How to Save Money with Your Christmas Party Preparation

December 21, 2015

You need not cut yourself from enjoying holiday celebrations with your family and friends just because you're serious about living a frugal life. With some conscious efforts, you can throw a memorable Christmas party without overspending. Here some tips that can help you achieve that.

Plan your menu ahead of time. You don't have to ask your party attendees what they want to eat. Stick to a specific type of menu. For example, you can serve desserts only or soup and bread. If you have a big number of people coming over, offer finger food and carbs because these food can keep them filled while chatting with each other. Also, you can buy finger food in bulk at a lower price.

Do all the preparations on your own. Cook the food on your own. Do the decorations on your own as well. Not buying ready-made decorations and precooked meals will save you a lot of money. However, this will require much time. Allocate at least an hour a day two weeks before your scheduled party for the creation of your decorations.

Do away with the paper invitations. Paper invitations and the stamps to mail them can add to your expenses. Call all the people you wish to invite. This is a good way to save money and to personally ask your family and friends how they have been. If you don't have the time to make calls and you're afraid that your short greeting might turn into a long conversation, just send your party invites through email.

Go to discount or dollar stores for your party needs. Party needs can be very expensive if you will get branded versions of them. You can cheap yet beautiful counterparts in discount or dollar stores. You will be surprised to find candies, decorations, plates, cups, finger food bowls, napkins, and so much more in these stores.

Don't splurge on the decorations. Don't go overboard with the decorations. There wouldn't be enough space for your guests to chat, sing or dance freely if your house is overloaded with decorations which can topple over with a simple arm stretch. Do your decoration in moderation.

Fatten Your Savings Account by Cooking Your Own Food

December 15, 2015

Budget failures usually happen when you go out to eat. Cooking your own food might be energy and time consuming but it will help save hundreds of the dollars monthly. You might find it difficult to start but it's not impossible to achieve. You just need to stick with the following tips and tricks and practice them consistently. 

Use your time well. Excellent time management will help you stick to this practice. To keep cooking from interfering your work hours or your time  with friends and family, cook your whole menu for the week in just one day. It is best to schedule it on a weekend.

Use real food. Vegetables and raw meat are  lot cheaper than canned foods (especially quality ones). Use common ingredients that you will find in the market. You need not use fancy ingredients just to have delicious food on your table.

Balance it out. Oftentimes, meat costs more than vegetables. If you have purchased some quality meat for the week, balance them with discounted vegetables available in the supermarket. You can keep your budget in check by doing this.

Make the most out of the things you have.  Do you have an oven or a turbo grill? Inspect all the cooking machines and utensils available in your kitchen. Utilize them to prepare a varied menu for the week ahead. You can have some roasted chicken, baked zucchini or what have you.

Don't lose focus on the amount of money you will be able to save by cooking your own food. Have some fun while cooking - cook with a friend or dance to some groove as you cook - so that you won't get tired of doing it over and over.

Eight Ways to Date on the Cheap

November 16, 2015

Dates are essential in keeping relationships strong. Sure, they have to be memorable but they don't have to be expensive. Here are some cheap but sweet ways to spend time with the love of your life. 

Play together. All work and no play makes dull adults. You don't have to rent a venue just to play with your partner. This winter, you can play in the snow and build a snow man. Or, go ice skating. Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or cocoa afterwards. You can also shoot some hoops in a nearby court if you want to break into sweat while enjoying your free time. 

Picnic. This can be done indoors or outdoors - depends on your preference. Pack sandwiches and sodas for two. Play your 

Watch movies all night. Buy a tub of your favorite ice cream before setting your living room into a movie house. Watch classic romance movies on DVDs or via online streaming while you cuddle each other. You can pause the movie if you need some time to talk to each other.

Walk. Go on a long walk in your neighborhood. You can stop by a park and do some see-saws and swings. Resume to your when you've had enough. You can end your long walk with a snack at a convenience store near your house.

Have a spa night. Get your tub ready with a bubble bath solution. Massage each other's feet and scrub each other's back. Don't forget to cuddle and kiss in between.

Build something together. Remember Carl and Ellie? In the movie, UP, they found happiness in building their house together. Marriage and/or romantic relationships get stronger when couples are able work on and realize their dreams together.

Enjoy the outdoors. Instead of signing up for a camping group, talk your partner into it. Other outdoor activities you can enjoy together are camping, fishing and hiking. You can turn this into a weekly or bi-monthly date depending on your schedule.

Invite your couple friends over. You can enjoy board games with your friends at the comfort of your own home. Serve a fruit platter and some vintage wine to feast all through out the game.

 

Best Ways to Start a Frugal Life

October 12, 2015

We all mistakes in our spending lifestyle. No matter how old we are at the moment, it is never to late to take the necessary measures to jumpstart a frugal life. Here are some tips you might find helpful to building a frugal version of yourself.

