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How to Save Money on the Top 5 Living Expenses, Really

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How to Save Money on Your Top 5 Expenses | Budget Tips | Budget Busters | Ways to Save Money | How to Get Out of Debt | Fix My Finances

You know that I can be anal retentive detail-oriented, but when I first give advice or suggestions about money, I target the big stuff.  In general, that means making more or spending less. Specifically, here on the top 5 everyday expenses I harp on the most and specifically how you can save money on them…I know because this is how I do it. Housing Can you move somewhere cheaper?  Or do you need to stay where you are (job, family, friends, etc.)? Is it fiscally better for you to buy or rent where you plan to live?  If you’d like a little push, check out guesstimations like this interactive Rent or Buy calculator (I just used a search engine and thought that one worked pretty well…no affiliation). What are your personal preferences on general location, size, and type of home? No matter how you answer, there are ways to cut costs. Live in the minimum amount of space in which you are comfortable.  That can be 300 square feet or 3000 square feet.  Just remember, the less space, usually the less it costs. Research the going prices for what you want through Craigslist, realtor websites, appraisal district websites, etc. Shop around and negotiate for overall price, options, … Read more

Living Paycheck to Paycheck but Having FunToo

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Living Paycheck to Paycheck but having fun too | Zero Dollar Entertainment Budget | Having Fun on a Budget | Tips for Having Fun | Cheap Entertainment

The following post is from Sarah at A Matter of Cents.  She’s a new mom, former accountant, and current business owner who is throwing herself into freelance writing now too. Finding ways to make a dollar go further can be challenging. I know from my 20’s and 30’s that paychecks don’t always go as far as you need them to stretch. Being a responsible adult is a drag, but I’ve found some ways to create extra spending money without picking up a second job or cutting spending. I have found that even if I save some extra money for something fun, that same money gets used for some “adult responsibilities” like unforeseen auto expenses or doctor visits. So I decided to get creative. A Truly Free Lunch (or Dinner) Get that dinner paid for by someone else! Dining out is a common way to get out of the house and have a nice treat. Sometimes we do this a little too often. But if someone else is footing the bill, there is less need to cut it out of the budget! No, I am not suggesting having a guy take you to dinner…besides, when you get married, it doesn’t help that “that guy” is using … Read more

How I Made $6250+ in February 2017 Completely Self-Employed (Net Worth $550,100)

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Earning Money from Home Legitimately | Work from Home Jobs | Make Six Figures at Home | How to become Self Employed

Another month down in 2017!!!  That means another wrap-up report of what we earned, how we earned it, and where our net worth stands now.  I like to use monthly income and net worth updates for motivation. It pushes me to try harder and I crave your feedback!  I would also like to inspire more people to create income streams out of something they truly enjoy. My Backstory for New Readers I worked in a dead end cubicle for 6 years (2005-2011). It wasn’t possible for me to grow in the department I enjoyed, and the rest of the company would have sucked my soul out through my ears.  My highest salary there was $35,500.  My original plan was to stay there for 30 years and retire. Thankfully, that plan went to crap. The company was in a slump in late 2009, so they told me to “look busy”… That led me to starting my own blog, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, in February 2010 even though I had no blogging experience.  It grew faster than I expected (thank you!), and I have been fully self-employed since July 2011. My husband left public teaching to join me in 2012.  BFS itself … Read more

New Jord Watch Just in Time for Spring – Contest and E Gift Code for You!

