Archive for the ‘Frugal’ Category

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

How to Spray Paint Furniture Header

Some of my absolute favorite transformations in our home have come from simple paint – it’s amazing the difference it can make! Spray paint dries quickly and creates a beautiful satin finish. Check out this picture tutorial on how to get that high gloss look with a touch of antique glazing.

Painting furniture can be time consuming that is why I have fallen in love with spray painting my furniture to get a fresh new look with a small time investment.

Today I am going to show you how to spray paint your furniture to give an old piece in your home a new lease on life with just spray paint and an easy antiquing and distressing technique.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Paint

Choosing a spray paint can be a lot of fun!

For this project I chose the Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X paint.

The thing that makes this paint special is that it can cover twice the square footage of other general purpose spray paints.

This new paint contains 44% more solids which creates a higher performance than other paints and gives you better coverage with fewer passes.

What makes the paint economical is that one can performs like two cans, so it saves you time and money.

The price also fits nicely into a DIY’ers budget at a mere $3.87 per can

How_To_Spray_Paint_Furniture_1
I love this corner in our office, but have not loved this side table for many years.

These chairs are so fun, but the table added no personality to this corner. I had planned to donate it to Goodwill, but I wondered if I could give this piece a spray paint face lift that would reflect this fun space.

I decided to give the table a makeover with a little spray paint and antiquing.

Check out my video tutorial and picture tutorial for spray painting wood furniture below.

 

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Supplies Needed to Spray Paint Furniture


Spray Paint Primer (gray if doing a dark color or white if doing a light color)

1-2 Cans Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X, any shade (I am using Moss Green)- make sure the one you choose is a spray paint for wood

Rust-Oleum Standard Spray Grip

Rust-Oleum Decorative Glaze in Java Brown

Sander

Sand Paper

Rags

Hardware (optional) or spray paint to paint it

Spray Painting Furniture Paint Supplies

 

How to Spray Paint Your Furniture

To begin, prepare your surface by wiping the entire piece down with a clean cloth. Disassemble any drawers and hardware to prepare it for painting.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding Next, give the entire piece a good sanding to smooth out any imperfections. Sand any edges with a piece of sandpaper and use a sander to smooth the top of your piece. IT is important to take your time when you sand your furniture, so you have a great base for painting.

Once the piece is fully sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to prepare it for priming.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Invert Piece

To help prevent drips and to make sure we get into every crevice of this piece with paint, we are going to start with our piece INVERTED.

I promise, it is going to help the painting process go so much smoother than if you start with it upright.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

Starting with your piece inverted, begin spray painting it with your primer. Be sure to be in a well ventilated area and give your primer a good shake to begin priming your surface well.

Hold your can 8 inches away from your surface and spray your primer in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

Put the piece right side up and finish priming the top. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Painting

How to Spray Paint Furniture Painting

How to Spray Paint Furniture Paint Drying

Repeat the same process with your choice of Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X in your favorite shade. Once the piece is fully painted, allow it to dry overnight before glazing.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

Using a coarse sandpaper, begin roughing up the edges on your piece to create a more antique look. Be sure to distress those edges so your antique glaze has somewhere to go!

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glazing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antiquing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glaze

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Using a clean rag, dip your rag in your glaze and then begin applying in a circular motion to your piece.

With a clean and damp cloth, remove as much of the glaze as you would like. I again, removed this in a circular motion from the piece until it added a hint of variation to the piece, but didn’t look sponged.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware

If you desire, you can spray paint your hardware. As you know hardware can be expensive to replace and sometimes older pieces have more custom fitting hardware so spray paint can be a great way to freshen it up.

We chose to replace the wooden handle with a black hardware piece and then spray painted the old gold accessories black with a can I had in my craft supplies.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware Black

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware Black

We have spray painted many a handle in our home and you would never know it wasn’t that color originally.

Be sure to let this FULLY DRY before you slide those drawers back in!
How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Here is my finished piece.

I am so darn proud of it and love how vintage this piece looks thanks to the glazing and sanding process that I did on it.

In full disclosure, there were some missteps along the way.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Temperature Changes Effect Spray Paint

If you live in Indiana, you know that the drops and changes in temperature can be quite dramatic and that is just what happened when I painted this.

I put a final coat on my perfect table before I went to bed and woke up to a table and drawers that had bubbled in the night.

Try to pick a time of day when the temperature is warmer and will hold steady (nothing below fifty degrees) to prevent bubbling of paint.

I used the advice provided by Kate, at Centsational Girl, on what to do if your spray paint bubbles and it worked like a charm.

Shake Your Spray Paint Can Well

Having that handy trigger on the spray paint makes it easy to paint quickly, but I forgot to shake the can every so often to keep my paint looking even and glossy.

You definitely will want to make sure you shake it very well at the beginning, and shake it every so often when painting with it.

Who Knew You Needed to Be So Tidy?

Make sure after sanding that you really have a nice clear surface to begin your painting, otherwise you will have a crummy surface…literally.

The same can be said for choosing a nice clean rag when doing glazing and keeping the piece as clean as you can, which is super difficult if you are in your filthy garage like me!

Distressing Can Hide Flaws

Distressing the piece more not only helped me minimize the bubbles, but it also added character to the piece.

For my first spray painted furniture piece, I would definitely recommend it the first time to help you get the hang of how to paint with spray paint.

Practice Makes Perfect

This piece isn’t my best work, but I love it in spite of its flaws.

As with all skills, it takes a little practice to get the hang of spray painting furniture.

Even though I struggled a bit with my first project, I can’t wait to paint my record cabinet in our office next in the same shade and now I know what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to spray painting my furniture.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

 

What a difference a day makes?

Isn’t she lovely?

She has certainly brightened up this corner of our home!

I highly recommend giving this new paint a try!

Fast coverage and an inexpensive way to add a pop of color in your home!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This post contains affiliate links.

Looking for more ways to refresh your living space?

Check out these other great DIY projects for your home!

 

How to Paint a Kitchen Table

How To Paint a Kitchen Table

 

How to Stain Furniture

How To Easily Stain Wood Furniture

 

How to Reupholster Chairs

 

Happy painting, friends!

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glazing

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Mint.com: Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Mint.com: Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget Header

Are you looking for easy ways to earn extra cash for your family? Today I’m sharing budgeting apps that can help you reset for your financial future. This tutorial shares all about the Mint app and a creative robo tool option to reduce your recurring expenses.

This is the third challenge in our Passive Income for Busy Moms series because SAVED money is EARNED money. Be sure to visit our Passive Income Ideas for Moms Series all year long as I challenge myself to find new ways to earn money for our family.

Now that the holidays are over, I am sure that many of us have made resolutions to restore the order in our financial life.

Here is the honest truth. I am an incredible saver of money, but I am terrible about tracking our family expenses.

As a busy mom, this is just one more ball that I have to keep in the air.

While some might not consider analyzing the budget a passive income builder, I am here to beg to differ.

One deep dive into your finances, should indicate hidden leaks in the budgeting boat, that often drain your account month after month.

While I have been terrible about tracking, my husband has done a great job keeping up with our complete financial picture and alerts me when he sees questionable charges on our account.

It shouldn’t be just his job to save money though, especially since I handle the majority of our day-to-day expenses.

After reviewing loads of apps and trying them out, we are still keeping our feet firmly planted in Mint.com, to track our expenses.

Not only is this a program that I trust to help me be my best financial self, it is also a free app that becomes an effortless money manager once your accounts are connected.

Mint App on Phone

Mint.com: Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget

What is Mint And How Can It Help Me?

Mint is an app (available on Android or Apple devices) that you can use to manage your family finances. Mint is currently owned by Intuit that makes many of the financial products that we use for our family and business. You may be more familiar with their other products like TurboTax & QuickBooks.

All that is to say is that it is a familiar company which helps me feel more secure.

While tracking your expenses is an important element of the app, you will also discover lots of other benefits.

Some of my favorites are free access to your credit score (at all times with no penalties), tools to help you establish a budget (that becomes more intuitive with your spending habits), pie charts that illustrate where the heck your money is going, an up-to-date property estimate (through past sales in your area on Zillow), your total net worth, and it easily monitors your investments.

With all of our accounts linked, we now know EXACTLY what we have and where we stand with our retirement.

How many people can say that they know their exact dollar worth down to the cent?

Why is Mint Free?

Mint works just like most online businesses, including the site you are visiting right now.

Mint partners with different companies to offer you additional ways to save. When scanning through the product offers, the majority of these are credit card offers. Additionally, if you want to explore investing, they have partnerships with brokerages that can help you.

Credit Card Offer Disclosures

Here is an example of a credit card offer that is displayed on my page.

You can see the exact disclosure statements that are attached to the offer.

In an online world where transparency isn’t always given, I think they do a great job letting you know that they are benefiting from the exploration of the services they offer.

With over 20 million users, I am sure that many take advantage of these offers and that is what allows your account to be free. Each transaction yields a compensation that pays the company.

Is Mint Safe?

There are tons of budgeting apps (paid and free) and you can’t always know if your information will be safe. I did a lot of research on the security of Mint and found that this article was really helpful in explaining how Mint keeps your data safe.

