Using a Spending Plan to Manage Your Money

budgeting Aug 12, 2020

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...

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Frugal Tips for Refreshing Your Home Décor on a Budget

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.

Determine Your Goals and Budget

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 needs will...

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How Online Bill Pay Can Save You Time and Money

budgeting debt saving money Mar 18, 2020

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? 

What is Online Bill Pay?

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. 

 

Get Discounts Online 

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...

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15 Best Budgeting Apps to Download Now

budgeting Mar 04, 2020

Looking for the best budgeting apps? There are so many facets of budgeting, and you’ll likely have to make some sacrifices, but using apps can make those sacrifices easier and can take the hardest work out of budget. These are the best budgeting apps to download now if you want to get your spending under control.

P.S. Some of these apps do the same thing. You probably won’t need all of these, but pick and choose which ones best fit your financial situation! 

YNAB

You Need a Budget is one of the most popular budgeting apps available. If you’ve never even had a budget before, this is the app for you. It’s a great way to get started with budgeting and will teach you about all the ways to manage your money. The app uses a “zeroed” out budget and makes sure that you allocate your money down to the very last cent! 

Mint 

If one of your budgeting goals is to save more money, then you need Mint. This app will allow you to learn how to spend...

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Money and Relationships: How to Get (and Stay) on the Same Page

When it comes to new and even seasoned relationships there needs to be open and honest communication. This is especially true when it comes to money and yet it’s not always easy. Consider the following tips to get (and stay) on the same page with your significant other. 

Tip #1: Create a Budget

Start out by creating a budget. By doing so, you'll have the opportunity to talk with your significant other about how much you make, monthly and annual bills, and how much debt you've accrued. When you create a budget you'll know exactly how much money you do (or don't have) and will be able to make decisions together about what to prioritize. 

Creating a budget doesn't have to be complicated. With a notepad in hand, break it down by expense: electric, water, gas, credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal spending, rent, insurance, pets (if you have them), an average for groceries, and an average for dining out. Total it up and you'll both...

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A Simple Way to Avoid Food Waste and Save Money on Groceries

budgeting saving money Jan 20, 2020

You have one of the best money-saving devices known to man sitting in your kitchen right now: your freezer. If it is yet to be chock-full of homemade, already prepared, frozen meals, you can begin now to save your time, energy, and especially your money by putting your freezer to good use.

How much food do you waste by throwing away leftovers after they’ve sat in the fridge for a few days? From now on, you can freeze what’s leftover and make another tasty meal from it.

Related post: How an Organized Pantry Can Help You Save on Groceries

Start Saving Money on Groceries 

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Keep a supply of quart- and gallon-size freezer bags and plastic containers in your cupboard. Ensure the plastic containers you select are freezer safe. Then, when you cook soups and stews for dinner, either double the recipe or use the leftovers for the next step.
  • Fill the containers to near the top with your soup and put on the lid tightly, ensuring...
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Couponing for Beginners

budgeting saving money Jan 08, 2020

Most people only dabble in coupon usage. They might check out the circulars in their Sunday paper, clip one or two items that look good, and probably forget to use them when they’re at the checkout stand.

Couponing is a well-planned method of shopping and saving, so you’re going to get a guide on how to achieve significant financial results from your efforts! It can be enjoyable once you get the hang of it, each trip to the grocery store becoming somewhat of a challenge you engage in.

Not everything you see on the Extreme Couponing show is real, so before you think that from now on, all of your groceries will be 100% free, think again. For instance, Frys caught heat from the public when they allowed for special coupon doubling that the public didn’t get – it was for promotional purposes just for the show’s taping.

But still, that doesn’t mean that with some smart planning, you can’t get some incredibly good deals that will save you plenty of...

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How an Organized Pantry Can Help You Save on Groceries

budgeting saving money Jan 06, 2020

Have you participated in a pantry challenge? A pantry challenge is an attempt to spend as little money as possible on groceries and to eat what you already have in your home. I've seen a lot of people sharing their experiences on social media with some going as much as a month without purchasing groceries. Are you regularly using the food stored in your pantry? If not, why not? Is it a lack of organization? Getting organized can actually help you save on groceries.

Organize Your Pantry to Save on Groceries

One of the areas that families have a lot of control over their budget is food costs. Your mortgage is set in stone, there are few opportunities to reduce your utility bills, but your food bill is well under your control. One of the best ways to minimize your food bill is by keeping an organized pantry. Being able to easily see what’s in your pantry and keep it well-stocked makes meal prep easier and reduces or eliminates the need for spur of the moment take-out. 

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Stop Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck - Step 1

budgeting saving money Jan 01, 2020

Most Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck so if you are, you’re in good company. Some studies report as many as 75% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. The majority of people cannot deal with a $400 emergency expense without borrowing money. What’s worse is that according to CNBC.com, less than 30% of Americans has at least six months of living expenses saved. All these facts are to let you know that you’re not alone.

While most people live paycheck-to-paycheck, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can break the cycle once you identify the problem, set a budget, and learn how to spend less. It’s all about living within your means, while also identifying the things that will make your life a little bit easier and happier without a significant financial impact.

Related post: Financial Resolutions for the New Year

Figure Out Why You're Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck

The very first thing to do to fix the problem is to identify...

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Financial Resolutions for the New Year

budgeting saving money Dec 30, 2019

Are you making financial resolutions for the new year?

I'll be honest. As you begin to establish new financial habits, staying on track financially will feel hard at first. However, if your goals are important enough and you believe that you can stick to a budget, saving money, and living the way you want and need to live, you’ll be able to do it, and it’ll feel great — even fun.

financial

Financial Resolutions - 10 Tips for Staying on Track 

Set Clear Financial Resolutions

The most important thing to remember about staying on track is to start with realistic financial resolutions. After all, you cannot live in a mansion if you don’t make that kind of money. Even if your goals are modest due to a modest income, if you set your financial resolutions realistically then you can stilll reach them.

Automate Bill Payment & Savings

Late payment fees can add up very quickly and throw you off course. When you pay even one bill late, the interest rate on your other...

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