Budget Tips and Tricks

The store catalogs, magazines, and Instagram feeds have us believe it isn’t a proper holiday without gifts spilling away from under the tree in all directions. But have you heard about the 3 gift Christmas rule?  For about ten years now, this idea has been popular with online bloggers. Your kids only get three gifts chosen from three different categories.

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Benjamin Franklin once said: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  This is true in life, and especially when spending money. Did you know most people spend almost $950 on gifts, entertaining, and travel each Christmas season?  If you fail to plan your Christmas budget, then you plan to fail at it as well. The key is that

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Think about January – are you stressed because you went overboard for Christmas?  You may now be surrounded by Christmas credit card bills, and feeling flat out defeated.  Are you ready to have a debt free Christmas this year?   How to Have a Debt-Free Christmas: For years, I would have a Christmas hangover in January.  Do you know that

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So… you want to start a grocery budget but have no idea where to even start.  I was there just 6 short years ago when we were in a large amount of debt, so I completely understand how you are feeling.  You know you need to – and want to –  use your available money to pay down your debt,

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It’s not something most of us like to think about as far as making end of life plans. This year seemed to bring to the forefront the idea of, “What would happen if. . . “  So what would happen if something happened and you weren’t able to care for your children, pets, home, adult dependants? You need to have

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When I first started learning how to coupon and meal plan, my eyes were opened to all of the wasteful spending I was doing, and not even realizing it!  There are so many ways to overspend and break your grocery budget, but by making some simple changes you can really see significant savings!  I wanted to go through and talk

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One of the top ways to stay out of debt and learn how to budget is to learn how to save money strategically through Family Savings Goals. If you are a busy mom like me, you may have great intentions to save money but it slips your mind by the time you get around to it. Getting to the bank

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I get a lot of questions about how to use cash envelopes, so I thought I would share my experience with having a cash envelope system wallet. Having a cash envelope walletcan make all the difference when you’re using cash envelopes and learning how to budget. It’s a great way to manage your finances because you get more control over

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Managing your money is more important than ever when you are going through financial difficulty. If you have an emergency fund, you can rely on that to help make ends meet for a short time, but you can make that money last longer using money saving apps to put a little money back in your pocket. But less than 70%

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What’s are Best Budgeting Apps for Your Personal Finances?A budget is a powerful tool in your financial toolbox. With so many budgeting apps to choose from, how do you know which is best? Learning how to budget and actually making that budget always makes me feel empowered. It reminds me that I can take charge of my money and create

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In a perfect world, you’d have enough money to cover your bills and have plenty of cash in your emergency fund. What if a crisis happens? Today I am going to talk about How to budget during a crisis in 7 easy steps. But life isn’t perfect. Sometimes a crisis hits, and money gets tight. You might lose your job,

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As you know, I’m a big fan of budgeting! Cash envelopes are one of the best ways to learn how to budget and keep your spending on track. If you’ve never used them before, cash envelopes can help you save money and get control of your finances. Cash envelopes can simplify how you budget your money and help you learn

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I’m a sucker for new (and easy!) ways to earn extra cash. One of my favorite ways is with apps that let you upload receipts to make money. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about the Fetch Rewards app! Several apps allow you to make money by scanning receipts. Most of them require you to shop at a specific

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What do you do when you run out of money? With all of the Life Hacks articles out there, here’s one for when you really need help and are out of money. These might not be fun, but being broke is less fun. You can start changing your financial situation right now! Let’s assume that you get paid bi-weekly on

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You may be wondering how to stick to financial new year’s resolutions this year. The new year is a popular time to make resolutions about all the things you’ll do better next year. Financial goals are common, such as getting out of debt, building your emergency fund, or starting a side hustle.   The trouble is sticking to your plan.

