Budget Living In Life
Page 9
This App Lets You Play the Lotto (But You’re Actually Saving Instead)
Typically, saving money and lottery tickets don’t go hand in hand (unless you count the loss of savings due to lottery ticket purchases), but a new app called Long Game hopes to develop more of a positive association between the two.
Nov 27, 2016
Why You Should Stay Home (and Shop Online) This Black Friday
Black Friday is a great time to take advantage of huge sales—and can even be the perfect opportunity to knock out all your holiday shopping in one fell swoop—but it can also be super stressful. Between the crowds and the long checkout lines, there’s a lot that can put a damper on all those deals, but you can avoid a lot of the frustration and save more time and money by shopping online.
Nov 24, 2016
Ways to Spend Less on (Still Great!) Gifts this Year
For as fun as holiday gift giving can be, it’s also expensive. While your heart may be set on showering all your friends and family with lots of cool presents this year, your budget might not be feeling so generous. Lucky for you, a low bank account doesn’t have to leave you empty-handed. With a little time and creativity, you’ll find there are tons of affordable gift ideas out there; ones that require more effort than funds.
Nov 11, 2016
Where to Get Free Stuff With Your “I Voted” Sticker
It’s Election Day in the US, and other than voting, you can celebrate in the most American way possible: getting free stuff. If you need a little more incentive to snag your own “I Voted” sticker (or just want to congratulate yourself for exercising your constitutional rights), here are the places offering freebies today. Bertucci’s: Free cannoli when you buy an entree Bob Evans: 30% off your total bill after 2 p.m.
Nov 8, 2016
The Mistakes You’re Making With Your 401K
Just having a 401K is a good start. But it’s what you do with it that has a major impact on your retirement. You’re the one in charge of it all, but saving for the future doesn’t have to be another dread on your financial checklist. With a little solid advice, you’ll be well on your way to conquering common 401K mistakes and closer to your retirement dream.
Nov 2, 2016
How To Haggle $100 Off Your Rent This Month
I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of money. Scratch that—I do know about you, because let’s be real, we’re all big fans of money. Alas, cash isn’t the easiest of things to hold onto, especially when the cost of housing seems to increase exponentially each year. All hope is not lost, however. If you can work up the nerve, you can negotiate your rent.
Oct 26, 2016
How to Negotiate Your Rates with Cable Providers, Credit Lenders or Anybody Who Will Listen
Your most powerful money-saving tool isn’t a coupon-searching browser extension or the willpower it takes to say no to a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s your phone. Seriously.
Oct 25, 2016
How to Trick Yourself Into Spending Less Money at the Grocery Store
This month we’ll be sharing solutions that are so simple and easy—and at times, automated—that they feel like magic. Hocus Pocus celebrates all the small ways you can trick yourself into living a better life. There are a lot of ways to spend less money at the grocery stores. Couponing or buying cheaper food are two that come to mind, though neither are always ideal for our sanity or our health.
Oct 21, 2016
7 Smart Strategies When You’re Grocery Shopping for One
Grocery shopping for one may seem like the easiest thing in the world in theory—buying for just yourself should be an automatic money-saver, right? But if you’re shopping solo and you go in without a plan, it’s hard to keep yourself in check when it comes to impulse purchases and knowing what you really need. And using up food all by yourself before it goes bad can be a challenge, too, so you have to shop and cook smarter.
Oct 20, 2016
Cost of Living Comparison: What $100 Can Buy in Los Angeles vs. Portland
You already know that the value of a dollar varies wildly depending on where you’re sitting. Even close by in two neighboring states—OK, California is pretty huge—you can get a lot more for your dollar in one over the other. Here’s a quick examination of exactly how much the cost of everyday living varies across the West Coast.
Oct 20, 2016
Cost of Living Comparison: What $100 Can Buy in NYC vs. Charlotte, NC
Wonder what life might look like if you lived in another place? Or how far your salary could go if you picked up and moved to another—more affordable—state? Here’s a quick peek inside the cost of living on the East Coast. You might have seen this infographic recently from the Tax Foundation, which reveals the relative value of $100 in every state across the country: Kind of eye-opening, yeah? The Tax Foundation used 2016 Regional Price Parities (RPPs) from the U.S.
