Thursday, January 9, 2014

Keeping a Budget

I recently read a blog post by a girl studying in the midst of college who offered a list of ways she has learned to save/manage money by keeping a budget and I wanted to write a post myself on ways I too have learned how to save and spend money wisely.

The following helpful ideas, if implemented, will prove to be beneficial!

  • Pay all bills first.
  • Pay tithe consistently.
  • Put money in savings from every check, even if only a small amount.  This will be very helpful if you ever fall on difficult times financially.  It has been advantageous to have money in savings during the last few months my step dad has been out of work.
  • Limit the amount of dessert, coffee, and tea you buy each week.
  • Lessen your times of going to fast food restaurants, cafes, or restaurants and instead make meals at home.  has a number of great recipes you might enjoy and offers a search engine where you can look up meals by listing the type of cuisine you are searching for.  You can also look up "Main Ingredient", "Course", "Special Diet" and "Category" to find meal suggestions!
  • If you travel occasionally or somewhat often to visit friends or family and are having trouble affording gas money, try to work it out where you drive to them half the time and they drive to you the other half.  Taking the bus or train and buying a monthly pass for either might be a good option.
  • If you don't already have a credit card, DON'T GET ONE.  I remember my mom teaching my sister and I during our adolescence to not get a credit card because money isn't free and not only will you have to pay it back, you will also have to pay it back with interest!
  • Don't spend money you do not have.  It is always nice to view your checkbook or bank statement and realize that having said "No" or "Wait" to that pair of shoes, jewelry, handbag, clothing item, new CD, DVD, or computer program (and the list goes on) that you so thought you needed when in reality it was merely a want, you now have some extra money to put away in savings.
  • Do not rush into buying anything that may only last for a season.  For example, I like to purchase clothing items that I know will be in season at any time of the year, any year, instead of purchasing what will only be in style for the new few weeks or so.  Clothing items such as:  Pretty scarves, light trench coats, feminine sweaters, boots, flats, coats or summer jackets, etc.
  • Be future-minded.  Plan ahead.  Before you buy anything that might not exactly be a necessity, ask yourself, "Will I choose to buy this when I can't really afford it anyway or should I wait until I can afford it or it goes on sale?  Six months down the line, will I wish I could go back and have saved this money for something that I now really need but can't afford because I spent my money quite frivolously before...?"

Please keep in mind that unexpected bills or expenses happen...and are usually unexpected.  So having extra money in savings in case of such an event is actually very wise.  You might have car trouble and need repairs.  Dental and doctor bills, appliance repairs, or the need for new shoes, clothing, or purchasing a birthday or wedding gift can also bring unexpected expenses.

What ideas do you have to save and spend money wisely?  Do share!
~*  Just a reminder...I am having a giveaway for the month of January that you may sign up for until the 17th and I will announce the winner the following day.  Read "giveaways" label at top of page for more info!


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