Social Media Manager Myths Busted

I hear crazy things about my job aaalll the time. Have you heard things like this before:

“Social media managers don’t make any money. It’s not even a real job.”

Or

“You will be tethered to your phone 24/7 if you get a job like that. It doesn’t sound very relaxing to always be on call.”

These are just two of the common myths I hear people talk about when discussing the job of a social media manager. Let me tell you a little something right here, right now, these are both NOT TRUE! Let’s break it down, plus I add in a 3rd myth:

1.) There is no money to be made in social media: I am living and breathing proof that there is money to be made in social media, and a lot of it! Some of the older generation tends to have a hard time seeing jobs from home as “real” jobs, but that is not something you are probably going to change, so don’t even worry about those opinions. When you are making more money than them and working way less hours, it won’t matter anyway, will it? While it is true some businesses have not yet gone over to the remote work side of things, even for their social media managers, there are PLENTY of businesses that have, and they are just waiting on you to make them a proposal and help them grow their online presence. In my course, I will teach you exactly how to pitch local businesses, and where to find nationwide jobs online. We will talk about proposal letters, what to include in a contract, and how to network with others to get that all important first client. I tell you exactly what I charge and why, and help you come up with your own pricing structure.

2.)You will be tied to your phone 24/7: Definitely not true, but totally up to you! While you do need to be available to your clients for problems and issues in a timely manner, no one expects you to be chained to your phone or computer 24/7. As long as you set expectations ahead of time when creating your contract, you can choose when your “office hours” will be, and how long is an appropriate amount of time to answer a client back. I discuss all of this in my course, and even give you a “day in the life” example of what a day looks like for me.

3.)You have to be an expert in Social Media to do this job: FALSE! While you DO need to have a basic understanding of social media/have experience using your own profiles, it’s not a requirement to have years and years of high level experience to do this job well. My e-course gives you lots of tips and tricks as well as social media best practices examples to make sure you are at the top of your game and can impress a client. Then it’s just making sure you learn a little bit every week so that you are constantly staying ahead of the ever changing curve.

Don’t let these myths stop you from doing something you want to do. You CAN work from home, you CAN work part time but make more than a part time salary, and you CAN make your own hours. I teach you all about it inside my e-course, Social Side Hustle. The pre sale is currently going on until November 3th when the course will officially launch. Check it out now! 

Social Side Hustle: 21 Days to Becoming a Social Media Manager

It’s finally time you guys! What I have been promising for months now is finally done, and the doors will soon open for my e-course which is all about making money from home in social media. This course is for you if you want to work form home part time OR full time, learn how to automate work so that you are working SMARTER and not HARDER, and want a better life for you and your family.

I grew up in a very hard working family. It was instilled in me as a small child that you have to work hard to get what you want in life. While I still believe this to an extent, a lot of us have a tendency to take this a step too far. It hit me one day when I was complaining to my husband. I vividly remember saying to him: “It’s just not fair. I work SO HARD but don’t seem to be getting anywhere. I work way harder than XYZ, and they are doing so much better than me.”

Wow.

So much to digest in that simple sentence.

First I want to point out this isn’t a jealously thing, I am truly happy for those who are happy and successful, this was about me being really hard on myself and trying to “earn” my way to success. I thought that the more hours I put in, the more I focused, and the more sacrifices I made, it would all add up to success on my part. I mean, that’s the “rule” right?

Wrong.

While this is true for some people, what if I told you that you could be successful WITHOUT working more hours, without killing yourself and wearing yourself down, and without stressing about what to do next?

Work smarter, not harder.

As a social media manager, I have figured out a lot of ways, mostly by experience, research, and the knowledge of others, that have allowed me to work this way. I now spend way less time working than I did when I had a 9-5, but I am making more money, AND I get to work from home. How?

A lot of reasons. Not something I can share in one single blog post. Sure there is front in work, but once your processes are all set up, you can use tools and systems to your advantage and work smarter, not harder.

That’s why I created Social Side Hustle. Sure, you could spend years (like I did) spinning your wheels trying to crack the code, and sure, you would eventually figure it out because you are a smart cookie, OR, you could take my course, and learn everything you need to know to work for yourself from home, all in 21 days or less.

I will be sending out emails next week announcing my pre-sale, free webinar, and my launch, so you won’t want to miss it! Make sure you are on the list by signing up here, and you will also get a free social media manager checklist.

