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Marshmallows and Money Podcast
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Marshmallows and Money Podcast

Author: Gina Zakaria

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Gina Zakaria, founder of Saving Whiz blog, is a personal finance educator and contributing writer to Next Advisor. Gina is a wife, mom, and recovering spender turned money-saving ninja. She breaks down dense money topics into simple, bite-sized concepts so it's easy, actionable, and empowers you to take positive steps with your money. Gina helps you navigate all things money, including budgeting, frugal living, money-saving tips, debt freedom, investing and building wealth. New episodes every Thursday.
8 Episodes
Living paycheck to paycheck is a frustrating cycle, and being in debt makes it so much worse. So, how do you successfully pay off debt when you are so broke you can barely make ends meet? Here are some tried-and-true ways to start paying off your debt faster, even when you're broke and don't have a lot of money. Assess your balancesDetermine your debt repayment method (snowball vs. avalanche)Stop spending more on debtSet up a spending Freeze to reduce monthly expensesNegotiate your interest ratesManually consolidate your debt balancesPay more than the minimum paymentCheck out these helpful resources if you need more guidance on paying off debt, saving money, or perfecting your budget. Grab the Printable Budget Binder if you want to get organized with your money and finally take back control of your finances.
You have the best intentions for your budget and you want to take better control of your money and what you spend on, but oftentimes, there are small mistakes that are made during the budgeting process that make our budget fail. Here are 7 common mistakes you're making with your budget that's causing you to fail:You haven’t identified your “why” or purposeYou created a standard “cookie” cutter budgetYou only included bills and debt in your budgetYou forgot to add savingsYou aren’t checking in regularlyYou don’t get to zeroYou’re not planning for upcoming events or life in your budgetIf you're new to budgeting and need some additional guidance, grab the FREE Budget Starter Guide here. If you need a solid budget binder system to be more organized and have more control, grab our Printable Budget Binder here. 
Having a gift closet helps you plan ahead for events and occasions without sacrificing or disrupting your budget. You're able to save more while choosing thoughtful gifts that work for any occasion. Here are some easy ways tot get started with a gift closet, even on a small budget. Designate a space for your closetCreate a monthly budget for purchasesCreate your gift categoriesStick to gender neutral and/or universal gift ideasStock up on deals (KCL or Hip2Save)Grab the Printable Budget Binder so you can take control and organize your finances the right way. 
Impulse purchases steal our money that can be used and saved for more important purchases. If we can combat our urge to spend money, we can stick to our budget better and save money for the things that matter. Here are 7 easy ways to stop impulse spending so you can take control of your finances. Plan out your purchasesStart the rule of 30 (30 day list of items you saw that you may want)Consider the opportunity costStop window shopping as a pastimeRemove shopping apps from your phone And on that same note, remove your payment information from your phoneAs yourself these 3 questions:Is it necessary for me to function most days?What makes it necessary now?Do I have something that can serve this purpose?Add it to a list for birthday or Christmas requests
Many of us think that money is the answer to live our best life, but I want to show you that living a great life doesn't require a ton of money. Here are 5 steps to help you afford everything you want and live your best life on less money than you think. Identify what matters in your lifeRethink temptation and societal standards and create your own roadmapSave for the things you enjoy so you can life a great life on a budgetStop wasteful spending so you can afford more of the things that matterPlan and save ahead for your dream goals and break them down into bite size pieces
Reduce your grocery bill with these 10 money-saving tips. 1- Bagged Salads2- Marinated Meat3- Pre-cut/Pre-Sliced Vegetables and Fruit4- Meal Packs 5- Individually packaged snacks6- Pre-made meals and salads7- Convenient Foods 8- Cakes/Sweet Breads9- Broth10- Pre-Sliced/Pre-Shredded CheeseConvenience Costs Too MuchTaking the time to prep and process our own foods will save a lot of money in our grocery budget, but also doesn't take as much time as we think. What’s one thing you stopped buying from the grocery store to save money?
You learn so much when you're in the process of paying off your debt for good. These lessons will continue to guide me in making better decisions around money and will help me avoid ever getting into debt in the future. 1- Slow progress is still progress2- Stop comparing your situation to others3- Pay More than the Minimum Every Month4- Lenders are willing to work with you5- Create a Plan6- Lean in to your why7- Consistency is powerful8- Debt steals more than your money9- Self control takes tons of practice10- Debt freedom is full freedomI hope these lessons help you throughout your money journey. 
In this episode, you'll learn how to break through the discomfort phase of changing your money habits and transforming your finances. You'll understand the mindset behind habit change and get tips to help you see progress with your money journey. Change is hard at firstIt’s uncomfortable, it’s new, it’s not our normal...yetIt requires a new mindset and a new set of behaviorsHow do we break through the discomfort step to move forward?Easy steps you can take right now to help you break through the barrier of discomfort. Step 1- Write Down Your Short Term Financial Goals (this month)Step 2- Write Down 1-3 new behaviors you’ll work on this weekStep 3- Declutter Your Space, it does wonders for how you spend moneyStep 4- Create More Barriers to Entry, focus on making it harder to spend your money Step 5- Embrace the Slow- It helps you sustain changes made to your finances in the long run
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