Summer Savings (June, July & August)
- Be Consistent.
- Don’t give up! Just because you didn’t reach your goal or didn’t stay on budget doesn’t mean you have to throw away your budget all together. Reassess and begin again.
- Live BELOW your Means.
- Leave room in your budget for saving. If you are married live on the lesser of the two incomes. If you are single, aim to leave 15 to 20% of your income towards savings and retirement.
- Remember this: Just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you have to have it.
- Say “NO” to things you Don’t Need!
- Enough Said
- Use what you already have.
- This can apply to groceries and knick knacks around the house. I may not want chicken, rice and broccoli for dinner but it’s in my freezer/fridge, it’s healthy so I am having it for dinner! This has really helped me not go over the grocery budget this month.
- Let’s say you want a new desk but it isn’t in the budget. Instead, you do have a card table just collecting dust in the garage. Instead of going over budget, pull out that card table, dust it off, put a table cloth on it, some family photos, maybe some flowers too and MAKE IT WORK!! Then, when you have SAVED up for your desk, BUY IT!
Hope you find these tips helpful! Happy Savings, XOXO Smiling Danny
Who Have I Been Listening to in 2019:
- Chris Hogan
- Dave Ramsey
- His and Her Money
- The Budget Mom
December: See This Month’s Blog Post
- Diligence -Stay the Course
- Persistence – Be active and proactive about saving money, budgeting and setting up a successful financial future.
- Discipline – Say NO, Stay Home, and Plan Ahead
- Don’t Quit – Even if you fall and don’t successfully complete what you planned for the month, Get back up and try again.
October: Take advantage of deals
This month I want to focus on stretching your dollar. Here are some ways to get a little more out of your purchase/dollar:
- Use Coupons: You can use coupons on groceries, household items, restaurants etc.
- Shop Clearance section at Stores: This is really great for everyone in the household because clearance sections include both in and out of season clothes. Also, with small children and adults you can pretty much know your size for the upcoming season or year so you can buy items ahead of time. Ex: if your child was in 2T this year, buy 3T clearance items so that next year you won’t have to buy clothes at full price.
- Lookout for Giftcard Promotions: Some restaurants or stores will offer promotions at certain times of the year. For Example, a store will offer a promotion saying purchase a $100 giftcard and we will add an additional $25. I have seen this at grocery stores, restaurants, spas etc. If you shop or eat at one of these places regularly buy the giftcard first then make your transaction!
- Take advatage of online deals and apps that give you cash back on purchases.
Happy Savings!, XOXO Smiling Danny
September: Reward Yourself!
You have got to reward yourself! Each month, set aside money in your budget for your hobby, your spouse’s hobby or for a special treat. You work hard for the money that you have earned so you should enjoy the fruits of your labor. Even if it is just a cupcake or a trip to the movie. The more that you eliminate your debt, the bigger this treat can be or you can set aside a little money each month for something big. Of course, I am encouraging you to use cash not credit for this treat; especially if you have any debt. We don’t want to add debt or create debt to reward ourselves.
Happy Savings! XOXO, Smiling Danny
Here are some tips to Help You Avoid Spending Money on things that You Do Not Necessarily Need:
- Stay Out of Stores that Cause You to Over Spend: If you do not NEED anything out of that store, DON’T GO IN.
- Shop with a List: This should keep you focused on purchasing only the items that you NEED.
- If you are using the Envelope System, only have the envelope pertaining to that purchase with you. For example, I have a tendency to have all my envelopes with me in my wallet. If I run out of money in one envelope, I will just go to the next. NO! The idea is to only use the money in that envelope, once I’m out, no more shopping. What has helped is by only taking in the grocery envelope when I go grocery shopping.
- Use Cash, Use Cash, Use Cash! Having cash in hand lets you know exactly how much money you have versus charging it and regretting it later.
- Plan Ahead: If you are going to be out running errands, pack snacks, beverages and your lunch instead of having to pull over for food. I also keep water, Gatorade and crackers in my car, just in case. Meal plan as well. Have in mind what you are going to cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If this involves prepping the night before or at the beginning of the week, do this to avoid the hefty take-out prices.
- Budget! You can’t follow a budget if you don’t have one!
- Buy On Sale! If you know you are going to NEED shoes, tires, or something special soon, start looking for deals ahead of time versus waiting until the last minute.
Notice the recurring theme this month: get what you NEED and PLAN AHEAD. Hope this helps!
-Happy Savings, XOXO Smiling Danny
July’s Financial Tip:
BE A TEAM PLAYER! Your Spouse cannot do it on their own. If two of you come together to create the budget, you both must follow it. If one of you creates the budget, then the other didn’t have a say or hand in the financial status of the household. Take the time to sit down together to create the budget and take the necessary steps to fulfill it. If you are single, stay the course. Don’t create the budget and then put it out of your mind until the next month. Keep revisiting it and take the necessary steps to achieve those financial goals that you have set for yourself.
Click the links below to check out some of the Budgeting and Finance videos that I have posted on YouTube:
- Five Basic Financial Tips
- Saving Money during Christmas and Throughout the Year
- 10 Ways to Save This Year/ Essential Items to Start a Budget
- Credit Cards…Who Needs Them?/Budget Task 1
- Budget Task 2
- Budget Task 3: Stay the Course