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This is How You Get Repeat Customers – Incanto Italian Cafe

If you are new to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS), please click here. It’ll give you a little background and a starting point for browsing BFS. You can also subscribe to my RSS feed. If you have any questions or comments for me, please email me at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail *dot* com anytime. Thanks for visiting!

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A new Italian place called Incanto Italian Café just opened up near me a couple of month’s ago. I only noticed them about 2 weeks ago. And I’ve already been back 4 times.

First Experiences at Incanto Italian Café

It was amazing! The bread they bring to the table is made fresh, soft and delicious. I ordered the $7.99 Calzone and I swear the thing was bigger than my head. The dough was stellar, the marinara sauce is simply tasty, and the four cheeses and fresh spinach inside . . . → Read More: This is How You Get Repeat Customers – Incanto Italian Cafe

Don’t Finance Christmas!

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I’ve mentioned that we’ve cut cable. That means that when I do watch regular tv or shows on Hulu Plus, I see commercials that I can’t just fast forward through anymore. My jaw fell to the floor when I saw this Fingerhut commercial yesterday…

Payments to Spend More at Christmas?

Budgets and payment systems with interest involved are never to be included happily in the same 30 seconds…

I’ve already written about layaway, and at least it is like saving up for the gifts that you are buying. Most of the time, it’s interest free as well. But I even warned about the dangers of using it to spend more.

That said, who wants to pay for the upcoming Christmas for all of 2015?! Don’t finance Christmas!!! That doesn’t sound sane to me. Making payments so you can afford to . . . → Read More: Don’t Finance Christmas!

Birthday Party Potluck Slumber Party – Budget Friendly and Delicious!

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My birthday is towards the end of the year. Last year, my husband secretly organized an actual surprise birthday party for me and some of my friends at my favorite Greek place. I was blown away and it was great! I was literally speechless for several minutes, which never happens. This year, we were going to be a little more low key but also awesome.

Birthday Party Potluck Slumber Party

It’s just not right to have two surprise parties in a row, right? That said, my friends have started planning a birthday potluck for me. It will be themed “Crystal’s Favorite Foods” but I am thinking that everyone can just bring their general favorites. There will also be drinking. We’re developing my signature drink, “The Crystal”, which will probably be a rum and fruit juice blend of some sort. Then anyone who doesn’t work the next day . . . → Read More: Birthday Party Potluck Slumber Party – Budget Friendly and Delicious!

2014 New Year’s Resolutions – 10 Month Update

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It’s been more than 5 months since I publicly checked in with my goals for 2014. Here is the official 2014 New Year’s Resolutions update.

Goals and Updates

My goals were very money-orientated this year. Our online business slowed down a little earlier in the year, but we are compensating with pet sitting and sports officiating.

1. Max out both Roth IRA’s for 2014 ($11,000 overall).

DONE! Woot!!! We sent over $5500 for each Roth IRA in early May 2014, so that was wrapped up.

2. Get the car fund to at least $10,000 by the end of 2014. It was at $3000 at the end of 2013.

DONE! Although I did buy my new Honda Fit this year, our account had reached $10,000+ before that. We ended up not using any of it either since we skipped a down payment. My car loan is at 0.9% interest, . . . → Read More: 2014 New Year’s Resolutions – 10 Month Update

Balancing Money, Fun, Work, and the Rest of Life

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This past July was my 3 year mark for going self-employed. I was just thinking of how I’ve been balancing life since I took that leap.

Money

Our self-employed income has been a roller-coaster, but we’ve spent the last 3 years bringing in more than we did when we worked for “classic” jobs. At our highest-paid point pre-2011, we were making about $80,000 a year before taxes. Now we bring in about $100,000-$120,000 a year. It’s not triple or anything, but it’s totally stellar for us since we enjoy it more than our jobs before. That is our only goal.

We figured out early on that self-employment income was less stable than we appreciate, so we branched out a bit since 2011. My husband has been officiating varsity and sub-varsity football and softball for years. Our friends rent out a room from us too. In 2012, we bought . . . → Read More: Balancing Money, Fun, Work, and the Rest of Life

How to Start Digging Yourself Out of a Debt Hole

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The following is from Donna Parshall.

“Every time I sat down to pay bills, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Our debt was so overwhelming. Sometimes it felt like someone had dropped a huge rock on my chest.”

That’s how Vanessa described her state of mind before she and her husband Anthony decided to get serious about taking control of their financial future. Vanessa and Anthony (not their real names) are smart, hard-working people. They both had good jobs during the early years of their marriage, took on what they thought was a reasonable amount of debt, and made it a point to pay their bills on time.

After the economy took a nose dive, Vanessa was laid off. The couple’s monthly budget got tight. With less money coming in, they started relying on credit cards and other types of debt to keep their monthly bills current. Vanessa eventually . . . → Read More: How to Start Digging Yourself Out of a Debt Hole

Maturity…It Sneaks Up On You

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My hubby was putting chips back in the pantry after lunch on Wednesday, and a jar of delicious Prego took a dive straight into our tile floor. It was a glass-shattery mess with chunky sauce. But you know what? We got his feet out unscathed, I picked up the glass pieces while he changed clothes, and we had it cleaned up in less than 10 minutes. All while enjoying the delicious scent of marinara.

No stomping, no snipey comments, and no pouty problems. HALLELUJAH!!!

Found at http://www.despair.com/maturity.html

Maturity

You may not see the miracle in this since you may not have had problems handling stuff. But my husband and I have always had pretty much the exact same problem whenever anything crappy happened. The one who was involved would get all pissy, and that would rub off on the other one of us really quickly. It usually only . . . → Read More: Maturity…It Sneaks Up On You