Living Richly on a Budget http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:17:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Expand Your Wardrobe without Emptying Your Wallet http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/expand-wardrobe-without-emptying-wallet http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/expand-wardrobe-without-emptying-wallet#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:01:40 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15246 I’m on a tight budget now but I also need to expand and update my professional wardrobe. I wear the same few tops every week and don’t have many options for work-related events. Yesterday, I attended an event and seriously, didn’t have anything to wear. Seriously! And there were pictures taken of me. =( So […] Read more...

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I’m on a tight budget now but I also need to expand and update my professional wardrobe.

I wear the same few tops every week and don’t have many options for work-related events.

Yesterday, I attended an event and seriously, didn’t have anything to wear.

Seriously! And there were pictures taken of me. =(

So I checked out ThredUP, an online consignment shop, and they’re having a 40% OFF Anniversary Sale! Score!

If you don’t know, ThredUP sells gently used, designer clothes for women, juniors, and kids.

thredup

It’s not 100% perfect to buy clothes online because they don’t always fit right. From my last purchase with them most of the items fit. And the ones that didn’t fit ended up fitting later when I subconsciously lost weight.

With this $10 off coupon, I was able to get 3 tops for only $22.89! And that includes shipping! So a lot of tops are $8 – $10 during this sale.

There are even designer purses like Coach for $50!

The only thing I had to watch out for was overspending. I had to remove a cute pink wool J. Crew blazer from my cart!

The sale ends TODAY!

>>Click here for a $10 off coupon on your first purchase<< (affiliate link)

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The Top 5 Places I Buy Groceries http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/top-places-i-buy-groceries http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/top-places-i-buy-groceries#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:34:18 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15237 Eating healthy and saving money are important to me. Plus, my daughter has food allergies so that makes it a priority for me to cook her food from scratch and opt out of boxed and frozen foods. Because of that, I don’t buy a lot of processed foods. I focus more on getting the freshest […] Read more...

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Eating healthy and saving money are important to me. Plus, my daughter has food allergies so that makes it a priority for me to cook her food from scratch and opt out of boxed and frozen foods.

Because of that, I don’t buy a lot of processed foods. I focus more on getting the freshest quality food possible.

Since I don’t buy processed foods, most coupons from the Sunday paper are not useful to me. And I don’t coupon for groceries.

Instead, I find deals elsewhere and you can too. You don’t necessarily have to coupon in order to save money.

1. Farmers Markets

My new favorite place to get organic produce is the farmers market. I always find the freshest, sweetest fruits here at better prices than the grocery store.

In the past few weeks, I discovered the sweetest, juiciest plums from this one farmer. It’s a special breed that tastes noticeably different and better.

And my family loves them! That means everything gets eaten up.

The vegetables I get from the farmers market stay fresher longer. The broccoli crowns are bright green, not purple, and stay fresh for a week.

One farmer has $1 bags of organic produce! They’re either overstocked or “seconds” (not-so-pretty) vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, or green beans.

I always swing by to see what they have. I’d pay $3 – $4 for these organic veggies elsewhere.

where i buy groceries

And there’s this gourmet rotisserie chicken from a food truck, that is THE best rotisserie chicken ever! Their French fingerling potatoes bathed in rotisserie chicken drippings, is amazing. My daughter and husband will eat that up in one sitting.

If you’re ever in San Francisco, you have to try Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie.

I do splurge on this a few times a month because a rotisserie chicken means that I don’t have to cook, it lasts for several meals, and I use the leftover bones to make bone soup. Plus, it costs about the same as a rotisserie chicken from a gourmet grocery store.

2. Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is known as the poor man’s Whole Foods in some circles. It doesn’t matter what it’s called because they have competitive prices for comparable items found in natural food stores.

What I buy here: organic chicken (best price and is the freshest), cereal, apple juice, snacks, nuts, goat milk (again they have the best price), coconut oil, eggs, cheese, gluten-free items (bread, waffles, pancakes, brownie mix, cookies, almond flour, pasta), and dairy-free items (coconut milk ice cream, pancakes).

3. Costco

I try not to go into Costco because often I’ll see something that I “need.” Instead, I’ll order these items and have them delivered by Google Shopping Express, which is a shopping delivery service in beta testing in our area. Shipping is free to several stores for the limited time.

What I buy here: toilet paper, paper towels, avocado oil (no more GMO oil for us), diapers, baby wipes, lemons, chicken apple sausage, Basmati rice, and eggs.