Most of the top financial gurus would back that Mint is a really secure option for anyone who does not want to go the spreadsheet route.

They do use a multi factor authentication that is explained well in their terms of service.

Will I Be Penalized for Accessing My Credit Report on Mint?

Having access to a free credit score is amazing, but will there be a penalty to have this information readily available to you?

The good news is NO.

According to the Mint site, when you check your credit score, you are performing what is called a soft credit check. This credit inquiry won’t impact your credit, no matter how frequently you view your credit score.

This means you can check your credit score as many times as you like without a penalty.

They also offer you the option to be alerted, via push notification, when your credit score drops.

How Can I Get Started With Mint?

It only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to link your Mint account to your financial institution.

Once you have your bank account linked, you can begin plugging in additional information like any other bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, investments you have made and more.

Once everything is plugged in, you can see EXACTLY where your money is going and your account balances. Mint will do its best to set up the proper category for you, but it will require you to review each of the transactions to make sure it is in the proper category.

This clear snapshot allows you to form a budget for your family.

Mint observes your spending habits and provides an approximate on the cap of each category that you should spend.

Ideally, you can set your own budget and try to narrow down expenses.

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com learn all about ellevest by clicking here

I Signed Up With Ellevest Last Month. Can I Connect My Ellevest Account to Mint?

Good news! You, absolutely, can connect your Ellevest account to Mint so you can monitor your investment.

Also, can I just say how proud I am of you if you started your own investment account. #girlboss

To view your Ellevest Digital/Premium goals on your account aggregator (like Mint.com)- read it all here:

  1. You must be an Ellevest Client – You need to have eSigned on the Ellevest Dashboard to get this process started.
  2. Find your Folio login and create a password. To find your Folio username, log into your Ellevest Dashboard, click the user icon in the top right-hand corner, and select Login from the dropdown menu – you will see your Folio login at the bottom of the page. You’ll also see a link to instructions on how to create your Folio password – if you’re having issues, send us a note.
  3. Look up Folio Investing. Folio is the broker/dealer and custodian for your Ellevest account, and Folio Investing will be the company name you’ll need to search for.

Push Notifications on Mint.com

I’ve Got Everything Plugged In, But How Can I Reduce My Expenses With Mint?

Once Mint has all your financial information, it can use this financial data to send you notifications when potentially problematic issues arise.

This is done through push notifications that you check that you would like to receive. These notifications include spending alerts, credit score updates, bill reminders, and a quick summary of how you are doing.

Should you need financial advice, it can offer that too.

You can adjust how many and how often you receive these push notifications in your Settings panel.

Utilizing tools like these will help you stay in tune to your spending habits and reduce late fees on potential bills.

I plan to take this a step further though to find all of the hidden leaks in our budget:

Recurring charges- Have you ever signed up for a 30-day trial of something, only to realize that you never cancelled it? Do you have any recurring charges for services or apps that you don’t ever use? I plan to find any hidden leaks and cancel these accounts.

Reduce grocery spending- Holy heck, we have been spending A LOT of money on groceries. I plan to try to reduce this expense immediately by being more intentional about what we are eating and cooking from scratch more.

Reduce the dining out- We are a bit snobby about food and that has not helped our budget AT ALL. Fortunately, I can cook and plan to master a few of our restaurant faves so we can reduce this expense more by eating at home.

Analyze our standard household expenses- Are we *really* getting the best deals on home insurance, auto insurance, internet, and our mobile services? I, honestly, don’t know, but this month I plan to investigate.

Trim Financial Services Review

One Last Option To Try- Robo Tools for Adjusting Your Bills For You…With Some Disclaimers

As I was researching for our Passive Income for Busy Moms series, I stumbled upon a service called Trim.

Trim is, basically, a bot service that negotiates rates, on your behalf, to lower your payments. You, basically, give them permission to act on your behalf and see if they can secure your family savings.

I set them to work on our expenses so I could give you a personal review of their services.

Our Comcast internet bill was $80 a month.

Trim sent me a text that they were able to get a fee refund (of $2.32) and they also applied for a promotion for $9.95 off for 12 months.

That is a savings of $119.40 over the course of the year.

What’s in it for Trim? Well, they take 33% of the savings they get on the bill. We were immediately charged $40.17, but we still ended up saving $79 for the year.

They also were able to flag a few things that were monthly charges that we may not want to continue spending money on.

The best part was that they also sent cancellation requests for you so you don’t have to add it to your to-do list.

If you have a lot of personal debt, it also can negotiate credit card rates and they offer premium services, to utilize a financial coach, to reduce your debt and get you on a better path.

You Saved Money with Trim. Why The Disclaimers Then?

I went through a lot of reviews and complaints on BBB, which is why I did not dedicate a separate post to this.

Many people were disheartened about the charges after the bill negotiation (which I think they are pretty clear about) and some people felt that their established services rose in cost in the months that followed.

There were also complaints filed that they could not discontinue services when signing up for premium membership plans.

For that reason, I also signed up with their premium membership, waited a month, and then canceled it.

The cancellation went through with no hitches at all.

I have not had any bills raised since I used the service and I was really happy with the savings of almost $80.

That said, if you are nervous about a bot negotiating for you, start investigating the current deals and contact the cable, phone, and internet company to see if you can get your bills lowered.

After all, the worst they can say is no.

Join My January Passive Income Challenge

Sign up for a Mint account (or similar budgeting app platform) and link your accounts.

Once you have your expenses categorized, reflect on your past expenses and habits.

Decide what your new 2020 budget will look like and check in daily to see how you are doing.

Consider canceling any recurring expenses that aren’t benefiting your family anymore. Do this by contacting companies directly or utilize a bot tool to reduce some of your basic expenses. Be sure to ask about loyalty plans, if there are plans that make more sense for your family (based on usage), or see if you can get discounts if you are requesting to cancel services.

I can’t wait to see what you are able to save with your new habits! 

Think of this as this month’s paycheck for all your hard work! 

Love this post? Here are a few others you might love!

Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms from MomAdvice.com passive revenue ideas for busy moms

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from MomAdvice.com earn money through rakuten cash back

Real Rakuten Results Cash Back Earnings Report from MomAdvice.com do you really earn money with rakuten?

how to invest in yourself with ellevest

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com what I earned from one month with ellevest

 

Don’t forget to follow along on our Passive Income Challenge series. You can head here to see all the posts in one place. Have you used Mint for your budget before or do you use another budget app service? I’d love to hear your experience with budgeting apps today! 

Mint.com Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget

 

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How to Make a Homeless Care Package (Free Printable Supplies List)

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Blessing bags for the homeless are such a beautiful act of kindness for those in need. Today’s post will show you how to make homeless kits for those in need. These hygiene kits are handy to keep in your car, for those that live on the street, or can be given as gift bags for your local homeless shelter. Be sure to print out our free printable supplies list for your homeless care kit.

One thing that you may not know about our family is that we are really passionate about caring for the homeless.

Creating a homeless care package (also known as a Blessing Bag) can be one fantastic way that your entire family can be involved in caring for those in need.

Today we want to provide a checklist of supplies for the homeless bags, a local resources sheet you can print out (if you are in our area), and some tips for involving the whole family in this project.

After all, homeless gift bags are a great idea to help teach your children kindness.

These homeless packs have been replicated by so many people and are the perfect activity for volunteer organizations you may be part of.

By involving others, you can alleviate some of the expenses by asking everyone to bring the materials to craft these bags.

Distribute the list and allow each attendee to bring travel size items, food, socks or bags to help the homeless in your area.

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

I also appreciate that these homeless care packages can be prepared for your local shelters or kept tucked away in the trunk of your car for those you may see on the street looking for your help.

I love feeling armed in these situations and these kits are a simple way to show how much you care.

Over the past couple of years, I have also had the opportunity to work at our local food bank and food pantry. What many people don’t realize is that many of these items cannot be purchased using food stamps.

Items that are not food (like toothpaste, paper products, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc…) are not eligible and that is why these items are often in high demand at church community pantries.

It is why these are the items that I choose to donate to our shelter each year.

How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice.com

I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t tell you that my husband inspires me every day with his giving heart. Last winter, he was coming home late from work because he would see people in need and run to stores to get them supplies and gift cards.

That is his heart.

That is why I love him.

If there is one thing I firmly believe in, it is that giving should be a family affair.

We have to lead our children by our example.

I want my children to remember that what made our family special is that we always gave with our whole hearts.

My kids assisted in every aspect of this project.

My son came with me and did the number crunching on a good old-fashioned calculator, my daughter helped sort and organize all of the items we bought, and both kids helped fill the bags with all of the necessary items.

Here Are My 3 Essential Elements to a Great Homeless Care Package

Feed Their Needs

One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone who is homeless is personal hygiene items and food to nourish their bodies.

Begin by picking up items that will satisfy this area in their life first.

Simple items like shampoo, a razor, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, a bar of soap, and tissues are all great items to keep on hand.

Food like granola bars, crackers with peanut butter, beef jerky, trail mixes, dried fruits, and a bottle of water are also great items to tuck into your bags.

If you have the funds, small denominator gift cards (we did $5 Walmart gift cards) can also be great to give so that they can pick up a meal or item(s) they might need.

