Living Richly on a Budget http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:21:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Important Steps to Home Ownership http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/steps-to-home-ownership http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/steps-to-home-ownership#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 00:20:45 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15858 This post is written and sponsored by U.S. Bank. So, you’re ready to make the big leap into home ownership? Good for you. Home ownership can be a great experience and holds a number of tangible and intangible benefits. But first, you need to actually buy that property, which, especially if this is your first […] Read more...

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This post is written and sponsored by U.S. Bank.

So, you’re ready to make the big leap into home ownership? Good for you. Home ownership can be a great experience and holds a number of tangible and intangible benefits. But first, you need to actually buy that property, which, especially if this is your first home, can feel more than a little complicated.

Understanding the mortgage process

Since a home is arguably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, being prepared is key to having a successful experience. Doing some homework ahead of time – specifically on mortgage prequalification, the type of mortgage that’s best for you and determining how much home you can afford – will benefit you when it comes time to take the plunge.

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U.S. Bank is a great resource to help you navigate the often complex home-buying process. And if you’re really new to this frequently perplexing world, look no further than Achieve Your Goals, a new financial resources site from U.S. Bank. It’s full of information on a wealth of topics, including a My Home section filled with great articles on everything related to mortgages, homes and the home-buying process.

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What is prequalification?

Prequalifying for a mortgage is an important step in the home-buying process. It lets everyone involved know you’re serious about buying a home, and is a great way to help keep the process running smoothly. To see how much you may be able to borrow, and under what conditions, complete a mortgage prequalification request with U.S. Bank to get the ball rolling. You may be surprised what you may possibly qualify for. To do this, know that you’ll need to be a legal U.S. resident and 18 or older. Also, you’ll need to know your pre-tax annual household income and monthly household debt.

If you have been pre-qualified, the next step is determining what type of mortgage makes sense for your individual circumstances, as there are various types of mortgage loans. There are plenty of resources available where you can learn about the different types of mortgages that could be available to you.

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How much home can you afford?

First, figure out your plans for occupancy. Are you intent on living in the house for only a few years? Or maybe for the rest of your life? Are you in the military? Or have your eye on your dream home? Your answers to these questions could determine the type of loan and home that will work best for your personal buying experience.

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Whatever your circumstances are, give it some thought ahead of time. To get estimates of what your mortgage payments could look like, try this U.S. Bank mortgage calculators.

Once you’ve been prequalified, determined what type of mortgage makes the most sense for you and know how much home you can afford, you’ll be ready to start looking for that dream home.

Happy house-hunting!

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25 Things Worth Buying at Dollar Tree http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/25-things-worth-buying-at-dollar-tree http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/25-things-worth-buying-at-dollar-tree#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 20:09:15 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=14730 Dollar Tree is a fun place to shop. You can get a lot for not much money. If you go at the right time, you can score awesome deals. For instance, late January and early February is a good time to get those kid’s Valentine’s Day cards. Go a few days before Valentine’s Day and they’ll be sold out. And August […] Read more...

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Dollar Tree is a fun place to shop. You can get a lot for not much money.

If you go at the right time, you can score awesome deals. For instance, late January and early February is a good time to get those kid’s Valentine’s Day cards.

Go a few days before Valentine’s Day and they’ll be sold out. And August is the prime time to stock up on back-to-school supplies and calendars.

For seasonal items, the key is to go weeks before the new season or before a holiday to find the best selection. The only thing that I don’t buy here is food but that’s my personal preference.

things worth buying dollar tree

25 Things Worth Buying at Dollar Tree

1. Cards

At Dollar Tree, cards are 2 for $1. You can beat that price anywhere! These cards are the same brands and quality that you’d find in a card store or drugstore.

2. Balloons

Mylar balloons, the ones that last for weeks, are totally worth buying here. Any other place will charge $2 or more for a balloon.

3. Gift Bags

We always go to Dollar Tree for their wide assortment of gift bags. They cost $5 – $10 elsewhere so we don’t even think about going anywhere else.

4. Calendars (available in August)

When I found calendars at Dollar Tree, I felt like I scored big time! I used to spend $10 – $20 on a calendar. Now I just pay a $1!

Plus, they have the month-to-month planning calendars that usually cost $4 or more at the office supply store.

5. Children’s Toothbrushes

My daughter chews through her toothbrushes pretty quickly, like every month. I love that I can get her toothbrushes 2 for $1.

