• Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How You Save and Budget

      Summer isn’t officially over yet but the summer budget makeover is drawing to a close on Saturday. If you remember back in late May I set a challenge to myself (and to you too), to monitor and track your spending over the next three months. I’ve figured out that if I’m saving toward a specific goal I do much better than if I tell myself to just put aside money for savings. I also found out that when I do spend money, 90% of the time it’s on something I think will make me money somewhere down the road. Not a bad thing but now I have to see if I’m…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How to Ask for a Discount-Part Two

        Last week’s post focused on when to get discounted goods and services, this one is all about how to ask for a discount. Here are some easy to follow tips to get you started- Ask – It all starts with simply asking. “What is your best price on this fridge?” Be Courteous – Smile, look assistants in the eye, treat them with respect and be polite and friendly. If you’re rude and pushy, they’re just going to say no. So it pays to be nice. Remember the saying about flattery will get your everywhere…and let’s add everything to that too. Find the Person in Charge – There is…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    When and How to Ask for a Discount-Part One

      One way to be a Budget Smart Girl is to ask for a discount on just about everything you plan to buy. Yes, you never have to settle for the listed price but the key is knowing when and how, and a lot depends on the actual item. Here are some guidelines- Cars – Anytime you shop for a new car you should never pay the retail price for it. The best time to shop for a new car is the last day of the month because that’s when everyone is trying to reach their quotas. Consumer Reports gives great information about how inexpensively you can get a vehicle…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Why Timing Is Everything When You Shop

      Timing is important when you shop for bargains because retailers introduce new items to their line on a schedule. For example, it’s a good idea to buy out of season for clothing to get the best deals, and for cars, pick the end of the year when the new models arrive. End of Day – This is especially true for thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales. It can work with almost any type of item that is sold via a salesperson who is tired (such as furniture, appliances, and cars), and if you go to locally owned and operated stores. End of Season – Each type of product has…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Do’s and Don’ts with Smart Shopping-Part Two

    Here are more smart shopping tips…. Use Cash – Studies show that people spend about 50 percent more when they’re using plastic, whether it’s a credit card or a debit card. That’s because we don’t see that as money even though it is. Get Help – When you’re in the store, ask for help. Customer service is there to help you, whether it’s online or offline. Often, they know about coupon codes and other information to help you get a deal. Sometimes sales people who sell on commission can change the price too. Set a Time Limit – When you do go shopping, set a time limit. You don’t want…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Do’s and Don’ts of Smart Shopping-Part One

      Smart shopping takes planning, product knowledge, and patience. You can find everything you want for a good deal if you’re willing to save money and pay cash, take the time to do your research, and don’t get  sidetracked by sales. Read Reviews – No matter what you want to buy, someplace there are reviews and most are now online. If you don’t have a computer then head to the library. Avoid Impulse Buys – No matter what you do, it’s best to avoid impulse buys. If it’s not on your list as an item you need and you’ve thought about how to use, then don’t buy it. It’s hard…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget with the Healthy Outlook

      For some people, a healthy budget means reaching for their calculator at every purchase, or viewing the budget on their mobile device in the grocery store. For others, a budget is something they worked on but never look at it again. Having a budget can either mean having an obsessive adherence, or going crazy trying to keep track of all the details and finally giving up. Where’s the balance? How can you maintain a healthy outlook without obsessing or ignoring your budget? Here are some tips on how you can cultivate a healthy outlook regarding your budget. Flexibility For those who tend to err on the obsessive side, it’s…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Saving Money – Make It a Part of Your Family’s Budget

      If you lost your job, would you have any savings to cover your living expenses? Have you ever wondered how some people manage to have a savings account with more than a few dollars in it? Maybe you’ve tried, and just don’t seem to have anything left over each month for savings. Financial experts across the board recommend having a savings account for emergency funds and yes, if you lose your job. So how do you go about it? Here are some tips for making saving money a part of your family’s budget. Try and Pay Yourself First One of the reasons many families feel they can’t afford to…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How to Know When You Need a Budget?

      Do you really need a budget? Isn’t that just a boring list of numbers that means you never get to spend money on what you want? A budget is really just a way to take control of your finances. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t ever spend your money on what you want; it just means you spend your money smarter. In fact, if you’re always denying yourself and never buying anything you want for fear you can’t afford it, a budget could be liberating. Dealing with real numbers tends to be a lot less stressful than dealing with vague impressions of your income and expenses. So how do…

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