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20 Ways to Save Some Cash

Live Real, Now mentioned this Investopedia post, 20 lazy ways to save money and let us see how he stacked up.  Here’s my results: 1.  Schedule automatic payments. I love automatic payments!  I have to leave checks for our housekeeper and lawn guy, but every other monthly bill is set up to be paid automatically through our credit cards or our bank account.  Our annual property taxes and homeowner’s insurance fees are all manual as well – you know, they want to make sure you feel the pain, lol. 2.  Eat your groceries. We were throwing out a lot of fruit but have gotten much better now.  I freeze the older bananas for smoothies and eat the rest as snacks at work.  Having a lot of freezer space does save waste in our home.  Well, that and the monthly board gaming parties where we can unload extra stuff too, lol.  😉 3.  Bundle services. We bundle our cable and internet, but that’s it.  We don’t have a land line and our cell service is through Sprint. 4.  Pay off credit card. Yes, we pay off our credit cards every month.  I detest paying interest for nothing. 5. Mark your calendar. I have … Read more

Three Levels of Budgeting

What a fanastic way to think about budgeting, to make sure that you're not missing anything and can cover all of the annoying htings that come up to try to wreck your budget! I love thinking about my finances this way and am going to implmeent the 3 levels of budgeting system into how I manage my money going forward. I can't wait to discuss this with my husband and get him on board too. Our net worth is going to climb this year, I know it!

These last couple of months have been filled with all sorts of unexpected monetary hurdles, so I thought this would be a good time to bring up the three levels of budgeting we use to keep ourselves on track.  Our monthly, annual, and random expenses are all taken into account on our monthly budget. Our Monthly Budget I use three columns of an Excel spreadsheet to list all our budgeted categories, the target amount for each category, and how much we actually spent.  This makes it easy to do spot checks.  It also has helped me to have detailed records of our expenses. It’s amazing how often I want to know how much we spent on food, vacations, or grad school in any given month.  I used to simply be curious and anal, now I have a blog to think about.  Having those records makes blogging so much more fun for me since I don’t have to estimate my numbers.  It’s hard to have full disclosure without having the actual data, right? For non-bloggers, long-term budgeting data is useful in order to see how you are looking overall.  It also can be used to track spending differentiations that may lead to budget changes in … Read more