You may remember that a few weeks ago I went to my first blogging event. I met a ton of wonderful bloggers from the Ohio Valley region (of which Pittsburgh is a part.) Today I’m really excited to introduce you to some of them and their best personal finance tips!
Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog
The key for us has always been to keep track of what we’re spending. (Yes, everything!) We use a program called “You Need a Budget.” (or YNAB. See www.youneedabudget.com.) My husband and I both have the program installed on our laptops as well as apps for our iPhones. Because it’s on my phone, it really is super simple to deduct the amount from the appropriate budget category right when I purchase something.
When we first sat down to create our budget and looked through our old bank statements, I was shocked at what we were spending on “extras” like eating out, trips to Target when I was bored, etc. When we broke things down into categories and started keeping track, it was much easier to resist that $5 cup of coffee or that cute accessory that I didn’t really need because I knew I only had X dollars left in that category for the month. On the flip side, it also gave me a lot of freedom to know that if I really wanted that cute accessory and I had money left in my clothes budget, I could buy it without feeling guilty because there is money specifically allotted for that. Read Abby’s Blog.
Stephanie from When Crazy Meets Exhaustion
When I got married, I inherited my husband’s last name and his bachelor credit card debt. We wanted to get a handle on our finances before we started stashing money away, so we adopted the envelope system, with a side of DO NOT USE THE CREDIT CARD system. This was not a long-term savings plan; in fact, it wasn’t really a savings technique, per se. The envelope system helped organize the “necessary spending” money and ensured we didn’t spend more than we had. What a concept, right?! Each pay day, we stuffed the envelopes with money for our monthly credit card bill, groceries, weekly church offerings, weekend entertainment, etc. Once the envelopes were empty, that spending was over until the next pay day. The method worked so well that we paid off the credit card debt within a year, AND we still use the envelope system, 7 years later! It has allowed us to budget for our every day expenses AND the future. And with three kids, that’s HUGE! Read Stephanie’s Blog.
Heather from Diary of a First Time Mom
My father always jokes and says that I have champagne dreams on a beer budget. I live way beyond my means without going broke, because I swap services with friends and family members. I received free salon services for a year by creating a marketing campaign for my hair stylist. I also lended my communications & marketing expertise to a financial advisor, a graphic artist and a web design, who helped me build my blog and my brand. Use your talent to your advantage. Can you cook? Whip up a five course meal for someone willing to wash your car and cut your grass. Read Heather’s Blog.
Janene & Christine from More Than Mommies
When thinking about ways to be frugal, we thought about all the things you hear from bloggers like – have a meal plan, always have a grocery list and stick to it, use coupons and online codes to get the best prices . . . but then it hit us that our #1 tip for you about being frugal would have to be to VISIT the websites (like Femme Frugality) that give you the tips! Listen to the people that know what they are talking about. Ask questions if you aren’t sure about something they are talking about. Bloggers love getting questions and are willing to help out with anything they can! They are a giving bunch! Take advantage of the experts at your fingertips – they know their stuff! Read their blog.