Two Big Ways You Can Improve Your Finances This Year

The beginning of the year is an excellent time to reevaluate your financial goals and dreams. The frustating part is when you know what your goals are but don't seem any closer to them this year than you did last year. Start off 2018 with a bang by improving your finances in these two ways.


A Budget Isn't Everything

Communication about your budget is! Budgets work well but only if you actually continually use them and discuss them! You need to have a regular conversation about your budget with your spouse (or yourself). Schedule a time to discuss items for five minutes a day or set a time for a longer conversation every week but talk about it and adjust your spending as needed. You can't set a goal of only spending $400 on food but never look at that number again until the next month. It won't work! You have to make it a frequent conversation with frequent updates about what you have spent so you can actually stick to your budget! That's going to make the biggest difference.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has excellent financial tools to help you figure out your budget. I love their 15 free financial calculators to help you figure out when you can get out of debt, what your monthly expenses are, how much to save for retirement, and more. Definitely check it out. 

Two REAL Way to Earn a Little Extra at Home

The second solution to a cash flow problem is making a little more. There are so many crazy schemes or pretend ways to make money out there that it's hard to find something that actually works and you will feel good doing it. I've tried my share of ways but have really only been satisfied with these two REAL ways. The great part is you can set your schedule and decide how much you want to work. 

Teaching English Online

If you are up for early mornings or late nights, teach English to Chinese kids! My sister and husband both do this and guess what? You don't need any experience, they will train you! They both like it because it doesn't take away from family time. You pick the amount of hours you want to work a week but there are extra bonuses if you work a certain number. The pay for each is very similar so it's really the style that you will want to look at.

  • My husband teaches through JiuQu English. He tells them which hours he is available and they give him the classes. You do need to be available for 15 time slots each week (each slot is 30 minutes so that's 7 1/2 hours a week) but that doesn't mean they will all fill up. The higher your rating as a teacher, the more classes you will be assigned. At least 80% of my husband's time slots fill every week. His company uses games to teach the words every day and he teaches anywhere from one to six children at a time. You need a referral to get in so email your resume to and mention his referral code, OMKEZT.
  • My sister teaches at VIPKid. They used to require a teaching degree there which is why my husband is with a different company but they have recently changed that to anyone with a bachelors degree. It works similar to my husband's. The main difference is hers is one on one. Scheduling is also done differently. Her students sign up specifically for her, it's not automatically filled slots like my husband's. So if you are a great teacher, your slots fill well. It may be a little slow in the beginning but once you have loyal students, it's easy to see how well your time slots will be filled. My sister recommends having at least a white board when teaching. You can use her link to apply here.

You will need a headset to teach English but you don't need a super fancy one. My husband bought a headset similar to this one. Other than that you need a computer and internet access. My husband uses props he finds around our house when he can as well.


I've been using Swagbucks for almost 10 years now. It doesn't make me rich but it pays for the household staples every month which definitely helps. Swagbucks is an online site that allows you to earn SBs by doing different tasks. I don't have the patience to do a lot so I stick with using their search engine, printing coupons, bonus codes, the Swag button, and shopping online through them. You can easily do more but with those simple tasks we paid for diapers when my kids were younger and now it pays for the toilet paper, dish soap, etc. 

You can choose how to redeem your SBs. I choose to redeem them for Amazon gift cards. I save up for the $25 gift cards as you can get them at a discount once a month. A $5 Amazon gift card is only 500 SBs which is completely feasible to get every month. I should mention that my husband does this as well so we combine our gift cards for our Subscribe & Save order from Amazon every month. Start out slow to get the hang of it then add on one thing you want to try out. I recommend starting out with the search engine and printable coupons- save money and earn SBs! You get 10 SBs for each coupon you redeem and sometimes they will give you SBs for printing them too. When you use my referral this month and earn 300 SBs you will get a 300 point bonus- not a bad way to get started!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.