A debt free Christmas can sound daunting: start saving now! Here are some ideas for having a debt free Christmas this year.

Have yourself a Merry Little Debt Free Christmas

Perfectly thoughtful gifts for 15 people = $750 Homemade cookies for neighbors & coworkers = $50 a new nativity because my old one is so 2013 = $25 ugly sweaters for the whole family, because that’s a thing now = $50 Christmas cards = $200 Different cute dresses for all …

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Gaining Momentum in Debt Payoff

Our first month of intense debt pay off was January, 2015. It took us a few months after Ben was employed to play catch up – pay my parents back for a beater car we bought with borrowed money, get a mini $1000 emergency fund saved, etc… We sat down at a Starbucks, …

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Have you ever heard of the term "sinking fund" ? Sinking funds can be life-changing for your budget. And in a good way. Here's what a sinking fund is and how to use it to your advantage!

Budgeting 101 #4: What the heck is a Sinking Fund?

Understanding sinking funds is essential to accurate budgeting (unless your income is such that you choose to cash flow big ticket items). A sinking fund is a category in your budget that adds up from month to month and only occasionally gets spent out of. Sinking Fund Example #1: Car Insurance Most …

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when you go over budget

Budgeting 101 #3: What to Do When You Go Over Budget

So far in this Budgeting 101 Series, we’ve learned how to start a budget and how to track spending. You’ve made your budget, tracked your spending and the inevitable has happened you went over budget in a category or 2. Or all of them. And you feel like this. Lots …

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Why & How We Use Cash

I often suggest to people to try using all cash if you’re new to budgeting. We used to do cash for everything. Then, I cut back and only used cash for only groceries and my “blow money” spending. After a while, we gave up cash and used debit cards with …

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choosing contentment at home

Choosing Contentment in Our Home

We have committed to basically spending no money on home improvements in our rental house. The landlords take care of necessary stuff (plumbing, new window screens, etc.) and we aren’t spending money on the optional stuff (paint, new furniture, etc.) Because the ultimate goals are to be debt-free and hopefully own a …

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Budgeting 101- #2 How to Track Your Spending

Where is all my money going? How much should I budget in this category? I want to save money but I never have any leftover… It seems like emergencies come up a lot… If you’ve had any of those thoughts, you are not alone. Maybe you’ve made a budget, but …

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How to Start a Budget in 3 steps. Whether you're new to budgeting or have tried in the past, this is the simplest way to get started with a budget right away.

Budgeting 101 – #1 How to Start a Budget

Whether you’ve tried budgeting a million times or it’s the first time ever, starting a budget can feel daunting. What if I do it wrong? What if I mess it up? What if I don’t guess right? I’ll save you the worry and tell you up front – you won’t …

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Detailed Review of EveryDollar Online Budgeting Tool

We used EveryDollar for 9 months, then switched to YNAB. I have updated this post to reflect my current thinking abut EveryDollar after using it for 9 months. While it has some good features, my husband and I both like YNAB much better. (Detailed review of YNAB here.) In the …

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Whether or not you're in debt, choosing not to be entitled will help you be a better money-manager. Budgeting will be easier. Impulsive spending will be a thing of the past. The decision-making power will be in your hands rather than feeling a slave to your every passing want. It's just stuff. Learn to wait. Learn to plan for spending. Break the cycle. Say no to entitlement and yes to feeling truly free.

getting over my entitlement (part 1)

Confession: I used to be entitled. (Hey, you can’t get help if you don’t admit you have a problem, right?) I wouldn’t say I consciously thought to myself that people or the world owed me anything. And I definitely didn’t call it entitlement. It was more subtle than that. More …

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our top 3 reasons for getting out of debt

Top 3 Reasons to Get Out of Debt – NOW!

 We read Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover (which I highly recommend, by the way) and listened to all the teachings from the class when we first got married. We were on board. Debt is dumb, pay cash, blah blah blah. Made perfect sense. Then we took out a BIG loan …

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Do you want to simplify but still give generously this Christmas!?

Simplify Christmas and Give Generously

This year, Ben and I have discussing how to give more generously and simultaneously cut back on excessive spending. The thing is… We love to give gifts. I love to shop for people and think – she will love that, or he really needs this or… whatever. And I think gift giving …

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