Brussels Belgium

Our trip through Western Europe took us to some interesting places and Brussels has to be one of my favorites. Brussels has about 19 Districts to it and each one has its own look and feel. In order to see and explore them all, you would probably need to stay at least two weeks. We did not have that kind of time, and as such, we drove directly through the European Quarter to the historic center where it all began.

In the center of Brussels you will find price worthy hotels of every nature. It is worth noting that in this area you probably should go with a place that has three or more stars just for safety reasons alone. In a city this size, like imagine the size of New York, if you pick the cheapest hotel you will probably wind up in an area where something bad could happen to you. I assume you would not go to New York and stay in the cheapest of places either, for similar concerns. We paid about $130.00 for the three of us to stay in a hotel in the historic district in the center of the city. They did not offer parking but, gave us a map to the best parking garage in the area where, upon our checkout we would have our parking ticket partially validated so, we would receive a discount on the parking fees. The price of the room did not include breakfast.

After we saw our room, we felt that it was possibly not the safest, and the building itself was done so strangely that we swore it could have possibly been an old brothel that was converted into a hotel. The room itself was clean, the beds were comfortable enough and the bathroom was quite large. Five main problems here were that: The windows looked out onto the dirty rooftop which, was a giant square completely surrounded by adjoining buildings. The windows were a bit on the broken side, it was hard to get them open and then they only opened on one side. After the rain stopped, it was hot and humid up there. There was no air conditioning at all, just two small portable fans that were already broken, stored in the room guest use. There was no minibar and as such, no place to put any kind of drinks, to get them cold, except the window ledge outside which, at the time, did not help us. The door to the room was thin, flimsy in nature and the lock was similar to what you would find on any inside door of the most cheaply made, basic house here in Europe. There was not any extra security features for the door on the inside of the room, just the key that fits into the lock that, you could only turn once. We decided to just hope for the best experience in this hotel and we left for the evening to go explore the area.

EATING IN THE CENTER

We stepped out onto the street in front of the hotel and were pleasantly surprised that the rain had gone from cats and dogs to a slow drizzle. We made a big circle around the area to see what we could film and to look for a place to have our dinner. We found a mall within a ten minute walk that was directly across the street from The Royal Theater. We went inside the mall to look around and found a grocery store with good prices where we bought some drinks to take back with us. We also found a very nice chocolate shop where we purchased a small box of specialty chocolates. We did spend a bit more on those than we would have liked, I believe they were about fifteen Euros so close to twenty US Dollars. As it was a trip about experiences and Belgium is famous for their chocolate, we decided to go ahead spend the money. I will say that we had that box of chocolates for many days afterwards and each time one of us ate one of them…we were again reminded how different the chocolate in Belgium really is. We left the mall with our purchases, headed back to the hotel to drop it all off.

After leaving our hotel again with just the essentials, our mission was to find a restaurant we could all agree upon for dinner. We found a place that is as American as it gets, Pizza Hut. Now imagine you were me; out of the U.S. for over ten years, someone who loves American style pizza but, has not seen it in all that time and you came across a Pizza Hut by accident. You know you would be going in there! So, oddly enough, I had told my son Adrian about Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza, about two weeks before our trip and he did not forget that conversation. He was up to the challenge of trying out his first, real, American style pizza. He loved every bite of it and would rather eat that than; every other kind of Italian pizza that, he has tried so far here while, living with us in Italy. Our bill for dinner was about thirty Euros. I had a salad, we all had large drinks and had ordered the biggest stuffed crust pizza on the menu. Full and happy, we headed out into the wet atmosphere.

BRUSSELS AFTER DARK

Once the sun begins to set in Brussels you notice a completely different vibe in the center. It goes from being a place where the locals work and tourists shop and eat, to a place where they wander around looking for a party. There were many more street performers and musicians out at night than there were during the day but, I am sure that the rain and the fact that it was a weekday also played a part in that. While out wandering, we passed every kind of shop, cafe, restaurant and snack place that a tourist could possibly want or need. We finally found “The Grand Place” and decided to look around.

The Grand Place is in itself a treat for the eyes during the day and at night; with all of its lights and the fun ambience in full swing, it becomes a place that everyone seems to be drawn to, like moths to light. There was a troupe of street dancers performing for a very large crowd and how they were able to do their moves on the cobblestones is still a mystery to me. Their music and the noise from the crowd was loud enough to be heard two streets away. I am sure when they were done that, they left the area with their pockets lined in silver. We left the dancers, walked the square in the middle of The Grand Place, taking notes on what to check out in the morning.

On the way back to our hotel we found an Archeological Site that was partially obstructed by construction of a nearby building but, from what I could see it was called Bruxelle 1238 Museum. It was on a side street between a few restaurants and a church. It apparently can be visited during the day and is the site of a Franciscan Monastery that was founded in this area in the year 1238 as well as the tomb of Duke John the First of Brabant. It was rebuilt several times after being destroyed and then finally disappeared as the new modern era was built over the top of it. I thought it was interesting just because of the way it was situated in the middle of the street with reinforced glass over it and a door with steps leading down under the street. There are many, many, many things out of the pages of history to see and experience in Brussels. It is my opinion that, these historic sites and other museums are very well put together and should be seen by as many people as possible. These types of activities are a treat for the eye and the mind and the prices to get in can be very cheap if you do your research. In this case, you can buy a “Brussels Card” which gives you access to all of the museums and other sites around Brussels (over 40 museums alone) for the starting price of twenty-six Euros per person. You can purchase either 24-48 or 72 hour passes. These passes can also be purchased to include public transportation or the hop-on/hop-off tour bus rides to be included.

CONCLUSION

Brussels is a great city with many things to see and do and it can all be done on a budget. If you are planning a trip to Europe I would hope that, you would consider adding Brussels to your list of cities to visit. It has a fantastic and rich history. With the exception of the sketchy looking locals, the rest are a friendly lot who, for the most part, understand and and speak English. Plan wisely, read hotel reviews online, book all tickets online as it is always going to be cheaper that way and you too will have a great time in Brussels!

LUXEMBOURG CITY THE AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL AND TRIER

During our trip of Western Europe by car, there were many things and places that we specifically wanted to see. Of some of the more important places, Luxembourg and Trier, Germany were pretty high on our list. No matter where you go in Europe, you will find unbelievable historic sites and here we will begin with Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is a very small country that, today, borders Germany, France and Belgium. Today most people living here are living in the south of the country near the border with France. After his conquest of the area, in 50 BC this area became on of the three main provinces of Gaul which incorporated what are known today as Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Of course there have been many finds in the area proving that people inhabited the area in pre-history at least as far back as the 13th century BC. There are many old fortresses still in the area today that started out as Roman fortresses and as the years rolled by were refurbished for use by the then ruling families, countries or parties but, the first real mention of Luxembourg is from Julius Caesar in his Commentaries on the Gallic War in 58 to 51 BC when he mentions the Treveri people who were cooperative with the Romans and adapted more readily to Roman civilization. Since that time, this area has been passed down, won over, or given to so many different rulers that someone could spend weeks sifting through its complicated past.

In any event, Luxembourg today is something to behold with its mix of quiet neighbourhoods, colourful buildings, busy main streets and squares. Its bridges and valleys of green are wondrous treasures for the eyes and mind. We started our real tour in the area of the train station where we found ample parking for reasonable prices. We walked up from the parking area and found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a big city. There are many streets in the area that are lined on both sides with shops and restaurants as far as the eye can see, of which, you will find great prices on everything that you could want or need.

As far as entertainment in the area goes, the sky is the limit. There are museums of every kind, guided tours of the mines, archaeological tours, nature tours, food and wine tours, castle tours, hiking tours in the area and tours of the neighbouring towns. You can take in a movie at the local cinema, find a pub in a quiet area and listen to some live music, go to an art opening or a local discotheque and get your groove on. As far as the prices go, as long as you are doing as the locals do, you will save money so, make sure to do your research on places to go and things to see.

There are many ways to save money on accommodations in the area. One is to look for an apartment to rent outside of the city and use the local buses to get around the area. With this option you will either have to eat out or, you can save money in that regard by shopping for your own food and drinks and do much of the cooking yourselves.

Another option is to look for a B&B in the area, eat your breakfast there, take some snacks for your excursions and do research for local restaurants in the area with good prices. As an example, we found a “Dinea” buffet style cafeteria in the top floor of a local store shopping mall where they had an excellent selection of food and drinks and the prices were very decent for the amount of food you get and I will say that everything was absolutely delicious. Other than these two options, you are looking at paying hotel prices ranging from Thirty-two Euros per person, per night – up to Two Hundred Euros per person, per night where breakfasts may or may not be included.

LUXEMBOURG AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL

We really wanted to come and pay our respects to all of the American soldiers who died in this area during WWII. We found it an easy drive from Luxembourg City into the beautiful countryside where we found the American Cemetery. Here we found a large parking area and a guarded entry. Upon entering you will find the offices on the left in case you are looking for assistance. To the right you will find a building that has the cleanest public bathrooms in all of Europe. As you walk through the path between these two you will find the actual memorial that is surrounded by a well kept lawn, pruned bushes and lush trees. In the center of the memorial is the Chapel where you can either take the steps or the sloped ramp.

On our visit there was a family who had brought their Grandfather who was a Veteran of that war. This man was not able to walk well and with assistance from the person in charge he was taken on a respectful personal tour in a golf cart. It was very humbling to see this man returning here just so he could pay his respects to the men he fought along side of who had not returned home to their families. While in the Chapel, I could hear this man telling his guide and his listening family his memories of the war and in one of those memories I became overwhelmed and overcome with grief for all of those who died fighting and their families who never saw them again. When I finally regained my composure, I said a few prayers there and went outside to finish looking around. We walked one of the main paths going down through all of the graves, I explained to my son why we were there and why it was so important for us to remember all of these men and pay our respects to them. While we were there we experienced so many emotions and we had this feeling that in that place the air was much heavier and the ambience was really palpable.

TRIER

We left the cemetery and headed for Trier, Germany. Trier is a mere thirty minutes from this area and we thought we should show our son some of what it has to offer. Trier is a city that is divided by the Moselle River which runs through the region. Down by the water you can find some lovely restaurants and shops, places where you can rent a boat or pay for ferry rides. To get to the main part of the city you have to drive down a long winding road and drive across a very long bridge. Parking fees here are relatively inexpensive and there is ample parking throughout the city. Once you cross the bridge, if you take a right onto the first main street, you will be able to find the historic center of town where you can find the Porta Nigra. The Porta Nigra was built in 170 AD by the Romans who occupied this and many other areas at that time. It was the North Gate of the city and the most pristine example of Roman architecture that exists in all of Europe today. At the time it was built, it was one of four gates and together with walls between them, kept the occupants of the city safe from invaders or others who would do them harm. The other gates along with most of the outside walls were all dismantled in the middle ages with the stones and metal bits being reused for other buildings within the city. During the middle ages, the Porta Nigra was home to a hermit monk named Simeon who cared for the building and helped the locals. When Simeon died, the locals decided to turn the majority of the gate into a church and build a monastery next to it. It was kept like that for many hundreds of years until Napoleon decided to close both and wanted to tear it all down. The locals played on his love for his Roman ancestry and he made sure to restore the Porta Nigra to its original form, thus ensuring it would survive for generations to come.

Just a short walk from this area you will find a brand new statue dedicated to Karl Marx, the famous communist philosopher, who was born in Trier two hundred years ago. As of the time of this article, just up the street from the statue is a large museum where you we found a Karl Marx Exhibit on display. It is also possible to take a tour of the house where he grew up.

One minute from the Marx Statue, is the pedestrian area of the city where you will find hundreds of shops and many restaurants and cafes. In the middle of the pedestrian zone is a very nice mall called the Galleria Kaufhauf. There you can find every item a person could possibly need for themselves, others or their home. The prices and quality of everything here are very good and they reflect well on what you would find in a typical German household. At the very top level of this store you will find a great cafeteria with excellent prices and public bathrooms.

CONCLUSION

This area of Europe is fantastic for those who want to frugally explore historic events and sites. No matter where you go, you will find beautiful scenery, friendly locals and excellent deals for those who like to shop.

Frugal Living – A Special Day On A Budget

Frugal Living – A Special Day On A Budget

Not too long ago my husband and I decided that it was time we stopped wasting money and other resources and started appreciating what we have and only buying things if there was a need. Basically we decided we needed to start living fantastically frugal. Many people have the wrong idea of what being frugal is and think it is a means to be cheap. That is not true. It just means to appreciate and use what you have until there is no way to continue to use the item, purchase only what is needed, not just because you want something newer. In a nutshell, it means to be more responsible with money and resources.

Because we want to live our lives in this way and because we want our son to learn some really good and useful tips, tricks and traits from us we decided to really dig into this idea and give him a great birthday on a budget. We allotted ourselves fifty bucks for the days activities and the rest, like cake, present and decorations, we would only spend what was absolutely needed.

THE PRESENT

How we had been in the past, just spending our money all over, looking at the most expensive toys and clothing and whatnot had never gotten us far when it came to our son having a birthday. I cannot tell you how many times we spent over five hundred bucks just on one or many presents for him for his birthday only to have him break whatever he was given in less than a week.

I tried every brand of toy out there, if it is plastic, made in this day and age, it is meant to break. There really is nothing out there made today that is meant to last. This is a commercialized materialistic world and that means those makers of any product, especially toys, want their items to break so you will be forced to be a repeat customer.

This year we changed, no more cheaply made, designer toys. We put a lot of time and effort into thinking about something he has always wanted. Something he would not grow out of in the space of a year or two or ten. Something that would be useful and fun. We got him a nice digital camera. It could very well be that this camera will last him until he is an adult and decides to buy another one. It could also be that he drops it in the toilet next week but, at least it will not be broken because it was expensive, plastic crap.

If he is responsible, this camera will be around for a very long time which, I cannot say about any of the toys we purchased him over the years. I recall one particular Christmas where he pulled a Transformer out of it’s box and was playing with it properly when, the thing broke in front of all of our eyes for no good reason.

That was a gift from Santa…so imagine how upset he was about that and how upset I was when I could not get a new one because, it had been purchased over the internet from an Ebay toy business and so the manufacturer could not be sure that it was not a used item – even though it clearly stated on the page, NEW IN BOX, NEVER BEEN OPENED with photos to show it and we had to break the original seal and help our son remove it from the packaging. But I digress… and he loves his camera.

THE DAY HISTORICALLY AND FRUGALLY

I do not know what your birthdays were like but mine were never the sort of affair where there were all kinds of people, a hall, a cake from a bakery or any rooms full of decorations. Typically, my mother would ask a week ahead of time what kind of cake I wanted and I would tell her. She would get a hold of the family and invite them and whoever decided to show up would bring something for the dinner. Someone brought drinks, someone else a salad, someone else chips and so on. That is what I am used to and pretty much every other kid I grew up with had a birthday like this.

Here where we are living now, parents are spending up to a thousand bucks on throwing a party just for the kids and parents that their child goes to school with. They are paying for a hall, entertainment, snacks, drinks, alcohol for the parents, food and a giant ice cream cake that costs at least a hundred bucks on its own. People in this country are constantly keeping up with the Jones’ and I find it to be something that is completely unnecessary even if it is fun for the children. In the end, it will put them on a learned by seeing course of competition, to always do something better, have something more expensive than someone else etc., and that is not how I want to raise my son.

Celebrating a birthday is about appreciating the fact that the person was born, showing that person some love and attention. That is part of what being frugal is about. To that end, we started off my son’s birthday by getting up early and waking him up early by singing Happy Birthday to him. We had already gotten the table ready to surprise him with a small gift (he already has his camera a few days beforehand and we just wanted to make sure he had something to unwrap – a Nerf type thing that was less than twenty bucks and still has not broken) and many types of snack cakes, breakfast sweets, juices and a cupcake with a candle in it.

The table decorations I had reused from his party the year before and I spent less than ten bucks on a birthday card and three helium balloons. We let him open his little gift from us, lit the candle and had him make a wish and then he opened his card and ate his cupcake. We spent some time with him, played a few of his favourite games, got dressed and went for a family bike ride. Along the way we did some filming, let him fly his dad’s drone, let him play in a couple of parks and got home about two hours later. His wish was to go bowling and play a round of laser tag with us at the bowling alley. We ate lunch, cuddled for a bit, went out for a walk and an ice cream cone and then drove to the bowling alley. They turned out to be closed that afternoon and while he was a bit disappointed, he still told us that he had experienced the best birthday ever. We had dinner, watched a family movie and then cuddled him in our bed, something we do every night before he goes to sleep. We let him sleep that night with us and we gave him the attention, appreciation and love that he wanted and needed on his day.

CONCLUSION

Being frugal has made me become more aware of just how important time and attention is for everyone. Children need it the most but, it is something we all need in our lives and is more important than any material item that can be purchased. Giving someone your time, builds good memories for both parties or for all that are involved in that moment. Memories last for a lifetime and there is no price that can be put on them especially after one of the people you love is gone. When I am gone, I hope that my son remembers how much fun we had together and all of the things we did as a family and I hope he laughs when he thinks about the funny things I said or did. I want him to learn that the best way to be a parent to a child is to spend time and not money. Mostly, out of all of this I want him to know and be sure that he is loved and appreciated as a person. I want to make sure that he understands that he does not need to impress people with money and that whoever he decides to spend his time with and give his attention to later in life that it should be someone that is real, not superficial or artificial and someone worthy of those incredible gifts.

Strasbourg France – What to do in Strasbourg

24 HOURS IN STRASBOURG FRANCE

We began our frugal tour in Strasbourg, France driving in from Freiburg, Germany. Since we live in the northern part of Italy, it is rather easy to plan trips around parts of Europe by car. It is something we (and many other people) have always done and is a good way to explore the world around us, wherever that may be. We found an underground parking garage directly in the center of town that came up on one side of Gutenbergplatz.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON STRASBOURG

Strasbourg, France is a city of approximately two hundred and seventy-six thousand in the city proper and a metropolitan and outlying county area where over another two million people live. It is the official seat of the EU Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, The European Audiovisual Observatory, The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines, the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, the International Institute of Human Rights, the Eurocorps and is one of the main capitals of the European Union. The entire area is situated very close to the border of Germany and the historic center, where we were and also known as The Grand Island, was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

Here we found the perfect mix of both French and German cultures and as it is today, it has been for centuries. You will find both Catholic and Protestant religious buildings and icons as well as the Strasbourg Grand Mosque which is the largest Islamic place of worship in the country of France.

The name of the city has changed throughout its history which dates back to 12 BC, making this city over two thousand years old. In its historic past it was known for the mining of silver and gold from the rivers that either boarder or run through its beautiful areas. In the historic area of The Grand Island you can still see the mills running powered by the flowing river waters, something that attracted many to this area for centuries as they used the waters to power the mills which ground the wheat and other farmed products from the areas.

OUR TAKE ON STRASBOURG

We were absolutely stunned by the beauty of this town as we strolled along its decorative cobblestone streets. The buildings and shops are all very colourful and adorned with carvings, statues, paintings and decorative gold metal work. While walking there you can imagine what it was like to be there centuries ago and that even in this modern day, it probably has not changed all that much.

Gutenbergplatz (Gutenberg Place in English) is named after Johannes Gutenberg, who is one of the first printing industry pioneers in the area, and holds tribute to him with a statue of him in the middle of the square. Around the square are busy streets lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. The square itself is a pedestrian zone where young and old alike can play, relax in the area or ride on the beautiful coloured carousel. The parking garage I mentioned earlier, has an entry/exit next to the carousel and a good tip is that down the stairs, where you would pay the machines for parking, you will find public toilets.

Kleberplatz (Kleber Place in English) is just a short walk from Gutenbergplatz going away from the Cathedral and is in the middle of a huge pedestrian only area. There are so many different shops to look in that, you could easily spend an entire day in this area. While we are more into experiencing the people and the ambience of places, we just browse from outside, only venturing in if there is something that one of us needs in our travels. Other than that, you can find a variety of restaurants and cafes serving all different types of food with a good number of them being priced very fair.

AMERICAN FAVORITES IN STRASBOURG

You can also find a few American food and drink giants in the area like, McDonalds, Starbucks and if you look into the ice cream shops, you might even see what we did…Ben & Gerry’s. Adrian got to have two firsts in this area. His first Starbucks Chai Latte and his first taste of Ben & Gerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream both of which, he absolutely loved. Also in this area, a tip is that if you need a bathroom, you get a code for the door to the Starbucks bathroom on your receipt if you order there, otherwise, ask the manager.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

Kleberplatz is also an area where there is an outdoor market for used items such as books, musical instruments, artwork, antiques, small furniture items and knick-knacks. Through the middle of this area is a very large, beautiful and soothing water garden with a set of fountains. During the extreme heat of this summer, the children and young people were using this area to cool off by running through it or soaking their feet. Throughout the area you will find benches to sit on where you can watch people, sip on your drink, bask in the sun or just enjoy the atmosphere.

DO NOT MISS THE CATHEDRAL!

The Notre Dame Strasbourg Cathedral is about a ten minute walk from Kleberplatz on the other side of Gutenbergplatz and is really stunning. This particular Cathedral has a very interesting history as it is built on an area of successive religious buildings dating back to the city’s beginnings. The first churches in the area were built and then added to and then torn down and rebuilt. Over the course of the city’s existence many of the later one’s caught fire by accident or were burned in wars over the territory. The Cathedral that stands today was built over the course of a couple of hundred years starting in 1176 and completed in 1439. It was done in Gothic style which was very popular during that time. The stained glass windows are strikingly beautiful and the colours were emboldened with nanoparticles of gold and silver which make the colours seem to stand out. There are so many beautiful statues all over this Cathedral that it is just hard to fathom how it was all created and put together. The Cathedral did sustain damage in WWII all of which was repaired, those being totally completed in the 1990’s.

The Astronomical Clock in the Cathedral is an absolutely stunning piece of work. It is eighteen meters in height and one of the largest of its kind in the entire world. This particular clock computes when Easter will be following the complex Gregorian rule, it is pretty accurate even today indicating leap years, the equinoxes and a variety of other astronomical information. If you visit, the clock is really quite a wonder. There are animated characters that move at different hours of the day. An angel sounds a bell while another angel turns an hourglass, other characters that represent the phases of one’s life parade in front of a Death character and on the last level the Apostles cross in front of Jesus. The clock shows normal time, solar time, the days of the week are represented by mythological Gods, the months, the years, the phases of the moons and planets and the signs of the zodiac. The clock was under maintenance while we were there but, we will keep track of that completion and go back to see it without all of the scaffolds and coverings.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

There are many beautiful parks in the area that should be seen and enjoyed, the Parc de l’Orangerie, the Parc Château de Pourtales and the Jardin Botanique de l’Universite de Strasbourg are three worth mentioning. Every one of them are breathtaking and nothing could be more romantic than a stroll through or a surprise picnic in any of these areas. Many more parks exist and can be found with a little research or a few questions to the locals or your hotel clerk.

There are many, many, many fine art museums in Strasbourg and it would take a connoisseur weeks to get through them all. While I love museums, I am guessing that I will have to be retired before I have enough time to see and appreciate all of the pieces here. That said, you will find entry fees to these areas are either free or very fairly priced. Checking out these kinds of places is definitely something that can be done frugally.

FANTASTICALLY FRUGAL & FREEDOM

We travel quite often throughout any given year. We save money where we can in our daily lives and make sure that we do not waste time, money, food or items. We make sure we use what we have. We do not buy things merely out of a want or a whim, there has to be a need for something. In that way, we are free to, at any given moment, pack a bag and go experience a new place. We do not waste our money while travelling either. I know there are those who go somewhere and drop lots of money on expensive clothing or bags or shoes and the like, we are not those people. We do not need a bag from here or sunglasses from there. We are taking memories back with us and those memories are priceless.

More about Strasbourg

Freiburg Germany – What to do and what to see on a budget

BEING FRUGAL IN FREIBURG GERMANY

Not long ago, my family and I took a trip to Freiburg, Germany. We travel all over Europe for our jobs and this is a city we have always wanted to see so, we made time for a quick stop. While we are in a frugal mindset we decided that during our trips we would be as frugal as possible and we would take advantage of everything in the area that is free or nearly free. We stayed in a budget friendly hotel which, was ok for the price. The hotel bed could have been much better but, the breakfast was quite fantastic and plentiful. The area where we stayed was outside of the center and more in an industrial area with lots of businesses, it was very safe and quiet at night.

There are many places to visit and see in and around Freiburg but, as always, we started in the center of town. The town itself was founded in 1120 by Konrad and Duke Berthold III of Zähringen. Back then it was a “free market town” and that is where it gets its name. Directly in the center is a daily market in Münsterplatz, where you can find everything from flowers and gardening supplies to food, clothing, handmade toys and fresh fish. While walking the historic cobblestone streets in this area you can truly get a feel of what it was like before modern times. The colorful shops and homes here have not changed much over the years and are beautifully decorated with paintings and other adornments. As we made our way through this town I was just stunned by its beauty and the friendly nature of its people.

THE FREIBURG MÜNSTER

Also in the center of this town you will likely notice its beautiful Cathedral which, was built partially on the foundations of the original church that had been there from the first starting of Freiburg in 1120. The last Duke of Zahringen started building the Cathedral around the year 1200 and was completed in the Middle Ages, around 1330. As construction started it was in Romanesque style, then thirty years later Gothic style became the norm. As such, the remaining construction was all completed in the Gothic style and it has remained as it was finished until today. It was a miracle that this Cathedral was not destroyed in the bombing raids of 1944, where all houses on the North and West sides of the Market were destroyed. Interestingly enough, this Cathedral is not owned by the Roman Catholic Church. It was then owned by the people of Freiburg who changed the situation by creating, the Münsterbauverein Association who now owns and maintains the building and its interior.

This Cathedral is really something to see. Its architecture is breathtaking and the stained glass windows are spectacular. We meandered around it first, filming from just the outside. We then paid our respects inside and lit a few candles before continuing on our day. This is a wonderful place for praying, contemplation and quiet in the middle of the city. It is a wonder and should be seen, no matter what religion you follow.

FREIBURG PARKS

Just outside of the city center, you can find the breathtaking Freiburg SeePark (Lake Park). It is situated in the middle of a large residential area with many walking paths that take you all around this large manmade lake. This area was created in 1986 for the Landesgartenschau (Lands Garden Show) and has become a diamond for those who live in the area. The lake itself covers 24 acres and the rest of the recreational area of the park covers 86 acres. There is a wonderful restaurant with an artistically covered terrace overlooking the lake with a dock nearby where people can rent small boats. There is a large rose garden area, along with an area for sports that is complete with a spectacular soccer field that has a running track all the way around it.

Directly behind and across from the restaurant area there is a large Japanese Garden (38750 square feet) that was made in partnership with the Japanese city of Matsuvama which is absolutely perfect for meditation or contemplation. While there, we got to see how the parks workers, who take care of that area, work so painstakingly to keep this special area of the park, with all of the wonderful plants and trees, in such perfect condition. There are various paths to be walked, each made differently with rocks, wood, pebbles or paver stones and made so that you would have to walk in a different way or concentrate more on the area to in order to step properly. In any event, it is not an area to be missed as it is not something that you will find everywhere in Europe.