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

Provide Warmth

We live in Indiana and the winters here are brutal for homeless people.

I can’t imagine how cold it would be to stand on the streets without the proper items

I need for warmth.

Add items like thermal boot socks, gloves, scarves, and hats to your gift bags.

Items like these may seem out of your financial reach, but I found all of these at the dollar store and the sets of gloves were a mere $.50 each.

Feed Their Souls

I am sure it goes without saying, but feeding someone’s soul is just as important as feeding their needs.

You can feed their souls in a variety of ways depending on your families beliefs and resources.

We created a local resources list (available for local residents to download) that they can tap into for further resources in our town.

A note that lets them know that they are on your prayer list, a note of encouragement by your children, or a scripture that you find comforting can also be excellent additions.

If these are not enough ideas, I encourage you to spend a bit of time browsing through the comments on this post.

Many people regularly volunteer at their shelters and food banks and have some great ideas to help.

Please also know, that we are real people (sometimes that doesn’t seem that way on the website, am I right?) and we did OUR personal best to put these together so we appreciate your KIND words on this post and definitely encourage you to share your own must-have items in a care package while being respectful of others in these comment threads.

How Do I Order My Homeless Care Package Supplies in Bulk?

Did you know that you can purchase items from Dollar Tree IN BULK.

Looking to save even more? Consider using this incredible rebates app to get cash back on ALL your holiday purchases.

We were able to place a bulk order with Dollar Tree and pick up the items we needed for these kits from our local store.

Don’t have room in your car?

No worries!

They can ship all the items directly to you.

How cool is that?

What Our Readers Suggest Adding to Your Hygiene Kits for the Homeless

I love seeing what contributions YOU recommend for these packs! Here are some of my favorites you shared!

“My husband and I travel a lot when he’s working on contract.

I save all the little complimentary shampoos, conditions, soaps, etc and when I have quite a few saved, I sew up pretty drawstring bags, divide the items I’ve save between the bags and then donate them to our local women’s shelter.

I’ve also started adding toothpastes and toothbrushes that I purchase to the bags.

Many times women arrive with nothing but the clothes on their back and this way they can be given their own personal care kit. I make each bag different so that they don’t feel like they are getting something that is assembly line, but something that was made just for them.”

“Many homeless also have dogs.

Perhaps you could add some things like treats, small pouches or pop-top cans of food, grooming supplies and toys.

And with the winter months coming, both owner and pet need to stay warm and dry…some large trash bags to put on the ground to keep from getting wet and even colder.

And I have seen fleece throws just recently at Walmart for like $2!”

“I currently make and deliver hot chocolate to a few homeless people I see on my way home from work (I work in downtown Chicago) and I pass out cold cans of pop in the summer.

I also make plates of food from leftovers after work luncheons and pass them out after work. (I don’t consider this stealing because I know that by 4:30 anything left in the kitchen will be thrown away.) I

know it isn’t not much, It won’t make a huge difference in the world, but it might make a world of difference to the person I’m helping.

Thanks for the list. I’m glad to see there are others out there who are concerned for the homeless and actually do something about it.

I hope the care package(s) I pass out, make the receiver(s) feel loved, thought of and cared for.”

“This is a wonderful idea! I got so excited when I saw this-I immediately began to think of other items that might be added, such a bar of soap or bottle of body wash, plastic glass and mug, plastic cutlery and plate, tissues, pen and notebook, small clock, personal wipes, instant oatmeal packets, instant soup packets, hot chocolate packets, instant noodle packets, towel, facecloth, thermal blanket, and in the summer, a sun hat, sunscreen, inexpensive umbrella and a fly swatter!

Many of these things can be found on sale, at Walmart, and the dollar store. They don’t have to be bought all at once and do lend themselves as a project for a family, like yourselves, or amongst a group of friends, a Sunday School class, a school class or a Brownie troop.”

“You might also check with your school district if they have children.

All our local schools have a homeless liaison who works to get food, clothing and housing for homeless families.”

“I regularly carry around coupon books from various restaurants, but this goes even further.”

“As truck drivers, my husband and I see many people standing on the exit ramps of the interstate highways.

We give ziplock bags with toiletries, (in a separate bag) and foods like you mentioned, plus single serve packages of oatmeal, grits, hot cocoa, ect. I add pack of sugar, jelly, peanut butter, plasticware, napkins, whatever we get from the take out and fast food restaurants.

I also pick up dollar store gloves, hats, socks, ect. We have added stamped postcards, Christmas cards and candy canes in season.

Notepads and pens are welcomed as are throws we get at thrift stores.

We were giving the gift books from the fast food places, but now they’ve gone to gift cards.

Chapstick is a good idea, as are deodorants, comb, sanitary items for the women, (yes, we see homeless women and children too).

We give small toys, stickers and tattoos for the kids. We stay in motels a lot and always ask housekeeping for extras.”

“I love this post. I am in the middle of coordinating a SOCKS party here in Nashville.

We are getting the big, thermal socks, and filling them with different items for the homeless.

We’ve been fortunate to have my dentist donate the toothpaste and floss, and McDonald’s donated 1,000 Cards for a free dollar menu item.

We also have tons of shampoo, conditioner, and soaps from hotels.

We’ll stuff it with snacks, hand warmers, and other items (many on your list).

We are getting together for our SOCK party and letting the kids stuff the socks and make the tags, which will say “I care”.

The kids are excited and I love what it’s teaching them. Thanks for inspiring others to give back!”

Aren’t my readers incredible? Just think of the possibilities with this one!

God has been so good to us, but 10 years ago we were in a very different place than where we are now.

My husband was unemployed for almost an entire year, our financial situation was a house of cards, and my heart was in a bad place.

Although I don’t like to admit it, I wondered what my purpose on this earth even was.

I never have forgotten that dark place and it is why we still try to be so careful with the resources we have been given and why I have such a tender place in my heart for those who are struggling.

If you would like to read more about it, I encourage you to read my book where I share how we recovered from this difficult financial period in our life.

Being careful though doesn’t mean that you can’t be a giver.

There are fantastic ways to give, both big and small, around the holidays.

Be sure to check our list of ten painless ways to give back to charities to help you get started.

I call these smaller ways to give the, “scraps of life giving.” I have talked a lot about that with my partnership with Pure Charity as well!

We want to help you give back to your community! Here are some resources to do just that!

Grab our Free Homeless Supply Checklist for your your care packages.

Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Grab our Local Resources List for your care packages (if you don’t live in Michiana, you can use this as a template for your own sheet)! Don’t just click on the picture, head to this link to grab a full-size PDF version!

Looking for more great ways to give back? Here are a few other great ideas!

diy no sew hand warmers

cabled ear warmer pattern diy cabled ear warmers

diy chunky knit blanket pattern

How do you give back in your community? How do you teach your kids to be givers?

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How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com

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What I Earned From One Month Investing With Ellevest

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com

 

Are you looking for an easy way to start investing? Robo investing might be the perfect option for you and I am sharing the scoop on what I learned from investing with Ellevest.  Today I’m sharing what I really earned and about the process of getting an account started as we explore passive income money making opportunities for moms. Be sure to visit our entire Passive Income Ideas for Moms Series all year long as I challenge myself to find new ways to earn money for our family. 

I can’t believe that we have another month behind us in our Passive Income Ideas for Moms series.  I have been SO thrilled to get so many messages and comments from women who have been taking this challenge with me and are feeling empowered to start investing in themselves.

Today I get to reveal the results from my month of investing with Ellevest.

Honestly, as exciting as it was to share with you about Rakuten, I was ten times more excited to start my first portfolio with some of my earnings from MomAdvice. 

If you have been intimidated by the investment process (*raises hand*) I think you will be really happy to hear how easy this was and how incredibly thankful I am that I started doing this.

What I Earned From One Month Investing With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com

(click here to get $20 to start your Ellevest portfolio today)

What I Earned From One Month Investing With Ellevest

What is Ellevest?

Ellevest is a woman-owned company that focuses on building investment portfolios. What makes it unique is that they have something called an, “Impact Portfolio,”  that allow you to invest in stocks that support women in business.

This is a robo advisor tool that makes investing easy and also doesn’t cost the consumer an arm and a leg.

Robo advisors (also known as automated investing services or online advisors) use computer algorithms and advanced software to create an investment portfolio for you.

They are referred to as robo because this is mostly an automated process that requires little to no human interaction.

This translates into cost-savings for you because they are using these automated tools to build your portfolio.

The biggest difference between this company and other companies is that their focus is on wealth-building for women by investing in other women.

They call these portfolios, “Impact Portfolios,” because you are making a positive impact on women.

Pretty cool, right?

For an Impact Portfolio, they use these three key criterias in selecting your investments:

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

Funds investing in companies with more women leaders and policies that advance women.

SUSTAINABLE, ACCOUNTABLE COMPANIES

Funds investing in companies working to meet  for sustainability and ethical practices.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Funds providing loans to support women-owned businesses and companies that provide community services – child education, performing arts, and housing and care for seniors and individuals in need.

They also realize that women have different life spans than men and they adjust your retirement requirements accordingly.