Get ready to work smarter and not harder!

 

My Best Social Media Tips for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

Hey guys! I have had some people ask me if I would compile all of my links to my most recent social media tip posts into one post so that you don’t have to click all over the place to find them, so here you go. A condensed post with links to all four of the social media tip posts which cover each platform I will be spending time on in my e-course that will be launching soon.

My top Facebook tips for bloggers and businesses

My top Twitter tips

Growing your Pinterest: tips for bloggers and social media managers

Grow your Instagram following

I also have done Facebook videos on these topics, so be sure to check out the video section on my Facebook page for even more information.

Don’t forget, if you want to be on the list to be the first to know when my course is launching, sign up for my email list!

I know it has taken me a little bit longer than anticipated, and I will be able to share one of the reasons WHY very soon. But a hurricane, cancelled trip, and sick kid also have thrown me for a loop, but trust me when I say I am working on it daily! I want it to be valuable to you so you can start making money ASAP!

My Top Twitter Tips

Some people recently have been wanting to shy away from Twitter and say it’s not a valid platform anymore, but I totally disagree. Not only is my following continuing to grow, but I have gotten several Twitter only paid campaigns from brands, gotten paid to host and participate in twitter chats, and have had larger brands tell me they want higher Twitter numbers before they would work with me. So in my opinion, building up your Twitter presence is a good idea.

The first thing you need to remember about Twitter is that you need to be a real person and follow, like, and retweet other people’s stuff, don’t just post your own things. Remember the 80/20 rule, only post 20% of your own content and 80% other people’s, This can be interesting articles, questions, rewteets of recipes, blog posts, sales from stores, etc. While I do automate most of my Twitter posts, I also go in daily and like, comment, and retweet live so that I am interacting in real time with people as well. Even just spending five minutes a day doing this can make a big difference. 

Also, you want to make sure you spread out your tweets to different times of the day. Remember time zones, so only posting in popular times for your time zone is doing your account a disservice since the lifespan of a tweet is so short. While there are certain times of day I focus more on, I try to spread things out and then check my analytics in Sprout Social and see how those posts performed. 

Earlier I mentioned that you need to follow other people. You don’t want to be that account that has 30,000 followers but you are following 100 people. So how do you find the right people to follow who may potentially follow you back? First, Twitter is great at suggesting accounts you may like, so check the sidebar first. Then, do a hashtag search for a tag that has to do with your brand or things you post about, and find people who also post about the same things. For instance, I could personally search hashtags like “Disney, runDisney, fitness running, momblogger, travel, cruise, vacation” and the like. Not only do you want to follow these people, but you want to follow THEIR followers, because those are the people most likely to follow YOU.

I mentioned Twitter chats earlier. These are a great place to get new followers, find like minded people for you to follow, and to just get some exposure in general. A Twitter chat will take place at a certain time and day, and will have a hashtag you should include on every single tweet you post during the chat. That way, other chat participants can find you, reply to you, and follow you. Make sure you talk with other participants, answer the questions the host is asking, and try to be useful if the topic is something you know a lot about. I LOVE using GIF’s in Twitter chats, they are fun, and a good way to be seen when there are tons of tweets in a hashtag feed. 

Another tool I would recommend utilizing on Twitter is Twitter lists. Here you can create separate lists of people you follow, and break them down however you want. If you wanted a list of only runners, you could create that, and then whenever you wanted running content to like or retweet, you just have to go into your list instead of scrolling through your whole feed which will have irrelevant information. From your profile, you should see a button near the top going across the menu that says “lists”. Here you can add lists, and also see what lists you are a member of (ones that others have added you to).

Also, pay special attention to your profile. Here you are given a profile photo and a header/cover photo so use this space wisely. Also be sure to add in your website or link to subscribe to your email list or get a freebie on your blog.

Did you know you can also pin a tweet to the top of your profile that will never be pushed down? Write a tweet you really love, maybe one that links to something important to you, and pin it as long as you like. I switch these out every couple of months. All you have to do is click the drop down on the top right of any tweet, and you should see the option to “pin to profile”. That’s it!