Oct 17, 2016
7 Easy Ways to Save Money While Staying in a Hotel
Whether you’re traveling across the country or just enjoying a staycation in your own neighborhood, time spent at a hotel can get expensive, fast. Aside from throwing down cash for the room rate, there’s also parking fees, room service, and tips—the list goes on. However there are few things you can do that, added up, will save you a nice chunk of money that can be better spent on more important things (read: margaritas and massages).
Oct 14, 2016
You Can Use a Money Jar to Reach Your Goals (and Save While You Are At It)
Collecting your coins and spare bills is a great way to save money, because over time, all that change adds up. But emptying your pockets into a jar or a piggy bank when you walk in the door? Not exactly the most fun or inspired way to do things. If you need a little extra motivation to save—whether it’s to pay for something special, or to curb your bad money habits—try one of these takes on the traditional coin jar or piggy bank.
Oct 12, 2016
Is Bed Bath & Beyond Really Killing Their Coupons?
Bed Bath & Beyond announced this week that they’re launching a new version of their loyalty program, and it just might mean the end of the ubiquitous 20% coupon the retailer is known for. Currently in beta, Beyond+ costs $29 a year and gives members 20% off every single purchase in store and online, plus free standard shipping. If the membership program takes off, it could be Bed Bath & Beyond’s way of ditching the coupon for good.
Oct 8, 2016
6 Things To Do Before You Even Think About Applying for a Mortgage
Tired of kissing your hard-earned cash goodbye every month and handing it over to your landlord? Thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing your own place? Well, hold up, young Padawan—before you apply for a mortgage on a whim, you should probably pump the brakes. If you’re really ready to shed the renting lifestyle once and for all and get serious about buying your first home, there are a few considerations you must make.
Oct 4, 2016
6 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Week
After you’ve tackled the big-picture savings tactics like canceling subscriptions, negotiating insurance premiums to lower rates, and reducing energy consumption, you’ll have to examine your micro-spending in order to squeeze any extra cash out of your budget. Even if you’re in good shape financially, there will come a week where you could use an extra hundred bucks—maybe before a big weekend?—to pad your budget with.
Oct 3, 2016
A Game Plan To Get Out of the Grocery Store Faster (and for Less Money)
You’ve heard the adage: Time is money. But there is no situation where it holds more true than at the grocery store. The Food Marketing Institute estimates that the average shopping trip should take no longer than 30 minutes—and every minute a shopper spends inside the store after the first half hour will cause them to spend around 55¢ to $1 more. So if your end goal is to cut your grocery budget, your first step might actually be to try and cut down your shopping time.
Sep 29, 2016
Stop Getting Ripped off at the Grocery Store
Even the most laid-back shoppers have to be money-conscious when shopping for non-essentials — Do I really need another pair of black sandals? Will I ever wear these pants again? — unless you want to watch your bank account be drained faster than your Monday morning cup of coffee. But when it comes to grocery shopping, concerns of overspending are more easily forgotten. You need food to live after all.
Sep 21, 2016
Notes from a Moderate Couponer: Easy, Non-Extreme Ways to Save Money Using Coupons
Not a couponer? Is that because you refuse to dedicate your Sundays to shuffling through the newspaper, literally clipping coupons to stash away in a tiny accordion file that you flip through as you’re walking down the aisles? Well, you’re living in the past. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. When shopping online—or even in person with your phone in tow (and whose isn’t?) — it’s easier than ever to coupon and only takes a few minutes.
Sep 19, 2016
Insurance & Warranties: What’s Actually Worth It? What’s Really Not?
It feels like you can’t buy anything without being offered an extended warranty for an extra fee at the checkout counter, but are any of those service plans and insurance offerings even worth it? The truth is, some of those plans are an absolute must, but most warranties aren’t necessary.
