By financen | June 10, 2021 - 11:58 am - Posted in Savings

In your household budgeting, the place where you can do the maximum budgeting is your food budget. When you are able to save a good amount of money in your groceries, your total budget will also get balanced and you will have more funds in your savings account.

Now the question is how much can you spend in groceries? As per the recent survey it was seen that a family of four people is currently spending about $100 to $116 per week based on the “Thrifty Plan”, depending on the age of children. If you are trying to reduce your budget, here are some important tips to follow:

Eliminate eating out! Restrict your dining out to as lowest as possible. Maybe, you can do it once in a month at the maximum. Most of us get caught up in fast paced living and eat out at least once or twice every week. Its just a complete waste of money. If you are able to stop yourself from dining out, you will be surprised to see how much you can save in a month.

Minimize the use of convenience foods. If you can cook the food on your own, you can make it for a fraction of the total cost. Most of us are so used to convenience foods that we don’t want to take the pain of cooking the food on our own. You can even go through the recipe books and make the food of your choice.

Do your homework. You should always keep your eye on the weekly sale going around in your neighborhood. If you can spend some time in planning things, you will save a lot of money in the grocery shopping and reduce the food budget.

Eat vegetarian food twice in a week. Vegetarian food is always good for health. Beans and rice are good examples. Sometimes egg dishes can be a nice change in routine for dinner.

Avoid using packaged mixes. Cakes, breads, muffins, pastry, pizza dough, pancake, and waffles all come in a variety of pre-packaged mixes. You can make the same things at your home and that also at a very cheaper price.

Find out the offers in your local store. Check out the store in your area. Maybe you will find some good deals in your favor.

Now that you know how to shop and where you should go for shopping, use all your resources. Combine your rebates, sales, and coupons whenever possible so that you can purchase the maximum grocery. You need to be a little bit dedicated for this, but you can literally get paid to purchase items if you are willing to invest the time.

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By financen | August 6, 2018 - 5:36 pm - Posted in Budget, Debt, Financial planning, Savings

Financial planning can be a great step towards your future regardless of what age you are or what your budget looks like. It really doesn’t even matter if you have a budget at all. This is what makes having a financial advisor so great. They can help get you on the right track no matter where you’re starting from. Here are some great financial planning tips to think about while you search for the right financial advisor montana can offer you.


This always seems to be the most important first step of getting your finances to where you want them to be. You can’t make decisions about which bills are due or how much you can save if you don’t even know what is coming in or where it’s going. Sit down with some check stubs and figure out just how much you bring home. Then, take a look at your bank statement and past months bills to figure out an average of what you’re spending. This will get you well on your way to a functional budget.

Savings and Debt

After you’ve determined how much income you have and what bills are getting paid, you can start to think about paying off debt and saving towards retirement or other large expenses. If your budget is really tight, you can try increasing your income through various side work. In addition, saving even five dollars every month may not seem like a lot, but it will add up quick.

As you can see, budgeting is a series of steps that can help get you to where you want with your finances. Take the steps one at a time, and make sure you are keeping track of income and expenses as you go. If you do this, then you will be able to stop living paycheck to paycheck and you can actually start seeing some of the fruits of your hard work.

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By financen | November 22, 2017 - 6:04 pm - Posted in Money and Banking, Save Money, Savings

Here are the leading tips for saving money on your next broadband deal.

1) Bundle Items:

The best way to go is to set up a broadband bundle because it will reduce the rate you end up paying. For example, do you have a TV and home phone deal with the same supplier? What about your mobile phone? This is an excellent way to bundle them together for a cheaper deal. However, the one issue is you will not be able to compare prices while doing so. This is why you have to keep an eye out for potential discounts.

2) Compare:

It is important to look at the options out there for your needs.

Are there other cheaper Internet providers in the area? Use a price comparison site to help out and make your life easier.

Some of the ISPs you should be researching include Sky, TeleTalk, Plusnet, EE, BT, and Virgin Media. Check uSave for the best prices.

