For a limited time you can get 5 pairs of baby leg warmers from Baby Leggings for FREE when you use promo code ENBABY. All you need to pay is the shipping which is $12.95! With over 70 styles to choose from, you are sure to find designs that you love!
Reader Mary left this comment on Pinterest, “Just got mine and they are awesome!!”
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This week Target has Women’s Mossimo T-shirts and Tanks on sale for $5. But if you use a mobile coupon and buy 3, you can get them for just $4 each. Here’s how:
* Buy 3 Women’s Mossimo T-shirts or Tanks $15.00 total
- use $3 off $15 Women’s Apparel Purchase Mobile Coupon
(text OFFERS to 827438)
Final Cost: $12.00 or $4.00 per shirt
Use your Target Red Card to save another 5% and pay just $3.60 per shirt!
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Budgeting is one of the best ways to manage your money wisely but often people aren’t sure how to go about setting one up. I’m excited to have Jesenia from The Latina Homemaker share this post on the basics of starting a budget. I think you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is!
Be sure to stop by The Latina Homemaker where you can read more of Jesenia’s thoughts on homemakeing tips, frugal living advice, recipes, travel adventures and everything in between!
For many years, I would spend money without paying attention to where it was going. At the time, we had two decent incomes coming in and I didn’t feel a budget was necessary. Not having a budget certainly caught up with me. After finding myself with very little money left at a time when we needed it the most, I knew it was time to take action. However, the thought of creating a budget was very overwhelming to me and not something I wanted to face.
If you find yourself in a similar position I have great news for you. Creating a budget is actually quite simple. You don’t need fancy worksheets or a financing degree to track where your money is going. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to create a budget and take control of your family’s finances.
5 Steps To Creating A Budget
1. Figure out what your income is.
The first step when creating a budget is to figure out what your total income is. You want to make sure you include all income sources including:
- Self employment
- Tax Refund
- Other (e.g. rent)
Once you have a yearly figure, divide this number by 12. This is your monthly total income. If your income fluctuates each month due to self employment or employment that is seasonal, simply look at the previous 12 months. If you find that your income has drastically changed, then just use an average of the last 3 months.
2. List all expenses.
Next you’ll need to list all of your expenses. This should include all of your monthly expenditures. First you’ll want to start with your fixed expenses:
- Monthly Charitable Contributions
- Utilities (if fixed)
You will also need to list all of your variable expenses. These are the expenses that fluctuate each month. In order to determine what you’re spending on miscellaneous purchases, each adult should keep a spending diary for at least a month or two. This will help you get an average of what you’re spending in this category.
Here are some of the expenses that fall under the variable category:
- Auto (gas, repairs, etc.)
3. Calculate your bottom line.
After you have calculated all of your totals, subtract your fixed and variable expenses from your total income. What’s your bottom line? Do you have enough income left over to pay off debt or to put in savings? Or is it less than what you expected? If you find that your bottom line is less than what you need it to be, you’ll have to go back and take a good look at your expenses. Start in order of priority to determine where to start cutting back. Some categories to start with are:
You’ll find that these areas are the easiest to cut back on with a little discipline and sacrifice.
4. Make adjustments.
If you find that your bottom line is still less than what you need it to be, you will need to make some bigger cuts in your expenses. Take a look at some of your biggest expenses such as housing. Can you refinance? Or move to a more affordable home? When we lost one of our incomes several years ago, we decided to refinance our mortgage which decreased our monthly payment by $150 (an $1,800 yearly savings!). Another big expense is food. Eating out and failing to plan meals was costing us several hundred dollars each month. With careful planning, using coupons and only eating out occasionally, we are easily saving thousands each year.
Here are some actions you can take now to get started:
- Lower your housing expenses by refinancing or moving to a home that’s more affordable.
- Call your insurance company and ask for a better rate.
- Find out if you’re overpaying in taxes and adjust your withholding so your take home pay is greater.
- Contact your utility companies and find out if you can negotiate your rates.
- Switch to a less expensive cell phone plan.
- Make a meal plan, cook from scratch, use coupons and eat out less.
- Shop for clothing at consignment stores, thrift shop and yard sales.
(Here’s a great deal for an online consignment store called ThredUp.)
5. Do it again.
Establishing a budget is crucial for your financial health, but it doesn’t end there. Make sure that each month you take the time to monitor, adjust and discuss your budget. If something is not working, figure out what needs to change and implement it the following month. Once you get in the habit of maintaining a budget, you’ll find that it gets easier with time and knowing the state of your finances will help give you a peace of mind.
Do you have a budget? What is working for you? I would love to hear your tips!
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Today, August 15, 2014, Cents of Style is running a one day sale on their pillow covers. With this sale you can get any of their beautiful pillow covers for just $12.95 shipped when you use coupon code AUGUSTHOME at checkout.
They have numerous styles and colors to choose from- everything from chevron and Greek key print to fun burlap quotes and letters.
Pillow covers are a great and easy way to update your decor. I’m always amazed at how by simply switching out pillows, the look of a room can change so much!
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This past week we’ve been enjoying a little family vacation and it has been absolutely lovely! This is the first family vacation that we’ve ever taken just for fun (as opposed to going to visit family, which is what we’ve typically done) and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. The last year has felt incredibly busy and hard in a number of different ways and we felt like we needed some time to just relax and breathe and reconnect as a family.
We’ve been in Northern Kentucky at a lovely little guesthouse that I found on Airbnb.com. It’s been just perfect for us; it’s small enough to feel cozy and yet big enough that the children had room to play. The kitchen is nice sized too which has allowed us to make our own meals and save money in the process.
It’s beautiful where we live in Pennsylvania, but there is something about the rolling hills, all the trees and the rugged beauty here in KY that just made me fall in love with the area. I honestly think I could live here and that is not something I say very quickly!
This man of mine insisted on giving me a true vacation. He’s been so sweetly getting up early with the children, doing dishes and even making a lot of our meals! I feel quite undeserving….but am grateful all the same. And the break has been so glorious and refreshing! He’s so good to me and oh how I love him!
The two oldest kids and I. What’s with little boys and goofy faces on pictures?!
We spent a lot of our time simply relaxing but we also headed to the Creation Museum one day. In addition to the museum, they also have a lovely botanical gardens that we enjoyed walking through. The gardens were the perfect spot to eat our packed lunch. So much beauty there!
Another evening we headed to Dairy Queen and got $1 medium cones, their weekly special here, and then headed to the local park. They had the coolest playground with this huge slide. We all had fun going down it- yes, even me! It was crazy fun!
And this evening we enjoyed a small taste of Cincinnati, Ohio. They have an amazingly beautiful waterfront there. See all that nice green grassy area along the river? That’s all part of a park and it’s so very lovely. We enjoyed walking along the river and around the various sections of the park.
In the park there was this row of huge swings along the river front. Such a great idea! It was so peaceful to sit there and swing, looking out over the river. Well, at least it was peaceful when our rambunctious 2 yr. old would sit still long enough to swing!
We also walked across this bridge and the children thought it was the coolest thing!
Sometimes I forget that you don’t have to spend a lot to have a great time and make wonderful memories. It’s easy to think that in order to truly enjoy your vacation you really must do all the touristy, expensive things that you see advertised everywhere.
But obviously, some of us need to remember that little things like drinking from a water fountain and splashing your sister the process are obviously a blast too! And the bonus? It’s free!
All told, our evening in Cincinnati cost us just $7, which was for parking. But we had a beautiful evening full of enjoying each other and making memories together. It was such a good reminder for me that sometimes the simple things are truly the best things!
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