Build Your Savings Account – Make More, Spend Less

Build Your Savings Account – Make More, Spend Less

 

How to Save More MoneyHi Rich Mama – today we’re going back to the basics of financial planning.  It’s all about step one of your defensive plan for building a wealthy family. You have to save. You will never become wealthy – no matter how much you make – unless you are saving money! But so few actually have a regular plan for saving. That old adage that those who fail to plan, plan to fail, is never more true than where money is concerned.

 

Without a solid savings plan, chances are, you’ll never have enough money on hand to provide for your family in the event of a financial set-back. Reaching long-term financial dreams such as a secure retirement also depend on a savings plan.

 

The best way to protect your family from financial disasters is to have a plan in place to prepare for the future. Building a savings account requires learning to make more money and live on less. These two strategies will go far toward ensuring that – heaven forbid – a financial disaster strikes. Your family will be able to survive and more easily bounce back from the hardship with a firmly established savings account. A savings account will help you sleep better at night – much better than a garage worth of junk or a closet worth of shoes.

 

Let’s look at these two strategies that will help you build a savings account, and build financial security in the doing:

 

Make more money.

 

You can try and earn some extra money and put that in your savings account. Spend the rest of your money guilt free. If both you and your spouse work, this is a great test to see what would happen if one of you quit (or lost) your job. Try living only on one income.

If you’re already a one income family, you can try and earn a bit extra on the side and devote this to saving.

You can start a home-based business offering services such as lawn care, babysitting, tax preparation, sewing, baking, music lessons, or anything else you can do reasonably well. Start by talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about your new venture, then branch out when you get your business firmly established. DO NOT SPEND A LOT OF MONEY STARTING THIS BUSINESS. If your start small and only earn a hundred or two hundred bucks a month that you SAVE – pat yourself on the back.

If you like to sell, you can sign up with any number of direct sales companies. Some familiar ones are Avon, Stella and Dot,  Home Interiors, and Arbonne, just to name a few. There are hundreds more with products ranging from baby toys and books to weight loss assistance. Choose something you like, and that you believe in, and give it your best shot. Avoiding ones that have you buy a lot of inventory upfront.

 

Selling your own products or unwanted items is another way to make more money. If, like most of us, you have a garage, basement, or closets full of things you no longer want or need, turn those items into cash. Declutter your life and build a savings account at the same time. Explore online auction sites for ideas about what people are looking for and get on the bandwagon. Or just have a good old fashioned yard sale and make a commitment to put that money into your savings account.

 

You may enjoy crafting. Could you build an inventory and take those items to a local art fair or flea market? Perhaps setting up an online store would be more to your liking – try Etsy.com so you don’t have to go through the hassle of building a website from scratch.  As much as you enjoy creating things, there are even more people who enjoy buying things. Why not sell them YOUR things?

 

Spend less money.

 

Make spending less money a habit, even a challenge. See how many outfits you can make out of the clothes in the back of your closet; see how many meals you can get out of one whole chicken, etc. Put the money you would have normally spent into a savings account. Avoid eating out. One less take out dinner a week could mean a hundred dollars or more a month in your pocket – I mean savings account.

 

Coupons are an easy way to track how much money you save when you shop. Take the amount on the coupon and physically deposit that amount into a regular savings account. Nickels and dimes can add up quickly when this is done consistently.

 

Keep a small notebook and track every cent you spend. Within a week, you’ll notice a pattern of unnecessary expenditures. Eliminate that gourmet coffee on the way to work and replace it with a home-brewed alternative. Fill a reusable bottle with filtered water out of your own tap instead of buying bottled water. Make your lunch at home. Whatever you save over the weeks, take that money and stick it into your savings account.

 

Eliminate luxuries in order to build your savings even faster. Find a cheaper hair salon, go a little longer between cuts. Do you own nails.  Go to the library for books and moves.

Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to save, start today. Put aside a little money from every paycheck, spend less, and earn more so you can build a savings account to protect your family in the event of a financial disaster. You need a buffer against layoff, recession, depression, or long-term illness to ensure your family’s security.

Real Kid Friendly Entertainment

Hi RichMamas – this just came across the wire, and I thought it was important (this is as I watch yet anohter Disney Channel original movie, Wendy Wu – Homecoming Warrior – with the kids).

When was the last time you saw a G-rated movie?   Kenn Viselman, the creator of The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure (due out “Oogust” 29th) believes in the The Power of Mom. So much so he and his team have been traveling around the country engaging bloggers in conversations about what constitutes quality G-rated entertainment. Other than a few wildlife documentaries and a re-release in a popular children’s movie in 3-D, Hollywood has completely ignored the youngest moviegoer. The best they give us for our kids – animated PG films – are loaded with aggression and bloodshed.

