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Debt Repayment

Becoming Debt Free

Posted By perspectives17

I am currently on a mission to become debt free.  I have paid over $8000 in debt off so far. I still have work to do but i have made a lot of progress. The question I have received the most is HOW? Here are some steps I took. 

Beginning The Journey

One of the first steps was developing a less frills budget. I created The Savvy Budget Planner to help get my finances in check. Keeping my financial goals as a priority. I could have some splurges but not as much as usual. Some would advise you to cut all wants but if you have a substantial amount of debt you are in it for the long hall and this might not be realistic. I had to decide a percentage of my income that would go solely towards debt repayment.  

Next I wanted to take a good look at what debts I had to pay off and what the best debt repayment strategy.  I use Undebt.It.

Undebt.It is a program that allows users to manually input all debts balances and choose a repayment plan. This program is really great for individuals who don’t like linking all of their accounts.  It will give an estimated debt free date based on the information entered.  I use it to analyze different debt repayment strategies.  I swear by it. I am so excited to go add my extra payments and see my balances drop. It’s my financial therapy.   When I first added my information to the program in March 2018 it estimated I would be debtfree August 2024. Below I have included my current screen… the progress really motivates me to keep attacking my balances.

(screenshot from undebt it)

Savings Goals

I know we are working on paying down debt but please don’t forget to add savings in your equation. I use the Savings Planner to help track how close I come to my goal.   It’s important to work on an emergency fund during the process. See my post about how to build up your emergency fund.  I use Qoins and Qapital to help with savings also. 

Qoins and Qapital are savings apps that help boost your savings by automatically withdrawing funds from your account for you. This is helpful because you don’t see the money unless you open the app. I have an emergency fund goal and a regular savings goal. Qoins charges $2.99 a month but will take savings and apply them towards the debt of your choice which is an added feature. Do some research decide which program is best for you. 

Building an emergency fund is important to do throughout the debt repayment process. If an emergency arises it will cause the creation of more debt and that will disrupt your process. It’s also the first step in building wealth. Start building good financial habits.

Finding Funds

Sometimes the process gets overwhelming as it seems we don’t have any money left to pay off anything. AFTER your budget is created and you don’t see much wiggle room.

  1. Consider a (temporary) side hustle.
  2. Sign up for  Ebates (get paid to shop) 
  3. Sell old items on Ebay
  4. Sign up for rewards programs (every little bit counts)
  5. Pack a lunch for work
  6. Take a water bottle to limit drink purchases ( your waist will thank you)
  7. Decipher wants vs needs
  8. Minimize bills as much as possible. (I let go of cable in 2012 and never looked back)

With extra money that comes in, set aside 70% for debt and 30% for savings. Keep this strategy going to help get balances down. 

Make Extra Payments

One of the ways I paid my car loan off a entire year early was by making extra payments. I made biweekly payments so they ended up with extra payment each year. I also made the monthly total more than my standard payment. For example if my car loan payment was $250 I would pay $150 per biweekly paycheck. Most car loans have APR’s which are annual percentage rates but the interest is applied daily. Making extra payments lowers the balance which lowers interest applied to your loan. This helps get the loan paid faster and more money applied to the principal balance. For extra payments please be sure to call your creditor and find out the procedure for making principal only payments. Many creditor have certain procedures you must follow.

Let us know your great tips that you use to pay off debt. I am definitely interested. I know I have become a little creative during my debt free journey.

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Perspectives

Saving

Emergency Fund

Posted By perspectives17

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

EMERGENCY FUND

An emergency fund is an amount set aside for an emergency, a costly repair, or unexpected loss in wages.  The purpose of an emergency fund is to create financial stability. A home repair can send your finances on a downward spiral and you end up barely making ends meet until finally getting back on track. This fund provides security and prevents the urge or need to pursue high debt options.  An emergency fund should contain 3-5 months of FULL monthly expenses according to most financial gurus. This gives a nice cushion; any unexpected expenses that arise simply shift the money and replace it afterwards.

