Tag Archives: Personal finance

How Simplifying Your Budget Can Help You Save Money

Simplifying Your Budget

Simplify Your Budget!

When looking for ways to save money, many consumers immediately start wondering which bills can be eliminated.  While these are important considerations, if you’re looking to save money, simplifying your budget can offer an even better look at how to save money.

Likewise, we are often taught to save money by creating highly detailed budgets. However, instead of detailed budgets that track down every expense in your life, a simplified budget could provide an even better solution.  Here’s how.

Simplifying Your Budget – The Concept

Simplifying Your Budget - The Big Picture

Simplifying Your Budget – The Big Picture

For starters, it’s important to understand the concept behind simplifying your budget.  Essentially, simplifying your budget boils down to consolidating all similar expenses.  So instead of an individual entry for each credit card bill, how about combining them all into a single ‘credit cards’ category.

You can do the same for utilities – just list them together instead of separating each of them.  This gives you a better idea of where all your money is going.  Four or five credit card payments for twenty bucks a month may look small, but combining them will show you they’re more than you think and give you a better idea of what to cut.

Next Step to Simplifying Your Budget

Now that you’ve taken the time to simplify your budget let’s look at where you’re spending the most money.  You can identify these areas by using the “grouping” technique that we mentioned above.  After identifying them you can ‘zoom in’ for a more detailed line item by line item examination.

Time to Make a Decision 

Isolate, Decide and Trim

Isolate, Decide and Trim

Now the only thing left to do is to decide what you want you want to do with the items eating up your savings.  Can you cancel a credit card or two?  What’s the biggest bill in your utilities category, and is it possible for you to reduce it or even eliminate it?

Starting with the simpler view lets you see where you’re really losing money so  you can more closely review only the items that need your attention.

Choosing to simplify your budget is only the beginning.  Saving money isn’t always easy, but having an idea where your money goes certainly helps.  Also, be prepared because it might take an hour or two to really crunch all the numbers, but just remember that it’s time well spent.

You can also use one of the free online budget websites to help you plan out all of your options and figure out what’s working.

Do you prefer a more detailed budget or a simplified budget?  Let us know by commenting below.

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Four Types of Free Budgeting Tools That Can Save You Money

Four Free Budgeting Tools

Four Free Budgeting Tools

When you’re saving money there are plenty of obstacles that can stand in your way.  Frugal fatigue, sudden emergency expenses and day to day costs are all hurdles you’ll have to clear when you’re trying to pinch pennies.

Saving cash isn’t easy, but as you’ll see in this post – thanks to four free budgeting tools saving has become much easier than in years past. Continue reading

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Save Money, Stay Happy – Three Ways to Avoid Frugal Fatigue

How to Avoid Frugal Fatigue

How to Avoid Frugal Fatigue

Given the current state of the economy, it’s no surprise that saving money has become standard operating procedure for most homes.  But as a result of households focusing so much on saving money, more people than ever are reporting frugal fatigue.

A study done late last year found that sixty-five percent of Americans are experiencing it, in fact.  Essentially, it’s the feeling of depression and frustration but it’s tied to always having to be so frugal.  So how do we prevent this from occurring in the first place?  While there’s no surefire way to stop it completely, there are a few safeguards you can use.  Here are three ways to avoid frugal fatigue. Continue reading

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Can Saving Pocket Change Really Change Your Finances?

Can Pocket Change Help?

Can Pocket Change Help?

It’s amazing how many ways there are to save money.  It seems like every day we’re learning a new way to save.  And as Your Life for Less pointed out in one of their blog posts today, saving money isn’t a one-size fits all approach.

It helps if you can find a savings method that works for your particular situation.  If you find yourself carrying around change in your pocket, please stick around because we’ll be showing you how to turn this spare change into serious savings throughout the rest of this post. Continue reading

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Saving Money – Six Months of Living Expenses

Saving Money for Six Months of Living Expenses

Saving Money for Six Months of Living Expenses

Failing to prepare for unexpected emergencies can put you in a vulnerable position when you are faced with them.  Yet even in a soft economy, it is possible to be prepared in case something were to suddenly go wrong.  Continue reading to find out how to safeguard your household from unexpected emergencies. Continue reading

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How to Teach Your Kids about Saving Money and Budgeting

Teach Your Kids to Save Money

Teach Your Kids to Save Money

Guest Post by Bethany Sistrunk

As a mother of four, remaining thrifty has been a top priority of my own for many years. However, it wasn’t until recently that I started to teach my kids about the values of saving and budgeting for themselves.

With one child attending a Boston law school program and myself returning to school to complete an online masters degree program, money was very tight in our family. This experience served as the perfect opportunity to show our younger kids that with smart budgeting and fiscal responsibility, even difficult financial situations didn’t have to lead to financial disaster.

Here are 5 top tips that I taught my kids about saving and budgeting: Continue reading

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Three Ways to Use Sharing as a Money Saving Strategy

Sharing as a Savings Strategy

Sharing as a Savings Strategy

During tough times people tend to turn to one another for shopping hints and tips. Surprisingly, many more people are finding that saving money and sharing often go hand in hand.  Frugal living is a great way to avoid spending top dollar on merchandise, while still addressing your needs. Continue reading

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