While we were there we saw many different types of ducks and swans swimming in the waters, people from the area walking their dogs or letting their dogs swim in the lake. Many others were walking the lake with friends, jogging in the area or just sitting on the benches that are placed throughout the park and it was peaceful. Such parks, so full of beauty and peace should be taken advantage of as they help in calming the soul, allowing you to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

FREIBURG CRAFT BEER & DINNER

As with many German towns and cities Freiburg has many beer gardens. One of the best and most recommended is the Hausbrauerei Feierling. After a day of exploring the area there is nothing better than sitting down in this beer garden with a freshly brewed mug of cold beer and a large, handmade “pretzel”. Here in Germany, as with all other EU nations, what we know as pretzels are called Bretzel and you can find them everywhere but, here they really hit the spot with the beer. I am not really a beer drinker but, once in awhile I will try a few sips of the one that my husband has. In his opinion, this brewery makes an excellent beer. Seeing that he was born and raised in Germany, I will take his word for it.

While we were here splitting a Bretzel and cooling off with our drinks, we decided that their menu looked pretty good and the prices were extremely fair so we ordered a few different dishes so we could all try a bit of everything. I had the Rahmschnitzel with Spätzle; which is a handmade egg noodle that is a very typical German fair, my husband had the Inselschnitzel with Brägele and Salad and my son had Bauernwürste with Bauernbrot. All three of us were very happy with our choices and I am happy to say that all three dishes were exceptionally good in taste and quality. The end bill was just under thirty bucks. We wanted to have dessert but after that lunch, we were all too full to try anything else out at that moment.

WALKING IN FREIBURG & ICECREAM

After such a large lunch, we decided that the only way to get us back into the car comfortably was to take a nice walk through the area. The neighborhoods are all so clean and well cared for. We saw many people out working in their yards and caring for their trees, plants and flowers. The buildings were all well cared for, those that needed a bit of work already had workers putting up their equipment or already working on getting a new color on the building. After half an hour of wandering, we happened upon a local eiscafè. There are many around and all of them have excellent choices with fair prices and where we decided to stop was no different. We all had a small cup of our favorite and split a large water, the bill was less than ten bucks.

MUSEUMS & OTHER ATTRACTIONS

There are so many museums and other attractions in and around Freiburg that it could take a few days of constant movement in order to see and experience everything in and around the area. Some noteworthy things that can be mentioned are the Augustinermuseum which, houses a renowned collection ranging from the Middle Ages up to the Baroque period. This particular museum is in an Augustinian Monestary and is one of the oldest buildings in the area. Also the Museum für Neue Kunst (Modern Art Museum) has quite a fantastic collection and should not be missed by anyone that appreciates modern art. Something else in the area that can be appreciated by all is the Schlossbergbahn which opens at nine in the morning and closes at midnight. The Bahn is not always open so make sure to check online before you head over there. Also worth seeing is the lovely Black Forest. There are hundreds of miles of forest paths with adventure and educational trails. You can BBQ and there are many areas for the kids to play. Make sure to take your swimsuits as there are lakes where you can go swimming. You could literally spend a few days just hiking, swimming and getting back to nature here.

CONCLUSION

Freiburg has much to offer the frugal traveller. There are plenty of hotels in the area for the price conscious and there are many activities that either do not cost at all or have a minimal price. It is a very nice place to go for those who want to see the real Germany and get a bit off of the beaten touristic path. While they do get many tourists in high summer, spring and fall are great times to go for those who want a bit more quiet.

Frugal Living Tips to Save Money

Learning how to live frugally is all about learning how to eliminate waste from your life and make the most of what you have. It is partly about getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to get more out of life, to utilize all your resources better and more efficiently. Like any good thing, it doesn’t come easy. You might find the process challenging, slow or frustrating at times. Just remember what you wanted to achieve when you started and try to have a positive attitude. You are already improving yourself every step of the way and that is what counts.

So let us get started with the specifics of how to live frugally. Food, housing, and clothing are the primary expenses of most households and therefore they are the centre of most ‘how to save money’ tips.

How to live frugally in todays worls does not have to be difficult. The biggest savings can come from where you are living. If you move to a smaller house or apartment in an area outside of the nearest city, your rent or mortgage will drop to less than half of what you are probably paying now. As an example of this, we were living in a huge apartment when we first moved to the city and were paying $1,000.00 every month just in rent. On top of that we had to pay for trash, water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet and cable t.v. This was fine at first, we could afford it but, we did not have as much money as we would have liked at the end of every month and it became a constant reminder that, if something were to happen to our income, we would have very little time before we ran into problems paying our monthly bills. We decided to look outside of the city for a smaller place that we could buy. One month later we bought our first apartment, seven miles from the city. We haggled on the price,and saved $30,000.00 on the purchase price along with, having the owner leave some of the furnishings in the house which was a win/win for both the sellers and my family. We found a local moving company that had time free on a weekend and also there, we haggled on the price and paid less as we did all of the packing ourselves and we moved many of the boxes and all of our electronic equipment in our own vehicle. Once we were in our new place, we needed to find the best deals on utilities, phone, internet and cable. We spent one entire day going through all of the utility and telephone companies in the area and found not only the best price but, also got a cash bonus for the sign up. I cannot stress the importance in comparing prices and services for these types of household expenses.
How To Live Frugally – Made Easy

Living a Frugal Lifestyle

There is a good reason for this. These expenses collectively account for a large chunk of our budgets, and at the same time, they are easier to influence than some other expenses like insurance, health and similar. Food in particular is one area where it is relatively easy to introduce changes and save a considerable amount of money. The best way how to start saving money with food is to absolutely eliminate any and all waste of the food you buy. In addition, you can adopt certain habits to help you save even more, such as buying in bulk, buying online, buying certain cheap and healthy ingredients, doing a grocery price comparison to save money on groceries, growing some of your food and picking some of your food for free. That’s how to live cheap and still be able to create a healthy grocery shopping list! If you put all of these strategies at work at the same time, then you could easily lower your food expenses by half and still enjoy healthy ingredients and diverse meals.

Regarding housing and housing expenses, there is no easy way how to start saving money. If you need to considerably lower you expenses, then changing your housing situation can definitely do the trick. However, it is not as easy as good planning or doing more of your shopping online, as in the case of food and clothing. No, lowering your housing expenses significantly can only be done in one of two ways (both of which are relatively inconvenient): either you get a roommate or you move to a cheaper place. It’s a good idea to look into both possibilities and see which one suits you more financially.

We absolutely recommend this to learn more about frugal living and how to save money

Grocery Savings and a Frugal Lifestyle

Cooking saves you money throughout your life because you are not paying high prices at a restaurant for someone to do the same thing. Besides the obvious money saving, I always find it chancy to eat out. There are so many bad cooks in the world and I have received many terrible tasting plates in front of me. At least I know if I cooked it, everything in it is good and fresh. If you or the person that would do the cooking in your house is not a good cook, there are many ways to improve upon this skill. The internet is full of wonderful videos of chefs making delicious recipies. There are also many places a person can go in their community for cooking lessons. If you know someone who is a good cook, you can ask them to come over and show you what they know. They would likely be flattered, show you how to cook something easy and healthy and it would provide entertainment and comradery. Cooking is something that everyone can do if they want to learn. Learning how to cook any specific meal is actually very easy once you figure out how you best learn things. In any event, buying your own groceries and cooking your own meals saves money. Leftovers from dinner become lunches that can be reheated in an office kitchen. You can buy a lunchbox with a thermos and pre make your lunches while cleaning your kitchen after dinner. You are saving yourself at least $15.00 a day by taking your lunch, drinks and snacks with you. That $15.00 every day adds up to a whopping $75.00 per week that you can be putting into your savings account, vacation account, Christmas Club Savings, emergency fund or your nest egg.
Delicious, fresh vegetables and spices can make several meals throughout a week. Cooking saves you money, can be entertaining and eating freshly made meals is healthier for you.

Buying groceries is a huge area where most people are spending too much money. I used to be one of the people who would just go into the store, fill up my cart as quickly as possible, pay and then rush home. This approach will have you spending too much and wasting half of what you buy. Before you go to any store again, look in all of your cabinets, your pantry, your storage shelves and your fridge. Get rid of anything that is past its date and make a list of everything that you are throwing out so that you can examine it later. Organize while you do this, all canned items together, all items in jars together, dried items (pasta, rice, flour, etc.) together and clean out your freezer(s). Know what is in your house and if it is not likely that you will cook and eat it, get rid of it. Again, making sure to write it down on the list of things you will be looking at later. Looking at the list of things you threw away, will ensure that you do not make the same mistakes again when it comes to food.

Once you know what you have in the house, think about ways to use what is there by looking up recipies online. If you are missing items for the recipies, write those down on a shopping list. You might find that the majority of the fresh items and staples can be used in several recipies throughout a week. Try to get a list together for items you will be cooking for an entire week and think in terms of “three meals per day” and remember to buy some fresh “snacks”.

Once you have your shopping list, check out the local ads for the stores that are directly in the areas where you live or work. You can save money buy figuring out which stores have the best prices on produce, meats, drinks and staples.  I typically shop every few days and I never go without my list. It took me time to figure out which store had the best quality of produce for the money, where to buy quality meats and which store has the largest selection of staples for the kitchen and which store has better house staples, i.e.; toilet paper, paper products, soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc.  I suggest making a trip to one store for everything you need first and later, checking out all of the other stores when you have time and trying out their groceries that are on sale if you need it later. That way, you will have the luxury of time to get informed. Remember, while shopping, to look at the price of what you want to buy, then check and see if there is a store brand for the same item and see if the sale price is cheaper than the store brand. If it is not, try the store brand. Where I live, many store brands items are much cheaper than the normal brands and taste either the same or better.

After you return from the store, put everything away in an organized manner. Have your recipies for the week somewhere handy in the kitchen. Cook! Cooking saves you lots of money. We all have to eat, if you buy microwave items or prepackaged items you are spending more money for things that are less healthy even though they might save you some time. I suggest you cook for yourself (and your family if you have one) try to make sure you have leftovers for your lunch the next day. Take some fresh fruit or carrot sticks for a snack, make sure whatever you take is something you like and take drinks from your home. Either something you make, like tea or coffee or something else you like that you purchased at the store. If you have to buy it from work or somewhere else, it will cost more.

Keep track throughout your week of all of the times you saved money by eating or drinking what you prepared at home instead of going out to eat and I am sure you will be amazed at just how much money you actually saved.  Take the money you saved and put it aside, repeat this entire grocery process every single week and after a month you should start seeing just how much you will be able to put aside with this savings aspect alone.

The grocery/cooking area of our lives are merely a drop in the financial bucket of ideas on how to save money. Other suggestions are to look into selling of some of your things you no longer use or need and at the same time, to make space for a new roommate or to have fewer things to move to your new cheaper home or apartment. People have a habit of holding on to unnecessary things that they might need at some point in the future or that they feel some kind of attachment to. However, cleaning out your space can be a very rewarding experience both in terms of free space and in terms of letting go of unnecessary burdens. You can either sell or donate your things, or do both, and you will end up with some extra cash in your pocket and the knowledge that you did something beneficial on multiple levels. Also, if you are itemizing on your tax returns, your donations can become a dandy writeoff.

When it comes to entertainment and culture, a lot of people think that they will definitely have to give up one aspect of it on their frugal lifestyle – traveling and exploring new places. However, this is not necessarily true. There are two basic ways to do traveling on the cheap – backpacking and cheap RV living. Out of these, RV traveling is probably cheaper, because you can cook and you don’t have to eat out all the time – even fast food prices add up over time. Traveling with an RV is also more comfortable – you always have a roof over your head and a comfortable bed. The monthly expense for cheap RV living can be from $250 to $700 depending upon the size of the RV and your rental contract. This expense becomes really affordable if in the meantime you are renting out your house or apartment to tenants or if you share this fixed cost with a couple of traveling companions.

One of they best ways to save on your food bill is by growing your own produce. You can eat them fresh as they grow every day and save yourself $5.00 or more per week. If you do not have the space to grow anything or do not have a green thumb, you can look for outdoor markets or local farmers in your area. There you can buy in bulk and you should get better prices and quality than you would find in any grocery store. Nearly all produce is seasonal and you can extend the length of your produce by canning and freezing them. Canning and freezing is an art in itself in the area of cooking that can be learned in order to save money long term. I used to have a house in Montana with a large backyard. I turned my backyard into a giant garden. The initial investment in this was nominal, less than $300.00. With that garden I grew, three different types of berry bushes which grew bigger and spread with every year. With a lot of reading I learned what they needed, how to prune them, train them and keep them from growing into the rest of the garden. Every year I got more berries than I could possibly eat fresh. I invested in canning equipment, probably $50.00 there. With that investment, I was able to make syrups, jellies, jams and pie fillings which I was able to use for the rest of the year which saved me hundreds of dollars every year that I would have been spending at the store on the same items.
Fresh Strawberries, delicious any time of the year!

When you are transitioning into a new, more frugal lifestyle, it would probably help you a lot if you joined a community of people who are already doing it! There are a ton of online communities out there that talk about all the aspects of how to live on a budget. Whether you are interested in free cultural and entertainment events, or some easy and healthy recipes, or savings tips regarding banking and insurance, or even how to grow your own food, there are a lot of blogs and forums where people like you are discussing precisely these topics. So if you are looking to start your own

Keeping track of what is in your house and using grocery/houseware list keeps you from buying more than what you need and wasting food. With housewares such as; shampoos, soaps, toiletries, paper products and everything else for the house you really have to have a good overview and those should be kept on a separate list. Buying housewares in bulk and storing them will save you money over the course of time. I try never to run out of everything at once as, that bulk buying bill can be pretty pricey. If you have money put aside for such things it is not a big deal but, if you are already living paycheck to paycheck it could put you in the minus. Check ads for all stores in your area for these things too and buy what you can in bulk when it these items come up at great sale prices. For instance, I like a certain brand named dishwashing tablet does a better job cleaning the dishes than the lesser expensive brands sold in our area. The problem I have with this is, these little tablet thingies are expensive! There are a few times per year when the stores sell giant bags or boxes of them (90 or so in a package) for a fantastic price. I buy at least two packages during these sales to make sure I will have enough to get through to the next sale. The same goes for laundry soap, batteries and many other houseware items. I have a list of things that I keep an eye out for while I am out and about. Let's say, I know we always need batteries, we have a child so in our house those things go fast. We happened to be at an electronics store looking around at the laptops as the old one died. I noticed they had giant packages of good batteries on sale. I picked up two of those packages and now I am set for batteries for the next few months.
Buying only what you need and what you will eat right away saves you money!

garden, but you have no idea where to start, head online and get all the advice you need for free, along with some encouragement and support as well. You might be surprised to find out how many people are talking about ‘how to save money’ tips. Share with them what you’ve learned so far and gather some fresh ideas that would fit into your lifestyle.

Learning how to live frugally can be a very fun and rewarding process if that is your attitude going in. It can inspire you to simplify your life, eliminate waste, and get back in touch with nature. If or when you find yourself in a situation to have to significantly cut back on spending, don’t despair. Remember that you can still enjoy a great quality of life if you adjust your habits accordingly. Hopefully, your takeaway from all of this will be that financial difficulties are bound to occur to most people sooner or later, and certainly it’s not the end of the world. In fact, many people start living frugally not because of financial struggles but because they simply want to increase their efficiency for a more sustainable way of life. So look at this process a learning experience. While you are learning how to live on a budget, joining a community will help make your transition smoother and easier. It always helps to hear the advice of someone who has already gone through what you’re going through. And you will probably end up making new friends along the way.

Here you find the best available information

The Best Savings Plan Ever and How To Find One

In order to have a proper budget, one must initiate a saving plan into their lives. To utilize one of these saving plans correctly, it is crucial to find the right one to suit your needs. There are multiple sources of these saving plans and our goal today is to bring them all together. We’ll go over what to look for in a plan, the sources of a plan, and how to properly use one. Let’s begin.

What to Look For In a Savings Plan

Many people today are one or two paychecks from financial hardship. We are all pretty much in the same boat and unless we start saving our money this boat is going to eventually sink. Building up a Savings Plan is easy once you have the right plan for your needs. Initially, you should pay down all debts from loans and credit cards while still putting all extra money aside. Once you have a nest egg, you can decide where to put it so that it works for you. One of easiest ways achieve financial freedom at a much earlier stage in life than retirement age is to accumulate as much savings as possible in the earlier stages of life. What this means in reality is living frugally now in order to achieve freedom much quicker than the average lay person who doesn’t have a financial education. One way to make sure you are able to save money at a faster rate than you have previously is to cut your expenses. This is actually very easy to do with food and other essential groceries. But what takes more skill, discipline and determination is to save every extra penny that you have as part of a savings plan.
Start a Savings Plan! Once you begin frugal living, invest your saved cash and let it work for you!

To start exploring what we should look for in a plan, it would be wise to first go over the definition of a “savings plan”. A savings plan is an investment where a person will contribute a certain amount of money on a reoccurring basis to reach a financial goal. This can be done on either a long term or a short term basis; it’s really up to the individual. Usually, in order to open such a plan, it would have to be done with a set amount of money which could be as little as $100.00 depending upon where you find your investment.

There are two major things that you should be looking for. Is the plan flexible and is it simple? Flexibility and simplicity are the two main factors that differentiate between a bad plan and a fantastic one. If the plan is flexible, it will be easy to add your own categories and goals to it. A plan is simple if it can be understood with just a basic rundown of it.

Where to Find a Savings Plan

These savings plans are a great personal finance tool that will help you achieve your financial freedom goals much quicker. It is sometimes best to think of them as a self-imposed tax on your earnings that you will never see until you decide you have enough money in the bank to stop your frugal living lifestyle. Often the best way to attain your targets is to take a set amount each month from your pay check. For some people this will be 10% for others who are willing to make more extreme sacrifices this will be closer to 40%. No matter where you start, the important thing is to do just that, start saving money. No one wants to be living paycheck to paycheck. Ideally, there would be only a steady stream of money coming in but in life, that is not the case. First figure out how to manage your money, pay down debt and put money aside and during that time you will have to investigate your options on savings plans or retirement plans. Whatever you do, whichever way you decide is best to go, don't stop putting a percentage of your income into one of these things, make sure you pay into them every month.
Cutting expenses, looking for sales and living frugally will help you set aside cash to be used in your savings plan. The sooner you start, the more you will thank yourself later!

You can find a savings plan just about anywhere online, all you have to do is one simple search. You can even find a plan right here at BudgetHub. If you explore the site a bit or use the search functionality, you will most definitely come across many articles discussing how to budget your finances. No matter where you ind your plan, make sure that suits your needs and stick with it! You’ll be thanking yourself years down the line that you decided to use a proper savings plan.

A Savings Plan can help you prepare for retirement!

There are several types of plans. There are 52 week plans, which is personally our favorite. Using a simple calculator or formula, you can make a 52 week savings plan online with only a few clicks of your mouse and a few ticks of the keyboard. There are also thrifty ones. If you like being thrifty, there are plenty on the internet for you to utilize. Heck! There are even savings plans for children. Basically, no matter what you are looking for in your plan, you will most likely discover it.

HOW TO USE A SAVINGS PLAN

Now this is where it gets tricky. Just kidding! There is nothing tricky about it if you found a one that was simple to use. Usually a plan comes along with a full set of instructions. Read through these to learn how to use one. The worst mistake that you can make is not using the plan for its intended purpose and messing up all your finances. Just like you should use the correct tool for the job, you should always use the right savings plan for the money. Speaking of money: you’ll be saving tons of it!

Conclusion

So in conclusion, you should be looking for a savings plan that is simple and flexible. It should be easy to use and easy to change up. You can find good solutions right here or by simply using Google (or your favorite search engine). Using a plan is also very easy, just follow the instructions. It’s as easy as pie, as easy as baking a cake and you’ll end up saving cash by doing it.

Online and Printable Budget Planner

Due to a phenomenon known as compound interest, once dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by Einstein, it is the effect of repeatedly receiving interest and reinvesting that interest over time to gradually increase the effective rate of return over time. Hence why, in our example, the 18-year-old saver will end up with more money at age 55 because he/she has allowed more time to accrue for compound interest to take effect. Sometimes the difference can be literally hundreds of thousands of dollars or pounds. This is a big reason why finance classes need to take priority in schools across the globe, so students can understand the importance of saving early. In conclusion, the earlier you sit down and figure out your personal financial management and how much you can afford to save each month, the quicker you attain your goal of complete financial freedom.
Find the best way to implement a budget into your life now and thank yourself later.

Chances are you came here looking for free printable budget planner. Whether it is an online or physical printable worksheet, we have you covered. All the worksheets we will be going over in this article are currently free. Now that’s a bargain!

A Proper Budget Can Save Your Life!

Types of Budget Worksheets

Over the past few years, the online budgeting market has been growing exponentially. With more people gaining access to the internet it only makes sense that online reading is the new “print”. It’s generally easier to use because all you have to do is select something to change it. No longer do you need to grab your eraser or a bottle of white out.

There are many different types of free online budget worksheets. These range from tons of different file types to being browser based. There are some sites where you can make an account and track your finances online. The most popular type currently is Excel based.

A great Excel budgeting worksheet has various qualities that makes it so ‘great’. The ability to edit it with ease is one of these properties. Another would be the fact that sharing is easy. Just drag and drop your Excel file into a sharing program and now your friends can have access to the same thing that you use to budget your finances.

If you worry about losing your saved file; Instead of using Excel, you can use a more cloud based solution. We strongly recommended that you take a look into Google Drive. There is a very slim (almost nonexistent) chance of you losing your saved file, as compared to Excel. There are only a few ways to lose your Google Drive spreadsheet document and none of the ways are very realistic.

In conclusion, it would be in your best interest to look into an Excel based free budget worksheet or a Google Drive spreadsheet worksheet. Both are equally as powerful at saving you time and hard earned money.

Let’s talk about PDFs. These types of files are generally meant to be printed out. There is nothing wrong with having a paper based budgeting system. When something is physical, it can make a lot more sense. Just as tons of people prefer reading paper books over eBooks, tons of people also prefer writing with pen and paper over typing with a keyboard and fingers. With a few simple Google searches you should be able to find a satisfactory printable household PDF. It may take a few tries to find the right one, but when you do, you’ll know it.

Budget everything from groceries to entertainment.

It does not matter where you track your budget, it just matters that you budget. Ideally, you should have everything you spend money on written down and covered somewhere in your budget. Using a budget should allow you to put away money for those times when you have an emergency i.e., car repairs, broken washing machine, new water heater or anything else that would normally set you back. Budgeting for these instances can save you lots of headaches and financial hard times.

How to Use a Budget Worksheet

The most important thing is that your budget is realistic. It should not be a figure that is such a struggle to achieve that you almost stop living a normal life to get there. It should also be flexible enough to cover one-time expenses that pop up out of the blue. There is no point having a budgeting goal that you keep missing because you have to pay for your car to be fixed one month, have to pay for a plumbing emergency the next month and so on. It has to be an amount of money that you can happily say goodbye to every month without thinking about whether you can afford to live after it’s gone. What is just as important is how much you save early on, due to the principle known as the “time value of money”. Someone who starts saving at the tender age of 18 and stops at 30 will have a saving pot that dwarfs someone that starts saving at 30 and doesn’t stop until 55.
Budget, budget, budget!!! Keeping track to the last penny can save you a fortune!

To properly use a budget worksheet to its fullest extent you must pick the one that is best for you. Sit down for a few minutes and think about your needs. How many sources of income do you have in your household? What are you budgeting for? What is the end goal? You must take all of these into account when you are deciding what type of free budget worksheet is best for you. When you have a full list of your needs, follow the steps above to finding the right medium to fit what you need.

The next step is to download, save, or print. This step is fairly obvious. How else are you supposed to modify it for your budget? Depending on what type you selected this step will change. If it is an online file you will need to download or save it. If it is a PDF or a worksheet image that is meant to be printed out, the obvious step to take is to print it out. You can either print it yourself or go to a printing shop to have them do it for you.

Look over the worksheet. You need to fully understand it before you even place your pencil or pen down on the paper (or type). Check out all the categories on the worksheet and how much room you have to spread your finances out over. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up erasing and redoing a lot. So once you have looked over the worksheet, you may begin using it. Voila!

Don’t be afraid to change around your system. It is always optimal to optimize and save more time and money. Use the budgeting worksheet for several days, weeks or months. At this time it would be smart of you to reassess. Does the worksheet fit your needs and your finances? Do you need more? Do you need less? All of these would be valid reasons to change your worksheet. There is absolutely no shame into going from digital to paper or vice-versa. You should enjoy doing your worksheet; it should not be a chore.

So change it or keep it! When you’ve done all of this, you are most likely going to improve the quality of your life. Whether you are low income or high income, a proper budget can benefit you and your family in many ways. It could be the difference between bologna and caviar.

Also, look at this to learn more about budget planning.

How to Prepare Inexpensive, Frugal Meals

You can achieve cheap living much easier than you think. One way to change your habits straight away is to look at your food budget. It may be the case that you could spend half as much and still have enough food to comfortably get by without having any worries about going hungry. One vital aspect of attaining this goal is meal preparation. Many people head to their nearest supermarket without actually planning what they are going to buy beforehand. What is worse, many arrive at the doors on an empty stomach, which is always going to lead to poor choices because you are shopping whilst you are hungry. Before you go to the store sit down a write a list, not of items, but of meals. Once you have your meals, look at where ingredients cross over, meaning you only have to buy them once. Also look at buying them in bulk and cooking them all at once.
Frugal living enables you to eat healthier and more delicious meals!!

Many people who follow us already know the basics of how to live frugally. BudgetPronto is here to show you ways to increase your frugalness and save even more money. Being frugal is a lifestyle. It must extend to every corner of your life, even your meals. That’s why I am going to show you ways to create an inexpensive meal plan.

Bulk. You hear that word everywhere when it comes to creating meals on a budget for large families or even putting together a frugal meal-for-one. Bulk is the framework of cheap cooking. Without buying in bulk, every time that you go to the supermarket, you are just spending money that didn’t need to be spent.

Foods to buy in bulk:

  • Dried beans, pastas, and rice.
  • Snack foods and popcorn
  • Meat and chicken
  • Candy!

When you buy in bulk, you can easily cook cheap dinners for your family. We have posted before about buying in bulk, search around to find more information about that. So now you have your food, and lots of it. Great! It’s time to start cooking. Put on your apron, chef’s hat, and whatever else that you happen to use in the kitchen.

CHEAP AND EASY FRUGAL MEALS

In this post, we are going to cover our favorite top inexpensive meals to make while staying within our budget. With grocery prices ever changing, sometimes it is hard to make elaborate meals. The truth is, any meal (even if it costs less than one dollar) can be great. It all depends who cooks it and just how much love went into the frugal cooking.

3 Frugal Breakfast Ideas

Our first idea for breakfast is Oatmeal with Raisins & Sugar. Oatmeal is one of those cheap food staples that ever person should have in their household. There are a million different ways to cook oatmeal, and we recommend cooking it with some raisins and a spoon of brown sugar.

You may for example buy a large pack of beef mince. From that large pack of mince, you could make several meals with good planning. You could make a Chilli Con Carne, Spaghetti Bolognese, Burritos and Lasagne, all from one purchase (of course there are other ingredients required but you get the picture). That’s five meals all made with the same base ingredients. Once you cook these large meals, you can always freeze the leftovers, creating more meals to eat at a later date. As you can see planning is vital in successful personal financial management. You could take the above food example and apply it to nearly everything. There may be other groceries that you often buy just on a whim, for example Shampoo. You may currently buy a mid-range brand name whenever you think you are close to running out, or whenever there is an offer or discount on that product.
Spend less money by making frugal meals!

A frugally prepared breakfast can still taste great!

Breakfast number two is a nice plate of homemade pancakes with a side of fruit. This is probably one of the most frugal meals, especially if you are willing to go on Craigslist and find free fruit. Seriously! Go to Craigslist and you’ll see that people with citrus trees are willing to give away free fruit. For the pancakes, you can just go on Amazon and get a 10-pound bag of Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix for just under $20. You will be able to make about 135, 4” pancakes with that!