 

Moms: You have the power to change what Hollywood pushes on your children. In fact, there is no voice more powerful than yours. You control the home, the family budget and your child’s welfare. Aren’t you tired of watching moms die in the first ten minutes of so many animated movies? Aren’t you tired of seeing your children confused by the aggression towards their beloved movie characters? There’s no place for such violence in a children’s movie. Enough is enough.

 

It’s this “enough is enough” attitude that got Kenn Viselman, the marketing genius who introduced us to Teletubbies, Thomas the Tank Engine, Noddy and Eloise, mad as h*ll. The end result: The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, a film that reinvents the movie-going experience. This film – basically a movie and a live show rolled into one – is the first-of-its-kind interactive family musical that encourages the audience to get out of their seats, dance, and sing. Visual and auditory cues invite the audience to “move” the action along, allowing parents and kids to interact not only with the characters, but also with one another.

 

The story follows the Oogieloves – Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie – as they prepare for a surprise birthday party for their friend, Schluufy. When their guardian, J. Edgar, loses the last five magical balloons in all of Lovelyloveville, the Oogieloves take action. Along the way, they meet Rosalie Rosebud (Toni Braxton), Dottie Rounder (Cloris Leachman), Lola and Lero Sombrero (Jaime Pressly and Christopher Lloyd), Milky Marvin (Chazz Palminteri), and Bobby Wobbly (Cary Elwes). The movie opens in theaters “Oogust” 29th.

Your Questions About Family Budget

Mary asks…

what is a good way to start a family budget?

I am looking for a easy budget plan to set up for my family. I don’t want anything confusing or time consuming.

richmama answers:

I agree with Mary… I set up my family budget with a clear list of all our expenses: Mortgage, Car payments, Daycare, Etc. With the days they are due. For the variable expenses, I looked back several months to see what we spent on average on Food, Gas, Cash Withdrawals and Miscellanious. If you see an area that you are overspending, it’s easy to see where you need to trim back. Then list your income to see what you have left. I recommend putting Savings under the expense catagory, otherwise people don’t do it.

Most people have some debt, but may not truely know how much. Along with the budget, to the side of the item like “Credit cards”, put the overall balance. The only way to pay off debt and manage a budget is to have a very clear plan.

List all the debt in another area in order of priority. For example, my husband and I owed a decent amount on credit cards, then a small loan for our wedding rings, one for our golf cart, and student loans. The credit card was the highest interest rate, so we paid the minimum on everything else and paid as much as possible to the credit card. Once that was paid, we compounded what we paid for the credit card along with the next item (student loan) and paid that off like crazy. By the time we got to the last item, we were paying $800 a month off our last debt because we compounded it.

I know you said you didn’t want anything time consuming, but if there is anything to spend a few more minutes on a month, it would be your family finances.

Lisa asks…

Where can I find some family budget spreadsheets?

I want to make a budget for me and my family. I been trying to make one for the last couple years. We have some debts we wanna pay off and a financial goal. thanks for your time.

richmama answers:

Right on your computer. Microsoft spreadsheet. Use some accounting tools, like assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity. Then break it down from there.

Nancy asks…

How do I create a family budget?

How do I create a family budget that’s easy to implement and follow for years to come?

richmama answers:

I would recommend spending $19.95 on a book Called “Financial Peace” Written by Dave Ramsey. “More than Enough” is also a good second book if you like the first written by the same author. The book is written on an easy to read (6th grade level) It covers budgeting and gives sample budget’s it also encourages you to sit down with your spouse to establish and keep a budget. I do not use all Dave Ramsey’s suggestions but anyone that does will not go wrong. The base of his teachings is very valid and useful. I firmly believe anyone starting out with these tools will not go wrong. Remember in life though a little common sense goes along way Good luck to you

Donald asks…

Best websites for establishing a Family Budget?

I need to get my family on a budget. I’m Bad with money and am willing to learn how to get better- but I need a starting point.
Any suggestions?

richmama answers:

I suggest you go to Dave Ramsey’s website. He has a lot of financial forms or you can do the budget on line. He also has an easy to understand book The Total Money Makeover to help navigate a budget, get out of debt, save for emergencies, save for big purchases, save for collage, retirement, etc.

We have used his plan for about 3 years, we love his advice.

If you end up thinking he is too intense then try Crown Financial (link below).