3) Increase Contract Length:

This can be a good idea for those who are setting up their contract. You can aim for a longer term as this settles the agreement and makes it easier for the supplier to reduce your rate. They will want a customer for longer, and this is the best way to entice them to lower the price. For example, you could end up getting a far better deal on an 18-24 month contract in comparison to a monthly agreement.

4) Decrease Broadband Speed:

What is the maximum speed you require? You can look to aim for a lower Mbps speed as it won’t cost as much. It is all about recognizing the speed you need and what they are giving to you. Some may market a higher speed but deliver far less making it useless to pay more. You need to think about fiber rollouts too and ensure this is incorporated into what you are getting at home.

5) Assess Usage:

Cheap broadband deals tend to reduce your download limits or don’t give you a high allowance. ISPs aren’t going to put restrictions in most cases, but it can happen so keep an eye out for this as soon as possible. You don’t want to get duped with a proper limit that isn’t in line with your usage patterns. For example, they may end up giving you only 1 GB per month when you need a lot more. This is why you should go for an unlimited package as it will save you a lot of money that may have gone towards usage costs.

6) Find Deals:

You need to look for monthly deals that are appealing and targeted towards new customers. This is how you can get a better deal at the “true cost.” You want to think about all costs such as installation, activate, hardware, and delivery before figuring out what a fair deal is.

This is where a lot of people look for freebies such as free routers in the deal. This can be an excellent way to save.

7) Find Hidden Fees:

Are they putting hidden fees in their agreements?

You want to look for these details before you are docked extra money for moving properties or getting a new line. This is something you should be looking to negotiate with customer service before they charge you. If not, you should look to go with someone else as soon as you can.

Always compare rates and see what they offer for free.

8) Aim for Freebies:

Always look to get your hands on freebies because they will offer them to you in a good deal. Things such as tablets or game consoles may be up for grabs if you look for them. This is great for those who want to get a cheaper deal and may like the idea of a freebie. Even if you don’t want the freebie, you can flip it for cash down the road. This can help reduce the rate you are paying even more!

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By financen | March 18, 2017 - 5:54 am - Posted in Save Money, Savings

Life can throw you a curve ball at any moment and you won’t know what hit you. This unpredicted curve ball can come financially as well when you need lots of money very urgently. Setting aside money every month can contribute to making an emergency savings fund and makes it easy to have cash during the times of need.

Meaning of emergency fund

When you have a financial shortfall and have a fund to lean back on which can support your life even further for more time and in the case of emergencies is an emergency fund. Having a savings account is thus important when you fall short of cash or in the case of unforeseen incidents.

When you start saving and not use it for a long time it makes up for a long-term savings fund as you would have accumulated lots as you wouldn’t have needed it in the past. So the idea is to have two funds which you can use depending on the type of crisis.

Double planning

Money matters are always stressful and you must have a plan to fall back on if something goes wrong. Therefore you can use plan A and plan B in terms of emergency funds with the following emergency fund tips.

Divide your funds into two which will make up for your plan A and B. Having two emergency funds does the trick to lessen your burden and they are given below.
Short term emergency fund – Use this short-term emergency fund when you have an immediate requirement of cash and when you have none of it. When there are immediate emergencies like a car accident or breakdown or making an emergency payment use this short-term fund to keep you going and not falling behind on anything.

Long term emergency fund – In the long run somewhere down the line you will need a huge sum of money for meeting up with unforeseen expenses like when there is a natural disaster and damages your home or a family member falls ill and needs an immediate operation. With this case, you must remember to have sufficient emergency fund allocation in your account.

These two steps become a stepping stone to save for any unexpected situations.

How to save?

In this growing world, everyone has various needs and wants and satisfying them can take a whole lot of money so the question one often asks is how to save. If one wants to create an emergency fund consider to cut down your expenses and wastage of money. Saving little every month makes a big difference if it is too much then consider putting money aside every three months or six months. You can also consider emergency fund investment option where you invest in a fixed deposit. With these measures, one is sure to build their savings and use when required.