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Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The season is full of joy, gratitude, and quality time with family. Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without presents. How do you pay for all those gifts? You may be wondering how to budget for Christmas this year. It’s easy for me to overspend since I often get carried away

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Shopping with a pre determined budget and from a well thought out shopping plan is the best way to stretch your holiday shopping dollar. But how do you create a Black Friday budget, or a shopping plan for that matter? Black Friday Shopping can break the bank if you aren’t careful. There are so many great deals, so how do you

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Christmas Day is upon us – are you ready? Did you set a Christmas budget and have you been able to stay within your Christmas budget? According to the 2018 TD Bank Merry Money Holiday Spending Survey, 66% of those surveyed said they create a holiday budget and 76% reported that they stuck to their budget. The problem for many,

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In my online course The Financial Renovation I teach my students to use cash when learning how to budget. In the past year I’ve been trying out different prepaid debit cards as an alternative to using cash envelopes, and I am considering switching to using a Prepaid Debit card instead of cash. You may be wondering How to Budget your Life

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This may surprise some of you, but I have a love/hate relationship with budgeting. And it’s been mostly hate over the past few years. I recognize how important it is, and when I’m going strong, it can almost be enjoyable. But if you fall off the wagon – gosh, it is HARD to climb back on. And prior to 2008, Lauren and I NEVER EVER EVER budgeted. So although I like numbers and spreadsheets, budgeting doesn’t come naturally to me at all. I have to work at it.

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Are you looking for the best budget spreadsheet? Budgeting is what saved my finances and what got me out of debt. And while learning how to budget generally isn’t fun, I’ve got an awesome way to make it a lot easier. I’ve got the BEST budget spreadsheet for you. Even if you suck at spreadsheets – just give this a

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Subscription services are everywhere these days. You can find a subscription service for just about anything you want. Some of them can be really convenient and helpful, but some of these subscriptions are pretty useless… especially if you forgot you were paying for them. The creators of ‘Ask Trim‘ ran into this problem in their own finances and decided to do something abut

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This post is sponsored by H&R Block. All opinions are my own. It is April and you still haven’t filed your tax return yet. Are you stressed? You don’t have to be because there are options. In my previous post I shared the differences between H&R Block online vs. Turbo Tax, which resulted in my recommendation of H&R Block. If

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This blog post is part of a series sponsored by H&R Block. All opinions are 100% my own. Are you wondering which company to use to file your taxes online? The two most popular online tax preparation websites are H&R Block Online and TurboTax. In this post I am going to talk about H&R Block Online vs. TurboTax and which one I

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Tax Seasons is in full swing. How do you plan on filing this year? Are you going with a tax professional or do you prefer to file online from the comfort of your home? What you need to take notice of this year is the new tax reform changes that are in affect for 2019. This year I’ve teamed up

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Tax season is here! Are you worried or stressed by doing your taxes? I have some great news. I’ve teamed up with H&R Block to show you how to easily file your taxes without any stress this year! As a busy mom of 4 kids, it can be overwhelming to keep myself sane during tax season. I thought many of

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When I became the sole breadwinner of my home, I started shopping around for health insurance products. Because of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”), I knew that I had to make a decision, but I needed something affordable that could fit within our budget. Nothing seemed to fit just right, but in my search, I ran across something totally

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Setting and achieving goals for ourselves is important. I would even say it’s vital… especially when it comes to money. It is possible to get things you want without going into debt, and SmartyPig is proof of that. Let me share with you this SmartyPig Review, in hopes you realize just how amazing it is! SmartyPig is a type of ‘micro savings’ program that helps you

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Have you ever made a financial decision that you immediately regretted? I’ve made SO many of those, as I document in my book The Recovering Spender. I’ve learned a lot about bad financial mistakes over the years, the good and the bad.  As we go through life and realize that we have little control over the things happening around us,

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It’s no secret that college tuition costs have risen pretty drastically over the years. If you want to help finance your children’s college career, it’s never too early to start, and it’s never too late either. Some parents are still on the fence on whether to help pay for their children’s college at all. That is a good discussion to have.

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Banks without physical branches are on the rise. This might make some of you a little uncomfortable, but it actually makes complete sense for many Americans. Because there are no brick-and-mortar locations to acquire, staff, and manage; online banks like Chime Bank Review can pass along those savings to you by offering some pretty impressive rewards. “What if I ever need to physically go to

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Many people have been trying to answer the question of How to Budget when you don’t make enough money. It’s a difficult place to be in for sure. But just because you don’t make enough money to cover your expenses right now doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands in defeat. you can get through this! Here’s how to budget

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A new year is always a good time to reevaluate your budget. Are you spending too much? Are you saving too little? Do you have a vacation planned in the new year that needs a savings plan? Whatever your reason is, if you are looking for some ways to cut expenses this year, I’ve got 20! You could still be

