Family Savings Expert Kimberly Danger Offers 10 Tips for Getting Your Home and Finances in Order
GREENVILLE, S.C. - (January 7, 2008) - As the holiday season comes to an end, many Americans are enthusiastic and determined to emerge from the mess and stress of the holiday season to start the New Year off right. But just how do you get started? Uniroyal has found a way with the help of Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers.com. As an expert in time management and simplifying your life, Danger suggests 10 easy steps for getting any household organized and running smoothly.
"There are a few simple changes any family can make to get back on track after holiday spending," says Danger, who is working with Uniroyal Tire to provide free eBooks and advice to help families make their lives easier and more affordable in 2008.
Part I - Organize Your Family:
Danger recommends the following five steps for beginning your household transformation.
Part II - Organize Your Finances:
- Create a Family Mission Statement - Just as with running a successful business, it also helps family members to focus on common goals and values. By writing a family mission statement, you can help clarify what you hope to achieve as a family and make your home a more cohesive unit.
- Schedule Important Things First - For many of us, our actions aren't in sync with our stated priorities. For example, we may say we value our child's education, but then spend $50 a month getting manicures while contributing nothing to the college fund. Don't just pay lip service to your goals. By scheduling your top-priority things first, you're increasing the odds that they will get done.
- Purge - Before you can begin to organize your household, it helps to get rid of the clutter. Think of it as a type of excavation process; by eliminating the excess in your household you're closer to getting to the core of what really matters to you. Go through your home and make three piles: to throw away, to donate and to sell.
- Organize - Taking a look at how your household functions can help you come up with creative solutions for keeping your belongings in check. Pay special attention to trouble spots like kitchen counters, utility drawers and basements that are used as common "dumping grounds." Store similar items together whenever possible and purchase storage solutions that make organization simple and easy.
- Maintain - Now that you've created a mission statement and used it as a guide to organize your household, the most crucial element for your success is how well you can stick to your plan. Have your entire family spend 15 minutes picking up odds and ends around the house that accumulate during the day. Do a "monthly purge" and always keep a "donate box" somewhere in your home. Finally, re-evaluate the systems you have in place for your family about twice a year. (For more on these tips, visit www.uniroyal.com to download Danger's free eBook.)
With your family off to an organized start, now it's time to address your finances. Danger's next five tips will help you get your family's monetary goals in line.
About Kimberly Danger:
- Determine Your Financial Goals - What is really important to your family? Your financial goals should be a reflection of your family's values. Refer to your family's mission statement as a guide in creating your financial goals. Sit down as a family to discuss them together. Including children in your discussion makes them feel empowered and take responsibility for executing your plan. Be specific and realistic in your discussions.
- Re-evaluate Expenses - If you're like most families, you probably aren't sure where your money goes. Tracking your spending for a month or two can help shed light on exactly how much is spent and where. Once you have your information collected, break your expenditures down by common categories. Start with the big, fixed expenses such as your mortgage, car expenses and other loans. Next, label your discretionary spending on: clothes, books, services, meals out, hobbies, etc.
- Revisit Your Family's Budget - While many people look at a budget as something that restricts spending, it will actually give you the freedom to accomplish your financial goals. To complete your budget, allocate a certain amount of money to each spending category, making sure expenses don't exceed income. Once you devise your budget, you may find that you're coming up short of cash. Assign priorities to each spending category and your financial goals so that you can make a clear decision about what is most important to you.
- Simplify - Use your bank's online bill paying feature to help organize your finances. If you're using more than one credit card, you may be a candidate for consolidation. Having all your records arrive on one statement and paying only one bill can help you simplify your financial life. Finally, making saving automatic can help you set aside more of your income for the future.
- Make Financial Records and Information Easily Accessible - The key to organizing financial records is finding a system that works for you. Records should be easily accessible to those who may need them and important information should be easy to find should something happen to you or your spouse. A common mistake is holding onto records for too long. Always doing a yearly purge can help keep you from the barrage of paper piles. (For more details, visit www.uniroyal.com.)
Danger is a nationally-recognized consumer advocate and family savings expert. She is the author of 1000 Best Baby Bargains, and is releasing a new book, The Big Book of Baby Bargains
this year. She is also a feature columnist for Organize magazine, and the founder of www.mommysavers.com, an online resource and forum for women. Danger serves as the spokesperson for Uniroyal Tire's "More Mileage for Your Money" campaign.
About the "More Mileage for Your Money" Campaign:
In 2006, Uniroyal created a public service campaign to help consumers address increasing gas costs and rising everyday expenses. Today, the "More Mileage for Your Money" campaign not only offers easy tips for saving money on gas and automotive costs, but also provides straightforward advice for a variety of family areas. Working in partnership with Kimberly Danger, Uniroyal will offer a series of eBooks and tips throughout 2008 on topics such as family budgeting, organization, summer travel, time management and cooking and shopping efficiently.
"This campaign is a logical extension of Uniroyal's mission to provide good quality, affordable tires to our consumers," said Kaz Holley, Uniroyal® brand director. "In partnering with Danger we want to help American families get the most value out of their purchases in many areas, not just tires."
Uniroyal Tire is one of the world's leading tire brands for passenger and commercial cars, pick-ups,
light trucks, mini vans and sport utility vehicles. Dating back to 1892, Uniroyal Tire has developed a
reputation for providing high-quality, affordable tires including its Tiger Paw® and Laredo® tire series. Uniroyal® tires offer just the right combination of dependability, traction and grip in almost every weather condition, and come with one of the industry's leading warranties. Visit Uniroyal Tire online at www.uniroyal.com.