Showing posts with label Budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Budget. Show all posts

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Not Good With Money? Ways You Can Help Yourself

Money management is one of the most important skills you can develop in life. Yet, many people struggle with managing their finances, leading to problems like debts and financial insecurity.

If you fall into this category, don't worry—there are things you can do to improve with money. In this blog post, we'll provide you with some simple tricks that can help you improve your financial situation.

Create a Budget and Cling to It

One of the best things you can do to improve your finances is to create a budget. A budget is simply a plan outlining how to spend your money. Start by listing your income and expenses, and then identify areas where you can cut back. 

This may mean reducing your spending on non-essential items, such as dining out or buying new clothes. Make sure you allocate enough money for bills and savings and stick to your budget as much as possible.

Sticking to a budget can be challenging, especially if you're used to spending freely. To help yourself stay on track, try setting specific goals for your money. This could include saving up for a vacation or paying off a credit card debt. 

When you have a clear goal in mind, it can motivate you to stick to your budget and make smarter financial decisions. Another helpful tip is to use cash instead of credit or debit cards for non-essential purchases. Seeing physical money leave your wallet can make you more aware of your spending and help prevent overspending.

Set Financial Goals

Setting financial goals can help you stay motivated and focused on improving your finances. Be specific with your goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or paying off a credit card debt. 

Create a timeline to achieve your goals and then break them into smaller, achievable steps. For example, if you want to save $10,000 in a year, break it down into how much you need to save each month.

In addition to saving for big purchases or paying off debts, there are other financial goals you can set for yourself. These may include building an emergency fund, investing in your retirement, or starting a side hustle to increase your income. 

The key is to prioritize your goals and create a plan for how you will achieve them.

Track Your Spending

Tracking your spending is a valuable tool that can help you identify areas where you can cut back. Consider using a finance app or a budget tracker to monitor your spending. 

By having a clear picture of your spending habits, you can better understand where your money is going and make changes as necessary.

To be faithful at tracking your spending, make it a habit to record every single expense. This means keeping track of both big and small purchases. 

It may also be helpful to review your expenses regularly, such as on a weekly or monthly basis, to see if there are any patterns or areas where you can improve.

Additionally, try to categorize your expenses so that you can see where you are spending the most money. This will give you a better understanding of your spending habits and help you make necessary adjustments to stay on track with your budget. 

Remember, being consistent and diligent with tracking your spending is key to improving your financial situation.

Learn About Money Management

There are many resources available to help you improve your financial literacy. Books, podcasts, and online courses are all great options for learning more about money management. 

Take advantage of these resources to gain a better understanding of personal finance and how to make your money work for you.

While there are many great resources available for improving your money management skills, it's important to be cautious about where you seek advice. Be wary of "get rich quick" schemes and scams promising easy solutions to financial problems. 

It's also a good idea to avoid seeking advice from friends or family members who may not have a solid understanding of personal finance themselves.

Instead, stick to reputable sources and seek guidance from financial advisors or certified professionals. Remember, proper financial education is crucial for making sound financial decisions and achieving long-term financial stability, so don't take advice from just anyone.

Seek Professional Help

If you're really struggling with money management, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A financial planning advisor or credit counselor can help you develop a plan to pay off debt, save money, and improve your financial situation. They can also provide valuable advice on investing and long-term financial planning.

Finding the best professional help for your financial situation can be overwhelming, but it's important to take the time to do research and find someone who is qualified and trustworthy. 

Start by looking for recommendations from friends or family members who have had successful experiences with financial advisors or credit counselors. You can also search for accredited professionals through organizations to lead you to the best candidates. 

No matter what you choose, try to find someone with experience, a good reputation, and a willingness to help.

Managing your finances can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. By creating a budget, setting financial goals, tracking your spending, learning about money management, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can take control of your finances and improve your financial situation. 

Remember, small changes can add up to big results over time, so don't give up if you don't see immediate progress. Keep working towards your goals, and soon you'll be on the path to financial security.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

What Do You Need to Do to Get Your Financials in Order?

Getting your financials in order can be daunting, but achieving financial stability and freedom is essential. It’s never too late, and there are steps you can take right now to improve your financial standing.

With that said, here are some tips on how to get your financials in order.

Establish a Budget

Taking control of your finances can be daunting, but setting up a budget can make all the difference. By tracking your income and expenses over the last month, you'll reveal your financial patterns and can make informed decisions accordingly. 

