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How To Make A Spending Plan

A good spending plan is nothing but utilizing your own resources in a meaningful manner which will help you out in achieving your budgets in the easiest way. To know about your saving or any investments you primarily need to know about your expenses, debts, and needs.

money saving tips
money saving tips

In the present economy you need to plan out everything before you implement, so when you plan well in advance about your saving, investments, funds, etc. then everything would just seem like a cake walk.

People generally hate budgets as they look too confining.

Just like your daily diet, budgets are always begun with big intentions, only to be ditched because spending restraints look much like a pain preventing you from using your money as you wanted to.

But in today’s world, where unemployment is at the peak and where clients and customers are clinging over a multi-year credit spree, a budget is the medicine which many households need. It’s never painful if you just understand one fact “It is YOU who control your budget, the budget DOES NOT control you.”

Every month it’s you who decides how much you want to spend on your lifestyle, your groceries, your holidays, your parties, your debts, and your interests. There is a huge list that you need to take care of. It’s you who make these decisions.

You can choose either a new wardrobe or clearance of your debts; you can choose a getaway rather than a long weekend. The bottom line is you decide whatever you want to with your money. But the problem is every individual wants to do everything at once.

The moment you receive your paycheck we all expect it to cover all our expenses and get us everything we want. The moment you are out of funds we fall prey to the plastic cards.

A very bad idea indeed

The best way to get your earnings lined up would be by putting your financial goals in writing. The writings can make them seem more specific and attainable. However, everyday purchases and desires get in the way you’re saving for the future.

The best way to make sure your expenses don’t overwhelm your goals is to make a good spending plan. A spending plan is not like a strict rulebook. Instead, it’s your guide that will be of help to walk you through your future and, let you reach all your defined goals.

Monthly Plan

Plan your budget for every month, many believe in averaging and planning out budgets in quarterly, half yearly or a yearly fashion. Ask yourself, do you spend the same amount every month?? Would you have the same expenses every month?? The answer is NO, So instead of planning your budget on an average, make exact planning for every month beforehand.

Managing Discretionary Bills

Every month you will have some fixed bills like your rent,  taxes, insurance premiums, etc. make sure you list them all first and clear them first in your spending plan. If you don’t do it now they pile up and cause havoc in your spending plan later.

Clear off high interest loans

All the cards and loans that charge higher interest rates clear them off first. Try to pay the minimum bill every month and if possible pay more than the minimum due.

Avoid Use of plastic

Try not to use the credit facility offered by your banks, If at all you need to take only that much which you can afford. Never go for any high interest cards and the best of all opt for card free wallet. This will keep you much away from unwanted expenses.

Prioritize

If all your expenses are met and you’re left with balance in your account then prioritize your wants, for example, your video games can be delayed further than your vacation. Either you can split it and save the money and try that out in the next month.

And that’s it. That is a successful budget. It is not difficult. It does not have to be laborious on your lifestyle. All you need to do is understand that you have complete control over your money, and it is you who decide where you spend and for what you spend that money each month.

Do Our Emotions Affect The Way We Spend?

Money is the root of all evils. Well, only if we class evil as the things we want. Emotion dictates everything we buy, from the type of juice we get at the supermarket to a piece of gadget wizardry at our local Apple Store.

But what causes these unstable emotions that tell us to empty our bank accounts and spree, as we have never spree before or, alternatively, tighten our purse strings and save our money cash?

Impulsive spending is one of the biggest contributing factors to affect our emotions. In today’s society, you can’t turn on a TV, radio, computer or even leave your house without being bombarded by media messages that influence us emotionally.

The Negatives

Playing on our deepest psychological needs, these messages are designed to suggest, entice or recommend products for us to purchase. They also quietly suggest what we’re missing in our lives, and direct us to where we can fill that materialistic gap, whether it’s in the designer clothes section of a department store or the nearest car dealership.

