11/24 Smart Chicks Club

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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!

The Broke-Ass Bride
Dana is the head woman in charge here, the original Broke-Ass Bride. Learn more about her here. And, follow her on Twitter (@brokeassbride), Pinterest (@brokeassbride), Facebook (/thebrokeassbride) and Instagram (@brokeassbride). Affiliate links, which might be included in the post above, help make her a few dollars here and there to keep her off the streets and in the business of blogging for your ass. So thanks for coming! :)
  • Blablover5

    I have been wondering what this Amazon prime thing is. I may have to see if I know anyone else that wants to get in on that.Thanks a lot.

  • Adrienne

    You are some smart chicks indeed! Great group and great tips! Thanks!

  • Linda

    Oh, thanks for the tips. I'll be checking out that Open Bar.

  • kelly (and dan!)

    hi!! just wanted to tell you that i've been following your blog for a bit now and love it… and today's posting was right up my alley! i'm currently attempting to furnish and decorate an entire house that i just bought, and am doing it on a MAJOR budget. one site that i absolutely LOVE and check religiously is http://www.slickdeals.net... check it out!

  • Kristy

    That's awesome. Thanks for the links! I will definitely be using them. Except for Open Bar, but as soon as they add Austin, I'm all over it.

  • Stephanie @ Gossip.

    I effing love this. I wish I had something wittier to say than that, but I just think it's kickass.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing. I have saved mucho dinero using a site called DeaLoco.com.

  • Shelly

    Thanks so much for Mint! I definitely needed a tool like this. :)I've been reading your blog for a couple months now and I just love your wedding ideas! Now I can finally pay attention because the boyfriend just proposed. 😀 Thank you for all the great resources!

  • Ms. Salti

    What a great idea! And thanks for all of your tips. They will surely be a help to all of the rest of us!

  • Rachel

    This would be so awesome!! Unfortch, I don't have lots of girl friends that I could start a club like this with…. if I'm ever in the LA area, I'll give ya a call!! The meetings sound like fun!!And thanks for the links! I'm totally going to be checking them out. Especially Mint.com. I think you should post about this like once a week – give out a tip or something. It's great motivation to stay with your budget (be it wedding planning and/or life!!!)

  • AmyJean

    These are awesome. I hope you don’t mind, but i may linkback a post to your site about these great tips! 🙂

  • Broke-ass Bride

    @Anonymous: Thanks for the tip!@Kelly (and Dan!): Thanks for commenting, I love to hear from new readers. And thanks for the tip!@Stephanie: HA! Awesome.@Kelly: Congrats! Thanks for reading, I hope I can help!@Rachel: We'd love to have you! That's a great idea, I'll try to make it a goal 🙂 Thanks!

  • Heidi@Truly Engaging

    Smart chicks indeed! Would you mind if I started one in my area? Seriously, thanks for putting these links all together. I love stuff like this!

  • Broke-ass Bride

    @Heidi: Of course you can start your own! I highly encourage it 🙂 You're welcome.

  • Liz Guthrie

    Gotta love a bargain! Also checkout http://www.gasbuddy.com for the lowest gas by zip code! I am just happy as hell it’s inder $2.00 a gallon…. And a few months back, i thought for sure we’d be paying $5/gallon!

  • April's Fitness

    Ok now I am SO hooked on your blog!! I LOVE this post!! Thanks for all the advice and tips! I SO have to talk come of my GF's into having a smart chick group!Ummm so can you tell me about this wedding site you have. Do you mean this blog or do you actually have a site just for your wedding?

  • rebekah at ead livin

    I so want to start a Smart Chicks club here in Bham.

  • rebekah at ead livin

    My word verification on the last comment was "fugaphoo." Just wanted to share that little bit of sunshine.

  • Brochure Printing

    Thanks for posting this! The financial support group is really a great idea. We all could use whatever support we can get specially in such tough times.

  • thank you for posting
    I now want to have my own Smart Chicks Club