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I gotta be honest. Writing this article wasn’t very fun. Getting your spouse on board with finances can be excruciatingly difficult. I get lots of emails daily, and some of the most powerless and helpless-feeling readers who reach out to me are those who feel stuck because of their spouse’s reluctance to come together with money. Why? Because money and relationships

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If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why am I broke all the time?” or “Why do I feel broke?” or “How come I never have money?” Sometimes it’s perception, and sometimes it’s reality. But in any case, we all know that our culture lies to us daily. We’ve gotten used to it. Just watch any advertisement. “Take this pill, you’ll lose

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This may surprise some of you, but I have a love/hate relationship with budgeting.  I find myself asking the question, why is a budget necessary? It’s been mostly hate over the past few years.  I recognize how important it is, and when I’m going strong, it can almost be enjoyable.  But if you fall off the wagon – gosh, it

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What’s worse than getting dinged $35 multiple times for overdraft fees? Not much. Believe me, I’ve been there. Here’s how to NEVER pay these pesky fees again!

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One of the hardest things for many of us is coming up with a practical budget that is not overly complicated. Learning how to budget your bills is a very important first step. The theory is simple enough – “Don’t spend more than you make”, but the execution take a little more work.  A commonly asked question I get is –

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We’ve all been there, probably more than once. I know I had to learn how to handle money when my budget was running out in the school of hard-knocks. But, when your money is running out, it’s easy to react emotionally. Some people freeze and do nothing, others by ignoring the issue, others by spending more as their form of therapy. My goal

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Mark and I eat at home on a regular basis using my ALDI MEAL PLANS. Not only does it save money, but it’s typically healthier, too. I usually do my meal planning and grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon and come home with some pretty amazing grocery bargains which keep us from eating out most weeks. But sometimes, it’s nice to eat out.

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Tax season is here which means that you may get an Income Tax Refund! If you’re one of the 100.3 million Americans that received a tax refund in 2015, you probably expect to get that extra bit this year as well. This is exciting! Who doesn’t love extra cash? The average tax refund in 2015 was a little over $3,000, with

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Whether you’re in debt or not, learning how to budget money is essential for your future. You don’t have to sacrifice your life to do it either! You might need to adjust your value system a little bit and learn what tools will work for you. But trust me, it will be worth it. You will be happier, feel more

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One of the main objections to budgeting is that it “complicates” financial management.  What about Financial simplicity? But budgeting solves plenty of problems – primarily overspending. There are many financial solutions to financial problems that at first sound complicated – but when you dig deeper you can find ways to implement them with simplicity. Albert Einstein once said: Everything should

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Figuring out how to budget is hard enough on it’s own when you have a set paycheck that doesn’t generally change. But what about how to budget on an irregular income? That’s when things get a bit trickier. And that’s when people often stop trying. I’ve had SO MANY emails from readers suggesting that there’s no point in budgeting if

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Learning how to save money for Christmas can be an exhausting task, that is why I created my 30 days to a debt free Christmas challenge. For years and years, I was stressed out over how to afford Christmas for my kids and my family. It began to steal my joy around the holidays, and it became harder and harder

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A couple months ago I posted a Facebook Live video where I talked about a new way we are saving money on our cell phone bill through Republic Wireless.  I’ve been using Republic Wireless almost exclusively for two months now. So I thought it would be a great time to share my detailed Republic Wireless review. And while I’ve been

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If you’ve been asking, “How do I budget my money?” You’ve come to the right place. If budgeting has been intimidating, overwhelming, or seemed impossible for you, I assure you; you can do it! If you’ve tried and failed, it’s OK. This time can be different! If you’re wondering where to start or how to keep going, I’ve got you covered. Budgeting is

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Wondering how to start a cash budget? And why you might want to do so in the first place? You’ve come to the right place. But first, do not confuse a Cash Budget with living paycheck-to-paycheck.  They are NOT the same thing. They’re actually kind of opposites. If you are familiar with budgeting at all, a Cash Budget takes your budgeting to

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Discussions about life insurance can be tricky… maybe that’s why so many Americans put it off. You may have asked yourself or your spouse, “how much life insurance do I need?” And then never really looked into it long enough to determine a real and researched answer. As a result, as a nation we are woefully underinsured. In fact, although

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Living paycheck to paycheck sucks. I think all of us have been there at one time or another. You know the feeling – the money from tomorrow’s paycheck (and then some) is already spent before you even have it. Many of us are stuck there, and can’t seem to get out. Here’s how to stop the cycle of living paycheck

