How to Create a Monthly Budget

4 Basic Tips to Create Your Budget

The other day a friend of mine told me that it was hard to save money. They are living paycheck to paycheck and half of their paycheck is spent before they even get it. They have gotten themselves into so much debt and are so overwhelmed they don’t even know where to begin. When I asked if they had set up a monthly budget, the answer I received was that we try to set up a budget, but usually fail and add more to our credit cards because we run out of money.

Creating a budget can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you don’t know where to start. If you don’t tell your money what to do, then at the end of the month you won’t know where your money went. By creating a budget, you give yourself control over your money and where it goes. When sitting down to create your budget, there are four simple things to remember:

4 Ways to Stay on a Budget This Valentine’s Day

If you are anything like me, you like to spoil your spouse during the holidays. But I have to honestly admit, I am absolutely terrible about planning ahead for Valentine’s Day. This year, I am hoping to turn a new leaf and have everything taken care of and planned out so it doesn’t cost me a fortune. During my preparations, here are a few things that I have found that may help you to stay on budget this coming Valentine’s Day:

  1. Order Your Flowers Now!
    If you order your flowers now, you get them at today’s pricing. But if you wait until the week leading up to Valentine’s Day or even on Valentine’s Day, you may find that the cost is nearly doubled or tripled the price, or there isn’t anything left to buy. Visit your nearest flower shop and get your flowers ordered now and save money as well as guarantee having them ready for pickup on Valentine’s Day.
  2. Plan to Eat in This Year
    Start to polish up on your culinary abilities. Ask your spouse what their preference for a meal would be and make it a couple of times prior to the big day. Make a list of everything you need to prepare it and purchase items in advance to ensure you have the ingredients.
  3. DIY Gifts Can Be a Great Idea
    Plan to make something for your spouse. Check out their Pinterest Boards to look at some of the projects that they have been wanting to ask you to make, or maybe finish a project that you had started but have yet to finish.  When you make something for your spouse it shows how much time and effort you put into making them the gift.
  4. Look for Special Deals on Gifts and Gift Cards
    Sometimes you can find some great sales when you plan ahead on items you may want to buy your spouse. You may find that drill that he has been wanting at Lowe’s, or a piece of jewelry she has been eyeing for some time. If you don’t plan ahead on what you want to get them, you may just miss the sale that saves you money. Don’t forget to look at gift cards too. If you have a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club, you may be able to find a great deal on movie tickets or a show. Talk with close friends that may want to go in on it with you and plan a double date around that activity.

Hopefully you will find a way to spoil your spouse by taking a little extra time now to plan so you don’t break the bank later and pay for it for months to come. Remember, don’t swipe the card if you don’t have the cash.

 

5 Cost-Effective Alternatives to Satellite or Cable

When April and I moved into our new house, we had made a decision to cut some costs to save money. One of those savings came from paying for Cable TV. We found that we could get most of the content we wanted to watch from our subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix.

If you are like us, trying to save money or eliminate debt, you may find that it is time to cancel your cable or satellite contracts. Chances are you already have memberships with Netflix and Hulu. I have five alternatives that you look at as a replacement to your current binge-watching needs.