Want to learn even more about Ellevest? Be sure to read this introductory article to Ellevest that includes a really awesome interview with the Ellevest CEO, Sallie Krawcheck!

How Much Did I Invest This Month with Ellevest?

Just as a reminder, there is no minimum balance to open your account!

I decided to set up a one-time deposit of $2,000 into this account and then set up automatic deposits of $300 monthly into my wealth-building account. 

I also wanted to create a little vacation fund for us so I have $50 going into a one-time splurge account that we will be able to earn some money on while we save. 

Just as a reminder, I did work one month ahead so I could walk you through the process of setting up an account.

Technically, I invested $300 in my wealth-building account and $50 into our splurge account for the month of November.

Investment Goals with Ellevest

What Types of Accounts Did I Invest in With Our Money?

Ellevest is set up in a simple goal-oriented format that, basically, allow you to set up buckets for investing. 

Anyone who has been a fan of the envelope system for savings will appreciate this. Basically, it is a virtual envelope system to invest in yourself.

I selected their Impact Portfolio over their Core Portfolio because my goal is to have a great retirement…while lifting up other women.

Choosing this portfolio allowed me to do both those things. 

I also created a splurge fund to put towards a future family vacation.

Was It Easy to Earn Money Through Ellevest?

YES, this is SO easy because you are putting your investing on automatic. 

Once you set up those goals for your account, you tell Ellevest what day of the month you would like your automatic withdrawal to happen and that’s it.

I haven’t had to think about investing at all because it all has been done for me automatically.

If there is anything I’ve learned through this wealth-building series it is how important it is to automate these investments in myself.

What I Earned From One Month Investing With Ellevest

What Was the Outcome of My Ellevest Portfolio?

In October, I earned $56.89, in net returns, after opening my account with $2,000. 

In November, I deposited an additional $300, earning me $71.64 (for the month of November).

In total, I’ve earned $128.53 with Ellevest in two months.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a heck of a lot more than what I was earning with my money sitting in my bank account.

For my modest $50 splurge fund deposit, I earned $2.80 on my monthly investment.

What Did It Cost Me to Invest With Ellevest?

This tool is much cheaper than hiring a financial advisor because a more personalized services can charge you a whopping 1% annually.

With Ellevest, your annual management fee is .25%.

If you saved $5,000, for example, you would pay $12.50 for the entire year. 

For the amount that is within these accounts, my charge was $1.80.

This amount will shift as more money is invested, of course.

Ellevest Impact Portfolio Example

Did I Really Support Women By Investing With Ellevest?

Earning money is great, but did I make any impact on women in business?

Good news… I did!

How do I know this?

If you look at my Impact Portfolio (see the image above) you will see these green circles with icons that tell me why they picked these stocks and how it impacts others.

This icon tells me that I’m supporting Women in Leadership. These funds invested make an impact on women leaders and policies that advance women.

This icon tells me that I’m supporting Sustainable, Accountable Companies.

These funds invested make an impact on companies that are working to meet higher standards for sustainability and ethical practices.

 

What I Earned From One Month Investing With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com

 

As you can see, 53% of my portfolio really goes into those impact funds. Impact funds are the ones that are distributed to women in leadership, sustainable companies, and to community development.

Why am I not 100% invested in women though?

As a fiduciary, Ellevest prioritizes the appropriate mix of investments to help you reach your goals.

This means a low-cost, globally diversified portfolio invested across many asset classes.

At this time, there are not sufficient impact investments to meet their fiduciary criteria for all of their asset classes.

They do continuously monitor the marketplace for new impact investments that they believe are suitable for your Ellevest Impact Portfolio.

In a nutshell, they research each impact investment in your Ellevest Impact Portfolio to ensure it meets their fiduciary standards.

Then they make it even greater by investing to make a positive impact in the world.

Did I Really Earn Money on Referrals Through Ellevest?

Ellevest does have a referral program (open to everyone) that you make a referral credit for each person that signs up and have created an actual account. 

That means, the accounts must be fully funded for you to receive a referral credit. 

Credits are then applied to your highest-priority funded goal.

If it’s a taxable account (not an IRA), the credit is applied as a one-time deposit and you’ll see it as a pending transaction in your goal.

The major complaints about Ellevest had been about the referral program.

If people haven’t went through the process of establishing the account and making a deposit though, you don’t get credit for that.

For example, I have 13 pending accounts that just might be waiting for this results post before they go through the process of setting that up with their bank.

For now, I have earned $100 on referrals that are being added to my account.

Not only that, but once you refer two friends (that have fully vested) you are considered an Elle Raiser Ambassador.

The title “ambassador” just tells the world about the leadership role you’ve taken on in the Elle Raiser community: talking the talk, walking the walk by bringing their friends, family, colleagues — fill in the blank — into the movement of supporting women through your investments.

If you didn’t know,  MomAdvice is all about empowering women and I’m proud to be doing exactly what I set out to do over sixteen years ago.

Will I Continue Investing With Ellevest?

YES!  This has been such an easy thing to automate in my life and I’m so proud to be investing in myself.

November ended up being our most profitable month on the site and once that money deposits, I’m moving it right on over to my retirement.

I can’t imagine not investing in myself now.

If you want to start investing in yourself too, here is $20 to get your account started!! Don’t hold me to this, but I noticed they are now giving you $50 to start an account so don’t be surprised if you get a $50 deposit instead!! 

What I Have I Earned So Far With Ellevest?

I have earned $130.22 with Ellevest and an additional $100 through their referral program.

Earnings totaled: $230.32

What Have I Earned So Far With the Passive Mom Income Series (started in October 2019)?

In an effort to be completely transparent with this series, I will share with you what the outcome is each month and how much was earned from a year of dedicating my time to this project. 

Rakuten- $601.47 (read more about this passive income opportunity)

Ellevest- $230.22 (read more about this passive income opportunity)

Total Earned So Far With the Passive Income series- $831.69

See you on the blog tomorrow for our December Passive Income For Moms Challenge!!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Love this post? Here are a few others you might love!

Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms from MomAdvice.com passive revenue ideas for busy moms

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from MomAdvice.com earn money through rakuten cash back

Real Rakuten Results Cash Back Earnings Report from MomAdvice.com do you really earn money with rakuten?

how to invest in yourself with ellevest

Don’t forget to follow along on our Passive Income Challenge series. You can head here to see all the posts in one place. Did you sign up for to invest with Ellevest? What was your experience with this passive income money maker for November?

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from MomAdvice.com

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Easy Peppermint Mocha: Starbucks Copycat Recipe

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Easy Peppermint Mocha: Starbucks Copycat Recipe Header

Nothing says the holidays like a Peppermint Mocha. Today I’m sharing how you can make this super easy recipe right at home. There is no need to spend a lot this holiday season, with this copycat Starbucks Peppermint Mocha recipe.

With the holidays just around the corner, the one treat I love to indulge in while doing my holiday shopping is a delicious Peppermint Mocha.

What screams holiday more than a minty cup of coffee topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes?

I was ordering these year round until they came out with the Salted Caramel Mocha, which seemed to satisfy my out-of-season mocha cravings.

Of course, wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to make these at home and save your money for your Christmas presents this year?

I hit the kitchen to try and whip up a batch of these at home.

Once I had my basic mocha recipe down from my DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte & my DIY Salted Caramel Mocha, it was just a matter of figuring out how to create the peppermint flavor at home out of ingredients I had in my pantry.

Close-Up of a Peppermint Mocha

Easy Peppermint Mocha Tutorial

Here are a few commonly asked questions about making your Peppermint Mochas at home!

What Supplies Do I Need to Make a Peppermint Mocha at Home?

The tools I would recommend are an immersion blender (or small individual blender for drinks or a simple whisk), a saucepan, and a french press or espresso pot (depending on how strong you like to make it).

I like to use a French Press for my lattes, but I also embrace my little stovetop espresso maker when I need that extra bit of caffeine.

How Can I Make a Peppermint Mocha At Home if I Have a Keurig?

I don’t, personally, have a Keurig, but two of my amazing readers shared their tricks to get that coffee shop taste at home with your Keurig.

Lora shared this idea for K-Cups-

“Try one of the dark, strong coffee K-Cups they offer! Jet fuel is one. They do make some nice strong ones you just have to look!”

What a great idea! Take a peek at some of the k-cup options for a diy latte at home.

Another reader, Kim, shared this super smart idea to brew coffee with a completely different type of k-cup.

“If you buy the iced coffee blends for Keurig (I have Nantucket Iced Coffee) and just brew it like a normal cup (not over ice) – it is super strong and works great for these type recipes!”

Another fantastic suggestion! You can shop for iced coffee k-cup options here.

Vertical Image: Easy Peppermint Mocha: Starbucks Copycat Recipe

How Do I Make My Own Peppermint Syrup?

You don’t have to create the peppermint syrup yourself, although it is really easy to do and made from pantry ingredients. 

Simple syrups are just as simple as their name to create.

It is just a matter of dissolving sugar into water, reducing it a bit, and then adding your flavoring of choice for your favorite beverages.

To make this peppermint simple syrup you will need 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract.

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the peppermint extract.

Cool to room temperature and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Once you get this technique down, you can create a variety of coffee drinks and cocktails for the holiday season. This recipe yields enough syrup for 5-7 peppermint mochas at home.