The key is creating a realistic and achievable budget, considering your financial goals. Don't forget to prioritize essential expenses like rent, utilities, and transportation, as they form the foundation of your financial stability. 

With your budget in place, you'll be well on your way to achieving financial freedom.

Pay Off Debt

Struggling with debt can feel like a never-ending nightmare. The constant pressure of paying back loans and accumulating interest can weigh heavily on your mind and wallet. 

But cutting through the noise and prioritizing your debt can make a significant difference in achieving financial stability. Start by paying off high-interest debts, like credit card balances, as soon as possible. Then, tackle lower-interest debts like student loans. 

If that feels too daunting, consider debt consolidation or refinancing to make payments more manageable. Remember, every small step counts towards a future of financial freedom.

Save for Emergencies

Financial stability is something that everyone strives for. We all want to feel secure and in control of our finances. However, life can be unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can throw a wrench in even the most well-thought-out budget. 

That's where having an emergency fund comes in. Setting aside three to six months of living expenses can mean the difference between financial ruin and weathering the storm. Whether it's a sudden job loss or a medical emergency, having a safety net can alleviate the stress and worry that comes with unexpected expenses. 

So, if you haven't already, start saving for emergencies today. Your future self will thank you.

Invest in Retirement

Retirement may seem like a far-off concept, but it's important to start thinking about it now. By investing in your retirement, you can secure your financial future and ensure that you have enough money to enjoy your golden years. 

One popular option is to take advantage of your employer's 401(k) plan, where you can save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. But even if your employer doesn't offer a 401(k), you can start an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and begin saving for your future. 

By starting early and being consistent with your contributions, you can build a solid nest egg that will provide for you in the years to come.

Track Your Finances

Managing your finances can seem like a daunting task, but it's crucial to stay on top of them if you want financial stability and success. One way to do this is by enlisting the help of financial services or an accounting firm that can guide you through the process and offer valuable insights. 

Additionally, numerous budgeting and financial apps are available, such as the popular Mint and YNAB, which allow you to monitor your income and expenses easily. 

Another useful feature of these apps is the ability to set up automatic payments to ensure you never miss a payment due date or incur late fees. By taking advantage of these tools, you can start tracking your finances with greater ease and accuracy.

Final Thoughts

Getting your financials in order is a crucial step towards achieving financial stability and freedom. Establishing a budget, paying off debt, saving for emergencies, investing in retirement, and tracking your finances are all essential components of getting your financials in order. 

Remember, it’s never too late to start and practice patience and persistence along the way. By following these steps, you’ll eventually achieve the financial freedom you deserve.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Steps to Take for a Better Financial Future

We all dream of a safe and secure financial future, but achieving that dream requires effort, actions, and smart financial planning. You can take several steps to improve your financial situation and secure your future.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to make a change, following these six steps will help you achieve your financial goals

In this blog, we’ll discuss each step in detail to help you create a roadmap for a better financial future.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget is a crucial step in achieving financial stability. By closely examining your income and expenses, you can assess your financial situation and identify areas where you can make cuts. 

Separating expenses into categories will help you understand exactly where your money is going and allow you to spot areas where you can save. With a budget in place, you'll be able to see the bigger picture of your finances and set clear goals for your future. 

By keeping track of your spending, you'll be able to make informed financial decisions and prioritize your expenses to achieve your financial objectives. 

With discipline, persistence, and regular evaluation, creating and sticking to a budget can be a powerful tool in improving your financial well-being.

Reduce Debt

Managing personal finances can be a never-ending juggling act, especially when dealing with debt. Among the various options for managing debt, a common approach is to reduce debt as soon as possible. 

High-interest debts, such as credit card debt, can accumulate quickly, adding significant strain to your finances. Start by making minimum payments on all your debts to tackle these debts effectively. 

Then, allocate any extra funds toward the debt with the highest interest rate. Although it may take time and careful budgeting, this strategy can help you reduce your debt more quickly and save you interest charges. 

By prioritizing paying off high-interest debts, you can take control of your finances and build a more secure financial future.

Look into Financial Planning

If you're looking to gain control over your financial future, seeking the help of a financial planner may be the answer you've been searching for. 

By enlisting the expertise of a trained professional, you can take a step closer to reaching your financial goals. Whether you're looking to invest, plan for retirement, protect your assets with insurance, or simply learn how to manage your money more efficiently, financial planning can offer valuable guidance and advice. 

