Category: Money Issues

Why You Need to Stop Making Exceptions for Your Budget for Recreational Activities

Sticking to a budget is not really that easy for most people to do. It can really be a struggle to force yourself not to spend money on things you are used to being able to buy. However, you need to make sure that you are not making exceptions in your budget for recreational activities all the time. A little bit of wiggle room now and then is not a bad thing, because you need to make sure that you are happy and healthy. For that reason, it’s okay to splurge every now and then, but if you are constantly making exceptions in your budget for recreational activities, it needs to stop. This is something you need to understand because it can really wind up ruining your budget. Here’s what you need to know about why you need to stop doing this so often, and other things that you might need to be considering.

You’re Just Making It Harder on Yourself

There Is No Place In Your Budget For So Many Recreational Activities
There Is No Place In Your Budget For So Many Recreational Activities
First of all, if you are constantly making exceptions do your budget, you’re just making it harder on yourself. Budgeting is not easy, and it’s even more difficult when you have to constantly readjust and recalculate things. If you are the type of person who finds themselves aching exceptions all the time, you are just making it more difficult for yourself to stick to a budget. This really isn’t a good thing to do because of just how much more difficult it becomes for you. It’s best to try and stick to the budget you set in the first place.

You’re Wasting Way Too Much Money

Stop Wasting All That Money!
Stop Wasting All That Money!
Chances are that you are wasting way too much money if you are constantly making exceptions for recreational activities. Going to a movie every now and then is not a big deal, but constantly going to concerts and going out to eat at fancy restaurants is a big deal. You’re going to wind up wasting way too much money if you allow yourself to do this, and once you start, it can be hard to stop. For that reason, you really need to understand exactly why you need to stop doing this.

You’re Allowing Yourself to Ruin Your Budget

If you allow yourself to make exceptions to your budget, you’re basically allowing yourself to ruin the entire budget. Making one exception every now and then is not a bad thing, but you are just going to wind up ruining the budget you set for yourself if you are constantly making exceptions to it. It won’t really mean anything to you in the long run, because you’re constantly making exceptions and changing things up instead of sticking to your plan. It’s really not something that you should allow yourself to do.

It’s a Bad Mentality to Get Stuck In

The mentality of making exceptions to your budget is a bad one to get into. Once you start making exceptions every now and then for recreational activities, chances are that you’re going to wind up doing it quite a bit. It’s very difficult to get yourself to stop doing this, so you need to be careful not to start to begin with. You are not going to wind up appreciating how difficult it will be for you to handle the sort of stress that comes from doing this.

If You Stick to Your Budget, You Will Have Wiggle Room

If you stick to your budget in the first place, every now and then you will have wiggle room that it will allow you to pursue the recreational activities you are so invested in. Consider a reward for working so hard. Still, if you stick to your budget than you should be able to enjoy fun things every now and then without having to worry about the stress of making exceptions to your budget and changing things up.

Surprise Her At Work With A Homemade Lunch

7 Best Cheap Date Ideas

When you’re trying to impress a woman the last thing you want to say is that you don’t have the money. That gets embarrassing, fast. So the best way to save a little cash when you’re trying to woo her is to think of fantastic date ideas that also happen to be cheap. There are only so many times that you can have her over to your house for a romantic meal of instant rice and ramen noodles, so here are some low cost ways to keep her happy and keep some cash in her pocket.

1. A Romantic Walk on the Beach at Sunset

Women love beaches at sunset. If you don’t have a beach handy, improvise with something natural and beautiful. Watching the sun set from on top of a mountain peak is also breathtaking; you just have to find something to do which will keep the two of you outside and having a good time, far from anywhere you might have to spend money. Bring a blanket and things might get even more breathtaking once the sun goes down.

2. Free Days at Museums

A Date At The Museum
A Date At The Museum
You can say that you just want to hit the museum on a Tuesday morning because there won’t be that many crowds, and then act surprised but pleased when you find out that it’s a free day. Most museums have at least one free day a month. If you can get it off (and your girl can too) then it’s the perfect chance to dress up without spending a lot of money. Normally it would take dinner at a fancy restaurant to see her in that little black dress, but there’s something fancy about museums that gets the job done for you.

3. Art Gallery Openings

Art Galleries Are Great For Romance
Art Galleries Are Great For Romance
One of the best things that you can do is head to art gallery openings. No matter where you live there’s probably a city within driving distance of you. If there’s a city, then there’s an art gallery trying to drum up interest in their art. Every time a new show opens you can count on there being a big party, and most of the time these parties are free, or very cheap considering the champagne and nibbles that they’re going to be serving there.

4. The Park at Night

If you want to avoid even the chance that you’ll have to buy food for her, ask if you can pick her up at 9pm. Have some cheap beers in the backseat and drive her out to the park at night. It’s surprising how fun a swing set can be for two tipsy adults. Just make sure to bring a blanket (again, things can get breathtaking after dark). Plus, you’ll have to do something while you’re sobering up enough to drive home.

5. Lunch Brought to Her at Work

Surprise Her At Work With A Homemade Lunch
Surprise Her At Work With A Homemade Lunch
If you want to earn major points without a lot of cash, don’t take her out to lunch: bring lunch to her. All it takes is a bagged salad, a little dressing, two sandwiches and all the makings of a fancy meal. Bring real plates, some candles, and set up the picnic table outside of her work so that you can catch her right when she gets out. Then let her know that you haven’t been able to stop thinking about her. The simple food and the fancy setting will create the perfect memorable date!

6. Full on At-home Dance Party

This is a one time investment that you can break out whenever you want. Get some bubbles, get some streamers, and get some balloons. As long as you have an iPod or access to a nonstop music player, you’re ready. Just push all the furniture to the edge of the living room and have a no holds barred dance off without the cover charges and expensive drinks of going out. Plus, if things get hot and heavy on the dancefloor you really can rip her clothes off and have her then and there.

7. Multi-media Scavenger Hunt

If you and your honey already have smartphones then you already have what you need. Take the time to film yourself leaving clues around the city and lead her to where you’re having dinner or a picnic that way. Creativity makes it better! By the time she finds you she’ll be so happy with your thoughtfulness that she won’t care how much you’re spending.

5 Apps to Help Manage Your Money

Let’s all be honest with ourselves here. Keeping track of our money and our daily expenses is really hard. We spend so much money on so many things, not just from day to day but from month to month, even year to year. If we don’t have any way to keep track of where our money is going, then how can we even hope to know how we should budget our money for next time? Lucky for us we live in a time of smart phones with the ability to download applications that will help us manage our finances. Here are some prime examples of what’s out there to help you.

Expensify

Expensify Helps You Stay On Budget
Expensify Helps You Stay On Budget
For the people who may need to work on a lot of expense reports, this is one free app with four big buttons on its main page: SmartScan, Add Expense, Track Time, and Track Distance. Hitting “SmartScan” will allow you to photograph, categorize, and tag receipts. This is useful for if you have reason to hang on to a receipt, but don’t want to stuff your wallet or your bag with the paper versions. “Add Expense” lets you enter the same information manually. The “Track Distance” and “Track Time” options are mainly handy for those freelance jobs that involve keeping track of driving distance in need of reimbursements and hourly rates working on a project. Expensify can also link to your debit and/or credit card, and the web browser version will allow you track your total account balances alongside your daily expenses.

DailyBudgt

This app is designed to make sure you’re staying within the budget that you’ll be setting for yourself, tracking your many daily expenses. DailyBudgt will ask you to input a budget for the week, and then for the day, and then has the option to send you notifications about what you’ve spent from your daily and weekly budget so far. This is meant to help you slow down your spending. In some ways, it’s a little bit like trying to go on the “Cash Only Diet” without actually keeping cash in your wallet. The app will also keep a history of your spending, so that you can track yourself long term as well, and can be set to display your budget by day, week, or month. And then it’ll put together some nifty, colorful little pie charts for your personal benefit!

Check

You Need To Start Using Check
You Need To Start Using Check
If you’re the sort of person who charges just about everything to your debit or credit card, this is a great app for you to use. Once you have a secure connection with Check, you’ll be asked to add all your bills to your account. When it asks for all of them, it really means all of them. Credit card bills, gas, electric, car payments – If you have it, Check wants it. This is because the app will notify you when each of those bills are due, what the minimum payment is, and will even let you pay off said bill through the app. Although Check is a free app, you can pay a small amount for an additional feature that will track your credit score for you. You’ll even get an e-mail alert if you end up using more than 30% of your credit limit’s total credit, since that could damage your credit score.

Spending 2

This app is best for tracking month-to-month expenses, allowing you to divide your spending into the five categories of food, personal, tran or sportation, bills, and education. The viewing mode can be customized to have a different start of the week, for anyone with more irregular work schedules. One of its thus far more unique features is the ability to mark an expense as “repeat”, such as classes you take or weekly social outings you might attend. Another is the option of entering your income along expenses, allowing you to see just how much is coming in, how much is going out, and what the overall balance ends up becoming.

HBL MoneyWise

With MoneyWise You Can Balance Your Budget, Track Your Expenses & Create Expense Reports
With MoneyWise You Can Balance Your Budget, Track Your Expenses & Create Expense Reports
MoneyWise not only helps you balance your budget and track your expenses, it also helps you create expense reports, bank on the go, and even help you find the nearest ATM. Its interface is straightforward, with clearly marked buttons to get you exactly what you need when you need it. The app also gets to have a little fun by giving you quick tips at the top of the screen. It’ll be like having your very own financial consultant in your pocket, without having to pay them a cent.