Do You Have Any Peppermint Mocha Topping Suggestions?

I don’t usually top mine, to save on calories, but I do have some ideas on how you can make this festive. A drizzle of dark chocolate, white chocolate, or a simple chocolate syrup is a great to pour over a little whipped cream.

If you are feeling extra festive, try adding some fun holiday sprinkles to really make it festive

How Can I Make This Into a Peppermint Mocha Gift for the Holidays?

How fun would it be to make Peppermint Syrup in a jar as a fun holiday gift with all the supplies?

In a basket add your syrup, a good quality coffee, cocoa powder, a festive mug, and candy canes to stir, along with this recipe.

So easy and a great way to start anyone’s day.

I Don’t Have Time to Make a Homemade Peppermint Syrup. Can I Buy Peppermint Syrup from Starbucks?

Simply call ahead to your favorite Starbucks joint and ask if they have a spare bottle of Peppermint Syrup that you can buy or if they can order it for you, if they happen to be running low.

A bottle runs less than $10 or approximately the cost of two of those coffee drinks that you would buy.

Remember, you can split a bottle with a friend if you don’t picture yourself drinking one all winter long or save it for those Peppermint Mocha Frappes, in the summer months.

If you don’t care if the syrup is from Starbucks, here are some more affordable options!

How Can I Enjoy This If I Don’t Like Coffee?

First of all, how dare you.

Secondly, I have a really simple peppermint hot cocoa recipe that would still satisfy those minty cravings you might be having!

These are every bit as good as Starbucks, but costs a lot less than your coffee shop ones. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as you have enjoyed the other coffee creations from our kitchen!

What Our Readers Said About This Peppermint Mocha Recipe:

This is fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing. The first cup I made, I gave to my husband with the disclaimer “I’ve never made this. Don’t expect it to taste just like Starbucks.” (We are obsessed with their peppermint mocha lattes but can’t afford them). Still, his eyes lit up like I had just given him the best gift ever! It’s so delicious. 🙂- Sarah

Fabulous! I used twice as much sugar for the syrup, and twice as much peppermint extract just because i have a sweet tooth and I love a lot of mint flavor. Tried adding it to coffee without the cream, that’s just not the same, not a step i recommend skipping, but whole milk works wonders too. Thank you so much for this recipe. You saved me so much money buying my coffee out or the creamers. You definitely helped make my holiday more festive this year. So happy to read your blog. Merry Christmas!- Liz

Aren’t they the best? I hope you love this recipe as much as they did!

toppings for a peppermint mocha at home

Homemade Peppermint Mocha
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Peppermint Mocha
 
Nothing says the holidays like a Peppermint Mocha. Today I'm sharing how you can make this super easy recipe right at home. NO need to spend a lot this holiday season, with this copycat Starbucks Peppermint Mocha recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk, steamed
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, I prepared this in my French Press, but you can brew a strong drip pot if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons peppermint syrup (read the post for the directions on how to make this)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Chocolate Syrup (optional)
  • Crushed Peppermints (optional)
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Prepare your hot water in your tea kettle.
  3. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press.
  4. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  5. In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming.
  6. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.
  7. In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps.
  8. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate.
  9. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, and crushed peppermints.

 

Love this recipe? Here are a few others you might like!

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe from MomAdvice.com salted caramel mocha latte recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for more great drink recipes? Here are a few others we think you will love this fall!

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com homemade pumpkin spice latte

DIY Your Own Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice.com homemade vanilla chai mix recipe (an easy diy for the pantry!)

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte from MomAdvice.com how to make a gingerbread latte

How to Cold Brew Coffee from MomAdvice.com how to cold brew coffee at home

Amy's Famous Cocoa Mix Amy’s Famous Hot Cocoa Mix

Peppermint Cocoa Recipe from MomAdvice.com peppermint cocoa recipe

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows from MomAdvice.com homemade peppermint marshmallows

Chocolate Coffee Spoons from MomAdvice.com chocolate coffee spoons (perfect for upping that mocha taste with a chocolate sauce!!)

Do you have any suggestions to improve on this DIY Peppermint Mocha?

Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

Easy Peppermint Mocha: Starbucks Copycat Recipe

 

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Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe from MomAdvice.com

I love to create a coffee shop experience at home. That’s why I created this EASY Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Recipe so you can brew your copycat Starbucks coffee recipe at home. This is one of our most popular recipes on the site and, once you try it, I know you will see why!

My favorite drink at Starbucks is their Salted Caramel Mocha Latte.

One sip of this delicious goodness had me daydreaming about how I could replicate this delicious salty caramel goodness at home.

Coffee drinking is, after all, one of my favorite hobbies, but a girl has to do it on a budget. 

A DIY version of this Salted Caramel Mocha Latte was definitely in order.

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe from MomAdvice.com

I am no stranger to the sweet and salty combination.

My Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies may have made me a celebrity in very tiny circles of friends.

I am also no stranger to replicating Starbucks treats. My homemade pumpkin spice latte has been shared (and enjoyed) thousands of times, by our readers.

These two things, that I am most proud of,  had to come together for this fun treat.

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Lattes are an easy creation to make at home. Each fall and winter, I put my French Press to work by creating the strong brewed coffee needed for a delicious latte at home.

In the summer, my cold brewed coffees are made with this little gadget and over the years it has paid for itself over and over again.

One rainy day, I decided to replicate my new favorite Starbucks treat.

I sipped lattes, tested combinations, whipped, brewed, drizzled, sipped, whipped, brewed, drizzled, and sipped.

As I tried to hold my camera steady to take pictures of my coffee glory, I realized I had a horrible case of the shakes.

I also realized I may have overdone it with the sipping part of things.

When I came to get my children at their bus stop still wearing my pajamas (complete with rubber boots), bearing crazy caffeinated eyes, and shaky hands… I had to wonder what the bus driver thought of this crazy woman who hadn’t even brushed her hair that day.

Hey, it is better than the times I come with crazy eyes and spray paint all over me- hahaha!

In the end, I think it was all worth it though.

I hope you will think so too.

Save your $5 and make this little treat at home whenever you want.

Just take my advice and try to do it in moderation.

Trying to save calories?

Skip the toppings and just enjoy a skinny salted caramel latte at home.

How to Make a Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte at Home

What Supplies Do I Need to Make a Salted Caramel Mocha Latte at Home?

The tools I would recommend are an immersion blender (or small individual blender for drinks or a simple whisk), a saucepan, and a french press or espresso pot (depending on how strong you like to make it).

How Can I Make a Salted Caramel Mocha Latte At Home if I Have a Keurig?

I don’t, personally, have a Keurig, but two of my amazing readers shared their tricks to get that coffee shop taste at home with your Keurig.

Lora said, “Try one of the dark, strong coffee K-Cups they offer! Jet fuel is one. They do make some nice strong ones you just have to look!”

What a great idea! Take a peek at some of the k-cup options for a diy latte at home.

Another reader, Kim, shared this super smart idea to brew coffee with a completely different type of k-cup.

Kim said, “If you buy the iced coffee blends for Keurig (I have Nantucket Iced Coffee) and just brew it like a normal cup (not over ice) – it is super strong and works great for these type recipes!”

Another fantastic suggestion! You can shop for iced coffee k-cup options here.

What Ingredient Could I Purchase if I Wanted to Drink an Exact Copycat Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Latte At Home?

My readers are always so generous with their commentary and we had a couple of replies, from Starbucks employees to set the recipe straight. In the Starbucks version, the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Latte doesn’t actually have…well, caramel.

They actually use a toffee nut syrup instead.

That is what gives it that rich buttery flavor that makes it such a fun treat.

Does Starbucks Sell the Toffee Nut Syrup?

Did you know that you can purchase coffee syrups directly from your local Starbucks.

With seasonal drinks in high demand, if you are thinking about buying a syrup, contact a manager to see if they can order you a bottle. When they place their order, they can tack on an extra bottle just for you.

Just replace the two tablespoons of caramel syrup with two tablespoons of the toffee nut syrup (or less- experiment with this one!!).

What Type of Salt Does Starbucks Use in Their Salted Caramel Mocha Lattes?

Starbucks uses a blend of turbinado sugar and smoked sea salt. I visited a lot of boards to see if I could figure out the exact combo.  Just mix together 2/3 turbinado cane sugar and 1/3 smoked sea salt.

Mix them together in a shaker for your future lattes!

Why Does This Recipe Have Kosher Salt and Caramel Sauce Instead?

Here’s the honest truth…because that is what was accessible to me.

I always have kosher salt in my house and caramel sauce is an easy addition from the supermarket.

MomAdvice is all about good living for less so I try to keep this in mind with our readers.

If you prefer a fancier experience, you now know how to level up!!

If you want to keep it accessible, cheap, or live in an area where fancy salts and coffee additions aren’t accessible…then this recipe is for you!

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
An easy DIY Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte you can enjoy and create at home.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk, steamed
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, prepared in a French Press)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons caramel coffee syrup (I bought mine at our local superstore in the coffee aisle or you can pick them up at your wholesale club for cheap. I accidentally bought sugar-free and it worked like a charm. Feel free to use either variety and adjust to your taste)
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel Sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.
  3. In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and caramel coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, and your pinch of salt.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for more great drink recipes? Here are a few others we think you will love this fall!