Sep 8, 2016
8 Secrets of Shoppers Who Resist Impulse Buying
Our current culture of having instant access to all the pleasures of the material world with the click of a button or the swipe of a card has many of our pleasure-seeking brains going bananas. It’s almost too easy to satisfy our instant gratification impulses through impulsive buying, but this type of buying comes at a cost—literally and metaphorically.
Sep 5, 2016
5 Ways People Who Plan Ahead Always Get the Best Deals
How many times have you bought something because it was such a good deal, only to end up with something you really didn’t need to spend money on at all? Me too. Planning your purchases ahead of time—and having the ability and stamina to wait for what you want and need—goes a long way in keeping you from getting suckered in by sales. Even better, planning ahead often allows you to get significantly better deals than merely what’s blazoned on ads.
Aug 31, 2016
5 Things Money-Savvy People Always Do (No Matter What)
You know those people who never seem to struggle with their finances at the end of each month? They’re the ones who’ll likely cash in their stocks and savings to retire into a sea of green (dollar bills, y’all!) when the rest of us are still trying to figure out stocks and savings. We want to be like those people. So, without further ado, here are five things money-savvy people always do that we less money-minded mortals should pick up post haste.
Aug 25, 2016
How To Join the Club of People Who Will Never Get Scammed or Defrauded
Anyone who’s ever been the victim of consumer fraud or had their identity stolen can tell you that it strikes without warning, and more than you think. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 17 million people were the victims of identity theft in 2014.
Aug 22, 2016
15 Surprising Stores Where Students and Teachers Can Score Major Discounts
Most students and teachers can’t help but feel a little sad about the end of summer, at least until it’s time for back-to-school shopping. There’s something thrilling about starting a new school year and taking the opportunity to refresh your life a little. But loading up on new clothes, decor, technology and school supplies can get a little pricey. Actually, really pricey. The good news: Many retailers offer discounts for students and teachers with valid school IDs or .
Aug 18, 2016
7 Reasons It’s Not Too Late for a Summer Vacation
Summer is slowly coming to an end, which means it’s time to get serious about crossing things off your summer bucket list. If you haven’t already taken a summer vacation, make that a top priority. Yes, sunshine-drenched days at the beach and lounging by the pool sipping margaritas are limited, but there’s still plenty of time to plan an epic end-of-summer getaway. Here are seven reasons why now is actually the perfect time to indulge in a delicious summer vacation.
Aug 17, 2016
9 Ways to Make Your Book-Buying Habit Easier on Your Wallet
In the grand scheme of things, reading isn’t a very expensive hobby. But if you’re the type who loves to voraciously read every best seller or collect literary trophies for your bookshelf, you know all too well how quickly your book-buying habit can blow a budget. So we’ve rounded up 9 smart ways to save money on books, for every type of reader. Like Netflix for e-books, Kindle Unlimited lets you pay $9.
Aug 3, 2016
10 Super-Cheap Summer “Friend Date” Ideas
While your best bet for cheap winter entertainment might be holing up with Northern Exposure DVDs from the library, summer brings a bounty of ways to enjoy the longer days and warmer nights in a more social way, without blowing your budget. Here are 10 ways to have the best summer “friend dates” ever – on the cheap. Farmers’ Market Window Shopping: Farmers’ markets are so pretty and fun! And often full of samples!
Jul 21, 2016
5 Signs You’re Not Cut Out for a Side Hustle
People who keep personal finance top-of-mind are quick to tout the benefits of taking on a side hustle—a secondary job or stream of income to help you accomplish your financial goals. A side hustle will certainly help you pay off debt or save for a big purchase more quickly, but it’s a big life change and it’s not for everyone.
Jul 11, 2016
Vacationing on a Budget? Avoid This One Travel Habit that’s Bad for Your Wallet
You can set airfare alerts and AirBNB your heart out. But a “budget” vacation can get financially out of hand fast if you’re not careful about how much you spend. When you plan an afternoon at the shops the same way you might plan a museum visit or a day at the beach, you’re shopping just for the sake of shopping. And it’s the worst thing you can do if you’re trying to save money while traveling.