If you don’t have an emergency fund and don’t know where to start get The Savvy Budget Planner get started now.  I know what you’re going to say. How am I supposed to save, I don’t have any money left after paying my bills. I know… I know …..  Let me tell you I have been there. I have been laid off, fired, had a boot on my car, which is a device the city uses to immobilize your car when you have unpaid parking tickets, injured on the job… you name it. I am speaking from lessons I have learned myself.

  • Do you really need unlimited minutes and data?
    • Cut your cell phone plan down until you are where you need to be.
  • Is there Wi-Fi at home where you mainly use your Cellphone anyway?
    • Cut down expenses if you have to so that you can cover your monthly bills. Check your cell phone bill;
  • Do you watch all those channels?
    • Get Netflix and Hulu and call it a day, tell that cable company uh bye for now.

Let’s start with the #1 lesson I preach.

PAY YOURSELF FIRST!!

If you only have enough money to cover bills then you should be alternating some bills so that you can start savings. If you are already robbing Peter to pay Paul then rob Peter to pay yourself. Why is Paul more important than you?  Set an amount of your income to put to the side strictly for savings and pay your bills with what you have left afterwards NOT before.  I suggest saving 10% of your income for. If you are telling me that you don’t have money left to save then you are going about it all wrong. I will tell you that you are not listening to me. Have you ever wondered why it’s hard for you to save money?  Always try and then end up spending it until it’s gone then you are back at square one. Set the goal and stick to it. Use apps like Qoins and Qapital to get started, maybe not seeing the funds in your bank account will help.

We all have been there, living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to keep the bills paid. Well how do you think it will change if you don’t make any changes? Have you ever heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (Albert Einstein)? The mentality that you don’t have enough to save is a mentality many of us have grown up with. Breaking the cycle is not easy; take the first step.

LIFE IS UNPREDICTABLE!!

Life is unpredictable it gives peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected. If you are like me and trying to get your financial life in order than an emergency fund is even more important. Operating on a strict budget and trying to apply all extra funds to debt doesn’t leave much room for emergencies. The last thing I need while I’m trying to pay down credit card balances is to have to use one of my credit cards. This is essentially moving backwards. If I keep using my credit cards I will never pay them off. With no emergency fund that’s exactly what I would have to do.  If my car were to break down I have comfort in knowing I can pay it off and it didn’t knock me off track.

Building wealth starts with paying yourself first.  The first step is to build a savings of your own. From your own savings comes startup money for a business or an investment.   Many times we want to invest in real estate and don’t know exactly how to get started. Ever thought about buying a vending machine?  A laundromat?  Working to buy a home for your family? One of the first ways to build up money is with your own personal savings. A lender will need to see there are funds in the bank whenever you are purchasing a home. Don’t take my word for it, ask a lender, makes some calls.  Once the initial habit is created the sky is the limit. While you master it,  teach your children. Make Personal Finance A Family Heirloom!

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How To Get Your Finances In Check When You’re Jobless

Posted By deejackson

I think one of the scariest thing that can happen to anyone, including a millennial woman, is to lose their jobs. I say this because, as of the 2010s millennials are the largest group of people living on a paycheck to paycheck basis. They also lack the budgeting and saving skills needed to escape the cycle. But what if they did lose their jobs, how would they cope? In this post I’m gonna give you my tips for how to get your finances in check when you’re jobless.  

How To Get Your Finances In Check When You’re Jobless

 

#1 UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES

Getting laid off at work means that there is no longer a steady paycheck coming into your household on a weekly or monthly basis. This means that you’re now going to have to survive on what little you do have. The first thing you’re gonna need to do is see where your money goes each month. You need to sit down and make a list of all purchases, big and small, bills and anything else that comes from your paycheck. Once your understand where everything goes you’ll be able to move on to step 2.  

#2 GET RID OF EXTRAS

Now that you understand exactly where your paycheck goes each month, you’ll be able to get rid of any “extras”. Extras mean any unnecessary purchases you make each month. Do you always stop by Starbucks on your way home from work? It’s time to let that go. It’s time to get your finances in check. Do you realize you like to Netflix and chill? It’s time for you to get rid of that subscription. Until you have another job, anything seen as a luxury will need to go. Food, shelter and water come first.