Making smart and informed financial decisions can have a significant impact on your long-term wealth, and entrusting a professional to guide you along the way can help you avoid costly mistakes. 

A financial planner can equip you with the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve financial success by creating a financial blueprint tailored specifically to your needs.

Save for the Future

Saving for the future is a crucial financial action that can provide a sense of security and peace of mind. One option is to regularly contribute to a company’s retirement plan or a personal IRA. 

Although small contributions may not seem significant, they have the potential to accumulate and grow over time through the power of compound interest. By starting early and contributing consistently, individuals can increase their chances of achieving their long-term financial goals and enjoying a comfortable retirement. 

It’s never too early to start planning for the future and taking steps towards financial security.

Invest Wisely

Investing can be a powerful way to expand your financial portfolio and invest wisely to plan for the future. While risk is involved, the key to successful investment is to conduct thorough research and make informed decisions. 

This involves careful consideration of diversification, which means finding a balance between various investment types and looking at the company or organization behind any investment opportunity. 

Ultimately, a wise investor is someone who takes a cautious and well-informed approach, allowing them to build a solid financial future.

Review and Adjust

Maintaining financial health requires a diligent review and adjustment of your budget and investment portfolio. Regularly reassessing your objectives, expenses, debts, and investments can help keep you on track toward your financial goals. 

Tracking your progress along the way will also enable you to stay accountable and motivated. Failing to review and adjust your financial plan could result in missed opportunities or unnecessary risks that could negatively impact your financial health. 

It's important to seek professional guidance or research reputable sources when making any changes to your financial strategy.

Final Thoughts

Improving your financial future requires taking several steps toward responsible spending, saving, and investing. By following these six essential steps, you can equip yourself with the tools to achieve your financial goals. 

Remember to review and adjust your plan regularly, making changes as necessary to stay on track. With a little effort and planning, you can look forward to a safe and secure financial future.

Author Bio: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Financial Mistakes You Should Avoid as a Senior

As you get older in life, you start to get your assets in order. However, once you pass a certain age and hit retirement territory, finances get trickier again.

Different obstacles arise, and with so many different financial obligations, making mistakes is easy. 

Thankfully, when you learn to recognize these senior financial mistakes, you can avoid them and ensure your money goes where it’s supposed to go.

Failing To Budget

Budgeting is an important part of life, and that obligation doesn’t go away when you become a senior. Even after retirement, you must put together a comprehensive budget and stick to it. 

You need to get together the expenses you’ll have, like groceries and medical care, but also include the fun stuff, like vacations and travel. 

Being a senior means you’ll have a lot of free time, and you can make that free time exciting when you know how to budget.

Forgetting About Taxes

Another mistake you can make is forgetting about the taxes that come with being a senior. Keep track of your income and expenses throughout the year so you’re ready when it’s time to pay your taxes.


Even if you don’t make much money, filing your tax returns can benefit your finances. Getting your budget together is important, but remember to include the expenses that come with that, like your taxes.

Remembering and planning around the taxes you’ll need to pay on your home and other assets will help ensure these financial obligations don’t sneak up on you.

Not Having an Estate Plan

One of the worst mistakes you can make as you get older is not setting up an estate plan covering all your assets and obligations. Not having a plan will hurt you and your family, but thankfully, you can work with the right professionals to get everything in order. 

Knowing how to do estate planning with an attorney relieves worries and streamlines the process. 

When you clearly lay out your goals, assets, debts, and beneficiaries, you can create a plan that works for everyone.

Now you know key financial mistakes you should avoid as a senior. The first step to avoiding them is learning how to spot them. 

From there, instead of making a mistake and going down the wrong path, you can make the right financial decisions that help you and your family.

Friday, June 2, 2023

5 Tips To Adjust Your Lifestyle for Retirement

Retirement marks a significant milestone in people’s lives, offering new opportunities to embrace a more relaxed, fulfilling lifestyle and take more control over their time.

Transitioning from a busy working life to a peaceful retirement requires careful planning, especially when you have been active for a long time.

It is essential to consider how to adapt your lifestyle accordingly and take advantage of every opportunity to make the most of this new experience. 

These five tips for adjusting your lifestyle for retirement will give you valuable information to focus your energy and time.

Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Retirement is the ideal time to prioritize your health and well-being by engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or yoga. 

