1. Managing Your Family’s Finances

    Parent Managing Family FinancesAs a parent, you never know when unexpected expenses will arise. It’s normal to experience financial hurdles from time to time, but getting back on track can be a struggle. Sometimes, all it takes is a little planning. Here are a few ways that your family can do so:

  2. Living Within Your Means Need Not Be Stressful

    Living on a BudgetYou might recoil at the thought of living within your means, assuming this will be a stressful and unhappy lifestyle. However, living on a budget need not be an unpleasant habit.

    Learn What You’re Spending

    Budgeting can be challenging until you learn about your current spending habits. Keeping a daily log for around a month will give you the information you need to create a workable budget.

    Record every dollar spent for a short while. You will be amazed at the small amounts of money you spend that add up to much larger dollars. For example, that large exotic latte you buy to start your workday may cost only $2 more than a normal cup of coffee. However, you’ll lose at least $10 per week in unnecessary expense.

  3. Saving Money Can Be Fun

    Saving Money TipsSaving money is often a daunting challenge. However, as every money saving expert will tell you, it is simply a habit you adopt. If you can make it fun and personally rewarding, the saving money habit is much easier.

    Pay Yourself First

    The easiest and most fun way to save money is the “pay yourself first” technique. Here is the short version.

    Treat saving money as you do other recurring monthly bills. Ask the question, “Who or what is more important than me?” Answer: No one and nothing. Why not pay yourself first every month? Here’s how.

  4. How to Adopt Frugal Living Hobbies

    Frugal Living HobbiesFrugal living habits need not be unpleasant. Put some fun into money saving hobbies by enjoying some of these off hour pursuits.

    Budget-friendly Hobbies

    When your monthly budgeting efforts require tight cash controls, these hobbies will not destroy your financial plan. In some cases, they even result in saving benefits.

    Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening, whether for beauty or food, is a relaxing, satisfying hobby. If you work at a stressful job, the psychological benefits are even greater. Getting physical exercise while watching your plants grow and mature is both easy on your budget and personally rewarding.

    Reading. Become a regular visitor to your local library to have access to a universe of reading material—all at no cost. If you have a strong sense of history and tradition, browsing smaller bookstores may bring you titles you’ve longed to read and own at low cost.

    Sewing and crafting. Both of these hobbies are psychologically calming and generate pride in your workmanship. Additionally, these hobbies give you the opportunity to create unique, handmade gifts, jewelry, and home décor items at a fraction of the cost of buying them—if you could even find similar items—from a retail store.

    • Cooking. You needn’t become an exotic, gourmet chef or have your own show on the Food Network to enjoy this wonderful hobby. You, your family, and your guests need to eat anyway. Trying new and healthy dishes and surprising diners with new variations on classic foods is great fun—and achieves your goal of frugal living.

    • Entering sweepstakes is a fun—sometimes, monetarily rewarding—hobby. Sweepstaking is an inexpensive—usually, free—hobby that can sometimes result in winning money or luxury items that would be budget-busters if you bought them. If you’re new to the world of sweepstakes, you’ll be amazed at the number and variety of contests available online. The only danger: You could spend most of your free time finding and entering sweeps. Beware; this hobby can easily become habit-forming and great fun.

    • Photography. Sure, photography can be quite expensive—if you want it to be. However, the many fabulous and low cost digital cameras available have made photography a hobby available to everyone. With advanced zoom capabilities in most digital cameras and no film purchase or developing costs, you can have fun with this hobby and remain living within your means.

     

    Frugal living is not only about cutting bills, saving money or restricting your lifestyle. Living on a budget is merely a good habit to adopt. Having fun hobbies that cost you little but yield great rewards, relaxation and psychological excitement is an idea you can enjoy forever.

  5. Don’t Break the Bank to Ring in the Holidays

    Holiday Spending Keeping the holidays festive without spending a pretty penny doesn’t seem possible sometimes. Even though we’d all love to make “big” purchases, the budget isn’t always willing. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your costs down without losing your holiday spirit.

    • Make a list and check it twice (at least) – Decide on a budget you can comfortably live with for food, gifts and decorations. Having a specific amount in mind will help you avoid overspending. Also, be sure to watch for coupons or grocery flyers for food items that are on sale. Keep an eye on department store sales and online offers for gifts and decorations. By planning even a week or two ahead, you can tap into sales on just about everything you might need, at discounted prices.
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