4. Vitacost

I love, love Vitacost! They have the best deals on gluten-free foods and supplements and they deliver within a few days.

Certain items are half off here! That’s like buying something and getting one free without having to coupon.

And they have sales all the time, like Buy One Get One Half Off.

What I buy here: gluten-free items (pizza mix, pasta, brownie mix, soy sauce), supplements,and personal care items.

Get $10 off your first order. Must be redeemed within the first few months after you receive the coupon code.

5. Asian Grocery Store

I’m very thankful to live near several Asian grocery stores, like 5 minutes away. I feel more connected to my family and culture when I shop here.

What I buy here: Asian vegetables (bok choy), Chinese herbs, rice noodles (they are the cheapest here), rice flour.

Photo Credit

 

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7 Best Places to Find Discount Kids Clothes and Toys http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/7-best-places-discount-kids-clothes-toys http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/7-best-places-discount-kids-clothes-toys#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:00:25 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=14175 Let’s face it, when you have children, there are a lot of costs involved and things to buy to make life easier. They need clothes, toys, furniture, carseats, strollers, bouncers, etc. Kids grow out of these items quickly so consider getting items second hand. There’s no need to pay full price or buy everything brand […] Read more...

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Let’s face it, when you have children, there are a lot of costs involved and things to buy to make life easier.

They need clothes, toys, furniture, carseats, strollers, bouncers, etc.

Kids grow out of these items quickly so consider getting items second hand.

There’s no need to pay full price or buy everything brand new when these things will only be used for a short period of time.

Here are 7 resources to find discount items for your kids.

1. Garage Sale Groups on Facebook

A garage sale group is a like a Craigslist, but on Facebook. People who live in the same community post things for sale, one item at a time or a bunch of items.

Because it’s on Facebook, you can see a photo of the person you are buying from or selling to. And it’s easy to buy and sell items.

If a member of the group wants to buy an item, they post a comment saying that they’re interested. Whoever is first in line gets first dibs.

They can communicate with the seller to arrange a time to pick up or pass on it so the next person in line has a chance to buy it. There are also a list of rules to follow.

Where I used to live, there were several of these groups with active members. This is by far the best place I have found amazing deals. People were selling toys for $5!

To find a garage sale group, go to the Facebook search box and type in keywords like “San Francisco garage sale,” “San Francisco sale”, San Francisco shop and sell”, or “San Francisco treasures.” There are so many different names used. If you can’t find any, ask friends if they know of any.

2. Consignment Sales Events

These are huge sales events held in a convention center or church gym where you can find deeply discounted items for baby and kids. It’s a great place to find unbelievable deals on second hand playhouses, strollers, car seats, cribs, toys, clothes, books, pack n’ plays, nursing pillows, etc.

To find one in your area, do a Google search with keywords like “San Francisco kids consignment sales.” Just Between Friends is a popular event in our area.

3. Consignment Stores

Consignment stores are great places to find baby items, toys, and clothes. I have gotten a cute Hello Kitty raincoat, almost new toys, and shoes there.

4. thredUP

thredUP is an online consignment store for women and kids clothes, shoes, and accessories. They carry gently used, brand name items, such as Gymboree, GapKids, Ralph Lauren, and Zara Kids. And you get them at a fraction of the original price.

I have found cute clothes for myself and my daughter and deeply discounted prices. Get $10 now to spend on your first purchase. (You’ll have to enter your email address to access the site.)

play kitchen step 2

5. Zulily

Zulily is a deal site for brand new, boutique items for baby, kids, and women. Each day they feature sales for high quality brands that are for a limited time.

Zulily has some really cute, gift worthy products at good prices. The only drawback is that you have to wait 2 – 3 weeks for items to arrive.

6. craigslist

By now, everyone knows about craigslist. I haven’t found as many good deals on craigslist compared to the other resources listed above.

Deals may vary by region. In my area, people seem to be selling things for more than 50% of the regular price, which is discouraging.

In my opinion, if the item is used and it’s being sold for just $10 off from the original price of $50, I might as well buy it brand new and save myself the trouble of trying to meet up with the person and dealing with a used product.

7. Freecycle

Freecycle is a community group where you can find things for free. You can give or get stuff for free. Go to Freecycle.org to find a group near you.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Buying a Used iPhone or iPad? Here’s the One Thing You Need to Look Out For http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/buying-a-used-iphone-or-ipad-heres-the-one-thing-you-need-to-look-out-for http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/buying-a-used-iphone-or-ipad-heres-the-one-thing-you-need-to-look-out-for#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:47:14 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15225 Buying used or second hand is great for saving money especially with electronic devices. But you may not be familiar with a big issue when buying a used iPhone or iPad. Since Apple introduced iCloud 7.0, they added a new security feature which makes it nearly impossible to use an iPhone or iPad that has […] Read more...