The third breakfast is really simple. It’s just a plain old banana and a bowl of yogurt. Sometimes a plain breakfast is good way to enjoy the simpler side of life. Preparation is fast, that is, if you know how to peel a banana and fill a bowl with yogurt. You can get creative and sprinkle some berries on top of your bowl of yogurt to introduce some variety into this super frugal meal.

Cheap Lunch Ideas

Ah leftovers. This is perhaps one of most frugal of all lunch ideas. You could even have leftovers for breakfast or dinner. In my house, we are only allowed to eat leftovers at lunch because we have a food system that we follow.

Another absolutely spectacular frugal lunch is cheese and crackers with fruit. Crackers are cheap and so is cheese. You can get a pound of cheese and in the right environment; it’ll stay good for a month or more in your fridge.

Is it possible to eat frugal meals every day? Heck yeah it is. All my meals are under $5 and I am living perfectly. I highly encourage you to look more into eating frugally. With the money you save, you can invest in your future or even other personal projects.

Need more inspiration? Here we go

Free Monthly Budget Template

For individuals with families this means setting up a household budget. This is basically a set amount that you or your family is willing to spend on essential and then latterly non-essential items. It is not too different from setting up finance budgets for a company. The difference being that instead of sales counting as your revenue, your wage takes its place. Although these may sound complicated to create; family budgets are easy to do. In fact, a simple search on Google will wield a lot of results that provide you with a template to fill in. All you have to do is populate the fields with the numbers that leave you with a surplus that you are happy to save each month. Before you set up your household budget it is worthwhile to sit down with other spenders of the budget in your family. This will usually be your spouse but increasingly adult children are forming part of this discussion as they save up for a place of their own.
There are many free budget templates that can be found online.

Generally, a budget is divided into months. A month is a perfect amount of time to create a budget for because, 30 days is a length of time that is easy to plan over. January to February, March to April, building a monthly budget is simple. However, there is a much better way to create a budget than just writing down a few notes. We recommend a monthly budget template to all of our visitors. Once you learn the works, a budget template can easily become habitual and part of your daily life.

MONTHLY BUDGET TEMPLATES

There are plenty of free options when it comes to budget templates. Of course, you can always use Dave Ramsey’s budget worksheet, but that is not always the best one to choose. Depending on what kind of devices and access you have, one template will be superior to the other. It all comes down to your preferences, but we can help find what is best for you. A monthly budget template can be highly beneficial when used correctly.

Google Docs based monthly budget template is what I personally use most often. I have several reasons for using Google Docs, let me explain. First and most importantly, Google Docs is cloud based. This is significant to me because I have the ability to access it whenever and wherever I am in the world. I can type in a receipt in America, fly to Europe, and still continue working with the same monthly template as before.

To find a monthly budget template for Google Docs, you can just explore Google. That’s right, Google is best for finding its own products. Just run a quick search and you’ll come up will thousands of pages of results. Look through a few of them, sorting out the ones that would best fit your lifestyle. From there you can further narrow down your list of Google Docs to find the best monthly free budget template for you.

Living cheaply is not something many people aspire to when they are young. However, with age comes wisdom, and many people change their spending habits in order to either reflect their current personal financial situation or to try and achieve a goal such as financial freedom much earlier in life. Discuss your savings goals together, look at what has potential to throw an unexpected bill at you (things like your vehicle, your boiler and child expenses need to be considered here) and then set aside an amount you are all focused on achieving as a monthly savings amount. This way when either you or your spouse (or potentially your child) is out spending money from your shared budget, you are all on the same page with what you are trying to achieve. It will prevent any of you making emotional purchasing decision and will help to stay disciplined with your personal financial management.
Keep any daily receipts and record them in your budget when you get home!

Speaking of free, you can find free downloads for monthly budget templates online. It couldn’t be easier. As said before, just search for one and you will find it. Later, we will be posting an article showing some of our templates, exclusive to BudgetHub. These also act as a month-to-month planner, a great way to manage your finances is by using a planner.

Another great option is to do-it-yourself. Go DIY, and you’ll never look back. When I started making my own budget templates, I thought it was too much work. After adapting to it a bit, I found it super beneficial to do it myself. A full range of customization is one of the main reasons why I prefer to make my own. If one month I need to create a different category and adjust all the other categories, I can easily do that with a few presses of a few keys. Both Excel and Google Docs make for great places to make your budget template.

These templates that I make myself are generally in an Excel file or on Google Docs as stated before. I personally find Excel to be much more powerful and in-depth. For most people though, Google Docs will do the trick. It’s free, powerful, and cloud based. Meaning you’ll be able to have the same spreadsheet on all your devices at the same time. Pretty awesome, huh?

As a recap, your monthly budget should be one of your top priorities. With a strong system in place, it can potentially eliminate stress from your days. You should never have to remember numbers, just record them on something like a monthly budget template. If it’s on Excel, Google Docs, or Mac, it really does not matter. All you need to do is create one now, and you’ll be happy. Adjust as you go along and in no time, you’ll have a fully functional cash management system.

You find more info here.

Save Money by Living on a Budget

We will start with the basics of how to live on a budget and it will mostly focus on frugal living in the USA and UK, with tips, tricks and strategies on how to start saving money. However, almost all of the strategies discussed here can be applied in other countries similar to the USA and UK as well. This article will cover the topics of budgeting, savings on food and housing, traveling on a tight budget, and some other tricks for happy frugal living.

When it comes to personal finances, learning how to start saving money is the most impactful thing you can do to change them in the short term. Our finances depend on three major categories – income, savings, and expenses. A monthly budget calculator is a free online tool you can use to track the change in each of these categories over time; hopefully the money management tools that we share will make a difference in your bottom line. Out of these three, savings get accumulated over time and if you don’t already have any, in the short term there is not much you can do about it. Income is a category that you can’t change in the short term either; you can change in the long term, and perhaps even in the medium term, if you look into ways to make some extra money on the side. Still, even finding temporary work is not easy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many people are realizing the need to learn how to start saving money. The monthly budget calculator can really help you to plan future changes in these categories easily and for free, especially when it comes to expenses and savings.

For instance, when your partner is out grocery shopping and he sees a brand he likes is on offer, but the supermarket’s own brand is much cheaper and that’s what you’ve both agreed to buy. He is more more likely to make the right choice because it contributes towards your saving goal of having enough money in the bank to send the kids to college or to pay for much needed car repairs.

It is up to you how often you budget for. Most people tend to stick with monthly budgets, since they get paid monthly. However, it makes sense to change this to weekly or bi-weekly if that’s how you get paid so you know where every penny is ending up.

Finally, if you haven’t already sit down with your spouse (and if necessary your children) and thrashed out a budget that includes everything from groceries to fuel and energy to snacks. Have a figure sorted out for each expense by the end of discussions with a very small amount budgeted in for wiggle room.

Collate them all together and there you have it, a budget that will help you save money on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or annual basis. The key to success is sticking to it, no matter what, and that takes discipline that not everybody has.

Cutting down on expenses is the quickest way to change the state of your finances and also introduce a positive change in your life.  You will find more helpful information right here.

Living On a Budget

Living on a budget applies not just to your house and grocery bill. Cheap living is not as hard as people would have you believe, often a few simple choices will help you immensely in staying within your budget. One of these choices is being smarter with your money spending decisions. Often when we take out a contract with either a mobile (cell) phone provider, a broadband internet contract, digital TV provider, or any other service that takes a monthly payment, we forget to switch when the contract expires and often end up paying well over the value of that service. This is especially the case when we are paying for an item that last for a specified period of time. For example, broadband internet companies will often give you their fastest speeds at a really cheap price for the first 12 months you are a customer with them.
Living on a budget is only hard if your planned budget is unrealistic for your situation.

The principle of a budget constraint is one of the first things taught in a beginner’s microeconomics course. This principle stipulates that every consumer is faced with a budget constraint which shows the various combinations of different goods and services that can be purchased with the consumer’s available funds over a period of time. Thus, the rich as well as the poor are all living on a budget but, for some the pot is bigger while for others it’s smaller.

Still, when people say living on a budget, it is usually understood that this implies limited or tight budget. Understanding the trade-offs in a budget constraint is not useful only for beginner economists but, also for everyone else – you can probably see that the aptness in how we handle our budgets is one of the main factors that determines in which category we find ourselves in. This is why it is worth learning how to set up a monthly budget and how to handle savings, expenses, taxes and loans. This is a basic education in personal finances that can be beneficial to anyone who puts time into learning it! So let’s begin with the basics of personal finances and living on a budget.

The basics of learning how to manage your personal finances well, all revolve around creating and following a solid monthly budget. A budget is simply an estimate of how much money you have coming in and to which uses you want to allocate this money. In most cases, you will find that living on a budget is very hard only if you have created an unrealistic budget in the first place. The first step in improving your finances is to simply track your expenses in detail over a couple of months. At the end of each month, use a monthly budgeting tool (many of them are available online for free) to create a monthly budget after the fact. This is done simply for you to become aware of exactly where your money is going, and whether there are any inefficiencies or money leaks that you could eliminate.

Companies who operate on business models like these actually make a loss on you as a customer in that first year. However, they hope to gain back that loss and then a lot more when they auto-renew your contract after 12 months at a much higher price, and often the consumer only notices when it’s too late, and they are stuck paying a high price for another year. They are always hoping you forget to either cancel or look around for a new deal, so if you’ve been with the same provider for a while now, I can guarantee you are paying too much. This isn’t just true of broadband deal this is also the case with insurance companies offering car and home protection. They always set their policies to auto-renew at a price that is above the market rate.
Budgeting in your monthly cellphone or internet contracts in order to get the best deals means you need to keep up with when they run out!

The next step is to start preparing a monthly budget in advance for each month. This will make your spending deliberate rather than impulsive. From the previous step, you will already know what amount to budget for the most fundamental necessities like food, housing and utilities. If you are struggling to afford these things, then you can analyze your monthly budget to determine where it is best to make cutbacks and how big those cutbacks should be. In any case, it is important to remember that from this point on, you are living on a budget that is pre-determined with strategic intent and therefore it is absolutely crucial to stick to it consistently, or you will lose most of the benefits from making a budget in the first place. The most important benefits from having a budget are that you can be realistic with your shopping expectations, you can avoid frivolous spending, and you can begin an emergency fund and put away some savings. You are much more likely to do all of these things while you are living on a specific budget than, if you just have the intent to save in the back of your mind, where you don’t actually make a real commitment to it.

While living on a budget as a single person, a great way to save some money is to dramatically reduce your housing expenses by finding a roommate to share your space with. This instantly reduces your expenses and allows you to put the money to better use. Despite what you might think or any reservations you might have, finding a roommate is always a possibility for many different housing situations – nowadays a lot of people are looking for affordable housing while living on a budget.

Another thing you should look into is your expenditure of food. Here, your budget only tells half of the story – how much you spend on food and what kind of products you tend to buy. This half definitely has a lot of influence on your expenses – if you buy more finished products (like microwave food, or frozen dinner) you will spend more; if you buy more raw ingredients you will usually spend less. If you grow, fish and forage a lot of your food, you will spend even less! The other half of the story is how much of the food that you buy you actually end up eating and how much ends up discarded in the trash. Many people are wasting up to one fifth or more of the food they buy on a monthly basis. It’s usually spoiled cooked food or vegetables and fruits that went bad before they were used. This is precisely the kind of inefficiency that you should eliminate completely when you are living on a budget.

Here you find the ultimate guide on how to live on a budget

How Americans spend their money and how to be wiser

How do the average Americas spend their cash? A more important question: in what ways has this spending change over time?

We can use this data to see how spending patterns changed over time in America. Here is a quick comparison of spending of 1949 vs. 2011.

When comparing 1949 to 2011 it is clear that Americans are paying much more for housing, transportation, recreation, medical care and "other". We have less money for food and clothing than ever before. What can we glean from this? We must look into saving money on housing and transporation costs if we want to be able to save money for the long haul. The benefits of cheaper housing far outweigh the convenience of city living. As an example, my family and I moved to a smaller town. While our apartment is a little smaller than our previous apartment, I spend less time driving to places where I need to go. I am close enough to everything I need that I can walk to my doctors appointments, walk to the local bakery or to the local shops here in town. I am three minutes by car from my son's school and from a large grocery store for times when I need to transport many bags of groceries. We bought electric bikes and can ride all over for appointments or for recreation without having to worry about paying for parking or gas. We purchased our apartment so that we would save money. We used to pay $1,000.00 in rent before sidecosts and utilities and now we pay $455.00 in rent before sidecosts and utilities. The money we pay on our mortgage is not money thrown away because owning in and of itself is considered an investment. If we were to sell our apartment today, it would be worth $30,000.00 more than what we paid for it.
Where did our money go? 1949 vs. 2011 Tables

A thing that really jumps right out here is the relative spending decline on clothes and food. This is mainly the product of giant increases in productivity of manufacturing and agriculture that has made clothes and food much cheaper. This allowed a huge saving on groceries, something that impacts us even today.

There is a jump in spending on homes between 1949 and 2011. We think that it’s definitely worth mentioning that people are renting and buying housing that is much larger. In 2011, the average house was over 2,000 square feet. This was very different in 1950, when the average house was 1,000 square feet or less.

There was also a decent rise in spending on transportation. (Manage your money to be able to afford a car!) This was created by the widespread of cars. In the year 1950, there were only 3 vehicles per every 10 Americans. By the year 2000, that number has risen to 8 vehicles per every 10 Americans.

By analyzing how much the average American spends, you can figure out what to spend money on to be fit it. If you think your groceries take up too much of your monthly expenses, just look at the chart above and see what’s considered normal. Of course each person will be different and the chart just draws from average data. So if you enjoy having an above average grocery bill, go right ahead, buy supermarket sushi every day.

Spending money has never been easier. Most Americans have much too much debt and most are robbing Peter to pay Paul. This revolving credit trend is becoming the norm in every household. Somewhere down the line it will be stopped, either because you make a conscious decision to become more financially responsible or someone cuts up all of your credit cards and while kicking you out of your home. It is important that we all become more frugal. Living on a budget, paying off all debts, saving money and really taking care of, using and appreciating the things we do buy.
Frugal living is easy on the Debit/Credit Card

So next time you ask yourself “What should I spend my money on?” refer back to this chart. Whether it’s food, housing, apparel, transportation, recreation, medical care, and everything else; the data should help you.

Don’t feel guilty about your monthly cell phone bill, tropical vacations, a brand new computer, or an upgraded house. Life is really meant to be enjoyed. Of course you might be able to get the most out of life by living frugally, but you should have those big trips. Learn how rich people spend their money, and mimic that fun, with a budget of course.

List of things to spend money on

A gym membership

Stay fit, be healthy. It’ll only make every aspect of your life even more enjoyable. I bought a decent gym membership and I go every day, it’s something to do. At $50 a month, I am only spending $0.50 per hour of healthy enjoyment.

Your own furniture

Nothing is worse than renting furniture. You look at it and just think about how much money you spend on it each month. Get some quality furniture (or build your own, the frugal way!) and add them to any room to make your house more unique. Add that personalized touch to your home, you won’t regret it.

Education

Education is an awesome investment and if you do it right, you’ll have a great paying job in the end. That’s right; you have to spend money to make money. Go get yourself an education, earn a certificate, and make use of it. Just like you should get a gym membership to work out your body, you should invest in your education to flex your mind.

Your mattress

You spend a surprising amount of time on a mattress during your life. Why not get a good one? It could save you future medical expenses. If you wake up sore every day, chances are you need a new mattress. Keep your body in good health, one of your main focuses in life should be yourself.

Do what you want!

There are plenty of fun things to do without money, not everything needs to come out of your wallet. Try spending the weekend without swiping your plastic card. You can go for a run in the park, take your.

Here Is Our Top Pick For Frugal Living

Best Money Management Apps For iOS and Android

When it comes to personal finances, there are two types of tools you should know about: budgeting tools and money management tools. The budgeting tools include things like printable budget planners, budget worksheets and online budget calculators. Money management tools mostly come in the form of money management apps rather than worksheets, because money management encompasses more complex operations – it is about a lot more than just making sure that all your bills are paid each month. Most money management apps include features for investments/portfolio management, savings management as well as the management of monthly expenses and income. If you want to finally be able to take full control of your finances, to pay off bad debt and actually start investing and/or saving, then it’s time you learn more about these tools and start making use of them!

In this day and age, it is easier than ever to get your money to work for you. Work smarter, not harder has become the cry for many people in the digital age. With many choices in apps, the small investor can get expert advice on investments and watch their money grow for a nominal fee. This should be something that we all look into for our futures. With retirement benefits from the governments being what they are, if the average person today does not have a plan or any money saved, it will be very hard for them to live their golden years without fear.
Financial management in the digital age with on the spot information with money management apps.

If you are a total beginner with money management tools and you don’t really know much about personal finances, then you should probably start with a budgeting tool before you move on to a money management app. The great thing about budgeting tools is that many of them are designed for beginners, making it easy to start tracking and planning income and expenses. In addition, budgeting tools come in many varieties, so it’s easy to find the budgeting tool that’s right for you. If you are comfortable working with Windows Excel or similar programs then you should download a detailed budget worksheet. If you aren’t that comfortable with such programs then you could use a printable budget template. Another great thing about budgeting tools is that most of them are available online for free! So, if you really want to improve your financial situation, all you need is some time, a willingness to learn and an Internet connection.

Best Apps To Manage Money

After you’ve created and followed a monthly budget for at least six months in a row, you are ready to move on to money management apps and take the next step in the improvement of personal finances. Money management apps differ from one another in terms of the services they provide as well as in price. Since they are more advanced tools than the budgeting ones, money management tools are rarely available for free, with most apps generally falling in the $15-$50 range. This variety in price is due to the fact that apps can be very different from one another – some of them specialize in retirement savings or investment management, some allow you to connect one or multiple of your accounts to the app while others don’t, etc. Here is an overview of some different money management apps that have helped thousands of users whip their finances into shape.

Financial planning needs to start as soon as possible in order to secure your future. If you have debt, you have got to figure out a way to get it payed down and save some money so that you can start investing properly. With the right tools and applications, you are able to easily invest and watch your savings grow. Plan wisely, become more financial responsible and take it into your own hands. There are so many ways to save money and pay down debt but it all starts with a good plan, a realistic budget and a change in your spending habits. Here you will find all of the tools you need to start.
It all starts with planning properly

Learnvest is an app that allows you to track day-to-day activities with its budgeting features, but also the app forces you to think about the bigger picture – savings and investments. For a monthly fee, you get a personalized financial plan based on your financial goals. In addition, you have the opportunity to chat with financial professionals and consult with them on big decisions involving money, such as buying a house.

Betterment is one of the most acclaimed money management apps that specialize in investments. It’s a user-friendly app that takes into consideration your tolerance to risk and your investment goals. Once you’ve set up your profile and connected the app to your accounts, you should set up automatic monthly withdrawals that you’ll use for investing through the Betterment app. As for investment options, you have the possibility to invest in six stock ETFs or in a predetermined basket of bonds. One of the best features of this app is that it constantly gives you advice on what to do to achieve your goals faster, as well as updates on how close you are to achieving them at the moment. A lot of users find this feature helpful, instructive and motivating.

Lastly, Acorns is one of the most popular money management apps because it is very simple to use and it works on a set-it-and-forget-it system that doesn’t require much involvement at all. All you need to do is link it to your accounts and it will do the rest. The way it works is that the app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then takes the change and invests it in six different funds. Of course, it also takes your risk tolerance into consideration. With its low fees, Acorns is one of the most cost-effective ways to have diversified investments.

Here are the very best money management apps

These are only a few of the many money management apps available on the market right now. By doing a bit of research and reading reviews, you can find the apps that fit your financial goals best. Then, you’ll be one step closer to bigger savings and investments, lower debt, and well-balanced monthly budgets.

Home Budget Template for your Household

Becoming your own financial expert has never been easier. There are so many free resources online to be looked at and shaped into your individual budget and savings plan. There are no secrets and no shortcuts, needless to say, while it requires some time and effort it is vital for you to sit down and confront your financial situation. Tools will make it very easy for you and heere on budgethub you will find many tips, tricks and suggestions along with the right tools and information. Budget planning was never easier.
Become your own financial expert

Did you know: It is very common for a person to be wasting hundreds of dollars per year? This waste of money can prevent many from getting out of debt and ultimately it can keep people from saving for their future properly. If you are one of those people who require assistance or just need a few tips and tricks on how to save money, you’ve wandered across the right page. Manage your financials correctly with the hints that are listed below.

You can create a budget for yourself or even for a business using common techniques!

You are wasting cash and time if you’re not using a Home Budget Worksheet. In a perfect world, every school should teach students to manage a budget and use a worksheet for the money in their household. However, this is not part of most education systems so it is our goal to teach you right now, right here. It doesn’t take long to learn if you are already using other techniques to keep your finances in check. So it would be more than wise to let us be your little budget helper! The first step is to find a home budget worksheet that will fit your needs.

When searching for a budget worksheet for your home, you should be searching for something that covers most, if not every, aspect of your finances. This means that you should look for worksheets that have everything from budgeted money allowed to be spent on entertainment to how much of your income you need to set aside for emergencies. A budget calculator planner may come in handy when you are searching for a worksheet that will be the most beneficial to you and your family. There are many calculators available online but here is the very best home budget solution.

Examples of Home Budget Worksheets

To find a worksheet that would most improve your life start with a simple search. Find examples on the internet to really get a good look at what you will need. Pull out a pen and a piece of paper! Make notes on what aspects of these worksheets that best fit your requirements. When doing this, figure out what’s unique about each individual software or template. These small little details may just save the day when it is time to find a home budget worksheet for you and your family.

Home budget templates are easy to use and very rewarding in the end. There are many worksheets avaiable and we strongly recommend using them as part of your individual financial assessment. Make use of all the available tools and put them to your advantage while using our free budget template worksheet. A good budget only works if your budget is realistic. Think optimistic but stay realistic is out motto. Once you have your budget and numbers in place, you will find that is it not only rewarding but very satisfiying and promising when looking into your own future. Money does not make you happy, but planning wisely will save you many headaches and sleepless nights.
There are many rewards for you

Any great worksheet will include three categories that make it functional. These three most basic categories will be income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses. Each one of these categories is named appropriately for what they do in connection to the worksheet as a whole. The income section is probably the most important part of a template. This is what every single other category is based off of and how the allocations are calculated. For your income there is a spot for your income as well as all the other sources of income within the household, community or group. The two types of expenses are also very key components.

Variable and fixed expenses are the two types of expenses you should look for when finding a home budget worksheet that is right for you. Variable expenses are expenses that change day to day and differ on a monthly basis. Usually you’ll have a bunch of sub-categories under variable expenses and the worksheet will make assumptions on how you should spend your money in each sub-category. These sub-categories most often include groceries, gas, medical, clothing, entertainment, and emergency. In most cases you should be able to add additional spending categories, as well as modify the default ones.

Fixed expenses are completely different than variable. Expenses which are fixed usually include mortgage payments, maintenance, internet, savings, insurance, debt, et cetera (you get the gist of it). Payments to these expenses are usually paid monthly or on another regularly scheduled payment plan. The home budget worksheet that you use will have an option to pick the duration and the frequency of these expenses.

Conclusion

Stop wasting your valuable money and find a budgeting template for your house that fits your household needs. Life is short; it is okay to spend some money. But to get the most bang for your buck, it is clever to implement the upkeep of one of these types of budgeting worksheets into your daily life. As we say at BudgetPronto “save time and money”, download a sheet today.

Does Using a Household Budget Template Make a Difference?

There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have all of your bills covered, with extra money we would like to call buffer, set aside in case of a big emergency. You cannot predict your future and I believe all of us know, at some point the other shoe will drop, the engine from your car will fail to start, your washing machine breaks or you simply need to pourchase a new toaster. It is always good to have some money put aside because there is always something that can go down south. Home budget templates are valuable and they will keep you from over-spending and you will have a one-look accountability for all the money that comes into your household.
Household Budget Template Makes Your Wallet Happy

If the financial aspect is particularly challenging to you or if you simply wish to save more, you could successfully use a household budget template. It keeps track of what comes in and especially of what goes out. To keep track of your family’s budget, you need a special-made document to access whenever needed.

To some, this feel like much of a constraint, to others, it’s a form of pure wisdom in manifestation. In the end, do household budget templates really help you out?

Here’s Why You Need a Household Budget Template

Your memory can’t hold it all

That is true, your memory can’t hold it all and it won’t. If you make a budget sketch month by month, you can be sure you’re forgetting things. The memory isn’t always flawless. You may be throwing away money and never actually realize it. Or, certain expenses may be bigger than you think. This is why getting the numbers on paper, be it virtual or not, is extremely important. It makes us all face the truth and also helps us see how blind we can be at times when it comes to personal finances.

Confronting your spending habits

When you have a list of all your expenses during, let’s say, the previous month, you will confront every expense and will also have to face the real reasons for each of these. You may not be 100% aware when you spend money on something – it could be a simple pleasure of the moment, an impulse, an illusion of need. Later, you may realize that expense was in vain and you could have done without it. Many individuals feel guilty once they see such useless entries on their lists. This helps them be more aware in future and more careful with the money they spend.

Making comparisons

This one has to be the most obvious benefit. You can simply make comparisons between the family’s income and the expenses, all without omissions. It’s the easiest way to figure out whether you can save some money or make some lifestyle changes to strike a balance between the two aspects. Comparisons could also help correct certain behaviors in the family. For example, if one is spending money that isn’t theirs, it make make them aware and eventually stop. Also, when money is easily available, one can always spend much more than they’re actually earning. The same goes with spending from a savings account. It gives the illusion of having superior financial possibilities when in fact it isn’t so. Behaviors like these can ruin a family’s finances in the end and having a household budget template can make a huge difference in that area.

Here is an outstanding home budget solution

The benefit of financial snapshots

Calculator are friendly and you really want to establish a depp relationship with numbers. Make sure to take the time needed to thouroughly analyze your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly finances. In the core, it is advised to keep track of every penny spend. This means saving all reciepts to ensure that they are all included in your budget template calculations. We highly suggest leavning no stone unturned as you really want to establish a very good understand all around. We love this part for many reason because our entire website is designed to help you along the way. Read through our articles and take all of the information to put them to good use.
Don’t be affraid of numbers

With a detailed spreadsheet of your budget and expenses, you can have a financial snapshots of different periods of time. Are you afraid that you might have spent too much at Christmas? You can go back and have a look at that period – be it one or two weeks or the whole month. Thus, you can see where the money went and whether it was clever or not to spend as much as you did. You can see your income and expenditure for a month’s time, for a trimester or for whichever time span you select.

Make wiser decisions

Even without a spreadsheet, some of us are able to figure out that we should cut our expenses. However, when you have all the data in front of you, you can make a better decision. You will see exactly which items on the list are better to cut off. When you’re simply trying to do this mentally, you may not have the whole picture to analyze.

How to choose a budget template?

It doesn’t matter what income level you have. You will find many household budget template spreadsheets available on the web and they will be of great help. The natural question is born: which one should you use? The best method is to choose it based on your current financial situation. You may also download one according to the software you feel most comfortable with: Excel, Word, OpenOffice or Google Docs. It can be one ion the form of a table or you can use a template with colorful diagrams. The simple models cater to the main areas your money goes to. More elaborate templates will let you enter every single item you buy, making all calculations automatically. You may also opt for a zero-based budget template. There will also be adequate versions for starters as well as for the more advanced. Some feel intimidated by all the features, while others get a kick out of it and enjoy planning in detail.