Jul 1, 2016
Hidden Costs: 10 Travel Expenses You Haven’t Thought Of
When I’m planning a trip, the main financial factor I consider is the cost of the actual traveling, whether it’s by plane, train, bus or car. Airfare and lodging especially can be overwhelmingly expensive, so it’s tempting to consider these the true price of the travel, but there are so many other costs that can creep up on you. In addition to wages lost if you don’t get paid time off, here are ten expenses that can surprise you on even the thriftiest of vacations.
Jun 29, 2016
Choose a Challenge: 5 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money
There’s a lot of power in the concept of the personal challenge. Even those who self-describe as the ‘laziest’ among us can find the motivation and willpower to cut their spending or pad their savings when you turn something boring like budgeting into a game. Here are a handful of trick-yourself challenges to do just that. There are two ways to make money: Earn more or spend less.
May 16, 2016
5 Things You Can Do Every Month to Move Your Net Worth Needle
Net worth is defined as your assets – such as cash, investments and property – minus your liabilities and debts. In other words, it’s how much you own versus how much you owe. Net worth is the main metric personal finance experts like to use when measuring their financial picture from month to month and year to year, and to no surprise, the goal is usually “higher.
May 8, 2016
Pieces of Financial Advice I Wish I’d Heard Sooner
This spring will mark ten years since I graduated from university, and once I pick myself up off the floor where I have fallen due the shock of realizing that, I will tell you all about what I’ve learned during that time. Between moving to a new country, getting my first real job, changing careers, moving apartments, and dealing with a host of other Life Stuff, I’ve learned a lot about financial health in the past decade.
Apr 27, 2016
A Simple & Painless Money Habit That’ll Make Your Life a Whole Lot Better
Timing is so, so important. Even though your monthly household budget is essentially just an amalgam of addition and subtraction, there’s a mental difference between pulling out your money for saving at the start of the month versus the end. And there’s one simple thing you can do to make that saving easy and painless… If you’re part of the 75 percent of consumers who receive their paycheck via direct deposit, there’s a simple way to speed up your savings.
Apr 1, 2016
Proven Ways to Distract Yourself From Buying Something New
All of us, at one time or another, find ourselves in that state of Trying Not to Buy Stuff. You might be saving for a big goal or maybe you’ve KonMari’d your home to bits and don’t want to mess it up. But Stuff has a way of just wanting to be bought, doesn’t it? Boredom can somehow convince us that a new chair or pair of shoes will improve our lives, and our resolve can melt in the face of a good sale.
Mar 31, 2016
Save Money, Save Space: 8 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy
When you’re trying something new, often your first instinct is to rush out and buy all the things you need for whatever activity you’ve taken on, be it camping or traveling or hosting overnight guests. But often these things, bought with the best of intentions, end up getting used only very infrequently — and taking up a lot space in your home in the meantime.
Feb 19, 2016
Sometimes You Really Do Get What You Pay For: Nine Times More is More
Sometimes, saving means spending money. Most of the time, this is because buying a quality product will greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for replacement. Other times, we spend money but save on other valuable assets, such as our health or sanity. Here are nine items or categories that you should splurge on, not because you’re reckless with money, but because you’re wise, purchases that underscore that beloved aphorism: you get what you pay for.
Feb 17, 2016
See How Much You Can Save: 25 Creative Ways to Save Money This Year
I have a friend who swears that, when she was in college, she saved money by only going to the bathroom at work. Never fear—there is nothing that crazy here. Just simple, creative ways in which to save a few dollars here and there, which, as we all know, will surely add up over time. How many of these could you implement in your life starting today? And how much will you save by the end of the year? 1. Limit your trips to the ATM to one a week.
Feb 9, 2016
What Everybody Ought to Know About Splurging on Investment Pieces
What’s an investment piece? It’s anything you want to buy that’s entirely out of your normal budget for such a thing, but that you’re trying to rationalize buying by allocating its value over its entire useful life. In short: An investment piece is something kind of expensive you expect to last a long, long time. That makes me sound like I’m down on investment pieces in general. I’m not.
