Develop a budget and stick to it: Write a list of everyone on your gift list and determine how much you want to spend on each person. You should also include costs for cards, postage, gift-wrapping, holiday meals out, parties, travel, and any other miscellaneous items. Bring your list when you hit the stores, as it is easy to shop impulsively during this time of year.
The holidays are appproaching soon, and buying gifts for your loved ones can take a large toll on your finances. But, it doesn’t have to if you save money. The best thing to do is to continue adding to your holiday fund each week. If your budget is tight, find ways to cut back on your daily spending (e.g., no morning latte, bring a lunch to work, give up your weekly movie, etc.), and put that extra cash toward gifts.
When you shop at a convenience store, you also pay for the convenience. The prices are about 35% more expensive than the average supermarket. So stick to a local supermarket when you do your food shopping!
Keeping good records of money saved, invested, or spent is another important skill young people must learn. To make it easy, use 12 envelopes, 1 for each month, with a larger envelope to hold all the envelopes for the year. Establish this system for each child. Encourage children to place receipts from all purchases in the envelopes and keep notes on what they do with their money.
Bills are made of a cotton (75%) and linen (25%) fiber mix known as “rag paper.” This is distinctly different from regular paper, made from the cellulose in trees. This helps the paper withstand wear and tear, like when you accidentally wash a hundred dollar bill in a pair of jeans!
During the summer, many people prefer iced coffee rather than hot coffee, but it can be a little pricey. To avoid spending so much, try whipping up coffee slushes ($1 for four servings, versus $12 in stores). Pour leftover coffee into ice-cube trays and freeze, then toss the frozen cubes and flavored liquid creamer into a blender and enjoy!
As we mark today the last Friday the 13th of 2012, here are some interesting facts about the superstitiously unlucky day:
- Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926.
- Tupac Shacur was killed on Friday, September 13.
- The asteroid 2004 MN4 is set to come in close proximity to earth on Friday April 13, 2029.
- Country Music star Taylor Swift actually considers 13 to be her lucky number.
- There are three Friday the 13ths in 2012. Jan. 13, Apr. 13, and July 13. Ironically, they are all exactly 13 weeks apart.
- The next year we’ll have three Friday the 13ths is 2015. That year they’ll occur in February, March, and November.
- The fear of Friday the 13th is known as paraskavedekatriaphobia.
- Several hotels and hospitals skip the 13th floor out of superstition.
- The thirteenth installment of the Friday the 13th film series is set to be released on Friday September 13th, 2013.
- Author Mark Twain was once the 13th guest at a dinner party. Despite a friends warning not to go, saying, “It was bad luck,” he went went anyway. Twain later said they only had enough food for 12.
- According to the British Medical Journal, there is an increase in traffic-related accidents on Friday the 13th
- The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.
- According to UK’s The Mirror, New York resident Daz Baxter chose to stay in bed on Friday the 13th in 1976 in order to avoid bad luck. Unfortunately his apartment floor collapsed and he fell to his death.
We are always on the go and connected with work, family and friends, so finding the time to pause and reflect and review the important things, such as our finances, is often challenging.
Well, we’re here to help. Our Tuesday Tips is designed to help you with money matters by providing you quick and valuable tips to assist you in realizing your financial goals. Whether your goals include paying off student loan debt, building credit, purchasing a new home, or meeting your retirement income needs, the tips are intended to help you achieve those.
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Time spent developing a budget is time well spent.
A common error people make when they’re planning their household budget is to list unrealistic dollar amounts. If you spend $500 at the grocery store each month, then it isn’t reasonable to list $300 in your budget.
Keep a spending journal for at least two weeks prior to creating a budget for your family and yourself. This will help you establish realistic numbers. A comprehensive budget will not only tell you where the money is going, it can give you a map to tightening expenses. Also, it will allow you to put more money away for your short-term and long-term goals.