Budgeting, Paying Off Debt & Saving in 2012!

by Clippin' with Carie on January 4, 2012. This post may contain affiliate links.Affiliate Link


First, let me start off by saying that I am NOT a professional financial planner! I am just a chick with a budget, a whole lotta coupons and the desire to have a debt free life and the security of a large savings account! The following is just my practical opinion…

Having a budget is extremely important for evey household! Get a FREE Budget Worksheet HERE (courtesy of BetterBudgeting.com) to help you get started!
More and more American families have absolutely no idea how much money they spend every month or even every day.
Whether you are new to frugal living or have been doing it for a while, using a spending journal is always a good idea. A spending journal allows you to see exactly what you are spending your money on. A good spending journal keeps track of your purchases, with detailed information, such as when, what and why you spent money on something. This will totally help you when you are trying to budget.
New to frugal living? A spending journal is a great way to start, because all of the information is in front of you. When you have the information in front of you in balck and white, it is a lot easier to see where you can cut expenses. If it is the end of the month and you cannot afford groceries, but you look back two weeks ago and see that you spent $50 on video games, well, obviously you need to re-prioritze!
For the more experienced, a spending journal can get you out of a rut and can jump start or inspire you to SAVE MORE.
It is amazing how quickly little things add up, from a cup of coffee or pack of gum to a video game purchase. Look at expenses, such as gas, if you want to cut back find a way to combine your errands into just one or two trips or carpool.
Your spending journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Just get some paper or small notebook or you can do it on the computer, in a spreadsheet, whatever works for you. Just pick something that is convenient and that you will stick to.
I personally like a small notebook, because it is convenient to carry around all day. No one wants to whip out a laptop after buying a pack of gum, right? Well, I know I don’t want to.
The nice thing about using a computer, though, is that it is easy to organize your data. You can sort it all day long if you wish, allowing you to see spending patterns more clearly.
Recording purchases, it is easiest for me to list everything by date. Take one week at a time. For each day, I record all of the purchases made that day, and I try to include short explanations. It is okay to write down “well, I just wanted it” or “it was a good deal” if that is the real reason for the purchase. Then I record a week at a time on the computer to get a better look combining mine as well as my husbands. The most important thing is to be honest. No one else has to see your journal.

If your budget includes “PAY OFF DEBT”! You are like hundreds of thousands of people.
It’s time to get serious and pay the debt off and live a more enjoyable, stress free life! This year resolve to pay it off and stick to it! You will be happy you did!
Do you want to know how long it will take you to pay off debt? CNN Money has a FREE debt calculator HERE. It’s super easy to use. You just enter in your debt, interest rates and minimum payments and it will calculate how long it will take to pay off your debt with minimum payments or as fixed payments. You can also put in a date that you would like to be debt free and it will tell you how much you would need to pay to meet that goal. The scariest part, it will tell you how much money you are wasting in interest charges. When you see how much money you are wasting on interest you will be shocked!

When you are out coupon shopping and the receipt says “YOU SAVED $44.39″, do you actually save that money or do you spend it on something else?
Things you need to think about if you truly want to save and make progress.
For example: Let’s say you spend $1.89 – 3 times a day for coffee and you decide to give up just one of those coffees! You already have $100 in a saving account and each month you add to that account just $56.70 a month (equivalent to 1 coffee a day), do you know that with a super conservative interest rate of .5% compounded monthly that in 30 years you would have $22, 137.56. Just for cutting out 1 coffee a day and saving that money! Maybe it’s not coffee, but it is $20 a week that you have been able to save from coupon shopping…The possibilities are endless. To find out how much you could save over time, use the savings calculator that can be found HERE.
Let 2012 be the year, the year of saving and propserity for your family! Plan for your future, take the financial stress out of your life, enjoy the simple things!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Sandi January 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I found an app for my phone that allows you to use a virtual envelop system to manage your money. You record what you are spending at the point of sale by clicking a button. The main app is free and the premium version is CHEAP! It allows you to sync several phones to the account so you and your spouse can be on the same page and know what each is spending out of the designated envelope. It has been a wonderful addition to my budgeting and has been more successful for me than actual cash envelopes.



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