Tax refunds are rolling in. With Americans getting on average more than $3,000 back this year. (Source.)
I personally am not a fan of big returns. I want to keep my money from my paycheck each month. Not give the government an interest-free loan. (Because they would charge YOU 4-7 % interest on a federal student loan!)
But if you are getting money back, why not be smart about where it goes.
Are you looking for ways to slash your budget and start saving cash? Here's a list of 45 PRACTICAL ways you can start saving money. We're not reinventing the wheel here, but I hope to inspire you to take control of your spending.
Has this ever happened to you? You sit down and make your budget. It's perfect. It's gleaming. Every penny is accounted for and then your kid gets sick, you realize you need to change your oil and your third-grader got invited to two birthday parties. Yup. Been there. (Only my child is five.)
Today I wanted to talk about 7 things you probably forgot to budget. Because we all do this at some point.
Goals are important. Without them, it's really hard to anchor our time.
When we make a to-do list, that's a goal. When we set out to lose weight with a number in mind, that's a goal.
Why not deal with finance the same way?
Jason and I are currently working on some big savings goals. We decided in February of this year on a specific number we needed in our savings account and estimated how long it would take us to get there.
We've made great progress. But we've also had some setbacks.
Here are a few things you might want to ask before signing a lease.
“I can’t do this anymore, I feel like I am running but not getting anywhere and I want to quit.” That’s what the message I got on Facebook read.
It wasn’t the first time I have gotten a comment or email from someone who was just at the end of their financial rope. I get hundreds of messages and comments each week from women who are frustrated, exhausted and they just want to give up.
A few weeks ago I was watching a family YouTube channel. The video was all about what the couple got their kids for Christmas. It was a fun video and the family is just precious. I don't know why but I found myself reading the comments. I never do this because let's be honest the comments section is where discourse goes to die. (Except here. You guys are wonderful!)
The comments that kept popping up were "look at how much money you're wasting" or "your children are so spoiled."
Are you looking to turn the money ship around in 2017? Who isn't? Even budgeting pros need to develop good habits sometimes. So let's talk about six money habits you can develop now.
Each week I get countless Facebook or YouTube comments (and even emails) from people who say the same thing: "I try to budget but I just can't seem to stick to it."
I totally understand that. Like I said last week, no one is perfect at budgeting all the time. However, in my personal budget failure experiences, there seem to be a few things that pop up over and over again in failed budgets.
This is a conversation that we need to be having more of because pretending like we're perfect little money angels doesn't help anyone.
Like it or not credit scores are a way of life now. But you don’t have to have a credit card to have a decent score. And you can build up your score without taking on MORE debt than you are already paying off.
It's been nine months since we closed on our house (woo!). It's been an incredible nine months living in a home that we own, that we wanted and that we worked hard for.
Since today is Money Monday, the day where I answer real money questions from real people on my YouTube channel I thought i would share a question from a viewer.
"Can you talk about saving up for a house on one income?"
Sweet and to the point, right? Here are a few things that we did and that worked for us. Remember, I am not a financial expert, just a woman who likes to save money.
While making more cost-effective choices will lead to BIG savings, there are also little things you can start doing today that will yield big savings results without big sacrifices. (Although I think we can argue that giving up a satellite dish probably isn't that big of a sacrifice, right?)
Today I wanted to share a few things you can to THIS WEEK to start saving money.
It is no secret that I am not an organized person. Sigh. This is something I am working on, but it is difficult for me. But I have other good qualities...
But, one way I have gotten myself more organized is to plan my family's weekly menu. At our house we have my husband, me and our two sons who eat smaller portions of the same foods we do. Some days they eat way more than other days.
I know as a nation our belts are as tight as they can get. Many of you have eliminated luxuries like cable, cell phone plan extras, date nights and movie rentals. If you budget down to the penny and the last penny gets stretched till Abe starts screaming, you're not alone.
So, I wanted to talk about menu planning when you're on a tight, tight, tight budget. Trust me this will save you tons of time and TONS of money.
This has really helped motivate us as we work toward some future savings goals.
It's also been a reminder that saving money can be a habit and not a chore. It has become almost second nature to us and while we're not always perfect at it I am proud of the progress we have made.
Have you ever had a lot of life happen to you all at once? That's how our summer felt. One Tuesday afternoon I watched out our front window as a storm blew large chunks of our shingles off our house.
On Wednesday, we saw the telltale signs of a leak blooming on our son's bedroom ceiling. On Friday, the AC went out. I am not even joking. Then I got a flat tire.
Nope. I don't make my own laundry detergent. Or my own bread. Every now and then I might make my own tortillas because they taste amazing, not because they save me money.
Here is my opinion. Sometimes things save you a lot of money, but that doesn't mean that provide you a good value.
I love Amazon. I love any place where I can do the bulk of my shopping and not have to interact with people or put on pants.
But beyond that, I love the savings. I have learned a few "tricks" that have helped my save even more money on Amazon and I thought I would share them today.