People who are more susceptible to these messages tend to develop impulsive spending disorders, where the individuals become barricaded in an impulsive mindset that stops them from saving money, continuously producing a negative outlook on finances. Furthermore, impulsive spending causes the individual to discredit the value of money, often developing into compulsive over-spending, paving the way for darker emotions like remorse and guilt.

Financial hardship can also induce emotional responses when it comes to spending. Many people who have been involved in expensive situations like divorce or bankruptcy rarely associate money with positive feelings. Instead, emotions such as bitterness or anger shroud most financial decisions, causing people to bury their heads in the sand. This can lead to depression, and the correlation between financial difficulty and suicide is well documented.

The daily struggle of life can also affect the way a person spends their cash. No one likes to be controlled by money, but if you’re not making enough to survive, emotions like despair and contempt set into your financial outlook.

The Positives

If you feel depressed, it’s safe to say that you should stay away from the shops. But positive emotions can actually benefit your shopping experience. Many people are better able to organize their shopping needs when feeling emotionally positive. Choices become clearer, and the focus narrows to what you need – to an extent – rather than what you think will make you feel better.

When shopping for a friend or loved one, the choices you make and the amount of money you spend will reflect your emotional stability. If you’re indifferent and looking to get out of the shops as quickly as possible, you’ll find the closest thing relating to a gift and buy it. This is not impulsive purchasing.

If you are happy or experiencing the benefits of positive emotions, then spending your cash will sustain this feeling. You’ll look to make your purchases reflect quality instead of quantity, a decision many of us deflect when we’ve got a wad of disposable income.

Top Ten Ways to Spend Less on Christmas

With most households a little short on cash this year, many people are wondering just how they are going to afford the festive season. After all, for all its wonders, Christmas isn’t exactly the cheapest time of year.

The good news is that provided you’re willing to be frugal, it is possible to have a great Christmas without destroying your credit. It simply requires a certain amount of savvy shopping. Here are ten simple ways to spend less this Christmas.

Compare Prices (Obsessively)

Don’t underestimate how much money can be saved with a little bit of price comparison. Never accept the first price you find. There’s a wealth of price comparison sites available online. And they make comparing the price of everything from clothes to consumer electronics a simple and straightforward process.
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Look for Discount Codes

Once you’ve found the best price for something that you want to purchase, the next step is to find a discount code for it. Though it’s not always possible, you might be surprised to learn just how many coupon codes are lurking online. To look for them, simply jump on Google and search “the shop or items name” and “discount codes”. How does a ten percent discount for ten seconds of work sound?

Purchase Discount Gift Cards

Discounted gift cards not only make great gifts, but they’re also a great way for you to save money when doing your Christmas shopping. Sites such as giftcardrescue.com sell gift cards for as little as seventy percent of their retail value. And while you can’t find gift cards for every store, when you get lucky, a thirty percent discount can really increase your purchasing power.

Ask for Discounts

Whenever you find yourself making an expensive purchase, don’t be afraid to ask for a small discount. Regardless of where you are shopping, the worst that can happen is that the salesperson says no. And you might be surprised to learn just how many times they actually say yes. Asking for discounts isn’t just wise when shopping on the high street either. Provided an online retailer offers a live chat facility, use it to ask for a discount.

Look for Two for One Promotions

Provided you’re careful, two for one promotion can be a great way to save a tidy sum at Christmas. Establish what stores in your area are offering such promotions and then simply purchase multiple gifts at the same time. Don’t however fall into the trap of purchasing items that you otherwise wouldn’t. That’s how you spend more, not less.

Avoid Impulse Purchases

While most consumers will purchase expensive gifts with care, many make impulse purchases when it comes to smaller items. Unfortunately, those small gifts can really add up. To avoid making silly purchases in the heat of the moment, always shop with a list. And of course, always shop with the discipline to stick to the said list.