6. Hair Accessories

Hair clips and hair ties tend to get lost around the house. The hair ties are the same quality as the ones at the drugstore. The hair clips might not be the same quality, but they still work for us.

7. Back to School Supplies

120 page, 3 subject notebooks and composition books are a great buy in August. Although Walmart may have a lower price during their back-to-school sale, they are 1 subject notebooks.

Notebooks at Dollar Tree are still cheaper than the drugstore.

8. Cleaning Supplies

Where else can you find brooms, buckets, bleach for $1?

dollar tree favorites

9. Storage Containers

Dollar Tree always has different kinds of storage containers in various colors.

10. Holiday Decorations

I love, love Dollar Tree for holiday decorations. I have found the cutest things for Christmas and Halloween.

11. Seasonal Items

In May, my daughter and I got sand toys, a bubble set, and kid’s sunglasses. They also had hoola hoops, flip flips, and pool noodles. I try to go early in the season to grab the best selection as they tend to sell out quickly.

12. Party Decorations

Dollar Tree has a huge party decoration aisle. You can find different themed napkins, paper plates, and invitations here.

13. Coloring Books

I always browse the selection of coloring books on my visits to Dollar Tree. Last time, they had Hello Kitty.

14. Teacher Supplies

I’m sure teachers know about Dollar Tree. But I had no idea that there were so many teaching items available. The alphabet and numbers set are great for teaching my daughter.

15. Overstock Books

On every visit, I make sure to check the books. One time I found the perfect hardcover book for my in-laws.

16. Mugs

There’s no reason to spend more than $1 on a mug.

17. Mailing supplies

Manila envelopes, padded envelopes, and mailing envelopes are worth buying at Dollar Tree.

18. Straws

My daughter goes through drinking straws pretty fast. And 180-ct for $1 is a good deal.

19. Stickers

This is the only place I go for stickers. I love the selection of characters as well.

20. Foam Boards

For art projects, you can find good sized foam core at Dollar Tree.

21. Kid’s Cold Packs

They have the cutest shaped cold compresses for kids.

22. Pregnancy Tests

These basic pregnancy tests work just as well as the more expensive electronic ones.

23. Gift Wrap

Dollar Tree has a great selection of gift wrap.

24. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

These cleaning cloths work well for cleaning glasses or dusting monitors.

25. Stocking Stuffers

Lastly, Dollar Tree is THE place to go for stocking stuffers and small gift baskets.

What are your Dollar Tree favorites?

 

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20 Legitimate Ways to Make $100 in a Day http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/20-ways-make-100-day http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/20-ways-make-100-day#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:35:47 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=14659 If you had a way to make $100 in a day, would that help with bills? What about building an emergency, retirement, or college fund? Stay positive and open to different opportunities and you’ll find that it’s not hard to make extra money. You have the power to earn more money than you think. And you have […] Read more...

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If you had a way to make $100 in a day, would that help with bills?

What about building an emergency, retirement, or college fund?

Stay positive and open to different opportunities and you’ll find that it’s not hard to make extra money.

You have the power to earn more money than you think.

And you have inherent skills to get you there.

You have try different things to figure that out and know that you can do it.

It’s not impossible. It is possible!

Once you earn that first $100, the next $100 won’t be that hard, will it?

You’ll be shocked at how much these ordinary side jobs can earn real money. Here are 20 legitimate ways to make $100 in a day.

ways to earn 100 in day

SERVICES

1. Babysitting

Most people don’t think of babysitting as a viable way to earn money. Change the way you think about it and you can earn over $100 in a day.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, babysitters earn anywhere from $10 – $30 an hour. Two of my friends who work in childcare full-time, have babysat after hours or on weekends for the kids they take care of during the day at school or daycare. They have earned $30 an hour because the parents trust them over other babysitters, since their kids know them well.

If you decorate your house or apartment to look like a daycare, with lots of toys and child-friendly decor, and people know you are good with kids, you can charge $15-$20/hour. Babysit 2 kids for 3.5 hours and you will make over $100.

There is a real need for childcare. Even busy stay-at-home-moms need extra help.

Start with offering your services to friends on Facebook.

2. Pet Sitting

Pet owners treat their pets as their own kids. They need to find people they trust to take care of their pets when they are out of town.

If you love animals, this is for you. Check out sittercity.com.

3. House Cleaning

Believe it or not, cleaning houses can earn $100 a day. It’s not glamorous but it’s a service that people are willing to pay for.

