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Cut To The Core Of Expenses With Pear Budget

August 18th, 2006 at 03:09 pm

At the end of each month my family's main account would come up short so we would have to dig into our savings to compensate for pending bill payments. Part of that I contribute to the crappy online banking service and part of that our finance management. With a new baby sometimes you fail to regain conscienceness in other areas of your life until your are faced with bumpy roads you don't want to have to go through again.

Hence, I decided to search for solutions online via advice or downloads for a Budget manager, and that was when I came across the Pear Budget Excel Spreadsheet. It is FREE, No Limitations and so easy to use! It comes with detailed step-by-step instructions so even if you've never used Excel before it will be hard to mess this one up! Unless of course you can't follow instructions.

I suggest that before you attempt to add your list of expenses, you sit down and go over your bank statements and figure out how much you want to budget on groceries, dining out, gifts, etc..

My Budget:
Groceries: $350
Baby: $150
Dining Out: $50
Gas: $70
Gifts: $50
Lunch Money: $50
Entertainment: $30
Miscellaneous: $100

Are You On Oprah's Free Debt Diet?

August 18th, 2006 at 12:30 pm

Just like any diet there are claims of a miracle pill or a revolutionary product that will get you to lose weight. Oprah's Debt Diet is a great place to start if you haven't already reviewed your debt health or planned the best way to pay off your debt.

What I like about the program is #1 it is free! When you begin the program you understand your spending habits and learn ways to save, applying remaining cash to your debts. The plan also involves worksheets that provide an easy way to organize and record your finances.

Some of these tips include:

- Don't carry credit cards in your purse (only debit/ATM)

-Write checks, pay cash

-Turn down credit line increases

-Take a look at your calendar and note any special events that may cost money.

-Complete your spending plan by making the best estimate of your upcoming bills and other needs for the month. Tweak the payments in all categories to determine the minimum amounts that can be spent without creating a sense of deprivation.

-Don't forget to include an amount for your savings cushion so you have a resource available for emergencies.

-Calculate your cash flow. What is the amount left over after you subtract the total expenses from the net income you will have for the month?

Thanks Oprah!

Impulse Shopping Tug of War

August 18th, 2006 at 10:14 am

My family and I were at Barnes and Nobles yesterday when the Impulse Shopper Fiend appeared and tempted me with books to purchase. I struggled to maintain sanity and did not buy anything. It helps to think about saving for bigger things to buy later like that big screen TV or a travel destination within the next month.

I don't believe that people should save every minute because life is too short not to enjoy experiences now. Having a spending limit and sorting through priorities will help to achieve these things and enable a more balanced financial diet.

Money Makeover: Things We Need To Do

August 18th, 2006 at 09:54 am

Our Money Makeover 1. Try to contribute as much as possible to 401K while staying on top of paying off debt
2. Pay Down Debt with Accelerated Debt Plan within 22 months
3. Open a College Savings Plan for Ari
4. Find alternate sources of income
5. Look into stocks, bonds, and mutual funds

Coupon Moms Play the Grocery Game and Save!

August 18th, 2006 at 09:47 am

Many Moms understand the value of clipping coupons because in the long run coupons can save hundreds within a given year. There is more good news for the Frugal Coupon Clipping Mom. Teri's Grocery Game proves to be an invaluable source of insider deals from your local grocery store. The Grocery Game was also featured a few weeks ago by the Today Show.

You gain access to Teri's List by signing up for a $1.00 4 week trial membership at which you can cancel anytime. The GG message board is a fabulous spot to gain insight and tips from other moms. There are five lists in total from which to choose from, mine include Fry's, Safeway, Albertson's, Walgreens, and CVS. The great thing about each store list is Teri has taken the liberty to highlight each item; black for regular sale items, blue for items you should stock up on, and green for items that are free.The list is organized as followed:

Item Description
Original Price
Sale Price
Manufacturer's Coupon (from newspaper)
Store Coupon
Final Price
Amount Saved

Why can't I just do this on my own?
...members of The Grocery Game eliminate all of those time consuming hours and usually save even more time and money than most "coupon pros". Even "coupon pros" can make costly mistakes. Just because an item is on sale doesn't mean its time to play your coupon. The Grocery Game databases differentiate between "phantom sales" and "rock bottom" sales, saving members even more money. Now, the best possible savings are quickly accessible to "coupon pros", busy professionals, overworked moms, single adults and anyone who wants to cut their grocery bill by as much as half or even more.

UPDATE Before You decide if Grocery Game is for you check out these other sites as well:

mschluckbier Wrote:
The problem with the grocery game is that it makes you pay for information that is readily available at MANY other sites for free. My favorites are HotCoupon World and Families.com, as well as Refund Cents. I am a HUGE coupon advocate, but am a huge advocate of saving any money that needs not be spend and people who just look a little further down the google page, can find the information for free, very easily.

Meredith wrote: Try budget101.comit's like the grocery game but free.