Jenn Uhen of The Pledgettes

Last weekend, I facilitated a session at the Mountain Mama Summit in Salida, CO.  This is an incredible event organized by a wonderful group of nurses in Chaffee County. They brought a number of important topics to choose from including self-care, sex, money (my favorite), gun safety, vaping among teens and more.

In my session, :Better Your Money and Spending Habits,” we had fantastic participants who shared their best spending tips. The Pledgettes believe we all have something to share and we all have something to hear.

Here are some of my favorite tips from those Mountain Mamas!

1. “Talking about money and financial goals is fun!”

Well, I couldn’t agree more with this one. I’m incredibly proud of the mountain mamas who participated in this session and had healthy, wealthy money talks with the people at their table.

Do you want more healthy, wealthy money talks? Check out our five workshops at the end of April!

Or become a member of The Pledgettes and join our monthly Financial Friends events. We’d love to see you there!

2. “Set up an Automatic Deposit that goes straight into a separate account.”

This has helped me so much with saving. When we have one bank account that all the money goes to, it can be hard to keep track of the purpose of each of those dollars. Having a separate bank or investment account where money automatically goes before it hits your primary account will help you achieve that mini goal quickly. Rename that account to whatever your goal is with that account, like “The 2023 ski vacation,” so you are contributing with intention.

There is not a limit on the number of bank accounts you can have. Just remember to be organized, know where they all are, and what purpose they serve for you.

This was a popular idea! Another participant shared, “put money in a saving account and pretend it doesn’t exist.” And another shared that with automatic invest/save, you “get used to not having it” in your checking account. 

3. “When I have something in my online cart, I will evaluate the cart before I purchase it.”

“If I feel like I don’t need that purchase, I get into my banking account and transfer the total from my cart into my savings account. I get the dopamine hit of ‘spending’ but it goes into my savings account instead of having more stuff.”

Wow. What a stellar tip. Start where you are at and if you can take this action, you are going to be hitting some goals quickly.

4. “When I really want to save, I pretend I’m already broke.”

Every dollar should have a purpose and sometimes that purpose is a savings accounts or investment account. Having the mindset that you don’t have money to spend, can help you accelerate your savings and investing goals.

5. “Thrift shopping – especially for outdoor gear.”

These mountain mama’s kids love the outdoors and grow so fast. To give them more options to try different outdoor activities, find places like Colorado Sports Recycler.

6. “Give 10-15% away.”

During the session, there was a participant who shared that, when her children were young, she received financial support from different organizations. Now that she has more stability, she is giving back to those organizations so they can support more moms in need.

Both receiving and giving money should feel good. Another participant shared a similar sentiment, “donate + share + be generous + pray. It comes back.” This is the beauty in being a part of a community and using your money to build healthier, wealthier communities.

7. “Real estate is a savings account.”

My dad used to tell me something similar about real estate and encouraged me to invest in real estate as early as I could. A portion of your mortgage payments goes to pay down the principal balance giving you more equity in your home. 

8. “Wealthy people are nice people too.”

During the session, we shared some money cliches we learned growing up and asked ourselves, is that true? If we believe that “rich people are greedy,” why would we ever strive to be rich?

We don’t want to be greedy. Reframe those money cliches and bringing in money mantras and healthy perspectives will help you in your personal financial journey. 

9. “Use credit cards strategically (ie flight credit cards).”

If we grew up in a family where credit card debt was a big source of stress, we may want to avoid credit cards all together. However, when used strategically and paid off in full every month, there are many great benefits and perks that can align with your goals and values like free flights or cash back.

Having a credit card is also a big part of building your credit score. And a higher credit score will benefit you as your work towards your big goals where leveraging debt may be a strategy (like taking on a mortgage to buy real estate, or a SBA loan to buy a business). 

10. “Use a checkbook not a credit card (AKA use real money, not future money).”

This is not a contradiction to the previous tip. Everyone is on their own personal financial journey. And if credit cards stress you out or you have had some financial fails and money lessons with them, using cash and a checkbook might be what you need at this point in your financial journey.  Or even committing to this habit for a day/week/month. When you need to write out a check or count out cash, you’ll slow down to consider each of your purchases. 

11. “Cash for coffee.”

