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How to Lower Your Summer Budget

How to Lower Your Summer Budget

Once the sun starts shining and temperatures warm up, a lot of people start getting the summer itch. The pull to do outdoor activities can be nearly irresistible. But in addition to all of the fun in the sun, summer sometimes means budget increases for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there are solutions that can help you to lower your summer budget. Put a Cap on Camps If you have kids who have traditionally attended a camp or two during the warmer months you may already know that some of them come with hefty price tags attached. One way to alleviate summer budgeting woes, therefore, is to reduce the number of camps you are shelling out money for. Maybe a day camp would be a refreshing change for your child as well as a money saver for you.  Other money saving options includes scholarships and early bird rates so consider these ideas as well. When I was in high school, I begged to go to a summer camp, so I offered to pay half if my parents paid half too. This could be a good way for older children to take their camps more seriously if they have to help ...

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6 Things to Include in Your Holiday Party Budget

holiday party

Just about everybody loves a good party. If you are planning one for either Christmas or New Year’s this year, you might be wondering what things to include in your holiday party budget that will make your party a smash hit! Taking time to make a plan, and a budget, for your holiday party will ensure you don’t go over board with spending during the expensive holiday season. Plus, it’ll help you avoid forgetting things that you’ll have to run and grab at the last minute. It’s a win-win! Here are 6 things you should include in your holiday party budget. 1 Food It isn’t a party if you don’t have great food. Make sure you plan your menu ahead of time and don’t wait until the last minute to do your grocery shopping. I was once forced to change my holiday menu because the only grocery store in my small town was out of a critical ingredient I needed for one of the food items I had been planning. If some of the ingredients you need are canned or boxed you might be able to pick them up a couple of weeks early when they are on sale and ...

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Why a Budget is Not the Same as a Financial Plan

A Budget is Not the Same as a Financial Plan

The terms “budget” and “financial plan” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, in my mind, there are differences between the two. I have a budget for each month, along with an over-arching financial plan. To me, a budget is more of a short-term spending plan and a financial plan is long-term with multiple goals and steps along the way. Here are some of the differences between a budget and a financial plan. Budget First, let’s talk about what makes up a budget. A budget is a listing of your expenses and financial obligations and is a guideline for your spending. It may contain categories, like housing, utilities, groceries, etc. In addition it is usually for a specific time period, such as a monthly budget or a weekly budget. Generally your expenses are broken down into a budget and then totaled so they can be compared to your income for the same period of time. In this way, income and expenses can be compared so adjustments can be made to help you achieve balance in your personal finances. Financial Plan Now let’s examine what a financial plan is. A financial plan helps you to evaluate your financial state using your budget as ...

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How The 50/20/30 Rule Can Help You Budget Your Money

How to balance your budget

There’s one thing that many people have in common, regardless of age. That’s that, many of us want to learn to better budget our money. One of the big problems with this process is the amount of work that’s involved. I’ve seen some budget spreadsheet templates that have more than 20 fields for categorizing purchases. Let’s face it, categorizing each and every product is highly unrealistic, and can be discouraging. Nonetheless, there’s good news. Not all budgeting systems are quite so hard to follow through with. In fact, I recently came across the 50/20/30 rule, and it has made budgeting much easier for me. I believe that it can do the same for you. Here’s how it all works: The Basic Concept Behind The Rule The basic concept behind this rule is that for most, budgets can be simplified with 3 broad categories. In doing so, managing your money takes much less time. With the 50/20/30 rule, each number represents a percentage of your income to be used for each one of the three categories. Category 1: Base Expenses The first category is also the largest. Base expenses mean expenses with fixed costs. For example, your mortgage payment, car payment, ...

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Cutting Out Bad Spending Habits

the budget breakdow

Today we have a guest post for you from Timothy Carter. Enjoy!   As we all know, bad spending habits are easy to fall victim to. We go into the grocery store for a few small items and $200 later we come out with a grocery cart full of stuff! Unfortunately having little self control over our spending can be harmful to our finances, especially in the long run. Once we are able to take control of our spending habits and establish a budget, we will see that we have big potential for a bright financial future. Record In order to cut out unnecessary spending we need to find out where and what our money is being spent on. Start by recording all of your expenses. There are a few ways you can do this: keep all of your receipts, view your bank account transaction history, or physically write down each item you purchase. I prefer to write everything down as I feel it keeps me more involved and I am able to categorize my expenses. Record every purchase you make, each day for a month in a small notebook. Since the goal here is to track your spending down to the penny, we need to ...

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