Relationship Goal: Alleviate Financial Stress With A Plan

In almost any relationship when you bring up the topic of finances or money, you’re sure to be met with opposition. Many couples indicate that finances are the number one reason they have stress within their relationship. “A third of Americans in a relationship believe they are the saver and their spouse/partner is the spender. In contrast, only 21 percent would cop to being the spender and admitting their spouse/partner is the saver. – Suntrust Banks. Let’s focus on ways to help alleviate this stress by focusing on ways to talk with our spouses/partners about finances.

Before you even begin your financial discussions, make it a rule that there will be no finger pointing throughout the entire discussion and that you will both be open minded and allow each other to speak and explain their side of the equation.  Make sure to do this when you can carve out some distraction free time. It’s hard to have a crucial financial conversation with the kids asking you a million questions, or when your spouse is preoccupied because they have a big project due.

What is your debt philosophy? Financial disagreements often arise from different views of debt, from how much to use a credit card to the term and amount of a new car loan. Ask your partner what they consider an acceptable level of debt and see how much it diverges from your answer.

Creating an environment where both sides can speak freely, without judgement, is crucial to establishing open communication, which makes it much easier to dig in and get to root of any would-be financial struggles.  Maybe one of you is hiding deep financial secrets, now is the time to come clean about them.

Once you have laid out the ground rules — it’s time to dig in!

Set Financial Goals

It’s important for both sides to be on the same page when it comes to finances.  In a recent SunTrust survey conducted by the Harris Poll, a third of Americans in a relationship believe they are the saver and their spouse/partner is the spender. In contrast, only 21% claimed they are the spender and their spouse/partner is the saver. If you have one party that just wants to spend everything, while the other wants to squirrel it all away for emergencies — you’ll have nothing more than 2 upset people and mounds of disagreements.  Sit down and hash out realistic goals that you both agree on.

Do you want to have all your debt paid off in 5 years?  Have you always dreamed of having a Christmas Club or Vacation Club account?  Discuss your dreams together and use those dreams to help plan your financial future.

Create a Working Budget

Once you know where you want to be, its time to figure out where you are.  Comb through and lay out all of your monthly expenses and create a monthly cash flow plan or budget.  What are you actually spending on a monthly basis?  Are there any areas that you can shave your expenses, such as your cable/satellite bill, cell phone, monthly subscriptions, expensive coffee habit, etc? I will admit I LOVE having one type of coffee, but it is also one of the more expensive brands. That is one area where I knew if I stopped going out every day for coffee, I could easily save $100 a month. Now, I only go out for my coffee when I have a gift card.

After you know what you’re spending every month, figure out just how much you have coming in every month.


Make a Plan

Now that you know where you’re at and where you want to be, it time to make a plan that you both agree on.  If you have money left over at the end of every month, what do you plan to do with it?  Too much month left at the end of your money? How are you going to fix that?  Is it time to take on a second job or do you need to shave expenses somewhere else?


Plan a Date

In order to keep the lines of communication open, and the financial secrets at bay, plan a date every month for you and your spouse/partner to discuss your finances.  This is important so that not one person is in sole control of the finances and each knows exactly where you’re at financially.  Meeting once a month will also give you a clearer picture as to how close you are to reaching your goals and if something in your budget or your goals needs to be adjusted.


Start Your Day With Community Coffee & An Exclusive Coupon!


Community Coffee is a family business, currently under a fourth-generation leadership. Founded in 1919, they’re well on their way to celebrating a centennial of great products at great prices. Staying true to their original vision, Community Coffee focuses on the freshest, most flavorful blends they can create, and for that they use mixed beans from all around the world to make the very best coffees for their customers. In more recent times, they added new flavors inspired by modern tastes and have started using spices to offer customers even a wider range of choices. Ranging from ground roasted to whole roasted coffee beans, to single-serves, teas and Community Coffee cups, gift baskets and even apparel, they offer a huge variety of products under their brand name.


My absolute favorite method of making coffee is possibly one of the simplest out there, but I believe it offers the punch that coffee needs to give you, and infuses a lot of the flavor into the water. Take your favorite coffee cup and fill it up to the brim with water, then pour it in a kettle and leave it on the stove until it is very close to boiling. Turn down the flame before it starts to actually boil. Now if you take your coffee with sugar, this is when you would add the sugar. Finally, add 1 full teaspoon of ground Community Coffee beans for each 4 ounces of water (this will vary on the size of your serving). Stir at a low flame until you see the coffee start to rise, but no more than one minute. Pour it into your cup through a sifter and it’s done. Add milk or cream depending on taste. Keep in mind that out of all the brewing methods out there, this one will also infuse the most caffeine in your drink.


If you’re looking for a brand of coffee with great, full flavors, then Community Coffee should be your first choice. Found in Walmart stores across the country, you can now get a $1.50 off any bag or K-Cup box coupon! This is great if you want to experiment and find the flavor that best fits you, but do not want to spend too much in the process. Use the printable coupon to get a great price on Community Coffee! If you live in Florida, check your Valpack envelopes for a free, additional Community Coffee Coupon!


From medium, to dark and extra dark roasts, to flavored, spiced and premium blends, to single-serves with a bunch of different flavors, Community Coffee is clearly apt at transforming the passion they have for coffee into a great tasting cup.


Top Money Saving Phone Apps!