When I was moving out of my apartment, I paid $250 for 2 people to clean our 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, and living room.

They cleaned the blinds and windows too. And it took them 4 hours.

I gladly paid this because I didn’t have time to clean as I was still moving stuff out. If I did this myself, it would have taken me over 8 hours!

It’s a lot of hard work but anyone can do this – you included! All you need is cleaning products, rags, broom, and a vaccuum cleaner.

4. Photography

Photography is a popular hobby nowadays. If you already own the equipment and can shoot professional photos, you can earn extra income.

Do one portrait session for 2 hours and you will earn $100.

5. Painting Rooms

Know how to paint rooms? There is a need for this service, especially for landlords who are changing tenants and new homeowners.

Earn $100 – $200 per room and charge for the cost of the paint.

6. Gardening or Yard Work

Gardening and yard work are much needed services. Do 2 to 3 jobs in a day and you’ll earn your $100.

7. Graphic Design

Businesses need logos, brochures, flyers, and other materials designed. You can charge by the hour or a flat rate. See here for tips on how to price your work.

8. Website Design/Set up

Many small businesses need help with setting up a simple website. If you are a WordPress pro, then this could be an option for you.

9. Driver

Have you heard of Lyft and Uber? As a part-time driver, you can earn up to $35/hr. Within 3-4 hours, you will earn $100.

Check to see if it’s available in your area.

10. Hair and Makeup Services

Are you talented with creating hairstyles and applying makeup? In our area, hair and makeup services for weddings cost $125 – $500.

11. Return Past Purchases

A quick way to get $100 is to return something you recently purchased. As long as you have the receipt, the products still have tags and are new, and you’re within the return period, you’re golden! Return the items and use the money for your bills.

12. Bartending

Bartenders for weddings and special events earn $100 per gig. If you are good at making drinks and love parties, this is for you.

13. Home Repairs

If you can do home repairs, you can easily earn $100 in a few hours.

14. Garbage Removal

Do you have a truck? Earn money by hauling junk to the dumpster.

15. Tutoring

Professional tutors make anywhere from $30 – $50 an hour. In a few hours, with a few clients, you can make $100.

16. Rent Out a Room

If you live in popular cities like San Francisco or New York and live near top tourist attractions, it won’t be hard to rent out a spare room or house to tourists. Check for restrictions from your landlord (if you’re a renter).

Airbnb has made this very popular. Check out potential guests carefully as some have used these spaces for seedy purposes.

SELL STUFF

17. Garage Sale

Holding a garage sale is a quick way to not only earn extra cash but get rid of clutter.

18. Sell Old Cell Phones

Sell your old cell phones for cash at gazelle.com. They even take broken iPhones!

19. Resell Unused Gift Cards

Do you have gift cards that you know you’ll never use? Check to see how much they’re worth at cardpool.com.

Earn up to 92% of the value without having to mail the cards. It’s done electronically.

20. Sell Stuff on craigslist or eBay

Don’t forget the old tried and true way of selling things. Items that are rare and in demand will sell quicker and for more money.

Finally, use these as ideas and think about your skill set. What have you done to earn extra cash?

Photo Credit: 401k Calculator

 

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7 Easy Menu Planning Ideas http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/easy-menu-planning-ideas http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/easy-menu-planning-ideas#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:34:33 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=4763 Everyone is looking to cut their food budget these days. One real way to slash your grocery budget is to create a weekly menu plan. And while you’ve probably heard this before, have you actually done it? We have to eat every day. So whether you like it or not, you’re probably menu planning already, […] Read more...

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Everyone is looking to cut their food budget these days. One real way to slash your grocery budget is to create a weekly menu plan.

And while you’ve probably heard this before, have you actually done it?

We have to eat every day. So whether you like it or not, you’re probably menu planning already, but at the last minute, which is stressful.

That’s why you should start a weekly menu plan. Then you can look ahead, plan for busy days, and have something nutritious for your family to eat.

How do you create a menu plan and how often? What if you don’t have time? If you have time to coupon, you have time to do menu planning!

Benefits of Menu Planning:

menu planning

Save money. When you have a plan you’ll be less likely to do takeout or grab fast food. And you’ll cut down on the multiple trips to the grocery store.

Fewer trips to the grocery store mean there will be less chances for impulse buying, thereby saving you money. Cooking from fresh ingredients is more economical too.

