The BBBB Zone: The Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It’s a journey into a land of overspending. Your next stop: the BBBB Zone!

– (With apologies to Rod Serling)

Even the most frugal people have some area(s) where they tend to overspend. They just can’t help it and neither can you or me. It is unfortunately just a part of our human nature that we have some sort of weak spot and that means we can’t easily control the acts of excessive spending on some damn thing or another. For most of us, it’s limited and only slightly out of control, but for some people, it’s not. It’s money they spend that they either don’t have or will never have and yet they simply can’t prevent themselves from entering into the BBBB ZONE: The Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone!

We all have areas of overspending that lead us to the Big Budget-Busting Bonehead Zone. But it is possible to escape!

What Are You Telling Me Here?

Just about every well-intentioned personal finance writer will tell you that in order to be successful with your money and your spending, the very first thing you need to do (once you have an income) is to make a budget. Of course that makes absolute sense. When you have a budget you understand where your money comes from and where it’s going and you are allocating that money to real needs and requirements. The problem with that is that what you “require” may not be a good thing. If you’re spending money on illegal drugs because you “need” them due to an addiction issue, you can budget for them all day long and you aren’t exactly making any kind of good decision there. And that is besides the health and legal issues.

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Why What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Do you remember that old phrase of years gone by, “ignorance is bliss”? Even if you never have heard that one (although I doubt that), it is something that seems to be true. After all, you aren’t going to worry about that big pothole on the road just a few hundred feet ahead of you when you’re driving to work on this sunny morning—if you are totally unaware of it, right? How can you? You don’t know it’s there. You haven’t heard any problems about it and your mind is drifting along with the latest tunes on the radio as you sip your coffee from your freshly brewed homemade K-cup coffee machine that you made just 10 minutes earlier. Life is good. And then…kaboom! What you don’t know can hurt you.

When it comes to your finances, what you don't know can hurt you. Here are some basics to get you started on your way to learning what you need to know.

Funny thing about that “ignorance is bliss” thing, it has a tendency to sneak up on you and hit you squarely in the eye or even worse, your rear end and lower back like driving over a huge pothole does! That simply proves the premise doesn’t it? What you don’t know can and will hurt you!

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Skipping These Will Save You Money But Ruin Your Life

One of things you hear pretty often when it comes to trying to save money is the concept of “just skip it”. You know what I’m talking about here, don’t you? Like when you’re on your way to work in the morning if you “skip” that stop at 7-Eleven and forgo the cup of coffee and that bagel you’ll save yourself about $5 bucks, right?

There are lots of things you can skip to save money, but it's not always a good idea. Here are 8 things that you're better off keeping in your budget.

Or say, how about when you are at the restaurant and you opt for that tasty glass of Chardonnay with dinner and tack on an extra $14 to your bill? “Skip it” and have a glass of water with a twist of lemon instead, right? That’s fairly good advice and when you do it you will definitely cut costs and save some money. And truth be told, no real harm or suffering comes from that. But, and it’s a big but, sometimes we are “penny wise and pound foolish” as the old saying goes. Continue reading“Skipping These Will Save You Money But Ruin Your Life”

Where the F Did All My Money Go?

Sometimes, I find myself to be a little bit bored. Retirement can do that to you, and so a few days ago I got out some paper and started to jot down some numbers. I tried to figure out how much money I have earned and spent over the last 50 years or so. Where does the money go? It’s kind of amazing and also kind of scary too that I can actually remember all of this crap. What does that say about me, my money, and my life? For one, I may be a freaking money savant…or am I just a mentally ill moron? Um, let’s go with savant, ok?

At some point, most of us wonder "where does the money go?". Make sure you're spending money one what you truly value...most of the time.

A Rainy Wednesday and This is What I Choose to Do?

So I sat down and began to put numbers on paper to try to figure it all out. I thought hard about how much money I have earned over the course of my lifetime and wondered how and where I have spent it all, leading me to this fundamental question: Where the fu¢k did all the money go?

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HoneyMoney Review and Giveaway – The No-Stress Way to Control Your Bucks

Thanks to HoneyMoney for partnering on this post. I was compensated for providing this review, but all opinions, positive or negative, are honest and solely my own. Please note this post contains affiliate links which help to fund this blog at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

I have been tracking my money for a really long time using that “old reliable” Quicken on my computer every single day like clockwork. It’s something that is ingrained in my brain—recording my income, expenses, etc.—and I think about it a lot. In fact, you could say I have “trackitis”, i.e. a stress-related disease that involves knowing every aspect of my financial life. Quicken has a lot of features, options, menus, and it can make you feel more like a CPA rather than being a no-stress way to gain control of your money.

That’s where HoneyMoney comes in.

HoneyMoney is an online tool and mobile app to manage your money. This HoneyMoney review shows you how the tool works, plus the benefits and downsides.HoneyMoney is a relatively new way here in the USA to simply track your income and expenses, launching in 2017. It was originally begun in Europe back in 2011.Continue reading“HoneyMoney Review and Giveaway – The No-Stress Way to Control Your Bucks”

How the Family Budget of Americans Varies at Different Phases of Life

For today’s guest post on how the family budget changes over time, please welcome fellow personal finance blogger James Paul.

We spend according to our age. Our needs vary as we grow old. Our happiness depends on how much you earn. The more we earn, the more we spend, and the happier we are. The American economy is built on the buying power of its citizens. They have many reasons to buy Black Friday sales, New Year sales, and discounts all around the year.

At different times in your life, your family budget will vary according to the stage you are in. Here are the average monthly expenses for 7 different phases. How does it compare to yours?

When you decide on the family budget next time, analyze the areas which cost you more and less. Studies show you tend to spend more as you grow old. Following are the ways in which Americans spend their earnings:Continue reading“How the Family Budget of Americans Varies at Different Phases of Life”

These 14 Things Will Cost More in 2018

Your budget won’t like this, but there are a number of goods and services you can expect to be more expensive in 2018. Giving you a heads up can make your planning a little easier and certainly keep you sharp when looking to buy. This list is meant to do just that. Here’s what you can expect in 2018.

It seems like prices are always going up, but for these 14 items, you're sure to see a price increase in 2018. Adjust your budget and plan ahead for success.

14 Things Where You’ll See a Price Increase in 2018

1. New Phones

Smartphone prices have already started to rise. The latest iPhone model jumped to a whopping $999 and the Google Pixel 2 XL launched at $849. That means that some of us are now spending almost a solid grand on a phone (granted, they take some pretty amazing photos). It’s a trend that seems to run opposite from other tech products that usually get better and cheaper as they become more common. While there are always some good deals around, they are getting harder to find as phones are getting better but more expensive, and you can expect this trend to continue.Continue reading“These 14 Things Will Cost More in 2018”

Budgeting: The Ups and Downs and All Arounds

January 1st is over, so unfortunately it’s right back to reality. While the celebrating was fun and well deserved after a long year, it is back to basics at our house. What is most basic for us, and for that matter anyone else, is budgeting.

When budgeting, you have to deal with the annuals ups and downs the affect your income and expenses. Check out our budgetary changes for this coming year.

We hashed out our budget plan for 2017 in December, and we are set now to dig in and make this year a winner in what really is a war. Why do I say that? Just look at some of the stats and you’ll quickly see that for a huge number of us, our finances and economic wellbeing has suffered from a lack of personal income growth and increases in many of the basic costs of living.Continue reading“Budgeting: The Ups and Downs and All Arounds”