#3 CREATE (OR MODIFY) A BUDGET

A huge reason so many of us as millennial women don’t have any savings is because we either don’t know how to budget or the one we currently have isn’t working. In my post “The Broke Girl’s Guide To Budgeting”, I run through the seven steps you need to create a successful budget. I also talk about the one reason so many budgets fail and exactly how to handle it. A successful budget is one that keeps you from over-extending yourself and falling into more debt. This is why it’s so important to ensure that you follow steps one and two before moving on to this one.  

#4 GET SUPPORT

Above it all, having the right kind of support will make the difference between you being able to manage your new financial status or barely being able to survive. I suggest surrounding yourself with people who also have their finances in check. It makes no sense to have friends who enjoy splurging on the latest pair of jeans because they will only influence you to do the same.

THIS ISN’T THE END

Life without a job doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be hard, it just takes sacrifice and the willingness to see the larger picture. Once you learn to properly manage your finances you’ll be more able to navigate this period in your life until you find another job.   ___________________________________________ Writers BIO

Hi there! I’m Dee, the founder of My Dee Dee’s Diary. I am a millennial woman who enjoys helping her millennial sisters embrace their awesomeness + become the freakin’ supernovas they were always meant to be by sharing advice, personal development tips, everything career, relationship + so much more.

On my blog you can expect to discover who you are and learn what it takes to be successful and happy, navigate relationships + dating, get help managing personal finances and solve money problems, get helpful life hacks to help you grow as a strong, millennial woman.

Sounds like alot but it’ll all make sense in the end. Catch you on the other side!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest @mydeedeesdiary and on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/deedeesdiary

 
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Are You First on Your List?

Posted By Brandon Lewis

Pay Yourself First

Today I’m going to talk about one of the first financial principles I ever learned.  The idea of paying yourself first.  Every time you make a dollar, you should take a portion of that dollar and pay yourself first.  Starting out this could be $0.10.  In that case, for every dollar you earn you will take a dime out and keep it for yourself. Now I know what you might be saying. “Brandon, I keep the entire dollar for myself.”  That’s where you’re wrong.  If you are like most people, that dollar already has someone else’s name on it.  It could be your mortgage, gas, phone, utilities, credit card, car, or any number of obligations.  Typically, you are last on the list, if you even make the list at all.  I’m telling you, you should be first on that list.  Every time you get paid, you need to put at least a dime of every dollar aside for yourself. At first, this might seem impossible.  After all you have all of these people to pay, right?  Well, you most likely have some budget leakage.  The budget leakage is all of that stuff that you buy but don’t really need.  If you don’t have enough money to pay yourself first, then you shouldn’t be buying things you don’t need. Once you start cutting out the leakage, you won’t even miss those expenses.

Where should I put my dime?

The next question should be, “What do I do with that dime?”  This is a very important question. It should be put to work making you more dimes, and it should be kept in a place that isn’t easily accessible.  The first place to stash that dime is inside a 401(k) account.  This makes it extra easy, because you don’t even see that dime to begin with.  Your employer can debit it from your paycheck before you see it, creating no way for you to spend it. If you don’t have a 401(k) plan at your job, it’s okay. There are other options.  One of my favorite places to save money is Lending Club.  Lending Club allows you to be “the bank” for other people.  The one thing that I really like about Lending Club is that it ties up your money in a loan.  This means that you don’t have access to it.  You will slowly get your money back, with interest, as the loan is repaid.  Then you can reinvest these payments into new loans.  Your dimes are now making dimes, which are making more dimes! The stock market is another place to store your dimes, but I recommend first educating yourself on the processes and products. There are a few ways to invest in the market, but the best way for a newbie is to just buy an index ETF like SPY (NYSE Arca) which tracks the S&P 500.  That last sentence may have sounded like gibberish to you.  If that’s the case, you should do a little Googling, and learn about ETFs.  The SPY ETF is made up of the 500 best companies in America.  As of this writing the S&P 500 is at an all-time high, which means it will eventually have to come back down.  This is okay though, because we like it when the market drops.  If you use the Robinhood app you can make trades for free.  Another app that is pretty good is Acorns.  This app will round up your purchases to the next dollar, and then invest for you.  I’m not entirely sure about the fees or returns, so I still just like buying an ETF.

Increase your dimes

If you begin to pay yourself first, you will be wealthy in no time. Once you forget that you are living on 90% of what you make, you should start paying yourself more.  Take away another dime every time you get paid.  The less ‘dimes’ you’re able to live on now, the sooner you can retire.  In fact, if you can pay yourself $0.70 of every dollar you make you will be able to retire in 10 years!  Check out Mr. Money Mustache’s blog to see how he did just that. Take a look around and see what bills you can get rid of.  These will include credit cards, car loans, or mortgages.  Work on decreasing these so you can increase your dimes.  Then, take a look at bills that you can lower.  These might be phone, cable, or groceries.  If you really take the time to understand where your money goes, you will uncover extra dimes everywhere!
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Car Rental Gone Bad!!!

Posted By perspectives17

While out of town for training I decided to enjoy my own personal travel on the weekend and rented a car. The first car we chose was dirty so we selected another. Finally while loading the second car a representative told us about a car that had just become available and was technically considered an upgrade. We looked at each other and chose the third upgraded option. By this time being the third car we didn’t check anything, just jumped in. First Mistake! We drove around Cali all weekend before returning the car and reporting to work on Monday.
While still at training I received a call from the rental car center in Los Angeles that I had rented the car from. They didn’t leave a message and when I called back no one knew what the issue was as to why I had received a call. I thought maybe I had left something in the car. I checked with my coworker to see if maybe she had left something in the car. I figured it wasn’t anything that important because I hadn’t thought about it yet so I shrugged it off.
Well to my surprise I returned home to a bill in the mail from the car rental company saying that I had damaged their car and requesting my insurance information to cover the costs. The bill was for $428 which after I called and found out that when the balance is under $500 there is no dispute process, the representative makes the final decisions. how convenient… huh? So after speaking with a rep I discovered there was a dent on the car and they were making me responsible for it.
I DID NOT opt to get the insurance as my credit card includes insurance for rentals.
I DID NOT take pictures of the car when I dropped it off.
I DID NOT take pictures when I picked the car up or do an inspection
ALL IS NOT LOST!!
I had the personal knowledge that I had not had any accidents or any other incidents that would have damaged the car but how will I prove it. When I returned the rental car I merely waited for the official head not from the car rental representative and went about my travel. BAD DECISION! Now I had to decide what to do next, they were coming for my coins and I had to stop it. I spoke with several representatives to offered no solution or additional information for me. Again, there was no dispute process as the balance was under the $500 threshold. The letter had images but they had no date stamps, when were they taken????? QTNA
I went online and put my fingers to work. After conducting my own investigation I wrote a letter to them and I faxed it and mailed it to the information on the letter. I have included a copy below
SAMPLE LETTER
Claim # XXXXXX
I, __________ , rented a card from the ________ location on __________. I returned the car to the_______________ on ______________. I received a letter stating that I had damaged the vehicle from the damage recovery unit. I called customer service to inquire what the dispute process was. She not only did not explain to me what the dispute process was, I was informed there was none due to the balance being under $500. This was a one way rental, hence; I returned the rental to a different place than the location I picked it up at.
I am requesting time-stamped photos that were taken immediately before I drove the vehicle off the lot. I am requesting time-stamped photos that were taken immediately after I returned the vehicle.I am requesting a record of all rentals for that car between the time I returned it and the date of the damage claim letter which is ______.
I received pictures in the mail and they did not have any time stamps on them to show that they were taken before and/or after the time of my rental. This picture only proves that you documented the damage. This does not place the burden on me.
I have rented several cars with ______ and never had any issues. I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter as I would like to resolve this as soon as possible.
Make sure you request:
time-stamped photos that were taken immediately before I drove the vehicle off the lot. time-stamped photos that were taken immediately after I returned the vehicle.a record of all rentals between the time I returned it and the date of the damage claim letter
First I received another letter in the mail with the same undated pictures. I stuck to my guns and I refaxed the same letter and restated that the pictures has no date or time stamp on them. I later received a letter in the mail saying that they had dismissed the claim. I no longer owed anything and the claim was dismissed. So lesson for the day is always take a picture or video when you pick up and drop off your rental car. Also don’t just let anybody come for your coins…..
Just adding my two cents…. to the bank!!!!!
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Are you Checking????

Posted By perspectives17

Do you know your credit score? When is the last time you checked it?
If you are like me you check your account balance constantly. I check my account balance while walking in the bank to make a withdrawal or entering the grocery store to make a purchase. I want to make sure that I have enough to cover my transaction and know how much I will be able to work with. We all know how embarrassing it can be to be at the front of the line and your card is declined. We all have been there for whatever reason.
Credit scores are used for just about everything we do in this day and age. From job offers to insurance premiums, having a high credit score can make your life a lot easier and also help you keep your coins in your pocket. We all know I’m all about keeping your coins. Be sure to check your credit because everybody else will be checking it. You should to!
annual credit report website.The first step is getting a copy of your credit report which you can do at  www.annualcreditreport.com
You are entitled to one free copy a year from each credit bureau. Use it wisely. First step is to simply view your report to identify any inaccuracies. This is important to your credit so that only your accounts end up there. This can also affect your score. Inaccurate debt, as well as, information can negatively affect your score and which is absolutely not worth it. You already have to suffer for the mistakes you made don’t let someone else’s mistakes be a part of your credit history. Updating your information can be very helpful as a first step to letting your credit be all it can be.
There are many free apps that help you keep a good eye on your credit. The important thing to remember is that some apps your vantage score which is not the same as your FICO score. According to Wikipedia “VantageScore and FICO score are different credit scores. The FICO score is between 300 and 850. This score is mostly likely used when applying for credit or a mortgage. Each score maybe different depending on the credit bureau. The Vantage score is a credit scoring model used by many credit monitoring services such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. The Discover credit monitoring service does offer your FICO score and you do not need to be a cardholder. One thing is for sure they are
really good about notifying you whenever there is a change in your score or a new account added. Many banks also offer this service. Capital One 360 has a similar service offered to customers. Many credit card companies offer them as well. There are plenty of resources available to take the chore out of checking your credit.
At one point in my life I did not check my credit faithfully. I now consider it a part of grooming. Check your credit every time you get paid at least. Set reminders in your phone until it becomes a habit. Take care of your credit the same way you take care of your hair. Make sure that you also keep teach your children the fundamentals of credit to prepare them for the future. If you are not credit savvy yourself use it as a bonding exercise and learn together. One of the many things I did to teach my daughter about credit was to allow her to borrow money when her allowance ran out. I would assign her a due date and chare interest daily after the due date until her balance was paid in full.
I like this exercise because it taught her how expensive it was to borrow and how more expensive it becomes to delay repayment. This helped drill the concept of credit and interest in her head early on and provided me the opportunity to help with any bumps in the road. I don’t know about you but I would rather her experience credit woes with me as her lender before dealing with the big banks. Many children don’t want to listen to lectures. Interactive activities were more effective with my daughter and when she is bombarded with credit card offers in two years she will be well educated and know how to use them wisely.
Along with this method I enforced her to check her balance with me to make sure she was aware of how the interest was creeping up on her. While we would all love for our children to not have to borrow, credit is important and
Tell us some of the ways you remind yourself to check your credit.
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Are you teaching your child about personal finance?

Posted By perspectives17

Times likes this more than ever it’s important to teach our children financial literacy. Rent, interest rates (except in savings accounts), student loan balances, and taxes are at an all time high. Every thing is high these days. The question I ask myself is how do I prepare my child for financial adulthood. Responsibly running a household, preparing for financial emergencies, and being an educated consumer is not just second nature. Incorporating financial literacy principles and strategies in child rearing is important. Just another step to set your child up for success. We as parents have so much on our plate, I think this one is worth the extra load.
This site has some pretty cool ways to introduce personal finance to children.
In high school or elementary we don’t have a financial literacy class requirement. We learn complex algebraic equations but not how to do taxes or balance a bank account. Helping your child build good savings habits is imperative. Saving goes hand and hand with banking. Teach children about the difference between bank accounts and what their purposes are. Teach them how to manage a checking account and handle credit. My Pinterest board Teaching Children About Finance is a great resource.
My dad took me to the bank when I was an adolescent and opened a savings account for me. This was a great step towards building my financial future. The only problem is that I wasn’t taught how to use that bank account. He also didn’t take me with him to the bank when he made deposits. I was missing key concepts like what is an overdraft? What are the benefits/differences of a checking and savings account? Deposits and withdrawals? The list goes on and one of concepts I needed to know along with my account. I ended up losing the account when I turned 18 as they switched it to an adult account and deducted fees until funds were depleted. Moral of the story is don’t just open the account and feel like that’s enough.
For this reason I require my daughter to deposit her own money. She takes advantage of direct deposit from her summer job and is required to save 50% of all earnings (birthday gifts & allowance included). I started this when she was 13 and at 16 it’s automatic for her. I want to make sure my daughter learns to pay herself first. My current lesson is teaching her to not let disposable income burn a hole in her pocket. This also serves the purpose that she become familiar with checking and savings accounts. She makes her own purchases with her debit card. Many banks offer minor accounts that include a debit card. Having a debit card with a Visa/Mastercard logo will give your teen a sense of adulthood and help them become familiar with making transactions. The custodian of the account can still over see all transactions. I check sometimes to make sure she is making the transfers.
Echeck has info about great online accounts for children.
You also should check your credit union.
Another important lesson is credit and interest. Many children’s eyes are way bigger than their wallets similar to us adults. Allow them to borrow money from you for minor purchases. I usually give her a due date and interest is accrued daily if she pays back late. This practice helps them grasp an understanding of credit and how credit cards and loans work. Also the importance of compound interest which can be a double edged sword. Once they grasp the concept of gaining interest expand on how beneficial it is in generating wealth. Start this process early to help combat reaching 18 years old and being bombarded with credit card offers. If I had known then that swiping my life away would come back to haunt me.
They need to know that which each swipe their bill raises and paying the minimum balance will not only increase the amount of time it takes to pay it back. It will also increase the amount of money they have to pay back. This concept was lost to me and thus I destroyed my credit at an early age. I thought I had hit the jackpot. I remember thinking so I really get merchandise now and don’t have to pay. I don’t have to tell you all what happened next.
Expose children to the concepts of credit. Teach them why credit is so important. One great way to teach about credit is to create practical exercises. My daughter usually anticipates some upcoming money and begin to spend it before it gets in her hand. Not all the time but sometimes I use this as a teaching exercise for her. I give her a spending limit of half of whatever money she is expecting (remembering that she has to save half) and I teach her to use it responsibly. For example if she has $100 coming I will only allow her to borrow about $30. She originally fused and didn’t understand why I gave her $100 but only allowed her to use $30. That was my que to break down utilization rates and how they affect your credit score.
Now that she is older I make an effort to be somewhat transparent with my own credit cards balances. I show her things I do to keep my credit card balances low which also holds me accountable. I utilize more credit than I should sometimes and show her how I may cut back for a month or two while dedicating all that saved money to knock down balances. When I reach my goal we usually celebrate by going out for ice cream and paying cash of course. She also knows that I keep my credit cards at home and they don’t travel with me every where I go. I am showing her that I am only using my cards for emergency and new shoes doesn’t qualify.
Many times we look for accountability partners to help keep us on track with finances. If you have a teenager you already have one. This is a win-win, introducing them to credit and personal finance concepts while essentially perfecting how to build your coins.
Teaching them how to save and basic personal finance strategies will help them start out great. Upon adult hood that savings might help fund their first investment.
What are some ways to teach children about money that you have used?
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Budget Like A Boss!!

Posted By perspectives17

Having a budget might sound like basic skills or even cliche, but trust me, it’s not easy adulting. Yes, I said adulting….. Trust me .. a budget can make a hell of a difference. After creating The Savvy Budget Planner I feel like I have a list for everything. It has truly changed my life. Every vacation, back to school shopping, Christmas… etc. It even has a savings Planner to help keep track of savings goals. 
 
