Archive for March, 2013

5 Minute Saving Step – Automatic Savings Plan

Today’s 5 minute savings step is about automatic savings!  Don’t you just love that word, savings!  We all need to have an emergency plan set aside, but only 55% have more in savings then credit card debit.  So for today we are going to do one thing – set up an emergency savings plan if you don’t already have one.

My paycheck is directly deposited into my account every week – nice right.  Well I took five minutes to set 15% of my savings to automatically go to my emergency fund.  It’s an account I don’t use and won’t use unless it’s an emergency!

If you already have a checking account – see about opening an savings account in the same bank.  It’s important that you don’t attach it to your main account and that you don’t use it. If you have direct deposit  set it up so that it is automatically deducted from your paycheck, that way you’ll not notice it.

 

Happy Savings!

5 Minute Savings Step – Budgets

Yes, you read the post right- it’s the dirty “B” word that many people seem afraid of to tackle.  Ok, so it’s not really dirty, and if you want to save, you have to take a moment and sit down and do one.  I just recently helped my sister do a budget for the first time, and it wasn’t as painful as she thought.

It can be as simple as an excel spread sheet that you list your income and expenses.  But if you’re like me and don’t want to go through making a budget of your own, here are a few links to help you get started.  If you already know how much you spend per month then it really shouldn’t take you more then 5 minutes to plug in the numbers.  If you don’t know how much you spend, take the five minutes and find the answers.

Budget Worksheets:

Supplies:

  • Budget worksheet
  • Income for the household
  • Bills for the house

That’s it!

 

Happy Savings!

Chasing the BARGAIN – an addicts’ confession

Saving money has never come easy to me, after all I love to shop.  I also love to receive packages, it’s like a birthday or Christmas every time I get a package in the mail.  It’s the shopping online that I love, after all it offered no lines, convenience  and the ability to snag unbelievable deals.  The only problem was that it becoming an addiction.  I searched out unbelievable deals, many times for things I didn’t really need and sometimes didn’t even want.

My online shopping started off innocently enough at first.  I found myself searching out items to build a stockpile, then I started looking for clothes fr the kids, with four I really wanted to stretch my dollar as far as I could.  The small purchases, like 25 coupons for next weeks deal, or the new outfits for next season turned into six months supplies of toilet paper and paper towel.  The necessities soon became the gifts for holiday’s – Christmas, Birthday’s, Easter, Halloween Costumes, and of course the presents for just in case we get an unexpected invite to someone’s birthday!  I soon found myself signing up for freebies I didn’t need, telling myself I know someone who could use it.

I was caught in the thrill of the chase – chasing down a bargain, any bargain.  Being able to say I got it for free or pennies on the dollar filled me with excitement, one that it was hard to step away from.  It almost got my in trouble, not the financial trouble.  The kind where if I didn’t stop I would have become one of those people you see on tv, their house filled with tons of unopened boxes with no room left to walk.  OK, may I wasn’t that far down the road, but I feared I was really heading there.  I decided to stop.

I had to learn to say no to the chase, sounds easy, but it wasn’t,  not at first.  Anyone who knows what the chase feels like, the high of getting something at 90% off, can be like a drug.  It was a drug, my drug and it was easy to find the source for my next high, after all they emailed me constant updates of great bargains, as soon as they became available.  Before I had a chance to fall off the current feeling of incredible power,I was already on to the next fix, the next bargain.

What got me to stop?  I came home and saw all the stuff that was accumulating in my house and realized I was sick of it.  I was sick of the drawer full of dog food (I don’t have a dog, in fact I am highly allergic to them!)  I just wanted it all t be gone.  I told myself then and there it was time to clean up, literally!  I started by going through items.  Things that didn’t fit me or anyone in my house or my sisters went straight to goodwill.  The items for my sister’s house went quickly over there.

When the first cleaning was done, and things were reasonable, I set about with one simple rule.  For everything one thing I bring in that is not needed (I mean really needed), I had to get rid of five other things.  That one rule was really freeing for me, it was something simple that I could live with and I have.  As time has gone on, I have added more rules, but the have to be simple or else I just won’t follow them for long.

Happy Savings!

3/15 Spending $8.19 on Carol’s Daughter

I spent $8.19 on Carol’s daughter Margarete’s hair magic. It’s normally $17 before tax and $18.19 after tax. I had a $5 wrapp sephora gift card and a $5 egifter gift card which brought my total down. Not bad for something we needed and a product I love using on me and my girls hair.

Free $5 from Starbucks, last day!

If you’re a Starbucks Addict and you haven’t yet taken advantage of the free $5 Starbucks gift card.  You can still head on over to Starbucks and learn more about it.  The offer ends today, March 14th and is only valid for new customers, must have never registered a Starbucks card before.

Free Admission to Children’s Museum in Atlanta

It’s Free Target Tuesday.  This Tuesday, thanks to Target parents and children can enjoy free admission to the Children’s Museum between 1-7 pm.  Keep in mind the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is geared for children 8 and younger and there is no free parking in the area.  To save some extra money, checkout the Marta schedule.

Learn all about Target Tuesdays at the Children’s Museum.

Free $5 Starbucks Rewards when you register your card

If you’re a Starbucks Addict, I know a few, then you’ll be happy to learn the following.  You can head on over to learn more about it.  The offer ends March 14th and is only valid for new customers, must have never registered a Starbucks card before.