The kids are back in school. Summer vacations are over. Now what? Did the summer activities stretch your budget? For many people, now is the time to get back on track with their finances before the holidays. It’s time to start setting aside money for gift buying and holiday activities. So, where do you start?
It’s really pretty simple. Start with making a list of your routine monthly bills. You should note when each bill is to be paid and approximately how much it usually is. Then take a look at your pay schedule to determine which bills have to be paid out of each paycheck. Obviously, if you get paid once a month this is easier because everything has to be paid out of that one paycheck. However, most people get paid at least twice per month. Once the basic bills are done, think about the expenses you have to pay less often than once a month – things such as haircuts, insurance, car maintenance, etc. Then average out how much to set aside each month. For example, if you car insurance is $300 every six months, then you need to set aside $50 a month so you will have the money when the bill arrives. Be sure to figure in expenses paid in cash as well, such as groceries, gas, etc. I also suggest having an envelope for holiday spending as well and put money aside for that each month as well.
Once this is all done, I strongly suggest using some form of the “envelope” system. If you are not familiar with the envelope system, the basic idea is that you would have an envelope for each budget category and actually put the budgeted amount of cash in the envelope until the bill is paid. However, few of us pay our bills in cash any more, and even fewer probably want to retain larger amounts of cash at home. Therefore there are several ways you can do this. Personally, many years ago we found a computer program called Money Matters, which has worked wonderfully for us. I’m not sure if you can even still purchase this program. Another option is to simply have a savings account and some form of a spreadsheet with the various categories listed out and use that as your savings ledger. Before the age of computers, I used to use accounting ledger paper (yes, I’m showing my age here! LOL). The key is to keep track of how much money you have available in each category at any given moment.
Now, are you ready for the real secret??? STICK TO THE BUDGET! It’s that simple. It’s not easy, but it is a simple process. There are many online tools for budgeting as well, and most are free. You just need to find a system that works best for you.
Good luck on your budgeting journey! You can do it!
Now for some other good stuff!
All You Magazine September 2012 Coupon List – TrueCouponing has been kind enough to provide a list of coupons that are in Walmart’s All You Magazine for September. You can check it out here to see if you want to stop by and pick up a copy. I believe it retails for $2.49 per issue if you buy it at Walmart, but you can get a subscription for $1.66 per issue here. However, I will tell you that sometimes the subscription version has fewer coupons than the newsstand version.
For local calendar events:
For Delray Beach, click here.
For Boynton Beach, click here.
For Boca Raton, click here.
Now, on to the deals this week!
Know the Lingo
BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription
Whole Foods: Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.
Publix Greenwise: Click here for their weekly ads.
**For occasional special coupon booklet from Publix, please sign up for it at Stocking Spree.**
For Publix “super deals,” please click here.
For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups, please click here
Renita's Favorite Money-Saving Sites
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Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com.
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