Best Money Saving Apps

Updated: 11/5/2016

I taught a class last week where someone asked what phone apps I recommended for couponers to maximize their savings, no matter what type of couponer they were (extreme, dedicated, casual, or the if I remember to bring the coupons with me to the store couponer). I have written about all of these apps before, but here are all of them in the same place.


1. Favado  Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale. Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.


2. IbottaIbotta is a fun and easy way to earn $20 or more each time you go shopping. The more you use it, the better and more personalized your offers become.

Here’s how Ibotta works:

  1. Get the Ibotta app HERE
  2. Pick out the coupons for products you want
  3. Buy your products
  4. Take a picture of your receipt and submit it.
  5. Ibotta will send you cash for your purchases, you can redeem for gift cards for Starbucks, Redbox, and more!
  6. Every time you redeem an offer Ibotta will send you another one!
  7. By using Ibotta it will learn what you like, and will personalize the product coupons it sends you.

3. CheckOut 51:

Here is yet another FREE tool that will help you save even more money while shopping! What if I told you they will pay you for buying the products you already buy!?!

Here is how Checkout 51 works:


  •  Sign up Here (it’s FREE!)
  • See what offers are available on the offer page. New offers are added every Thursday at 12 am and expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM (see the offers that go live 1/16 below):


  • After you go shopping, submit your receipt, and get cash back for any of the products that you bought that are on the offer page!!


  • Get a check in the mail once your balance reaches $20!!



4. Walmart Savings Catcher

If you shop at Wal-mart you will like this program that works nationwide!


“If a local competitor has a lower advertised price, you get an eGift Card for the difference”

It is actually very simple and only has a few steps

  1. Enter your receipt number or scan the barcode here
  2. Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.
  3. If Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference, back on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card!

You can submit up to 7 receipts per week to Savings Catcher.

There are a few promotions that Savings Catcher do not include: 

  • Items that require a separate purchase to get the advertised price (example: “Buy oatmeal to get cereal for $1.”)
  • Items with no actual price that require a purchase to get a free product (example: “Buy both oatmeal & cereal to get milk for free.”)
  • Items that require a purchase to get a gift card (example: “Buy a 12 pack of paper towels to get a $5 gift card.”)
  • Buy one get one free (BOGO) deals where no item price is listed (example: Peter Pan Peanut Butter, buy one, get one free. Save up to $2.50.”)
  • Going out of business or closeout prices.
  • Percentage off (example: “All mascara, 40% off.)
  •  Online purchases


5. Mobisave

MobiSave lets you save no matter where you shop. Just select from their wide variety of offers and use their App to send us a picture of your receipt and they will deposit your savings directly to your PayPal account (almost instantly).

There is a wide variety of apps to use in order to help you save more money at the register. These are just a few of the best ones that I personally use and know are legitimate.


Important Lessons Learned From Hurricane Matthew


Our family had to evacuate for Hurricane Matthew, as did many other families in the Coastal Empire. We returned to Savannah on Oct. 10. Being 150 miles from our beloved city and home was hard. I can only imagine what it was like for the officials and workers who stay behind ready to get to work as soon as it was safe.

I first want to say thank you to the officials who did their best in updating those who live in the Coastal Empire. I posted and shared updates (there were many) from a hotel room 150 miles away for readers of Savannah Savvy Shopper (owned by the Savannah Morning News), which I write for. I have seen a few very selfish and immature individuals who were complaining about lack of information. Officials and several agencies were working together to make sure Savannah and the rest of the Coastal Empire was safe before residents were allowed to return. I know you were worried about your house and property. So was the rest of the Coastal Empire, my family included. However, I also know officials were worried about residents’ safety, which they repeatedly said was top priority.

To the workers who are working around the clock to restore power and utilities to those affected by Hurricane Matthew, thank you! I have personally gone out, where it was safe and where I would not be in the way, to deliver bottled water to these men and women. I cannot say enough about the conditions these power workers are working in. If you see them out working, do not ask them when you will have power; they are working on it! What you may not realize is that many of these workers do not have power in their own homes. I personally know two of them who have wives and small children of their own. Trust me when I say, they are working on it. I have seen power trucks from several states in this city. We have opened our house for anyone still waiting on power, for showers, a hot meal, charge electronics, etc.

To our emergency workers, I cannot say thank you enough, instead of getting out, you all rushed in! You jumped in fire trucks, police vehicles, EMS vehicles, first responder vehicles. Many nurses, doctors and ­hospital personnel rushed to hospitals to take care of those who were injured and to prepare for the influx of people that would be taken to the hospital needing help. Once again, the majority of these people have their own homes and families that they are worried about.

To the many businesses who jumped into action to help those without power, by providing meals, showers, charging stations, and more: thank you! These may seem like small actions, to many providing the service, but they mean the world to those who have been without power and water for a few days.

We consider ourselves very fortunate. We only lost a huge tree in our front yard (lots of smaller limbs in the back yard). Thankfully the tree fell sideways and not backward. If it had, we would no longer have a roof, and it would have gone through my little boy’s room. After a long day and amazing neighbors helping us take care of the tree, we went around and made sure all of the wonderful power workers in our area had cold bottled water to drink.

The Coastal Empire is strong, but we are stronger when we work together! God Bless all of the Coastal Empire and all of her residents!