Secret Santa

With the economy showing little signs of recovery, most people are a little short on cash this year. Secret Santa is therefore likely to be more popular than ever. When a group of people decides to do Secret Santa, everyone just purchases a single gift for a single person in the group. To determine who gives a gift to who, everyone puts their name into a hat.

Don’t Purchase Gifts for Yourself

When you spend a few hours shopping for others, purchasing something small for yourself can be incredibly tempting. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to cut your Christmas costs, a little bit of discipline is very much required. It’s also worth noting that such discipline will be greatly rewarded when the January sales roll around.

Photo Gifts

Collages of family photos make for excellent gifts for relatives. For the cost of a photo frame and an hour of your time, you can easily come up with a gift that is both valuable and personal. And provided you’re willing to invest in a quality frame, you can expect the said gift to last for many years to come.

Put Limits on Gift Giving

Finally, the easiest way for a cash strapped person to save money this Christmas is to simply be honest with people. It’s estimated that a third of all consumers changed their gift policies last year in response to being a little cash strapped and the number is expected to be even higher this year.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your family and friends about putting limits on the amount of money that you can spend on each other. They’ll probably be delighted that you suggested it.

Tips on Controlling Your Expenses

Americans are deep down in debt. As per the Federal Reserve, presently they owe a total of 850 billion dollars as personal credit card debt and an average of roughly 16,000 dollars per household.

Many Americans find themselves resorting about using credit cards for paying for the medical bill. And though it’s not recommended, still this is often the only factor preventing bankruptcy, especially in case of the elder citizens of the country.

expenses
expenses

People who don’t pay for medical bills with credit cards used to use them to make the ends meet in this post-recession economy, while others use them to fulfill their shopping impulse.

If you belong to the latter category, then you are fortunate as you can reduce the amount of debt by simply managing your hard earned dollars prudently and controlling your shopping habit. Here are some effective steps towards controlling your spending habit.

  • Analyze your needs – At the outset, you need to analyze your requirements, otherwise, you may have to struggle with your finances. Avoid being an impulsive buyer. Whenever you get excited about buying a thing or sign up for any new service – stop and think twice. Think whether or not you need it right now and at all. Becoming ruthless about your spending is not good for your personal finance.
  • Consider money as time – If you want to spend in a cavalier fashion, don’t think about the costs, but calculate how many years of your life you would take to earn that amount. For example, if you want to buy a pair of jeans worth $75, think how long you would take to earn 75 dollars of in-home pay. If you need to work those hours just to buy a pair of jeans, would that be worthy of your time? If not, then you must pass on that purchase. Shift your view; think about buying things with time, not by money as it would help you understand your priorities.
  • Consider storage and maintenance of your belongings – Everything you own would cost you something in the currency of both storage and maintenance. Before you think about a new purchase, think whether or not you have enough space to store the item. You should also care about ongoing attention you need to pay towards it. Considering all these things, you may find the stuff not so attractive after you add in all of these factors. Be organized and avoid spending money again and again on the same thing by knowing what you have and what you haven’t. Before spending dollars ask yourself if you have anything that would serve the same purpose. Instead of buying the same thing that you already have but can’t find right now, spend some energy on finding it.

These are just some of many finance tips through which you can significantly control your spending habit, and save the money that you can use for some constructive purposes or paying off existing debts. Also, try to avoid punching your credit card every now and then. Use cash instead of using credit cards.

Five Tips for Saving Money on Home Expenses

With as many bills and everyday expenses as we have to pay for, organizing your budget and figuring out where you can tighten your spending may seem overwhelming.

Reassessing your big expenses, like your house insurance, car payment, and medical insurance may be the way to find out where you can save the most significant amount of money, but curtailing small expenses is important too– and, fortunately, much simpler. The following five tips will help you save on home expenses:

Cook meals at home

Do you find yourself frequently ordering takeout at the end of a long day because you don’t feel like cooking, or eating lunch out because you didn’t plan ahead and bring a lunch? The cost of restaurant food adds up over time.

