In case you missed it, last week I confessed to the world that my husband and I are personal finance nerds. The advice from that post is a great place to start if you’re trying to get your family’s finances under control. As promised, here’s the second installment with more tips based on what I’ve absorbed from books, articles, and TV and radio shows that I enjoy as a money nerd. *Note: I’m NOT a financial professional.* These are just things I’ve learned that have worked well for my family. So you know, consult your own personal financial advisor, blah blah blah, before actually doing any of this stuff I suggest.
1. What goes out must come in – this sounds so obvious that it should barely be worth mentioning: don’t spend more than you earn. So why am I mentioning it? We can’t Read more
Years ago I read a personal finance article about completing a budget challenge for the month of February. The ground-rules couldn’t be simpler: for the entire month, you could only spend money on essential items. The thinking went that the challenge would be less daunting to take on in February, the shortest month of the year. I was intrigued at the time but didn’t follow through; it seemed there were always upcoming social events that would require “non-essential” spending.
After a family vacation last November followed by the expenses of the Christmas season, my husband and I knew we needed to do something to reign in our spending. I remembered the one-month budget challenge and thought it was time to give it a try. We opted for January instead of February, as a good kick-start for our 2015 financial goals. Beyond our monthly bills, we could spend money only on groceries, medication, and transportation (gas and needed car repairs/maintenance). Read more