Consider adopting a well-balanced diet and making healthier food choices to keep your digestive system safe and active. By caring for your body, you can enjoy a more active and fulfilling retirement with fewer health-related limitations or issues.

Build a Social Support Network

Retirement can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, especially if you developed in a busy work environment for many years. Building a social support network is essential to stay connected and engaged; this could also give you new opportunities for activities and meet-ups. 

Join local community groups, clubs, or volunteer organizations that align with your interests, participate in social activities, and spend quality time with family and friends.

Create a Budget

As you approach retirement, you must reevaluate your financial situation and create a realistic budget to optimize how you spend your money. 

Evaluate your income sources, including pensions, investments, and any other potential revenue streams; a self-directed IRA rollover will also help you take full control of your retirement accounts. 

Consider your anticipated expenses, such as housing, healthcare, leisure activities, and travel, to achieve a routine that works for your new lifestyle.

Pursue Hobbies and New Interests

Retirement offers the luxury of time, allowing you to explore hobbies and interests you may have abandoned during your working years. 

Activities like painting, playing a musical instrument, gardening, or learning a new language can bring you joy and fulfillment that will enrich your days. 

Hobbies can also provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment, contributing to a more satisfying retired lifestyle.

Plan For Travel and Leisure

One of the best tips to adjust your lifestyle for retirement is embracing the freedom to travel and indulge in leisure activities. 

Take the time to plan and prioritize your travel aspirations, whether exploring unfamiliar destinations, embarking on a road trip, or experiencing different cultures. 

Consider joining travel groups or booking trips with friends to make your adventures more enjoyable and make the most of this well-deserved phase of your life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Tips to Make Your Money Work for You

When you want to grow your money and increase your financial wealth, it's important to start looking for ways to make your money work for you. 

Although having a consistent income is necessary, there are a few other ways you can acquire more money without working a second job. Here are a few effective and proven ways to make your money work.

Create a Budget

Create a budget for every dollar you earn to ensure you can make smart decisions about how you spend your money and reduce the risk of accumulating debt. 

A budget will tell your money where to go and can help you to avoid splurging on unnecessary expenses throughout the month. It can also help you to work towards specific financial goals like paying off credit card debt or saving for a house.

Build an Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund is necessary to ensure you're prepared for unexpected expenses that arise, whether you need car repairs or you need to pay medical bills. 

An emergency fund can also help you to continue paying your bills if you suffer from job loss. Save three to six months of your income to ensure you have time to look for new employment without accumulating debt.

Create an ESG Portfolio

Investing is one of the most effective ways of growing your wealth over time and creating a nest egg for your future. Find an ESG investing advisor who can help you to find the right companies that share your values to ensure you can make your money grow over time. 

This expert will filter companies with practices you don't agree with to offer peace of mind. This will allow you to invest in companies conscious of their impact on the earth and look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Pay Off Debt

If you accumulate debt, it can make it difficult to invest more money or have a large emergency fund. Pay off high-cost debt, which hurts long-term wealth, and start with paying off accounts with the highest interest rates. Instead of putting your money towards interest, you can start to invest more and make progress with your financial goals.

Once you discover new ways to make your money work, you can look forward to meeting your financial goals. With the help of a financial or investment advisor, you can avoid mistakes and take more control over your financial future.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

4 Options to Help Ease Financial Pressure

When you're living paycheck to paycheck or are beginning to feel financially strained, it can be difficult to feel like you have the means to thrive or survive. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to ease financial pressure and have a bit more wiggle room in your budget. Here are a few options to consider to help ease financial pressure and find a bit of relief.

Consider Loan Modification

If you've acquired debt, it can be difficult to feel like you have extra spending money when you're paying high-interest rates on the amount that you owe. 

Loan modifications, which as the name implies means simply changing the terms of your loan, can allow you to spend less on interest after you negotiate the terms as you continue to pay off your balances. 

This means you have more money to put into your debt which can also allow you to pay off credit cards or auto loans faster to have more money in your budget in the near future.

Find Other Ways to Earn More Money

Look for other ways to bring in more money to ensure all of your expenses are covered. Although you may have a full-time job during the week, you can spend your free time tutoring, doing mystery shopping, or delivering fast food through delivery services. 

Working two jobs can be temporary and can make it easier to meet your immediate financial goals

If you don't have the time to work another job, renting out a room in your home or selling things you wish to get rid of are also easy and classic ways to earn money.