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This is Day 17 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s big challenge – How to Tell Family Members to Stop Buying without being a scrooge! Chances are that if you are trying to make some major

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I remember the first Christmas where we weren’t stressed over money. It was a strange feeling, mostly because for the five years prior we had charged Christmas on credit cards and gotten into more consumer debt.  If you can relate to this at all – Christmas Debt Relief is here! That memorable year, we decided to start giving our kids only three

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Todays post is all about those hidden holiday costs that sneak up on you and threaten to blow your Christmas Budget. This is Day 3 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Make sure that you join our Facebook Group to get the daily challenges. Setting your Christmas budget is super important early in November, so here is

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  I receive reader question daily and this is a fabulous question that I received last week: “How do I shop online when I am on a cash budget?“. Well to start off with, for years I did not shop online at all – when we were at our hardest time financially I had to say no to most online

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Overwhelmed. Stressed out. That seems to be the mantra of family finances in this day and age. Does it seem like literally everyone and everything is vying for a piece of your hard-earned money? And then, once you decide to get your financial house in order, it’s not like the stress goes away. It’s still there, but now there are additional pressures.

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Wouldn’t it be great to know where every penny of your money is going all the time? We all want to have control over our finances. We all want to eliminate debt, to save more, to make a little extra cash… To be in more control. This type of control is a good thing because it involves your Financial Situation, Financial Health,

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I have a secret to share with you… I’m not naturally a thrifty gal. I have to try to be this way. It gets easier, but it will always be a struggle from time to time. After the full force of raising 4 growing children had begun to really set in – I was thrust into a tailspin of discontentment. My house…

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Buying a house ridden with black mold; losing your job after buying a home you couldn’t truly afford; taking out a car loan payment beyond your means; refinancing your home because you can’t cover the payments… Are we all just one decision away from financial ruin? Eight years ago Mark and I made many horrible decisions. One of them was that

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Wow. This is pretty awesome. I’m guessing you need a bank account, right? And I’m also assuming that you have a job where you can be paid via direct deposit, right? If so, you might as well get some cash by opening up a new bank account. Chase Bank, which has locations basically… everywhere, is offering to PAY you $200 if

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The Countdown to the release of my book The Recovering Spender is here! Pre-Order the book for a guaranteed copy on September 13th, and get $75 in freebies including a FREE Video Course. Do you know how sometimes you need to clean and declutter your house? Well, the same is true for your finances. If you did a credit report that listed all of

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Why does it always seem to happen? You make enough money to cover your bills and necessary spending with some even leftover… yet at the end of almost every month, you find that your bank account is lower than where it began… either that or your credit card balances are higher. So where does it go? You don’t feel like you spent

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The Countdown to the release of my book The Recovering Spender is here! Pre-Order the book for a guaranteed copy on September 13th, and get $75 in freebies including a FREE Video Course. Money and relationships. They don’t always mix so well, do they? We all know that finances are the number one reason for divorce. This is not hard

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Are you wondering how to budget? Are you feeling like you are always trying to play catch-up with last month’s expenses? For so many years, and I didn’t budget. I was scared to… and honestly, it was because I didn’t know how to do it. I tried several times, and each time – I totally sucked at budgeting. Keep reading as I show

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Four months ago, I sent out an email looking for a family to help.  I received hundreds of requests, but after careful consideration chose the Spinney Family from Cincinnati, OH. For the past three months, I’ve been flying to Cincinnati to help the Spinney family get out of debt and get their finances back under control.  I filmed their progress

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Are You Making These 5 Critical Financial Mistakes? Struggling with money can be a lonely, stressful feeling. But money doesn’t have to be the source of problems and pain. Proper money management can relieve those feelings of uncertainty and replace them with a sense of stability and comfort. Managing money isn’t an impossible dream or unattainable goal. It’s a skill

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Purchases that pay for themselves are often called investments and for good reason. These investments won’t literally print out money (I wish), but they will help keep spending down. Purchasing items that can save you money over the long-term are such a good idea, it’s worth incorporating into your monthly budget. Be careful, though. If you’re broke and don’t have much

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Sticking to a grocery budget can be hard! Heck, I make a living teaching people how to save money – primarily through groceries – and it can still be hard for me. But food remains that one area in your budget that can make you or break you. And if you’re having trouble getting your budget to balance, your food spending

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Credit score got you down? Don’t fret! Help is around the corner to improve that credit score! Maybe your credit score has been an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing… this article will take you through why you should be aware of your credit score, why it matters, and also how to improve it pretty quickly. Though credit scores aren’t always an indicator of

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Do you make decisions based on how it will impact your credit score? STOP! Read this and start living your life for YOU!