If you don’t want to spend a week or month with a cash-only budget, try cash only for a spending category, like coffee. The exchange of counting out exact change or receiving change is a slower process and more effort to give yourself an extra few seconds to make an intentional choice. 

12. “I make more, then I get to save big chunks. I like to grow things.”

Yes, earning more will give us more choices, freedom, and flexibility. Income/Revenue is the top part of the budget, so putting effort into increased income will reduce the financial stress in your budget.

13. “Money is energy.”

Let’s get a little woo – somebody wrote that “money is energy,” and we love that at The Pledgettes!

When we are talking about money and using our money, we are giving energy to that money. Send money some good energy and enjoy what money brings you in your life!

Send money some gratitude and call more of it into your life! More money amplifies who you are. If you are a generous person, more money can make you more generous.

14. “Menu Plan for the Grocery Store”

Using a “menu planning” approach saves at the grocery store and helps you to make fewer decisions during the week. 

15. “I love money.”

Love is a beautiful thing. We love our family, we love our friends, we love our life, we love the experiences we have. Love is an awesome emotion and we have more love to give.  Love is not obsessing or idolizing.

It’s okay to love money.

16. “Text your significant other the grocery list.”

When you go to the grocery store with a list (AKA a plan), you won’t be tempted to over-shop and overspend on food that you may not need.

My partner and I both have iPhones and use an iCloud note shared between use to keep our shopping list up to date. There are a number of other great list sharing apps out there.

17. “Buy in bulk.”

I will often get out my phone’s calculator app at the store to see the price per item with the different quantities. I did this last week with allergy pills. And took into account the expiration date and how often I generally use them. There are also environmental benefits to buying in bulk if it reduces packaging. 

13. “Only Do Laundry Once per Week.”

With Xcel Energy changing their rates during peak usage hours (3-7pm on weekdays), be strategic on when you are doing things that use a lot of energy. For lightly worn clothes, you may not need to wash them after every wear, so find a system that works to know what’s not-yet-ready for laundry. 

14. “Online Shop. Then find it at Free the Monkey.

Last year I spent some time manifesting the fancy bed frame that I wanted and two weeks later I found it on Facebook Marketplace for half the original price! Get woo and put it out into the universe what you want.  

15. “Money = Time for What You Love.”

Buying time always shows up on the list on ways spending can make you happier, like this CNBC article.  If you think about money, time, and energy as three interconnected resources we have, use them intentionally and strategically.

16. “Use Cash Bast Apps”

Apps like Ibotta and Get Upside earn cash back and perks when shopping. Acorns.com helps round-up money you use with your debit card to save or invest.

Check out our partner page for more apps we recommend. 

17. “Invest a set amount each month.”

If you are utilizing a budget, making investing and your goals part of your budget. This is also known at Dollar Cost Average investment (instead of Lump Sum investing). You can read more about that here.

18. “Max out your yearly IRAs.”

Contributing to IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) not only set you up for retirement but can also reduce your tax liability. Work with your Financial A-Team (specifically a Financial Advisor and tax professional like a CPA or Enrolled Agent) to run the specific numbers for your goals and current personal economy. 

19. “Money is your Best Friend.”

As I started the presentation, I shared that we are all in a lifelong relationship with our money. It’s a great goal to strive for your money to be your best friend.

And just like a best friend, money can help you be the best version of yourself. Also, you don’t idolize or worship your best friend and you shouldn’t idolize or worship money. Make a great relationship!

20. “Nobody is born with Financial Literacy.

Those who have it, set the goal, and learned! Think about all the incredible things you have learned. We aren’t born knowing everything – we need to learn it. Case in point . . . one participant shared that she thought “Quickbooks is easy!”

Sometimes the anticipation of learning something new becomes overwhelming and we spend more time and energy stressing than we do learning about it. I know, easier said than done. But it’s important to remember.

21. “Money = Freedom.”

During the presentation I started with “Money is choice. Every dollar I have, I make a choice to save it, spend it, invest it, or donate it.”

As we build up wealth, money gives us freedom and flexibility. If you want more freedom, focus on your spending and earning to build up to more freedom. 

Thank you to all the incredible Mountain Mamas who shared and listened.

You all asked great questions, leaned into powerful conversations, and took time out of your lives to take an active role in your personal finances.

Want more sharing and listening like this? Join The Pledgettes!