In conclusion, it definitely helps to use a family or household budget template. After all, this is how some get to become millionaires and also get to keep their millions. You will have a taste of financial freedom instead of restrictions. It could even be your key to wealth.

Using a Family Budget Template Saves Time and Money

Family budget templates are vital to any budget planning process. You want to know all of the numbers before even attempting to give out an allowance, plan your family trips or spend money on any upcoming birthday gifts. It goes without saying, that every family member has to be looked at individually and they all need the same knowledge and it is always a good idea to have them all be part of the family budget meeting. Many people try to shelter their kids from the knowledge of a financial hardship and this potentially creates a feeling of entitlement which often is hard to overcome. If everyone in the same family is on the same page, then it becomes much easier to develop a good financial basis, stick to a budget without creating a state of feeling less worthy.
Including the family in the family budget

Managing a household is no easy task. Parents have to manage chores, raise the kids, keep things running and make sure to do it efficiently and cost-effectively. Budgeting tools can be really useful in helping parents manage household income and expenses better and easier. A family budget template is a simple but very effective tool to help parents do just that. There is a variety of templates available today – some come free of charge and some for a small fee. There are Excel spreadsheet versions, Google Docs versions, printable ones, online ones as well as computer and mobile applications. Furthermore, there are different types according to user preferences, primarily family budget planners and personal budget planners. Thus, a family budget template will be easy to find, but there are some things to keep in mind when you are choosing the right one. This article will help you distinguish exactly what you need from the wide variety of choice available on the Internet right now.

Setting Up a Family Budget Template

When it comes to budgeting, the more specific the budget is, the better the results will be. All of the family income should be assigned a purpose in the budget, be it to cover some expense, to be saved, or to be invested. In addition, if the expense categories are broken down in detail, you will have a better chance to spend money exactly as desired – based on plans rather than impulses. With a more detailed budget, you also have a better overview of exactly which type of expenses were bigger or smaller than the budgeted amounts. Thus, when you are looking for the perfect family budget template, make sure that it includes all the expense categories that are relevant to you in greater detail. For example, taking care of small children, teenagers or elderly family members all have their specific type of expenses that will reoccur on a regular basis. You have a much better chance of allocating money well and sticking to the budget if the family budget template has big family expenses like child care broken down into more detail.

The next thing to consider when looking for budgeting templates is the period of time the template is intended for. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly budget templates are all available, and it is up to you to decide which type of budget suits your needs best. You don’t have to choose only one – since they are very different, yearly budgets can be used in combination with weekly or monthly ones. Monthly budgets are most commonly used, probably because the budgeting doesn’t need to be done too often – only once a month – and many expenses like bills, rent and mortgage come on a monthly basis. On the other hand, weekly budgets can be very useful for special occasions, such as when you are traveling or doing something out of your regular routine. Yearly budget templates pay special attention to income and expenses that occur once a year, such as taxes, tax returns, insurance, and similar. You can use the information from the yearly budget and incorporate the costs and income in your monthly budgets as well. Thus, there are several types of a family budget template that can be used for different purposes.

The right family budget template will make your life much easier. We are generally speaking never told how to manage our funds and spending. This is often something we have to learn the hard way and by ourselves. The fact that you are already looking into a family budget template is a good start and you will learn a lot from our website. I know several people who have to purchase their morning coffee outdoors and even though for them it is pennies, if you do this every single morning you will find that you waste a lot of money on something you could have done yourself for much cheaper at home. Now if you have a family, you are looking into many individual habits that could add up significally over the course of a month or even year. Being frugal has not much to do with being cheap but at the same time it means appreciating money and being thoughtful with it.
Every single penny counts

Here you find: an outstanding Family Budget Recommendation

The main reason why it is so important to choose the right family budget template is that budgeting can be quite challenging in the beginning. Many people find it frustrating to find out that it is not easy to anticipate the correct amount for all kinds of expenses. However, if the budget is tailored to your needs and provides sufficient detail, it will be easier to anticipate expenses. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much time customizing the family budget template, thus you need to start with one that includes most of the things you spend on and one you could fill in relatively easily. Filling in the budget template can be quite time-consuming at first, but that is the necessary cost of better spending and saving habits. If it was easy enough to do in our heads, there wouldn’t be a need for it in the first place! As it is, it is not easy to do these approximations in our heads – with everything else going on in our lives, it is be easy to lose focus. So why take on all that mental stress of planning and then retrieving information, when a computer could easily do it for you? Try to keep in mind that there is a learning curve when it comes to budgeting – within a few months you will probably feel like an expert compared to your friends who have never used such tools. When they see how much you have benefited from using a family budget, they will be begging for your advice and your family budget template!

Make a Cash Envelope System Wallet Printable Template

Cash envelope systems are generally very helpful and represents a very useful tool to include within your budget estimation. All you really need are some envelopes, a marker and some time. Each envelope is dedicated to it's own specific purpose and should be respected accordingly. If you have an emergency envelope, and you notice that it is becoming full, don't touch it unless there is an actual emergency which we all know can come up at any given time. In case you need a christmas fund, make yourself an envelope just for that and keep in mind, there is no purpose to little that does not deserve it's own cash envelope. Make sure that you keep these envelopes somewhere safe and if you are uncomfortable with keeping cash in your house, then it may be best to talk to your local bank to see if they store your evelopes in a safe deposit box for you.
Saving for something specific can be quite motivational

If you are an avid listener to American financial author, Dave Ramsey’s show, you will most definitely know of the cash envelope system. In a nutshell, for the cash envelope system, you take several envelopes, label them, and put your money in. Just several days ago, we posted about how to get started with a cash envelope system, right here on Budget Pronto. That post will explain the basics of the system. If you already have a budget in place and want to learn how to make a cash envelope system wallet, you’re in the right place.

Dave Ramsey’s cash envelopes are a huge discussion in the personal finance industry. The popularity of the system has grown exponentially over the past few years, really saving many Americans hard-earned cash. With the success of the envelope system caused a huge market of cash envelopes to buy. You can go ahead and buy a nice little envelope or you can use a cash envelope printout.

There are many ways to make-your-own neat envelope. Be as creative as you want! These are your envelopes and you should really do with them as you please. You may choose functionality over beauty or you may even figure out a way to balance the two. It is really up to your personal preferences… and as you use the envelopes, your preferences may change.

Money Envelope Template

This cash envelope system template can be printed and used personally. This is one of the easiest money saving ideas which just requires you to have your budget already written out. You may create an cash envelope for every category and every item in your budget. All you have to do is keep track of your deposits into the envelope and also any withdrawls made as this is essential. Your may print this out as often as needed.
Printable Cash Envelope Template
Click here for a more detailed solution
There are many cash saving ideas out there but none are as easy as the cash envelope system. With your budget in place and an idea of what you need to save for you can set up your envelopes and watch them grow. Recording your deposits into each envelope and only using them for their specific purposes keeps you in check and worry free. Everyone can benefit from this type of system as long as they know that the envelopes are in a safe place. Never leave your cash envelope system laying around where just anyone can find it. You have to make sure that all of your family is included in saving money and that everyone knows how important it is and how vital it is that these envelopes not be touched for any reason other than their intended purpose. If you see that the envelopes are getting too full, you should open up a savings account with a bank book that shows how much was in each envelope. Once the money is in the bank, you will have to keep a manual record of your deposits for each "envelope". You could of course open seperate savings accounts for each purpose through the bank but, you will have to find a bank with the least amount of fees.
Setting Up A Cash Envelope System Is Easy

This template is basic black and white. It may not be the prettiest envelope you have ever seen, but it’s functional and it’s pretty dang good at holding a wad of cash. The template is a .jpg file, ready to be printed. It’s not PDF or a Word document, but those file types are not really necessary.

How to construct the template

To begin the process of creating your own cash management envelope, you must first print the template out. You can do this by right clicking the image above and then clicking ‘save to desktop’. From the desktop, you should locate the image file and then print it out. The template should fit correctly on 8.5×11 paper but your computer settings may change that.

When it is properly printed out, it is time to start the fun! Pull out your preferred method of slicing paper and then begin to cut along the bold outside line of the template. When that is done, you can throw away, save, or recycle the outside scrap paper.

The dotted lines are for folding! Fold the four tabs inwards at the dotted line, one at a time. You can fold more than one at a time but that requires skills that I haven’t even acquired yet… and I’ve been doing this for years!

Once all the sides are creased, you want to fold inwards the bottom and the small side flap. When those are folded inwards, you take the largest flap and fold it to make contact with the bottom and side flap. Now it’s time for the glue or tape! Mend the two halves of the paper together. Make sure to leave the top flap (the category side) unsealed. This will be how you add and remove money from the envelope.

How to use the envelope

Now that you have fully constructed the envelope (and maybe decorated it), it is time to put the envelope to use. You will most likely need to have multiple envelopes, as each one is for an individual category. Groceries, hobby, entertainment, clothing are examples of the types of categories that you will have. Check out this post on using a cash envelope money management system to learn how to implement your envelope into daily routine.

How to decorate the envelope

As I stated before, the decoration is totally up to you. Each and every wallet can be unique! Since I go through about 10 of these envelopes per month, I like involving the family in creating them. We sit down after dinner, take out the coloring supplies, and get to work!

My favorite decorated cash envelope was when my good friend decorated his ‘groceries’ category envelope with confetti from the New Year’s party.

It’s possible that Dave Ramsey has advice on how he likes to color his envelopes! Maybe you should ask him?

5 Places in the United States to Visit on a Budget

Yes, it’s possible. You can visit every single one of these locations for a little more money than the average paycheck. While you plan your vacation on a budget, remember to make the plan about a frugal lifestyle vacation. Live life and go on an adventure. Explore the United States. Start with this list of my top 5 picks of places you can visit on a budget. Don’t believe me? Check it out!

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is not only the capital of Utah, it is also Utah's biggest city. Salt Lake City is bordered by the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. The city is known for its world class skiing and powdery snow. Besides having some of the most wonderful slopes, Salt Lake’s walkable streets offer much vibrant nightlife, great food and welcoming locals. So if you like visiting historic places, hiking in the outdoors or simply touring any of Salt Lake's numerous museums, this city has plenty to offer a frugal vacationer on a budget. You can get to many of the cities best sights without having to pay for parking or cabs by using the TRAX light rail in the downtown SLC free fare zone. There are many free things to do in Salt Lake City as well as many more budget friendly activities in the area. Examples are to take a tour of Temple Square. The site was selected by Mormon settlers and construction took 40 years to complete. It is the focal point of Salt Lake’s street system and visitors come here to see the beautiful tulip gardens.
Discover the “Crossroads of the West” in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah!

The city is in a mountain valley within the Wasatch Mountains at both the North and East sides of the valley. The Mountain Time Zone is what time zone Utah is in and the state uses Daylight Savings Time. It is not rare for Salt Lake City to be referred to as the best travel and business location in the United States. With its beautiful views of the mountains, fantastic architechture and rich history there are many free things to see and do and many more that will not cost a family much. There are many RV parks and campgrounds in the area. Known as the “Crossroads of the West” it holds a great part of American history and should not be missed.  The best part is that you’re able to visit Salt Lake on a budget.

Jacksonville, Florida

Of the many places I have visited, I loved Jacksonville, Florida the most. There are so many places to go and interesting things to see in the area that it is hard to say what I loved there the most. Something I have done for years was to keep an eye out for frugal family fun. My most wonderful memories come seem to come from places we visited or things that we have done that were either free or did not cost much at all. Some mentionable things in this area that a family on a budget will appreciate are: The Jacksonville Fishing Pier - this wonderful pier juts out into the ocean for an entire mile and while it is not a free attraction it is within anyone's budget as pedestrians pay $1, kids under 6 can fish for free and other anglers pay only $4 per person. The Tree Hill Nature Center is a fantastic place to spend the day walking trails, looking at animals, flowers, butterflies and much more - it will cost $4 for adults, $3 for students or seniors and $2 for young children, bring a picnic lunch and some drinks and your day is planned.
Take a look at Jacksonville, Florida for a fantastic vacation on a budget!

Jacksonville is one of the larger cities in Florida. It is located where the St. John’s River hits the Atlantic Ocean. There are many nationwide events that occur in Jacksonville each year, making it one of the best cities to travel to for golf courses, beaches, and other fun activities.  Whether you are looking forward to the blue skies, the fresh ocean air or a stroll along one of it’s artsy historic districts, Jacksonville has something to offer every frugal traveller but, we should also mention that southern rock was created there. Jacksonville, Florida would be an absolutely fantastic place to visit when you’re living a frugal lifestyle.

Visit Washington DC on a budget??

I absolutely loved Washington DC. I shared a hotel room with a work collegue and the two of us were all over that city. The Smithsonian Museums are all free and it literally would take days to see them all. You can take free walking tours (you can pay if you feel like it however much you want) you can watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you can walk the historic district where the streets are made of cobblestone and the houses are all colorful. If you go there in the Spring you will be able to walk the streets with the smell of Cherry Blossoms filling the air - make sure to check for The Tidal Basin Cherry Blossom Festival as there is always free fireworks displays and free music to be heard. Not only is this the Nation's Capital but it is full of frugal fun for the entire family.
Washington DC is beautiful by day or night!

A bit ago I traveled to Washington DC and it was an incredible experience to say the least. For less than $2000, I was toured around the city, had a nice hotel room, meals, and seminars as well as a ‘mock congressional’ activity for an entire week. If you are able to join a group that goes on vacations together, they will most likely go to Washington DC frequently. With so many historic sites to see you will always remember your time in the Nation’s Capitol. Needless to say, if you can see all of The Smithsonian Museums in a few days, it is time well spent as they are fantastic and just the size of all the buildings is awe inspiring.

Orlando, Florida

If you are looking to save money and take a vacation on a budget, one of the most wonderful places in the US for this is Orlando Florida. There are so many free or nearly free activities in this area to keep you busy on your frugal lifestyle vacation. Make sure to make a calendar detailing all of the free musical festival dates so you can enjoy the fresh air and be entertained. Your vacation on a budget will be a hit with the whole family if you, shop around, or even re-negotiate with your current travel agency. You can go one step further with this by looking for what are known as “vacation packages” that are all inclusive. For instance, when shopping for deals you can often make large savings by tying them up all together. For many reasons, orlando, florida is a great choice and definitely worth to consider as a valuable option taken as the frugal lifestyle vacation idea. You and your budget may be able to secure large discounts by putting your flight, hotel, Disney tickets and car rental all through one company. Larger chain hotels and car rental companies will often give you a certain percentage off their price for having a multi-service contract with them. As far as inexpensive places go, I've seen accomodations online for as low as just $29 dollars per evening per person. Travelling cheap is a good and smart way to save money while gaining quality experiences and building memories.
The Magical Experiences In Orlando, Florida As A Frugal Lifestyle Vacation

Orlando is a city in central Florida. It has a population of about a quarter million a few years back.  Every year there are fantastic vacation deals to be found for Orlando. Take your family on a Disney vacation and visit Orlando. You will have to do your homework on this vacation to find the best prices for the Disney Park but, it can be done frugally. There are many out of the way places for lodging and here it might be a good idea to look for an AirB&B so you can cook to save on some expenses. While it may not be the cheapest place to visit, you can still take a frugal lifestyle on vacation and it will be money well spent. Orlando is one of the most magical cities for budgeting travelers and should not be missed.

Chicago, Illinois

Sometimes there are places which offer different services but you can still bundle them. It is not unusual for the big brand named businesses to offer TV, broadband and phone lines all together in one package as they are all delivered the same way, either via cable or satellite. Chicago is a greate destination for frugal travel. Overall, it pays to keep on top of your household bills by staying organized with your contracts for household goods and services. Saving money is not as hard as you may think when you make a note of all of the contract outgoings and when they are due to expire. You’ll be glad at the end of the year when you see how many hundreds of dollars or pounds you have saved by following this very simple method and Chicago will help you to save a little money along the road.
Windy Or Not, Chicago Remains A Prime Frugal Destination

Chicago is a city in the great state of Illinois. If you are an architectural student or love architecture, then you will know that Chicago is a city known for its strong architecture and skyline. The city is also known for its stunning arrangement of museums and places to visit.  No matter where you visit – remember to research the area for budget friendly deals on entertainment, meals, accomodations and any tickets you might need.  If possible beforehand, chat with locals online about where to shop for the best prices, where to find the best (and cheapest) tickets for any events that might be happening in the area and which restaurants the locals go to for their frugal lifestyle. Locals in any city are aware of these things because, like you, they want to save money.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

For the experienced frugal minded traveller, Fort Lauderdale, Florida has many activities to offer that will not break the bank. If you are into fun in the sun or relaxing at the beach or a hotel pool, this is definitely one place you cannot afford to miss. There is always some sort of free activity happening on the streets and near the beach. You should always keep your budget in mind when travelling and behave as the locals do. Local people know where to shop, eat, drink and how to go about getting the best prices on things that are for sale in their town. It is always good to find a local person who will give you valuable information so that you wind up paying the local prices and not the tourist price!
Sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida has much to offer in the way of budget friendly entertainment!

Next on my list is Fort Lauderdale. This is the location that I hope to retire to one day. The stunning coast and miles of canals are very appealing for older aged people. If you are a boating enthusiast or want to eventually buy a boat; Fort Lauderdale is the place to be. There is great weather all year long and it features upscale restaurants, luxury boutiques and hotels. Similar to Chicago, Fort Lauderdale has some of the most interesting museums you could ever ask for. If you do your research and budget right, you’ll be able to visit Fort Lauderdale and enjoy a frugal vacation.

See our ultimate guide right here

How to Implement a Cash Envelope System

 

The only hard thing about implementing a cash envelope system is making sure you stick to it. With the right mindset and determination to save money, this type of system can be very lucrative. To keep you from overspending your "allowance" you can set a daily limit that you are allowed to spend. In case of a true emergency, I have a $50.00 folded into a square and tucked away deep in my pocketbook, so deep in fact, I am sure it would take me a good ten minutes to find it. That aside, I have my normal, usable cash directly where I can find it, in case I need something throughout my day. Need is the key word here. If I do not need something, that money stays right where it is and is considered a savings later. Just by keeping track of mindless spending and being more frugal, which means more thoughtful about the use of money or resources, one can build up a savings in no time.
Start saving money through a Cash Envelope System – its quick and easy!

There you are, sitting in the drive thru at Starbucks. You already placed your order and they are making your venti caramel Frappuccino. You start searching through your wallet, gathering as many coins as possible. Unfortunately, you are a dollar and three cents short. It strikes you! You don’t have enough cash to pay for your delicious drink. That venti caramel Frappuccino…  In guilt, you pull out your credit card and pay for the drink with plastic. You just added more debt into your life. All this stress could have been avoided by using cash. Specifically, all of this could’ve been avoided by implementing a cash envelope system.

Implementing a Cash Envelope System

Set the budget.

So you’ve decided that it’s time to have a money system in place. With a budget that is properly adjusted, you’re months will seem so much easier. Your days will seem much less stressful. You know how much money you have and there is no way to spend more than necessary.

Incomes vary from person-to-person. It is up to you to figure out an amount that you are comfortable spending each month. This amount will then be divided into multiple categories.

Pick the cash categories.

It’s important to budget correctly for categories such as groceries.

The different cash categories are arguably the most important part of the cash envelope system. The categories are the framework of the system. To pick your categories, sit down with a pen and paper and record a list of all the expenses you have throughout the month. Start thinking! When I was first creating my system, my categories were as follows:

  • Automobile costs
  • Childcare
  • Rent
  • Groceries (mmm food)
  • Club Fees
  • Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Savings

In the same way that income varies, the categories will be different depending on who you are and what you do. Do you really like Starbucks? You can create a separate envelope dedicated to that.

Keep in mind that mortgage payments, rent, or just about anything that you’re only going to be paying once do not need to have envelopes.

The best cash envelope system available right here

Make or buy the cash envelopes.

Budgeting with a cash envelope system is great for many reasons. It keeps you from using plastic and putting yourself more into debt. It teaches you to be more thoughtful about how you spend the cash you have. It allows you to know with a glance that your expenses are covered and just how much you have saved at any given point. This is a fantastic idea for someone at the beginning of a frugal lifestyle journey and you might find that it helps you so much and gives you so much control over your available cash that you keep doing this for life. Many people are using the cash envelope system today - some may use it like we said and some may have other ways of doing it. However you decide to use your envelopes - use them. Using them is the key to saving.
You will have your Piggie Bank full in no time by using budget cash envelopes!

The envelopes themselves are also super important. You’ll want one envelope for each category that you come up with. I’ve seen many people create their own envelopes out of office paper. Of course, you can just go online and buy the cash envelopes.

You’ll be stuck with these envelopes for a long time. You want them pretty, you want them perfect. Most of all, you want them to be functional. With making your own envelope, you are able to make it just the way you want it to be.

You can even do things like placing an index card on the front of the envelope and record all the transactions in and out of the envelope. At the beginning of the month you might put in $300, so you can record that as a transaction going in. As you spend, you record the money leaving the envelope. This way, you don’t need to constantly count how much money you have left!

Spend and adjust.

Your first month with your awesome envelopes will not be perfect. I know that mine wasn’t and nor were the experiences I’ve heard from family and friends. It takes time to get used to having limits. I highly recommend that you keep a notebook by your envelopes. You can use this as a personal journal; record the flaws and the positives of the system. What do you like most about it? What would you change?

If you felt that a certain envelope needed a bit of extra money, you should write that down. At the start of the next month, you can easily change around the cash that each envelope gets.

It is super important to enjoy your money. If a particular category feels like too much of a restriction, nothing is stopping from changing just how big that restriction is.

As the months pass, you will gradually adjust certain aspects of the system, making it your very own. One system might not work for another person, so having an individualize envelope system is crucial to making it work for you.

Benefits of Using Cash Envelopes

Spend Less Money

This is probably one of the major benefits of the cash envelope system. It is simply impossible to go over budget and it controls your mindless spending. With the system you are able to truly understand how much money you have. You realize how much money that you waste.

You don’t have to spend all the money in your envelope. In fact, you really shouldn’t. At the end of the month, you can take the remaining cash and put it into savings, investments, or grow your emergency fund.

Simplest Budgeting System

A cash envelope budget can be so easy. Most people figure out how much cash they can have for an allowance they have to get them from paycheck to paycheck. I go a step further with this and set a daily limit and have my allowance split up into envelopes that are marked with the days of the week. If I do not spend my daily allowance, I leave it in the envelope for that particular day in the following week. In that way, I have some idea of how much I am able to put into my savings envelope just from this source on a daily basis. When I add money into my "savings" envelope at the end of the week, I make sure to note where that money came from. If I have different sources of money going in, each source gets its own deposit line. In this way, you can track exactly where your money came from and you will know where your best sources for saving come from. If you save money during your weekly trip to the store, any extra should be deposited into savings with a deposit note showing it was from the weekly grocery budget.
Cash Envelope Budgeting Made Easy

The reason why the whole cash envelope thing is so popular is because of its simplicity. Anyone can understand the basic principles of the system. There are no advanced spreadsheets; your budget will not be adjusting throughout the month.

What you have is a handful of envelopes. It’s a very tactile concept. You spend an hour setting up your wallets, and it’s good for the rest of the month. It’s all about setting and forgetting.

Impossible to Go Over Budget

As I said previously, it is impossible to go over budget. Everyone will have different meanings of “going over budget”, but for me I am able to stick to how much I put into the wallet. Of course, it is very possible to add some more cash ‘magically’ to your wallet, but cheating is no fun. You are only cheating yourself.

Controls your Mindless Spending

When you look at your money inside the wallet, you realize that you do not have as much as you originally thought. Having a credit card in your hand and having a $20 bill in your hand comes with two entirely different mentalities. With the credit card you are just spending an invisible number, with cash you can see and you actually physically spend the money.


Envelope Budgeting in Conclusion

It’s a great idea and you will not regret doing it. If you follow advice given by Budget Pronto and others around the web, you should have a fairly solid system set up in a few days.

Critically think! Some things may work for you and not work for others. Create something that you enjoy, as life is meant to be enjoyed and loving.

Go ahead, start your cash envelope system. What’s holding you back?

Business Budget Template – Best Free Templates

No Longer do you need to Search at the library for books to copy a Business Budget Template.
One of the most essential basics for businesses is to know how much you and each individual employee within your workplace is spending. For the purpose to obtain a very good understanding and overview we highly recommend the use of our free business budget template which you can print out. The best free template is a template that makes it easy for you to quickly work with and will benefit your business greatly. There can be potentially endless expenses with any business and it is most important to keep track of everything going in and out. Having an outstanding overview with the use of templates is vital and will make it easy for your accountant, if you have one, to look at as well. Needless to say, make using this part of your routine and over time you will find all of the gathered information helpful to make some further decisions when it comes to your own business. In most cases, businesses have a limited budget and you may as well know precisely about your given situation.
Save money by using a Business Budget Template

It may be a mystery, so what exactly is a business budget template? The best budget templates are spreadsheets that are able to be printed and modified by multiple people in different ways. The template can be made and used in excel or other spreadsheet software such as Google Drive. A business budget template can also be a PDF or other file types. I do not recommend using anything other than a Google Drive or Excel spreadsheet, although that is just up to personal opinion. These templates can be utilized on just about any operating system such as Mac, Windows and various Linux distributions. A free excel template can be used for any level of business, whether it’s a moms-and-pops, a medium sized or a larger business.

Let me keep this simple… you NEED a business template, spreadsheet or worksheet. You are missing out on the growth and prosperity of your business if you are not using one. A template will assist you in deciding if you can grow your business. With a properly configured business budget template you can also see if you are able to give yourself or another employee a raise without affecting the business greatly. There could be extra money on the table that doesn’t need to be there but, you would not know it without a good budget template where you can see your facts and figures at a glance. Another benefit is growth. With a template, you can figure out if you’re able to comfortably purchase additional assets. And the greatest reason of all is the survival of your business. It can potentially save you from bankruptcy; don’t let your business fall into the trap of disorder, take the time to track everything with a budget and make sure you add or subtract on a daily or weekly basis.

The best business budget template available right here

Here’s one word that you or your employees never want to hear: bankrupt. By not having a business budget template configured, you are letting your business slowly cease to exist. It will be slipping into the red bit-by-bit and before you know it; you’ll be broke with no more money in your accounts. You can prevent over hiring by seeing if you’re truly able to afford more employees. You can also prevent having too much inventory and having too many assets at once. One of the main causes of failure is rapid growth that isn’t sustainable. So in short, without a business budget template, your business can become unstable and you will not make enough money to sustain it, you or your employees and the structure will fall apart. You should never want to hear the words “you are bankrupt”.

With all of this talk, where can you find a business budget template that is suitable for you and your business? I originally found mine online, it worked great and did almost exactly what I wanted it to do. However, as my businesses grew it became apparent that I needed to hire someone to customize it. So there is another option, you could hire someone to make one for you (An option you won’t regret in the future). You can also find great templates that are inexpensive by following some of the links on this site. If you are comfortable using spreadsheets, you should also considering spending some time and create one for yourself. The good thing about creating one is that, you can customize each field to your specific needs and save it. Once it is saved, if needed remotely you can have it on a cloud server so that everyone who needs access can see exactly how the business is going or add information to it at any given time. There are some great tutorials out there to create one suitable for you.