Feb 4, 2016
The Tips That Will Absolutely, No Question About It, Most Definitely Build Up Your Savings This Year
We’ve all tried the money-in-a-jar thing—but it doesn’t work that well. Or maybe you’ve tried the envelope system like I did, and found the envelopes soon wore out and were abandoned. How does one really save money? Like, real, serious amounts of money? Here are the tips that really do make a difference. 1. Prioritize paying down debts. If you have a debt that is accruing interest, and you’re not paying it back as quickly as you can, you are wasting money.
Jan 31, 2016
How To Smoothly Transition from Two Incomes to One (Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind)
Everything we do for our spaces–the projects, the improvements, the dinners we cook and the parties we throw–it’s all fueled by the money we make. But we fully believe that you don’t need a ton of money to live well, so when the time comes that you and your significant other decide to scale down to one income for some reason or another, rest assured that you can do so without losing your minds or your money.
Jan 27, 2016
The 10 Commandments of Saving: Smart Money Habits to Take to Heart This Year
Whether it’s 20 minutes of exercise a day leading to a healthy body or picking up the living room every day giving you a perpetually clutter-free space, good daily habits add up to big rewards. Money, of course, is no exception. A few tweaks to our behavior can lead to hundreds of dollars in savings each year. And when these behaviors become habits, the savings are automatic. 1) Budget. This can’t be emphasized enough.
Jan 25, 2016
Making the Most of Your Tax Refund in 2016: Ideas for Saving & Spending
You paid your dues to Uncle Sam all year long, plus maybe a little extra that you’ll get back as a refund soon. Financial experts recommend making sure your refund is as small as possible each year (after all, a big refund means the government’s been borrowing your money), but the average tax refund last year was $2,800, and that’s no small chunk of change. So it’s smart to think about what you want to do with your refund when it comes.
Jan 20, 2016
The Psychology of Why We Prefer Expensive Things
It’s hard to ignore the stigma of what’s cheap. We’ve been trained over the years to equate price with value. When faced with two options–for a chair or maybe a picture frame–our minds are hard-wired to think of the more expensive option as being of better quality or more beautifully designed. That is, of course, not always the case.
Nov 30, 2015
The Types of Friends You Should Bring Shopping
Admittedly, most of the time I prefer to shop alone. But I do recognize that there are huge perks to bringing a friend along for the ride. And who you bring on a shopping trip really depends on what you’re looking for. This is the friend whose home and wardrobe are always put together, because she just has a gift for great style. If you’re lucky, she’s also got a great grip on your taste, too. Great for: When you’re shopping leisurely for something new.
Nov 23, 2015
5 Simple Ways to Achieve Your Money Goals
What do you dream about? The perfect house? Filling your tiny closet with a massive wardrobe of designer goods? No matter what you’re working towards, there are five things you can sit down and start right now to whip your finances into shape and get you on your way to achieving your dreamiest of dream goals. I see you rolling your eyes through the screen. “Daily?!” Yes, daily.
Nov 18, 2015
3 New Ways to Sell Furniture (for People Who are Skeeved Out by Craigslist)
Craigslist is great. When it comes to selling your old gear, it’s never been so easy to connect with strangers. But that’s kind of the trouble, too, yeah? It’s really easy to connect with unsavory stranger-danger types on Craigslist, especially if you’re unsavvy about how to use it safely.
Oct 7, 2015
The Invisible Things Around the House That Are Worth Spending Money On
These are not your sexy showstopper purchases. In fact, no one (except you) will probably even know these things exist. But that’s okay. Your life will be miles better if you spend some bucks on this stuff. Money spent on setting your space up for organizational success will never be wasted. What these helpers costs in cash (which, ahem, can be very little if you recognize the simple power of a recycled shoebox), it will make up for over and over in time saved.
Sep 23, 2015
11 Simple Ways You Can Keep Cool at Night During a Heat Wave
If you're spending The Great Heat Wave of 2019 tossing, turning, and throwing off damp sheets with an angry flourish, here are a few ways to make those hot summer nights a bit cooler.
Jul 1, 2015
Would You (Did You?) Honeymoon At Home?