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Lauren and I are self-employed through running this website and our company The Personal Finance Planner. This means we don’t have access to employer-based health insurance. And, if you haven’t noticed, private insurance is pretty expensive.  What does a family do in a situation like ours? How do we cover not only ourselves but our kids?  We use one of Christian Healthcare

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As a working mom of four, you may think that I have it all together. Nothing could be further than the truth… the reality is that behind the pretty Instagram pictures and food dishes, there is a whole lot of stuff that I don’t do. I don’t do these things because in order to say yes to them, I have

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Americans own a lot of stuff.  We buy things we don’t need and then complain about the debt. According to NPR.org, the average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s and it continues to grow. Why might you ask? It probably has to do with all the stuff we’re accumulating in this country. Seriously, do we need it all?

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This year, you can make your life richer in many ways. You can take time to do yoga, run a half marathon, or take up journaling; each way will surely make you feel richer inside. Take these 6 easy steps to make you financially richer as well! It’s crazy… but small changes can have HUGE impacts on the future. Like, if

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This is a guest post by Kalyn Brooke, author of 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expense and founder of The Creative Savings Blog. Some of us are really good at being smart with our money…others not so much. If you had talked with me a mere three years ago, you would have probably placed me in the smart money category. And

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Death by a thousand cuts. That’s what I feel like is happening to the average American when it comes to overspending. Do you even check your bank account on a daily basis? Weekly? Or maybe you’re just overwhelmed every time you open it. You check your balance to make sure that you have enough in there… but the transactions section? Now

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If you are living within a tight budget, making it on one income, or trying to pay off debt then saving money can be very difficult. It’s important to have an emergency fund when your are doing any of those three, but what do you do if there’s something you want that isn’t an emergency? Finding little ways to put

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Married? This one is for you. And it’s an important one, too. What happens when you find yourself married to someone who had a different financial upbringing than you did? It’s easy to assume that the one you love is just like you, having had the same life experiences. But you and I both know that isn’t the case. We

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Do you tend to view your life as a whole unit with interrelated parts? Or perhaps you see it as a compartmentalized set of individual, unrelated parts? If you’re an American, you probably tend to see more of the latter, not the former. But we should remind ourselves on a frequent basis that all areas of our lives affect all other areas of our

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Sometimes we can find really creative ways to earn money or save money. Unfortunately, when you’re looking at insurance costs, it’s really pretty straight forward. The most critical thing you can do to cut your insurance costs is lots of research! This might mean reading about several companies, calling to ask about discounts, getting quotes, or finally understanding and fine-tuning

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There’s a difference between being cheap and frugal. Those who are ‘cheap’ are looking to spend the least amount of money right now. Those who are ‘frugal’ are looking to make the smartest financial decisions to save the most amount of money over time. Purchases that will, in time, pay for themselves illustrate this point perfectly. If you are trying to save

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When I was preparing our line-by-line budget last week, I got to thinking… why does it seem so hard to save money? Why is it such a sacrifice to give? And I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems way harder now than it was 15 years ago. Is it? And if so, why? I put my nerd hat

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  We are a gift-giving family. It’s our love language and it’s truly how we communicate our care for others. We just love to love people by giving them gifts. So, yeah, Christmas gifting is kind of our thing. We love to make lists and think of the perfect gift. And don’t even get me started on how we can

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In today’s digital age age of high-tech credit cards and Apple Pay, using cash is considered old school. But I love it, and it really helps us stay on budget. And by cash, I’m referring to the green stuff. Not a credit card, not a debit card, not a check (ok – now THOSE are old school). Physical, been-handled-by-a-hundred-strangers dirty

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This is Day 23 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Our post today talks about the Unconventional Guide to Black Friday shopping. The thrill of stay up all night shopping with your friends, drinking massive amounts of coffee, and getting hyped up

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This is Day 22 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Our money-saving thought for the day – What would the world look like if Black Friday didn’t exist? The term Black Friday was coined in 1905 in