When it comes to any business budget it always a good idea to start by obtaining an overview on all of your income sources to see how much money on average you bring in on a monthly basis. Look at your fixed and variable expenses as detailed as possible and attempt to predict your future expenses accordingly. Ideally, when it comes to expenses, you would create two lists; one-time expenses and all ongoing recurring expenses that your business has. All of this will ultimately help you to establish a very solid understanding of your financial state with your business which you will take into consideration when laying out your business model and adjust your pricing. These figures then become extremely valuable information when it comes to your future expenses. Your business budget template will help you and in itself, it is a document to estimate your general income and expenses. Your goal is to create a profitable business and a proper business budget plan will ensure that you look at your business from every perspective while focusing on what is most important.
Tax time and you need the best business budget template

This is great, you now have a business budget template and you are ready to implement it into your workflow. There is only one small issue… you have no idea how to even use it correctly. The best ways to learn how to use a template is to read the instructions that came along with the file. If there is not one, you could find a video on YouTube or learn how to do it yourself or you can ask someone you know who is fluent with the program you have chosen. Once you figure out how to use a budget template, the next step is to update it periodically. This means all of your income and debits should be recorded in a timely manner. If you are very busy, you might consider doing this at the close of business every day. If you fall behind your budgets will be off. Remember to follow the template and get the entries into the correct places or your account balances will be off. To truly get ahead in any business, a good owner needs to know exactly what is going on and have a plan for growth or advancement in the market that he/she is in or even a plan for expanding into other markets that are profitable. A good business plan is only as good as the owner’s business budget template.

Once you get your monthly budget template integrated within the structure of your business, there are some best practices you can follow to use it effectively. The number one tip that I have for you is to not forget about it. This means opening it on a set schedule to remind yourself of what your business goals are and how you’re supposed to reach those future goals. Remember to use it to help aid in decision making! Not all decisions can be guess work; it would be wise to consider the numbers within your template. With that being said, you shouldn’t depend on it entirely. Bill Gates didn’t make Microsoft what it is today by following a free excel budget template. My last tip is to have someone manage it for you if it takes up too much time or your business is growing too large. I’ve had friends who’ve hired virtual accountants to help manage their finances who have had great success. You might find it necessary to hire someone locally to keep better track of your information.

In conclusion, a business budget template is something necessary that every successful business should have. You need a template because it will help you grow your business to reachable goals. You will be growing in small steps, then leaps and bounds by following carefully calculated numbers. Not having a budget template is an unnecessary risk to take, especially for something as important as a business. You can get a template online or you could even hire someone to make a customized one for you. It would take another thousand articles to truly list how much of a benefit my templates have been to me.

Online Budget Calculator: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Gathering a full understanding of your budget can be quite challenging but it does not have to be. It is about setting some time aside to use helpful tools which will point out your financial stands. Our online budget calculator will help you to identify your budget and when used as a starting point, it will provide you with priceless information. You probably have many new ideas and approaches personally and maybe even with your business which is completely fine but of course, it helps to know all of the numbers, be it negative or positive. Leave no stone unturned and get all of the required bills, receipts and statements to include within your budget calculations. Use our calculator and determine your individual budget and in case you have an accountant, ask him or her to look over your calculations.
A good online budget calculator can help you keep things in order.

Even the greatest online budget calculator is no longer private; the best ones are often ones that are for public use. An online budget calculator has multiple uses; some of which include saving you money and assisting in debt reduction. Not using a budget calculator is a huge mistake. Often times a computer will make less calculation mistakes than a human calculating a budget will. The quality of the online calculator is something that someone should keep their eyes peeled for. If the calculator is not programmed correctly, it could make a monstrous mess of your perfect budget. Budgeting is most definitely one of the best ways to keep your finances on track; and an online budget calculator will help with budget creation. Using such tools will also enable you to properly prepare for your future economic endeavors. There is no reason for you to not start using one of these tools today. It could save you money and most importantly time. These three that we have listed below may just be the best option for you.

Before we list out what calculators we’ve picked, it would be wise to tell of just where we’ve found them. These calculators below were found using several different sources. One of the ways that we utilized was being referred to the calculators via email. Awhile back on our social media accounts we asked our users to send in recommendations for their pick of the best calculator. Every recommendation was written down and taken into account when determining the final list of three. We also searched ourselves, reading through articles and adding the calculators to a master list. We have even received a few recommendations through word-of-mouth at conferences. The longevity of these tools were also important in our search for the top three and of all three of these calculators, we’ve heard of numerous success stories.

Of the hundreds of online budget calculators, there were many differences. However, there were just a few universal specifications by which we sorted them by. The very first thing that we looked for in a particular application was the value and ‘bang for your buck’. It was very important that these calculators were free to use so that many people can utilize them. Another major key that we searched for was the usefulness of the calculators. What would be the point of listing them if they were not even a tad bit useful to our readers? Flexibility was the third factor that we used to determine the best of the best. The calculators need to be able to be used on multiple different devices, including computer and smartphone. It is also a bonus if these calculators are able to be edited to your needs with ease; such as adding additional financial fields. The final thing that we were looking for was the trustworthiness of the source. These calculators need to be secure do to the nature of the information that they’ll be processing.

ONLINE BUDGET CALCULATORS

1. Schwab MoneyWise: Monthly Budget Calculator

Schwab makes some of the best financial tools in the industry. If you are looking to do any type of financial calculation, it would be wise to use Schwab’s MoneyWise line of free online tools. The majority of the tools supplied by Schwab are free of charge; however some tools may require for you to have an account. This tool is great because it offers a wide expanse of fields to add information too. Some of these fields include: Income, education, health, and more. Another great addition to this tool that is rare to see on other calculators of this sort is Schwab’s addition of a percent of total box. One drawback to this great tool is the inability to add custom fields and expenses. There are just a set amount of fields to fill and that is all you get, no more, no less.

You can see from this picture an example of one of the online budget calculators. It shows a variety of fields that you just have to customize a bit and put in your budget calculations. Keep in mind that this particular calculator has a limited number of fields so, while you are looking around for the best budget calculator for your business, make doubly sure that there are enough fields for you to complete your business budget calculations before you begin using any business budget calculator. There is nothing more time consuming than configuring your budget and nothing will make your life easier than the ease of the right budget calculator for your needs. You should be sure that you have enough fields before you begin so you do not waste your time entering information into fields and then later figure out that you do not have enough entry fields for your particular budget.
Schwab Online Monthly Budget Calculator

The screen-cap above is of the Schwab Monthly Budget Calculator. This is undoubtedly one of the cleanest looking calculators in the field. With several different fields to put your finances into, calculations are accurate and a breeze.

 

2. Bankrate: Budgeting Calculator

This tool by Bankrate can be found on the savings calculator area of the Bankrate website. This particular tool that they offer is free of charge. There are several things that are great about this tool; although it is not the absolute best. One major advantage of this tool is the longevity of it. In 5 years if you find yourself needing a tool of this nature, you’re sure to find that the Bankrate calculator is still up and operating. However, this is also a drawback. The tool is quickly becoming outdated. The calculator itself is created in basic HTML and is not keeping up with the standards.

This particular online calculator may not be the best for your business as it is very basic and geared more towards personal use but, if your business is small or you are just starting out, this may be an option for you. Some of the perks that come with this calculator is that it belongs to a large banking institution and it will always be found and available to use for free. While it is free to use, again it has limitations but, it is also possible that it gets an update if the bank receives enough requests. You can use it they way it is for now, upgrade to a model that is better for you when you outgrow it but remember to check back after some time to keep looking for the best budget calculator that works for you and your business.
Bankrate Online Budget Calculator

A bit outdated, the Bankrate budgeting calculator is still known to get the job done. This is a key tool in anyone’s frugal lifestyle.

 

3. Federal Student Aid Calculator

The third item on our list is the Federal Student Aid Calculator made available at the education government website. The calculator is 100% free of charge and is made available to anyone who wishes to use it. This particular calculator is so great because it is created and distributed to the public via governmental websites. This means that is is almost guaranteed to be more accurate than any random calculation device that you find online. Much like the calculator made by Bankrate, this online budget calculator is becoming outdated. In order to use the tool, you must have JavaScript enabled in your browser; creating some potential security threats.

This online budget calculator is pretty basic but the good news is that it is always free to use. At the moment it is also an older version, using JAVA for its scripts so just keep that in mind when trying it out. If you have a newer browser on a newer computer, this may not be the right budget calculator for your needs. As with any big business, the Government tends to work a bit slower in replacing older technology only when it is deemed necessary. Keep checking back to see when they replace this if the new version works good for you or your employees. It might be a good idea to share your budgeting ideas with your employees while it is likely that they have not had help in this area before and could benefit from help in this area of their lives. I wish I had someone show me how to properly use an online budget calculator when I was younger and working for someone else.
Governmental Financial Aid Calculator

Finally, the online budget calculator provided by the United States government. This calculator is in dire need of an updated interface, but the power of it is still there.


With all of this information spewed out onto the table, where does this leave you? You will need to determine which one you should pick. You could even potentially use multiple online budgeting calculators, but we would not advise you to do that because it opens you up for human error. You should pick the calculator that fits the needs in your life. Remember that the negatives of the three calculators listed above may just be an advantage to you; it all depends on how you look at it.

How to Create a Budget – Basic Budgeting 101

The main purpose of a budget is to determine and estimate the financial situation of any personal or commercial entity. Generally, a budget is a long-term document which contains all of the needed information which enables short-term as well as long-term predications so that one can track set goals accordingly. A budget in the realms of finances is a very powerful tool and also provides a solid overview about the functions of each business and can be seen a a blueprint to move forward. It is a fundamental element to the any master budget. Usually budgets are planned for an entire year but often include many more predications, many years into the future. Good financial budgets always reflect the businesses goals and objectives as part of the overall strategic plan and play a important role when it comes to a business action plan. Keep in mind that a cash budget, a budget balance sheet, sales and production budgets are just as important to establish. Creating a financial budget is quite easy and with the help of our website you will be able to easily develop budgets that are tailored to you and your business.
Budgeting 101 – How to Create a Budget

Have you ever wondered how to go about creating a basic budget? Whether it’s for your business or for your family, a budget is very important. A budget that is properly configured and followed can be a blessing in your life. Being able to allocate the extra money to fun or productive activities or even a savings account is a major benefit of budgeting. I learned how to create a budget several years ago and this knowledge has treated me very well. Every month I reassess and keep my budget up to date. If you want to learn how I create my own budgets… read on!

Learn How to Create a Budget

Welcome to Budgeting 101 kids. My first step to success is to figure out what you consider your end goal. What are you trying to achieve with budgeting? A large family trip, an emergency fund, paying down debt or an extra home in your portfolio, it all depends on what you want and when you want it. Generally, it’s not enough to say “I want extra money”, you must set a static amount to track the progress. Create a list of the top three things you want this year. By doing this you can figure out what types of end goals you have and also see how realistic these goals are as a group or individually.

Now that you know what your ultimate purpose of creating a budget is; it’s time to set a goal. Usually I have one or two separate goals each month. Goals can be anything from eating out less to putting more of your paycheck into savings or investments. It’s truly up to you. Shoot hard to reach that goal, the feeling of accomplishment far surpasses any feelings of loss in fun or entertainment you might anticipate by putting yourself on a budget.

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. It is now time to create a budget. How do you do it? It’s really quite simple. I first like sitting down with a notebook, a few different colored pens (I love variety), and my laptop. I figure out what my current finances are and write them down. Next, I write down what kind of payments I need to make that month and how much those will cost. Any expenses you have should go on the paper. The next step is to write down your income. Now do some math and subtract everything from your income and figure out how much money you have left. If you have no money left and are in the negative, it may be time to reconfigure your monthly expenditure. Do you really need that $200 a month cable plan?

One of the first things to realize is that everyone of us struggles because of subscriptions that we do not need, gym memberships that we do not use or by spending money thoughtlessly. If you were to reign in your spending by creating a budget and changing a few of your spending habits, you would see an immediate and positive change in your financial situation. Thousands of people are stopping off to pick up a quick coffee or a cold pop with crushed ice every single day. I am not saying quit this entirely but, what I am saying is that if you were to follow a basic budget and do this once a week instead of every day, you would see an immediate improvement in the amount of money you would be able to save every week. Budgeting 101 is just getting an idea of how to create a budget that is not only realistic but doable in your busy life.

Creating a budget is easier than most think but the foundation of creating a budget is to know your current finances well. At first, it is vital to obtain a deep understanding of your financial situation, know your numbers and then you can start considering putting some money aside for the purpose of having a budget. In this article, we will look at a variety of ways on how you can develop a budget easily. It all starts with knowing your net income and tracking your spending. Take all of the information to make a long-term plan and if appropriate adjust your spending habits. Once you established a plan, make sure to keep track of the plan itself to ensure you will, in fact, reach your goal of creating a budget.
Basic Budgeting Skills For A Lifetime

Having a deadline and milestones is what I would consider the most important part of this all. A deadline for your budgeting will light a metaphorical fire under your butt that’ll keep you on the right track. At least that is how it works out for me. Keep a daily journal to write down your financial accomplishments each day and just what’s on your mind, this will help you to stay focused on your budget goals and it is a good habit to get into for many budgeting reasons. If you put all of the ideas on this website into practice,  they will help you achieve your financial goals and you will over time see to it that you have a worry free future. All it takes is a few minutes each day, dreams, goals and a budget.

How to create a budget made simple

Finally! You’ve reached your goal! Now you have some money to spend on repairing that car or fixing that heater or better yet, buying a home or going to a University. Whatever the end goal was for you, money comes and goes; so, don’t feel guilty about spending a few pennies here and there, just make sure to jot them down on your budget! If you find that you have been too loose in the allowance that you gave yourself, make sure you take a mental inventory and write down in your journal ideas that would help you to create a budget that is going to keep you more mindful of your spending by restricting the amount you allow yourself to spend on a daily or weekly basis. You can still spend money, you just should be aware of where you are spending it and how much you are spending when you do spend it and of course if it was budgeted into your calculations to be spent in the first place.

That was the quick rundown of how to create a budget for each month. This was fairly simple and a relatively short budgeting guide compared to the other articles in the basic budget field. The trick is to apply a twist and find a method of budgeting that works for you. Adapt your methods each month to get the most out of your budgeting efforts.

Budget WorkSheets: Where to get one and best practices

 Successful budgets help you to decide how to spend your money while doing your best to avoid any accumulations of debts or even debt at all. Proper budget worksheets will take all finance information into consideration and basically, all you need as far as input goes is income versus expenses. If you are a parent, college student, homeowner or retired person and need to save some money for something very specific that is coming up, you need to start by filling out a budget worksheet with your monthly income (wages and tax included). Next you would want to enter all of your expenses and if you do not precisely know where and what you are spending on a month to month basis, gather the proper information because, you will want the results to be as accurate as possible. Next you enter your expenses for your basic needs and include your rent or mortgage, your insurances, registration and parking fees or public transportation. Do not forget to include your basics such as your phone bill, utilities, gasoline and medical costs. Once you have the needs covered, move on to the wants which summed up include: clothing and jewellery, travel trips, leisure, entertainment, cinema and any memberships you may have. You also want to take a close look at your savings and debt repayment as this is one of the most important aspects of developing your budget goals through your spreadsheet. Budget worksheets are a great way to start establishing your financial overview and budgethub will help and assist you along the way.
Printed Free Budget Worksheet

A set of properly configured budget worksheets should be the main part of your personal finance management system. It is the main part of your budget. There is a vast ocean of different types of budget worksheets; but there are a select few that are the best for household and family use. Finding an average worksheet is easy; and it can take a skilled eye to find a great one. If you are skilled in many office programs you are also able to create your own budget spreadsheet if that is desirable. Whichever way you decide to go, a good budget will make your financial aspirations come true.

Budget sheets are just now becoming trendy as many people around the world are recovering from the financial crash. These budget sheets come with many different names; these include ‘worksheets’ and ‘spreadsheets’. They should not cost much money as there are literally thousands of reiterations available on the internet, some of which are free. By reading up on spreadsheets, you should also be able to create your own personalized budget sheet in a matter of hours.

Here are the best available budget worksheets 

Like previously stated, there are many different kinds of budget sheets available. In all of these types, there are a few things that you should keep your eyes peeled for. This list includes mobile compatibility, customization, simplicity, and collaboration readiness.

  • Mobile compatible – In this day and age you ideally want your budget worksheets to be compatible with the latest smartphone technology. By now, you most likely have a computer in your pocket that follows you everywhere. Make use of it and make sure your worksheet for your budget is set up to be compatible with your mobile device.
  • Customization – A lot of the older budget spreadsheets were static in nature. This was before many people knew how to use a computer, so the spreadsheets were unable to be edited correctly. Now, however, just about any financial worksheet that you download will be able to be edited. These can be edited in any spreadsheet software or PDF editor.
  • Simplicity – Another gigantic thing to search for in a budgeting spreadsheet is the simplicity. If it hurts your head just thinking about it, the worksheet is probably not the right decision. You’re going to be spending many days with the budget planner that you pick; so it would be in your best interest to make it a good one.
  • Collaboration capability – If there are going to be multiple people using the same budgeting worksheet with the same information loaded in; you will need to find one that is ready to be collaborated on with a number of trustworthy people. The number one option is to use Google Sheets to create and share a budgeting worksheet with your family.

HOW TO FIND BUDGET WORKSHEETS

Finding a free budget worksheet in today's world has never been easier. What is not so easy for most people is sticking to their financial guns regarding the goals they are setting through their budget worksheet once it has all been filled out. Ideally, a person would be able to find a budgeting spreadsheet or budgeting worksheet (however you want to call it, I use both words frequently as they are interchangeable) that you can download to your computer but still have access to from your smartphone to record on the go transactions in real time with a flick of the thumb and tick of the index finger. There are thousands of budget worksheets that you can download and print out to work with manually but, to me that is old school and probably not the most effecient use of time and resources. To save yourself time, energy, paper and ink, think digitally and look for a free budget spreadsheet that you can use with your cloud server.
Take Control Of Your Finances With Budget Worksheets

With all this talk about them, where can you find budgeting worksheets? You could contact someone to have one made just for your needs. If that is asking too much, you could explore BudgetHub a bit and check out some of the downloadable content that we link to or have to offer. Another common way is to ask one of your friends. You may not know it, but a very close friend or family member could just so be a budgeting enthusiast or a whiz on a variety of office or business computer programs. The last and most likely most common way is to simply search “free budget worksheets” online. Check the images, you should be able to find a fantastic printable worksheet or budget spreadsheet that you can work with either in paper form or one that works with your current computer set up.

If you get into the habit of using your budgeting worksheet frequently, it can help you to simplify your life. To start with, a budgeting worksheet or spreadsheet, will assist you in determining your goals in the first place. By having a place to record your financial information; you’ll be able to sit back and think about a financial goal that you might have. Once you have one set up and configured, it will help you stay on track. So many of us have a problem with being lazy or procrastination and a sheet could just be a remedy to that problem. You will also hold the ability to easily visualize your financial information. Many people fall into the life of just swiping a piece of plastic and getting in debt. With this, you could fix your problem. I myself have my debit and credit card send me notifications every time it is used, also whenever an online payment runs through my account (example is telephone/internet or the gas bill) I will also be notified. I like to sit down at the end of my day and spend about 10 minutes to make sure that all transaction notifications, both incoming and outgoing, are noted in my family budget worksheets.

As with anything, there are best practices that you should follow when you start using your budgeting sheet. Our number one, easy to do, recommendation is for you to make the transfer and start using cash for your personal allowance and grocery shopping. It feels a lot different handing over $20 than it does to scan a card and have a $20 (plus fees) debt appear in an account. I use cash for everything but my mortgage, utilities and any online shopping I may be doing. I typically do all of the running around, shopping for groceries and any housewares that are needed. Should any stray bills come in I take those and pay them in cash locally making sure to get a receipt which I then staple onto the bill where I note, the date received, date paid and my initials. That then goes into a file for tax time when I get home.

Another tip that we have is for you to start taking photos of your receipts that are non essential. This means if you were out and purchased a candy bar or something small where you don’t need to keep the receipt after the photo is taken. Almost every single phone has a camera on it, taking a picture will help you remember to update your budget sheet. Once the photo receipt has been documented you can delete the photo. One other thing that you can start doing is schedule reminders. On an Android phone, you are able to schedule a reminder by a voice command. It couldn’t be easier. Our last piece of advice is two words: “peer pressure”. Tell your friends and family about your financial goals. Having others know about what you’re trying to achieve can be a positive thing as, they can help you make sure you keep on track and cheer you on when you are nearing your goals.

Expenses Calculator for Monthly Budgeting

It is always best not to play any guessing games when it comes to budgeting. The use of a expense calculator for monthly budgeting is of the utmost importance for many reasons and we will help you to visualise your finances in an easy-to-understand manner. Take your time to sum up your monthly budget with all of the income sources and expenses accordingly. Do not forget to include any personal, business or basic expenses you encounter on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis as it is very important to establish a clear picture of your financial situation. Review and understand where your money goes and track your expenses right from the start. No cost is to small to be included and generally speaking, you would want a very comprehensive overview when using an expenses calculator for budgeting. Something that most tend to underestimate is the importance of emergency funds. You always want to be prepared for the unexpected and if you did not do so by now, start creating a budget and dedicate it to just this purpose. Chances are one day you will be very glad you did. Ideally, your emergency funds should cover all expenses for at least 5 or 6 months. This safety net will give you a little time to react in case things turn south. Use our budgeting calculator to establish your personal understanding of your expenses.
Expenses Calculators Are Friendly

Wherever you happen to find yourself in life, having a spectacular expense calculator at your disposal is greatly beneficial. If you want to remain frugal while living a comfortable life, knowing just how much money you have, will help you achieve just that. Knowing your monthly and yearly expenses/income will help you manage many different aspects of your day, including whether you have enough money for rent, food, clothing, and much more. Using a tool such as a calculator to determine your expenses and income is one of the many great ways to save money and stay happy.

We will be going over just how to keep track of your expenses with tools freely available on the internet for anybody to use. When I type “anybody”, that means you! The top expenses that people need to track are usually their rent and groceries. Everybody needs a shelter and some food to stay healthy, so I usually place the most emphasis on pay for those two first. What’s the point of living if you cannot enjoy it? Entertainment is usually the third category that I calculate. (Hint: I place family gatherings and such under”‘entertainment”)

One other important reason why many will find a living expense calculator useful is to organize their finances. Every receipt that I receive goes straight into a folder. At the end of each week, I enter the receipt totals into my excel expense file. This is useful so that I know just how much money I have for each of the remaining days that are left in the month. I am rolling in some cash the first two weeks of a month and then I become more strict when I get to the last week or two. Sometimes I don’t have enough money, but I stay true to the living expense totals that calculated at the beginning of the month. If I go past my spending limits that basically makes all the other numbers obsolete. If I go surpass one limit, it’ll be much easier for me to do the same in another category. Just like procrastination, not staying loyal to the goals that you set can begin to snowball and easily put you into the negative.

Now let’s get down to business, shall we? It’s time to talk about some of my favorite expense calculators. I use many different forms of calculators. The two main types that I use day-to-day are Excel (spreadsheets) and online forms. Both different options have their own individual pros and cons.

Excel Expenses Calculator

We are all busy people, living in a busy world. There is nothing more time consuming and possibly frustrating than sitting down to pay bills and then realize that your math is totally off somewhere. Using an expense calculator will help you to make sure all of your weekly or monthly calculations are correct when you are working on paying bills or your budget. Fiscal responsibility can be a tough nut to crack if it is not something you were taught growing up. Why make learning how to budget your finances tough by doing manual calculations when there are so many great expense calculators out there in the world? If you did an online search for "expense calculators" Google would hit you with a million results and out of those, many will be free to use with no sign up. There is no reason why any of us should be struggling with math, wasting time, when we could be done in ten minutes at the end of every evening when using an expense calculator that literally does the work for us.
Using online expense calculators can help you to get out of debt.

As soon as I boot up my computer in the morning, I open up my financial Excel file. This is the first thing that I look at in the morning and the last thing at night. As you might imagine, Excel has a variety of pros. For me, Excel is generally easier to use just because I am familiar with the layout. I’ve been using Excel for a number of years so doing a few calculations is no harder than brushing my teeth.

The great thing about Excel that can make it superior to an online based expenses calculator is the fact that it is locally based. This means that if the internet happens to go out, I will still have complete access to my financial file. This is why I put tons of more trust into a software based calculator rather than an online calculator. In no way am I saying that an online expenses calculator is useless, I use a few frequently!

Excel has pretty and beautiful customizable graphs. This point pretty much speaks for itself. I can show my family the monthly frugal budget, along with a line chart and pie chart. Graphs make everything much simpler to comprehend. Numbers become shapes and shapes are more familiar and family friendly than patterns of numbers so, they are likely to pay attention longer while we are discussing the boring numbers.

The last major argument towards using Excel is the fact that you have the ability to save the file. Some online living expense calculators may save cookies but usually they are just simple forms. No account is needed for most calculators. This means that you cannot save; so you just end up having to calculate and then record the data on paper or on your computer.

Heads up, this is the best info on expense calculators we could find

ONLINE EXPENSES CALCULATOR

This is the part that you’ve all been waiting for. You most likely landed on this page while searching for an online living expenses calculator. Simple or complex, there are only a few that I like. All-in-one is a necessity to any calculator. If there are multiple different pages on a website to find the results, count me out.

An example of the Expenses Calculator found at Four Hour Work Week

One major benefit of an online based calculator is that webmasters usually update the calculator frequently. The categories are up-to-date and useful. If there is a glitch in a calculator, a webmaster can go in and fix that glitch. I cannot completely say the same for a spreadsheet or text file.

Getting into the habit of using an expense calculator while doing your daily, weekly, monthly or yearly budget saves you time and money. You will be able to see more quickly and clearly where your money has gone, how much you have left and you will know directly if you have anything left after putting in all of your expenses. If you have put all of your known expenses into the calculator and you have nothing left over you will have to figure out where you can cut back to save yourself some money each month. There is nothing wrong persay by doing the math manually but, seeing how we are humans and that we have the ability to make mistakes when we are tired and distracted, it would be a better idea to use an expense calculator and get the numbers right the first time, all the time.
Budgeting with an expenses calculator saves time and “Time is money”!

Online expenses calculators, most of the time, happen to be easier to fill out. There are boxes next to the calculator. Just fill in your numbers and hit the calculate button. I don’t know if things could really be any simpler than that.

Everything is set up for you. No need to research the categories to build an expense calculator in Excel, as I said in a previous point, everything you’ll need is laid out on the page for you. Best of all; calculations are instant in some responsive calculators. Fill in a field with $5, and the total will instantly say $5. Simply brilliant!

Why use a calculator in the first place?

We jumped straight into what types of calculators that would be right for you. But honestly, why? Using any income and expense calculator will just take time out of your day. Let’s face it… the more that you spend time on useless tasks, the less time that you’ll have your day. Let me let you on in a little secret of mine. Using a calculator will actually save you time in the long run. Sure it’ll take you 5 minutes a day, but it’ll end up saving you an hour a day in manual calculations.

Let’s face it, the more effectively that you spend your money, the more money and time that you’ll have in the end. Start figuring out how much money that you actually have to spend and you’ll save time. Days can be easily wasted by worrying and stressing about debt. To solve that issue, just go ahead and eliminate your debt by budgeting with an expense calculator that, will help you set and reach your savings goals. If you can save money by using an expense calculator you will be more apt to use your savings to pay down and eventually pay off all debt and start saving or investing for the future. That’s what I did and now I am much happier than I have even been.