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Buying used or second hand is great for saving money especially with electronic devices. But you may not be familiar with a big issue when buying a used iPhone or iPad.

Since Apple introduced iCloud 7.0, they added a new security feature which makes it nearly impossible to use an iPhone or iPad that has a security lock on it. Apple created this feature to deter thieves from stealing iPhones and iPads.

Here’s how it works. If you have the Find iPhone app activated on your device, no one else can use it. That means if someone finds your iPhone or iPad, they can’t activate it without your iCloud login info. They can’t get into the iPad or use it and it ends up being an expensive paperweight.

Before iCloud 7, you could restore the device to factory settings when you log the device into iTunes. But this option is not possible anymore.

This is a great feature in theory, to prevent people from stealing Apple devices. But there are instances where it sucks.

ipad

You bought a used iPhone or iPad that’s locked with this feature.

You have to make sure that the device is unlocked when you buy it from the seller. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it at all! Apple won’t help you without proof of purchase.

What if the seller stole the device? They won’t be able to help you unlock the device.

A former employee had a company iPad and resigned or were fired and didn’t unlock the device.

Again, the iPad is useless without the iCloud username and password.

You forgot your password and you aren’t near an Apple store or you lost your proof of purchase.

You forgot your password and you lost your receipt? Tough luck!

A family member passed away and you can’t get into their iPad.

Sometimes you want to see what your loved one was doing on their iPad, for sentimental reasons. Without a receipt or password, you can’t get into it.

When it comes to electronics, sometimes it’s better to buy new.

Have you bought a used iPhone or iPad recently? Was it unlocked?

Photo Credit: Tatsuo Yamashita via Flickr

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Homemade Chocolate Larabars http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/homemade-chocolate-larabars http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/homemade-chocolate-larabars#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:00:37 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=13925 I love, love Larabars because they are made with simple, whole ingredients. But I haven’t been able to afford them lately, due to a tighter budget. They retail for $1.29 a bar in my area and Amazon sells them for $19.99 for a box of 20, making them $1 each. It’s not a bad price […] Read more...

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I love, love Larabars because they are made with simple, whole ingredients.

But I haven’t been able to afford them lately, due to a tighter budget.

They retail for $1.29 a bar in my area and Amazon sells them for $19.99 for a box of 20, making them $1 each.

It’s not a bad price for a healthy, whole food snack that’s made with dates, chocolate, and nuts.

So when I came across this recipe to make homemade Larabars, I couldn’t wait to try them.

Plus, there’s no baking involved! And they’re super easy and quick to make.

My 2 1/2 year old daughter even “helped.” Ok, let’s face it – she was more focused on sneaking bites of the blended ingredients when I wasn’t looking!

homemade larabars

This recipe worked well for my daughter who is dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, and egg yolk-free. Adjust the recipe to your needs.

I was able to find pitted dates in the bulk food bin at my local health food store. You can also find pitted dates on Amazon.

You’ll need a blender or food processor. I used my Magic Bullet, which got me by when I blended the ingredients in small batches. I do long for a food processor now!

All you need to do is add the ingredients into a blender, press into a tray, and place it in the fridge for a few minutes. Then done!

I love the taste of these homemade Larabars because they’re not as super sweet as the original Larabars. I will definitely be making these every week.

They’re sooo amazing!

homemade larabar recipe

Homemade Chocolate Larabar Recipe
Makes about 8 bars

1 cup cashews or other nut
1 cup pitted dates
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chocolate chips

1. In a blender or food processor, add nuts until blended into a fine texture.

2. Add dates, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. If the mixture isn’t sticky enough, add a few more dates.

3. Press into a square baking dish, lined with parchment paper.

4. Place into the refrigerator for a few minutes to help it set.

5. Cut into bars.

The original recipe with variations can be found at The Elliot Homestead.

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How to Shop at CVS http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/shop-cvs http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/shop-cvs#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:00:52 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=13881 It is the beginning of a new year and time to turn a new leaf. Are you on a tight budget and looking for ways to stretch your budget? CVS has the best deals around. You’ll find unbelievable deals for nonfood items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, paper goods, makeup, and more. With a combination of the […] Read more...

