• 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…

  • Budget Smart Cook,  Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Top Tips for Sticking with Your Budget

        So you have a family budget. There’s only one problem – you haven’t stuck with it! Maybe your budget is nicely outlined and detailed, but sits unused on your computer or in your desk drawer. Formulating a budget is a challenge, but once you have it done, it doesn’t do any good unless you stick with it. Sometimes you need to compromise and be somewhat flexible but oftentimes can tweak and adjust your budget to make it easier for you to stick with it. Here are some creative and even fun tips for doing just that… Have a Look-See Maybe your budget didn’t work out because it didn’t fit…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Do You Really Need an Emergency Fund?

      Everyone should have an emergency fund because life is full of changes – many of them sudden and not good – and having that “cushion” can help you feel ready and calm. What’s the best approach and does it need to be a huge amount? Here are some ideas and suggestions – What are my expenses? First, determine your expenses. Look at three to six months’ worth of living costs and count on saving that much in a fund. This can help you keep your standard of living for a time if you lose your job, or it can cover a large expense such as vehicle repair.  Next step…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Practical Steps to Getting Started on a Family Budget

        Are you ready to get started on a family budget? Are you overwhelmed? It can seem complicated at first – how do you categorize everything? What about expenses that fluctuate or aren’t monthly? The best thing to do is take a step back and look at some practical steps toward formulating your family budget. Here are some tips.   Estimates and Actuals, not Ideals   Remember that your budget is a tool, not a dream machine. Goals are important, but a family budget should first focus on the numbers you’re dealing with. That’s the basic first step. Once you have a grasp on that, you can begin a…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide,  Products and Companies Worth Checking Out

    Creativebug’s Having a Sale

      One of my hobbies is arts and crafts so a few years ago I signed up for a subscription to Creativebug Great thing is with your subscription you can take as many classes as you want, sewing, cooking, painting, you name it. You even get to put 12 classes per year into your own library so if you ever quit your subscription they’re still there for you. I’ve learned a ton of stuff from their site. Yes, even stuff like sewing skills that can save me money. I’ve even learned some art skills and sold a few of my doodles so you can make money too! I enjoy the site so…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Are You On Track With Your Financial Goals?

        We’re almost mid-way through the financial summer makeover/challenge so how are you doing? Are you on track to meet the financial goals you set? Here’s my update. I’ve been keeping track of money I spend and what I spend it on. It’s taught me a couple of things. One, there’s always room for improvement because even the most budget conscious of us will splurge once in a while. It’s human nature I guess, and yes, like a diet it’s sometimes a good thing because it stops you from going off the diet completely. Second thing is that being accountable if only to myself, is improving my ability to be totally…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Ways to Save with Amazon

    Before I begin, a full disclosure, I recently signed up to be an Amazon associate which means I can earn affiliate fees if anyone clicks on or makes a purchase through one of the links I’m providing in this post… and actually that’s my first tip for saving and making money on Amazon is to become one of their associates. Coupons I never thought I’d find coupons on Amazon but yes, they have them and here’s a link (no, this isn’t one of the affiliate links). You can use them for lots of stuff and another way to shave off some money from your order. https://www.amazon.com/Coupons     Prime Member and…