We’ve discussed staycations many times, and lauded them as great ways to both save money on hotels and travel and get to feel like tourists in our own city. But what about honeymooning at home? Could a week off from work, perhaps with a housekeeper, lounging about and/or doing all the things you always wish you had time for (both on the town and at home, heh-heh) be the sweetest honeymoon? Has anyone done this?
Jun 2, 2015
How Much Could You (Should You!) Spend on Fancy Food?
From The Kitchn → How Much Is Too Much to Spend on Your Favorite Food?
Aug 19, 2014
Tried & True Tips for Finding the Best Deals on Craigslist
Whether you’re shopping for furniture, appliances, or a sweet new ride, Craigslist is likely on your radar, and it can be a real boon to savvy shoppers. On the flipside, it can be a total boondoggle. Sometimes the deal just presents itself to you; a quick search yields exactly what you want, well-priced and nearby, but that’s kind of the Craigslist unicorn. More often, you need to search diligently, negotiate, and brush up on your Craigslist algebra.
Jun 2, 2014
Tips for Having Fun When You Are Low on Cash
Being strapped for cash doesn’t mean that you have to stay at home, glum and bored. While shopping, dinners, cinema visits, or trips are some of our most common (and costly) entertainments, there are plenty of other options for having fun, provided that you’re willing to put a bit of ingenuity and vim into the process. The first and most obvious option is to check out the free events in your neighborhood or town.
May 23, 2014
Tips for Sticking to a Budget: Getting Grocery Shopping Under Control
Fair warning: I might just be the worst possible person to write this article. As a passionate foodie and annoying “healthy person”, I spend a good amount of my monthly budget on food. Whether it’s fresh produce or artisanal tofu, grocery shopping is one area where I don’t like to deprive myself. Having said that, I definitely don’t spend as much as I could, or even as much as I once did on food.
May 15, 2014
Frugal Living: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything New For Home
The urge to run to a store and buy a new object when something in your home breaks can be a strong. Or, discovering a need for a new furniture piece or accessory when you find a spot in your home that’s a little too blank can inspire a new purchase. But if you’re trying to save money or just be a smarter consumer, you might want to pause a minute before whipping the credit card out to ask yourself these five questions first before buying anything new for home.
May 10, 2014
The Ultimate Casual Gathering: Slumber Party For Grown-Ups
A party can be equally intimidating to guests (wear the right outfit, provide sparkling conversation, know somebody beyond the host) as it is for the host (play the right music, serve the right food/drinks, invite the right mix of people), but nothing says “come as you are” like an invitation to a sleepover party! Why should you host a slumber party immediately, and why should you accept an invitation to a slumber party immediately? Let’s count the ways.
Mar 21, 2014
Basics of a Household Budget that Works
Getting a handle on your finances is extremely satisfying. I’d even say it’s downright freeing. No more anxiety about where the money is going and can I afford this and how much should we be paying for that. Here are a few overarching principles and practical points from my own household budget, considerations that I think apply to any budget. 1. Pay off debt.
Mar 17, 2014
Before & After: DIY Cooler
Summer’s outdoor entertaining calls for keeping drinks cool, but budget options aren’t all that attractive. Ashley from Shanty 2 Chic turned a basic styrofoam cooler into a stylish solution that doesn’t diminish your décor. Looking for a weekend project that will up the ante on your patio parties? Check out this after:Ashley put together this country chic cooler stand with $50 in supplies and some power tool basics.
Jul 12, 2013
A Few Ways to Change It Up at Home for Under $10
January is synonymous with new, new, new. It’s the time of the year when we aspire towards change and refreshing the old. But a change doesn’t have to be big or difficult to be effective. Follow me after the jump to see a few inexpensive ways to liven up your home…Bring the Outdoors In: Having flowers and plants indoors instantly cheers up a room. If you haven’t had any in a while, this just may be the time to start.
Jan 10, 2013
You Can Do It: 100% Realistic Budgeting Tips & Resources
Budgeting is one my least favorite subjects. One, because I am one of those right brained people who avoids math and numbers at all costs and two, because I was never taught how to make a proper and realistic budget. But, whether or not it’s in our comfort zone, we inevitably hunker down and try to crunch numbers and make a plan.
Jan 13, 2012