Cut Out Luxuries

Whether you have a habit of visiting the nail salon every two weeks or have a gym membership, cut out luxuries that aren't essential. You can also cut the cord on your cable television or magazine subscriptions. 

Look for replacements that are free, which can include using working out at home or using a family member's Netflix or Apple TV subscription plan. 

You don’t have to live a completely ascetic lifestyle, but you should try to do without until your financial situation becomes less stressful.


Consider finding other ways to get to work or the various places you need to go instead of relying on your vehicle. Riding your bike or taking the bus a few days a week can allow you to save money on fuel. 

You can also carpool with other people you work with as a way of spending less on your transportation each month.

As you learn how to become creative with easing your financial pressure, it can feel good to save money and feel less strained. There are plenty of ways to reduce your spending and increase your income when you're looking for short- or long-term ways to free up your budget.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Is Your Home Getting Old? Types of Repairs to Budget For

The average lifespan of a home is about 25 years. Many homeowners are forced to upgrade their homes with changing family members, outgrowing rooms, and declining home values.

But when you’re not sure what to do with your house, it may feel like you’re doing nothing more than throwing money away. Even with a modest budget, “old” homes need some repairs. Whether your home is 10 years old or 100 years old, you can do a few things to keep it in good condition.

Here’s a look at the different home repairs you can make to help keep your house safe and in good repair.

Fix Leaky Faucets and Plumbing Problems

If you have a leaky sink, bathtub, or toilet that doesn’t seem to be stopping any longer, you could find trouble behind them. A leaking pipe underneath the bathroom floor might mean having to rip up your floor to fix the problem and start over. 

Leaks from the water lines outside might also leave your exterior paint job ugly. You probably don’t want to deal with either of those two options. 

Fortunately for you, you can hire an experienced plumber to check out the source of the leaks before they become bigger problems.

Keep Your Roof in Top Shape

Roofing can be expensive, both in terms of initial cost and ongoing maintenance. Asphalt shingles can last around 20 years if cared for properly, but even wood shakes or tile roofs will require upkeep. 

If your roof is older than 15 years, you should seal it against the elements using waterproofing materials and then apply new asphalt shingles every 5 to 7 years. Call in professionals who know how to work with existing conditions, not just put on a fresh coat of shingles.

Maintain the Air Conditioning System

It’s no surprise that keeping your AC running all year round smoothly takes lots of effort. It requires cleaning filters regularly, replacing fans, and lubricating the unit itself (which can often get clogged). Don’t worry: most HVAC experts can handle this sort of thing, as long as you schedule regular appointments with them.

Check the Foundation

Foundation issues aren’t always visible to the naked eye. They can manifest themselves as cracked concrete slabs, buckled walls, or shifting floors. Most cities offer free inspections of foundations. Ask the city inspection department whether your town does so too. 

This may involve climbing ladders or crawling under the home to check certain areas, depending on where you live. This type of inspection is generally recommended once every five years or so.

Repair Cracks in Interior Surfaces

Cracks in plasterboard and drywall inside the home don’t necessarily mean major damage is occurring; however, until these are repaired. 

Cracks in drywall tend to occur when people move into a newly-built home and then realize the previous occupants had wallpapered over the holes. 

These cracks develop because wallpaper shrinks slightly as it dries out. Once the new drywall goes up, the wallpaper gets pulled off again, and the process starts over.

Repairing your house can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to begin. To simplify planning your DIY projects, try categorizing them according to type first. Then, go through each category and list your planned projects. 

Doing so will let you see which items are cheaper to replace versus fixing. While some repairs are easy and simple, others are time-consuming and complex. Take the time to plan accordingly.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

What to Consider When Choosing a Budget Before Searching for a New Home

Choosing a budget prior to looking for your new home is a crucial step in the process, and it's one you need to take seriously. There's more involved to owning a home than just making enough numbers line up to match the price tag of a home you want.

You need to stay within certain guidelines. Otherwise, your home may own you more than you own it.

Start With the 28/36 Rule

NerdWallet argues in favor of starting with the 28/36 rule in terms of home affordability. Factor 28% of your gross income every month towards housing-related costs, but stay within 36% of your total debts. 

This rule doesn't actually apply to everyone and every situation, but it's a good rule of thumb to start with.

Work With a Mortgage Lending Service

Doing your own initial budget is a great start, but it helps to have an industry professional take a second look. Not only can they confirm the accuracy of your budget, but they can also give you an objective look regarding your finances. 