One more tip I use, and I will be honest and say I don’t do it all the time because I lack the time for it, but I personally like to send a tweet thanking someone for following me. Now, before I get flamed for saying this next thing, note this is JUST A PREFERENCE. But I absolutely loathe the automated DM’s I get when I follow people saying “thanks for the follow, you can also find me here here and here.” While I love to automate things, in this instance, I think a personal thank you goes a lot farther in people’s minds than an automation. Again, just a preference.

Download my FREE social media manager checklist and automatically be put on the list to get news on the launch date of my e-course, Social Side Hustle, how to make money as a social media manager, as well as info on pricing and bonuses!

Be sure to check my Facebook page tomorrow afternoon for a video going more in depth into my Twitter strategy!

QOTD: What is your favorite social media platform? Why? 

Growing Your Pinterest: Tips for Bloggers and Social Media Managers

While technically a search engine, Pinterest it frequently gets lumped in with social media and has recently become one of my favorites because of its ease of use and how I can automate most of the work while allowing it to bring a lot of traffic to my website.

Also, be sure to read to the end to get today’s free download!

pinterest

So how do I easily automate pinterest? A beautiful things called Tailwind.

But lets back up a little before I get into Tailwind, because you need to make sure your pins are optimized correctly or they won’t get repined in the first place! The first thing you need to look at is your photos. Pins that are vertical do WAY better than any other pins. This can easily be done in Picmonkey.

Picmonkey is free, but they have a royale version that I use that is super cheap and easy to use. They even have templates already made up for vertical pins, and then you just fill in the box with the photos, text, and overlays you want to use. Then you can upload it straight to Pinterest and add in the website you want it to go to, or add the photo to your blog or website and link to the pin in a post.

A few pin tips:

Make sure you are using a font that is easy to read, that your photo isn’t blurry, and that your colors and text stand out. Here are a couple of examples:

Descriptions:

The next thing you want to work on is your pin description. Keywords go a long way in Pinterest descriptions and will help your pins to be found by the right people. The worst thing you want to do is look spammy and just list out a bunch of keywords. Instead you want to write in sentences and strategically place your keywords within the sentence. Here is a good examples of a description, and I highlighted the key words I wanted to use so you can see how I made them flow in my description:

“There are so many great restaurants in Disney World for kids and adults, but a lot of them require hard to get reservations. Check out my list of the top 5 most overlooked places to dine in Disney. You may find a new favorite menu for your family on their next vacation!”

Boards:

Now let’s talk a little about board names. The names of your boards are just as important as the descriptions on your pins. I know it’s tempting to name your boards super cute and clever things, but those things won’t be as easily searchable. What do I mean? For instance, If you have a board dedicated to children’s clothing but title it “tiny human threads”, that is probably going to not be something people are searching in the search box when looking for children’s clothing. Be smart with your board names to make them show up in results. You can also add a description to each board. Make sure you follow the same keyword advice you used for your pins when creating descriptions for your boards.

Speaking of your boards, you need to remember that your boards are for your readers/customers and NOT for you.

What do I mean by this? If you are working with a brand that sells home furnishings, you will probably have boards for different types of furniture, maybe different rooms in the house, or design ideas. You may personally also like cake. Unfortunately, a board about cake has nothing to do with home furnishings and will look out of place and confuse your followers. You can absolutely still create a board about cake for your personal use, just make it a secret board that only you and whoever you invite to the board can see. I have lots of secret boards. 🙂

Tailwind:

Ok, so let’s jump back to Tailwind. Tailwind is a program that allows you to schedule pins in advance so you don’t have to manually pin them over and over. I can set it up at the beginning of the month and then not have to worry about my pins for four to five weeks! It make my life so much easier and makes me more efficient and gives me time to do other things. I consistently get lots of daily traffic to my blog form Pinterest, all while not having to do anything because Tailwind is working in the background for me. Time is money, so a program like this is worth it’s weight in gold.

If you really want to dive further into Pinterest you can do two things.

1.) Sign up for updates on my course launch, Social Side Hustle, because I go even further in depth with Pinterest inside my e-course.

2.) Take the only social media course I have even taken, called Pinning Perfect. It opened my eyes to the potential of Pinterest and I use lots of the things I learned there today!


***As a blogger and social media manager, it is important that I keep track of the money coming in and going out so I know how much I made at the end of the month.

For today’s freebie download, I have a money tracking excel sheet for you. There are two tabs on the sheet, one for expenses and one for money made. Feel free to edit as it fits in with your business or personal brand, I just wanted to give an example of how I track money coming in and out. Enjoy! 