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It is the beginning of a new year and time to turn a new leaf.

Are you on a tight budget and looking for ways to stretch your budget?

CVS has the best deals around.

You’ll find unbelievable deals for nonfood items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, paper goods, makeup, and more.

With a combination of the CVS card, ExtraBucks, and coupons, you can really save a lot!

You can even get free stuff.

1. Get a CVS card.

It tracks all of your purchases so you can earn rewards in the form of store credit for your spending, every quarter.

With the card, you also earn ExtraBucks on certain purchases, as listed on the weekly ad.

Your rewards are linked to your card so you need the card to get the deals.

2. Look for special coupons when you subscribe to CVS emails.

I seem to get a different coupon each week from CVS. From the emails, I get the purchase based coupons, like $4 off $20.

3. Scan your CVS card at the in-store kiosk to get the latest CVS coupons.

There were so many times where I got a coupon from the kiosk that was exactly for an item I was buying. I’ve gotten coupons a discount for office supplies, diapers, and one free body wash. It takes a minute to scan and wait for the coupons to print but it’s worth it. The coupons change every week.

how to shop at cvs

4. Use coupons from the Sunday paper or free printable coupons from Coupons.com.

You don’t necessarily need to subscribe to the Sunday paper to find coupons. There are great printable coupons as well.

I don’t subscribe to the Sunday paper anymore because it wasn’t worth the cost to only find a few coupons that I needed. Plus, my family doesn’t eat a lot of processed foods.

This week, I found $1.25 in printable coupons for Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels, and Dawn.

5. Buy products that earn ExtraBucks Rewards.

ExtraBucks is CVS store credit on a future purchase. ExtraBucks will print at the end of your receipt when you earn them.

When you buy products that earn ExtraBucks, it’s like earning free money.

For example, buy $30 of Charmin toilet paper and earn $10 in ExtraBucks Rewards. ExtraBucks can be used on your next purchase at CVS.

6. Use ExtraBucks to buy products that will earn more ExtraBucks Rewards.

You can use that free money to earn even more free money when you use ExtraBucks to buy another product that earns Extrabucks.

This strategy is called “rolling rewards” so that you never pay full price for an item. Each week, you buy products that earn ExtraBucks.

Then use those Extrabucks towards your purchase for next week. And so on.

7. Always wait for a sale.

Things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, medicine, and beauty products go on sale every week. Wait for a sale or ExtraBucks deal, then buy the item you need.

8. Stack CVS coupons, manufacturer coupons, and ExtraCare Rewards for the best savings.

9. Give the cashier your coupons in this order.

First give them the CVS dollar off transaction coupon, then CVS store coupons and manufacturer coupons, then ExtraCare Rewards. The order matters because you want the purchase based coupon to apply to your order first. If you scan the other coupons first, your purchase may not meet the minimum dollar amount.

Deal Scenario

This week I went to CVS on Thursday and got two 20-pack double rolls of Charmin, 12 pack of Bounty paper towels, and a Dawn Hand Renewal dishwashing liquid. And I only paid $22.87 and earned $10 in ExtraBucks.

On my next purchase, I bought 3 packs of diapers that were buy 2, get 1 free. The regular price for all 3 diaper packs is $31.47.

I used the $10 ExtraCare Rewards and only paid $10.98 for 3 packs of diapers. That’s like $3.66 per pack!

Photo Credit

 

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The Lazy Guide to Budgeting – 7 Ways to Make It Easier to Stick With http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/lazy-guide-budgeting-7-ways-make-easier-stick http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/lazy-guide-budgeting-7-ways-make-easier-stick#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:20:57 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15214 Many people start budgets but they don’t seem to stick with them. Why is that? Because they’re lazy? I think it’s because they don’t have clearly defined goals. Are you trying to pay off debt, save up for a house, or build a college fund for the kids? What is the exact amount of your […] Read more...

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Many people start budgets but they don’t seem to stick with them. Why is that? Because they’re lazy?

I think it’s because they don’t have clearly defined goals. Are you trying to pay off debt, save up for a house, or build a college fund for the kids? What is the exact amount of your goal?

Once you set your goals, then make it easier to follow through with budgeting.

Have you heard of the 20-second rule? It’s a principle from on the book “The Happiness Advantage.”

lazy guide to budgeting

The idea is in order to make it easier to form a new habit, you make it more convenient for yourself by placing the tools you need within reach. Make something 20 seconds faster to get to and you’re more likely to do it.