Save time. When your meals are planned out, you won’t have to waste time thinking of what’s for dinner.

Waste less food. Because you’ll buy only what you need, you won’t have wasted food.

Eat healthier. When you plan to cook your meals, you”re planing to eat healthier as well. You know what’s in your food when you cook it yourself, from fresh, whole ingredients.

When you go out to a restaurant, you don’t really know what’s in your food, what additives they used, how many times they’ve reused the cooking oil, if the food was cross contaminated, or even if they used expired ingredients.

And when you eat healthier, you will be healthier and get sick less often.

There is no right or wrong way to menu plan. But different things work for different people. That’s why I’ve listed various ways to do menu planning. Hopefully, you can find an option that works best for you.

Clever ways to start menu planning:

1. Use technology tools

Simple Mom uses Google calendar to record her menus and bookmarks recipes using del.icio.us. She plans 2 weeks at a time, then repeats the 2 weeks for the remainder of the month. She plans her meals, then her grocery list.

2. Shop, then plan meals

Almost Frugal does the opposite. She does her grocery shopping first, depending on what’s on sale, then creates her menus.

3. Subscribe to a meal planning service

eMeals is a menu planning service endorsed by Dave Ramsey. You choose a favorite store like Kroger, Ralph’s, even Whole Foods, and you’ll receive a weekly shopping list and recipes to go along with it.

What’s brilliant about the plan is that the shopping list and meals are based on what’s on sale that week. And there are menu plan options for those who are on gluten-free, low-fat, low-carb, or vegetarian diets. E-mealz costs about $5 – $7/mo.

Try it free for 14 days eMeals

4. Get your kids involved.

Kids are more likely to eat dinner when they feel included in the meal planning process. Have them look for recipes of things they want to try. Then enlist their help with cooking prep or even setting up the table.

5. Follow a magazine.

If you’re looking for a free option for menu planning and are open to eating new things, check out a magazine. Woman’s Day features a monthly menu of easy dinner ideas. They also provide a shopping list to go along with each month.

6. Watch Rachael Ray’s “Week in a Day”.

Food Network favorite and talk show host, Rachael Ray, has a show on Cooking Channel about how to cook a week’s worth of dinners, all in one day! Check out her 20 make ahead meals.

7. Follow a pre-established theme. 

If you like routines, this is for you. Make it easy for yourself. Decide on a theme per day and follow it.

It makes planning dinner a lot simpler. Here is a sample theme from Simple Mom.

Mondays – pasta
Tuesdays – soup, salad, and/or sandwiches
Wednesdays – stir fry
Thursdays – crock pot
Fridays – pizza
Saturdays – something new
Sundays – something easy

Subscribe to get my free menu planner worksheet.

How do you do menu planning? What are you tips?

Photo Credit: cooking channel

Featured in Carnival of Personal Finance #346

 

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Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video – Which is Better? http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/netflix-vs-amazon-instant-video-which-one-is-better http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/netflix-vs-amazon-instant-video-which-one-is-better#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 17:46:08 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=14098 There’s an ongoing debate online about whether Netflix or Amazon Instant Video is better. Since many are budget minded these days and have cut cable expenses or have limited going out to the theaters, it’s a good question. Technology has progressed so much that you can watch video without renting DVDs anymore. Instant video streaming […] Read more...

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There’s an ongoing debate online about whether Netflix or Amazon Instant Video is better.

Since many are budget minded these days and have cut cable expenses or have limited going out to the theaters, it’s a good question.

Technology has progressed so much that you can watch video without renting DVDs anymore.

Instant video streaming has taken over the market and has made watching movies and TV shows more affordable and easily accessible.

I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video so I’ll share my experiences with each.

1. Cost

Netflix = $7.99/mo. streaming only (cost could go up soon)

Amazon Instant Video = $8.25/mo. ($99/year) Price is bundled with Amazon Prime membership benefits including Free 2 day shipping, which is $99/year. There is no option to pay month-to-month like Netflix.

The price went up from $79/year to $99/year on March 20, 2014. But for some shows and movies, you have to pay to watch them.

Netflix is the winner here. Although there was news in January that the price may go up.

2. Availability of Shows

Netflix – All the shows featured on Netflix are included in the monthly fee. They have a wide variety and selection of TV shows and movies.

However, you have to wait until the full season is shown on TV to see it on Netflix. Sometimes that’s a year later.

