Managing life by handling money wisely.

20 No-Spend Weekend Ideas

It’s easy to fall into spending habits and not really think about them. Having a no-spend weekend allows you to take account of your regular spending and find creative ways to minimize it, at least on a temporary basis.

Does that mean you can’t have any fun this weekend? Not at all! You’ll save money and may even decide to implement no-spend weekends regularly. Continue reading →

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Apps to Manage Your Money on the Go

I love that a lot of physical clutter can be remedied with digital devices these days. Today we’re specifically talking about apps, which often take the place of notebooks, coupons, and even credit cards in our wallets, but this can apply to scanning documents at home as well.

Apps can save time by allowing you to do errands online instead of in person. They can save money through price comparisons or coupons. And they can save you worry by letting you see the information you need at the time you need it.

Everybody’s app needs will be different depending on their lifestyle. Here are the money-related apps on my phone and why I use them. Continue reading →

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8 Steps to an Emergency Fund

Unexpected things happen in life. I always think things should be easy and go as planned, but they never are/do. Does it ever seem like you overcome one crisis, just to land in another? Sometimes these unexpected events come with a price tag. An emergency fund helps keep a spendy surprise from becoming bigger.

If you’re living without a budget, or on a budget that does not include an emergency fund, unexpected expenses can spell disaster. That money has to come from somewhere, so you end up short-changing yourself in other budget categories or racking up debt. You can read more about how having a budget is less stress here. Continue reading →

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Credit Card Basics

People can have very strong opinions about credit cards. Financial guru Dave Ramsey is beloved by many people but his strict advice about credit cards is to cut them up, pay them off, and close them. However, credit cards are a financial tool just like anything else. They can be a pitfall if you don’t have the self-control to use them well, but they can also benefit you with financial flexibility and rewards like cashback. Continue reading →

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Balancing a Check Register

Keeping a check register is the first step. You can find the article about setting up a check register here. The second step is balancing it to your bank statements. This step is important because it verifies that your check register has an accurate available balance. You can balance using your online transaction history but I find it is easier to keep track of by using monthly statements (you may want to print these from your computer if you get e-statements so that you can write on it).

What You Will Need

  • Your check register
  • Your bank statement
  • A pencil and eraser

Continue reading →

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How to Keep a Check Register

I do not think keeping a check register is necessary for everyone these days. Technology makes it easy to quickly check our bank account balance and see what transactions have cleared. For many people, that is enough.  However, in my banking career I saw many people who would benefit from a deeper understanding of their bank account balance. The people this would most benefit are those who have little or no ‘cushion’ in their bank account and those who like to write physical checks.

Continue reading →

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