Budgeting

Have A Debt-Free Vacation With This Tool

Are you going to take a vacation this year? My guess is that your answer is YES. You have probably already decided when and where you want to go and have started dreaming about it. Now, how are you going to fund this vacation you’ve dreamed up? If you start planning now, you could fund it with cash!

By planning ahead of time, you can more accurately see just how much each aspect of your vacation will cost. You can anticipate travel, gas, lodging, food, entertainment and other expenses. Once you know how much your vacation is expected to cost, you can save money ahead of time!

We recommend using our Mini-Budget Tool to plan your vacation spending. You can really plan your vacation three different ways to see different scenarios and how they affect your bottom line. If you spend your money on paper, you can stay within budget during the trip.

Setting a budget and planning ahead of time is key to having a debt-free vacation. And I guarantee you, a debt-free vacation is a million times better than the alternative. You can have all the fun with your family without the stress of the incoming credit card bill.

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Want more tips like this one?  Subscribe to the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE.

MONDAY MONEY TIP PODCAST: All About Budgeting

Are you ready to get your budget under control? In Episode 29 of the Monday Money Tip Podcast, you can do just that! We’re here to share with you how they make budgeting EZ each and every month. We will also share some statistics about the average car payment that may shock you! Our success story this week comes from a participant of our last budget challenge and you’ll hear how it changed her life!

It’s our goal at the end of each episode that you gain hope and encouragement in your financial journey, you’re equipped to take a next step, and that you’ve had FUN with us!

Find the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE. Please let us know what you think by leaving us a rating!

Email info@iwbnin.com to ask questions or share success stories.

NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD:
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Show Notes

About the Episode:

  • Hear some alarming statistics about the average car payment.
  • Megan shares an exciting story from one of our last Budget Challenge participants.
  • I share how you can become good at budgeting.
  • Learn the key to budgeting with irregular income.

Resources:
IWBNIN Next Steps – Insurance
Average Car Payment Article
Budget Tools
Budget Challenge

Quote of the Day: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5

 

Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses Calculator

Have you ever prepared a budget and faithfully followed it only to have it crushed in the middle of the month because of an expense you forgot about? Does Christmas seem to creep up on you every year? Have you had to suddenly replace the tires on your car? Chances are, you answered yes to at least one of these questions.

These budget busters are called “Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses.” The reason these expenses get forgotten is because they are non-monthly so they tend to be pushed to the back of the mind until the bill suddenly comes in the mail. But when they do finally appear, they can create a financial emergency causing you to either break your budget or go into debt.

Think about what non-monthly expenses you know will come up throughout the year. Here are a couple of common expenses that people have:

  1. Car tires need to be replaced
  2. Heating & Air goes out
  3. Christmas
  4. Vacation
  5. Life insurance premium
  6. Property taxes
  7. Health Insurance deductible

Once you have these expenses listed out, you can plan to save monthly for them in your regular budget. Check out our Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses Calculator to do this with ease. Below is an example of the calculator in action:

By knowing what these expenses are and saving for them monthly, you’ll no longer have to “come up” with the money when the bill arrives. You will simply be able to pay the bill in cash. A cool feature of this tool is that not only does it calculate what you would need to save per month, but it also calculates the amount based on different pay frequencies. If you get paid twice per month, you would need to save $289.58 out of each paycheck. For a bi-weekly frequency, you would save $267.31. Regardless of how often you get paid, you can save accordingly and have the money available when you need it.

Tips for using the tool:

  • Be sure to recalculate your monthly savings number at least once per year.
  • Don’t forget more long-term expenses such as college, weddings, vehicle replacement, and major home renovations.
  • Make your savings for these expenses AUTOMATIC by establishing an auto-draft.

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Want more tips like this one?  Subscribe to the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE.

 

How To Have A Debt Free Christmas

What if I told you that you don’t have to go into debt Christmas shopping this year? That you can buy your gifts IN CASH and can avoid those dreaded credit card bills in January? Can you guess how you accomplish this? That’s right, a budget.

Christmas is a known, upcoming, non-monthly expense. That means that we know that Christmas comes on the same day every, single year and we should plan for it accordingly! In the Sangl household, we do this by saving a little bit for Christmas each month.

First, we decide how much we want to spend on Christmas altogether. Then, we create a list of every person or organization that we’re planning on buying a gift for and decide how much we plan to spend on each person. All that’s left to do is make that budget equal EXACTLY ZERO. Once you have your plan put together, you can do your Christmas shopping guilt-free!  

You can download a copy of one of our FREE BUDGET TOOLS HERE.

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For more tips on how to have a debt-free Christmas, check out our full episode of the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE.

For more information on how to create a Christmas Mini-Budget, check out this related blog post.

Black Friday Budgeting

Black Friday deals are probably piled up on your kitchen counter and overflowing your inbox right about now. Companies start promoting these deals at the beginning of November and most of the time cannot even wait until Black Friday to start selling! These sales are a great way to cross items off of your Christmas shopping list but can also become budget busters without the proper planning. You don’t have to spend January afraid of the credit card bills coming in, you can use our Christmas Mini-Budget to get Black Friday ready.

This budget tool is incredibly simple to use and does all the math for you. All you have to do is enter the total amount you want to spend this Christmas season and then list each person you plan on buying a gift for. Make sure you include everyone that you will spend money on, if they don’t make the list, they don’t get a gift. It might sound harsh but you don’t have to spend money on every single person that you know.

After you have listed the amount of money you want to spend and the people you plan to spend it on, you can begin to divy up your spending. Next to each person’s name, put the dollar amount that you plan to spend on them. You’ll notice as you start adding in numbers that the bottom of the spreadsheet will change colors. Like all of our budgeting templates, the trick is to make you INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO. Once you have accomplished this, the cell will turn green.

Until you begin making purchases, the “actual” column will be yellow. This indicates you still have money to spend. When you actually buy the gift, record that in the actual column. If you spend less than you planned, the cell will remain yellow. You can either spend more money or reallocate those funds to another person. If you spend the exact amount you planned, the cell will turn green. On the other hand, if you spend more than you planned, the cell will turn red. You either need to take that money from someone else’s gift or take the gift back and find one within budget. You’ll know when your budget equals EXACTLY ZERO on all fronts when all of the cells turn green. 

Black Friday and Christmas shopping don’t have to be stressful. With the proper planning you can avoid going over budget and putting yourself in debt to start the new year. Download the tool today and make this Christmas a debt-free one.

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Want more tips like this one?  Subscribe to the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE.