How to Solve Budgeting Issues

There are many problems that can occur when trying to save money. One of the biggest problems that people run into is problems with making and sticking to a budget. I know that I can personally attest to that. However, I have picked up some helpful tips on this very subject. I’m learned these tips from my parents, from my friends, and simply from useful internet sites. For this reason, I am going to be writing about some of the pitfalls of budgeting and how to overcome them.

The first problem that people have with budgeting that I would like to help you solve is having unrealistic expectations. This is probably the most common mistake when trying to make a budget. Basically what happens is that most people get these ideas in their heads that they’re going to save a big amount of money per week/month/year etc. While it’s a great notion to want to save a big amount of money, most people have a hard time actually sticking to it. A good of example of this actually comes from my personal life. I have a friend who’s a little older than me, and she went to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Additional she chose to live in the dorms and not commute. When she graduated a couple years back, she realized that she needed to make a budget so she could put aside money to pay off her student loans. Because she wanted to pay off her loans quickly, she decided to save a fairly good amount of money in comparison to her income. Due to this, she had a hard time sticking to her budget and would often times break it. Naturally, she had to reevaluate her budget and since then has made one that she can stick to. Some ways to make a realistic budget includes calculating your expenses, determining your income, setting savings and debt payoff goals, and recording spending and tracking progress.

Another pitfall of budgeting is buying on impulse. I am for sure a victim of impulse buying, especially when I’m shopping for food. Some impulse buying may seem harmless. For example, one study shows that buying a pack of gum when you go to the grocery store twice a week will lead to an expense of about $100/year. While buying a pack of gum seems harmless, it definitely adds up. One way to avoid this is by writing down your purchases. By physically being able to look at your purchases, one can decide what they can and cannot afford. Another way to avoid impulse buying is buying in bulk. An advantage of buying in bulk is that most of the time, it’s on sale for almost a third of the original price. Buying in bulk also helps in making fewer trips to the store so there will be less temptation to impulse buy. Other ways of avoiding impulse buying include paying with cash, following a mandatory waiting period, and making a list of things you really want or need.

How to Learn Couponing

I have many savings tools in my frugal tool box, and couponing happens to be one of them. Couponing can be a hard work working tool in your frugal tool box. Using grocery coupons can be a great budget stretcher. Would you like to adventure off into the world of grocery couponing where consumers like yourself save a lot of money?

Couponing can be a lot of fun too whether you are doing it with someone or you are going solo. What an experience it is when you are at the register listening to every beep bringing down your total as your coupons are applied reducing the retail price of your goods. All of your time, effort, and hard work is paying off as they play your favorite beep song in subtraction mode.

Equipped only with the fundamentals you too can realize a great deal of savings. Couponing in the beginning is a lot of work, because your couponing skill is new and has not yet become habit. Learning couponing can pay off big however if you stay the course. For example, think about when you were learning to walk. It wasn’t easy but you stayed with it. How about when you learned how to cook, the amount of work it was in the beginning. But after you mastered the basics, you could almost cook in your sleep.

So you want to know how to get started grocery couponing? Couponing like any skill requires knowledge. Grocery couponing can be frustrating, and almost impossible if you don’t equip yourself with the fundamentals first. Well the first step is to commit to the necessary work that will be required in learning how to grocery coupon.

No one whether they be extreme couponers or not, was born knowing. They paid a price to know what they know. Too many people think you shouldn’t have to work at learning how to grocery coupon. They think perhaps that this is a skill that should come natural. Well if you clip out a grocery coupon now and then and that’s the beginning and ending of you grocery couponing, then I guess that would come natural.

However, if you want to do some stretch your budget kind of couponing, you will need to acquire some knowledge to do that. You will need to know more than just how to operate a pair of scissors. After you have the basis under you belt, then is up to you how far you want to take this new skill. Just like with cooking or any other skill there is always something new with couponing. The more you learn the more you save. You decide how much you want to coupon. It’s different for everyone.

In my book any savings is a plus. There is no one size fits all. You can also learn at you own pace as long as you continue the course. There is absolutely no need to jump in head first. You can enter the water gently. If you decide to venture off into grocery couponing you too might discover how useful this hard working frugal tool can be. Give it a try. You might discover a new budget stretching hard working tool that plays your favorite beep song. Just do what you can do. Enjoy the music. It’s an awesome song.

Turning Your Cash Flow From Negative to Positive

First and foremost, cut your expenses.

Here are a few ideas on managing your expenses to help you achieve your financial goals:

Take a look at your budget’s top 10 or so monthly expenses, there are almost always at least one or two items that you could do without, that you’ll end up with more cash at the end of each month.