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Your Questions About Family Budget Planning

Maria asks…

Any budget family holiday plan for one month in london, blackburn and manchester?

planning a visit for a family of 3 to london, blackburn & manchester in june. any good input for sight seeing, where to stay, to enjoy & learn for a family with a15 year old boy & limited budget?

richmama answers:

This same question was asked a few days back.
Try http://www.freewebs.com/parasit-e/hotels.htm

Ruth asks…

How to market a personal financial planning and family budgeting, investing service on the net?

Hi,

I want to offer a personal financial planning service for young families, covering analysis of present financial condition, budgeting, investment and insurance planning, retirement planning etc.

Would welcome suggestions on marketing this service on the internet and also other media. My client base will be in India.

Considering social networking sites, groups, blogs, twitter etc.

Marketing costs to be minimal, as this will be a very low fee service.

richmama answers:

Http://www.boddunan.com/component/content/article/6-other/260-financial-planning-and-its-requirement.html?directory=3

FINANCIAL PLANNING AND ITS REQUIREMENT
Business & Finance

Paul asks…

I am planning a trip for my family this summer to Europe for 7 days. Is a $10,000 budget enough, exc. airfare?

Europe trip, budget, help planning,

richmama answers:

Well… I’m sixteen and going to Europe next year…I know the group will probably be about ten. The total amount for two weeks- all inclusive, is about $4500- thats for airfare, hotels, tours, dining, EVERYTHING. I can suggest going with a tour group (not teenagers though) because it is much cheaper, especially with a native tour guide if you can get one. My sister went last year (she’s eighteen) and really enjoyed it. Even if you don’t with a tour, I would think a $10,000 budget is plenty for seven days. Just remember to get prepaid Visa cards and Euros to pay for everything. (Ask at your bank for those.)

Laura asks…

Where’s an online site that helps plan a family budget?

THANKS!

richmama answers:

There are several good and helpful sites. Planning a family budget is VERY important. This will help you manage, avoid and/or eliminate debt and reduce friction points between spouses. Your immediate goal should be to establish an Emergency fund of at least $1,000 or more. That way you have the cash to pay for little emergencies instead of using credit cards. I hope you find these sites helpful.

Here are a few helpful sites.
Http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/BudgetCalc/budget.html

http://cccsinc.org/index.asp?pg=tools_debtratio

http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/budget101/budget_101.jsp

http://www.providian.com/cmc/create_bdgt.htm

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/datazone_fambud_budget

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How to Live on a Budget – Like a RichMama

How To Live On a Budget

For many families, finding out how to live on a budget is very similar to trying to find a weight-loss plan and sticking with it. Just like a diet makes you feel hungry all the time, a if you learn how to live on a a budget it can often cause a family feel poor, like they simply are not getting what they want. This is why many people struggle to find a budget and stick to it. The most important part of budgeting is all about approaching with the right state of mind. If, from the very start, your family views a budget as a punishment, there is no way you will be able to live well while trying to restrict what you spend. When learning how to live on a budget, it should be viewed as an essential, long-term tool so that your family can get what they want. In other words, it is important that every member of the family understands that how to live on a budget is all about achieving a specific goal. With this in mind, the right way to approach making a budget is not to think about what you are restricting in your finances, but about how you are going to plan them out. How to live on a budget is not about cutting spending, it is about planning out exactly how you will be spending your money.

How to Live on A Budget- No Ramen Needed

When planning  how to live on a budget, it is a good idea to take a look at different aspects of your life where you can afford to spend a bit less. However, it is easy to get lost in the details. There is no reason to force everyone in your household to start eating ramen for every meal or recycling soap slivers just yet.  The best way to learn how to live on a budget is to look at your biggest expenses and find ways to reduce these. Often, cutting just a tiny percentage of your utility bill or your auto insurance payments means significantly higher savings than anything else you may do – and this is a great thing to when you’re learning how to live on a budget.

This is not to say that you should not look for little ways to make your daily spending more efficient (those little changes can add up to big savings,) it simply means that you should look at your biggest expenses first. The best part about this approach of how to live on a budget is that the biggest spending cuts can be made without making your family feel poor or that they do not have the things they need.

 

How to Live on a Budget – Find the Splurge Spots

The best way to learn how to live on a budget is to find ways to occasionally splurge while not losing sight of your long-term, most important goals (such as college, retirement, or your mortgage.) Remember, the real answer to understand how to live on a budget is to view the budget as the key to achieving all of your family’s dreams and long-term goals. This requires flexibility and creativity when it comes to how you will spend your money. It also requires that absolutely everyone is on board with what you are doing. Of course, it pays to set up several shorter-term goals, so that your family can stay motivated by seeing what their budget is achieving. While budgeting is about sacrifice, remember that sacrifice is not simply giving up the things you want, but giving them up for something that you feel is more important.  You can live on a budget – and live well if you think creatively about your needs and wants.