Whether you work with Fairway PNW in Silverdale, WA, or another service closer to where you are looking for a home, working with a mortgage professional increases your odds of balancing buying the most home you can without breaking your budget in the process.

Make the Biggest Down Payment You Can

The larger your down payment is, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. In many cases, you might be able to buy a home without the standard 20% down. 

However, if you can afford that or more, then you might be able to avoid private mortgage insurance and the monthly costs that will entail.

Financing Upkeep

Regardless of the age, condition, or size of your next home, it's going to need upkeep and maintenance. Repairs will creep up on you eventually, too, and you'll likely have many ideas about home improvements. 

As a general rule of thumb, you should set aside 1% of the home value every year for such matters. It's better to do 2% for older homes.

Buying a home is a tremendous accomplishment in life. However, if you don't choose your budget right before searching for your next home, then you might wind up overburdened and with a quality of life that you don't enjoy in that home. 

Even worse, you might get in over your head and risk losing the home you worked so hard to get your hands on.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Into Retirement: 4 Ways to Make Managing Your Money Easier

Knowing how to manage money better is one key to achieving your financial goals. You don’t need to have a high-paying job or funding from relatives to improve your finances. 

Learning management skills is all it takes to reduce your spending and improve your ability to save and invest, hence achieving financial goals that seemed impossible. 

Here are four strategies you can adopt to manage your money effectively.

Create and Utilize a Budget

People who have a well-lined budget manage to tackle all their finances effectively. You need to spend a few hours at the start of every month and manage your money effectively by setting an accommodative budget

It is important to note that you also need to stick with your plan and utilize it to the end, and plan for your money. It is essential to regularly visit the budget within the month to know how much you have spent, how much you can pay out of your initial plan, and what you can save in the process.

Develop a Saving Habit

Avoid putting yourself in situations where you rely on credit for unexpected expenses. Prioritize on building your emergency saving account. Experts recommend a saving of three to six months’ worth of expenses. 

It is advisable to have a separate account for your long-term saving plan. Setting aside some of your income saves you from financial disasters and helps meet your financial goals.

Wealth Management

It is an investment advisory service that is involved in the management of affluent clients’ assets. Wealth managers create a close relationship with their clients to understand their financial needs and plans and help build a portfolio that will enable them to meet their goals. 

Some companies, like TFG Wealth Management, know that wealth management will help you achieve your goal by providing investment advice, accounting, and tax and retirement services. It is essential to check the credentials of professional wealth managers and see which descriptions best suits your needs.

Create a Plan to Pay Down Debts

Debt is a financial burden that affects your current budget and future savings. Take it thoughtfully and make it a precedence to pay off your debts. 

When you feel overwhelmed and have difficulty making payments, it is advisable to seek help from a professional non-profit credit counselor. They will give you financial advice that helps you develop a realistic budget and help you choose a good debt payment strategy.

The above four strategies may help you manage your money effortlessly. Always plan for your money at the beginning of every month by creating a realistic budget. 

Planning for your money will help you contribute to your savings account and getting out of debt. It is advisable to hire professional assistance to help you plan your finances.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

How to Make a Realistic Budget for Your New Business

Starting a new business comes with a lot of work. One of the most important areas of planning is creating a budget that is actually realistic. If you're at this stage in your new business prep, here are a few tips to help you create a feasible budget.

Start by Assessing Your Income

No budget will work without a person first having an idea of what their monthly income will be. Take a few moments and track your business's income. You'll want to record the amount and the sources. 

If you have different categories of income, say from freelance writing and selling a writing course, then breakdown your income into these categories. This will better set you up for understanding how your income changes over the long-term and why.

Figure Up Your Fixed Costs

The next step that you'll want to take is figuring up your fixed costs. These are going to be expenses that cost the same each month. Some examples are rent, utilities, payroll, and even web hosting. 

You can easily find these expenses on your business spending management software reports or by going through your business bank statements. Once you get all of your fixed costs written down, total them up.

Record Your Variable Expenses

Variable expenses are the next section of your budget that you need to concern yourself with. These are expenses that change in amount each month or are only charged once in a while. 

Some examples of variable costs for your business may be gas, electricity, sales commission, travel costs, and shipping costs. Over time, you'll get to see how much these expenses fluctuate, and you'll be able to create a more accurate average of what your variable expenses will be monthly.

Take a Look Over All You Have

Now, we're getting into the fun part. You've done all the research work to get your numbers. It's time to put them all together and do the math. Take your income and subtract your expenses, both fixed and variable. 