Amazon Instant Video – Current seasons and episodes of TV shows are available here. But you have to pay extra to watch them.

Current episodes are available the day after it is aired on TV. You can buy a TV pass to see the entire season or pay per episode.

This is what I don’t like about Amazon Instant Video. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be tempted to buy the TV shows or movies that are featured.

Plus, if you don’t put a password restriction on purchases, your kids may accidentally “buy” content that you didn’t know about and rack up charges.

With Netflix, everything you see is included in the fee. You can watch any show or movie as much as you want without being charged extra.

rsz_netflix_vs_amazon_instant_video

3. Sharing with Family Members

Netflix - Up to 2 devices at the same time, can upgrade to up to 4 devices for $11.99/mo.

Amazon Instant Video - Up to 2 devices at the same time

We have the $11.99/mo plan because my husband, daughter, father-in-law, and nephew share our plan. That’s 5 of us.

It’s not often that all 5 of us watch at the same time. Usually it’s 3 of us at the same time.

4. Privacy

Netflix - I really like that Netflix has profiles. That means if you’re sharing an account like we do, each person has their own profile.

When each person opens Netflix, he or she selects their profile and “logs” into their account. Then no one else will see what shows you are watching.

You can also continue watching where you left off without anyone else interfering with your shows.

This is an important feature if you have kids because you don’t want your kids to see the what you’re watching, shows that may be inappropriate for their age. You also don’t want your kids to accidentally click on those shows!

When my daughter logs into her profile, she just sees children’s shows available.

Amazon Instant Video - No profiles

Netflix is the winner here. Profiles are a necessity if you share your account with others, especially kids.

5. Exclusive Content

Netflix - House of Cards, Arrested Development Season 4, Orange is the New Black, and many more

Amazon Instant Video - Downton Abbey, Veronica Mars, Suits, and many more.

I like Netflix the best when it comes to the entire package with cost, staying within budget, privacy, content, and available shows. Although it is limited in certain ways, the most important thing is not having to spend extra to watch shows.

 

 

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How to Score the Lowest Price on Amazon http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/get-lowest-price-amazon http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/get-lowest-price-amazon#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:37:10 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=14136 I was checking out water play tables for my daughter on Amazon. As usual, I research several products, their reviews, and prices before I settle on one. To keep track of the products I liked, I placed them in my Amazon Wishlist so that I could refer to them later. However, the next day when […] Read more...

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I was checking out water play tables for my daughter on Amazon.

As usual, I research several products, their reviews, and prices before I settle on one.

To keep track of the products I liked, I placed them in my Amazon Wishlist so that I could refer to them later.

However, the next day when I checked the item on my Wishlist, the price had dropped over $8!

I was pleasantly surprised that the price went down so much in a day! Thankfully, I waited to buy it.

Usually, I buy things on Amazon without considering the frequent price fluctuations. So I decided to research further and found this site called CamelCamelCamel.com.

water table

What it does:

- Shows you the lowest and highest price of an item in the past few years.
This will help you figure out if you’re getting the best deal or if you should wait. If the price was lower in the past few months, the price could drop again soon. Check the average price to do a comparison.

- Sends you an alert when the price drops to your desired amount.

- Gives you a unique URL to track the item.

When I checked CamelCamelCamel.com, I saw that the price for the water table was the lowest in recent months. I ended up purchasing this Little Tikes Pirate Water Table that day when the price was $59 (and $8 cheaper).

The very next day the price went back up to $69. Now it’s listing for $79.99! That’s $20 more than I paid for.

So it pays to do a little research and my daughter loves this water table!

 

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3 Quick Tips for Deducting Donations on Taxes http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/3-tips-for-deducting-donations-on-taxes http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/3-tips-for-deducting-donations-on-taxes#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:05:04 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=5214 Moving into the land of part time work in retirement from years of working full time has meant cutting down on some of the charitable giving I was able to afford more easily before. Because I still want to give back and help promote causes I feel strongly about I have entered the ranks of […] Read more...

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Moving into the land of part time work in retirement from years of working full time has meant cutting down on some of the charitable giving I was able to afford more easily before.

Because I still want to give back and help promote causes I feel strongly about I have entered the ranks of volunteers for certain organizations.

As I’m beginning to prepare my tax deductions for the last year – I just discovered that I can use a 14 cents a mile deduction for driving my own car to a meeting or volunteer stint at a qualified charitable organization.

