Groceries To Buy This Week
By Melissa Tosetti
With Passover beginning this week and Easter on Sunday, grocery stores are offering fantastic sales for those celebratory meals. Items to keep an eye out for include:
  • Ham – Pick up an extra one and throw it in your freezer. Defrost it in July for ham sandwiches, Denver omelets and more.
  • Baking Items – You likely won’t find better prices on baking items until Thanksgiving so stock up! 
  • Butter - Butter freezes well so don't worry about it spoiling.
  • Canned Vegetables - Just remember to only buy what you'll use.
  • Soda - Because soda companies will take advantage of any opportunity to promote their products.
  • Wine - It's possible your favorite bottles will be on sale.  It's worth taking a look.
By the way, if you're dyeing Easter eggs this weekend, you may want to pick up your egg dye sooner rather than later.  I tried to pick up a box on Sunday but our Safeway was already sold out.  Tried our Target on Monday and they were sold out too.  Paul was finally able to get a box at CVS today. 


Travel - Best Days To Buy

By Melissa Tosetti

I've always thought of purchasing plane tickets like playing the stock market.  You never know when to pull the trigger.  The price could go up tomorrow or it could go down.  How do you know when is the best time to buy?

In truth, there's no perfect time, but there are a few rules of thumb that can make you feel better about your purchases.  In fact, Grant Martin recently contributed an article to on the very topic titled Best Days to Book Flights are Tuesdays 50 - 100 Days Before Travel, Expedia Study Conclude.

For quite awhile, it's been suggested that Tuesdays at 3:00 pm EST is the best time to purchase a ticket.  Expedia's study does show that purchasing your ticket on Tuesdays, prior to three weeks before your trip can save you.  However, if your trip is less than three weeks away, the study points to Sundays as being the best time to buy.
I'm also an advocate of the website   Just plug in where you want to fly to and when, as well as your departing airport and every day or two you'll receive an email listing the lowest fares.  After a few weeks you'll be able to make an educated decision on what's a good fare for your particular destination.  At any given time I receive emails from AirFareWatchDog for two or more upcoming trips. 
Check out Grant Martin's article for more tips to help you know when to pull the trigger on that next plane ticket.


The Black Hole of Anti-Aging Products

By Suzanne Haze

In France, as a rite of passage, a mother takes her daughter to an esthetician when she reaches a certain age. The esthetician will teach the young girl how to properly care for and maintain her skin. As the girl matures, she will continue seeing an esthetician on a regular basis, ensuring that her skin is kept as healthy as possible.
In the U.S., skin care is not the coveted ritual that it is in European countries. Makeup is indulged and revered. The unfortunate side effect of this American phenomenon is that improperly cared for skin ages more quickly. Too young, American women go from not caring about their skin to obsessing about it as they frantically throw money at anti-aging remedies. 
Allure Magazine recently posted a common sense guide to skin care titled The 10 Commandments of Anti-Aging.  What I like best about the article is that there's just one product type they recommend.  The rest of the tips cost nothing at all. 
Photo from