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This is Day 18 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Great long term perspective today – How Budgeting Can Keep You From Debt in 2016 Can you believe this year is almost over? Hopefully, you had a great year with lots of memorable moments. The end of the year

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This is Day 12 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s simplification topic – 12 Unique Ways to Simplify and Spend Less This Christmas This post is a guest post from Jason Cabler at Celebrating Financial Freedom What is

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We sure do love our furry (and maybe not-so-furry) friends. But boy, can they be expensive! Having a pet doesn’t need to break the bank. Here are some ways you can save cash while still having the pet of your dreams. One big tip in general is to avoid purchasing items from pet stores and veterinarian’s offices. These items tend to

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  Listen to our podcast about this below: [smart_track_player url=”https://traffic.libsyn.com/simplerhappierlifepodcast/Episode_48_-_The_Dangers_of_Online_Impulse_Shopping.mp3″ social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ] Shopping online has to be one of the best ways to snag a good deal! It makes comparison shopping a snap, there are no lines, and it gives you more selection than most local stores. Online retailers often offer so many great perks for shopping

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  If you’re looking for some easy ways to save money on books, then you’re in the right place.  Books are so expensive.  Whether you’re looking for bestsellers or classics, anime or easy readers, learn these quick tips and save yourself some big cash. Buy an E-reader Digital books have saved us thousands of dollars. I have a good friend with a

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I am ALL about getting extra money in YOUR pocket. Sometimes that means, saving money, and sometimes that means making money. And I try to provide ways of doing both that you’ve never considered. With that in mind, I created a resource of products and services that will help you enjoy your life on a budget! Budgeting: The Personal Finance

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If you guys are like me, you thought that the old Rite Aid system of +ups was amazing. I think we were all a bit devastated inside when they updated it to load digitally and be unable to use them for 24 hours, ending our run of turn around purchases. Even so, I adapted, I asked them to print mine

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One early evening last July, a 4-minute freak storm passed though my town. I am in Upstate New York mind you, with almost zero risk for tornadoes… but there were ridiculous wind gusts that lasted only 4 minutes and left half of my city without power for a week – including my house. My brother lost half his roof, and

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Are you trying to get your house ready to sell?  Are you overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to do it without going broke?  My husband and I have sold two houses in the past ten years using these principals, and think they will help you in getting your house sold for top dollar! Selling your house can be

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The hardest part about budgeting is actually sticking to it and making it work.  It took us three years to figure out the best way to actually stick to a budget, and I want to share with you the 4 steps we have created to a budget you can stick to.  I share many budgeting tips and strategies in my e-Course

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It is that time of year – where everyone is hustling around trying to get a tax appointment lined up so you can see how much of a tax refund you get. Or maybe, you are brave enough to tackle the job yourself! Doing taxes yourself is definitely doable, but here are some reasons why I recommend hiring a tax professional

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Have you filed your taxes yet?  If you’re like most Americans, tax time doesn’t mean “pay up”; it means an extra chunk of money in your pocket.  If you are married and/or have a couple kids, the amount of this refund can be quite large. Marketers and advertisers know that you have more money than normal, and they want it

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If you want to get out of debt and learn how to budget, it is important to have a clear vision of where you are financially before you get started. You need to ask yourself why you want to get financially healthy. Where are you going with your money and how can a budget take you there?  If you were a marathon runner,

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  We’ve talked about how to save money on your healthcare coverage and the other options for health care coverage, but one area where I was having problems saving money was on my medications. I have a thyroid condition so I need to take a medicine called Synthroid every month, when I had traditional health care coverage I was paying $35.00

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Love it or hate it, the Affordable Care Act has created a conundrum for some families and individuals.  While many will be eligible for subsidies from the government to help pay for premiums, there is a sizable cohort who earn too much income to get much assistance, yet aren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. And if they do

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Financial success. It’s something that even many wealthy people think they haven’t achieved. Could you be one of them? If you make just $27,000 per year, did you know you’re in the top 1.63% richest people in the world by income? In one hour, you make $14.06 while the average laborer in Indonesia makes just $0.39 per hour. It would also take

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Lauren and I love coupons. In fact, we were able to cut down our grocery bill from $1,000 per month down to $200 per month – and we owe a healthy portion of that savings to coupons. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always smart to use coupons. The truth is, there are times to use coupons and instances when

