Saving

Birthday freebie emails are starting to hit my inbox, so it’s officially August! Instead of spending the last month of my twenties engrossed in episodes of Big Brother and drinking Sinless Margaritas by the pool, I’m planning on blogging more with updates about tackling my 30 Before 30 list, some money saving tips and other randomness.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this Mint infographic about the high costs of being a single lady. Did you know that a single woman’s expenses total over $1 million more than her married counterpart over the course of a lifetime? Excuse me while I go clip some coupons…

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Thanksgiving and Black Friday are almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about ways to make it through the holidays without overspending.  Here are six things I do to maintain my budget during the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year:

Make a Reasonable Budget
I’ve been making a Christmas shopping budget each year since I was ten.  It started with a list of family members I wanted to buy gifts for, but has now expanded to include all of the events that surround the holidays.  Presents for gift exchanges, hostess gifts, dinners with friends, holiday light tours and the list goes on.  Determine a realistic amount for your holiday spending and begin to make a budget.

Prioritize Your Money and Time
Once you have a number in mind, think about the people who you would like to buy gifts for and the events you would like to attend.  Sometimes saying “no” to an invitation or restraining yourself from spending on the perfect (but way out of your budget) gift can feel painful, but your sanity and finances will thank you for prioritizing what’s important to you.  After you have settled on whom you will buy for and the social events you will go to, set a dollar amount to spend for each gift and party.

Pay with Cash
While I don’t normally use the “envelope system,” I find it a really helpful tool during the holidays.  With your budget as a guide, take out the amount of cash you’ll need for gifts and use that predetermined amount instead of a credit card.  Using an envelope of cash labeled “mom,” for instance, makes me more focused on buying her gift and helps me avoid impulse buys. [click to continue…]

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A Frugal Confession: I Hate Birthday Dinners

August 14, 2012

The birthday dinner is a great thing, in theory, but they can also be budget breaking, inconvenient events too.  I loved celebrating friends’ birthdays over dinner in college when we had $7 entrees, split a pitcher of margaritas and paid separate checks at the counter of our favorite cheap Mexican restaurant.  Yet, as we got […]

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Three Ways to Save at the Airport

June 5, 2012

I just got back from a trip to Delaware to celebrate my youngest cousin’s high school graduation (Congrats Shay!) and I was overwhelmed by the ways people waste money at the airport.  There are lots of temptations to spend in the terminal and in the air, but packing the right things can help you save […]

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{Closed} One Day Only Giveaway: Make Saving Fun with ImpulseSave!

April 27, 2012

Let’s be honest, saving money isn’t always the most exciting thing in the world.  It can be a lot more fun to spend than save, but an exclusive new site called ImpulseSave is making saving easy and fun.  I set up a goal on ImpulseSave to save toward one of the things on my 30 […]

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Mega Millions Morning After Regrets

March 31, 2012

Despite my lack of splurging this month, I was taken in by the Mega Millions $640 million jackpot hysteria and bought a ticket.  This was basically like flushing a dollar bill down the toilet, but it’s a little fun to think that you have the chance to win an astronomical amount of money.  I supported […]

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Giving Up Small Splurges

March 8, 2012

I struggled with deciding what to give up for Lent when Ash Wednesday arrived a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t think that giving up chocolate or soda as big sacrifices, so I try to commitment myself to things that are actually a challenge to me.  Past examples include giving up complaining and making myself […]

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Planning a Trip to Publix

August 4, 2010

One of the mantras at Weight Watchers is “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”   Planning ahead doesn’t just lead to weight loss success, but it can also help you save a lot of money at the grocery store.  20 minutes of planning each week helps me save a lot of money on […]

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