Read my full post on Lazy Man and Money here >>

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How NOT to Get into Financial Trouble in College – 7 Money Traps to Avoid http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/get-financial-trouble-college http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/get-financial-trouble-college#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:04:03 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15100 For college students, it’s the first time you’re going to be away from the umbrella of your parents. It’s the first time, you’ll be offered a T-shirt or some other cheap “gift” to open your first credit card. It’s the first time you join a fraternity or sorority to build lifelong friendships. But do you […] Read more...

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For college students, it’s the first time you’re going to be away from the umbrella of your parents. It’s the first time, you’ll be offered a T-shirt or some other cheap “gift” to open your first credit card.

It’s the first time you join a fraternity or sorority to build lifelong friendships. But do you know all the costs involved?

What you do now will affect your financial future later. As corny as it sounds, it’s true.

You might think that you’ll find a great paying job right after college and be able to pay off things. Sometimes that does happen. Most times, especially in this tough economic time, it may be years before you find a well paying full-time job. And you might not even like that job!

Are you going to fall into a money trap and start going into debt or will you be prepared?

how not to get into financial trouble in college

7 Money Traps to Avoid

1. Credit Cards

Many, many years ago, when I was in college, I came across a booth outside of the student union, that was giving away a free T-shirt. I passed this booth several time a day.

And I wanted a free T-shirt. I mean who doesn’t love free T-shirts, even if they don’t fit or you would never wear them. So I did it. I signed up for my first credit card there.

In my mind, I wanted to start a credit history, be responsible, and feel like an adult. I was able to pay off my balance every month because I had a part-time job and it was ingrained in me since I was a child to manage my money carefully.

Unfortunately, this is where lots of people get into trouble. They get their first credit card and spend, spend, spend. And they never look at the statements or keep track of the due dates. Or they don’t have enough money to pay it off in full, which incurs finance charges.

Then they’re screwed, for years. Don’t let this happen to you (or your kid who’s going to college). When you get a credit card, know that it’s not free money. It’s responsibility.

You have to pay in full every month or you lose your 30 day grace period. And once you lose it, it’s very hard to get it back.

Lesson: When you open a credit card, make sure you have a job or income to pay for your purchases. Otherwise, don’t do it!

2. Student Loans

My parents didn’t save up money for me to go to college but luckily, I went to a state university, which was fairly affordable back then. I did have to take out a loan to pay for some of my tuition and books.

I borrowed the least amount that I could get by on. They offer you a lot more though. One of my friends, borrowed more to have extra money. When she graduated, she owed twice the amount that I did.

Even though I didn’t borrow that much, it was still overwhelming to receive loan repayment letters after I graduated. And, it was hard for me to find a full-time job right away.

Even at that amount, I didn’t think I could pay it off in the near future. Finally, I was able to pay it off with part of an inheritance. The enormous burden of owing thousands of dollars was lifted. I know most people owe more than I did but still, it was a heavy burden to carry.

Lesson: Borrow only what you need.

3. Textbooks

When I was in college, the Internet just started becoming popular. I mean I’m talking about getting my first e-mail account at school and dial-up modems. What?

E-mails were in DOS format. And I had to enter command scripts to log into my e-mail.

I had to buy used textbooks from the school bookstore. They were expensive! One friend photocopied all the pages of our textbook so others didn’t have to buy it!

Now you can rent textbooks instead of buying! Check out:

Amazon.com

textbooksrental.com

Lesson: Rent your textbooks.

4. Housing

Since I went to college closeby, it was literally across the street from my high school, I lived at home, rent-free. I didn’t even own a car as I took the bus to school and sometimes biked there for exercise. Hey, I lost so much weight doing that!

According to U.S. News, the average cost of room and board is $15,000! Wow! If you’re in high school, looking at colleges, think about this when you’re choosing a school.

If you live off campus, share a house to split rent. The more people, the lower your rent will be.

I know it’s not an option for many or you might not want to do it, but going to a nearby school and living at home will save the most amount of money. I still loved my college experience and met many wonderful people who are still my friends, while I still lived at home.

Lesson: Save on housing expenses by going to a local college and living at home.

5. Eating and Hanging Out

In college, there are endless opportunities to hang out with new friends. There’s also endless opportunities to spend a lot of money, especially on food and entertainment.

If you share a house or apt, one thing you should do in college is to learn how to cook! It will save you so much money to cook on your own vs. going out. Invite friends to come over instead of going out. Or at least have an eating out budget set. Stuff like this adds up quickly.