Collect all the things you don't use. You can do this quarterly or twice a year. Go through all your possessions and put in a box all the items you haven't used for a long time. You will be surprised that there's a lot you own and they just collect dust in your closet and shelves. Donate them or sell them online.

Don't throw food away. You can always make puddings and salads out of bread and leafy veggies that have already gone bad. This will help you save money while helping decrease the amount of wasted food in your country.

Don't be afraid to ask. Do you need to buy new furniture, utensils, etc.? Ask your friends or relatives if they have the items you need and if they're willing to give or sell them to you at a lower price. Reusing stuff helps solve consumerism. Be an advocate and save money.

Collect all your mail and sell them to junk shops. Got lots of old mail, newspaper and magazines? Pile them all up until they reach a certain weight with which you can sell them. You can do the same with your plastic bottles and tin cans.

Watch out for sale items in grocery stores. Bread, eggs and other staples are sold with big discounts for a period of time. Identify the food items you consume in big amounts. Be on the look out when you can get them at the lowest price possible.

Buy non-perishable items in bulk. You can save shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other items you use everyday if you buy them in big or jumbo sizes. You can do the same with specific food items like coffee, honey, oatmeal, etc. This will train you not to squander what you have.

 

Survive Working Multiple Jobs with These Tips

September 28, 2015

To earn additional income, you can work two or three jobs a day. Most people do this to get out of debt or to save up for time-sensitive financial goals. Working more than one job requires a lot time management skills and energy. This explains why some people are unable to come out victorious of working multiple jobs at once.

Include some 'me' time in your weekly schedule. It is easy to forget about yourself when you have lots of things to accomplish. Working non-stop for 18 hours a day can be financially rewarding but physically and emotionally rewarding. Schedule some time to bond with your family and friends. Take a day off just to fully rest at home and enjoy your time alone.

Prepare yourself about feeling tired all the time. As I have mentioned above, working multiple jobs is definitely exhausting. Know and accept the fact that you will be tired for the entire day. This won't free your body and mind from fatigue but this will keep you from having false expectations and from getting frustrated.

Focus on your financials. Feeling of tiredness and boredom can make you quit your jobs all at the same time. But what good will this do to you? Yes, it will give you physical rest but your mind could be restless every second specifically when people, companies and the government are chasing you for your debt payments.

Hydrate yourself. Instead of drinking black coffee or energy drinks, drink lots of water while working. Enough amount water will pick you up at times when you feel exhausted and sleepy.

Condition your mind toward success. You need not panic and worry once you see your daily schedule filled with lots of work and strict deadlines. Take a deep breath. Believe that you can pull through.

Tax Relief 101 - Getting Out of Deb with a Little Help

August 15, 2015

Those who are serious about getting out of a tax debt take a brave step forward to contact an able company that can help them. Although this appears to be the smartest option to take, such companies must not earn your full trust. In the end,they may just be interested in your cash and not to ultimately help you out. Nonetheless, there are honest companies out there that can provide the service you need with full honesty. Read the following tips that will guide you in looking for a trustworthy company.

Scrutinize fees and policies - Study the company's fees and policies. Researches show that a lot of people have been cheated by tax relief companies in the past. Most of these people were fooled by promises or clauses about minimum charges. Often times, such companies offer free consultations with hidden charges once they have gone through different processes with their clients. To avoid this, have someone else eligible on these matters explain the policies and contracts to you before you sign anything.

Research about the companies background - Research about the credibility of your prospective company. Ask about the last or current tax relief case that it has handled. Research about how long they have been providing quality service. A company that has been around for at least two consecutive years could be credible enough to solve your tax debt problems.

Inquire about customer support - Every client will feel secured from troubles when someone knowledgeable of the tax system speaks on their behalf. Through a solid customer support, you can avoid chances of doing or saying something that can worsen your tax debt.  When choosing a company, ask about their contact details and their office hours. Ask about the things they can accomplish on your behalf and how long it will take them to provide updates.
 

Why Do You Need to Protect Your Income?

August 8, 2015

In my previous post, I discussed about protecting one's income and how it can be done to secure money for your family's future. In this post, I will share with you at least three reasons why wages need to be protected.

Financial help in times Of disability or illness - You can never tell when an accident or sickness may come to steal your ability to work momentarily or permanently. Having to pay for your medications while providing for the needs of your family can be very challenging. If you do not have the enough funds to cover your expenses, your life and the lives of your spouse and children could be in danger. Receiving payouts until you are able to work again or find another source of allowance can help you make it through during your time of need.

Note: I don't own this video. All credits to the owner.