This will reveal how much your business is cash flowing each month. From here, you can determine if your business can handle taking on more debt or if you need to find ways to cut down your expenses.

Creating a realistic budget for your business is all about using real numbers in your calculations. When you notate what you're paying on fixed and variable costs and reduce that total amount from your income, you can clearly see how well your business is doing in a financial sense. Budgeting can be very easy as long as you take the time to do it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

4 Monthly Expenses You Can Plan for Beforehand

Some expenses, like emergency medical bills and unexpected home repairs, come out of the blue. These are the costs that hurt the most, since you never have a chance to plan for them in your budget. Other expenses are a routine part of everyday life. 

They come around every month without fail, so it’s your responsibility to prepare for them. Here are four such monthly expenses that you should account for in your general budget.

Rent or Mortgage Payments

One of your biggest monthly expenses comes from your constant need to keep a roof over your head. Unless you bought your house via cash purchase or you’ve already paid off your mortgage, then you’re going to need to make some sort of monthly payment, either to your landlord or the bank. Make sure you have a clear idea of exactly how much you pay each month.

Utility Bills

Not everyone pays for the same utilities (since every property functions differently and has different agreements), but you probably have to pay each month for some combination of gas, water, and electricity. 

The payments will fluctuate slightly based on monthly usage, but they should stay relatively consistent. Take a look at your utility bills for the last few months so you can determine a general average. Then, incorporate this average expense into your monthly budget.


If you have the internet at your home, then you have to pay for it on a monthly basis. The total amount paid to internet providers each month will depend on the specific company and the type of service. 

Some providers combine internet and cable in a single package. Examine your most recent bill so you’ll know how much you’re paying.


This expense isn’t as easy to calculate as the others on this list, since it is never presented as a single monthly charge. All the same, you can determine how much you typically spend by keeping records and doing some basic math. 

For ten days, write down how much you spend on food. This should include visits to restaurants, snacks from convenience stores, and trips to the supermarket. Add up the total after ten days, then multiply by three. This final answer will be your approximate monthly food bill.

Personal finance is all about understanding your financial reality and then acting accordingly. These four expenses are among the facts of life, so you’d better account for them when considering your finances. By including these costs in your budget, you’ll make it easier to stay financially healthy.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

How You Can Budget for the New Year: Saving Tips for Your Family


Every time people get fascinated with making New Year’s resolutions. That is because it’s that perfect moment of the year to stay away from work and enjoy time with the family and to start working on yourself. 

To make the new year more exciting, they may decide to travel to an exotic destination or even splurge on a big gift. Others may choose to spend time with their favorite hobbies and build skills. During these times it can be extremely easy to go overboard and spend way too much money on things you don’t need.

Planning on how to spend your money and knowing where it will go is common sense that people often overlook every year. Read on to understand why it is essential to budget for your new year and how you might be able to effectively achieve this goal.

Importance of budgeting for the New Year for you and your family

The holidays and a new year can be extremely stressful for some families because of financial questions. With things like taxes, salary negotiations, and holiday expenses appearing, you can be sure that this stress is warranted. Here are some tips to make the whole experience a little less stressful:

Managing debt correctly

If you budget for your holiday and adhere to it, you will reduce your chances of falling into debt. You will know when and where to spend your money. Doing that will allow you to save for the days ahead and also clear your debts in time. 

Managing debt or large purchases can mean that you need to look for personal loans online but make sure to do your homework. This option can help get things moving in the right direction. Consider these loans for consolidating debt but only in the interest rate is manageable. 

There are many different methods that unsavory businesses can trap unsuspecting spenders at a ridiculous rate. 

Start saving for big purchases

After you have planned what big purchases you are going to save for, you can begin putting that money away and making the saving process more achievable. That will prevent you from overstretching on your spending. 

Plan ahead to know your limits

Planning financially for trips, gifts or toys early will also enable you to know what you can do for yourself because you will have enough time to do that. More often, people spend too much on gifts that they can’t actually afford and end up in over their heads.

Choose low-cost alternative activities

Consider the activities that you want to do with your family each season this year and consider if there is a lower cost alternative to these activities. It’s not a must that you travel to a 5-star resort or buy tons of gear for costly outdoor activities. 

Have you considered doing a simple day trip in the car or a sleepover in the backyard in a tent? You can also visit many national forests as they are extremely affordable options for getting away. 

