admin / April 26, 2018

The Added Cost of Being on Auto-Pilot

 

We all know being disorganized can cost us money. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rushed out to buy something I know I already own but can’t remember where I put it. I’m getting better at being organized but one thing that can also eat away at your budget is payments that are on auto-pilot.

I’ve signed up for services, memberships to sites etc. without thinking about how payments are made during the second year. A couple of times I’ve been sent e-mails saying thank you for staying on as a customer for another year.

But what, you say, I didn’t make a payment to you. In fact, I wanted to cancel.

I’ve lost count how many times it’s happened to be in the last year or so. When I’ve checked if they are indeed right and were able to automatically renew my membership or service for a year, I’ve discovered that yes, they can and it’s my own fault for not being diligent.

These days it seems like it’s a default setting for most companies to put your account on auto-renewal and by the time you realize it, you’re paying for another year. That’s fine if you really want it but if you don’t, well, it’s wasted money.

I’ve been slowly checking all my services and memberships and going through the process of unchecking the auto-renew box on anything I no longer want to keep.  Some of them don’t let you do that and instead you have to simply cancel. In those cases, and so I don’t lose the remaining part of the membership I’ve already ready paid for, I’ve made a note on my calendar that a few days before the subscription or whatever ends, I’ll cancel it.

It’s also a great opportunity to look at all the things you’re still paying for that you may no longer use or have an interest in. I have three this year that fit that category and I’ve worked out I’ll be saving close to $300. That’s $300 that would have wasted had I not been watching for the auto-renew feature on these sites. If it’s a service or something you do use, it’s a good time to also check if they’re giving you the best price. I switched my domain registrations off of auto-renew and changed to a service offering much lower prices.

So bottom line is look at payments that are on ‘auto-pilot’. Are they still things you need and if they are, is someone else offering you a better deal?

 

admin / April 19, 2018

Going Green Means Saving Green

Earth Day is this Saturday and here are five easy ways I’ve found to go green and save money at the same time-

 

 

Showers

You can buy low water flow shower heads or even buy adapters to go on your current one. Neither are that expensive and if you’re think the water will just dribble out of the showerhead, you’d be surprised how the new versions are so good that you hardly notice the difference.

 

 

 

Dirty Laundry

Where I live, putting laundry outside to dry isn’t something I can do year round but when the temperature heats up a great way to save money on electricity (and your clothes too), is to hang everything outside to air dry. It also prevents heating up your home in the summer.

 

 

Fan Favorites

If  you live in a humid climate, fans won’t always work but on the days when it’s just hot but humidity’s low, how about turning off the air conditioning and turning on a fan or two.

 

 

Dirt Cheap Gardening

Here’s something I’ve going to do this year instead of buying compost at the store…make your own. Buy a compost bin or even put your DIY skills to use and make your own. Another way you can save money in the garden is to install a rain barrel and catch all the free rainwater.

 

 

 

Walk or Bike

This one also gives you some free exercise too. Leave the car at home and either bike or walk to your destination.

 

Do you have a favorite eco friendly idea that saves money? Leave a comment and share your tip for us.

 

Also, be sure to subscribe to Budget Smart Girl so you don’t miss a post. You’ll find the sign up form at the top of the site.

 

admin / April 11, 2018

Three Ingredients and a Slow Cooker Dessert

Most of you know I like to keep a full pantry. A couple of times a year I sort through it and begin using the older supplies. Last week (a surprisingly chilly one for this time of year), I wanted something gooey and sweet for dessert. I had a box of Devil’s Food cake mix that needed using and soon. A quick search of the rest of the pantry yielded candied ginger and a can of sliced pears. The combination sounded too good to pass on and with the help of the slow cooker, this dessert was ready in a couple of hours. I topped it with Greek yogurt but I’m guessing ice cream would be good too. Serving size is around 6-8.

 

Ingredients

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix (don’t follow the ingredient measurements…I went with ¼ oil and just 1 egg)

2 tablespoons finally chopped candied ginger (more if you like the heat)

1 15 ounce can of sliced pears (drained)

 

 

Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the pears and ginger at the bottom.

Make the cake mix and pour on top of the pears and ginger.

Turn on low and cook for about two hours.

Serve warm.

 

admin / April 4, 2018

YouTube a Goldmine for The Budget Minded

 

I don’t know how many of you ever spend time on YouTube but over the last year or so I’ve discovered there’s a goldmine of information there for budget savvy people like us. With that in mind, I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite channels in various categories so here they are-

For the Budget Minded

A YouTuber based in Utah has this fun and informative channel called The Melea Show-

https://www.youtube.com/user/Freebies2Deals

Another one of my favorites is the Do It On A Dime

https://www.youtube.com/user/DoItOnaDime

And who can leave out The Krazy Coupon Lady

https://www.youtube.com/channel/

Or even discovering free stuff…free is always good.

https://www.youtube.com/user/freestufffindercom/about?

 

Organizing

I’m a firm believer in that being organized can save you money and time which actually does save you money too and one of my favorite organizing channels belongs to this lady-

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/OrganizedClutterbug

 

Crafts and Hacks

What budget smart girl doesn’t love crafts and finding easy (yes cheap) ways of doing stuff around the house

https://www.youtube.com/channel/

 

Cooking

Did you think I’d leave out the food? Here are some of my favorite cooking channels

Mind Over Munch

https://www.youtube.com/channel/

The Domestic Geek

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedomesticgeek1

 

 

Exercising

And last but by no means least, a channel I discovered last year when I realized I had to start exercising again, a fitness channel belonging to a fellow Brit named Lucy. Believe me when I say if you eat right and do these exercises (I can finally get pants and skirts zipped up again), you’ll get results. Best thing is if you’re a super busy BSG they don’t take up a lot of your time. Thank you Lucy!

https://www.youtube.com/user/LWRFitnessChannel

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