How badly do you need a budget? Budgeting is hard work and it is best to gain all the knowledge and information you can before attempting to create your own. In this way, you will create a budget that will work well for you and your family. Yet, scavenging around the pool of information we call the Internet is especially time-consuming and it is hard to weed out the good seeds from the bad. So I have done the work for you!
This week on I Heart Frugal, I have compiled a list of budget posts to help you get started on your budgeting journey. My fellow personal finance bloggers have a wealth of information to share that will get you back on track to an amazing debt free life.
Each picture will feature a link to the post and the blog title below. Check out my post on budgeting here and use these other posts to really dive into starting your budget and making your money work for you.
So when I was a kid, I used to swim every day. I would swim for fun! I would swim for exercise and because I grew up by a lake, I thought this made me an excellent swimmer. Daily walks to the lake entailed swimming laps and laying out in the sun. This was a way of life when you grew up a few blocks from the water. Winter was your enemy and summer your best friend.
Yet, that day in the five-foot hotel pool told a story of a different swimmer. Not the story of a swimmer that could swim laps around Michael Phelps, but of a vulnerable kid that could not get a grip. That was the day my brother started drowning. Yet, being the great swimmer that I am, I knew I could save him.
I saw it so differently in my head. I envisioned diving in, grabbing him, and pulling him to the edge. It was all so clear and I would be a hero!
However, I didn’t take into account, when the water is over your head and the other person is panicking – by the way, I’m not a life guard – saving them is near to impossible.
As I swam up to my brother bobbing up and down grabbing for any inch of air to fill his water-logged lungs, he grabbed me and started taking me down with him. I – the great swimmer from Michigan – started to panic myself.
Have you ever considered using a spending journal? You may be thinking, “Why would I want to add one more thing to my “To Do” list?” Yet, tracking your spending could be the one aspect of your budget you are missing to put the “debt free” back into your life. Nonetheless, journals come to mind when writing about feelings and yes, they are more commonly used for this type of writing, yet isn’t your money journey just as important as your emotional journey? These two aspects of life are intertwined immensely.
Writing down what you spend will give you a clear picture of where your money is going and help you solve your debt puzzle. I suggest making this the first step to beginning your budget and obtaining financial freedom.
Spending Journal: A written journal of all the money you have spent that week or month. I recommend tracking your spending for at least a week, but a month would be better and will give you a clear picture of how you spend. Moreover, once you have this in place you can begin to trim the fat off of your budget and use the extra money to pay down debt or save for an emergency fund or retirement.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Almost any man knows how to earn money, but one in a million knows how to spend it.” Translation: Most people have not mastered the simple art of frugal living – living within your means. It is common place to use credit cards and buy on a whim. Moreover, debt continues to grow and as your paycheck fizzles away, plastic replaces reality. Spending more than you make becomes a habit and your debt becomes a way of life.
Are you in debt? You are not alone. Over 50% of Americans are in debt right along with you. The average American family carries a credit card debt of $8,377 according to CNBC.com.
One solution is to toss up your bills and hope you win the lottery, but your odds are super low. So now is the time to solve your debt dilemma.
Have you been toying around with the idea of starting a blog? I was right there with you about seven months ago. You see, I am a stay-at-home mom of two boys and I wanted to find a way to continue to be a stay-at-home mom.
I was a teacher for thirteen years but the thought of leaving my kids and going back to work was really hard to imagine. Yet, I knew if I didn’t find a way to make some income, the plan was (and still is) for me to go back to work.
Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching too, but when I went back to work with my first son I was having a hard time juggling the demands of being a special needs teacher and spending quality time with my baby boy. Not to mention, my son became terribly sick after attending day care, which sent us into a three-month cycle of ear infections and no sleep. Shortly after, I left teaching and I’m now at home with my beautiful boys.
Life is fun chasing after these two and blogging on the side. I’m making a small income (very small) from my blog, but my hope is to learn more and increase my income as my blogging game improves.
How I got Started
Creating a website sounded fun and interesting to me. BONUS – I like to write! However, it is difficult to put yourself out there and get used to knowing that whatever you publish can be read by all (YIKES!).
Truth be told, I had no idea how to start a website, let alone run it and make it pretty (Yes, still working on this). So, it is crazy that I am now writing a tutorial on how you can do the same.
If you are reading this, you are in the same boat I was in a few months back. I was spending countless nights reading blogging “how to’s.” What I learned…It is a bit intimidating, but it is not that hard! I learned how other people start blogs daily (seriously, there are millions out there) and many bloggers do so while working full-time jobs. And yes, being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job but I decided to give it a go and you should too!
