific goal would be to have 1/2 of your plate be vegetables and greens.

Once you have your goals listed (there’s a handy printable here to help), you can then create your action plan (which is also a step on the printable) for each one. Remember, little steps added onto over time create BIG changes.

There is one thing I want each and every person reading this to remember:

You are unique, beautiful, and amazing! Your size, fitness level, body fat percentage, weight…it does not define who you are.

You don’t need to look at other women and pine for their bodies, their careers, their looks or anything else. You already have all you need to be the very best version of yourself. There’s nothing more beautiful than that.

And, sometimes, you just need support and guidance.

Saying that, here’s my big surprise!

I am giving away 10 *free* 3 month health coaching programs through my wellness coaching practice M-Powered Lifestyles.

Five lucky winners will win a 3 Month Individual Wellness Coaching Program equalling 6 sessions of 50 minutes each by telephone. The value of this prize is $600 each.

Five more lucky winners will win spots in a 3 Month Group Wellness Coaching Program equalling 6 sessions of 75 minutes each by telephone. The value of this prize is $300 per person. The starting date for this group will be Monday January 20, 2014 and will be held in the evening. Time to be determined.

Please look at the fine print under terms and conditions. This giveaway is open to everyone regardless of location, as long as you’re willing to schedule sessions during the available times. Winners will be notified December 27, 2013. Edit: The giveaway has been extended through January 1, 2014. Winners will be notified by January 3, 2014.

Not sure if wellness coaching is for you? You can read more about me and my philosophies here.

Best of luck, and here’s to Making 2014 the Year of the Best You!

Were you expecting a guest post?

Surprise! I have no post for you today…here. But, I have a guest post over at Called to Be a Mom. There’s a short and sweet post over there with a quick and fun project for you to do with your kids. Click here to head on over and check that out.

Oh, and FYI, I don’t do Black Friday. But I will be checking out some deals at my local small businesses. See why here.

Missy H out. Peace!

A long overdue update

It seems in life, curveballs are one of the only reliable things. I’ve been thrown a couple of those in the last month which is one of the reasons that I’ve been so absent. There’s another reason too, and I’ll get to that.

I’ve been having some medical issues lately that involve a blistering rash reaction to sunlight, swelling of my legs and feet, joint pain, and a crushing fatigue.
It’s been a total bummer because I’m finally in my dream house, homesteading like I’ve wanted to do forever, and back in a place I LOVE <3.

I hadn’t wanted to go to the doctor, because…well…I just don’t like to. But, because my heart was also acting up (I have this thing where every so often my heart will do this weird thing with racing heart beat–like 120+ bpm when I’m just sitting still, skipped beats, and a really funky rhythm), I decided to go.
Continue reading A long overdue update

MIA in Blogland

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to fill you all in on what’s been happening here at Missy Homemaker and why I’ve been MIA in Blogland.

Packing has been in full swing here as we ready ourselves for the LAST move for a very long time (I hope!). There has been at least three trips to the thrift shop and one more to go as we clean things out and decide what we want to keep and what should move on.

There has also been trips out to Iowa to see my honey who is still living in a campground by himself. Don’t feel sorry for him though. Our camper is nicer that some of the homes I’ve lived in. Peanut and I actually spent Easter weekend out there, and the Easter Bunny found Peanut at the campground. It was raining, so he hid the eggs in the camper. Since the older boys go to their dad’s every Easter, I think this would be a great tradition for us to start with Peanut.


This last week we had to run the puppies to the vet for their rabies shots (we’ve done their other shots). We were a little shocked to find out that the poor puppies didn’t simply have dry skin or even a food sensitivity like we’d thought, but scabies otherwise known as mange. Gross. Those poor babies. So, LOTS of washing things in hot water and extra cleaning in areas that the puppies spend the most time.

And there’s one last thing that’s been taking up a little bit of actual time and a LOT of mental effort.

I’ve decided to go back to work. I’ll expound on this more later when I know what’s going on for sure, but I can tell you that there’s a lot more to this decision than even I suspected. As a matter of fact, I’m working on another blog post with a few things that could make or break a job offer.

Oh, and for those curious, we’re still limping through homeschool. Punkin and Peanut have finished their school work for the year. Peanut is moving forward with 1st grade material, and Punkin is reviewing his work from this last year. Jeremy and Sweet Pea aren’t too far behind.

This Sunday I leave for Iowa to finalize everything for our new house. We have the final walk through Sunday evening and the closing is Monday morning. EEEE!!! I then have an interview Monday afternoon (It’s going to last 3 hours. Wish me luck!) during which time J will move the camper out of the campground to the homestead.

Monday night will most likely be chinese take-out on the floor of the first home we’ve ever purchased together. I wish I could put into words just how excited I am!

Tuesday will be a very early day for both of us as we have to drive back here separately so J can have his truck to move the things the moving truck won’t. It’s a 5.5 hour drive, at the end of which we’ll have to finish up any last minute packing and cleaning. Do you know how hard it is to clean a little house filled with boxes? Darn near impossible.

Wednesday is moving day! The truck will begin loading around 9 a.m. and will most likely finish up around 1pm. We’ll clean anything that’s left behind the movers as they go. When the they’re done with the house, the boys, dogs, and I will start our 5.5 hour drive back out to the homestead.

The truck unloads out there on Friday, so we’ll be spending Mother’s Day setting up our home. Could you ask for a better gift?

Back to packing I go. Even though it seems like we’ve done a ton, it looks like there’s so much more to do. Why this surprises me I don’t know, because you’d think I’d be used to it by now.