ONE MORE THING. (I know there are lots of things today!) I will be doing another FACEBOOK LIVE tomorrow hopefully around noon EST. Be sure to follow my page so you won’t miss it. But if you do, you will be able to watch the replay later.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means when someone clicks on a link and purchases, I get a small percentage of the sale. I only recommend things I use and love. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Jeff Galloway Summer Running Tips

Do you have a hard time staying on track with your workouts in the summer? I do because it is just so dang hot in Florida! I lose my motivation and easily get frustrated with my paces. Jeff Galloway has provided some great tips to keep you motivated during this sometimes difficult period:

Use a Journal for Motivation:
Runners tend to run more when journaling. A journal can help with accountability and motivation. Giveaway alert! Win one of the NEW and updated Jeff Galloway Journals by joining Jeff on  Facebook! Join Jeff and enter now.

Want to know how fast you can run?
The Magic mile has been the best predictor I have found.  Use this link for information about the Magic mile and to compute your current pace potential. Compute my potential.

Do you need salt when it’s hot?
While most cramps are due to muscle exhaustion, you need to replace the salt you lose in sweat during hot weather.  It is rare to be low in sodium, but if so, try a buffered salt tablet during/after workouts that involve prolonged sweating. Get more information at NUTRITION FOR RUNNERS.

Jeff’s latest clinics are touring California!

Saturday, July 22 @ 8:00 am

  • Hosted by and starting from Fleet Feet 111 Third Street in Santa Rosa
  • A run and walk with all of Sonoma County Galloway’s groups
  • This event is open to the public

Sunday, July 23 @ 2:00 pm

  • Hosted by Heart and Sole 900 4th Street in Santa Rosa, CA
  • Jeff’s Running School
  • This event has a fee and is open to the public
  • Contact [email protected]for more information

Monday, July 24th @ 6:00 pm

  • Meet and Greet at Sports Basement in Santa Rosa located at 1970 Santa Rosa Avenue
  • 6 pm – 8 pm with Jeff speaking at7:00 pm
  • Free snacks and drinks and 20% discount on purchases given to all who attend

Tuesday, July 25th @ 6:00 pm

  • Healdsburg Running Company @ 333 Center Street in Healdsburg, CA
  • Fun Run followed by Free Clinic with Jeff
  • This event is open to the public

Creating a Social Media Content Calendar + New E-Course News

I spend a lot of time on social media, talking about social media, and researching social media. A lot of people spend mindless hours each day copying and pasting, retweeting in real time, etc. Instead of doing this, I spend a larger chunk of time once a month (or week in some client cases) planning out a content calendar for my own blog and for my clients. That way I only have to do a little maintenance here and there throughout the month. Let’s take a look at my process:

content calendar

The first thing you need to do is get a calendar template. You can use a Google calendar, a free template in Microsoft word, whatever you like the most (heck, pen and paper is fine, too…well, I would use pencil because you will probably end up erasing things).

Once you have your template, it’s time to fill it out…But with what? This is where the researching comes in handy, but don’t worry, once you have done it a few times you will get a lot faster and will be able to skip most of this part. When I first started managing social for my clients, I had to learn about their niche or brand. So let’s say you are doing social media for a clothing boutique. You will need to research…

1.) The best hashtags to use (which periodically changes)

2.) Their competitors (see what is working for them and what’s not)

3.) The clothes they sell (who is the demographic? Are there certain brands or types that are selling better? What words and phrases would appeal to this demographic?)

4.) Which platforms you are using and what times of day perform better on each? (it may take a little trial and error for this one).

This front end research will make your scheduling and posting go much quicker later on down the road.

Ok, so you have your calendar and you have done your research, now you need to decide what types of posts you will be posting on your/your clients pages. These categories will help mix things up so your page isn’t just images or just text or just product information. For instance, some categories for a clothing store could be:

-product photos

-sale information

-videos

-question and answer

-FAQ

-news from the industry

-other people’s content you share/repost/retweet

-repurpose old content <—yes this is ok to do!

Be sure to mix things up! These categories will help you greatly when it comes to plugging in information into your scheduling tool. Like I said, you will get faster and faster each time!

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The next piece is to actually come up with the content, which should be easy since you already have your categories and have done your research. This piece may involve creating graphics, finding relevant content to link to, coming up with news or product info, taking pictures or videos, etc. Once you have your content figured out (I personally like to create one long word document with all of my social posts for a client), it’s time to plug it into your scheduling tool.

