Budget

Popular logic when you are trying to improve your finances is to consider drastic measures to create a noticeable difference but making these major moves is not always the best course of action and a series of small changes can have just as much impact, if not more.

Here are some savvy financial tips to consider and some insights on how you can implement some lasting positive changes to your financial situation. Including a suggestion to take an alternative view on reaching your goals, why you need to analyze your monthly costs, plus some tips that should help you keep more of your cash.

Think small to improve the bigger picture

It’s easy to adopt the mindset that paying an extra $30 or so extra toward your credit card debt payments is hardly worth the bother and won’t really make much of a difference.

It is perfectly understandable that you look at the balance and think how can I clear the debt in one go? But it often pays to take an alternative approach to clearing your debts and adding to your savings pot.

Those seemingly insignificant additional payments actually make a substantial difference to reaching your goals and rather than keep wondering how you are going to raise a chunk of cash in one go, start chipping away at your balances with these small additional sums of money.

It is a good strategy to think small as those extra payments will ultimately get you to where you want to be a lot quicker than if you keep holding back trying to raise enough cash to make what you might consider a meaningful contribution.

When you are committed to clearing debt and putting more toward your savings, don’t try to do it all almost immediately, make regular additional payments when you can and also try to make small changes to your finances to help you free up extra cash. ...continue reading

meal planning easierWith many people on the go and leading busy lives, meal planning has gained popularity. It can help you save money, eat healthier, and save time.

But what happens if meal planning seems more like a hassle? Here are a few tips and tricks to make meal planning easier and more effective.

Save Recipes

If you have recipes that you could eat all of the time, save them on your phone, computer, or even on sites like Pinterest. That way, if you are feeling uninspired while meal planning, you can take a quick peek at your list.

If you want to stay super organized and make meal planning easier, you can organize your recipes by type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.). Try to keep these meals simple and easy prep.

If you are saving your recipes via places like Evernote or your phone, remember to link the recipe or jot down the ingredients needed, especially if the recipe has more than five ingredients. This will keep you from searching for the recipe every time you want to use it.

Make Meal Planning Easier With Themes

To keep yourself from staring at your calendar every time you have to plan your meals, create a weekly theme.

For example, you could make soup on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, and so on. Not only will this make your meal planning easier, but it will also keep you from getting bored by eating the same meals over and over. ...continue reading

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budgeting

This guest post on budgeting is by Ryan Bonaparte, who last wrote for Add-Vodka in 2012 about common financial mistakes that young adults make. Ryan is a long-time writer and author, delving into topics including personal finance, technology, and career pursuits. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and fiercely independent cat.

Budgeting can be an amazing tool.

From the moment you begin to track where you’re spending your hard-earned money, budgeting can help you begin to understand what your habits are, where your priorities lie, and what goals you want to set in place. That’s a powerful place to be in life, as you can move past surviving paycheck to paycheck, and on to building a security net and further wealth.

I often talk to my friends about the power of moving my money away from the things I don’t care about (a bigger house) to the things I do care about (a nicer car). While you can’t have everything because of a budget, you can put budgeting into an action a plan to have anything with a bit of planning and hard work.

But efficiently earning and spending money is not the meaning of life. There are other factors to consider when deciding how to spend your money, and more importantly what to do with your life outside of budgeting. ...continue reading