Creating a Personal Budget Worksheet

There are many reasons to use a personal budget worksheet or a personal budget planner. There are simply no valid excuses as to why any person could not learn how to do this. Personally taking control over your day to day financial well being is in your best interest and one way to do this is to create a personal budget worksheet or a personal budget planner. You will be able to see exactly where all of your money is going either through numbers or graphs or tables. You will be able to tell from your personal budget planner where you could save the most money.
A personal budget worksheet can help you to see where you spend money.

When you decide that it is high time you get some control over your finances, the first thing you should do is to learn more about monthly budget planners. Budget planning tools are easily available on the Internet and they come in various forms: a printable budget planner, an online budget calculator and a personal budget worksheet that works in Excel, Open Office and Google Docs. Many versions of these tools are available for free, but some of the more detailed ones that have graphic and balancing features already built in, usually are not. Still, anyone can afford to take this step toward improving the management of personal finances and all it takes is determination and follow-through. This article will take you through the steps of creating a monthly budget using a personal budget worksheet. While all of the online tools are very useful, budget worksheets are the most versatile ones and the easiest to use.

With a personal budget worksheet you will not only enjoy the benefits of having a monthly budget, but also the extra convenience that comes with Microsoft Excel files. For one thing, all of the addition and subtraction operations needed in the preparation of a budget can be performed easily with Excel features, rather than by hand. In addition, Excel files can be easily stored on the computer or online, making it very easy to analyze old budgets and track your progress over time. Thirdly, Excel features make it easy to customize any budget planner template to suit your personal needs, and then to save this changes for future use as well.

The finest budget worksheet available today

PLANNING YOUR PERSONAL BUDGET WITH A WORKSHEET

Before you can plan your expenses and savings and create a budget in advance of each month, you need to start with the basics. First, you need to find a personal budget worksheet that already contains most of the items you spend money on. All budget planners contain income, savings and expenses as the main categories in a budget, but the items under each category vary from one worksheet to the next. Not all worksheets include items for pet care, child care, frequent trips, different types of investments and other categories that aren’t standard expenses for everyone. Finding a worksheet that fits your lifestyle will make it easier to fill in and follow the budget, especially if you are not a proficient user of Excel.

Making a personal budget planner can be fun and exciting. You can buy planners directly that are themed and colorful that allow you to work manually to keep track of your finances with the aid of a built in expense calculator. These personal budget planners come in a variety of sizes and some providers even let you customize your yearly planner in a manner that is best for you. Some of these personal budget planners come with stickers to use on the graphs to help show you in forms the percentages of your expenses and income as opposed to just showing you in numbers that you write down. These manual planners can be taken with you on the road, some are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse and others are large enough to fit neatly into a briefcase. You can work on these personal budget planners manually and then take a photo of your calculations to be saved to the Cloud for later reference.
A budget worksheet for personal finances.

Once you’ve chosen your personal budget worksheet, you should start by filling in the amounts for all the categories after the end of each month. After you’ve done this for a couple of months, you will have a good idea of how you tend to spend your money when you don’t have a specific spending and saving strategy in place. You might start to think about how you could make interest payments smaller or about why you haven’t even started an emergency fund? This kind of thinking is natural when you see all your expenses, savings, and investments down on paper, and it is the reason why budget planning tools are so useful in improving the state of our finances. They force us to make conscious, deliberate decisions about spending and saving, and make it obvious when we don’t carry out our own plans. That kind of proactive thinking and accountability can make all the difference when it comes to personal finances.

After you gain an approximation of your spending in each category, it is time to analyze your spending habits and find ways to save on some categories. One way to do this is to look up tips on saving money for each category and then choose to implement those money-saving tips that are suitable to your goals and lifestyle. The personal budget worksheet can help you track changes in these categories over time, and show you whether the money-saving strategies you’re implementing are actually working. By this point, you have become an adept user of a personal budget worksheet and you’re whipping your finances into tip-top shape. You should use the extra savings either to lower your debt or to increase savings and investments. The next steps in your journey to financial literacy and prosperity are firstly, to learn about debt management tools and secondly, to learn about investments. Once you become proficient at monthly budgeting, it will be much easier to tackle these areas of finance as well and all because you started a personal budget worksheet or a personal budget planner. You will find many helpful “save money tips” here at BudgetHub. If you have a great money saving idea that you would like us to write about…please let us know!

Using Budgeting Worksheets in a Frugal Lifestyle

In order to live a frugal lifestyle, you will ideally have some sort of financial plan in the works that is put into action by means of following home budgeting worksheets. In order for this to work, everyone in the home needs to be on the same page and have the same understanding of what the budget sheets do and why it they are being used, to what end, so to speak. You cannot have one or two kids running around the house demanding more money because, they have already spent their weekly allowance mindlessly. A home budget worksheet is just what it says and everyone in the home needs to understand the reasons behind them and abide by the use of them. Sticking to a budgeting worksheet will keep your spending under control and your financial big picture directly where you can see it and keep track of all of your expenditures and savings.
Hashing out a home budgeting worksheet is vital to a frugal lifestyle.

Having a budget and following it consistently can really transform your finances. A budget gives you a clear overview of all expenses, income, savings and investments. Being completely aware of the developments in these categories is enough to inspire some positive change with your money management, but it’s only part of the full effect of budgeting. Setting home budgeting worksheets is just one aspect of obtaining and maintaining a frugal lifestyle. The main effect comes from taking charge of money management in advance of each month or year. However, not all budgets are created equal – from budgeting worksheets to mobile applications and printable templates, each budget type has its advantages and drawbacks. This article will focus on worksheets and how they compare to printable budgets.

Outline of a Home Budgeting Worksheet

Most budgeting worksheets are comprised of four columns and over twenty rows. Each row represents a type of expense or a type of income. Some worksheets classify expenses into categories and present the categories in separate tables for better visibility and more convenience. All worksheets have at least two columns – one for the title denoting the type of expense and one for the budgeted amounts. However, it is most beneficial to include two additional columns that will make things clearer – one for actual amounts and one that shows the difference between the budgeted amount and actual amount. The best thing about such budgeting worksheets is that the ‘difference’ column makes it apparent where you have overspent and where you have underspent, and the total in the bottom row shows the final result. Also, this column is very easy to construct using a simple formula in Excel or Google Docs.

Worksheets make for such good budgeting tools because of the features of Excel and similar programs themselves. For one, every file can be easily stored on the computer, a USB or online. This is useful because then you are able to retrieve old budgets easily and compare how much your spending has changed since this time last year or over the year in general. Conversely, printable budgets can easily get lost or misplaced over time.

Your home budgeting worksheets do not have to be complicated, they just have to be followed and updated regularly. There is no money amount to small to be left out of the calculations and ideally, you should strive to be able to keep track of your money down to the last penny. You can even have small children start their own budgeting worksheets by giving them their allowance (if possible) and making them responsible for filling in their own budgeting sheets with the information of how they used their money. Perhaps your kids would also like to be saving for something special but they don't quite have the idea of how to go about it. A set of budgeting worksheets would help them to learn and gain a real understanding and a respect for you and the money that they have earned.
Save your pennies and add them up each week in your home budgeting worksheets.

Another advantage is that the information in worksheets can be easily changed – copied, pasted, updated, etc. Again, with a printable budget this is not so easy to do. Just filling it in can be problematic. If you use a pencil, it might smudge or fade. If you use a pen, you cannot easily go back and make changes to the paper. In Excel budgeting worksheets, making changes and updates is easy to do, and you are free to save as many changed versions of the same budget as you wish so that if you need to you can go back and see how things changed over the course of a month or a year. With a printed budgeting worksheet, all areas would need to be filled in again with the new changes being made along the way which could be very time consuming and frustrating. If it really helps you to have the budget on paper, displayed where you can see it many times a day, then what you should do is prepare and save it on your laptop, then print out a copy to display on your fridge and then dispose of at the end of the month.

Especially useful for budgeting purposes is the fact that Excel and similar programs make it easy to add, subtract, divide, or multiply numbers in a set pattern. If you are using a printable budget template, or you do the calculations in a notebook, you have to do all the calculations by hand. When you add up over twenty items, as budgeting often requires you to do, it becomes highly likely that you will make a calculation error. This possibility is vastly eliminated when using budgeting worksheets. Most of them come with the formulas already set, so that the calculations are done as soon as you fill in the values for the expenses and income.

Lastly, in Excel and similar programs, it is easy to customize any budget template or even combine different budgeting worksheets into one another to get all the features you want. Once you have the perfect blank budgeting template, you can easily update the worksheet each month, while still keeping last month’s figures saved as well. This feature of budgeting worksheets is more important than it might seem – the level of detail in a budget can help maximize or minimize the benefits from budgeting altogether. Also, these are facts and figures that can be printed out and sent to your tax specialist with the proper receipts at tax time which will save you both time and money.

The best budget worksheet available today

Budgeting worksheets should be detailed enough to provide a clear overview of where your money is going. For example, it makes sense to distinguish grocery shopping from eating out even though they are both food expenses. On the other hand, you shouldn’t go into too much detail and make it too hard to fill in. For example, you don’t have to put expenses on pens, pencils and notebooks as a separate item unless they constitute a significant expense on a regular basis – otherwise, they should be classified as miscellaneous. In general, thirty to forty expense items should provide sufficient detail.

 

Saving Money on Groceries

The produce section of any grocery store is typically one of the most expensive area to be in. Many people waste money on the things they buy because things do not get eaten or cooked before they go bad. The shelf life on any fruit is typically 4 days. If you buy a plastic box of grapes that weighs two pounds and your only eat a handful of them every day, probably half of them are going to be thrown in the trash. What I like to do is to pick all of the grapes off of the vine bunch, put them all in a strainer and wash them very good with water while swishing them around. After that, I will set them aside to drain the water off and later store them in freezer bags. How you do that is up to you. You can, if you have the freezer space, put them all in one giant bag and freeze them. In that way you just open the bag and take out what you need at any given time. In this way you are not wasting money on grapes. This can be done with any kind of produce and you should always look for sale prices on bulk groceries using this freezing idea. Just make sure that you rotate through your frozen items every three months or so being sure to use all of what you have frozen so that nothing goes to waste.
You can save lots of money in the produce section!

Food represents a big fraction of most households’ monthly budgets. When people suddenly find themselves in financial difficulties, the food budget is the first to decrease because they immediately eliminate eating out expenses and start preparing all their meals at home. This, of course, results in considerable savings. But, when you need to start a really frugal living, there is much more you can do to save on food expenses.

Save Money By Smart Grocery Shopping

Saving money on groceries can be a great way to lower your expenses and allocate the money to a better use while at the same time paying more attention to what you eat. So, here are the best tips for saving money on groceries to get you started with a frugal food budget.

First of all, you have think about what combination of ingredients will allow you to have healthy, varied meals on a budget. The best advice here is to choose a few cheap staple foods for most of your satiation and chose a few splurges to add variety, flavor, and nutrition to your menu. Great staple foods are pastas, rice, quinoa, and legumes like beans and lentils, because they are pretty cheap, easy to store and cook, they are filling and they can often be found on discounts. Whenever your budget permits and you come across a great deal on one of these items you should definitely stock up on it. That way you will definitely be saving money on groceries over time. It’s worth noting that most of these foods are really healthy too, especially the quinoa and legumes.

Now let’s focus on the “splurges” and how you can incorporate them in your menus while still saving money on groceries. When it comes to food, herbs, organic vegetables and fruits, good quality meat, and seafood are all considered to be splurges when you look at price to quantity ratios. However, many argue they are well worth the price because of the flavors and health benefits they provide. Herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, mint, chives, oregano and others are a great addition to many meals – for example, a teaspoon of basil can really elevate any plate of pasta. And they have powerful health benefits too. But also they can be really expensive if you buy them from the supermarket.

A good way to keep your food costs low is to make sure not to purchase things that either you or your family will not eat. To make sure that you are saving money on groceries you need to make sure to buy only what you need, make a list, and stock up on things you know you can freeze that, will be eaten by your family at a later date. Keep your menus simple and delicious by finding recipies online that incorporate many of the same or similar staples or even some of the same fresh ingrediants. As an example, I make a really good tomato sauce for Italian dishes. I can use it for making spaghetti, use the leftover sauce for lasagna later and if there is any left, as the sauce for eggplant or chicken parmasean later in the week or put it in the freezer for one of those dishes the next week. That type of sauce could also be used in minestrone soup or a vegetable soup. I generally do not make soups throughout the summer, we do those when it is cold outside. If you like raw vegetables and your kids don't like them unless they are smothered with cheese, you can make yourself a nice salad with some leftover broccolli or cauliflower heads. To save even more money on groceries you can dehydrate, can or pickle the kinds of vegetables you like and eat them as healthy snacks long after the date of purchase.
Grocery Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Sprouts

When it comes to herbs, and even certain fruits and vegetables, the most cost-efficient thing you could do is to grow them yourself. Growing your own herbs, cherry tomatoes, onions, beans and other fruits and vegetables is very cost-efficient because the seeds, containers, and compost all together cost just a few dollars per type of plant. It doesn’t take up a lot of space at all to have a few windowsill containers for herbs and a few larger ones for fruits and vegetables of your choice. A lot of people, both living in houses with backyards and in apartment buildings with no balconies, have already realized the benefits from growing these plants and they are sharing their experience and advice online, so it wouldn’t be hard to learn what you need to know about gardening. And there is no better way to be saving money on groceries than to grow your own organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

If you do not have the room to grow your own vegetables and herbs, a good way to get them at a good price would be to find a local farmer’s market or a few local farmers who will let you pick what you need, at a better price than what you would find at the grocery store. Many farmers already have small stands set up directly on their farms for produce that they have picked already and there is also a good chance that they have more than produce available to be purchased.

Here is the best information on how to save money on groceries

Regarding fruits and vegetables, a great way to save money on these ingredients is to buy frozen ones. Frozen peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and vegetable mixes are very easy to prepare and incorporate into most meals. They will add much-needed variety to a plain pot of rice, quinoa, or pasta. And, even though they are not fresh, they still contain a lot of their nutrients. Similarly, canned fish of any kind can be really healthy and nutritious, like canned tuna in water. Frozen vegetables are much cheaper than fresh ones, and canned fish is long-lasting and easy to store so, it is possible (and worth it) to stock up when it’s greatly discounted. Thus, if you really want to be saving money or groceries, you should substitute meat with discounted canned fish and most fresh vegetables and fruits with frozen ones – but you can still use your favorite fresh vegetables and herbs for a really low cost if you grow them in your own garden.

One way my family saves money on groceries is to have lots of freezer space for storage. I have a small chest freezer and two smaller refridgerator/freezer combos. I have lots of fresh veggies and fruits stored in there, meat of all kinds, fish, poultry and quick things for when we are busy and need to save time on cooking. You can buy large amounts of anything that is on sale, put it into useable quantities and freeze it for later. One example is hamburger meat of any kind. I buy the giant packages when it is on sale, take it home and make as many smaller packages as I can for freezing. I typically use it to make Bolognese Sauce and know that I use about 300 grams at a time. Other people might get the same package and make as many meat patties as they can, figure out how many they would need to feed their families on any given night and separate by the number of patties and put them in the freezer.

Fresh meats and produce are not the only thing I freeze to save time and money. As I stated earlier that I use hamburger to make Bolognese Sauce, I make enough sauce for three to four meals. That goes for normal sauce without meat as well which I would use for Lasagna. If I make a batch of Lasagna Sauce, I will make a double batch and freeze whatever I don’t use making the Lasagna. Also, many people set one day aside just to cook things that, they can take with them to work and put it in the freezer. They might spend an entire day cooking large quantities of different foods just for this purpose.

Two examples of something we like to do in this area are mini-burritos and cassaroles. Both of these things are great as time saving meals or snacks later. You can also do this with Quiches, Muffins, Cakes, Waffles, Pancakes…pretty much everything you can think of can be pre-made and frozen in small batches. Not only does it save you lots of time thoughout your week or month, but it also gives you the chance to have a larger variety of foods throughout a week. Any time you cook and have left-overs, put them in the freezer if, you will not be taking them for lunch the next day. I hope this article has given you enough ideas to get you started saving money on groceries!

How to Create a Healthy Grocery Shopping List

Going to the store can sometimes be an overwhelming experience. There are so many items and so many sale prices that, many people come out with much more than they need and have spent too much money on things that will probably be thrown out later. The best way to go shopping is to be prepared! I like to spend time each day going through recipies to find several that incorporate the same fresh ingredients so that I am using all fresh items from week to week. Creating a budget friendly, healthy grocery shopping list is easy if you have a menu planned for a week. So, first, plan out your menu for the week. Second, check your cabinets, fridge and pantry to see if what you already have can be incorporated into these recipies, if not, think about replacing a recipie or two with recipies where you can use up what you already have. Three, make out your healthy grocery shopping list and make doubly sure that what you write down is actually a needed item. Four, go to the store armed with your list and stick to it, buying only what is needed for the cheapest prices that you can find. If you remember something that is needed you can buy it, the keyword is "needed", if you stick to what you need you will save the most money on your shopping trip. Finally, you will get all of your purchased items back to your house and store them until it is time for them to be used. Make sure to cook what you have planned or all of your time and efforts will have been for nothing. Good budget friendly, healthy grocery shopping is the key to saving money and a healthier lifestyle.
Create a budget friendly, healthy grocery shopping list.

A Healthy Grocery Shopping List Saves Money

Food is a major daily expense for any household. Sure, it doesn’t cost as much as rent of loan installments, but it can certainly take up a lot of your budget on a monthly basis if you are not careful with your purchases. For health-conscious people who want use more organic ingredients, the expense quickly gets even higher. In economics, the concept of paying more for better quality is well-known and makes sense. But does that mean that healthy foods always have to come at a steeper price? Thankfully, the answer is no. However, if you want to get your healthy organic ingredients at a cheap price, you will have to invest some time and effort to make it possible. Still, the gains in health and savings should make this endeavor well worth it. So here are a few tips and tricks to help you create your own budget-friendly and healthy grocery shopping list.

In order to create your budget-friendly shipping list that has healthy foods, it is essential to do some preparations in advance. Two main things come to mind: meal planning and grocery price comparison. With proper meal planning one or two weeks ahead you will know exactly which ingredients you need. This will enable you to buy just enough perishable ingredients for your planned menu. A huge amount of perishable ingredients like fruits and vegetables, which pack a healthy punch, are wasted by households on a daily basis – they buy two much with a good intention in mind, but they end up forgetting them in the back of the fridge and eventually have to throw them out. This waste creates considerable unnecessary food expenses which are absolutely in conflict with the idea of a budget-friendly healthy grocery shopping list. By planning meals ahead, you will also be able to select where to buy the ingredient you need. Then, the grocery price comparison will help you minimize your food expenses further.

 

Preparing Your Healthy Food Shopping List

When you make your grocery shopping list you should also keep in mind that it will pay off to buy certain ingredients in bulk when they are significantly discounted and then store or freeze the extra stock. Being aware of present and future deals at the bigger supermarkets where you live is relatively easy, since most of them have websites and newsletters that they update regularly. It will allow you to optimize on your purchases. Your buy-in-bulk shopping list of grocery items that are healthy should definitely include quinoa, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal and whole-grain cereals. All of these grains will store well over time, as long as the original packaging remains sealed. You can also invest in glass storage canisters to keep contents of open packages in, so they will remain fresh until you get a chance to use them all in your recipies.

Steep price discounts would also make it worthwhile to stock up on frozen vegetables when you have the chance. Broccoli, cauliflower, peas and vegetable mixes make a great budget-friendly addition to a healthy menu and they are incredibly easy to prepare and incorporate into meals. Lastly, you should also include water-packed tuna, chicken breast, seafood and lean ground turkey in your buy-in-bulk healthy grocery shopping list.

Shopping for a budget friendly healthy grocery shopping list? Look no further, keep reading this and many other articles to find the information that will save you lots of money on groceries.
Carts waiting to be filled with items from a healthy grocery shopping list.

Shopping Online With a Healthy Grocery Shopping List

A less-known tip on finding cheap organic food is to buy some of your food online! If you live in the US, you have access to a lot of food providers who deliver great quality ingredients at a lower price compared to most supermarkets. The Internet is also a great source of inspiration for tasty, healthy meals, no matter where you live. In addition to that, there are entire online communities where people discuss healthy recipes, prices, tips and tricks, and basically anything related to food. There are even many online tools to help you create your own shopping list for cheap healthy meals.

The ultimate guide on healthy groceries right here

However, the best way to optimize on health and expenses is to do part of the analysis and planning yourself. These tools can be useful for learning nutritional values, but they may not be able to help you get the best bang for your buck. When you create your budget-friendly healthy grocery shopping list, one of the best things to do is to incorporate local deals as well as local ingredients. This will increase the variety of foods in your menu at a very reasonable price. Either way, don’t forget to have fun with it and enjoy getting and being healthy!

How to Correctly Compare Grocery Prices

The produce section of the store is the first place I look for frugal alternatives. Make sure to check local shops with direct from the farmer, seasonal items for great taste, budget friendly prices and the best quality.
Budget friendly, frugal produce shopping will save you money.

Grocery Price Comparison To Live Frugally

Over the past decades, we have all witnessed a shift slowly gaining momentum in the Western world, where people increasingly have the need or the wish to significantly change their spending habits. Among those people are students who want to minimize their debt, parents who are struggling with unemployment or cut backs, and others who just want to get out of the consumerist race and rethink their spending. If you find yourself in one of those groups, or in a similar situation, then this article is just for you because it will focus on cutting down your food budget with better planning and teach you how to compare grocery prices.

Food is one of the most important categories when it comes to a household’s monthly expenses. It isn’t necessarily that the food item is the largest one in the budget, that is probably rent/mortgage, but food expenditure is actually one of the easiest things to reduce without giving up a lot i.e. it is a relatively painless budget cut. This is because a lot of households waste a lot of the food the buy and by eliminating this waste they can save up to one quarter or more of their regular food expenses. For example, one survey showed that households waste over 7 million tons of food a year. Per household, this is the equivalent of $175.00 worth of food a month! With the average household spending about $200.00 a week on food, this already constitutes a 25% decrease in food expenses per month, even before taking in consideration the benefits from comparing grocery prices when shopping.

Analyze All Grocery Stores When Price Shopping

Some people think that doing an extensive grocery price comparison is not worth the effort. Who would even go that far to do their shopping? Well, a lot of people would actually find the time well worth it, especially those who are working with a limited food budget. There are two main reasons why. First of all, once the initial analysis is done, the inconvenience of shopping in different or far-off stores can be significantly reduced by proper planning. In other words, it’s not like you are going to be visiting many of the stores each week – rather, you will probably end up visiting the far-off stores once to twice a month at the most. Good planning ahead will help you make sure that your visits coincide with the deals you’re after and you will be able to maximize the usefulness of each trip.

The initial analysis of various grocery stores will show you where the ingredients you use the most are the cheapest and also each store’s notable deals on certain items. Depending on where you live, you might have to do this analysis by yourself or you could use a grocery price comparison website or app. If you have to do it by yourself, then it helps to know that most big supermarkets have their online websites where they regularly post all the discount deals and you can often subscribe to a newsletter too, so it is easy enough to stay updated on those. Smaller local stores probably won’t have a website, but these are still worth including in your grocery price comparison because they often have (cheap) products which are not offered at other supermarkets.  In my area there are several local shops, each dedicated to very specific items such as meats and cheeses, breads and pastries and one that sells pasta by the gram. The meat shop has the very best prociutto and the price is better than what I can find at any meat counter in any other store but, it is also something that has to be used very quickly or it will go bad. The breads and I can buy daily in the morning when it is still hot and it is priced by weight which keeps the cost down. The bread also has to be eaten right away as there are no additives to keep the bread fresh for a long time like in most supermarket breads. Any bread that is left over can be dried and grated into tiny pieces to either use as a breading agent for fried foods or can be mixed into meatloaf, meatballs, stuffed peppers, bread pudding or however else you can think to use it. This makes buying fresh bread an extremely budget friendly shopping idea as well as a frugal alternative to buying in a big store.

The quality of items in the local shops in my town are really fantastic. I know if I buy cheap produce in the bigger supermarkets, whatever I purchase will probably go south before I can use it all. Local products are fresher as they are purchased straight from farmers who have the best and freshest sources of food. I have a pretty good idea how much of everything I will need on a weekly basis and keep it to just that minimum. This keeps our food waste to a minimum, gives us the highest quality food with the best taste while, allowing us to have a budget friendly grocery shopping experience.
Local grocery shops are a treasure trove of quality foods with budget friendly grocery shopping prices.

These products can add much needed variety to your meals on a budget, while still keeping costs low. Once you’ve done the grocery price comparison, it helps to make a general plan of where and when you get most of your staple foods like rice, beans, meat, and vegetables, and then make annotations for certain cheap buys that add variety or nutrition to your menu.

The second reason why grocery price comparison is worth doing is, of course, the considerable savings! Many supermarkets regularly offer all kinds of budget friendly shopping on foods at 35% or 50% off. It is absolutely possible to purchase over 90% of the food you eat on a discount. It might not give you a lot of freedom to have a different menu every day, but there are certainly a lot of different things you can do. The Internet is a great place to get some inspiration and connect with people who are or were living on a similar food budget as you are. Always do your research, know what stores are worth a visit comparing grocery prices for your budget friendly shopping trips. Keep in mind local shops for frugal alternatives on fresh items where the quality is, more often than not, better.

The ultimate guide on comparing groceries right here

Compare Supermarket Prices to Be Budget Conscious

In order to avoid spending traps while comparing supermarket prices for your frugal lifestyle, you should make sure that you plan carefully by making a menu for every day of the week. With your weekly menu thought out, you can from there see what you have for it already in your home and then make a shopping list of items that need to be purchased. With the shopping list in hand, look at all of the stores and shops in your area to see who has the best deals for every item on your list. Try to figure out if it makes sense to shop for items in more than one store by figuring out how much gas you would use for your car going from one store to another as well as how much time you would save by running from one store to another. When I first started my frugal lifestyle I went shopping at one store, bought everything I needed for the house and the kitchen while compare supermarket prices to get the best deals. After that, I figured out what kind of meal plan I would make for the rest of the month, splitting it up into weeks so that I could maximize variety and savings. I figured out how to compare supermarket prices in my area but, also kept an eye on the weekly deals at the small, local shops. Wherever the deals came up on things we needed for the next week I would go there. It pays to take smaller trips every couple of days if you do not have to go out of your way and waste gasoline and wear and tear on the car. If you can use a bike to do your smaller grocery trips, not only will you get some much needed fresh air, you will get in some exercise and make good frugal living choices.
Always compare supermarket prices, look for the best deals to fit your frugal lifestyle.

Nowadays, with our fast-paced way of living, most people buy their food, cleaning supplies and toiletries at supermarkets. This makes sense since supermarkets are easily accessible, convenient, and often they offer a lot of great deals. However, it is also worth noting that supermarkets are also highly sophisticated marketing environments, designed in a way that encourages spending. Thus, if you are starting a frugal lifestyle, you need to be careful while shopping at the supermarket. The trick is to take advantage of the convenience, variety and great deals offered by supermarkets, without falling prey to frivolous spending pressures. There are several steps you can take to maximize your savings and convenience: plan ahead, compare supermarkets prices, and use up your coupons.

The first two steps, plan ahead and compare supermarket prices, are complementary. Planning your food consumption ahead is beneficial for two main reasons – it prevents you from overstocking on perishables and wasting food and it allows you to analyze which supermarket offers the ingredients you will need at the best price-to-quality ratio. Both of these will have an immense effect on your food and toiletries expenditure. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American family of four wastes $2,275 worth of food per year! This is a completely unnecessary expense that can absolutely be avoided with a bit of care and planning ahead. If you need even more motivation, then think of the total monetary costs of handling this waste and the environmental damage that is caused by it!