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com homemade pumpkin spice latte

How to Make a Peppermint Mocha from MomAdvice.com how to make a peppermint mocha

DIY Your Own Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice.com homemade vanilla chai mix recipe (an easy diy for the pantry!)

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte from MomAdvice.com how to make a gingerbread latte

How to Cold Brew Coffee from MomAdvice.com how to cold brew coffee at home

Amy's Famous Cocoa Mix Amy’s Famous Hot Cocoa Mix

Peppermint Cocoa Recipe from MomAdvice.com peppermint cocoa recipe

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows from MomAdvice.com homemade peppermint marshmallows

Chocolate Coffee Spoons from MomAdvice.com chocolate coffee spoons (perfect for upping that mocha taste with a chocolate sauce!!)

Do you have any suggestions to improve on this DIY Salted Caramel Mocha Latte?

Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe from MomAdvice.com

 

 

 

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How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

I know everyone is very different about their decorating.

In my house, I try to only decorate with items that I have handmade for the holidays and that really mean something to our family.

Our home doesn’t have a lot of storage so I have to be selective about what we carry over from year to year.

In a nod to my yarn and knitting habit, this year the house is decorated in pom-poms for the season.

I created this easy yarn pom-pom & ornament garland and I got out my yarn pom-pom trees that I had created, to decorate a shelf in our kitchen.

Other than that, we keep it fairly simple with fresh greenery that doesn’t take up valuable storage.

Each year I dedicate my Black Friday to one craft that I have always wanted to try.

When I first started knitting it was all about finding projects out of my comfort zone.

This year though,  I decided to tackle a crafting to-do that I have wanted to do for many, many years…it is a pom-pom wreath for our front door.

Just as my autumn burlap wreath carried me through from Halloween to Thanksgiving, this pom-pom wreath in cream has all of the magic of the holiday season, but can be carried over into the spring months due to its neutral tones.

This craft can’t be whipped up quick, but the reward is great.

In fact, I smiled today as I pulled up to my front door.

Just seeing it and knowing the labor of love that went into creating it makes my heart truly happy.

If you are a maker, you know the joy that comes with the completion of a craft project you have always wanted to do and then have done it well. It’s unlike any other feeling.

I also ADORE when you share your pictures of crafts that you have done from our site.

If you are looking for a little color on your door, check out this INCREDIBLE wreath that Christy made. 

I mean, how gorgeous is that??

Thank you, Christy, for letting me share your beautiful wreath with my readers.

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed

(don’t forget to use your Rakuten app to get money back on your craft purchases!)

1- 18″ straw wreath (leave it wrapped in the plastic)

5-6 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA Los Angeles Tan Yarn (you can also check for price comparisons HERE)

Pins

Large Clover Pom-Pom Maker (we are using the blue one)- be sure to check here for a price comparison

Scissors

wreath door hanger

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com
Directions

1. Following the pictures above, create your pom-poms using your Clover Pom-Pom Maker.

You can create these and pin as you go to see how many you end up needing for your wreath.

 

2. After you make your pom-poms (which will take one million years- don’t say I did not warn you), you can begin pinning them on your wreath form.

Make sure that you leave your straw wreath in the plastic.

Using pins, pin your pom-poms with two to three pins each and then fluff them.

You will want to start adding a pom-pom in the center, then on one side, then on the other side.

Continue stacking them this way, next to each other, making sure that the form is covered.

No need to make these extremely tight so you can make sure that your pom-poms really fluff up and stand to attention.

 

3. Continue adding pom-poms, pinning, and fluffing until your entire wreath is covered.

Once you hang your wreath, pull on pom-poms to see if everything is secure and add any pins as needed.

 

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

 

How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

I hope this wreath makes you as happy as it has made me.

I couldn’t be happier to have tackled this project over my Black Friday weekend and I hope it can brighten a corner in your home too!

this post contains affiliate links

 

Love this tutorial? Here are a few more of my favorites on the site!

how to make a pom-pom and ornament garland

yarn pom-pom & ornament garland

DIY Chunky Knit Hygge Blanket how to knit a chunky knit hygge blanket with fur pom poms

yarn pom-pom flower bouquets

how to make yarn pom pom trees

yarn pom-pom trees

how to make an autumn burlap wreath from momadvice.com

autumn burlap wreath

how to make a burlap wreath

easy burlap wreath

diy apple fall wreath

fabric flower wreath

fabric scrap wreath & fabric scrap garland

how to paint laminate wood

 

tour all the winter crafts in my holiday home

What fun crafts do you do with yarn pom-poms? Let me know in the links below!

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

 

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How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Monday, October 28th, 2019

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

It is so easy to make your pumpkin spice lattes at home. Today’s coffee drink is made with real pumpkin purée, your favorite milk, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and coffee. You won’t believe how easy it is to diy this expensive treat at home. Check out this pumpkin spice latte recipe today and SO many more diy Starbucks drink recipes.

Fall, for me, is Pumpkin Spice Latte season and that’s why I love sharing my favorite DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe with you. Not only do you get to have full control over the sugar and fat content, you also get to save a few dollars in your pocket too.

Have you ever thought about what might actually be going into your pumpkin spice latte? Here is what I discovered, when researching for this recipe…

For a long time, Starbucks did not have pumpkin in their pumpkin spice lattes!

Say what?

Don’t worry, you get your pumpkin spice latte full of real pumpkin now, but it was one of those interesting facts that I stumbled on while preparing today’s post.

How Does Starbucks Get the Pumpkin Flavor In Your Lattes?

Did you know that up until about 2015, the PSL didn’t have any actual pumpkin in it?

Originally, they relied upon an artificial caramel coloring and a mix of spices to create these drinks. 

That’s why it was such a big deal when Starbucks announced that they were getting rid of the caramel syrup and relying on a little pumpkin instead.

It is good to know that when you order this treat that you can look forward to these delicious real ingredients in your cup.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

Why Should I Make a Starbucks Drink at Home if It Doesn’t Contain Artificial Ingredients Anymore?

Honestly, for the cost-savings.  As we all know, the cost to buy drinks from Starbucks REALLY adds up.

Have you heard of the latte factor?

This outlines PERFECTLY how these tiny expenses multiply over time.

Let’s look at the cost on a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Price will vary by location, but hovers in the $4.45- $5.45 range for a tall.

Even if you only buy a tall latte once a week (as a treat yo’self day!!), this will cost you $17.80 a month or $213.60 a year.

This also doesn’t factor in the tip for the barista, which is SUPER important (just ask my brother who worked there!) or if you need to use an alternative milk, like coconut or almond.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather put $213 to work by investing it in women-owned businesses and saving it up for my retirement fund.

In addition to the cost factor, there is also the huge difference in  fat and sugar in each of these of these delicious beverages.

A grande is 380 calories (120 of these are fat calories) and an unbelievable 50 grams of sugar.

This is why it is so great to make this treat at home. When you make these Starbucks copycat drinks at home, you have more control over the sugar, the milk mixture used, and the strength of the espresso or coffee. 

Heck, who even said that these need to be caffeinated? Try a decaffeinated pumpkin spice latte so you can enjoy it later in the day because YOU CAN AFFORD IT NOW.

This is why I developed my own recipe to share with you today. 

This Pumpkin Spice Latte relies on strongly brewed coffee, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, milk (I love almond!), vanilla, and a fraction of the sugar.

What Type of Pumpkin Do I Use For My Pumpkin Spice Latte- I Get Confused at the Grocery Store?

One of the biggest mistakes I made, when first starting to cook with pumpkin, is picking up the wrong type of pumpkin at the grocery store. If you see a can that says, “Pumpkin Pie Mix,” (it looks like this), you do not want this type of pumpkin for your pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin Pie Mix is intended to just be mixed with milk and eggs to create pumpkin pies really fast. Lucky for you, you don’t need anything like that because you have this recipe in your back pocket.

Instead, you are looking for canned pumpkin (that will look like this) because it is ONLY pumpkin and allows you to add in your own sugar and spices to create your dishes. 

As you can see, the labels are almost identical and this can really throw people off when they are shopping for their recipes. 

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

What Supplies Do I Need to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home?

The tools I would recommend are an immersion blender (or small individual blender for drinks or a simple whisk), a saucepan, and a french press or espresso pot (depending on how strong you like to make it).

I like to use a French Press for my lattes, but I also embrace my little stovetop espresso maker when I need that extra bit of caffeine.

How Can I Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte At Home if I Have a Keurig?

I don’t, personally, have a Keurig, but two of my amazing readers shared their tricks to get that coffee shop taste at home with your Keurig.

Lora said, “Try one of the dark, strong coffee K-Cups they offer! Jet fuel is one. They do make some nice strong ones you just have to look!”

What a great idea! Take a peek at some of the k-cup options for a diy latte at home.

Another reader, Kim, shared this super smart idea to brew coffee with a completely different type of k-cup.

Kim said, “If you buy the iced coffee blends for Keurig (I have Nantucket Iced Coffee) and just brew it like a normal cup (not over ice) – it is super strong and works great for these type recipes!”

