Category: Budgeting

Learn how to budget and take control of your finances.

How to Do a Financial Checkup This Year

January is time for a budget checkup

January is a time to review your goals and set yourself up for success. A New Year means wiping away mistakes of the past and starting fresh. It is no secret, people make resolutions of all sorts. From losing weight to being on time to staying calm…Yet, one of the most important resolutions is getting your finances in order. A budget checkup is essential for keeping your money on track.

Thinking of getting in shape this year? Financial health is just as important as physical health. Did you know carrying around financial burdens can actually affect your well-being? According to a study done by American Psychology Association, 73% of participants cited money as being a significant cause of stress (source WebMD).

So what are you waiting for? Use my list of seven steps to help you audit your finances and fix your money mistakes of years past. If you truly want this year to be your best, do not let finances stand in the way of living your best life!

Suggested Reading: How to Set Goals and Stick With Them

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My Goal Setting Method: How to Set Goals and Stick With Them

Set Goals & Stick to Them

Goal Setting Method: How to set goals and stick with them

It is true, any of us can set goals and New Year’s Eve is a popular time to start. A New Year makes us feel like we have a clean slate to get in shape, earn more money, or learn something new. But did you know, 80% of New Years Resolutions fail by February? And why is that?

Research shows that people who set goals are more likely to accomplish their tasks but are we all going about it wrong? Why do so many goals go by the wayside after a month or so?

First, we have to look at how we set goals. Are we just verbally saying we want to do something or are we writing out our goals with a plan of action? Creating a solid plan and putting it down on paper is an awesome way to start.

I am a former teacher and my students and I used to set goals every marking period. Yes, this was fun for me! I loved teaching the little ones how to accomplish a goal, revisit, and set new goals. We would revisit our goals every marking period and my best advice about goal setting was and still is we can always become a better version of ourselves.

So even if you got an A last marking period, why not set a goal to create better study habits or learn even more on the subject (at the time I was teaching Special Education Science – which I loved BTW.) Even if you excel in one area, there is always something you can improve upon to be this amazing version of yourself. What a positive lesson!

One of the best ways to set a goal is to write it down. Goals should also be measurable and it helps to create a plan of action. So whether your goal is financial, fitness, or travel success you can do it!

How Do I Measure a Goal?

What does “measurable” mean? It means you can check your goal at the end of your time frame and measure whether you achieved it or not. Setting a goal to simply lose weight is not measurable. However, by being more specific you will be able to check your progress. For example, you could state your goal like this: “I will lose five pounds in four weeks.” The second goal gives a timeline and a clear amount of weight you want to lose. You are WAY more likely to meet this type of goal than just randomly saying you want to do something.

Suggested Reading: How to Live Your Best Life: 15 Life-Changing Steps

Grab your free goal setting pdf here and let’s get started!

Goal Setting PDF: Goal Setting

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7 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them

7 Common Money Mistakes

Alexander Pope’s famous quote “To err is human” holds true for our many species driven mistakes. However, when we make a money mistake it seems to sting and leave us feeling shame and remorse.

Although money mistakes are as common as the wind blowing the snow, many money mistakes have easy fixes that will keep your money from blowing away from your bank account and wallet. As the snow settles, your financial situation can also settle. In fact, a key piece of our financial happiness is security.

Nonetheless, I’ve made a few money mistakes myself; however, with some careful planning, I was able to bring my finances back into check and you can too!

It always worries me when I see people spending money they do not have. What’s worse is having no budget at all and not taking the time to plan. In the realm of financial health, planning is key.

Suggested Reading: Why You Can’t Get Out of Debt


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Best Money Quotes to Build Your Wealth Series – 4

Will Rogers - Money Quote

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned…to buy things they don’t want…to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

Have you heard this one before? Will Rogers definitely hit the nail on the head in terms of budgeting. I mean, where do we draw the line between what we want and what we need? When budgeting, we should ask ourselves if we really want something or if we are buying it to impress someone else. If that is the case, it is better left on the shelf.

It doesn’t help that 8 out of 10 of Americans are in debt (source CNBC.com). Money management has been left behind as we view commercials showcasing the “cool” guy in the car with a bunch of hot girls, the best hair, best clothes, and the best life! He is living “the good life” we all want, right? It is because of advertisements such as these that most people feel what they have is never enough and going into debt for “the good life” is as easy as a stroll in the park.

Yes, my friends…Advertising is at an all-time high. You may not realize you want that new lamp until you see a perfectly placed store display at Target and the lamp starts calling your name. After watching one cartoon, my kids now want three different toys they didn’t even know existed until the said cartoon was complete.

It seems the latest and greatest has replaced any concern for sticking to a budget. Credit cards are the norm and people spend on a whim without realizing the full consequences. These consequences of spending without a budget include the following:

    • Huge debt
    • Paying interest
    • Paying more for items because of interest
    • Losing your car
    • Losing your house
    • Unneeded stress and anxiety
    • Bankruptcy
    • Debt collectors



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9 Super Secrets to Staying Debt-Free This Christmas

 

9 Super Secrets to Staying Debt-free This Christmas

Is your budget bursting like the buttons on Santa’s coat? Is swiping your credit card making your anxiety run high? Holiday spending is a major cause of stress. It is easy to get caught up in all the gift giving and Holiday activities that we live in the moment and forget the Holidays can spin us into a whirlwind of debt.

The best way to curb the anxiety is to create a plan. If you make a budget and check it twice, you are bound to have a stress free Holiday Season with visions of a debt-free life dancing in your head.

According to an annual study conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics people plan to spend an average of $967.13  which is up about 3.4% from last year (source National Retail Federation). Not to mention, 56% of Americans plan on going into debt for the Holidays and although many realize how important a budget is 58% of families fail to stay on budget. (source: The Motley Fool).  Spending $967.13  is a HUGE chunk of change, especially if you are already struggling financially.

Many are tempted to dip into their emergency fund or retirement account or open a credit card to make ends meet during the Holiday Season. This is a bad idea all around. Your emergency fund should be used only when NEEDED and using a credit card only guarantees you will pay way more because of interest. Since going into debt this Holiday season is not an option,  I’m going to give you some jingly-good ideas to help save your budget and still have a nice Christmas or any Holiday you celebrate.

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The Ultimate Fall Slow Cooker Recipe Roundup – 20 Seriously Good Recipes

Fall Slow Cooker Roundup

Fall Slow Cooker Roundup

Fall is here my friends! I love the cool, crisp air, sweatshirts in the morning, and watching football with my hubby (okay to be honest, he likes that more than me!) One thing I truly miss all summer is my favorite fall cooking method – my crock-pot (check out my favorite one here)! I gave this baby a rest during the summer months, especially when our air conditioner broke – didn’t want to create any extra heat!  But now that the weather is cooler, bring on the warmth and delicious smells from the easiest way to cook ever.

I will be lighting my pumpkin latte candle, pulling my hoodie over my ears, and running my crock-pot meals all day (and you should too)! Since I love my crock-pot so much I decided to help all my readers by collecting a bunch of yummy fall crock-pot recipes. These recipes are Ahhhh-mazing! You will walk out of your house in the morning with dinner set and walk back in with the smell of any of these choice recipes filling your house and your tummy!

No more worries about dinner, mama! I’ve got you covered!


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