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8 Ways to Stay On-Budget During the Holidays

budgeting holidays savings Nov 18, 2020

This year, the holidays will look a little different, but that doesn’t mean that money issues will magically be a moot point. The holidays are prime times to overspend, not stick to a budget, and treat yourself a little too often.

It’s also time to stress about how much you should spend. Will someone think you’re cheap or love them less if you don’t share a gift that’s worth a certain dollar amount? Then, there’s the pressure to give a gift or visit everyone - which isn’t feasible during the best of times, but is definitely going to come under question right now.

But of course! We want to share gifts for a socially-distant gathering with our closest family and friends. It’s the season of love and joy and togetherness. Use these tips to stay on budget and still feel like you aren’t depriving yourself or your loved ones this holiday season. You can also take a look at all of my holiday posts for even more inspiration for holidays...

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5 Budgeting Mindset Shifts to Help You Stick to a Budget

budgeting Aug 26, 2020

When you’re trying a new budgeting system, it can be challenging to get started with it or stick with it long enough to see if it will work for you. With all the different tracking methods, it’s natural to try out a few before one clicks. Having the right mindset around money, saving, and budgeting will help greatly. Here are five of my favorite budgeting mindset shifts that will help you focus on your money goals.

Budgeting Mindset Shift #1: Facing Your Money is Better Than Ignoring It

There is nothing more stressful than having an emergency pop up and no money to cover it - not only will you have to deal with what happened, you’ll have to deal with the added pressure of scrambling to cover it.

What I love about a budget is that it forces you to face your money head-on before a disaster strikes. After all, it’s there in black and white. Embrace the budgeting mindset and habit to look at your bank account every day. Don’t get defeated by what you see,...

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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

budgeting saving Jun 24, 2020

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 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 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 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 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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