Now a list is great but lets stick to it for more than a week or a pay period.  Budgeting is a lifestyle change just like losing weight.  This is one reason I added a vacation budget, holiday budget, and spring cleaning budget. I put everything I need in daily life to make sure to always keep finances as a priority.
Don’t put it on your to do list, make it your way of life. How many times have you bought a gadget or some clothes that you barely ever used and you ended up giving it away. This is money wasted that could go towards debt repayment or help meet savings goals. Now if you’re debt free and have a hefty emergency fund while living your life like your golden then more props to you. Maybe use it to save for an upcoming trip or gift you really need and investing is always a great option.

For the rest of us trying to get our life right with money we have work to do. Yes, me included. Still reading?
Monthly bills and overhead are the first priority and yes, before you ask, we will need a list. We also have monthly obligations use the monthly budget to help organize your monthly bills. 

What costs are associated with maintaining your lifestyle? Out of those decipher wants from needs. I personally don’t bundle my utilities
I like to separate them in my budget as they fluctuate throughout the year.
Check out my Shop for the pdf fillable version of The Savvy Budget Planner.
Identify luxuries such as beauty, hair, entertainment. I personally began doing my daughter and I hair myself to help cut cost.
For the record YouTube is Bae and has helped me learn to
do so much. After doing them for a while, I realize it gives me time to reflect.
Finally identify your take home pay and declare your difference. The difference between your take home pay and monthly bills I like to call my W.I.G. money. Which means where did it go? The money you always look for when you run how of money before your next paycheck. 
This is the moment when you contemplate that purchase of gum on payday and what you could do if you had that money now. 
 
THIS SHOULD BE  YOUR CUSHION MONEY!!!!

You know what money I’m talking about. The money that’s in your bank account and then disappears into thin air. The money that you blink and have to review your charges, add them up to make sure of no bank error. Yassss…… that money!! This money sets the tone for how much you have the ability to save every month. Stop swiping like it’s no tomorrow and lets do this.
Having issues sticking to your budget. Set alarms in your phone reminding you of your budget for the week. Consistently review your expenses. Try the envelope method. Put it on your mirror in your bedroom. There is no one solution. Experiment to determine what works for you, remember this is a lifestyle so find something you can stick with.
If you don’t have enough after bills maybe consider a temporary second job. In my opinion you work a second job to reach a financial goal not to just make ends meet. This second job can help boost your emergency fund and pay off debt. There are some great ideas on my Side hustle board

. Trading your time and energy should be beneficial to you and help reach a long term or short term goal.

Now that you getting your life right with dollars make sure you pass some of that knowledge to your children. Break the cycle, even at a young age it is a good idea to introduce children to money matters. Let them get comfortable with budgets and savings plan. We all went through the phase of letting money burn a hole in our pocket. Let’s help children transition into saving and investing. If you need ideas check my Pinterest board called Teaching Children About Finance.
 
Make Personal Finance a Family Heirloom!!
 
Share some tips on how you stick to your budget …………..
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Reclaiming My Dime!

Posted By perspectives17

You want to save money but find it hard to stash any real cash. Everybody has bills, debt, etc and they can’t afford to do everything that want to do. That’s life!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive compensation if used.
Let’s talk about some of the biggest money oversights that could help you stash some major coinage. Making these mistakes can save you a ton of money. Let’s remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.
 

Coupons

Google can be your best friend. Simply before you purchase anything online be sure to do a google search for a promo or coupon code. There are plenty of websites to search for coupon/promo codes. Retailmenot and Groupon are two of my favs for coupons. My cousin saved $300 on a hotel stay in Florida this year doing this very same thing. Also don’t sleep on Groupon for events and other things you want to do in your area and when traveling. There is also an option to purchase Groupons as a gift.
 

Ebates

is a wonderful website that gives cash back on purchases when you use their links to shop. Why not get money back, if you’re already going to spend. On a computer, they have a plug-in that will make saving easier. This plugin will let you know while browsing if the site participates and lets you activate savings by the click of a button. The checks are mailed out quarterly or deposited directly to Paypal. Make it more of a habit. While it might not make you rich an extra $100 every three months might help knock down some debt.
 
