11/24 Smart Chicks Club
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. By clicking on the links and making a purchase, you're helping to support the site so we can keep bringing you badass ideas.
Just over a year ago, some of my lady friends decided to take control of their finances, together. They invited some like-minded friends (one of which is moi) and started a monthly meeting ritual called Smart Chicks Club. Each month, a different gal hosts, we all chip in $2 for snacks and drinks, and we get together to discuss our financial frustrations, goals and celebrations… and we have a clothing swap! Most months, we have a guest speaker come in and talk about real estate, investments, financial planning, or health…. usually a friend or friend-of-friend and its always free. What started as a financial club has really expanded into quite a support group! We do try and keep a focus on finances, but we also share our other hopes, dreams, plans and life news. Super cozy.
Every month, I look forward to spending some quality time with the ladies. Its so therapeutic, to feel all that gushy estrogen-y warmth in one room! I always feel better for being there, and have learned some amazing tips, tricks and more to help me keep my moneys (and sanity) under control. Some of my favorite meetings are the ones where we all just catch up and go around the circle updating the group on what’s new… but we’ve had some really useful speakers and activities too. Last month, we made inspiration boards to help keep us focused on our goals. Crafting and girl time? Cozy overload! I highly encourage the spreading of financial information, support and estrogen to keep a sister sane. Start a group of your own and reap the love!
Since I know y’all love a deal, I’m spreading the smart around! Here’s some of the best tips I’ve culled over the past year.
Mint is a superduper money management website that I use religiously. I’ve never been good at keeping records of purchases, balancing checkbooks, or knowing where my money goes, but now Mint does it for me! Just plug in your bank accounts, investments, loans, etc. and Mint automatically pulls in all your transactions to one place, and puts them into categories such as “shopping” or “fast food” or (eep) “late fees” – but you can customize it however you want. It even creates charts to show you what you’re spending your money on, helps create budgets to keep you on track, and suggests ways to save. It notifies me when payments are due, or if an account drops below a certain dollar amount. The best part? Its FREE!
My Open Bar
Ever feel like going out for a drink, but don’t want to spend big bar money? Head over to My Open Bar, select your city, and learn where the free (or cheap) booze is happening! From liquor promotion events to art gallery openings and everything in between, you can drink for pennies every day of the week. For example, in Hollywood tonight, you could imbibe some Budweiser for $1 each 🙂 How sweet is that? (sorry, its only available in LA, NYC, Chicago, SanFran, Honolulu and Miami… but they do add cities, so keep checking!)
If you’re as boggled as I am by the knowing how to get the best price on airfare, then Farecast is your new best friend. They analyze airfare trends and make scientific predictions if the lowest fare for a trip is rising or dropping over the next 7 days. This shiz is genius! When you search flights at Farecast, you’re searching flights from more than a hundred airline and travel agency websites, and you can book directly through the one that works best for you. They also handle hotel predictions, to complete your trip, and have a “deals” site broadcasting top flight deals, record low airfares, and last minute getaways on the cheap. I always consult farecast before buying plane tickets, and I put a link on my wedding website so out-of-towners could use it when planning their flights for the wedding!
Retail Me Not
Before you click “submit” on your next online purchase, be sure to check with Retail Me Not to see if there are any coupon codes available for the site. Promo codes of all sorts are shared, and rated, so you know what works. Most times, you can find free shipping codes, or percentages off – great ways to save!
Amazon Prime – now you can share it!
For $79 a year you can get free 2 day shipping from Amazon or $3.99 overnight shipping. The great thing is that your membership is good for up to 4 family members as well. The key is to pool with 4 other “family members” (friends can be family, too) to share the membership. Free 2 day shipping all year for less than $20 sounds good to me! To add a member: Enter the person’s name, relationship, e-mail address and birthday in the appropriate fields and click “Invite.” An invitation e-mail message automatically will be sent to the e-mail address you entered. Note that invited members will need to know the month and day of your birthday to accept your invitation.
I hope these help you as much as they do for me!