And if I am lucky enough to be going out of town as an official delegate to a meeting of a charitable group – my transportation and travel expenses can be deducted as well.

Donating used items to a charity?

1. Determine the value of each item

If you routinely donate items to an organization during the course of the year – here are a few things to keep in mind:  You should do your homework and occasionally go to a thrift store to figure out what a good used sweater sells for.

Itemize all of your items before taking them to the collection point and ask for a donation form where you can easily place the number of items and what you think they are worth.
tax tips for donating to charity

If it’s a larger item, like an old but working car — protect yourself from a possible audit, by getting a qualified appraisal for the car from a used car dealer before handing over the keys – particularly if it’s worth over five hundred dollars.

Then and more importantly – follow the charity auction and get a receipt from the charity stating how much the auto actually was auctioned for. You’ll need these to back up your donation.

2. Always – always ask for a receipt

Starting in 2007 the tax laws changed and the IRS took the guesswork out of itemized charitable donations. Now, you must always have a receipt for ANY donations you make. Even the five bucks you drop into the red buckets at Christmas time. Ask the bell ringer for the mailing address of his charity and mail them a check. They will appreciate the donation just as much and you’ll have the cancelled check to prove the donation.

3. Attending a charity dinner or dance?

Finally, if you are like many of us we attend one or two charity fund raising events a year. Be sure you look at your ticket stub carefully. If the actual donation amount, as opposed to the ticket price, is not clearly stated on the stub – take the time to call the charity and ask.

The IRS only allows us to use the amount that actually goes to the charity after the event is over and paid for. Understand that those hors d’oeuvres and the advertising of the event may not have been covered by a corporate sponsor this year. Loosely translated – that means that only a percentage of the cost of the ticket goes back to the charity. Find out what that percentage is!

This guest post was written by Mary Ann Rosenthal, who is a grandmother to four beautiful children under the age of five. She is dedicated to helping her friends and family save money and works with her son Aaron at CyberMondayDeals.com. She is also an artist, writer and aspiring photographer living in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Photo Credit: Orin Zebest

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5 Secret Money Management Tips for Couples http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/money-management-tips-for-couples http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/money-management-tips-for-couples#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:35:36 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15793 Money management is notoriously challenging but definitely easier to handle if you’re by yourself. Add your significant other and it can spell disaster. When I was single, dealing with finances was simple. And I naively thought that they would stay that way when I got married. But during the first year of marriage, I was in for […] Read more...

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Money management is notoriously challenging but definitely easier to handle if you’re by yourself.

Add your significant other and it can spell disaster.

When I was single, dealing with finances was simple.

And I naively thought that they would stay that way when I got married.

But during the first year of marriage, I was in for an unpleasant surprise. My husband and I had different views about money and they clashed, of course.

Opposites attract. But when it came to money, our views didn’t clique. Whose does?

Most couples have a tightwad while the other is a spender. Without the tightwad, you’ll never save. Without the spender, you’ll never go on vacation.

So both balance each other out and that’s important.

Also, some people have trust issues when it comes to money. Money is tied to different emotions – fear, love, guilt, comfort.

I had to learn how to communicate better about money without involving emotion or starting a fight. It’s still a struggle but I’m learning every day.

5 secret money management tips for couples

Suze Orman covered these secret money management tips for couples on her TV show. And she’s so on point.

1. Pay bills together.

In most situations, one person pays the bills, while the other is not involved and is more carefree about spending. Am I right?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably the one who pays the bills!

Paying bills together helps you stay on the same page. It’s a challenge to start but once you do, it’s worth it.

The data is in front of you and there’s nothing to hide. When you both see the bills, you’ll both be mindful of how much things cost and why you have to stay on budget.

2. Have a joint account for expenses and contribute equal percentages into it.

Everyone has their own view of individual accounts vs. joint accounts. Don’t get hung up on that.

At a minimum, have a joint account where you contribute equal percentages. Then use that account to pay the bills.

Equal percentages makes it feel more fair so that the person who makes less, doesn’t feel they’re at a disadvantage.

3. Don’t keep financial secrets.

Credit card bills and debt are easy to hide and can be a source of shame. It takes guts and courage for a person to reveal that they’re in debt.

If you suspect the other person is hiding something, be gentle and supportive. Create a positive environment so that they can trust you.

If you’re the one who’s keeping a secret, it’s time to be truthful. The longer you hold the secret, the worse it will be.