 

Look!

I know this is old school but checking the sales paper is also very helpful. Stores like Walgreens and CVS usually have the sales paper at the front of the store. Even if you are going in for a couple of items give the sales paper a quick glance might help you discover the items you’re buying are on sale. I don’t know about you but if Sunkist is on sale and I was looking for Fanta I’m making the switch.. Every little bit counts.
 
 

Pay Attention

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Often times we get so wrapped up in the motions and routines that we don’t really pay attention. Make it a habit to go through your bank and credit card statements. Make sure you are not being charged for anything that you are not aware of . This also helps protect against identity theft by keeping up with charges in your account. Don’t wait for your card to be declined to find out about an unauthorized charge on your bill. This is also your opportunity to search for subscriptions you no longer use. if you haven’t used it in the last 6 months that’s an automatic cancellation. If it has only been 3 months maybe it’s time to reconsider if it is a want or necessity.

Make A List

Making a grocery list is a great way to save money and stay on budget. Many times when I don’t make a list I buy things that I already have at home or don’t really need. Making a grocery list forces me to check and see what I have on hand before I venture out to the grocery store.  This is why I created The Savvy Budget Planner it helps you stay on track. Planning helps control impulses.  Grocery list also help curb impulse shopping.
 
That’s why stores have all those beautiful handy gadgets by the register. I make this my daughters responsibility, she is in charge of doing inventory and making the shopping list. I used to check behind her but now she’s a pro. Not on the list then it’s not in the cart.
 

Take Your Time

When making a purchase shop around. Don’t just go with the first price you are given. Even with Amazon, different products are offered by different sellers. Take the time to shop around as long as there are plenty of good reviews. You got a winner!
 

Pack a lunch!

For my meal preppers you already know this struggle. Taking snacks with you when going to run errands can be a great way to save money. When you don’t have a snack available it will cause you to shop at fast food restaurants more frequently and break your budget. Just three stops a week can total up to at least $120/month. Now that sounds like a bill that can be paid.

Cook

I know the struggle is real and many times you get home and just don’t feel like cooking. If you have teenagers let them help. My daughter has to cook dinner on Wednesday and Saturdays. She also cooks enough so that leftovers can last for the day after sometimes. I know some don’t like left overs for them I would suggest getting really acquainted with the Crockpot. Cook dinner for the next day while you are sleep. Google Crockpot recipes there are some really good ones. This is also a great activity for teaching your children how to cook.

 

Stop Waiting!

Waiting until the last minute can be very costly. Many times planning can help you catch it on sale or spend less. Last minute is the same as less options. Either you are pressed for time or just don’t feel like shopping around at the last minute. Planning can save a lot of time and money in the long run. If an event is coming up that you need to shop for start watching out for those items you will end up saving a pretty penny.
 

Don’t Be Afraid to Thrift!

Shopping at the thrift store is a great bargain. My daughter is an avid reader. We get 99.9998% of her books second hand. She will read most of them only once and then they will sent on the bookshelf with the rest of her collection. She enjoys finding titles and runs to the book section every time we visit. Clothes can also be found at the thrift store, I can’t tell you how many times I have found items with brand new tags on them. Just because it is second hand don’t mean they are worn down. How many times have you donated clothes that you never touched and had it for years? I know I do it every year. It was beautiful on the rack but not so much when I got it home.

Credit

Credit is vital to our life in this day and age. Having a good credit score can save you a lot of money. We maintain our hair better than we maintain our credit. Car loans and insurance premiums both use your credit report to determine the chances of receiving payments in a timely fashion. The better your score the lower your payment. This is the difference in how much of your money will stay in your pocket and ultimately a big difference between the rich and poor.
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10 ways to stay active with your children on a budget!!

Posted By perspectives17

Summertime is here and school is out. Now what are you going to do? It’s hard to keep children active and keep your coins… Ok we are going to try to work that out today. We all got bills, goals, vacations, shoes (YOU NAME IT, RIGHT?) It can be hard at times to balance our goals with our responsibilities. I don’t want to adult anymore…… We’ll touch on some tips and activities that can help keep children active and stay on budget during the summer.

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