Why {& how} we are trying to go AD-FREE ~ Our Cozy Den

Why {& how} we are trying to go AD-FREE

You’ve probably heard the statistics that Americans are exposed to a whopping 4,000-10,000 ads per day. Yikes. That’s a lot of information being thrown at us on a daily basis. The average American in 1970 saw 500 ads per day. In 45 years, that’s like a 1000% increase in ads. Let’s compare this to the American trend on debt. In that same timeframe, the average American consumer debt has increased from $500 per person to over $11,000 per person.  {do those numbers look eerily similar to anyone else?!} I don’t think it’s too much of a reach to say that ads = spending. Marketing works. Read More

How (and why!) to set up Tickler Funds with CapitalOne 360 ~ Our Cozy Den

How (and why!) to set up Tickler Funds with CapitalOne 360

Tickler Funds are one of my favorite budget hacks. Don’t ask me who named it — it has nothing to do with tickling! Some people also call them “Sinking Funds”. The concept is so simple: Christmas costs $600 and comes once a year. So you save $50 a month for Christmas, instead of trying to front the whole cost in December (ouch). You can use it for anything that is an irregular expense you have. Car insurance if you pay every 6 months instead of monthly. Homeschool supplies that you buy at the beginning of the school year. Gifts for birthdays & Christmas. Setting aside Read More

Free Printable Gift Organizer {for frugal gifting!}

Free Printable Gift Organizer {for frugal gifting!}

I’ll be honest, I love buying gifts. Finding amazing treats for friends, family, and my children bring me so much joy. What I don’t love? The price tag. With my annual gift record document, the price tag is drastically reduced. This is because I am able to buy gifts FAR in advance, often for free, and definitely at a huge discount. For the last decade or so, I’ve been tweaking my system for how I keep track of who’s getting what and how much I spend, and I’ve finally got it down to a science. So today, I’m going to show you how I use Read More


My Biggest Financial Mistake {and what I learned from it}

I may be a pretty savvy money saving mama now, but lemme tell you: I wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time, I was an idiotic 18-year-old with a credit card and penchant for YOLO. (Okay, so YOLO wasn’t a thing back then, but I was definitely living out the concept!) I want to tell you a story about a big huge financial disaster that I got myself into, how I dug myself out, and how I turned it around to benefit me in the end! Once upon a time…  When I was 18, I was a soldier in the US Army. I was stationed Read More


Parent & Kid Date Night

Date Night is a family favorite in our home… and no, I don’t mean when we get a babysitter and have some couple time. Of course, that’s very important, and we do that too! But what I’m talking about today is Parent & Kid Date Night! My kids absolutely love this tradition. It’s something we started in 2014 when we first moved to Ohio. We have always done dates with our kids since they were little, but it was at this time that it became an official thing. It has benefited and grown our relationships in so many ways, and I’m going to tell you Read More


Time & Money: Earning VS. Saving

There are 24 hours in a day. That’s an indisputable fact. Everyone has exactly 24 hours to allocate to various pursuits, and we all have priorities that shape our days. I see so many people chasing another dollar “to make ends meet”, while at the same time maintaining a lifestyle full of expenses that are higher than they need to be. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the thought process that goes into my philosophy on money: that it is better to save than to earn. Calculate your rate of earnings. Minimum wage in the US is currently $7.25 an hour. If Read More

How to Write a Budget {and actually USE it!} from Our Cozy Den

How To Write a Budget {and actually USE it!}

Ah, yes… dreaded B word: Budget. People think of a budget and they cringe. Budgets are restrictive. No fun. Too hard. Well, I tend to disagree. When done properly, budgets give you an immense sense of freedom! Before we had a written budget each month, I would feel so guilty about every penny I spent that I didn’t feel was vital to the family. Every time I bought myself a book, a shirt, or lunch out with my friends… I felt plagued with feelings like “We can’t afford this.” or “I shouldn’t be spending this money.” Once we had a written plan in place, it Read More


How I Use Amazon Subscribe & Save to Save BIG

Many moons ago when I only had 2 or 3 kids and I wasn’t homeschooling yet (or maybe just schooling 1 of them), I used to coupon. I had a big fancy binder, I would clip my favorite coupons, and spend hours in the store scouting for my deals. Now all I have to say about that is: No. Stinking. Way. There’s no way I have time for that any more. And even if I did, the deals aren’t like they used to be. I have a whole post about why I don’t coupon any more, if you want to read it. But today, I Read More


We Paid Cash for our Home!

As we are moving into another stage of life (and moving, quite literally, to another home), it’s got me thinking about how we got here and the choices we made that led to this place. One of the biggest things that surprise people when they hear our story is to find out we paid cash for our home. It seems like an impossibility in today’s world: people feel that they are paid too little, they owe too much, and they can never get ahead with their savings. That may be true in some cases, but I really believe that in many cases it comes down to Read More