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Tomorrow. It’s a word that really shouldn’t enter our minds when it comes to today’s tasks. But alas, it does. It can be all-too-easy to say to ourselves: “I’ll just do it tomorrow, I don’t really have the time or energy to do it today.” Knowing How to Stop Procrastinating at work, or home has SO many advantages! But then tomorrow

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Is it possible to Survive… even THRIVE in an Instant Gratification culture? Yes! But, I do have to be honest – I worry about our culture as a whole and our future. Our nation’s inability to wait for things, unwillingness to plan for the future, and indifference in looking ahead to wait for something better, later in life is really going to be

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  I received this question the other day and thought it was a good one to address in a blog post, here is the question: Hi I’m 20 weeks pregnant and want to start stocking up on diapers and wipes. This is my first though and have no clue what a good deal is. Can you tell me what are

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Yesterday Mark wrote a post about buying a new vs used car – and today we are going to talk about some of the tricks to be aware of when buying a new car at an auto dealership.  We had a reader who used to work at a car dealership write in a few weeks ago, she shared some of

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Spring is around the corner (I hope) and so are tax refunds!  If you are like many Americans, you might feel that it’s time to replace your sedan or minivan and get a newer model.  Our 2004 Town & Country has about 137k miles on it, so we are just about getting to that point ourselves.  [Note: For this article,

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Recently, a few readers have asked about How to save money on buying tires..  I view tires as more of a maintenance item; they aren’t something I look to go out and buy, rather something that you have to buy every few years (or even more frequent depending on how often you drive). I have done my fair share of

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In every budget or spending plan, I put expenses in 3 categories: Fixed costs – expenses that are “set in stone” like your rent or mortgage Flexible costs – necessary expenses like groceries, internet, phone bills.  These can usually be reduced, but not eliminated. Extras – expenses that go above the cost of living.  These might be convenience items, hobbies…

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The question:  “Is it worth it to have a membership to Sams Club or Bj’s?” has come up a lot in the past few weeks, so I thought I would address it with a video! I actually made this video before I had Abby but totally forgot to publish it! I would love to know which things you save on

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Many people start off using coupons to save money and realize that saving money with coupons ins’t as easy as they thought.  There are 6 common mistakes that people make when first starting to use coupons – here are the top 6 mistakes that new couponers make. Top 6 Coupon Mistakes New Couponers Make: 1.) Buying an item with a

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I got a letter in the mail yesterday from my old bank when I lived in SC, to let me know that their security had been breached and all of my personal information had been leaked…This is NOT the kind of letter that I wanted to receive, but it got me thinking about something important.  How well do I keep track of what

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Six years ago Mark and I were in a very hard financial place. At that time in our life we were living in a custom 3,200 square foot home in a beautiful suburban neighborhood. It was the type of neighborhood where everyone knew each other, the kids could play in the streets without traffic – it was an all American neighborhood.

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When I started this website I knew a little bit about what I was getting into, but there are some real advantages and disadvantages to self employment that I hadn’t considered. Self-employment always seems like a dream at first. You might picture yourself lounging on the couch with your laptop, in full control of your destiny and free from the

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What will you teach your kids about money through your actions? Your children are watching you. Not in a creepy way, just in an observational way. And let me tell you, children pick up on a lot of little things (behaviors, beliefs, traits) from their parents. If you want to teach your kids about money, there are a few things

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There’s a lot of psychology that goes into selling, and avoiding overspending requires an understanding of that psychology to reverse-engineer our way out of it. Each of these money-saving methods stop selling tactics in their tracks. 1. Start and Maintain a Budget Maybe you’ve started a budget before and fell off the wagon. I know in the beginning, budgeting didn’t

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Savvy shoppers know that coupons for meat are few and far between — but that doesn’t mean we still can’t save on this grocery budget buster!  To make your dollar stretch farther, here are some great tips on how to save money on meat: 1. Look for “Special Deal” stickers. Grocery stores will discount their meat that is close to the sell date by as much as

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Whether it’s a new toy, a day at the arcade or the newest i”Gadget”, children will learn quickly that saving money is necessary to get things they want or want to do. Learning at an early age that money is earned and has more than just a monetary value can instill great money-saving habits in your children for life.  Here are 7 tips for

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With the end of July quickly approaching, those of us with college-aged children must start switching gears from summer mode to school mode.  College is a huge expense that affects not only the parents but their new college-bound kid as well.  To help ease some of those costs, here are my top 10 ways on how to save on college: 1. Contact

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