Planning your food consumption ahead is also a great way to control what you buy and eat. For example, if you do your shopping while you are hungry and with no specific shopping list, then you are much more likely to make impulsive buys or resort to unhealthy shacks, frozen pizzas and other fast food. Whichever way you look at it, there are plenty of reasons why you should take the time and pay more attention to your supermarket spending. It begins with planning ahead, and once that is done the next step is to compare supermarket prices.

Why should you compare supermarket prices?

grocery price comparison should be something that everyone does out of habit. The majority of the time, you can find quality items on sale. Most stores have a house brand or generic items that are of the same quality as the major brand named products. If there is a generic paper lable on something, try peeling it off to see what is underneath. We did this as an experiment once in a class I had in school. We were all very surprised when our teacher peeled off a generic lable on a soup can and found that it was in fact a major brand with the generic lable on top. Most generic items have cheaper prices than the sale price of any major brand which when purchased will help you to stay within your frugal lifestyle.
You should always compare prices while grocery shopping

Nowadays, it is very easy to do so online, from the convenience of your home. Online tools allow you to enter all the items you will be putting in your shopping basket this week and then they give you a fairly accurate approximation of how much that basket would cost at various supermarkets. These tools even allow you to do your shopping online, thus saving you time as well, but if you aren’t comfortable buying food online then you don’t have to use that feature. Since this is such a convenient way to consistently save some money on food, toiletries and cleaning products, you should definitely take the time to look at the different prices at various supermarkets.

If you are living a frugal lifestyle, it is important to not only compare supermarket prices across different supermarkets but also across brand categories. Most supermarkets offer great variety in terms of branding for a lot of products. Usually, you will find premium, branded, own brand and value versions of a lot of consumer products. There is always a significant difference in price among the different versions, but not necessarily so in terms of quality.

While the branded products will probably be the same in all of the bigger supermarkets, the own brand and value versions are probably going to be different. For the biggest savings, it is really worth taking the time to sample the cheaper versions of the products you use often from various supermarkets. Especially in the case of snacks, sweets, pastas, toiletries and cleaning agents you should be able to find cheaper alternatives that are just as good as the branded ones. Nowadays, there are even online communities which rate the qualities of cheaper own brand versions against the branded version, so you can benefit from the analysis without testing all the different versions yourself.

You can save hundreds of dollars per year on shopping while you compare supermarket groceries. After finding the best prices on items you need apply any coupons you have to make the prices on items you need at home even lower.
Coupons are a great way to help you with your frugal living.

Have a look at the best available solution

Lastly, using coupons for your supermarket purchases can also help you lower your expenditure on food. There are many websites which provide printable and online coupons for all kinds of products, but mostly for supermarket purchases. You can also look in local newspapers and the Sunday paper, which comes with three different coupon inserts on a regular basis. You can plan your food spending ahead and then try to find coupons for the ingredients you need at the supermarkets available to you, or you can first research what kind of coupons are available for the next week and plan your meals around that, whichever way is more convenient for you. And very soon you will realize that when you plan ahead, compare supermarket prices and use coupons, you will be more mindful of supermarket spending and you will enjoy considerable savings week after week.

Grocery Price Comparison – Why Should You Compare Prices

grocery price comparison can lead to a savings of over $2,000.00 in any given year. Once you start saving money on your everyday items, you will notice that you begin to look for better deals on everything else you need for your house. For a person beginning a frugal lifestyle, a budget friendly store is very appealing especially if it has everything from soup to nuts and napkins to soaps. When you save time, gasoline, wear and tear on a vehicle and your nerves all at the same time it can be incredibly freeing. The trick to smart shopping is to have a list that not only says what you need but how much you will need for any given week. If you know that tomatoes are on sale but only on a large two pound package of them and you only need half of that amount and do not plan on drying the rest or preserving them somehow than it does not make sense to buy the larger package. Instead, find the lowest price on single tomatoes and purchase only the amount that you know you will be using for that week. The same goes for every other product that you use in your house. Buying in bulk is great when you have a way to store the bulk items and you know for certain that the items purchased are in fact things that get used up.
Grocery price comparison is a very important part of a frugal lifestyle.

When going grocery shopping, it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the different products on display as well as the variety within each product category. This is not by accident. Supermarkets are intense and highly proficient marketing environments whose objective it is to encourage you to spend more. Everything from how and where the products are laid out, to the sounds, smells and lighting, is used in a way that makes customers want to stay longer, walk the aisles slower, and ultimately spend more. Does this mean you should stop shopping there if you want to save money on groceries? Absolutely not – there are several reasons why you should still shop at big supermarkets if you are on a tight budget. They offer customers convenience (which is time-saving), discounts and bargains, and variability which allows consumers access to all kinds of ingredients at various prices.

However, there are several things you can do to ensure that you are not tricked into spending more than you need to – plan your purchases and shop from a shopping list, compare grocery prices, do some or all of your food purchases online and look at trade down product alternatives. Put all these strategies to work and you will not only avoid the frivolous spending temptations set up by supermarkets, but also you will find yourself spending much less on your groceries.

THE BEST WAY TO COMPARE PRICES FOR GROCERIES WHEN SHOPPING

Many people think that when it comes to saving money on groceries, the most important thing is to compare grocery prices between supermarkets. This is only partially true. If you always compare grocery prices when you are doing your shopping, you will definitely save some money. However, if you want to minimize food expenditure, it is not enough just to ensure that you are buying groceries from the supermarket where they are the cheapest. You also need to ensure that you are buying only food that you will actually eat and that you are taking all alternatives into consideration when it comes to the grocery price comparison.

Buying in bulk from large chain stores can also save you money throughout a year. If you do not have a membership but someone in your family or you have a friend that does, take a shopping trip together. If this works out for both of you, perhaps the two of you can split the cost of a membership and take turns going into these frugal lifestyle stores.
Compare prices when shopping.

Buying only the food that you will actually eat sounds like common sense, but there is a good reason why this point is emphasized. A lot of people, whether they are aware of it or not, actually buy a lot more food than they eat, resulting in a lot of waste of food and money. In fact, the average American family of four spends more than $2000 a year on food they end up throwing away! So if you want to save money, start planning your meals a week in advance. Since you’ll know what you need before you go shopping, you can compare grocery prices at home using online tools that show you how much your basket will cost at several major supermarkets. Then, do your weekly shopping all at once and only buy things that are on the shopping list, which is based on your preplanned weekly menu.

This way you will not only stop wasting food and money, but also you will be less susceptible to the supermarkets’ main marketing strategies. The aim of most of their strategies is to prolong your visit to the supermarket – the longer you’re there, the more you will spend. Making impulsive purchases is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can take you away from your goal – whether that is to save money, have a healthier diet, both, or something else. Buying impulsively also implies that you didn’t have the chance for grocery price comparison beforehand, thus it is probably reducing the possible savings. A shopping list shows exactly what you need to buy and if you are determined to stick to it then there is no chance you will be tempted into buying something that isn’t really essential or good value.

Have a look at the this as well

Lastly, you should try buying (some or all) your groceries online. Even online websites can be customized to entice you to spend more, but the risk is greatly diminished if you already have your shopping list. In fact, online websites which allow you to compare grocery prices and buy groceries online also offer trade down product alternatives that can save you money. The idea is to trade down a brand level and save some money in the process. So, if you were about to buy name brand dish washing liquid, the trade down alternative is to buy dish washing liquid from the supermarket’s own brand. A lot of the time, there is not such a significant difference between product alternatives when you go from brand to own brand and even to value alternatives, especially when it comes to snacks, grains, toiletries, and cleaning products, so it’s worth trying a cheaper alternatives and putting all the savings to better use. Of course, you can use this strategy along with all the rest even if you are not shopping online!

Save Money by Grocery Shopping on a Budget

grocery shopping on a budget saves you time and money for many reasons. You take with you only the money that you need for what is on your list. That means, you will only buy the items you need because you have only allotted yourself a certain amount of money. Stay firm with your frugal living plans and you will save money.
Grocery shopping on a budget helps you stick to your shopping list.

Whether you want to start living more frugally, pay off debt or save up for a high-ticket item, living on a budget is a great way to achieve your financial goals. Food is one of those expenses that we have on a regular basis, and yet we don’t really think about how much it’s costing us. If you’re trying to cut down on food spending and save some money, then you should probably substitute eating out and fast food with home-cooked, low-cost meals. Doing your grocery shopping on a budget is the best way to lower your expenses even further, so here are some tips and tricks that will help you keep to the budget and make the most of it.

If you’re looking at your expenditure on food and disliking the fact that food expenditure takes up a lot of your monthly budget then imposing a strict restriction on your food expenses can make you more efficient and save you some cash. If you set a predetermined amount to be spent on food each month then you will have a bigger incentive to buy affordable ingredients as well as to make sure that no purchase is made in vain. Both of these activities in combination can lower your food expenditure by one quarter or more. Thus, doing your grocery shopping on a budget can be a great way to save some money.

save money on grocery shopping with frugal living.
Cooking fresh meals increases the quality of frugal living while. you save money on grocery shopping.

Being Creative Shopping for Groceries on a Budget

At the same time, grocery shopping on a frugal living budget will require you to be creative and resourceful if you want to enjoy great taste and food quality at a lower price. Doing the grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t automatically imply that you can only afford to buy cheap ingredients. If your budget is big enough, then of course you can afford more expensive ingredients as well. However, if you want to minimize your expenses on food, the best way is to use a lot of staple ingredients which are low-cost and store well, and then elevate the taste with herbs, frozen vegetables and fruits and more expensive ingredients when they happen to be discounted. Great staple foods include rice, quinoa, legumes, pasta and potatoes as well as frozen and canned fish. This ingredient list is very versatile and allows you to create all kinds of different meals which are tasty, nutritious and inexpensive.

Make sure to get the best prices on seasonal produce by looking at volume prices. Frugal living means only buying what your household needs in order to save money for the things you want to do later.
Your grocery shopping list should include seasonal produce which helps you at the checkout!

The best way to make sure you don’t overspend while you’re doing the grocery shopping on a budget is to shop from a shopping list. The act of already having selected what you really need to buy before you get to the supermarket is going to prevent you from making impulsive purchases and buying food that you won’t eat. You must keep in mind that supermarkets are marketing environments that want to get you to spend as much as possible. Everything from how the products are laid out to the sounds and smells in the supermarket is made to encourage spending by the consumers. The best way to resist the subtle temptations is to stick to your list.

Here’s another tip – when you’re grocery shopping on a budget, one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your buck is to make use of grocery price comparison tools. These tools allow you to enter all the items you need in a virtual shopping basket and then they give you an approximation of how much that basket of goods will cost at various large supermarkets. Not only that, but many tools also show you cheaper alternatives to the products you’ve selected. Even if you’re not willing to downgrade a brand level, these tools can help you buy the exact products you need from the supermarket where the price is lowest.

Save Money by Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Lastly, shopping for fresh ingredients when they are in season is an affordable way to enjoy variety while grocery shopping on a budget. If you buy fruits and vegetables that are out of season then you are also paying a premium that covers the extra shipping costs as well as the convenience of eating food that is out of season. Conversely, fruits and vegetables that are in season sell at a discounted price compared to other fresh produce which allows you to make a variety of low cost meals. This makes them a great addition to a well-balanced, frugal living, low-cost menu.

Online Grocery List Maker and Printable Grocery List

out of all of the inventions of this century a grocery list maker takes the cake. This little time and money saving idea can really help you on your frugal living journey.
Grocery list makers keep you from buying too much or too little at the store.

Everywhere around the web, I see people searching for a grocery list maker. If you are one of these searchers, you’ve landed on the right page. We are going to show you the ultimate shopping list generator we’ve ever seen. If you want to make a grocery list, it is really simple. You just need the proper tools and that is exactly what BudgetHub is going to provide.

A grocery list will generally change each shopping trip, unless you have your pantry super organized. I have a buddy who buys his food in bulk by listing all the types’ food he needs for the month. He then continues to freeze the produce and put everything into storage. Each month he is able to go to the supermarket with the same exact list. However, this is not realistic for most people so in order to efficiently buy groceries; one will need a grocery list maker.

With a proper grocery list template, it is simple to just fill out everything you need. You might even get some ideas while looking over the template. Say you put down milk; you might see that there is also a field to fill out for eggs. You check your fridge and you have no eggs! You can then fill in that you need eggs. It is really as simple as that to create a standard grocery shopping list.

With frugal living being a major issue today there could be no better idea than the printable grocery list. There are two main types of free grocery list makers: online and printable. We will be covering both and for the most part, both types of list creators have the same exact advantages and disadvantages. If you choose to use one of the options that you find on BudgetHub, it is most likely the case that you are going to be able to save money. If you organize your shopping list, you’ll be able to find coupons that you need more easily. We’ll be covering couponing more in depth in future articles.

Free Printable Grocery List

Below you will find our customized free grocery list maker. It is really simple to print. All you need to do is click and find your browsers ‘print page’ option. Share this with you friends if you find the template useful. We will also go over more printable shopping lists in a later post.

Grocery list making template. Print now!

a printable grocery list has become the standard for many people these days. There are even those who use Excel to save their personalized lists according to the meals they plan for each week out of the month which initially requires some time and effort but the end result is a weekly list tailored to your needs which saves you money and fits well into any frugal living situation.
A printable grocery list saves time and possibly trips to the store for forgotten items.

The printout consists of three templates, all pretty equal in width. There are many different boxes filled with lines. You can fill out the ‘Frozen Food Aisles’, ‘Non-Food Items’, ‘Dry Food Aisles’, ‘Reminders’, ‘Produce Section’, ‘Dairy Section’, and ‘Meat Section’ boxes. I gave this printout to a friend and he requested a few because he found it to be super useful.

Online Grocery List Maker and Template
This is our top recommendation

There are many spectacular options for online grocery list makers and we’re going to go over a few. There are tons of grocery list making apps available on the Google Play Store. To be honest, you should be able to find a nice little tool by using Google and just searching for a list creator. That is exactly what I have done for years and I will continue doing it.

I honestly prefer to use a printable shopping list. It’s a lot nicer sitting down with a piece of paper and a pen and letting my brain flow onto the template. I mean come on! You’ll save more money using the printout shopping list than it will cost to actually print.

By searching online, you can find grocery list maker that are excel based. Some are aisle by aisle and some focus on the food groups. You can do this on a budget. If creating one of these grocery lists wasn’t cheap, we most definitely wouldn’t be featuring a tutorial on BudgetHub for goodness sakes!

How to Grow Your Savings – Save Money Tips

Being frugal means that you are using your money wisely, it does not mean you are cheap. It means that you do not take what you have for granted and that you use everything that you have and buy only what you need. Becoming frugal is a great one of the great saving money tips that we can give you. If you rethink all of your mindless spending you will wind up making better decisions which will in turn help you to figure out your own tips to save money. The idea that we are all spending too much on housing is not a new idea and should be looked at very carefully. If you need to live in a certain area for your kids to go to a good school that is one thing that you might be unable to compromise on however, there might also be good schools in an area where the housing is much cheaper. We live in a great town with good schools and happened to find an apartment that was smaller than what we were used to but, still big enough for the three of us and we still have a guest room. We compromised on the bathroom space, meaning we have only one now but, we are only paying half of what we paid before when we lived in the city.
Save money tips and tricks

When it comes to saving money, there are hundreds of little saving money tips out there that show you how to do small changes in your everyday life and save a bit of cash. This article takes a different approach. It will mostly focus on save money tips with a large payoff – tips that have a very large impact on your finances. Thus, it is also natural that implementing these tips won’t happen overnight. Rather, it will take planning and time to put them into action, but once you do it, it will be worth it.

Common Sense Saving Money Tips

One of the most effective saving money tips is to rethink your living space. This is economically beneficial both in the short term and in the long term. Rethinking your living space is about looking into how much space you really need. A lot of people own and/or rent a lot of space which isn’t actually essential, and as we all know space is certainly not a cheap commodity.

Rethinking your living space begins with one step – getting rid of all your clutter (this is one of the best saving money tips in its own right). It means going through everything you own and deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to sell. You should keep in storage only seasonal clothes and a few other items. If you need a storage unit or a whole room to keep all your extra things, then you are keeping too much. Just from selling some of your things you will get some extra money in your pocket and you could put the earnings into an emergency fund or a savings account. Also, this tip goes both ways – when you need something, always try to look for used first. Without any preconceptions or assumptions, just ask around, ask friends and family and check online. Even with that little effort, you might find exactly what you need for a steeply discounted price.

Moving to a smaller space is a great way to put into practice one of our saving money tips. Smaller spaces do not need as much heat or cooling, use less electricity, less upkeep and probably even less water. Meaning you will spend less to live and have more to save or invest for the long term. This in turn will be a turning point for you into becoming frugal. I now rethink everything I see while I am out shopping. I ask myself is this something that we need? If the answer to that is no, I usually will not buy it, where before I would just purchase the item without giving it a second thought. There are so many people in this world with saving money tips and tricks that it should be easy to find some that you can identify with and use in your own life to help you build a better future. If you implement four saving money tips into your life now, over the course of a year you could have thousands of dollars set aside.
Change your lifestyle so you can build up your nest egg with saving money tips

The second step in rethinking your space is to assess whether it makes sense to move into a smaller house or apartment. If you are facing serious financial difficulties, then the answer will probably be yes. But, even if you are not and you are just implementing these saving money tips to save for retirement or investments, you should still take this question into serious consideration. Moving into a smaller place can save you serious money and it’s worth considering what you could do with the savings. Also, while you are calculating the benefits vs. the costs, also look into renting and owning as housing alternatives. A lot of people think that owning your house/apartment is an investment and clearly the way to go, but that is just a preconception. Whether it is true or not depends on the circumstances i.e. the mortgage rate, insurance cost, rent, etc. of the specific places you are considering.

The second set of saving money tips has to with transportation. A car costs a lot to obtain and to maintain. On top of that, it costs a lot to store – you need a garage and you probably have to pay for parking most places you go. But is it really necessary? With carpooling, public transportation and bicycles, you have three great alternatives to using a car on a daily basis. Public transportation can be a great way to save money, especially if you obtain seasonal or yearly passes which come at a significant discount. Using a bicycle to get around is a great way to be environmentally-friendly, keeps you active, and it’s basically for free.

This is our best recommendation

You don’t have to pick one of these alternatives – you can find a combination that suits your lifestyle. For example, you could carpool to and from work, use the bicycle for traveling in your leisure time, and use public transportation occasionally as the need arises. Selling your car and making a switch to these transportation alternatives probably won’t be easy at first, but the savings really are considerable. Thus, if you have committed to a frugal lifestyle and taking saving money tips seriously, then you should at least read up on each of these transportation alternatives for the area where you live and see what people have to say about feasibility, practicality and cost-efficiency.

Our Tips on How to Start Saving Money

how to start saving money

It may be surprising to you but many people do not know how to start saving money. Saving money is simple, but people do not know where to start. This guide is for those who are already saving money with other strategies laid out on this site. Now the question is: how do I save more money?

Saving More Money will Save You In The Long Term!

There are thousands of ways to save more money and in this article we will be illustrating just a few of those ways. If you wish to, you can research even further into other methods. In order to save more cash, all you have to do is spend less… in theory. However, that theory isn’t always that simple. You will need to make sacrifices to reach your goals, but in the end, you’ll be grateful that you made those sacrifices. It’s so much better to have money than not.

You Should Focus on the future

There are many things to look ahead towards in life. A major thing that we see is people wanting to be debt free. This is a huge thing to look forward to in the future. Save more money to make your future more enjoyable. If you only live once, make this life the best that you can.

If you plan on having children, it is super important to budget your money now and have stable finances before introducing a new member into your family. Being financially free and having a new child in your family can be one of the most rewarding things ever.

Retirement is something you should be saving money for as long as you have money. Set aside a certain percentage of your income every paycheck is recommended. If you follow a proper budget planning worksheet this should be simple. Look more into saving money for retirement; you’ll be thanking us later.

Keep your eye on your goal

saving money tipsBefore you set out on saving money, you must identify a goal. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Without a goal it’ll feel like you’re going through all this effort for nothing. Spend a few minutes and make a list of goals. You can even add onto this list of goals later.

If you need some ideas for goals that may be in your life, think about how you want your life to be. Do you want to be adventurous? Maybe it is time to start saving up for a vacation of your dreams. Do you want to be financially free? How about you start saving money to achieve more. These are just some ideas, there are infinite other reasons to save some dough. You could start a business, buy your kids a present, or even fill your bathtub up with quarters.

So with a goal set, saving money should feel more like a game rather than a task that lags on and on. It should be enjoyable to log your money every day and put aside percentages of your income. Make this into a game! Every time you save money, you’re reaching a new high score. Plus at the end you’re granted with a reward for beating the objective, the goal.

How To Save Money – Our Top Pick<– Click here

Spend cash, not plastic.

People with credit cards and other plastic spending devices are most likely to spend more money. They are more likely to make impulse purchases because credit cards feel like pretend money. You’re just swiping your card rather than handing over cash.

To save more money, you must force yourself to feel the pain of spending dollar bills rather than 1’s and 0’s. In addition to being able to associate your money to dollar bills, it is also easier to budget your money using a cash envelop system. You should really head over and check it out if you want to be able to save more money.

8 Save Money Tips That Will Make You a Happy Person

Saving money is not just about frugal living, as many are tempted to think. It’s about being smart, too. After all, it makes no sense to torture yourself with restraints just for the sake of having some more money in the future. It is also about having the discernment to make the right choices.

save money tips

We have some save money tips for you and we promise that, if you apply these, you won’t be suffering. On the contrary, you could start living a better, perhaps healthier life, with a new and more satisfying outlook. Here’s what you should be doing to save money with as little trouble as possible.

  1. Shopping around

Take a few minutes to go online and look for the better offer, regardless of what you’re planning to buy. Shop around for a better TV cable, phone and broadband bundle deal, for home and car insurance, for your favorite brand of cosmetic products or home repair contractor. There is significant competition in all fields and you are sure to find companies or stores with better prices than others. If recurring expenses are concerned, you will then come back to the cheaper vendor.

  1. Have fun at home

how to save moneyAre you a fan of movies? Instead of going to the cinema every weekend, better gather a few friends and watch a movie at home. Inspire everyone to bring something to eat or drink. It will be cheaper than a trip to the city cinema. Do you and your close ones like to have a meal at a restaurant every now and then? Replace it with a home cooked meal, it’s fun and bonding.

  1. Understand what you do out of pride

Many expenses are out of pride or simply demonstrative. They’re like saying, “I can afford this, I am high on the social ladder!” In truth this is usually only a sign of conceit. You don’t need a piece of clothing with e certain label on it if you can find cheaper alternatives of the same quality. You don’t need to impress anyone by buying yourself three expensive cocktails whenever you go to the pub. These are all useless things we employ to create the illusion of status.

  1. Replace the car with a bike

Whether you are used to driving or taxing a taxi, consider replacing this with bike rides. It will help you save a lot (and also tone up your muscles) during the warm months.

  1. Think green

Going ‘green’ does not only mean caring about the environment. It is healthy for yourself, as well as economical. There are so many ways to accomplish this: limit the electricity and fuel consumption, use less paper, wrap, foil etc., less detergent, make your own soap, cream, lotion, hair oil, tinctures and so on. It’s more convenient to buy the things you need from the store, but it’s much cheaper (and rewarding, too) to look for nature’s alternative.

  1. Cater to your real needs – Start a journal

saving moneyWe spend too much on what we perceive as a need, but in fact it is only a caprice. Make a journal with all your expenses, day by day. After a few weeks, ponder over each item on the list. Did you really need it or was it the impulse of a moment? Was it truly for yourself or to impress someone? Did you buy something just because everyone had it? Make it a point to avoid buying such items or services in future. Journals like these will help you realize how much money you’re giving away for things you don’t really need.

  1. Research cheap meal recipes

It’s amazing how much money can go on food that goes into various recipes, such as an expensive sauce, oils, side dishes etc. If you research cheap meal recipes though, you discover endless ways to prepare delicious meals with fewer and cheaper ingredients: pasta, casseroles, rice dishes etc. You can enjoy nourishing and tasty meals for a lot less.

  1. Learn to say no

It’s great to have friends who take you to different places, but sometimes their budget may not match yours. They could be taking you to expensive venues and make you order some of the more sophisticated items on the menu. You spend the money either out of shame or because you just happen to go with the flow. Next time a friend wants you to join them in an expensive location, you can politely refuse or suggest a different place. It’s in your power to control these things. Your expenses don’t have to match the ones of your rich friends or relatives.

You don’t have to limit the fun you have or make a radical change of lifestyle. These tips should empower you and inspire you to see more choices out there. There are great, cheaper alternatives to almost anything you are used to.

Here is our best guide on how to save money

How to Save More Money: Tips for Small Budgets

Few things in the world are as frustrating and draining as trying to save money when you’re already on a tight budget. The following will help you go through this with ease, giving you a better understanding of smart expenses and healthy habits that lead to savings and teach you how to save more money.

how to save more money

Tips on Saving More Money in Your Daily Life

Use a Budget Spreadsheet

This is something that anyone should do, from the poorest people to the billionaires. In fact, the rich and successful ones always do this. Choose one of the templates available online for free, made to use in Excel or another similar program. Use these to plan your monthly budget and keep track of all your expenses. It will make you aware of aspects you normally ignore or simply miss. This can be the tool to save your finances.

save money tipsWho do you go shopping with?

Forget about snacks in the city. Ever realized how much others make you spend? If you take your children with you when shopping, they may beg for sweets or anything nice they see. Are you able to say no every time? Also, when friends join you, no matter how pleasant their company is, you could end up spending way too much money. They get hungry or thirsty so you have to join them at the bistro or coffee shop. They purchase an expensive brand and you feel compelled to do the same. Stop this. Go shopping alone and you will spend your money with discernment, only on the things you truly need.

You can eat well at home or bring a snack with you – a chocolate, cereal bar or anything suitable you find at the supermarket, where the price tags are also more manageable. If you rely on the supply of certain venues, on snacks from coffee shops and other such location in your way, you will be paying much more for the same treat. It may not feel like it’s too much, but if it’s almost a habit or occurs several times per week then it’s adding up.

Shop around for new service bundles

You may be pleased with the current broadband or phone service, but the market is so competitive that companies always issue new and better prices bundles. You may find a suitable package if you shop around. You can get all the services you need from the same company and pay a lot less than with separate ones.

Insurance policies you can live without

Some of us are getting too many insurances. Keep your life anxiety in check and insure only what is truly at risk, like your house and vehicle. Many of the policies advertized nowadays are simply speculating people’s fears or convince them using false statistics and scary news. You may not need a home warranty, a pet insurance or even a travel insurance.

Handle the bills better

It’s hard to pay on time when you hardly have the money, but do your best to honor those bills by the deadline. If you don’t, they will incur additional costs and that is something to avoid. Also, your credit score will suffer. Paying those extra fees will only get you into more debt eventually. It could be several hundreds extra per year.

Get a cheaper cell phone plan

How many of those minutes do you actually use to make phone calls? Are 2000 minutes in the same network truly necessary? Are you really using up all those international text messages? Perhaps you could use a cheaper plan with fewer minutes in it. Also, you may not need a high data allowance if you encounter WiFi hotspots frequently.

Avoid those costly software licenses

Unless you are required to use only specific programs, you can replace pretty much any of those with a free alternative. For example, have the OpenOffice suite instead of Microsoft’s entire Office package. It is all legal and clean and you don’t have to spend anything on it.

