My money tree isn’t growing

 - by Sarah Lipoff

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to be extra grumpy, drives like crap, and doesn’t want to spend money on anything. Yup, tax season. The happiest time of year, right?! It’s inevitable that I’ll spend a couple of nights up all hours worrying, dreading, concerning – you know, college fund, retirement, braces, property taxes…..

I’m the first to admit that it’s been a year full of money adventures, from paying for my own health insurance (no more work-y), surviving the first year of mortgage payments, emergency pet care/disaster, and general cash outputted for having a child. I’m feeling a bit money tired.

My money tree isn’t growing. Its growth spurt is over and now it is just sitting in the corner doing not much of anything.

I need to get that tree sprouting happy leaves and shooting new branches. I need to get that tree reaching for the sky and photosynthesizing like crazy.

Let’s be honest. I have no clue when it comes to money matters. In fact (gasp) I don’t have a check book, don’t keep my receipts (unless I can write them off), and (double gasp) have a separate account from my husband – which I sometimes use to hide/save cash. It’s amazing that I’m not over-drafting like crazy with my cash card AND that I actually DO have some money stashed in my super-secret savings account.

But, back to my wonderful money tree. I need to maintain that tree to help make it grow, grow, GROW. I started a conversation over at Momster looking for some real-mom advice, and then came across some great help-my-money-tree-to-grow ideas from the Motherboard that not only provided some realistic money-saving tips, but also ways to save that I hadn’t even thought of!

Like that big-ol-pile of gift cards for stores I don’t really visit? I had no idea there was a site you could swap cards for ones you will really use! I also love the idea of getting outdoors once the weather warms up to walk or bike my errands – especially those near by! Not only will I save a bit of cash, but maybe help my jiggle-in-the-middle! Along with getting ready to ditch the driving, I’m going to start regularly checking my air pressure. I couldn’t believe that under-filled tires could set me back $300-$500 A YEAR! Hello, air pressure gauge – you are my new super-best friend!

Besides learning lots of helpful tips for saving some cash this year, I got out my calendar and added some inspirational notes to keep me on track and motivated to use extra cash to pay off debt instead of silly spending.

Okay, money tree, get growing!

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