If you live in a dorm then you have the meal plan. Stick to the meal plan and limit eating out.

Lesson: Learn how to cook for yourself. You’re an adult now!

6. Drinking

Drinks cost an average of $5 – $20 depending on whether you’re at a bar, restaurant, or club.

I wasn’t much of a drinker in college and I’m still not, which is great because I save a lot of money that way! Not only will it save you money but you will be in control at all times. And that’s important especially if you’re a female.

If you do plan to drink, be responsible. Designate a sober driver and a trusted friend to watch over you if you get drunk.

Lesson: Don’t drink or at least know your limits.

7. Fraternities and Sororities

Part of the college experience is joining a fraternity or sorority. I wasn’t part of one but my best friend was.

When you join, you probably don’t think of the cost of formals, clothes, gifts, and events. Some people spend thousands of dollars. Check out a breakdown at Budgetsaresexy.com.

Lesson: Know the real cost before joining a fraternity or sorority.

What to Do:

1. Get a part-time job.

First things first. If your parents are paying for college, great! But don’t take advantage of them. Now is the time to start an employment history and get real life work experience. It’s even better if you can get a job working in your field.

If you don’t think you have time, then think like this. If you have time to be on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you have time to work at a part-time job.

2. Start a budget.

You need a budget. End of story. If you want to be rich someday, you need to budget.

Budgets help create financial freedom. Budgets help you stay on target and reach your goals.

Start by calculating monthly expenses and things that come a few times a year, like car insurance. You can get started quickly and painlessly with this Monthly Budget Planner, which is part of my Money Management Kit.

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Once you see what’s happening for a few months, you can project what you will spend in future months. When you can plan, then you can starting creating your financial future.

It lists expenses that most people have. There’s also an option to customize your budget.

3. Track expenses.

Tracking expenses is an important part of budgeting. It can be as simple as jotting down daily expenses in a log or a Daily Expense Tracker.

Or save all your receipts and do it once a month. I think this is harder to do and overwhelming.

4. Keep expenses low.

After you start a budget and track expenses, you will start to see where you’re wasting money.

Learn to be frugal. Learn how not to spend money and instead save money.

Again, be mindful that how much you spend in college has a lot to do with your financial freedom after college. Get into debt now and you’ll be in debt after you graduate.

Rack up student loans and credit card debt now and pay for it later – 10 or 20 years later!

5. Start investing NOW.

The one thing I wished someone told me when I was in college was to start investing. Hello! Time is on your side.

Want to be rich one day? Invest your money.

Everything that you invest now, even a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, will grow in your favor. That means you can invest less money than a person 10 – 20 years older than you and still have more money than them when you retire.

 

The post How NOT to Get into Financial Trouble in College – 7 Money Traps to Avoid appeared first on Living Richly on a Budget.

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Ready to Start a Budget That Works? http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/need-help-budgeting http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/need-help-budgeting#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 03:51:59 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15078 Budgeting is hard. You feel like a mess. You feel overwhelmed. When bills come in the mail, doesn’t it seem like you just paid them already? Wait, it’s already been a month? How did that happen? You’re paying late fees because you missed the due date by a few days. While your children are fast asleep, […] Read more...

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Budgeting is hard. You feel like a mess. You feel overwhelmed.

When bills come in the mail, doesn’t it seem like you just paid them already? Wait, it’s already been a month? How did that happen?

You’re paying late fees because you missed the due date by a few days. While your children are fast asleep, you stay awake worried about not having enough money.

You feel stressed out because you don’t know how much money you really have. You have debt but it seems like you’ll never pay it off.

You’ve tried budgeting before but it never worked. You’ve tried budgeting on paper, Excel, and online. But nothing ever worked. Nothing has stuck, not for more than a few months anyway.

You hope things will get better but it never does.

Your financial situation won’t improve if you don’t take control of it. Your situation won’t get better if you do nothing about it.

Stress less, spend less, and feel more in control of your money and your life when you see your money clearly. 

When you write things down, something magical happens. You become more aware of what’s going on. You spend less.

When you set specific financial goals, you’re more likely to stick to your budget.

My story:

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I used to feel overwhelmed with my finances. Every month, there were so many bills to pay and I always lost track of when I paid them and when they were due. It was super stressful 

I was really overwhelmed by everything. On top of taking care of my family and managing this blog, I felt like I didn’t have time for budgeting.