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You all know I have a weird relationship with materialism.  I prefer cruises, travel, and experiences over buying new clothes, shoes, and stuff, BUT I do have my materialistic favorites. I have had the same day-to-day leather jacket since I was 13 years old (yes, the cuffs are unraveling)…that’s more than 20 years in the same jacket.    Anybody who has met me in cool weather has probably seen my extremely-loved panda hat.  I also spend way too much on Dream Fit sheets every few years.  And I think Jord watches are an awesome wrist accessory.  I mean, they’re all wood and totally cool! That said, I jumped at the chance to review the new men’s watch, specifically the Conway Series: Kosso and Midnight Blue, for my husband. Jord did not let me down with their Wooden Wristwatch The Jord Conway Series We were excited to open the box as soon as we returned from our cruise.  The shipping box was well packaged and labeled “Fragile”. The Jord watch box itself was classy and solid.  It protected the watch perfectly and even has a little drawer for extra links, the wood revitalizer they included, and a jewelry cloth. The unique watch itself looks … Read more

How I Paid Off $20,000 of Debt and Quit My Job In 7 Months

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Debt Payoff Story | Quit My Job | Financial Makeover

Today’s post is from writer and commenter here on BFS, Kate (Mrs. COD).  She is passionate about helping people make smarter decisions with money in order to be able to spend money on what really matters to them. Thanks to slaying her debt demons, she’s now able to stay at home raising her two rambunctious little boys. Kate blogs about lifelong habit changes and “finangelism” at Changing Our Default, which she started early in 2016. Part One:  Getting Into Debt If you’ve ever tuned in to a Dave Ramsey radio show, you know how often he disparages a normal life. “Normal” to him means putting spontaneous purchases on a credit card, taking out enormous student loans, buying cars you can’t afford, and rationalizing every single stupid financial decision you make day after day. Let’s put the cards out on the table: I used to be that kind of normal. I went to the fancy private college and took out fancy private student loans. I didn’t rush to pay them back once my degree was finished either. My expected term of repayment was 20 years!  I cringe just thinking about it! My brother actually gave me his old car (no strings attached!) when I graduated … Read more

6+ Free Family Activities for Summer Fun

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6 Free Family Activities for Summer | Things to do with Kids | Children's Activities | Frugal Entertainment | Free Things to Do

Mr. And Mrs. Beatles blog about their frugal life at Stacking Pennies. They recently began their journey towards frugality and write about different things they learn on their way to a debt free lifestyle. In the Beatles household, family activities are what we look most forward to in the Summer. We believe that frugal families tend to be closer and stronger than their counterparts because rather than paying someone else to entertain them, they find entertainment together and within each other. This creates special bonding moments! While entertainment costs have gotten out of control (have you seen the price of a movie ticket and popcorn lately?), there are plenty of other ways of having fun without paying a dime; these are cost-free activities that anyone can do with their families. Let’s look at some family activities that don’t require you to open your purse or wallet: Visit the beach (or water near you) Beaches are a ton of fun and make no impact on the budget!  You can collect shells, swim, build sand castles, feed the seagulls, fly a kite without getting it caught in a power line, etc.  Jazz it up with a pitcher of homemade lemonade and sandwiches. If there’s no … Read more

A Healing Cruise – I’m Feeling Like Me Again

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Taking a Cruise for Self Care | Vacation | De-stress | Mental Health

I’m back from another cruise escape and I’m finally feeling like me again! Yesterday, I woke up happy, had a productive day with pet sitting and my online work, hung out with a few friends for several hours each, and was still chugging away at 4am.  I’m nearly caught up with everything from last week…so now I’m only as behind as I was before we left!  😉 I haven’t been able to go this long on 5-6 hours of sleep in more than a year.  I won’t make a habit of it, but I had almost forgotten what energy felt like.  Grief and depression are real bitches. Our Recent Cruise We sailed out on the Carnival Breeze from February 5-12, 2017.  It stopped in Jamaica, the Grand Caymans, and Cozumel, Mexico.  We got off in every port for just a little souvenir browsing, but mainly, we spent the entire cruise relaxing. Our days were spent watching movies, playing 2 person board games like Patchwork and Jaipur, playing “Burger Shop” on our tablets, lounging in the adult-only, Serenity section of the ship in huge chairs, eating Guy’s Burgers (and anything else we felt like munching on), and just enjoying having no … Read more