I personally use Sprout Social. It’s not cheap, but it makes my life easier and my work more efficient so I don’t mind the price. Then it’s just a matter of copying and pasting my posts into the scheduler and picking the times. I then transfer everything into the calendar so I can send it to my client (**Some clients require the exact links and words I am using, others are fine with just knowing what topic I am posting about on what channel/what day.)

GUESS WHAT? I am working on an e-course for those looking into becoming a social media manager as a full time gig or side hustle. I’m SUPER excited to share all I have learned with you, and help you get your first clients and start making money from home! My course isn’t quite ready yet, but you can sign up here to be notified when it is, and also get a FREE printable, a social media manger checklist printable. Just go here to sign up and download!

QOTD: have you ever thought about making money from home with a side hustle?

runDisney Snow White Costume Tutorial

Every year, I dress up for the runDisney Princess half marathon. For the past couple of years, my friend Jen and I have been super creative with matching costumes, but this year we both had a lot going on, and February snuck up on us. We still wanted to dress up and “sort of” match, so we decided to go with clothing we already owned so that we just had to add a couple of accessories to our princess costumes.

Snow White Costume

I already had a yellow running skirt and blue top, so I thought Snow White would be “easy”, except I totally forgot I am the least artistic person on earth and nothing related to costume creation is ever easy for me.

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I had seen a few similar costumes on Pinterest, and thought I could figure out a way to create the sleeves on my own, but still look just as good as people with sewing machine today (and sewing skills). Yall, I tried really hard. If you didn’t get too close to me at the race you never would have known, but the photos below clearly show off my skills. But if you want an easy(er) way to create these sleeves and don’t have a sewing matching but own a needle and thread (or can buy one), then my tutorial is for you. remember, if I can do this, you can do this.

SUPPLIES:

-blue tank (mine is cotton from Target, I got it on clearance for $3. I know cotton is a running no no, but I wasn’t spending any more money on this costume than I had to.

-yellow running skirt from runningskirts.com. My favorite brand. They have POCKETS which is a great help during a race. (affiliate link)

-red headband or ribbon (I got mine at Mouse Gears inside EPCOT for $12.95. I love it so much I wore it around the parks, too!) You could always use leftover ribbon from your sleeves to create a bow or headband, too.

-needle

-white and blue thread

– 1 yard of knit elastic

– 2 yard of 1 inch thick blue ribbon

-2 yards of 1 inch thick red ribbon

– push pins

WARNING: Do not get ribbon with wire. It will poke you the whole race. The only thinner red ribbon at my craft store had wire so I bought it. Don’t make my mistake!

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The first thing you need to do for your sleeves is cut two pieces of elastic and sew them together for the bottoms of the sleeves.

WARNING: Make the fit snug, but don’t cut off circulation. I made the mistake of making mine too loose, and it started pulling down the straps of my tank b/c the elastic was sliding down my arms. If I were to do this again (haha) I would have done the elastic a little tighter.

All I did was used white thread and literally sewed the two ends together at the ends. That’s it. Nothing fancy or pretty. I figured no one would be close enough to see that it didn’t all line up perfectly.

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Then came the more complicated part. I knew I wanted 3 red pieces and 2 blue pieces of ribbon on each arm. So I did the longest 2 pieces in the middle then shorter pieces after that with one of the pieces more in the front than back. Confusing? Maybe this helps. For each arm I cut:

-1 red 10” and one blue 10”

-1 red 9” and one blue 9”

-1 red 8”  <—-to be closer to the front. I didn’t care about having ribbon more towards the back. Check it out below. I then took each piece and pinned it to my elastic. I personally did it so that the seam of the elastic was on the back of my arm and not underneath so it wouldn’t rub me when I ran. Then I kind of “pleated” each piece of ribbon (best I could, it’s hard yall), and pinned them all on so that the ribbon reached about halfway down the width of the elastic (don’t worry, this is the underside that no one will see!)

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Then I got to sewing. Well, what resembled sewing. Don’t laugh. This is the final product. I used white thread and just started on one side and literally just sewed over and under all the way across. It looked AWFUL, but again, would be on the underside.

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I then did the same exact thing to the other side, so I had two detached sleeves.