How should the fund be?

Your fund must have certain qualities that will make it easy to use and you must not have any trouble in getting the cash and hence your fund should have the necessary qualities.

Low risk – When you are making long term savings by investing in bonds or shares you need low risks as you cannot afford to have a loss when you are trying to save money.
Liquid cash – Your savings must be in liquid cash if not all some of them as emergencies can crop up anytime. Assets like bonds and shares must be able to convert into cash easily.

Accessibility – One must be able to access cash in a short notice for which short-term funds need to be created and the long-term funds can be accessed when you have a bigger emergency.

Steps to start saving for the unexpected
Getting started is the most challenging part in saving for the unexpected but with the breakdown of the steps one can easily get started and gain momentum. Here’s how you can build your fund.

Crack it to the basic step – Select what type of fund you want long or short term after this see how much you can contribute towards your fund every month and how you can achieve the target.

Cut down on the unnecessary – If one can cut down on unnecessary expenses like buying things you already have and eating out this can lead to more contribution towards your fund.

Automatic transfer – If you find it troublesome to manually make your emergency fund create a separate account and make an automatic transfer to that account.

Transfer investments – when you invest in shares and get the returns directly make it transferable to your emergency funds.

Reward yourself – When you achieve the given target of your savings reward yourself by doing something other than the usual for yourself. This will encourage you more and bring in confidence.

Summing it up

Savings are a blessing in disguise in case of emergencies, be it big or small. It is important to have money set aside for any type of unforeseeable situations. Start saving now and not worry later is the biggest point of having an emergency saving fund.

Peter Christopher is the finance blogger at Finance Care Guide and a guest columnist for many blogs that deals with personal financial management. He has devoted himself to full time speaking, writing and consulting on personal finance management. Visit him on Google Plus and Twitter.

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By financen | February 1, 2016 - 6:01 pm - Posted in Budget, Investment, Savings

Life is just not just about big dreams, high end luxuries and expensive comforts. Amidst your hectic schedule and working hard to make your both ends meet, you may often forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. These pleasures, though may seem trivial or frivolous in nature, can bring immense satisfaction to you. They are called the finer joys of life.

Ever wondered about the finer joys of your life?  Well, here is a small list:

  • Looking at the joy on your child’s face when you take them for their dance class
  • Dropping your wife for Zumba classesen route to your office.
  • Pursuing that long-cherished hobby of learning to play the guitar.
  • Watching your favourite singer performing live in a concert.

This list can be endless. You have an earnest desire to live these finer joys, but then there is the other side of the coin which calls for being practical to make them come true. You need to make time to do these little things you want to do as well as manage your finances to spend about the same.

Managing your time is relatively easier. You could start waking 15 minutes earlier every morning. Or you could limit your screen or digital media hours. You can even set aside a dedicated hour of the day for ‘me time’ and ‘family time’.

But, what about the money part? This requires a conscious and systematic planning at your end. Here is what you could do to achieve the finer joys in your life without worrying much about the finances.

  1. Make a Budget

Write down income and expenses (better, if maintained in an excel sheet). Review once in a fortnight or a month. Analyze the reasons if you have exceeded the budget on some counts. Try and live within the budget.

  1. Save Smartly

You should aim to save at least 15 – 30% of your income to meet the key milestones of your life – child’s education & marriage, own home, retirement, etc. Keep a long term perspective and allocate your savings to a diversified portfolio comprising fixed income securities, equity funds and insurance plans (life, health and non – life) for a better risk-return trade-off. Also, keep an emergency fund, equivalent to your 3 – 6 months, aside to meet unforeseen expenses. Similarly, you should allocate a part of your income towards the expenses that you will need to incur on the finer joys of life. This way, you and your family can enjoy the small pleasures of life without creating an additional burden on your budget.