Now is the time to ditch those bad habits of yours.

If you smoke, that will be the number one habit to kick. First- and second-hand smoking cause harm to both the one who smokes, and the people around him/her. Not to mention to raising tax on smoking habits.

Create a budget and stick to it. A budget helps you compare your monthly income and expenses, and determining needs versus wants.

Live Within Your Means. This is a no brainer. If you spend everything you earn at the end of each month, you’ll have nothing left to invest.

Keep a budget and plan for your finance. Be frugal. Buy only what you can afford and need. Don’t dress to impress your enemies.

Increase deductibles on your auto, homeowners and other insurance policies, which can help lower premiums

Pay off your mortgage as fast as you can, especially if you’re paying mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance protects the mortgage lender, not you or your family.

Pay off your bad debts

Employ these strategies to increase your income.

Sell extra stuff you have sitting around in your house. Things that you have no use of anymore. Sell them on Craigslist or have a garage sale.

Rent out your spare room. Millions of home owners worldwide are now renting out rooms or floors of their current homes for short periods of time on sites like Airbnb.

Rent out your car. Sites like Uber and Turo allow you to rent out the extra seats in your car – or the whole vehicle, if you’re not too faint of heart!

Use your skills and time. Got extra time still after selling your stuff? Leverage your earning power during your off-time, evenings and weekends with your professional skills or personal hobbies to bring in some extra cash. If you love doing crafts, you can sell creative items on Etsy.

You can sell fruits from your tree at local farmer’s market. In Hawaii, many houses have fruits trees in the yards. Do you have a special recipe that everyone enjoys? Sell that at local farmer’s markets.

You can also earn extra money with cooking, house cleaning, babysitting or dog walking. The opportunity is limitless. You can list your services on sites like TaskRabbit. You can also sign up for Mechanical Turks at Amazon, where you can complete tiny miscellaneous task for a fee.

Starting a second career or a part-time opportunity to earn additional income.

Adjusting your W-2 allowances if you are expecting a tax refund, but consult with your tax advisor before making this change.

Cool Ideas for Saving Money in September

Even as summer wraps up and fall begins, you can still get hot deals during the month of September. September sits between summer and the cooler month of Oct. leading up to the holidays. These first few months of Fall brings abundant opportunities to save money. Don’t waste your chance to save. Here’s your September shopping guide.

Labor Day Sales

Many retail businesses price items to sell over the long holiday weekend. Look for sales on clothing, mattresses and appliances. It’s also a perfect time to purchase an HD TV.

End-Of-Summer Clearance

Many retailers will put their warm weather items on sale. Anything from grills, lawn mowers, plants, patio furniture and yard tools. So stock up on the summer items you need now at rock bottom prices.

Vehicles

September is the perfect time to buy a new vehicle. Most new models hit the market while older models become available with considerable discounts. Car dealerships will also be trying to obtain their third quarter goals. Buyers can use this to their advantage and negotiate a little harder towards the end of the month. Whether you are buying a new or used car credit union have loan choices to fit your budget. Most credit unions will go beyond low rates and offer Guaranteed Auto Protection and Mechanical Breakdown Protection.

Food

It’s a perfect time to visit your local farmers market. Did you know that in many areas September is the last month farmers can sell fresh produce so they cut their prices as much as possible?

New iPhone

It is predicted that the iPhone 7s will be released in September. This means lower prices on older models, like the iPhone 6. You can find many pre-owned iPhones for sale when Apple users decide to upgrade their current phone. This is an ideal time to get a new mobile phone.

Jewelry

Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the most popular months for jewelry retailers. That’s why the Fall is the best time to purchase jewelry from last season with a decent discount.

Air Conditioning

In many areas of the country you can turn off your air conditioner and open those windows. If you are like me, I prefer fresh air. And, in September the outside air is not yet cold so you can save on your electricity bill.

Travel

September is a perfect time to travel. Anytime between Labor Day and the holiday season is less crowded and there are numerous discounts and travel packages. After the children go back to school the hotels are less crowded and cruises are cheaper right up until Thanksgiving. September is known as hurricane season in the Caribbean, but there are many areas that rarely get storms. Do a little research and check out the discounted packages at the all-inclusive resorts.

Free Coffee

And, I think I saved the best for last. September 29th is National Coffee Day and that means a free cup of coffee and coupons. You can check the Internet for a list of your favorite retailers that will be offering free cups of java!

Enjoy the remaining dog days of summer and be sure to take advantage of those September deals.