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Tag Archives: budget

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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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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4 Expensive Habits I’ve Given Up to Save Money

expensive habits

Shortly after I finished college and entered the “real world,” I started a good job in my hometown which required a more professional wardrobe. I also bought my first house and furniture only months after graduation due to a rental housing shortage in the town where I live. I was only 21, and all of a sudden I had debt – a lot of debt. It didn’t take too many sleepless nights for me to realize I needed a budget. This is when I found personal finance blogs. During the process of creating my first budget just a couple of months later, I eliminated some habits that were costing me money but weren’t really necessary. Although I still have a pretty nice lifestyle, I gave up some expensive habits so I could pay off debt and save money. Here are 4 expensive habits I gave up to save money. I hope it will inspire you to look for similar ways to cut unnecessary spending from your own budget. 1 Clothes Shopping When I was a poor college student I couldn’t really afford to go clothes shopping unless it was an absolute necessity. But that didn’t always stop me. I did ...

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What to do if You Overspend Your Budget

overspend your budget

When April started off, I had a good feeling about it. You see, March was expensive for me. I had a lot of extra business expenses, like investing in a new Macbook Pro, and expanding my team so I don’t have to work as much. But I also increased my income significantly. After that expensive month, my plan was to buckle down in April and pay off one of my credit cards in full by the end of the month, but now I’m not so sure that it’ll happen because I’ve definitely overspent my budget this month. Going over budget is something that happens to all of us from time to time. While going over budget isn’t good, at least you are looking for solutions to get back on track. Here are some things I’m doing now that I know I’m already over budget this month, and they are strategies you can use too if and when you overspend your budget. Evaluate Your Current Budget Take a deep breath and remain calm. Look at your budget to figure out exactly which categories you overspent in and why. For example, did you over spend on your entertainment budget? Maybe you are too ...

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