  1. Invest in a Money-back Policy

The finer joys can occur at different stages of your life. To be able to enjoy them as and when the time comes, you need money at periodic intervals. Rather than juggling your finances impulsively in future for such things, it is better to plan for regular payouts ahead of time. A money-back planis quite suitable with this regards. It gives a guaranteed income flow at fixed stages during the policy term, so that you have the money when you need it the most. You could plan the payouts as and when you desire to fund the finer joys of your life. With a money-back plan in your investment kitty, you have an additional source of income in hand and you can glide through your recurring financial commitments smoothly.

If you plan your time and finances well, you need not forget, sacrifice or postpone those finer dreams in your life. Start planning today, your little joys are waiting to unfold!

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It may be the season when the pumpkin spice lattes when the leaves are changing. The holiday shopping rush is not too far away. You may be getting ready to prepare your gifts list, there are a few tips that will give you a head start and keep your budget intact.

As per the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to increase 3.9% to $602.1 billion in the month of November and December. This number is a little bit higher than the 2012 3.5% rise in sales, and the forecast is also above the 10 year average of 3.3% growth. This NRF forecast is deeply blending the confidence of the consumers, consumer credit, disposable personal income and monthly retail sales releases.

Experts believe that this season’s spending increase is nominal, and many companies are also seeing average spending on the uptick, at about $160 per person this year. The shopping season stretches for a longer duration over the next few months leading up to the holidays.Money

This is that time when you can use it to your advantage. You can start purchasing from now onwards so that you don’t have everything bundled up in November and December. It will create a big pressure in your wallet.

There are a variety of shopping deals during the holiday season. The first set of deals start rolling out in September and October on apparels. This year you can expect many good deals on apparels due to weaker back-to-school shopping period. Put your hands on the layaway programs as early as possible. Go out and buy the best toy for your child at a much cheaper price.

Once the clothing sales are over, the prices on electronic goods will start going down. This will happen sometime around Thanksgiving. You can expect the maximum savings on that particular day. You can also save a good amount of money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many companies offer lucrative deals to entice the consumers to come off their couch and get into the store.

The final sale starts in the month of December around Christmas time. This is the time when stocking stuffers put their items on sale. You will get good deals on different accessories along with consumer electronics.

This year mobile companies will also do good business from the previous years because they will allow their customers to shop from anywhere and anytime.

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By financen | October 23, 2014 - 6:40 am - Posted in Money and Banking, Save Money, Savings

If you can learn how to save money, then you will know how to spend wisely. It is an art of knowing on what you need to spend necessarily and not on what you want. Many a times, we spend a lot of money on different things that are not practical and are bought on impulse. There are some practical tips that will help you to avoid such unnecessary spending.

        1. Going for second hand items – There are some items like furniture or curtains that can always be bought second hand. As long as your personal hygiene is not in question, you can always go for used items. It will save you a lot of money.

      2. Stop doing unnecessary expenses – Many people like eating out in fancy restaurants or going to their favorite coffee shop. You can save a lot of money if you can skip going to these places. This will also enhance your culinary skills that you never thought you had.

       3. Stop going to places where you feel tempted to spend – Many people like going to the malls and see all kinds of fancy items that will tempt you to spend. Before you can realize anything, you might have purchased many items that were not at all necessary because the saleslady sounded so convincing. If you want to save money, then you need to stop going to such places where you feel tempted to spend.

      4. Finding out ways for practical entertainment – Many people like watching movies or listening to their favorite song, but that does not mean that you have to spend every time on the matinee shows or go to see a concert only to see the artist singing your favorite song. Many movie studios do free advanced screening to promote their film. You can also try to get free tickets for night shows and watch your favorite movie. And if you want to hear your favorite song, go online and download it free of cost.How-to-Save-Money

It is not at all tough to find ways of saving money. Instead of going to the store, you can try online shopping where you get good discounts and other items at a cheaper price. When you are able to buy things online, it means that you don’t have to drive and burn fuel. If you are a student or you go to work every day, then you can talk with your colleagues and arrange a carpool. This is another good way of saving money in gas and parking fees.

There are many other ways of saving money in your everyday life. No matter, how much you save, always remember that a penny saved is a penny earned.

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