In this blog edition, there have been a lot questions and concerns from subscribers in general about issues on budgeting. Basically, the biggest question that has been asked is "How can a single parent budget on a fixed income or with little to no money?" It seemed like a difficult question to answer in the beginning. However, I am going to tackle this issue in more blog editions down the road. But for now this edition is going to be an overview of what to expect. It is going to consist of many money saving ideas that I use and others use, in order to save money. It is important to change your mindset when dealing with money. Think of credit as not your friend but your "Frenemy". It may sound crazy but it is true! The more you use credit without having the money to pay-in-full or partial back each month; the more your credit rating suffers. If you are hiding, ignoring, pretending the credit bill will go away...well I am really sorry to tell you this...it is not going away until the bill is paid. Now that you have changed your mindset...it is time to change other peoples mindset about your money. This means that you have to let others know (including your children) that money don't grow trees!
Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid Late Fees on your credit card, utility bills, car insurance, phone bills, etc.
Avoid waiting to the last minute or over the due-date to request an extension on your bills especially mortgage, rent, utility, and credit card bills.
Avoid Cash Advance/Loans places that have high interest rates.
Avoid using a credit card with high amounts on it.
Top 6 Popular Actions to change:
1) Numerous activities for your children to be involved.
2) Cable, Satellite, fees (unneeded extra channels), high cell phone bills.
3) Always allowing others to borrow money from you...knowing they will never pay it back.
4) Leaving utilities on all day & night (water, lights, T.V., gas, etc.)
5) Extracurricular activities (shopping-sprees, weekend vacations, clubbing, etc.)
6) Buying things that you don't "Need" but "Want".
These are just 6 actions that I have encountered with other people when they tell me about their financial situations. Keep in mind that everyone is different and should keep track of their own actions. The term "ballin on a budget" has been used too loosely and in negative manner...unless you are billionaire.
The first thing that needs to be created is a separate list labeled NEED/WANT:
For example, I need grocery money this week. I need to cut coupons to save money at the grocery store.
For example, I want to go to the movies. I want to buy a large popcorn and large drink.
There are strategies and ways to still save money on your NEEDS and WANTS!
Here are some great tips on how to save money on certain items.
6 Tips to Save Money on Items:
1) Shop off-season for items you need. (for instance: need summer clothes then shop in the fall)
2) Check online first for cheaper deals before driving to a store.
3) Shop clearance sales.
4) Go to Consignment store during 50% and over SALES!
5) Go to store that has Layaway.
6) Enroll & use store rewards that actually gives you points/cash back to save money.
Below are some great Apps that can be used to help you save money:
Free Money Saving Apps
1) Ibotta -(This website gives you rebate money on certain groceries or items that you purchase. Just set-up the App on your I-phone or Android phone.
2) Shopkick -(This allows users to browse retail stores for great deal)
3) Groupon -(This app has great deals ranging from Events to Restaurants 50% or more).
4) Amazon Smile -(This app is similar to Amazon...except a 0.5% portion of the money will be donated to your local charity.
5) Credit Karma -(This app allows users to monitor & receive alerts about credit and provide rough estimate of your credit score too!)
6) Viggle -(This app rewards users for watching T.V.).
These are just a few great tips that I have at the moment to share. Remember the next few editions will be discussing more ways on "How to Budget on a Fixed Income". This is going to be a one-stop shop of almost everything you need to know to budget for you and family.