Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work

With the new year now upon us, I am proud to say my wife and I have hammered out our new budget for 2016. As a retired person for the past couple of years it has become increasingly challenging to maintain a comfortable life style when a big part of our income comes from my Social Security benefit and IRA distributions. Because of that, we have to plan carefully each year to try to increase our savings and emergency fund by finding new ways to save money.

Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work

This time around, instead of just preaching what you should do, I’m going to go through our approach to creating a budget and examine what it is we actually do. I’ll also show you how we erred this past year and how we’re planning to change so we can achieve all our financial goals this coming year!Continue reading“Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work”

Making A Success of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions

Today is New Year’s Day and I’d like to wish everyone happiness, health, and prosperity for 2016. And how do we get to happiness, health, and prosperity?

Resolutions: every new year we make a list of them and then by February they just seem to disappear in the cold north wind. I know you know what I’m talking about. You’ve pledged to lose some weight or to give up your nasty smoking habit, but it’s so much easier to say it than to do it.  You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

Well, when it comes to your financial resolutions, it’s much the same. Making resolutions that can make real changes in your life is something that most of us think, talk about and plan every year. But what becomes of that plan?

Making A Success Of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions

About a year ago, I wrote about how to make a better plan, by setting measurable goals, dealing with setbacks, engaging others, and more. This year I’d like to talk about what some of those financial goals might include.Continue reading“Making A Success of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions”

8 Money Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances

There are so many ways, subtle ways, that we sabotage our finances and sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. We become conditioned thinking we are on course and then we get blindsided by our poor planning or careless spending habits. Money mistakes have happened to us all, probably more that a few times.

8 Money Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances

Here’s my list of some of the big offenders and some solutions you can try if you find yourself too often behind the eight ball.Continue reading“8 Money Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Finances”

OMG, I Can’t Pay My Bills!

Maybe you’re in your twenties and you’ve been out and about enjoying life. You socialize with your friends most nights and you finally got that apartment you always wanted even though it cost just a little more than you wanted to pay. You have a job, but it’s not the one you really wanted. It’s a paycheck and some experience, but you really want something better. And now this…you realize that you just can’t pay all your expenses each month and you’re in big trouble! Trust me on this: you’re not alone. Many young people (and even not so young people) start out with the idea that everything will just fall into place once they’re on their own. They’re all about the fun of independence, their first apartment and job, and what seems to be a great adventure with sunshine and happiness ahead. But, the reality is you never had to manage your own money before. Mom and Dad probably helped you quite a bit and if a shortfall ever arose, well they put a bandaid on it with a loan or a gift. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here. It’s part of growing up and now that you are an adult, you need to figure it out on your own!

OMG I Can't Pay My Bills

So you can’t pay your bills…what can you do?Continue reading“OMG, I Can’t Pay My Bills!”

Budget Essentials: Planning and Saving to be on Target

A big part of savings that I write about each week, whether it’s in your supermarket savings or elsewhere, all contributes and shapes your financial destiny, and a budget is an important part of that.

Budget essentials: Planning and Saving to be on Target

If you wonder why I harp on budgeting, savings, and proper planning to insure you always have the ability to meet your expenses, I will admit there was a time when I didn’t plan well and save properly. I thought, “No problem, I always earn more each year, I’m young and healthy, and I have really good credit.” While that was true then, it’s not quite the same now. Today I have learned (the hard way, unfortunately) that earning potential is much more challenging. Age and health sneak up on you and planning your expenses and discretionary spending variables in detail (and yes, updating them) is truly essential.

Continue reading“Budget Essentials: Planning and Saving to be on Target”

Supermarket Savings: Your Grocery Budget – How to Make it and Stick to it

Grocery budget chart
Setting a budget goal for food will help you save money

Do you have a monthly grocery budget that’s working for you? Too many people head to the supermarket, start shopping and know that they are finished when their cart is “full”. Without a workable budget to guide your shopping, you’re probably spending more than you need every month with much of it going to waste.

Unfortunately, for lots of people the idea of budgeting is either scary (will I need to know spreadsheets?) or restrictive (I just want to buy what I want). It doesn’t have to be either one. A grocery budget is simply a goal to help you plan for what’s really important. You can treat it like a game where the object is to see how little you can spend while still providing nourishing and tasty meals and snacks for your family and the prize is putting that extra money toward another goal.Continue reading“Supermarket Savings: Your Grocery Budget – How to Make it and Stick to it”