The 24-hour rule

Did you spot an item that’s a bit expensive but you totally feel like buying it? Wait for 24 hours – at least! It could easily be an impulse purchase, which can be very damaging to your budget and take away from your goal of how to save more money.

Also, it may prove to be a lot less satisfying than you expected. Wait for a day or two to see how you feel about it. It’s also smart to do some research and read reviews or have another look at the product. This technique has saved countless people from wasting money on things that only caught their eye for a brief moment.

Being on a small budget doesn’t have to intimidate you. As long as you can pull yourself out of the consumerist trends, all your expenses make sense and you stop wasting money. In most situations, there is something you can do better. Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on certain matters and given you some ideas on how to save more money.

Here is our top guide on how to save money

The Easiest Ways to Save Energy

There are a lot of reasons why conserving energy is a good idea. Firstly, a lot of our electricity comes from non-renewable resources. Thus, the less energy we consume, the less we will disrupt the environment we’re all a part of. Secondly, the less energy we consume, the less we have to rely and be dependent on external parties as energy providers. Thirdly, conserving energy makes sense financially. Being more efficient with energy usage doesn’t take up a lot of effort, but it can save you a lot of money. Thus, if you can avoid spending a lot on utility bills, then why shouldn’t you? Here are some doable, effective ways to save energy in your home.

easy ways to save energy

One of the easy ways to save energy is to switch from using electricity from the grid to generating and using electricity from solar power. This strategy implies an upfront investment for a solar power system, but the investment can be recovered several times over the life of the system. Not only that, but the combination of a solar power system and the right conditions can make you completely self-sufficient energy-wise. This has the equivalent financial and environmental effect of diminishing the demand for grid energy by the consumption of an entire household over several decades. Talk about reducing your carbon footprint!

However, a large investment isn’t always necessary to cut down on energy consumption. Many of the best ways to save energy are easy to do and cost little to nothing. Some of them have to with how and when you use the appliances you already have. For example, one cost-free way to save energy is to switch off and unplug all electronic devices in your home while they are not being used, excluding the refrigerator and the oven. Thus, when you are working at your desk, ideally you should have only the desk light on (as opposed to using multiple wall lights), have your kitchen appliances like electric kettle and toaster unplugged and have your entertainment-related devices switched off and unplugged. Also, you should use LED bulbs, which are very energy-efficient and affordable, for all your lighting fixtures.

how to save energy

SAVING ENERGY SAVES MONEY

In addition, if your aim isn’t just to save energy but also to save on energy bills, you should try to use high-energy-consuming appliances during off-peak hours, when the cost of electricity is lower than the regular rate. This primarily includes the water heater, washing machine and dishwasher. Regarding the dishwasher, you should disable the dish drying function on the dishwasher cycle – it costs a lot of energy to dry the dishes artificially albeit quickly, when they could air dry on their own just as well. Same goes for the laundry – a dryer isn’t really necessary when a foldable drying rack does the same thing practically for free (and it won’t shrink any of your clothes either).

Other low-cost, easy ways to save energy have to with small adjustments and replacements around the house. One such adjustment is to properly seal all windows, doors and other air leaks. This can be easily achieved with some caulk – and a tube will cost you only a couple of dollars. This adjustment is really worth making because it will make it easier and cheaper to maintain the desired temperature in your home and thus it will save you a lot of money over time. Speaking of temperature, getting a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to save energy used for heating or cooling your house. Especially if you live in colder climates, a programmable thermostat can ensure that you don’t waste energy warming up your house during the whole day but you still have it warm for you when you come home from work.

Try them and you’ll see – all these ways to save energy are really easy to do and the savings do add up. The best way to see how much you’re saving is to compare the utilities bill after you have implemented these for a month with the utilities bill for the same month last year. Since the seasonal conditions and patterns are mostly the same, this should give you a realistic assessment of how much all of these ways to save energy are reducing your energy consumption.

Here is our ultimate guide on how to save on utilities

Here is How to Save Money On Electricity Starting Today

how to save money on electricityNowadays, most people are already aware that they should be careful with energy consumption – both because it constitutes a significant expense on a regular basis and because it has quite a large effect on the environment. Some people simply don’t know how to save money on electricity easily or think that it will take commitment to get real results. Many think that when it comes to lowering the electricity bills, the methods require a substantial investment up front. This implies that the savings won’t start to accumulate until the investment is recovered. This can be troublesome for a lot of households that can’t afford to invest right now – what they really need are ways to save electricity quickly and cheaply. If you find yourself in this group or if you just want to lower your energy consumption in any way possible then try these suggestions on how to save money on electricity with some simple, low-cost adjustments to your home and lifestyle. It can be done easily and cheaply, but it does require determination and commitment.

Firstly, here is how to save money on electricity used by lighting fixtures. Using LED bulbs for your lighting fixtures and using the lights only when you need them are two ways to reduce your energy consumption that cost you practically nothing! LED bulbs are the most energy efficient bulbs you could use and they don’t have any potentially harmful components like the CFL (compact fluorescent lights) bulbs, which contain mercury. Switching off all the lights when you exit a room is a must. Furthermore, you should light just enough fixtures to provide the necessary lighting. For example, if you are reading at the desk, it’s much more efficient

to have only the desk lamp on than all the wall lights (which are usually controlled by a single switch) or an overhead one. Even if the effect of these actions doesn’t seem significant at first, the savings do add up, and if you don’t have to spend that money on electricity, then why should you?

Various Ways To Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

ways to save electricityIt’s not just your lights you should switch off when you’re not using them, but most other electricity-consuming devices as well. The TV, PC, device chargers and adapters, loudspeakers, electric kettle, toaster and basically everything else except for the fridge, oven and heating devices should be switched off and unplugged from the socket when they are not used. This strategy won’t cost you a dime and doesn’t take much effort either, while the combined effect can be significant. If you want to make things even easier, use a power strip with a switch to power devices you usually use at the same time (such as devices on your desk). Then you can “unplug” all of them at once.

Here is how to save money on electricity while doing household chores. First of all, most electricity companies have off-peak hours when the rates are much lower, so one of the most effective ways how to save money on electricity is to use the washing machine and the dishwasher during those hours. This strategy also doesn’t cost a dime, but you may have to adjust your schedule to make sure things get done at the right time.

When you’re cooking, always make sure that the diameter of the pan is the same size or larger than the diameter of the hot plate. If you use a lid, you can save up 2/3 of the energy needed to maintain a certain temperature in the pot. Smaller pressure cookers that match the size of your hotplates are the way to go for maximum energy-efficiency.

Regarding laundry and dishes, the best way how to save money on electricity cheaply and easily is to let the clothes and dishes dry on their own. If you have a balcony, you can easily set up a laundry line. If you don’t have one, then you can use a foldable drying rack, which is very cheap compared to the money you spend on powering the dryer for just a few loads of laundry. Hanging a load of laundry takes only about 10 minutes!

saving electricityAs for the dishes, you probably haven’t thought about the fact that the dishwasher spends a lot of energy in order to dry them. Why is that necessary, when they can simply air dry without causing you any inconvenience? Thus, disable the dish drying function in the dishwasher cycle and just let them dry naturally.

Lastly, if you really want to lower your electricity bills then make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed. A tube of caulk costs only a few dollars, and it will save you much more on heating/cooling, especially if you live in a climate that requires it a lot of the year. How to save money on electricity when temperatures get really high? Make sure you ventilate the house in the morning and at night, when the air is cooler. During the day, close the windows and pull down the blinds, especially while you are not at home. And when it gets really cold? Then you should make sure you aren’t overheating the house unnecessarily – like leaving the heating on when you’re out or having the indoor temperature higher than needed. In other words, first put on a sweater and socks, and then turn up the heating if you’re still feeling cold. And that’s how to save money on electricity easily and cheaply!

Here is our ultimate guide on how to save on utilities

Best How To Save Money Tips Just For You

how to save money tipsSaving money is not easy. In theory, it might sound easy, but in practice, it is not so easy to do. When it comes to personal finances, everyone should learn the basic strategies of saving and spending money – tracking your expenses, making a budget, etc. However, this article is not intended to discuss strategies, rather it is intended to provide you with a lot of simple tips on saving money you could start using from tomorrow. So, here are some practical and easy ‘how to save money’ tips, and even though these won’t teach you everything you need to know about personal finances, it’s enough to know that the savings do add up!

When it comes to food, there a lot of effective ‘how to save money’ tips. Always shop around for the best price for things like canned foods, legumes and all kinds of pasta. And try to incorporate these ingredients in your diet as much as you can (if you really need some cash as soon as possible) because they really are cheap to begin with. These products can be stored for a fairly long time, so it is worth stocking up when you find a great deal. Also, they are relatively easy to transport, so make sure that in your price comparison you also include online food retailers. Buying some or all of your food online can really help you save a lot of money over time.

Some Universal Money Saving Tips

In addition, you should think about preparing your beverages and your lunch for work at home. This is one of the best ‘how to save money’ tips because it will allow you to instantly save money and you also control what goes into your everyday meals. If you’re not sure what to make for lunch, don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of great recipe ideas online and you will probably find a lot of them you like.

tips on saving moneyRegarding housing, a major expense in any budget, there are no easy ‘how to save money’ tips, but here are a few that are worth the effort. First of all, make sure you are not paying for space you don’t need. If you own your house or apartment, and you feel like it is a bit too big for you, then really look into finding a suitable roommate. This will provide you with significant savings that you could put to more productive uses! If you rent your living space, then make sure that you are either living close to your workplaces or getting a great bang for your buck. And if you are renting any storage facilities, as many people do nowadays, then ask yourself if that is really necessary. Make a decision to sell all of the things you don’t really use from your house and your storage place, so that you don’t need to use a storage facility at all anymore. This will give you an instant cash boost and lasting savings from not paying for a storage unit.

Here are the three best ‘how to save money’ tips regarding transportation. Firstly, keep your engine tuned, your tires to their proper pressure, and avoid fast start-ups and stops. All of this will save you hundreds of dollars in gas and maintenance costs over a year. Secondly, make sure to shop around for gas and use the lowest-octane gas recommended by the manufacturer – this will also save you a lot of money over time. Lastly, substitute all cab rides with public transit, which can be up to $5-$10 cheaper per trip.

Finally, here are some general ‘how to save money’ tips. Practice preventive dental care (only toothpaste and floss required) in order to preserve your dental health and avoid altogether more expensive procedures like fillings, dental crowns, root canals, etc. Secondly, when you’re about to make an unusual purchase (so not food, rent, or gas), always ask yourself how many hours it will take on your salary to earn as much again. This will really put into perspective whether that new smartphone or pair of heels is really worth it. Finally, check if the company where you work has any partnerships with companies to provide discounts for its employees, and then take advantage of such discounts.

Here is our ultimate guide on how to save now

The last couple of ‘how to save money’ tips are about saving itself. Set yourself short-term saving goals for each week and make sure you stick to them. If you put away just $10 a week, by the end of the year you will have a decent emergency fund. If that sounds like too much to you, then at least collect all your change and over time that should give you equal savings. Don’t touch that emergency fund unless you really find yourself in an emergent situation or using it would prevent you from going into (further) debt.

Tips for Living Frugal On a Budget

living frugalOne of the best ways to boost your savings or quickly pay off a significant amount of debt is to adopt, permanently or temporarily, a frugal lifestyle. A frugal lifestyle entails eliminating waste from your life, increasing efficiency, and finding better ways to do everyday things. A lot of the aspects of living frugal can often seem weird or too difficult to do, simply because people have become accustomed to relying on external parties for all sorts of goods and services. But the more you commit to a frugal lifestyle, the bigger the benefits will be. If you are willing to learn how to do things in a new, more efficient way, you will be able to whip your finances into better shape in no time. This article will focus in particular on frugal living and household expenses, such as food and home cleaning. Here are some strategies to get you started.

Frugal Living Tips and Tricks

Food takes up a lot of most households’ budgets. If you factor in the cost of all the food you buy and make at home, of the food and drinks you have at your workplace, of your morning coffee, brunch, dining out, and going out for drinks, it all adds up to quite a sum. Thus, food expenditure is definitely one of those things that you can be really frugal with, if you only take the time. If you are really serious about frugal living, then the first thing you should do is to minimize eating out from convenience and eat out only for special occasions or when the food/drinks offered are unique and cannot be prepared at home.

frugal living tips

Eating out for the sake of convenience is when you buy your morning coffee on your way to work instead of preparing one from home, or when you have lunch from the restaurant near your office instead of bringing something homemade. Such expenses really do pile on quickly, since they are pretty much happening on a daily basis. Eating out in such cases is against the tenets of frugal living because it entails lack of preparation and loss in efficiency. Calculate right now how much it would cost to make a great cup of coffee at home and compare that to how much you’re paying for it outside. Even if the difference is only in cents/pennies, and probably it’s more than that, it becomes significant enough over time. So find an acceptable way to bring food and beverages from home and stick with it. After all, how hard can it be to find a decent inexpensive food container and a nice-looking water bottle that can easily be filled with anything?

Now turn your focus to eating in – what kind of ingredients you use and where and how you obtain them. Incorporating canned foods, frozen vegetables, and pastas and grains is a great way to keep food expenses low. One of the previously mentioned ‘too hard to do’ aspects of frugal living is to grow your own food! Now, this is something most people would instantly reject as too difficult or not worth it, but they’d be wrong on both counts. Starting a home garden is really easy nowadays with so many instructional videos and articles available online. You can do it indoors and outdoors, wherever you can spare some space. And the savings can be quite significant since you can easily grow small plants and kinds of herbs. Fresh, organic vegetables and most types of herbs are usually quite expensive in terms of price vs. satiation and quantity. But, this aspect of frugal living will enrich you in more ways than one – it will also allow you to have variety in your meals for a low cost, you will benefit from the therapeutic effect of gardening, and you feel proud to be a little more self-sufficient.

how to live frugallyThe last couple of frugal living tips are regarding the topic of household cleaning. When it comes to keeping your home clean on a budget, you can save a lot on cleaning agents for the laundry and for general cleaning purposes. A great way to save a ton of money on household cleaning is to start making your own laundry detergent. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s incredibly easy and cheap to make at home. You could save about 25 cents per wash so the more people are in your household, the more this is worth doing. When it comes to cleaning in general, it’s even easier. All you need to clean your counters, your stove, your shower, floors and even toilet, is a simple mix of vinegar and water. This mix is a real all-purpose cleaner, which is gentle enough to use on almost all surfaces, excluding textiles. Once you see how much you are saving by just using these two strategies, you will wonder why you didn’t start your frugal living earlier!

Here is our ultimate guide on how to live frugally on a budget

Live a Free Life with Proper Personal Financial Management

personal financial managementThe management of personal finances is something each of us does on a regular basis, and yet it is a skill that isn’t taught in schools and we mostly pick up on our own, usually as freshmen newly in charge of all our major expenses. With this in mind, is it surprising that many people are struggling to take control of their personal finances? It seems like we just have to make certain purchases, afford certain things, splurge on this and that, and before we know it we find ourselves in a lot of debt and without any savings at all. If you want to break out of this cycle then the first thing to do is to learn about personal financial management. This article will introduce you to the basics – why it is so important, what the main principles are, and what kind of tools you have at your disposal to help you manage money better.

Personal financial management is all about keeping track of your financial obligations and planning your expenses in advance before they occur. The purpose is for you to not just be in charge, but also be fully aware of how much you are spending and what you are spending on. For example, if you were asked right now how much you spend on food per week, you would probably be able to give a rough estimate. But if you actually carry out the calculation, you will probably be surprised by the result. Most people’s rough estimates underestimate actual expenses, not just on food but on most other things too. And the miscalculations add up, resulting in considerable amounts of credit card debt. This kind of debt could have easily been avoided by better planning and an emergency fund, but once it piles up it is much more difficult to deal with. For one, interest rate payments are a totally unnecessary drain on your income.

Personal Financial Management and Budgeting

personal finance managementWith budgeting, a key tool for personal financial management, you have a much better overview of your financial situation at the beginning and at the end of the month. Most budgeting tools track both budgeted and actual income, expenses, savings and investments. Thus, it quickly becomes apparent whether you are overspending and on what. More than that, budgeting will make you realize that every dollar you spend is significant. Naturally, you will start thinking that if you decreased your spending in certain categories by a just a tiny bit, the savings would be considerable. When you have a bird’s eye of view of the situation, you are much more likely to actually make small cuts wherever possible and get the most bang out of your hard-earned bucks. Just by putting in some effort to make a reasonable budget and stick to it, you will be spending money more efficiently and eliminate a lot of stress from your life – when you’re operating on a budget, you are much less likely to dread paying the bills each month.

The best thing is that when it comes to personal financial management you don’t have to start from scratch. Personal financial management tools are becoming more and more available every year. They come in a variety of forms, including computer software, mobile apps, Excel spreadsheets, printable budget calculators, online calculators, and so on. The basic types of tools are simple to use and allow you to track planned and actual expenses and savings.

More advanced versions offer other features as well – they allow you to connect bank cards to the software in order to have every transaction appear in your budget automatically. Also, a lot of them provide graphs and charts tracking your net worth and budget compliance. Many also provide saving money tips for all kinds of expenses. Prices vary, but the vast majority are certainly affordable, and many such tools are free to download and use.

what is personal financeIn addition to budgeting tools, there are other specialized tools that help with personal financial management in terms of savings and investments. Many of these are intended to simplify the investment process by saving you time and providing you with expert advice for a fraction of the cost. For a monthly subscription fee, they will give you recommendations on how to adjust your holdings in ETFs and other funds and some tools will even perform the transactions for you as well.

Thus, today we have a wide variety of personal financial management tools that do not require you to be a financial expert to use. In fact, they are developed in such a way that everyone can understand and use them. Using these tools consistently will make it much easier to take control of your spending, increase your savings, and optimize on investments. So browse your options, read the reviews, and pick the tools that best fit your lifestyle and your financial goals.

Here is our ultimate guide on personal financial management

Finding Cheap Places to Live

Cheap Places to Live

list of cheap placesIf you’re not happy with your standard of living, the opportunities or with some other aspect of your current place of living then you should consider the idea of settling somewhere new. One of the greatest advantages of living in the United States is that you can easily relocate to another city or state without worrying about language differences or residence permits. Why not make the most of it? Yes, deciding where to settle down can be a daunting task when you have so many cities to choose from.

But, the choice can be much easier if you use the right filters. If you want to improve your standard of living, you’d be interested in places where the cost of living is low. But is that enough? Here is a better strategy – optimize both on the cost of living and on employment opportunities! You could do exactly that if you look at a list of some cheap places to live and then compare them based on employment prospects. That’s exactly what we’ve done here, so read on to discover six cheap places to live in the United States, where the unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

SOME CHEAP CITIES TO LIVE IN

Round Rock, Texas is a city of about 100,000 people, a median income above the national average and an unemployment rate lower than the national average by 1.7%. If you’re still not convinced then another factor worth considering is the fact that you won’t have to pay any state income tax if you live in Texas. Another reason why Round Rock is on the top of our list of the cheap places to live is that groceries there cost about 17% less than thecheap places to live national average. Just imagine how much that could impact your budget if you’re also frugal with your food expenditure! Need we say more?

Next one on the ‘cheap places to live’ list is Norman, Oklahoma – the city with the lowest cost of living and second-lowest unemployment rate. It’s worth knowing that the largest employer in Norman is the University of Oklahoma. In addition to that, housing in Norman costs 28% less than the national average, so it is a great place to live if ample floor space is high on your list of priorities. The capital of Oklahoma is a mere 30-minute drive away.

More Cheap Places To Live

Cedar Rapids, Iowa has a population of about 130,000 and median income of $52,000. Cedar Rapids made our list of cheap places to live in mainly because it has the lowest house prices – the median home value is about $50,000 lower than the national average. Affordable single-family homes make this city attractive to young professionals so it’s no wonder than the proportion of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree is higher than the state average. Another thing Cedar Rapids has to offer its citizens is a wide variety of museums, libraries and parks open for anyone to enjoy.

Next on our list of cheap places to live in the United States is Nebraska capital Lincoln. By population, it is considerably larger than the previous three cities on our list and it has a booming job market too. Lincoln also has the lowest unemployment rate from all the cities on this list while the cost of living is only slightly higher compared to Round Rock, at 10.3% below U.S. average. That’s probably why Forbes ranked it in the top 10 on their list of best places for business and careers in 2014. Median household income and median home values are similar to those of Cedar Rapids. The largest employer is the government.

Warren Buffet Found a Cheap Place to Live

Another one in Nebraska, Omaha is a great place to call home. It has earned bragging rights as one of the best cheap places to live in the U.S. because of its very low level of unemployment and cost of living. With a city population of over 400,000 it is one of the largest cities on this list. It is the headquarters for three Fortune 500 companies and the home of billionaire Warren Buffet. If you also happen to be a baseball fan, then Omaha could definitely be the perfect place for you, since it is the host of the College World Series.

It’s worth mentioning that Omaha also appeared on Forbes’ best places for business and careers list, in the top 30, along with the next city on our list – Durham, North Carolina. Durham has a population of about 250.000 and a median household income of $48,000. It could definitely be the perfect city for you if you are looking for a job in the biotech industry or in education. The largest employers in Durham are Duke University, IBM, Durham Public Schools and GlaxoSmithCline. The median cost of housing in probably the highest on this list, but on the other hand the cost of utilities and transportation in Durham is significantly lower than the national average.

Now that you have a few ideas about cheap places to live where you could improve your standard of living it should be a lot easier to choose a place to settle down in. In order to make the best decision, you should investigate these cities further and maybe start applying for some jobs. Don’t be afraid to take a chance – moving to a new city is an exciting adventure, a chance to meet whole new people and places and make new memories.

Here is our ultimate guide on how to find an inexpensive place to call home

How to Live Cheaply With Less Income

Living Cheaply Due to Low Income

Nowadays, a lot of people can find themselves in a challenging financial situation, facing the need to significantly cut back on expenses. It may be due to having no job, having a low-paying job, or having a lot of debt to pay off. On the other hand, there are people who don’t have to cut back on spending, but they do it anyway in order to pay off their debt early and save on interest or save up for a high-ticket adventure.  For those reasons they need to learn how to live cheaply.

This just goes to show that economizing with household expenses and income is an important concern of every prosperous household. And even though economizing doesn’t always mean living on the cheap, sometimes doing exactly that, even on a short term, will be necessary to overcome financial difficulties. Thus, this article will describe the best tips and tricks that will help you living on less and make the most of it.

living on less

When you’re learning how to live with less and make the most of it, the first thing you should do is to start using a monthly budget calculator. That is an online tool which is useful for planning expenses, income, and savings. More importantly, using a budget calculator makes you more aware of your financial situation and you are more likely to take control of it if you are facing your financial obligations each month. It may take time to get used to the idea of making and following a household budget every month, but soon you will see that it’s easier to do than you thought.

Advantages Of Living with Less

A big advantage of using the monthly budget calculator is that it will make it apparent how much you spend on things like food and housing each month. One of the best ways for living with less is to reduce your expenses

frugal living
Living Cheap Has It’s Rewards

on these things. Reduce housing expenses by renting a smaller house, an apartment instead of a house or just rent a room.. Or if you own your apartment, then you should find a roommate. If you are really pressed for cash, you could even look into living with an elderly or handicapped person. In that type of deals the rooms come a lot cheaper if you agree to occasionally do a few things around the house.

Regarding food expenses and how to live cheaply, a lot can be said about buying in bulk and buying most of your food online. This will allow you to buy most of your ingredients at steep discounts. And what kind of food should you be buying? Your budget-friendly shopping list should include frozen vegetables, canned foods, and legumes. All of these are pretty cheap to begin with, they store well over time, and they’re even kind of healthy, especially the lentils and beans!

Furthermore, they are easy to cook, for example in a stir fry, and you can achieve a lot of variety by mixing in different combinations and some herbs. If you have some free time on your hands, it would also really pay off to get a job in the culinary career while you’re in financial difficulty. A lot of people are able to secure one meal of the day for free at the restaurant where they work.

Education Matters when Learning to Live Cheaply

how to live cheaplyWhile you’re learning how to live cheaply, you should also look into improving your financial literacy and understanding of personal finances. It will not only speed up your financial recovery but also prevent you from getting into a similar situation in the future. The two most important things to learn are how to allocate the cash you do have intelligently and how to put together a debt elimination plan.

If you need to learn living on less odds are you are in a lot of debt, but if you don’t have debt, then work on your savings instead. And remember, being frugal is about how to live cheaply and not waste any money, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t allow yourself some fun once in a while! Don’t forget to allocate some funds for fun in your monthly budget – you need to motivate and enjoy yourself for all the hard work you’re doing!

Here is our ultimate guide on how to live with less on a budget

Money Management Tools – Best Way To Save Money

best ways to save moneyUsing Money Management Tools To Save Money

The vast field of personal finances entails everything from income, expenses, and savings to taxes, loans, mortgages, investments, and retirement funds. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that many people are finding it hard to manage their finances well and make the most of what they have without hiring professionals to do it for them. However, over the past few years, the management of personal finances has gotten a lot of attention, with the effects of a global recession emphasizing the need to make every dollar count. This led to the development of money management tools that are online and that are largely free for consumers to use. Because this is a new field, a lot of people aren’t aware yet of just how useful these tools can be. So here is a short introduction of the three types of money management tools you can use for free, and why you should consider using them.

The first step in managing your finances better is to get an idea of your current financial state. FlexScore is a financial tool take became available recently and it is a great place to start your money management journey. This tool can help you establish your starting point by giving you a score based on how well you are managing your finances right now. It takes about 20 minutes to enter your information and find out how well you’re doing. One of the reasons why this tool is so successful and well-rated by financial experts is that getting more points really means that you have made impactful changes in how you manage your personal finances that led to tangible results. Hence, this tool is also great to use in parallel with other money management tools – as you progress in learning about your finances, you can check in with FlexScore and see how much effect your new strategies are having.

Using a Budget Calculator as a Tool To Manage Money

When it comes to money management tools, a monthly budget calculator is by far the most powerful. This tool is widely available on the web in many different forms, so that everyone can find a budget calculator that really fits their needs. In general, every monthly budget calculator will have three main categories – income, expenses, and savings, which are then broken down into subcategories. Typically, the expenses category has the most subcategories to make it easy to cover all expenses and quickly fill in the blanks.

best way to save moneyOne of the reasons why monthly budget calculators are such a powerful tool is that they force you to think about investments, savings, an emergency fund and your retirement fund. These are issues that most people think about in vague terms and rarely take the time to really do something about them. When you make a monthly budget, this is much more likely to change. In addition, some budget calculators, such as BudgetSimple, do more than allow you to plan your spending, income, and savings – they offer practical suggestions on what you can do to save money.

The third type of money management tools you should know about are online investment tools. Some of these tools are free of charge, but most charge a monthly subscription rate if you want to unlock all of their features. For example, Future Advisor is a tool which helps you incorporate low-cost index funds and commission-free ETFs in your portfolio. You can get an asset allocation analysis and their investment picks for free, but if you want them to actually execute the trades for you and automatically rebalance your investments from time to time then you’ll need to get a subscription. Some other similar tools are Betterment, Wealthfront and Quovo.

All of these can help you make better investments – especially investments for retirement.

In order to get a proper handle on your personal finances it is essential to use a monthly budget calculator which allows you to decide in advance how you want to spend your money. The other money management tools can help you address not just the basics of personal finances, but all the important factors. Commit to using these money management tools on a regular basis and you will see quantifiable improvements in the state of your personal finances.

Here is our ultimate guide on money management