Book necessary flights early

Do you know that travel costs can change substantially depending on the time that you are looking? For example, Google will show rates differently depending on what your search history is recent, the time of day, or if it around a holiday. 

When you book your flights way in advance (like 6 months+) of holidays, you will likely save big and this will enable you to spend the money on other parts of the trip.

These tips can help you realize your financial dream and achieve peace-of-mind no matter the reason for spending.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Eco-Friendly Budgeting Guide

In its most basic sense, the best eco-friendly budgeting equals recycling. However, if we base it on the latest recycling guide, the US produces a significantly higher amount of waste compared to other developed countries, but there are only a few people who recycle.

If you start changing your purchases from single-use products to those that are recyclable, not only will you save money, but you will also help in saving the environment. With this said, here is our ultimate eco-friendly budgeting guide that you can easily apply to your lifestyle. Continue reading below to know more.

Purchase Reusable Items

If you buy single-use products, such as a paper plate, paper towels, disposable shavers, etc., we know that those are the much cheaper option, especially if you are on a budget. However, in the long run, they can become a much more expensive option, because you are buying them every time. 

That is why we recommend that you purchase reusable items because prices are only part of budgeting. What should matter more is the object’s sustainability. Know more about this below.

When you purchase an item, more than its price, you should also see how durable it is. This is especially true for certain equipment that has mechanical gears. It also has been tested that items that are less expensive, are usually those that are more likely to stop working sooner. 

Nevertheless, purchasing more expensive materials is not always the best option, as well. That is why it is best to do your research; if you are in the talks of buying a piece of equipment.

Now, there are also disposable items that you can still use to prolong their usability. In other words, you can use it aside from its original purpose. Therefore, it can be used more than once. A good example of this is newspapers. Newspapers are quite useful when after you are done reading. 

You can use them to wrap fragile items for shipment, you can use them as floor coverings when painting the wall or ceiling, you can use them as wrapping paper for gifts, you can even use them in your garden.

With this said, here are a few single-use things that you can swap for reusable ones:

Bring Your Own Bag When Going to the Grocery

Most of the time, people go to the grocery on a weekly basis. Today, however, more and more grocery stores are slowly removing plastic bags in an effort to help save the environment. That is because those plastic bags that you see are typically made with petroleum. And when manufacturers produce plastic, they are also releasing carbon gases into the atmosphere.

Today, grocery stores are selling reusable grocery bags for an inexpensive price. These are much sturdier than plastic bags and are the better option. However, if you really want to save money, it is best to bring your own bag. 

As a customer, you can ask for a small refund when you bring your bag. Doing so can help you save up to $10 per week. Not only that, but you will also limit the amount of plastic that will inevitably be tossed into the environment.

Shop at Your Local Farmers Market

Grocery stores are the usual option for most people, and that is alright. You can buy almost anything in groceries these days. However, most of the produce that you find inside groceries were produced by large companies that produce harmful gases during production. 

If you are looking for ways to save money on produce while limiting your carbon footprint, your best bet is the local farmers market.

These small businesses allow farmers to sell their produce fresh from their farms, removing the need for middlemen and any further deliveries, which can emit harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, which are the main contributors to global warming. 

On top of that, shopping at a farmers market will offer much needed support to the farmers, as well as save you a few dollars, since they offer much lower prices.

Replace Household Items with Sustainable Products

Sustainable household items do cost more than other generic items, but they last longer. Not only that, most consumer grade items, such as light bulbs, can also help you decrease your utility bills. 

Take for example compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs), these lightbulbs are much more environment-friendly and they also last longer. Aside from that, they use 20% to 80% less than other bulbs.

Another way you can lower your bills is by replacing leaky water outlets with low water usage ones. These can greatly help reduce your water bill, therefore saving you money. This is especially good for people who have multiple toilets, showers, sinks, etc.


You can always save money while also caring for the environment. Although these sustainable or durable items might seem expensive at first, they will help you save money in the long run. That is why you need to think of these as investments, not only for you but also for the environment.

Lillian Connors is a Senior Content Developer at ACT-ENVIRO, with years of experience in developing content.

Throughout her career, she always looked for ways to contribute to the environment in recycling efforts, while providing valuable information with her written articles.

She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainability not

only makes us far less dependent on others regarding how we live and do business

but also contributes to our planet being a better place to live on. When she is not

trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to

lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini.

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