Category: Money Mondays

Ways To Increase Passive Income

This guest post of courtesy of my blogging friend Michael, who blogs over at Stretch a Dime. Enjoy!

Some years back, I bought a young lime plant, and planted it in my backyard. I spent a good amount of time taking care of it when the plant was young. In a few years it grew to become a decent sized lime tree and started producing lime.

My daughter and I would go and harvest the lime. We would make fresh limeade and my family would enjoy it. Every summer, we would harvest literally hundreds of lime. We would give away some of the produce to our friends. Read more

How and Why You Should Pay off Your Debt Fast

This blog post is part of the Pay Down My Debt (PDMD) blog tour, sponsored by US Equity Advantage. PDMD is a solution that accelerates debt payoff and helps consumers monitor their credit and make smarter purchasing decisions. If you’re looking to pay off debt find out how they can help.

Today would have been my grandpa’s 97th birthday. My grandpa was an awesome guy, and I loved him SO much. He worked hard, raised eight kids with ethical standards and treated my grandma and the rest of our family well. I have tons of respect for my grandpa. He and I were buds, for sure. I loved spending time with him. One of my fave grandpa memories was when we would take him out to eat at the local pancake house and he would order liver and onions. We’d always say, “Grandpa! You’re at the PANCAKE HOUSE! Blueberry, strawberry, chocolate chip – they’ll give you any kind of pancakes you want! Why are you ordering liver and onions, of all things?” But the meal brought back fond memories for him, growing up as one of twelve kids of a police officer and doting stay-at-home-mom during the Great Depression. Read more

How to Save Money When You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Hey, financially literate friends! Today we feature Cindy, who talks about how to save money when money is tight. For extra fun, you can visit Cindy’s guest post over at our sister blog, Fruclassity. 

It’s easy to feel you’re working for nothing. The bills are (barely) getting paid. But how can you get ahead, when it seems you’re just existing from paycheck to paycheck? 

 You don’t have to live this way.

Even if your income is rock-bottom right now, you can still take actions that help. I speak from experience. My husband, the Brick, and I have had years when his paycheck was $800-900 monthly.

Until things got better (and they did), here’s what we did.

How to Save When Living Paycheck to Paycheck

There are ways to save money when your income is low. It will take some effort, but here’s how we did it.

We Knew What We Owed

We paid credit cards off every month, on time.

Use a card with no yearly fee that offers cash back, and charge everything you would normally pay cash for, including utilities, phone bill, etc. You don’t pay a lick of interest — and you’ll harvest cash or gift cards.

If you already have credit card debt, you’re already paying interest you can’t afford to give. What can you do to get rid of this burden? (See below.)

We worked with medical providers to make a payment plan. 

The Brick’s insurance had a huge deductible, which covered catastrophes, but little else. Hospital and dentist’s offices were willing to wait — provided we made small payments regularly. And we did, until they were paid off.

Want a fool-proof system for getting out of debt? The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

We kept monthly costs reasonably consistent. 

The Brick and I never had a written-up budget, but we knew what heating costs, groceries and other expenses need to be, in order for us to get by. If this occasionally meant turning the thermostat down, or not going to the grocery store that week, so be it.

We paid ourselves, too

Call it an emergency or an “F-you” fund, doesn’t matter. That money will save you over and over by covering unexpected plumbers’ fees (like the washcloth a daughter flushed) or a ‘grab-it-quick’ sale price. Even $5 a week equals $260 yearly. Keep the money separate and you honestly won’t miss it. Replenish anything used as quickly as possible.

How to Save to Become a Millionaire: The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

We Cut Expenses

We Saved on Groceries

You have to eat — that’s a given. What you don’t have to do is pay full price. Buy on sale or clearance, go to a warehouse or dollar store, use substitutes.  Possibilities are out there.

This includes trendy foods: ‘gluten-free,’ for example. So many people spend inflated prices for items they could just as easily make at home for less — or do without, altogether. Do you really need these for health reasons? Then by all means, find them at a discount price.