Another fantastic suggestion! You can shop for iced coffee k-cup options here.

Do You Have Any Pumpkin Spice Latte Topping Suggestions?

I try to skip these (because of the sugar and calories), but I would HIGHLY recommend this fun spiced whipped cream as a finisher and an extra dusting of cinnamon.

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

What Other Ways Can I Spice Up My Latte Routine?

Here are the best suggestions from our reader comments!

“Something that I have been doing for the past week that creates a DELICIOUS cinnamon flavor is to make cinnamon water to brew your coffee with. Take a large jar or container. Fill it with filtered water and throw in a cinnamon stick or 2 (depending on size). Let it sit for a whole day. The next morning use that water to make your coffee and it is to die for! Would be a great addition to this drink, especially those who have texture issues! Cheers!”- Liz

“I’ve made this at least a half dozen times now…YUM!! Thanks for sharing. I reduced the sugar and with the last two I’ve made, I’ve cut the cinnamon stick in half to make ’em stretch a little, but those are the only changes I’ve made. Thanks again! LOVE the recipe and all the money I’m saving”- Sara

I love hearing how much you enjoy these homemade Starbucks treats! I also REALLY love that this is a great way to put a partial can of pumpkin to work!

A batch of this simmering away on your stove will bring the scent of the Fall season right into the room.

This milky coffee treat tastes just like a little pumpkin pie with a hint of warm spices throughout. Top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to round out these beautiful flavors.

By making this at home, it is one homemade treat you can enjoy guilt-free as often as you like!

Be sure to scroll down after the recipe to get even more warm drink ideas and good old Starbucks Knock-Off Recipes.

Remember, this is just a base recipe that can be played with to your own tastes and preferences. It is meant to be personalized depending on how you like your latte!

Thank you all for trying and sharing this recipe!

The response has been overwhelming on this one and I love it.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of today’s recipe!

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
It is so easy to make your pumpkin spice lattes at home. Today's coffee drink is made with real pumpkin purée, your favorite milk, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and coffee. You won't believe how easy it is to diy this expensive treat at home. Check out this pumpkin spice latte recipe today!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk of your choice (almond, rice, coconut, whole, skim, 2%)
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon spice
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, strong coffee, vanilla extract, and spiced pumpkin seasonings into a saucepan.
  2. Heat saucepan over medium heat until the coffee is steaming hot, whisking with a wire whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and a little frothy. If you have an immersion blender or single-serve blender, you would just blend these until your homemade pumpkin spice latte is frothy.
  3. Pour into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!
  4. Note- If you are not a fan of the cinnamon texture, add a cinnamon stick to the coffee mixture while heating instead. This way you get all of the cinnamon taste, but none of the grit! Visit our reader suggestions for more great ideas!

 

Love this recipe? Here are a few more that I think you should check out!

How to Make a Salted Caramel Latte from MomAdvie.com how to make a salted caramel latte

How to Make a Peppermint Mocha from MomAdvice.com how to make a peppermint mocha

DIY Your Own Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice.com homemade vanilla chai mix recipe (an easy diy for the pantry!)

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte from MomAdvice.com how to make a gingerbread latte

How to Cold Brew Coffee from MomAdvice.com how to cold brew coffee at home

Amy's Famous Cocoa Mix Amy’s Famous Hot Cocoa Mix

Peppermint Cocoa Recipe from MomAdvice.com peppermint cocoa recipe

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows from MomAdvice.com homemade peppermint marshmallows

Chocolate Coffee Spoons from MomAdvice.com chocolate coffee spoons

Do you have any suggestions to improve on this DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte from MomAdvice.com

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Earn Money Investing in Women With Ellevest

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Earn Money Investing In Women With Ellevest

 

Are you looking for easy ways to earn extra cash for your family? Today I’m sharing how easy it is to invest in YOU with an incredible robo advisor tool. Ellevest is committed to helping you achieve your financial goals by investing in yourself and in women-owned businesses. 

This is the second challenge in our Passive Income for Busy Moms series. Be sure to visit our Passive Income Ideas for Moms Series all year long as I challenge myself to find new ways to earn money for our family.

Does the idea of investing in yourself feel intimidating?

You aren’t alone.

I have always been intimidated by this process and, honestly, have never invested in my own retirement.  Although we have been aggressively putting money away in my husband’s retirement account, I started thinking about how nice it would be to take some of my own salary and start investing in myself.

The thing is… where do you even start?

I spent weeks and weeks researching different companies, reading reviews, and watching interviews with representatives from different investment companies. It is through that research that I stumbled on the most incredible investment company that makes it UNBELIEVABLY easy to start investing in all of your financial goals.

Honestly, I am so  excited about this and can’t believe how sleekly automated and easy this tool is.

First of all, are you unfamiliar with how robo-advisors work?

I know I was!

I will walk you through everything I have learned this month and even share $20 to start investing in YOU today!

Also, for the record, this is a REAL review of Ellevest based on my first month with them. Many of the reviews I read NEVER had a REAL PERSON using Ellevest for investing- they just seemed to be in it for affiliate money.

Anything I share with you, through this series, are things that I’m exploring right along with you. It is my promise to you.

Earn Money With Ellevest

Earn Money Investing in Women With Ellevest

What The Heck is a Robo Advisor?

Robo advisors (also known as automated investing services or online advisors) use computer algorithms and advanced software to create an investment portfolio for you. They are referred to as robo because this is mostly an automated process that requires little to no human interaction.

This is a really great way to get started with entry-level investing because everything is done automatically for you and you don’t have to spend a lot of time babysitting your portfolio.

These robo-advisor tools can vary based upon their platform that they offer and what the goals of your portfolio are.

The reason I settled on Ellevest is because it is a goal-oriented program (something I find very attractive!), it is user-friendly, and their impact portfolios are pretty darn awesome.

What is Ellevest And Why Did You Pick It?

(Head HERE if you just want your $20 for your free Ellevest account!!)

As I explained, I did a ton of research and spent many nights reading article after article on different investment tools. The idea behind this series was that it would be easy to implement and that it wouldn’t require a ton of time for a busy mom.

It is through this research that I stumbled upon this interview with Sallie Krawcheck on The Daily Show.

I really encourage you to take the time to watch it because it does a much better job than I ever could on just how important it is to support women in business and why this company is pretty groundbreaking.

As you can see, this lady is a real bada$$ and wants to do a better job representing women in the financial industry. This approach to simplify investing makes long term goals simple and straightforward.

From the Ellevest site, “Co-founder and CEO, Sallie Krawcheck, realized the investing industry has been, frankly, “by men, for men” — and has historically kept women from achieving their financial goals. Sallie has made it her life’s mission to unleash women’s financial power and get them invested in their biggest goals.”

How Much Money Do I Need to Open an Ellevest Account?

Honestly, you can open an account and invest zero dollars.

Of course, that’s how many you will make back too.

In all seriousness, you determine how much you want to invest to start and then Ellevest offers up how much you should regularly be depositing to reach your goals, within your desired timespan.

They also understand that women also need other types of shorter term or once-in-a-lifetime type of investments. They create this investment plan and then offer options for other goals based accounts.

Some of the offerings are funds to start a business, once-in-a-lifetime splurges, retirement, kids, buying a home, and emergency funds.

How Does Ellevest Determine My Investment Goals & Strategies?

Ellevest uses a algorithm to calculate financial goal targets to meet your specific needs, including a larger retirement target amount for your potentially longer lifespan (ladies, we need to save MORE because of that!).

Did you know that women retire with two-thirds as much money men do, but we live six to eight years longer?!

These are the circumstances that are factored in with a company that understands women.

Once they have calculated the amount you should aim for, they suggest how much you should contribute in order to get there based on your financial profile, a gender-specific salary curve, and your target horizon.

This is processed through a Monte Carlo simulation.

What the heck is Monte Carlo simulation?

My thoughts exactly.

Monte Carlo simulation is a forward-looking, computer-based analysis in which they run recommended portfolios and savings rates through hundreds of different economic scenarios, to pick the best one for you.

Earn Money Supporting Women With Ellevest

How Is Ellevest Supporting Women?

Is it just me, or are you as jaded as I am when people make broad claims about how they support women?

In this case, they REALLY do.

A lot of people love to aim products towards women, but really don’t stand behind that message.

This is where my real love for the company is…they tailor a portfolio that helps YOU support WOMEN IN BUSINESS! 

Is that not the coolest?

They settled on three criteria of support that I think are really amazing (not to mention hiring female investors to work on your accounts):

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

Funds investing in companies with more women leaders and policies that advance women.

SUSTAINABLE, ACCOUNTABLE COMPANIES

Funds investing in companies working to meet  for sustainability and ethical practices.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Funds providing loans to support women-owned businesses and companies that provide community services – child education, performing arts, and housing and care for seniors and individuals in need.

How Hard is It to Create An Account?

This was incredibly easy to set up and it all made sense to me because of its goal driven platform.

They use a tool, that my hubby immediately recognized as a TypeForm template, that I found very easy to use.

How to Set Goals With Ellevest

You answer some really basic questions, like in the screenshot above, and that helps you see how much you need to put away each month to reach your goals.