Then I decided to do something about it, once and for all. I wanted to take control of money instead of it controlling me. So I created these Budget Printables – something super cute to keep me motivated but also easy to use.

I felt like tracking daily expenses was a pain so I made it easier. I created a worksheet that has dates and expenses already filled out. So all I have to do is fill in a number, the amount I spent that day. It can be done in 10 seconds.

It only takes 10 seconds a day to manage my expenses, our expenses. My husband is doing it now too. OMG! This is such a transformation for him and for us.

Now we are both aware of what we spend on a day-to-day basis and because of it, we spend less. Because we have to report it on the Daily Expense Tracker, it keeps our spending in check.

And our bills, I write them down in the Bill Pay Tracker once and I’m done. For bills that come a few times a year, I track them in the Non-Monthly Bills Tracker. Now I know when each bill is due so I don’t freak out about it anymore. I don’t feel surprised by bills anymore. 

I feel more in control of my money and not as stressed anymore. There’s something about writing things down that subconsciously works with your brain, making you more aware of things.

- Fanny Seto, Editor-Chief, Living Richly on a Budget

When you buy Living Richly Budget Printables, you’re getting a system that will save you money and time and help you stress less.

  • Feel in control of your money. No more worrying if bills have been paid because you’ll know. Have a definitive timeline on when your debt will be paid off.
  • See everything all in one place. See what’s going on with your money.
  • Stress less, spend less, and feel more in control of your money and your life when you see your money clearly. 

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What I’ve got for you:

  • A 20-page printable bundle with 16 productive worksheets to help you organize your finances once and for all.
  • This includes a cover page (for your binder) and a quick guide to help you get started.
  • The worksheets are beautifully designed to match and go together, either in a binder or folder.
  • All of the worksheets are printable. Print as many times as you want!

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Benefits:

  • Take the stress out of finances when you know where your money is going.
  • Save money by keeping track of when bills are due so you can pay them on time and avoid late fees.
  • Make better informed, buying decisions when you know what is happening to your money.
  • Have more fun with budgeting and handling your finances with these cute printables!
  • Attack your debt with the Debt Eraser Tracker. Keep track of your payments and watch the amount go smaller and smaller.
  • Set financial goals and track them. This is key to sticking to a budget.
  • Brainstorm what expenses you need to cut or how you will earn extra income.
  • Finally get organized and put all of your money stuff all in one place.

What’s included:

1. Cover
2. Getting Started Guide (3 pgs)
3. Monthly Budget Planner
4. Monthly Budget Planner with Categories
5. Monthly Budget Planner Blank Template
6. Daily Spending Log (Days 1 – 15)
7. Daily Spending Log (Days 16 – 31)
8. Daily Spending Log (Days 1 – 15) Blank Template
9. Daily Spending Log (Days 16 – 31) Blank Template
10. Bill Pay Checklist
11. Non-Monthly Bills Checklist
12. Debt Eraser Tracker (Jan-Jun)
13. Debt Eraser Tracker (Jul-Dec) 
14. Financial Goal Setting
15. Achieving Goals Worksheet
16. Income Brainstorming Worksheet
17. Checkbook Register
18. Credit Card Tracker (Bonus)

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No more excuses! Start managing your money better right now!

buy now $15

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1. Cover
Use this cover as the cover for a binder, to create your new budget binder.

2. Getting Started Guide
This quick guide explains how to use each worksheet.

3. Monthly Budget Planner
Use this to create a budget quickly. Categories and subcategories are already created here for you so you can jump in and get started right away.

4. Monthly Budget Planner with Categories
Categories are already created here for you. Just fill in your custom subcategories.

5. Monthly Budget Planner Blank Template
If you want to customize your budget and add your own categories and expenses, use this template.

6. Daily Spending Log (Days 1 – 15)
7. Daily Spending Log (Days 16 – 31)
Keep track of daily expenses will save you money.
You will become more conscious about how you’re spending money when you have to write it down, thus saving you money.

With this easy-to-use daily spending log. This can be done in 10 seconds a day. How easy is that?

The dates and budget categories are already filled in and correspond with the Monthly Budget Planner. Simply enter the amount you spent in the relevant category. Days 1 – 15 and Days 16 – 31 are on separate sheets.

8. Daily Spending Log (Days 1 – 15) Blank Template
9. Daily Spending Log (Days 16 – 31) Blank Template
Want to use your own categories for spending? Customize the Daily Spending Log with these blank templates.

10. Bill Pay Checklist
Never feel surprised by a bill again. Enter your monthly bills here only once for the entire year!

