We are multi-taskers! We are the shoppers, the soccer-moms, the chefs, the cleaners, the bill payers & we are supposed to do something called self-care. All of this with a smile on our face and a bit of grace. How do we do it all? Or at least attempt to do it all? With a little help from our friends, AKA apps, planners, and organizers.
This post quickly covers some of the tools that I have used and/or plan to use in 2018 in an effort to make life a little bit easier.
What does this have to do with money?
1) We have all heard that time is money
2) Budgeting is about money
3) Organization leads to a better understanding of what we have and what we need, which can save money
PS before we get started, I do not get one penny for recommending these tools. Hence the lack of links to the apps and websites.
This is by far my favorite find of 2017. I've utilized other grocery delivery options in the past but Instacart is by FAR my favorite. A new plus was added to the list just recently and I will cover that with the next tool.
1) No need to load the kids in the car, drive to the store, shop, come home, and unload them from the car. If that is not enough keep reading =)
2) Removes impulse purchases = money savings
3) Delivered within 2 hours vs. longer time frames from other options
4) The shoppers are good at shopping and do a great job with produce selection
5) If you are sick or unable to leave the house this is a great tool (think cough medicine right on your doorstep).
1) You pay a premium for the service: A yearly fee, 10% of grocery cost & a tip if you like to tip your shopper.
Yes you pay more for delivery than for shopping on your own but when you factor in decreased impulse purchases and the time it takes to shop, you will find the difference is not that drastic. People have expressed concerns like pickiness over item selection but you can leave messages for the shoppers and they are good at produce picking.
This app/website is not new BUT they've made some fabulous improvements which have pulled me right back for another year. eMeals is a menu planning solution with a lot of great menus tailored to healthy eaters, clean eaters, quick recipes, paleo, vegan, and more. There is a menu for just about everyone. For a low fee they create a new menu for you each week with the goal of keeping grocery costs reasonable.
1) MY FAVORITE RECENT UPGRADE: The menus link with Instacart. This means that it sends your items to instacart so you can shop for them and have the groceries delivered. This does take some practice and getting used to but it is a nice add on.
2) Lots of menus to pick from
3) No need to spend the time creating weekly meals
1) They release weekly meal plans starting on Wednesdays. That is not ideal for me personally, but you can work around that and use that meal plan for the next week.
2) As with other helpful apps, this is not a free service and you pay extra for breakfast and lunch menus
I love the integration with Instacart. Overall this is a great app and I will see how it works out over this new year. I personally spend a little too much time figuring out what we will eat each week, so it's nice to have someone do it for us. Not every meal is up my alley but I am one to try new things.
YNAB (You Need a Budget)
YNAB is a great app/website for budgeting that allows you to give each dollar a job. It links to your accounts and encourages you to apply each incoming dollar to an outgoing expenses. It allows you to do this for the current and upcoming month. So far it is my favorite budgeting tool. I am still new to using it for myself so I have yet to compile a good list of specific pros and cons. It does have a monthly fee, but they give a 30 day free trial for new users. If you use this tool regularly it can be worth the expense, if you only give it 50% effort, it may not be.
Daily Greatness Business Planner
I do not want to freak anyone out but this is an actual book, a physical planner, THAT YOU WRITE IN! Crazy Right? In the time of apps and technology it may seem crazy to have a book but for the paper people this is a great tool. I personally have a synched calendar system that I use but physically blocking out my days in this book has been extremely beneficial.
1) The business version has goal setting, financial check ins, etc.
2) You write in the dates so it is not really year specific. I picked mine up half way through 2017 and will use it into 2018.
3) They have them for working out, personal life, etc.
1) This particular books runs around $50. Shhhhh... don't tell but I grabbed my copy on eBay for about $15-20 shipped.
2) It is a physical book that you need to carry around.
3) It does not fill itself it, but what does?
I do not use this to it's full potential but it has been a very helpful tool in my personal and business life. It does take some effort and I recommend that you make an appointment with yourself each Sunday evening or Monday morning to use fill in the book.
APPS I PLAN TO TRY IN 2018:
Who doesn't love a great outfit board on Pinterest? Well, this app allows you to create an outfit board using the items in your closet.
1) You may realize that you do not need everything you own
2) You may not need to buy more items to make cute outfits.
3) If you do buy more it will be with intention, think outfit fill in and basic pieces.
Who doesn't love holiday shopping? This app allows you to create list of gift recipients and a budget for each. You can add gift ideas to the list as you go through the year. As you purchase you can mark them off. So basically, it is an app that specifically helps your drill down into your Christmas budget and stay on track.
An app that monitors your liquid intake and reminds you to drink more water. Yes, I need the reminders, no I do not want my phone sending me even more notifications than it already does. I figure if it is for a good cause then notify away. Not sure if this one will stick in my life but it may work for you.
This program tracks your cash flows and withdraws little bits of money out of your checking account. It is a way to automatically save without really thinking about it. They say they have a no overdraft guarantee and in the event that they do overdraft your account they will cover the fee. I have yet to test this out but I have heard great things. Given what I know here are some pros and cons.
1) Saving is always a good thing
2) Automatic saving is nice if the hands on approach is difficult
3) It is a great way to start an emergency fund
1) For behavioral purposes, I like the hands on approach to saving money. In the least I recommend that you are aware of what is saved and the purpose behind the savings.
2) They charge $2.99 a month after the 100 day free-trial.
What tools do you use and recommend? Send me a message so that I can test them out this year.
If money concerns are keeping you from living a confident and fulfilled life, please do not hesitate to reach out. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT WEALTH OF CONFIDENCE.
About WOC and Breanna Reish
Breanna Reish, CFP® is the Founder of Wealth of Confidence, a fee-only women focused wealth firm in Riverside, CA. After working with clients for 9 years she decided to build a firm in order to create an inviting environment where women are encouraged to discuss their money without judgment, to learn about their investments in a way they enjoy, and to become more comfortable managing their money with confidence.
Wealth of Confidence, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor with the state of California.