Stepchild Faves – November 2014

We hope all of our US readers had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and are successfully avoiding Black Friday purchases today! :)

As we’ve done previously, we’ve put together another edition of our fave posts from around the blogosphere this past month. As always, these are not presented in any particular order. So, here they are for your reading pleasure:

Get Rich Slowly – Ask the Readers: Is financial ability intrinsic or learned? - This post offers up a great question and really gets you thinking about things like nature vs nurture and how it applies to finances. Guest author Maggie shares her opinion on the topic and raises some great questions.

More than Just Money – The School of Failure - While not directly PF related, Kassandra tells us about how she fought the urge to give up after she missed her goal of writing everyday in October. This can be applied to your financial goals as well. If you go over your budget by a little bit, that doesn’t mean you should throw the whole thing out the window. Instead, you should try to stick to it as closely as possible, lessening the impact of your failure.

Young Adult Money – A Case for Earning More over Spending Less - Erin points out that she’s changed her views on whether you should earn more or spend less to increase your financial stability. She used to be firmly on the side of cutting expenses, but now she’s changed her tune. Both Cat and I are in favor of earning more now that we know what can be done online and through other side hustles too. While we don’t advocate having an over-the-top lifestyle, we are definitely in favor of earning more rather than spending less.

The Broke and Beautiful Life – The Power of “Only If It’s Free” - This is a great post where Stefanie tells us that if we have the mentality that we will only do something, go somewhere, or attend an event if it’s free (or extremely cheap) we will make the effort to find ways to make it happen. Of course, this only works if we really, really want to attend; otherwise we may decide these things not worth it. Either way, we are saving money in the process.


20 Something Finance – Labeling the 3 Types of Purchases Makes you a Wiser Consumer – Wow! This is an eye-opening post about the true definitions of “wants” and “needs”. If you have any doubt about your spending habits, you should definitely read this post.

Well guys and gals, that’s all we have for you this month. We hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are keeping your budget in mind for spending this Christmas season!

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5 Unessential Expenses to Cut from your Budget Today

debt reductionEverything costs something. Living is not cheap, especially if you’re spending money on non-important items. You can easily save money in many areas of your finances by cutting spending throughout your daily life. Here are a few places where you can start.

Eating out for Lunch

An easy way to save on costs is to pack your lunch every day. I know I just admitted that I like to eat out, but I try to do this as a social event or special occasion. I still do a weekly grocery shop and buy enough to make and bring a lunch from home every day. This may mean changing your daily routine, or spending a bit more time on Sunday night cooking a bulk meal. This is not to say that you cannot treat yourself every once in a while, but by making a habit of packing a pre-made lunch, you will cut a significant amount of daily, weekly, and monthly expenses from your budget.

Morning Coffee

Similar to packing a daily lunch, invest in a coffee maker at home. A daily latte at your local coffee shop can easily become a few hundred dollars a month without you realizing it. Save yourself some time and money by making your coffee at home and bringing a travel mug with you on your way to work. Do you need multiple caffeine hits during the day? Talk to your workplace about buying a coffee maker (chances are, they already have one), or upgrading to something that provides a nicer taste.

Extra Services

Take the time to look at what you are paying extra for. Do you hire out for landscaping, or housekeeping (I do!)? Do you pay for private lessons, or a gym membership? You do not have to get rid of these services all together, but consider where you can cut back, especially if you are not using them or taking full advantage of them. Can you hire the landscaper once a month, while doing upkeep yourself in the interim? Do you go to the gym every day, take classes, and using the cardio room or the weight machines? Look into cheaper membership packages, or try home workout videos. A gym membership can be a costly fee if you only spend once a week on the treadmill.

Overpayments for Insurance

Shop around for your insurance. You might be paying a premium price for coverage and services that could cost less at another provider for the same package, especially on your car insurance. Overall, you could be saving up to $100 a month or more by switching to a cheaper provider. Saving on car insurance is an easy way to cut expenses. Shop around and compare packages that offer the same coverage.

Extra Fees

Pay attention to hidden fees. Will you be charged for making a payment a day late? You can save yourself some extra money by paying on time, or asking for an extension before the due date. Set yourself reminders to make payments the day before. Take out money at your bank’s ATM – why pay an extra surcharge when you can go a bit further to your institution? Putting in a little effort now can save you in the long run.

Saving on unessential expenses does not have to change your lifestyle completely. Taking little steps towards cutting these costs could mean eliminating them completely in the future. If you think you could benefit from professional help, there are many companies, such as Positive Solutions Finance, who excel in helping clients manage their debt and budget.

What are some ways you’ve cut costs in your daily life?

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