If this story resonates with you and you are still toying with the idea of starting a blog, I say go for it. The only way to become a successful blogger is to dip your toes into the water. It will feel amazingly refreshing once you get started.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at not cost to you, so thank you! This helps me continue to provide you will all my money-saving and making tips!
Do you work hard but can’t seem to catch up? Are your bills piling high like a stack of pancakes at IHOP? It may be time to find some worthwhile side hustles to help you increase your cash flow
What Are Side Hustles?
They are ways to earn extra money, on the side as opposed to your regular nine to five! As we talked about in budgets 2017, you may be spending more than you are bringing in. Unfortunately, you will always be at a deficit if this is the case.
You can slash your grocery bill for starters (learn how here). Yet, if you are still living beyond your means coming up with a sensible budget and supplementing your income with a side hustle will be the trick to putting you back on track.
Why Use My List of Side Hustles?
Pay off debt
Save for a purchase (car, home, wedding)
Catch up on bills
Save for a vacation
Earn extra spending money
Learn a new skill
Work from home
Build an emergency fund
Put away money for retirement
Whatever your predicament, I have created an ultimate list of 75 side hustles for you to earn extra cash.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you, so thank you!
I woke up this morning and as always, I checked the stats of my blog (it has become an obsession but don’t judge me), and I was pleasantly surprised to find a blogger recognition award nomination in my comments. I was so excited, I immediately texted my husband! Being recognized by a fellow blogger really means the world to me and made my day – or should I say, my past six months of blogging!
It feels amazing to have someone recognize you for all of your hard work, and all of my fellow bloggers out there know exactly what I mean. Not to mention, I was nominated by someone in my blogging niche, saving money. I am honored that a fellow personal finance blogger would recognize my passion for helping my readers save money. Thank you, Lorna! For more money-saving posts and tips, check out my blogging friend Lorna Ye’s amazing website, Savingschamps.
A friend of mine is looking to go to the Barr after having her baby… No, not the bar you are thinking of! Barr class to workout… Now you see where I’m going with this. Knowing I’m into frugal fashion and running, she texted me to find out where I shop for my frugal workout gear! I immediately gave her a list of several places that have always worked out (pun intended) for me!
Most women want to look cute while working out but if you are on a budget, you aren’t going to buy Lulu Lemon, Athleta, and Victoria’s Secret workout gear. Yet, there are ways to look pretty while you are sweatin’ to the oldies. (Sorry, bad old-school workout joke!) You just have to know where to look.
Frugal workout gear is easy to come by if you use my shopping tips listed below. The best part is the list offers good quality workout gear, so you won’t be literally running back to the store to buy more. So keep up your shopping pace as you read through my list and get ready to look cute while getting into shape this year!
This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
What a long winter! Thank goodness spring is here! I’m looking forward to fresh air, birds chirping, and flowers blooming. As these signs of spring arrive, many of us start to plan our spring cleaning schedule and this got me thinking…We clean up our houses in the spring; yet, many of us don’t think to clean up our finances. The winter was harsh and we survived, but can we survive taking a good, hard look at our debt?
According to CNBC.com, eight out of ten Americans are in debt. Unfortunately, many of us have developed poor spending habits. We think nothing of spending more than we earn and our debt storm grows. Suddenly our bills are stacked up like a bunch of pancakes at IHOP. As the bills pile high, we continue to swipe away, thinking it will ease the pain.
In order to get out of debt and stop spending, it is important to look at the reasons why we overspend. Often, many of us were never taught how to budget or some spend to fill a void. Others spend to keep up with the neighbors or maintain an image. Whatever the case, discovering the meaning behind the spending will help us make a change.
However, this is harder than it sounds. I mean, how many times have we gone over our budgets while simply buying groceries? It is so easy to continue putting items in the cart and packing our homes and lives full of stuff. The next thing you know, we are cringing every time that bill shows up. It is like one big storm that keeps burying us. So once and for all, let’s dig our way out and get to the bottom of our destructive spending.
We all know credit cards are dangerous, yet if used correctly, they can actually be very advantageous. There are an array of cards available that offer points, rewards, airline miles, statement credits and YES, they are all very lucrative. However, if you do not know how to use your card to your advantage, you could be digging yourself into a whirlwind of debt. It is estimated that the mean credit card debt for the average American is $5,700. (Source ValuePenguin)
With this amount so high, I’m not suggesting you use your card to go on a spending spree. (Although that would be fun!) Nonetheless, I’m offering some advice to help you build credit and earn some of the amazing rewards these plastic gems have to offer.
Let’s change that $5,700 figure around and let the cards work in our favor. If you are sick of being one of the people that pays interest on your card and gets nothing in return, keep reading…