Make a plan on how you’re going to fix it.

4. Don’t make major purchases without consulting the other.

This is huge! Agree on the amount that you’ll consult each other for, like anything over $100.

5. The person who earns the most money doesn’t have more power in the relationship.

Money equals power in business but in relationships, that doesn’t work as well. Your relationship is an equal partnership.

Want to get started budgeting together? Download this free budget worksheet.

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Free Budget Worksheet http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/free-budget-worksheet http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/free-budget-worksheet#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 19:32:24 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=15615 Was it your New Year’s Resolution to start a budget? It’s not too late to start. You’re not a failure. Oh heck no! I was overwhelmed at first that I didn’t know where to start. It’s like when I drive to a new place, I get a little nervous. This happened a lot when I was a […] Read more...

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Was it your New Year’s Resolution to start a budget?

It’s not too late to start.

You’re not a failure. Oh heck no!

I was overwhelmed at first that I didn’t know where to start.

It’s like when I drive to a new place, I get a little nervous. This happened a lot when I was a wedding videographer.

I was always driving to a new location whether for a client meeting or a wedding and reception. And I had to be on time!

So I would map out my route, look over the directions, and plan extra driving time, in case I got lost. This was before GPS was widely available!

I’m more confident if I plan ahead. It makes it easier and less stressful.

free budget worksheet

 

This is the same with a budget. A budget is a road map for how you’re going to spend your money each month.

When you know how much your recurring, monthly expenses are, then you can figure out what to do with the rest. Do you have enough to splurge on lunch at your favorite food truck or dance lessons for your daughter?

How much do you have to save each month to go to Hawaii or Disneyland?

When I put expenses onto paper, I can plan things instead of letting them happen to me.

Get started with this Free Budget Worksheet.

download button

 

If you enjoy this free worksheet, please share with a friend. Thank you!

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10 Free Printable Valentine’s Day Cards http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/10-free-printable-valentines-day-cards http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/10-free-printable-valentines-day-cards#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 18:39:41 +0000 http://www.livingrichlyonabudget.com/?p=1417 Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… this Saturday! If you don’t have time to buy Valentine’s Day cards, what’s the next best thing? Free printable Valentine’s Day cards! I did some searching and found some stylish yet totally free Valentine’s Day cards that you can print at home. I still can’t believe these 10 […] Read more...

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… this Saturday!

If you don’t have time to buy Valentine’s Day cards, what’s the next best thing?

Free printable Valentine’s Day cards!

I did some searching and found some stylish yet totally free Valentine’s Day cards that you can print at home.

I still can’t believe these 10 supercute cards are free!

There’s something for boys and girls or guys and gals.

Print on heavier card stock to make better quality Valentine’s Day cards.

1. Skip to My Lou has this intricate yet supercool ladybug Valentine’s Day card.

 

ladybug valentines day card

Photo Credit: Skip to My Lou

 

 

2. One Charming Party offers super stylish printable Valentine’s Day cards designed by Sarah Westbrook.


free printable valentine's day cards

Photo Credit: One Charming Party

 

3. OMG, Living Lucurto designed an iPhone Valentine’s Day printable to wrap around a heart candy box. Genius! OK, it’s not really a card but you can’t deny that you want one too, right?


iphone valentines day card

Photo Credit: Living Locurto

 

4. Also, here’s a guitar-themed Valentine’s Day card for boys (or girls) by Living Lucurto.

boys valentines day card

Photo Credit: Living Locurto

 

5. Zakka Life designed this rockin’ guitar lollipop cover, perfect for the Rock Band fan.

guitar valentine day card

Photo Credit: Zakka Life

6. Presentation Magazine offers free printable Valentine’s Day cards in PowerPoint or PDF in A4 or letter size. You can even customize your card and message.


free valentine's day card

Photo Credit: Presentation Magazine

 

7. A Fanciful Twist provides this unique and adorable Valentine’s Day mini-cards.


stylish valentines day cards

Photo Credit: A Fanciful Twist

 

8. Stylish Crush designed these cute mini-cards for Valentine’s Day.


cute valentines day cards

Amy is the Party

 

9. Ruffled Blog features this vintage Valentine’s Day card along with a matching envelope.


vintage valentine's day card

Ruffled Blog

 

10. Just for kids, here are the top 15 Disney Valentine’s Day cards to print for their classmates.

disney princess valentines day card

Photo Credit: Disney Family

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