By Melissa Tosetti

The last of the three speaking engagements I had in Virginia was held in a private dining room at a club in Virginia Beach. There were about 10 women in attendance. After my presentation, we stayed at the table and talked about the impact of money on life for almost another hour.
One of the women educated and entertained  us with stories of the six months she lived in Paris and how it changed her entire way of thinking about money - especially when it came to her spending on clothes. She was shocked at how everyone looks to the French as fashion icons, but in reality, most of the women she met had a wardrobe made up of a handful of black clothes. What gave their wardrobe depth were the gorgeous scarves they wore.  So instead of a closet overflowing with clothes, they have basic, work-horse pieces and the stars of their wardrobe are their accessories.
As we all told our favorite money stories there was one woman in attendance who sat back and quietly took it all in. I will remember this woman for the rest of my life. Not just because she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, but because of her presence.  I can't find the exact word to describe her presence.  The closest word that comes to mind is "noble". 
I won’t even pretend to guess her age, but her gorgeous African American skin and stunning dark blue eyes defied the cane she used. She also wore her dark gray hair long and straight. I’m a sucker for long hair on older women. 
This woman sat quietly the entire evening, listening to us jabber on and about the same time, the rest of us realized we were in the presence of a woman who obviously had stories to tell and lessons to teach. We asked her thoughts about money and what she said and the way she said it, reaffirmed for me the importance of the smallest details.
She said the one thing she remembered as a child was being told that “Pennies add up to nickels, nickels add up to quarters and quarters make dollars.” 
Such a simple truth and yet, in this day and age, we don’t mind the dollars let alone the pennies.  Money goes in and money goes out and we hope there’s enough to do the things we want to do.  But, when we track our spending and pay attention to the pennies it makes a massively positive impact on our finances. 
Magic happens when you begin to track your spending. You see where your money is going and you can redirect it to where you want it to go. 
Start minding your pennies today!
Inspiration in Vienna
By Melissa Tosetti
At last night’s Living The Savvy Life presentation in Vienna, VA I met an inspiring character.  After I was done speaking he came up to tell me about how in 1984, his company was bought out by another. Previously, he’d been making $350 a paycheck. The new company bumped up his salary to over $500 a paycheck. 
He went on to tell me that an investment consultant came in and told him and his coworkers, “Ok you guys. You’re never going to get an opportunity like this again. Don’t screw this up!” The rep then explained the various retirement-type programs available. My new friend told me how he immediately put all of his pay raise toward his retirement and how it was the smartest move he’s ever made. 
When his company downsized him a few years earlier than he was hoping to retire, it wasn’t a financial crisis. In fact, because of the smart money move he made back in 1984, he was more than fine.
The next time you get a bump up in salary, whether it's a big bump or a little one, consider taking a cue from my friend and putting the increase toward your retirement or other wealth building accounts.
Hello Virginia
By Melissa Tosetti
I'm on my way to Virginia for three speaking engagements which will take me to three corners of the state.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the area. 
I'm also looking forward to paying non-California gas prices.  That always makes me happy!
Attitude Adjustment
Your attitude about managing your finances will directly impact your willingness to do it.  Get excited that you're taking control of your finances and keep in mind all the different ways it will positively impact your life.
Storage Lessons From Tiny Homes

By Melissa Tosetti

I've been a fan of small homes for a long time.  The movement toward smaller homes has gained steam, especially in the last year, with television shows about microscopic living cropping up across cable networks.

Just a few of the biggest perks include: 

  • A much smaller mortgage
  • Smaller utility bills
  • Less time cleaning

However, there are definitely challenges to tiny and small home living and storage space is the biggest one - especially when you, your husband and your 8 year old son are all book collectors. 

Tiny homes are loosely described as less than 1,000 square feet.  At 1,200 square feet, our home falls into the small category and storage is definitely a challenge.  In fact, one of our projects this spring is to cull through our attic and reorganize the space for better use.  Our more urgent projects are storage for Dante's room as well as my office.

There are a lot of lessons to learn regarding clever storage space from the tiny house movement and we've been paying close attention.  Today I stumbled on this article: 11 Lessons We Can Learn From AirBNB's Tiniest Homes.

My favorite lesson from the article is the use of vertical space.  It's a tip we can use, especially in Dante's bedroom!


The Power of False Deadlines

By Melissa Tosetti
Last night at 6:34 pm, I finished the last of the tax preparations for The Savvy Life, my husband's martial arts school and our personal taxes.  I celebrated by binge watching episodes of Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries until 10:30 pm.
My goal was to finish my taxes by the Friday of President's Day weekend. I was frustrated by not meeting my deadline, but didn't let it ruin my weekend getaway because I knew I still had time.  I also knew that if I didn't give myself a new deadline, I'd wait until the last minute, stress out all the while and hurry through the paperwork to meet my accountant's deadline.
So, I reset my deadline for yesterday knowing that tonight Paul and I are going out to celebrate the anniversary of our first date and we also have fun plans for the rest of the weekend.  If I could get my tax prep done before dinner tonight, the evening and weekend would be even more enjoyable.
I'm not gonna lie... yesterday was a big push to get it all done, but I did it!
Next year I really want to hit that initial goal of handing everything over to my accountant before President's Day weekend.  Hopefuly, the new season of Miss Fisher will be out by then.


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