Budgeting and spending is always evolving, so having a plan in place to manage your money is a very powerful tool. A spending plan allows you to pivot quickly and make changes on a dime should things suddenly go awry (or, on the flip side, you find yourself with a windfall of good fortune).
Having a plan that gives you a quick overview of what’s coming in and how much you can allocate to spend in which categories will make money management stress-free. As a bonus, when you look at it more often, you can start to spend less time “dealing with” your finances and feeling guilty for treating yourself to a fancy coffee because it’s been a hell of a week and you want to feel good for a moment.
The reality is that when you stop avoiding your finances, you no longer have to fear them and blow it up into a more challenging situation than it really is. A spending plan is simply an evolving relationship with your money and a guide to direct your spending. It will be...
It’s no secret that many Americans have very little knowledge of their credit score or general knowledge about keeping credit scores healthy. For example, VantageScore reported in their 2019 annual survey about consumer understanding of credit scores the following:
The study found that the people who responded thought they had excellent or good knowledge. In fact, more people in 2019 said that they were confident in their knowledge than they were in 2018. But, as you can see, people actually know less about their credit scores. They just think they have a very firm grasp on the subject.
Understanding these numbers and the impact they will make in your...
How do you teach your kids to save instead of spending their money as they get it? And how do you discourage your family members from spending everything they earn? I hear that a lot from parents and they’re great questions.
Teaching kids how to save up for big purchases while they’re young will prepare them for larger financial decisions they’ll have to make down the road. It teaches them to set goals and work to earn their money.
It’ll also help them to make saving and only purchasing when they have enough money to do so a habit. After all, it’s much better to do that instead of hopping on the Instant Gratitude Express at the Debt Station!
Here are a few ways you can teach your kids to save money instead of spending everything they earn.
It’s never too early to talk to your kids about money and saving for bigger things rather than spending money as they get it. Yes, these items will grow as your kids do, but the...
Your home is where you can relax and be comfortable. And if your home isn’t decorated to reflect yourself and your tastes, it can be hard to fully feel at home. Home decor is a great way to add your personality into your home, but it can be expensive.
My ultimate goal is to make my home the place we all want to be (especially since we’re spending so much time there now)! And I’ve learned a few frugal tips for refreshing home decor on a budget.
These tips are more than “paint and buy new curtains” - they’ll help you identify how you want to update your home, what will make the most impact, and clever ways to shop for it so you can refresh your home decor on a budget and still have it look good and like you.
It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison, especially when you see a perfectly decorated home on Pinterest or HGTV. It’s important to remember that you have unique tastes and your family's...
Summer 2020 will go down in the books as one of the oddest times since my kids can’t do the summer activities they usually do. I’m getting refunds for my kids’ camp programs that I signed them up for. It breaks my heart because these things they enjoy and that enrich their lives have been canceled. And, selfishly, I want to stop making all these meals every day!
Instead of wallowing in my 11,000th grilled cheese, I’ve decided to invest that camp money back into my family’s summer activities. Since we’ve already budgeted that money for the kids, I’m going to spend it on them. They can still have a fun summer, even if it’s at home.
Although my husband and I did budget for this expense, we don’t want to go over that set amount. There’s a good chance it could happen as we have a long summer to fill! As I’m considering how to keep the kids busy and happy at home, I came up with four financially-friendly ideas to entertain...
No matter where you are in your financial journey, whether you’re just putting together a financial planning binder or you’ve got a high-performing investment portfolio, everyone could benefit from spring cleaning their finances. Doing so will ensure your goals are still ones you want to work toward, you get back in touch with your numbers, and you can make adjustments sooner rather than later.
Here are my favorite posts that will help you dust the cobwebs out of your finances and refresh your bank account. They’ll help you empower yourself to learn about your finances and choose wisely to make your family financially sustainable!
The best place to start is by taking a look at your money mindset. I know firsthand that it takes practice to change beliefs, especially after you’ve placed them on cruise control for a while. Checking back in with how you think about money is important to make sure you’re thinking about wealth...
Teaching kids about anything (and especially money) is always easier when you make it fun for them to understand, so that’s why I love games! Using games to talk to your kids about money can be rewarding because you have an example right in front of you to base your conversation on.
I don’t know about your kids, but hands-on experiences are always preferred to hypothetical discussions in my house! (And, let’s be honest, they don't want to hear a lecture about money and quite frankly, I'm guessing you don't want to give it.)
Talking to your kids about money can be a confusing conversation to have, especially if you don’t even want to have that conversation in the first place. So, why not incorporate it in your family nights so it's not a drag?!
On Sundays, we usually have dinner at my mom's, which is often followed by an evening of board games and other family fun. Here are some of our favorites that teach some great lessons on financial literacy.
Are you bewildered by the complex nature of debt? Indeed, dealing with debt can be an intricate process. Like many others, I was once inundated with student loans, credit cards, and car payments, making it seem like a financial breather was impossible. However, believe it or not, not all debt is detrimental. Let's delve into how you can effectively manage your debt by distinguishing between good and bad debt.
To many, debt is synonymous with financial doom. True, certain types of debt can jeopardize your financial stability and impede your progress toward a secure financial future. It's important to understand the broad spectrum of debt and how each type affects your credit differently. Bad debt could comprise upside-down loans, high-interest rates, debt exceeding your worth, or simply poor financial decisions like payday loans.
Incurring a loan for something you couldn't outright afford often leads to negative debt scenarios. This...
Many people have switched to online bill pay, and most of them do it for the convenience factor. Did you know, though, that paying your bills online could actually save you time and money?
Online bill pay is, most simply stated – an online and/or automated way of paying your bills online. You can set it up with your bank to pay all of your bills or with each individual merchant by adding your credit, debit or bank account to a payment processor.
In addition to the convenience, online payment processors typically send regular reminders about payment due dates! That means, no more late payments and no more late fees.
Many online payment processors offer discounts for automatic or online payments. Why? Because online payments are immediately applied to the account, meaning that the company spends less money on manpower.
More common than getting a discount for paying online is getting a discount for going...
Juggling multiple financial goals can be stressful and confusing. It's especially challenging to make progress on other financial goals when you're drowning in debt. The message is clear when it comes to saving for retirement - start early! However, some financial gurus are adamant that you should pay off all of your revolving debt before investing for retirement. So, should you pay off your debt first or start saving for retirement? How do you decide?
When making your budget, you have to consider everything. Evaluate how much you make, your expenses such as insurance (health and vehicle), utilities, groceries, etc. your debts, and your saving plans. When figuring out each month what you can afford, we have to make sure we have every aspect covered in our life. Going through the budgeting process will help you determine the money you have available for debt repayment as well as for retirement savings.
For each debt, be sure to identify...