Ellevest Real Review

Once it has this information, you can set up how much you want to start putting away into your accounts automatically.

Just like a withdrawal you would have for a bill, this takes out the payments you set up monthly.

You can also add additional money into your account and there is no minimum balance.

If you earned money from one of the other passive income ideas I’m sharing, for example, you could put this unexpected money away for yourself to earn a little more.

How Much Does Ellevest Cost?

This tool is much cheaper than hiring a financial advisor because more personalized services can charge you a whopping 1% annually.

With Ellevest, your annual management fee is .25%.

If you saved $5,000, for example, you would pay $12.50 for the entire year. 

They do offer a more expensive premium account that allows you to receive coaching and some other benefits.

For that account though, you need a minimum private wealth investment of $50,000.

Is Investing Money With Ellevest Risky?

Investing does come with risks and it is important to understand what those risks are.

I found this article to be very helpful in explaining what risks might be involved.

Why Did You Start This a Month Before Me?

With something like investing, I thought it was important to do the entire process so that I could be honest about how easy or hard it is. I put in $2,000 into a wealth-building account.

Real Ellevest Earnings

This is my current status for potential earnings!

Of course, investing is a long haul game, but it is fun to see that needle shifting in my favor a bit.

Should I Be Investing If I’m Worried About a Recession?

Some experts are saying that a financial recession is looming.

Here’s the thing, I am going with these opinions and agreeing with the experts on this one. I do believe we will be facing another recession soon.

I think this is a valid concern and something that we all should be thinking about as we make choices with our money.

The most important thing you can do is to prepare an emergency safety net so that you can weather the economic changes.

The second most important thing?

 Pay off your highest interest debts NOW. 

If you need another gentle nudge, you might enjoy my book! (I’m pretty proud of it!)

I think this article does a really great job at explaining how to invest if you are worried about another recession.

The biggest thing I am learning from wealth-building is that it is REALLY important to keep things diversified.

Never put your eggs into one basket.

Earn Money Supporting Women With Ellevest

Join My November Passive Income Challenge

If you think you would like to start investing in yourself, here is $20 to put towards your account.

Ellevest gives their customers an invitation code (that’s what I’m sharing) so they can put $20 in their account and they also give the referrer $20 for sharing about the service.

Your challenge is to set up an account and invest in yourself. If you only have $5 a month, that is $5 more towards reaching a financial goal FOR YOU.

Start brainstorming with your family about what would benefit you the most right now.

Putting your savings and investments on automatic makes it easier to stay on track with your financial goals.

Please note, this Ellevest affiliate program is not associated with being a blogger.

Each customer receives a unique code so if you love it as much as me, you can share your own code with your friends and start putting away MORE money in your account.

Also, let it be known, although I love the focus on women, men are more than welcome to invest too.

If your guy is as awesome as mine, he will love putting his money towards companies that are helping women level the financial playing field.

Love this post? Here are a few others that I think you might love too!

Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms from MomAdvice.com passive revenue ideas for busy moms

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from MomAdvice.com earn money through rakuten cash back

Real Rakuten Results Cash Back Earnings Report from MomAdvice.com do you really earn money with rakuten?

I’d love to hear what has been your experience with Ellevest or with using a robo-advisor for your investments? How do you make investing in yourself and your retirement a priority?

this post contains affiliate links

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What I Earned From One Month Using the Rakuten App

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

 

Real Rakuten Results Cash Back Earnings Report from MomAdvice.com

Are you looking for an easy way to earn cash back or even double cash back on your purchases? Today I’m sharing what I really earned through the Rakuten app as we explore passive income money making opportunities for moms. Be sure to visit our Passive Income Ideas for Moms Series all year long as I challenge myself to find new ways to earn money for our family.

I can’t believe all of the enthusiasm and excitement for this new Passive Income Ideas for Moms series that I have started. It has meant so much to me to have your support and have you join me in these challenges. It’s also such a joy to have some of our older readers back now that I’m exploring another frugality series. 

I am so happy to have you here and helping you explore new ways to make money for your family.

If you are new to the series, I am challenging myself to find new ways to make money for our family and taking you on the journey with me. I started with learning about the Rakuten app and shared how you could use this too as you were shopping.

Now that I have the first month under my belt, I’m sharing what I thought about my month with this app.

What I Earned From One Month Using the Rakuten App

Real Rakuten Cash Back Results

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a site (and app) that gives you cash back on on qualifying purchases. If you didn’t join me last month, simply use this referral link to receive your first $10 to shop with and to get began earning your own cash back rewards.

Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo and is a a Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company. The company handles a lot of different types of services like Rakuten Kobo Ebooks, Rakuten Credit Cards, Rakuten Super Points (which include member rewards), Rakuten Viber, and so much more.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know how to say the name of this service company, the Rakuten marketing team handled that with this clever commercial.

Spoiler alert: I was saying it the WRONG WAY all month long.

Was It Easy to Earn Money Through Rakuten?

Although I had been with Ebates (years ago!), I had completely forgotten to use this for my purchases. Downloading the app was super easy and it was also very easy to install the extension that allowed me to see what the cash back rewards were as well as any coupons that might be available for my purchases.

What Was the Outcome of the Cash Back Rewards?

Although I had planned to make a few purchases for the exterior of our home, we ended up doing some unexpected travel and that meant that no one was here to purchase or install these items. I have a feeling these next few months will be much more rewarding because of these home purchases as well as our upcoming holiday gifts we will be buying.

I am not a big spender so the results on the cash back rewards matched my spending habits.

Here are some creative cash back rewards though that I did receive:

Rakuten Real Results

We Got Cash Back on Our Food Delivery– Rakuten gives you cash rewards for shopping through DoorDash so I used the app for our family’s sushi delivery. Since I was a new customer, I was able to have the delivery fee waived, had a great coupon code, and also got $2.67 back on our dinner delivery.

I Got Cash Back on Our Day Pass to Great Wolf Lodge– $2.25 was deposited in my Rakuten account after snagging day passes for us to hit the water park over our fall break.

I Got Cash Back on my Old Navy Purchase– I ordered a few sweaters, for fall, and ended up getting $1.85 back on my purchase.

I Also Have Cash Back Pending on Travel Expenses- Since Rakuten was affiliated with Expedia, I booked my airline ticket through them so I could get the cash rewards. I also secured a Groupon, that is in processing, so I’m waiting for those pending charges to go through.

Airline tickets, for example, take six weeks to process so you don’t see immediate results.

As you can see, it was not an exciting month of purchases, BUT the point was to earn money on things I was already buying and not buy things just to buy things.

Overall, the total earned through my shopping was a mere $6.77.

If you are a big shopper, the potential for rewards would be much greater.

I have now trained myself to do targeted shopping and to check for double cash back rewards. 

It only takes a minute, but it is more money back in my pocket by being strategic with this app.

Rakuten Affiliate Results

Did You *REALLY* Earn Money on Referrals Through Rakuten?

I am really surprised that Rakuten does not have a cap on how many referrals you can cash in on. I know most of you were already signed up with this company so I didn’t think this was going to be a big earner.

It’s important to know that you don’t actually earn the referral cash unless the person spends $25 using the app. I had a lot of people sign up, but many who have not made their first purchase (21 pending referrals are still not activated). These just stay in a holding pattern until they make their first $25 purchase.

I still ended up referring 11 new people to the shopping app who actually made their qualifying $25 purchase. This yielded a $275 profit in my account that will be applied to my next big fat check.

I did share that I understand that I have an unfair advantage with this because of the website referrals. Even if I didn’t though, I can see how sharing your referral link, especially as people begin holiday shopping, can yield holiday cash for anyone. They offer easy ways to share on Facebook, text, and email. 

While many affiliate programs are limited to bloggers, I love that this one is open to anyone who wants to share and that is a very high return on sharing a link on social media.

Rakuten App Screen

Will You Continue Using Rakuten For Shopping?

These are one month explorations because I may or may not feel like these efforts are worth it.

With this one, I actually do plan to make this a regular part of my spending routines. It was so darn easy to use and I loved their easy way of finding additional coupons for my purchases.

It wasn’t completely seamless because two of my purchases didn’t go through and I thought I wouldn’t receive my cash back credit.

I emailed the help desk a copy of my receipts and the deposit was quickly processed.

Overall, I’m really impressed with the customer service and the ease of the app.

I also realized that I had pending cash (from 2008!!!) that they still had in their system to credit me. That means that my actual check is $321.77, but isn’t actually reflective of my October earnings.

Grand Total Earnings for October: $281.77

NOT. TOO. SHABBY.

I will continue to keep you updated on totals as we go through this year.

Tomorrow I will be sharing with you a bigger November challenge that might get you thinking about how you are investing in yourself. I’m a month ahead of you, this time, so I can make sure that I could fully check out this next passive income builder for you and make sure it is worth your time.

See you on the blog tomorrow for our November Passive Income For Moms Challenge!!

Don’t forget to follow along on our Passive Income Challenge series. You can head here to see all the posts in one place. Did you sign up for Rakuten or start using it again for cash back rewards? What was your experience with this passive income money maker for October?

This post contains affiliate links. 

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