Category Archives: Budgeting Basics

What Do You Mean There’s No Credit Repair Fairy?

You are watching your favorite show on T.V. and see a commercial that peaks your interest. “Do you have credit problems?” You think, “Why yes, I do!” The commercial continues, “No problem! We can erase your bad credit history forever and you can start all over!” How convenient does that sound! Of course there is a small fee associated with this magic credit eraser. You think to yourself the fee is worth having good credit again.

I am here to break the sad truth; this is a very popular credit repair scam. No one has the power to just create new credit identities. If you have poor credit history, then only time and your effort are the only things to rebuild your credit.   Continue reading

5 Tips to Help You Pay Down Debt

There it is again. That ugly four letter “d” word that seems to loom over you every day. According to a CBS Money Report  in August 2012, the average consumer credit card debt is hovering just below $5000. With a minimum payment of $100, or 2% of the card balance, and an interest rate of 9%, that would take 16 years to pay off! Add that on top of any other debts that you may have, and whoa! Things seem to be out of your control. With a little planning and a lot of effort, you can take back control and give debt the boot. Continue reading

Becoming A One Car Family

Let me start by telling you a story.

For many years we were a two car family and we were good about paying off the cars fast, so we never really had car payments for long.  In 2010, we unfortunately had to get rid of one of our cars, which left us the need to purchase another one.  We hadn’t planned for this, which meant taking out a car loan and having a car payment.  It was a painful moment especially after going 10 years without one car payment.  Then our other car, the car that had been through everything with us from the beginning and everywhere with all our moves decided she had enough and couldn’t keep up with us anymore.  We already had one car payment, we weren’t going to take on another one, we mutually refused!  This is what brought on us becoming a one car family.  Fast forward–currently we are into our second year of officially being a one car family.  Is it always easy?  No.  Is it doable?  Absolutely!

There is one main reason I believe has allowed us to be successful with this:  We have a huge, compelling and strong enough “why” for making this work.  It is simple, we both (husband and I) don’t like car payments—we don’t think it should be a norm and we want to pay our next car cash.  We also know this is only temporary situation that will help us reach our goal.

The Benefits Of Being A One Car Family

These are some benefits we have experienced firsthand:

  • We have become better planners–being a one car family definitely forces you to do this.
  • There is a big need to communicate, so this has bettered our relationship and brought us closer especially in terms of both being on board with our financial goals—plus there are definitely more discussions on money.
  • We save on insurance.
  • We save on gas.
  • We save in general, having only one car makes it harder to get to places (this is a good thing– you aren’t tempted as much to eat out, etc.).  Just having to plan out everything helps us save money.
  • We get more exercise (or should I say the person that doesn’t have the car gets more exercise)!

Does it have its challenges?  Absolutely!!

The Challenges Of Being A One Car Family

The following are the challenges we have encountered:

  • Since planning is a must, last minute occurrences may not work out if a car is necessary.
  • We are very independent, so sometimes having to ask for favors is not something we like to do.
  • In all honesty it can be a pain!

Being a one car family is not for everyone, so please consider it carefully.  For those who can do it great!  For those who cannot don’t stress about it, there are definitely other ways you can save money!

4 Easy Steps To Track Your Monthly Spending

 “Where did all my money go?” “How did I go through my paycheck already?” Often times, we find ourselves staring at our bank account balance wide-eyed wondering what we spent our money on. Wondering where our money went is often a warning sign letting us know that we need to regain control of our financial situation. So how do we figure out where our money is going? Continue reading

What is an Emergency Savings Fund?

What is an emergency to you?

Fifty-percent off on those shoes we have had our eyes on for a couple weeks (never mind that your spouse recently counted 75 pairs of shoes in your shared closet)?

A whining, begging, tantrum-throwing child who suddenly develops a passion for square-dance lessons (oh, by the way, her best friend is being forced by her parents to take said lessons)?

An island vacation because you are sick to death of your job and the weather in your area (and by the way we have enough room on the credit card to cover the cost)?

Some things may seem urgent or uncomfortable in the moment, but what is really an emergency? Continue reading

Pencil Eraser

Make Your Long Term Financial Goals SMART

Throughout your life, you will set long term goals for yourself and your family. Having long term goals is important. It defines your path to success and helps give meaning to your life.

Long Term Goals Are The Keys To Success

“What do I want to be when you grow up?” As a child, from time-to-time, all of us pondered that question. You may have dreamed up an answer to that question by picturing yourself in an important line of work; as a scientist conducting laboratory research, as a police officer protecting the lives of citizens, or as a professional athlete scoring the game winning point for your team. Continue reading

Piggy Bank

4 Major Long Term Financial Goals: Keys To Success

Piggy BankLong term financial goals take time, resources, and careful planning in order to transform them from dreams into successes.  Many of us share goals to save for college, buy a house, start a business, and enjoy our hard earned retirement.  Here’s our guide to getting you on the right track with planning theses major financial goals. Continue reading

How To Build & Evaluate Your Spending Plan

A budget is a tool.  Pick one!  You may not particularly get excited about screwdrivers, but you need one to tighten the cabinet hinge and keep the cabinet door from falling off and causing damage, not to mention eliminating the constant annoyance of a door that isn’t working properly.  Budgets are pretty much just like that! Continue reading