Post it on the wall or use to to add the dates to your calendar to remind yourself when each bill is due. Then check off each bill when you pay it each month.

11. Non-Monthly Bills Checklist
Bills that come a few times a year always seem to sneak up on us. Use this to track bills that come every other month, a few times a year, or once a year like car insurance, car registration, property taxes, etc.

12. Debt Eraser Tracker (Jan-Jun)
13. Debt Eraser Tracker (Jul-Dec)
Use this to stay motivated when paying off debt. Track your debt payments here and watch them snowball down to smaller amounts. Then reward yourself for each debt paid off.

14. Financial Goal Setting
Want to build an emergency fund, save up for a computer, or for holiday gifts? This worksheet will help you track goals that are less than 6 months long and ones that will take a year or more to achieve.

15. Achieving Goals Worksheet
Once you’ve set your financial goals, track them with the Achieving Goals Worksheet. Automate your savings from your paycheck, if you can, and watch the savings grow.

16. Income Brainstorming Worksheet
When your expenses exceed your income, you need to either cut expenses or earn extra income to connect the gap. Use this worksheet to brainstorm ideas. Follow through by cutting expenses or make progress towards earning extra income. Then reward yourself when you reach your goal.

17. Checkbook Register
Use this beautifully designed checkbook register to manage your checking accounts.

18. Credit Card Tracker (Bonus)
This worksheet is helpful for keeping track of credit card login info, especially if you have several credit cards.

No more excuses! Start managing your money better right now!

buy now $15

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FAQ

Why are you charging for these printables?

Actually, these printables will save you money in the long run. You won’t find this printable bundle anywhere else.

I poured my heart and soul into these worksheets. I wanted to create a quality product that will help YOU.

This is what I do full-time and how I support my family. That’s why I’m charging.

Why should I buy this?

These are printables are unlike any other. You won’t find another bundle with all of these amazing worksheets all in one place. And, you get options.

  • 3 budget worksheets to choose from. Find the one that fits your needs.
  • Daily Spending Log (track daily expenses quickly and easily) and corresponds with the Monthly Budget Planner, with the option of a worksheet with prefilled categories or one that you customize with your own categories
  • Non-Monthly Bills Checklist (track bills that come every other month of a few times a year so you’ll be prepared)
  • Financial Goal Setting – set financial goals
  • Achieving Goals Worksheet – get an overview of how you’ll save for you goals
  • Income Brainstorming Worksheet (exclusive worksheet not found elsewhere) – brainstorm what expenses you can cut

What if I can’t afford it?

Pay what you can afford, from $1 – $27. Every dollar helps. Thanks so much!

I already budget with Excel or Mint. Why do I need this?

Even if you already budget in digital format, you’ll still find these worksheets helpful for tracking bills that are due each month and ones that occur a few times a year. Excel and Mint don’t have an easy way to track all of your upcoming bills in one place.

Plus, there’s something about writing things down with pen and paper vs. entering or looking at them on the computer.

Isn’t everything online nowadays? Why do I need printables?

Printables can be printed to be posted on the fridge, the wall, your desk, or anywhere to remind yourself to stay on target and on budget. Printables are easier and quicker to access without having to turn on the computer.

Is my payment secure?

Yes! Payment is handled through a payment processor, Gumroad, who uses SSL security.

No more excuses! Start managing your money better right now!

buy now $15

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Please Note: This is a digital product. You will not receive anything physical in the mail.

 

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10 Ways Millionaires Think Differently http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/rich-people-think-vs-poor http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/rich-people-think-vs-poor#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:33:55 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=14831 I came across this book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, and was blown away. It illustrates the differences of thinking of rich people vs. the not-so-rich. These are generalizations because this doesn’t represent all lower income people. But still, it’s interesting to see how the mindsets are completely opposite. If we […] Read more...

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I came across this book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, and was blown away. It illustrates the differences of thinking of rich people vs. the not-so-rich.

These are generalizations because this doesn’t represent all lower income people. But still, it’s interesting to see how the mindsets are completely opposite.

If we replace the rich people phrase with Donald Trump, we can see how these statements reflect on him. After wavering through 4 corporate bankruptcies, he emerged richer than before.

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There is something about having a positive, creative mindset. These are some of the principles from the book.

1. Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe, “Life happens to me.”

2. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.

3. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.

4. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.

5. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.

6. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.

7. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.

8. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.

9. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.

10. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.

What do you think? Do you think like a millionaire?

 

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