Security of your lifestyle - Let us face it. Whatever benefits you might receive from the government can be set at minimum amounts. Being dependent on these alone may force you to live uncomfortably and barely making both ends meet. It is not only your lifestyle but also your children's lifestyle that would have to change. Inability to pay your bills and other responsibilities like legal dues for your properties can prod you to give up some things that make your family's life convenient. These may be the opportunity to live in a restful house in a safe town, your children's education or the family car that you are paying for monthly. While you can easily cope with such changes, your children may not. In fact, they can get traumatized by the abrupt deviations in your family's lifestyle.

Safekeeping of your assets - Do you have properties to pay for every month? If yes, how then can you ensure rightful possession over them if you fail to pay your legal dues? Losing your house and lot and other investments can definitely happen once you loose a definite source of income. Having some amount to cover at least a part of your payables can keep your investments intact.

Learn to Protect Your Income with These Tips

August 1, 2015

Have you ever thought of protecting your income? If you haven't, don't worry because many workers fail to do so. However, that's no excuse for you not to do income protection. Anyway, income protection is one of the must-have insurance policies that every working adult should possess. 

Loss of income can happen to any employee. It can result from the inability to work temporarily or permanently because of accidents and/or illnesses. Although employer companies offer appropriate compensation during such situations, the amount that the ailing employee will receive may not be enough to cover his medication and other expenses. And it cannot get any better if he has a family to support.

Through an income protection policy, concerned workers can be assured of continued income flow in the event of an injury or illness. The income that he will be receiving would be equal to the amount he used to receive prior to his loss of earning capacity. The income referred here is called payouts. These payouts equate to such amount because they are tax free.

When it comes to the costs involved, the income protection policy costs depend on the period that you stopped receiving sick compensation from your employer company and the time you began acquiring payouts. This is called the deferred period. If you have a long deferred period, you will have low policy premium to pay. Should you want to pay much lower policy premium, you can agree to getting payouts that cost less than your regular salary that you receive. 

Moreover, you can choose between long term policies and short term policies. Long term policies will support you from the end of your deferred period up until the time your pension starts. Short term policies, on the other hand, are limited to a specified period like twelve or twenty four months. If you have limited budget to pay for your policy, you can go for the short term one.  

Not only the sick can benefit from income protection policy but also those who are self-employed. However, the computation would be different and so a separate consultation on this is advised.

Note: I don't own the video below. I'm not promoting the brand it holds either. I'm just sharing it for additional insights regarding this post/topic. All credits to the video owner.

Steps to Building Your Wealth Today

July 25, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, financial freedom and wealth creation can be achieved by anyone and not only by the rich and famous. Keen to be free of financial worries as early as today? Observe the following tips. 

Have a millionaire mindset - Focus is key to success. Dream big and act consistently towards the realization of your dream.  Focus on abundance, prosperity, and riches more. Put thoughts about poverty, limitations, and lack aside. This is the first step towards giving positive direction to all your actions.

Define the function of your money - Do you have the habit of spending recklessly? As early as now, you must know how much money you earn and how much money you spend on bills and leisure from time to time. If you spend more than what you earn, you are actually repelling the concept of wealth or wealth building. Money is a tool that you can use to create more money; and so, learn to value it.

Visualize how comfortable your life would be with all your wealth - Imagination can fuel your desire to be wealthy. Imagine yourself making use of things bought with your money, staying in your mansion house and driving a nice car. You can also include the feeling of gratitude people feel towards you when you're able to help them financially.

Be consistently appreciative and grateful of everything you have - If you develop the attitude of being thankful at every instant, you are likely to be given more. You can start cultivating this attitude if you still don't have it. How? At the end of every day, list down at least five things you're thankful for.  Do this in two months and you will be surprised at the overflowing wealth that's just waiting for you to discover. 

How to Protect Your Children's Financial Future

July 18, 2015

As a parent, you want to ensure that your children and loved ones are taken care of in the case of your passing. Creating a legal Will or trust is an issue that you cannot overlook. In connection to this, make sure that your children won't misuse their funds before they reach legal age.

Testamentary trusts provide you with more control over the distribution and handling of the minor's funds. You choose how much money is received and when, regardless of the age of the inheritor. If you'd prefer to stretch out the finances over a longer period of time or provide a lump sum when the minor reaches the age of thirty instead of eighteen, it is completely up to your discretion.

Even with a testamentary trust, you will be required to have a trustee, which can be an individual, bank, or a company. The trustee will be in charge of managing the account and distributions. It is also up to your judgment to include any additional guidelines for the trustee to follow, such as investments and how the funds may be used.

For example, you may decide that the minor may only receive a certain amount to be used exclusively towards college tuition. It would be up to the trustee to enforce such rules. A personally appointed trustee also has the added benefit of no court supervision, saving unnecessary legal fees that can cut into the inheritance.

Any distributions, investments, or other actions pertaining to the minor's funds from a legal Will must be filtered through both the tutor and under tutor. A petition must be filed by the tutor that explains the situation or request, which must then be approved by the under tutor. Furthermore, the judge must also agree with the actions in order to move forward.

 

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