Even the cheapest fast food costs more to buy than to make. (Don’t believe us? Do a cost-per-serving analysis. That dollar-menu burger doesn’t seem so cheap now!) Reserve restaurant meals for celebrations or special treats. Cook most of your meals at home. Make large batches and freeze the extra for a convenience meal when you need it.

Drive less

Do you automatically pop into your car when you need to go somewhere without thinking, “Is there another way?” If the weather is nice and your location is close, consider biking or walking. If a coworker lives close to you, consider carpooling to work.

Organize your shopping lists and plan ahead of time so that you can take fewer trips to the grocery store and minimize driving time while running errands.

Spend less money on haircuts

For some people, this can lead to major savings. It’s simply a myth that hair needs to be cut every 6-8 weeks to stay “healthy.” In the case of women, consider a lower-maintenance cut that will look still look nice after 3 months. If you frequently get highlights or expensive hair treatments, consider scaling back.

In the case of men, if you have a very simple haircut, you don’t need to pay a barber once or twice every month to get perfect results. (We’re looking at you, Mister “two on the top, one on the sides”!) Invest in a basic home clipper set; it will pay for itself in just a few months.

With the attachments, you’ll get a consistent, neat cut every time. Saving $20 a month (or far more, in the case of some!) will add up to a large sum over time.

Always buy generic or store-brand products

Often produced by the same manufacturer, they’re as high-quality as name-brand products. You almost always can’t even tell the difference between the two. 30 cents of savings per item doesn’t seem like much now, but it adds up to hundreds of dollars a year.

Consider upgrading your appliances

Old, inefficient appliances, including outdated and poorly-insulated water heaters, could be costing you a lot of energy. There are many gas water heater options in Shreveport; consider researching replacement options.

You may find a new water heater would be a good money-saving investment. There are many options out there so make sure you look at everything you can like gas water heaters Shreveport.

Following these 5 tips will give you a good start on cutting your home expenses, whether you need to do so due to suddenly being laid off or simply so you can put more away into savings to improve your peace of mind.

Tight on Money? 3 Ways to Make Payments on Time

Are you having trouble paying your bills? Are you getting close to having trouble? Chances are you want to bury your head in the sand. This leaves you likely to be kicked in the rear. Bad credit scores, debt collectors and trouble are on the horizon. Here are three ways to continue making payments:

Use All You’ve Got

Have a side job or two at all times, not just during lean times. You know what your skills are. Put the word out that you are for hire. Take seasonal jobs or freelance. Most people have talents or skills that can be used to generate a little income by working several hours a week.

This won’t only help you continue to pay the bills; it can also be expanded or useful if you are laid off or downsized. It’s a smart move for anyone, even those without financial concerns. Examples include tutoring, house sitting and window washing.

Stay Out of the Mall Like It’s Your Job

If your income increases, use it to pay bills and surprise expenses rather than rewarding yourself with a shopping trip. Think of being financially caught up as its own form of reward. You only buy things to make yourself feel good, anyway. Well, being able to pay the bills feels pretty good!

Make it easier to do this by staying out of stores as much as possible. Some people find that shopping from catalogs or online stores helps them make fewer impulse buys, such that the cost of shipping is worth it.

If working at a store is your job, you must steel yourself against making purchases, especially if you have an employee discount. Consider every dollar not spent a dollar earned.

Borrow From Yourself

A third option is using a payday advance lender to help you make your payments on time. You don’t need to have any credit to qualify and you can apply online. Experts at Power Finance suggest can borrow against Social Security income if you are in a financial bind.

A payday loan might seem scary, but with unexpected expenses, sometimes it becomes necessary to enlist the help of a third party so you can stay on top of your bills.

These ideas will help you manage your money and pay the bills. In a world of unexpected expenses and rising costs, staying on top of things can be challenging. Use your resources and make smart decisions to pay the bills.

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