Organic items come into play, too. ‘Natural’ and  ‘organic’ label requirements are much looser than companies would want you to know; don’t fatten their profits. Instead, grow or make your own, hunt and fish it, buy from a wholesaler or roadside stand, pick it yourself, or buy in bulk.

Frugal living can be fun! The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle

We Didn’t Pay Interest

     *We didn’t pay interest. No matter what.  I cannot emphasize how important this is. If we couldn’t pay for it, we saved — and did without until we could.

Another option: a payment plan that doesn’t charge interest, provided you pay it off regularly. We purchased both laptops this way.

 

     *We bought used — but the best quality we could afford. Buy a cheap sweater, and you’ll have to replace it next season. Spend the same money on a good wool or cashmere sweater at the thrift shop, instead, and you’ll have it for years to come.

This applies to everything, from refrigerators to furniture. (Cars and homes, too.)  Do your research, find reliable brands, then scour Craigslist, garage and estate sales, and the Internet. Tell friends. Take free stuff for now — then upgrade when you can afford to. Bargain!

It may take time, but you’ll find what you need.

 

Finally, We Increased Our Income. 

 

     *Take a part-time or temporary job. Any job.  We’ve both done everything from fixing sewing machines to catering and dogsitting. (Including cleaning up poop – yuck!). If it’s honest work that pays — we’ll do it.

 

     *Use that extra income to pay interest-bearing debts, invest in items you really need, or beef up your savings. 

 

It’s no fun to live on a limited income – but can be done. And with patience and discipline, your life will improve.  Hang in there.

Visit Cindy Brick – and hear a lot more about frugal topics – at her Brickworks blog: http://www.cindybrick.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deep in Debt? Here’s How to Get Out

When we first started our “getting out of debt” journey, we didn’t tell a soul anything about it, mostly because we knew that most people would tell us we couldn’t make it happen and we’d be better off filing bankruptcy. We were deep, deep in debt, facing a 65% debt-to-income ratio at the time and were a minimum of $1,000 short of income each month without Rick’s overtime pay, which was not guaranteed. Read more

Getting Out of Debt:  Here’s How to Start

Hey, frugal friends! Today’s post is from Mrs. Daisy, who blogs about debt, family and farm life over at Dirt Road Daisy. Enjoy! 

When my husband and I stopped ignoring the fact that we were in six figures of debt and decided to do something about it, we jumped right in the express lane with no plan whatsoever. Our strategy worked for a few months as we haphazardly put extra money here and there on different debts with no real rhyme or reason. The balances slowly started to decrease, but then we hit a wall. Read more

How Debt Destroys Your Chances for Financial Freedom

Happy Wednesday, friends! Today’s guest post is from Josh, who blogs over at Money Buffalo. Enjoy!

Let’s face it, you are most likely part of the 80% of the American population that is currently making a monthly loan payment. Between student loans, a home mortgage, car loans, and the exercise machine you bought on sale in January, it can be nearly impossible to not borrow money at some point in your life. While going into debt is often viewed a normal facet of life, most people do not realize how debt can destroy your chances of financial freedom and living the life you truly desire. Read more

Why Financial Literacy Matters

Hey, friends! This is our first of several posts about financial literacy in honor of Financial Literacy Month. Today, we feature Jack from Enwealthen. Jack blogs about investing, increasing your net worth and all things personal finance with a dose of entertainment and humor to boot. 

Imagine this.

You’re living paycheck to paycheck.  You have no emergency savings.  You pay the minimum payment on your $16,000 credit card debt.  You have no retirement savings.

You are a typical American. Read more

April is Financial Literacy Month

Hey, frugal friends!!  Just wanted to let you know that April is Financial Literacy Month and so me and the rest of the personal finance blogging world will be working extra hard to help you go from financial bondage to financial freedom. Financial Literacy Month has a special place in the heart of many bloggers because we all remember what life was like before we had financial literacy. Read more