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10 Budget-Friendly Moving Tips

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Today’s post is from writer and commenter here on BFS, Kate (Mrs. COD).  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. Hi, BFS readers! Since my family and I recently moved from Illinois to Kentucky for my husband to pursue his university teaching career, I’ve got several great tips for moving on a budget. Here’s what we learned during the moving process about keeping the budget in line! Research Before even deciding to move anywhere, do some research! Check out the new town or area online or in person. Learn about its faults as well as its attractive features. For example, if your prospective job there will pay more, but the location also brings a hefty cost-of-living increase, you might want to think twice about it. For us, the housing prices in our new city were MUCH more reasonable than where we previously lived. Ask About Relocation Funding If doing on-location job interviews, be sure to ask about travel or relocation funding. Some employers reimburse travel expenses (hotel, gas, flight, etc.), … Read more

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

The Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Switching to Ting Wireless Because They Save Me Nearly $1000 a Year!

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This is exactly how to switch your cell phone provider to Ting and save a ton of money. This family has saved nearly $1000 in a single year thanks to switching. That amount of savings would make such a huge difference for my budget. Keeping the costs of recurring bills down is so, so important. Mobile phones feel like a necessity these days, but the cost of service can be insane. I'm definitely looking into switching to Ting Wireless for my house. #Ting

Okay, today’s post is all about Ting Wireless.  I WAS NOT PAID TO WRITE THIS POST.  It does contain my referral code.  BUT, I’ve been blogging about Ting since I switched in 2014 – before I knew they had referral codes – plus the code will credit you with $25 just for switching (and they credit you FAST)!  I love Ting because I didn’t have to compromise anything – it’s the exact same or even better service for way less money than I paid with Sprint! In short, I use Ting because they save me money.  I want you to check them out because they MIGHT be able to save you money.  I created a list of my favorite money-saving tools just for you!  If Ting can save you money, SWITCH NOW and don’t feel stupid like me.  I heard about them in 2012, waited 2 years to switch, and wasted at least $1800!  Don’t do that.  Okay, let’s see if they are a good fit for you… 5 Steps to Switch to Ting (Specifics Below) Use my referral link to get to their site and check your coverage area.  This will make you $25 if you end up switching to Ting Wireless! Look at your last cell … Read more

Our Financial Plan for 2016

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Is it really cheaper to get a roommate? Living with another person is a way to save on rent, but what about the other costs of a housemate that you need to add to your budget?

After working out all of the tax numbers last time, I started immediately thinking about our overall plan of attack for 2016. We have many plates spinning in the air at once, and I rather they didn’t go splat (I could have said “crashing down” but splat sounded better). Current Expenses In the expenses department, we have income taxes to save for, property taxes on two houses to save for, one mortgage, health insurance, one car payment right now (0.9%…I’m keeping it), and then the stuff like food, utilities, life insurance, monthly fun, pets, etc. Altogether, a monthly nut between $5500-$6000. We generally bring in $7000-$9,000. We use the extra for savings and fun. Current Savings and Plans In retirement savings, our main accounts are two Roth IRA’s and a SEP IRA. I am aiming to save around 25% of all of our pre-tax earnings into those accounts every year. That means $20,000-$25,000 per year. In 2015, it was $11,000 into the Roth IRA’s and $11,000 into our new SEP IRA. For 2016, we’ve already funded the $11,000 into the Roth IRA’s and will need to put aside the $10,000+ for the SEP IRA over the next 8 months. In … Read more

SherryH’s Action Plan: Doing Something About Our Situation

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I’ve hired my friend and huge blog supporter, SherryH, as an occasional staff writer here at BFS.  😀  SherryH lives near the coast of North Carolina. Her family consists of her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats. In 2013, Sherry survived a brain tumor that destroyed her eyesight. She’s determined not to let that slow her down. She recently started blogging at http://www.blindnotinvisible.wordpress.com/. In one of her recent vlogs, Crystal advised people who complained that they couldn’t do the things she’s done to Stop Whining, Start Doing, or Shut Up.  I don’t think Crystal gives herself enough credit. She’s got an awesome blend of talent, drive, and creativity that I don’t think many people can match! But I think most people can almost always do something to improve their situation. My Action Plan I made a somewhat whiny post here not long ago, When Does It End?  I felt like our family was holding onto the last thread at the end of our financial rope, and more and more kept piling on. I couldn’t see any way out, and I was feeling pretty desperate.  Some great comments here and some very supportive emails really helped me … Read more

We Have Saved $540 in 6 Months by Switching Our Cell Phone Provider!!!

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They have saved over $500 on their cell phone bill alone! I really need to think about this when I do my budget and plan out my spending on wireless, that is a huge savings. Cell phone plans can vary so much and I'm tired of AT&T and Verizon.

This is not a paid post.  It does have my referral link to Ting but they haven’t asked for me to write this.  By using my link, you will get a $25 credit when you switch!  I have just been amazingly impressed! We switched from Sprint Wireless to Ting in December 2014 and couldn’t be happier!  The service itself has been the same – our calls don’t get dropped, our data is fast, and the text messaging works the same.  This makes sense – they use the Sprint and Verizon networks in my area.  The customer service the few times we have used it to ask questions has been stellar!!!  No 30 minute hold times and no more finally getting through to someone who has no power or info to help.  I would rate their customer service 5 out of 5 stars!  For hubby and me, Ting has just been perfect! Our 6 Months of Savings with Ting Wireless With Sprint, we paid $150 a month, every month for more than 10 years.  Sheesh.  That means in 6 months, we would have coughed up $900 like we always did. But check out our last 6 months with Ting: January – $55.38 February – $58.84 March … Read more

Cell Plan, Check. Groceries, Check. What’s Next?

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Okay, so I’m in a weird must-cut-all-bills state of mind. Cuts Already Made First it was the easy cuts like finding a different electric provider like I do at the end of every contract.  Then it was the harder ones.  Cutting cable and switching to Ting were big leaps for us.  Then we cut biweekly house keeping, which we had for 7+ years.  I thought our heads may explode without our big luxuries.  Now it’s become like a game.  I need to get a real hobby, huh?  😉  Let’s look at this piece by piece: Budget Cuts Made and Future Plans Income Taxes – $2250  Can’t change this… Home Mortgage – $990  Can’t change this right now either… Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $800  I keep fighting the good fight with the appraisal board, but this is what it is for now. Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $350  Diddo. Food – $500  Putting a pin in this for right now.  Our potlucks are a main entertainment expense as well as food-heavy. Health Insurance – $320  This was the lowest plan I could find that had anything we needed. Electricity – $150  Switched to Discount Power a couple of months ago since they were at 8.9 … Read more