I then switched to my blue thread, and again just literally sewed a line down the inside of the sleeve of the tank, attaching each piece of ribbon with about 3-4 stitches as I went. It wasn’t the best hold ever, but would do for one race. I did the other sleeve (make sure you sew underneath and not on top of the tank!) and I was done!

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I didn’t try it on b/c I was afraid I would rip/mess something up, but thankfully all went well on race day and it held together just fine! I got tons and tons of compliments, but really all I did was sew together some ribbon and buy a headband. Everything else I already had. Some people choose to do a cape and collar or hold an apple, but I knew a cape and collar would bug me, and I already hold my phone when I run so I didn’t want to bother with another prop. So there you have it! My Snow White runDisney costume!

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QOTD: Have you ever dressed up for a race?

How to Start Running Even When You Hate It

I have been running for awhile now, and have gone through many ebbs and flows with my running love affair. There have honestly been more times when I hate running than times when I like it. I know that sounds like a horrible thing for a “runner” to say, but for me, it’s the truth and I’m owning it. I would MUCH rather sit on the couch and watch Hulu than go outside and sweat, be uncomfortable, and bored for an hour. However, the things I DO love are the benefits of running. For me, running is just the necessary evil to get there.

how to start running

I love the post run high, the extra energy it gives me, the calorie burn, and the competition aspect. I love the comradery with other runners, the race expos, and the bling. Some of you may be nodding right along with me, especially the beginners who feel like it will be impossible to ever get up to a “far/long run”, or feel like they love it. Unfortunate reality: you may never actually love it. However, that’s ok! You have two choices: 1.) Find something else to do 2.) Do it anyway because you love what it GIVES you, even if you don’t love the act of actual running.

I’m here to give beginners my best advice if you decide you do want to try out the running thing (even if you are currently hating it).

1.) Make a list: What is it you are hoping to accomplish with running? Why did you or do you want to start? Sometimes having a clear and concise reason can help get you moving when you want to take a nap instead. Maybe you want to lose weight, or maybe you just need some alone time. Some people start running to be social with a running group, and some want killer legs. All are valid reasons. You as an individual need to have a goal or focus on WHY you lace up or it may be stuff to stick with it.

2.) Start Slow: Trying to do too much too soon is not only overwhelming (and dumb! Injuries suck!) But it can cause you to give up before you have even gotten started because it seems too hard. Gradual build ups are best mentally and physically. Start with a walk and throw in a few 20-30 second jogs every now and then. Count mailboxes. Tell yourself you will run for ten mailboxes then walk for 20. Get creative but don’t over do it trying to get results faster.

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3.) Schedule your runs and keep track: I am a numbers nerd, and seeing my progress on a piece of paper (or in a spreadsheet for you non paper people) makes me want to keep going so I don’t “lose” my progress. Keep track of how long you go for, and your time. Also be sure to schedule your runs into your planner (or Google calendar, whatever my tech savvy friends are using these days), so that you will actually do it. Heck this blog started because I used it as an accountability journal. I said I was going to run in a blog post, so then I knew I had to follow through.

I have a set of free printables you can download and print out to help you set goals and keep track of your fitness if you want to check them out!

4.) Talk to a running friend: For some reason, we humans like talking to people who have gone through a hard thing that we may be currently dealing with, and have made it out the other side. It’s comforting to know we aren’t alone, and that success is possible. Find a running friend or online buddy who has accomplished a certain goal you want to reach (a time goal, distance goal, whatever!) and pick their brain. It will give you confidence you keep going!

5.) Picture that end result and just do it: I know this seems pretty basic, but it’s just truthful. Think about why you are doing this, then suck it up buttercup and run. You will feel better when it’s over. I have never regretted a run once I was finished. That’s a true story!

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Note: There are people who just LOVE running, and that’s awesome too! There have been times in my life I was that person, but overall, I have to really psych myself up for the actual run portion. I much prefer the results, the social aspect, the races, and the bling as mentioned before. We are all unique and different and that’s what is awesome! This post is not meant to knock anyone who truly enjoys the act of running, but instead to motivate those who are struggling some (or most) days.

10 Easy Ways to Save Money This Month

I recently moved from Mississippi to Florida. We quickly realized that it costs more in every sense of the word to live in our new state, so I have had to get creative with ways to save money every month while also decreasing our spending. Sometimes finding ways to save is just as important as finding ways to earn! Check out my 10 easy ways to save money this month and start saving today!

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1.) Don’t spend if you can’t pay: This seems like a no brainer, but a surprising amount of folks struggle with this one. In our house, we don’t make big purchases on our credit card unless we can pay them in full when the bill comes due. If we can’t, then we just do without. Sure I would love to buy new furniture for my house, but it’s currently not in the budget, so right now we have no bar stools. The month will come, but this month just isn’t it. So we just stand around in the kitchen when we eat. I kid, we have a table!

2.) Unplug/electricity: Did you know that even when your stuff isn’t on, but it’s still plugged in…it’s using electricity? I have tried to get in the habit of unplugging things like my phone charger and laptop when they aren’t being used. The two main lamps we use in the living room are on an extension cord we just unplug instead of turning on and off the lamps. It’s the little things that add up!

3.) Monthly subscriptions: How many of you get 27,000 magazine subscriptions every month? How many do you actually read? I have cut back and no longer get monthly magazines (I used to get about 4-5!) The magazines would stack up and mock me and I felt guilty for not opening them. A sad situation. Now I save money and don’t feel pressured.

4.) Stop being grocery brand loyal: Confession: I rarely used to check the prices of items against their competitors in the store, I just bought my favorite brands. I know right? Huge mistake. Not only because a lot of times a competitor may be on sale, but quite frankly for a lot (not all) grocery related items, you can’t really tell the difference in the store brand or name brand. I have saved a lot of money by price checking and using coupons before I throw something into my cart and buy.

5.) Buy consignment: People are constantly asking me where I get Emma Kate’s adorable clothes. Truth is, rarely do I buy her clothes new. If I do get something new, it’s from a pre sale Facebook group where I pay for things months in advance in order to get them super cheap. I can buy a second hand church dress for EK for a fraction of the cost at a consignment shop, and no one can tell it isn’t brand new. I started doing the same with furniture as well. I bought an old wooden dresser for $75 on Facebook, put a fresh coat of white paint on it and repurposed it as our new TV stand in our home. For under $100 we have a great piece of furniture that would have cost us hundreds at a store. I have totally gotten over the need to have everything “new”. You can find some great deals on second hand items if you take the time to research and are willing to put in a little elbow grease.

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Would you have ever guessed we bought this dress at a consignment shop? Nope!

6.) Eat out of your freezer and pantry: Before we moved, we ate out of our freezer and pantry for a couple of weeks to clean them both out, and I was amazed at the meals I could come up with. I also felt a little ashamed that we had so much food but yet I bought more and more every week. I have decided to make it a new thing where for one week every couple of months we eat out of what we already have at home. Don’t let that food expire and go to waste!

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7.) Stick to your list: This is a big pitfall for me, especially when it comes to a little store called Target and a little girl named Emma Kate. The dollar spot in particular is a weakness of mine because “it’s just $1.00” or “it’s just $3.00” but if I buy 5 items that is easily and quickly between $10 and $15! I create a list before I shop now and don’t stray from it. My kid really doesn’t need more toys and I don’t need more junky things to clutter up the house. Stop the impulse buying!

8.) Close the curtains: We moved into a bigger house which means a bigger electric bill. Did you know that windows are where most of the cold and heat comes into your house? I have started to close the blinds/curtains for rooms I’m not in during the day to help save on electricity. If I change rooms for an extended period of time, I just open up blinds/curtains in the new room, and close in the old room. No biggie.

9.) Cheaper phone plan: Bobby and I recently were able to save around $40 a month on our cell phone bill by switching our plan. We had an unlimited plan, but after looking at the past few months of data history, we realized we never even came close to reaching what the data limit would be on a plan that would have been way cheaper. If you have unlimited data, call your phone company and have them tell you how much data you are averaging a month. If it’s below one of the cheaper plan limits, switch!

10.) Sell items online: Not only do I buy furniture, clothing, and the like online…but I sell it, too. I am a member of several local Facebook yard sale groups, and have made a good amount of money selling everything from baby clothes and toys to furniture and electronics. It’s great for spring cleaning! Just make sure you take well lit photos and give good descriptions. Remember people like to haggle, so start your item at a price you are ok negotiating with. If you choose to do this, always meet in a public place in the daytime, and ask for cash only.

QOTD: What is your best tip for saving money?