5 Tips for Budgeting Together as a Couple

Budgeting Together

Some folks seem to think that finances get more complicated when individuals become a couple. Well actually, that may not always be the case. In fact, it can actually be the other way around. Budgeting together may actually be easier and less cumbersome, especially if you follow these tips!

If you are in a relationship now and want to improve your financial literacy with your partner or are just preparing for when your dream gal or guy comes around, keep on reading to learn about 5 tips for budgeting together, as a couple.

1. Communication is Key

Communication is vital is practically every facet of a committed relationship. This much is also true when it comes to money and budgeting. Talk about things like:

  • Your salary
  • Debt
  • Assets
  • Saving goals

Talking about finances can be an awkwardly private thing. But it doesn’t have to be, especially with your partner. The open and honest you can be about money matters with your partner, the better.

2. Understand Your Individual Money Financial Style

Everyone is different when it comes to how they understand, spend, and save money. The decisions people make as adults regarding their money are largely affected by their upbringing. So, understanding the foundation of your partners financial upbringing is important (and interesting).

Maybe they were raised to be more frugal than you. Or perhaps more free spirited with their money. Whatever the case may be, knowing what their current money style is, and how it meshes with your own allows for more budgeting success as a couple.

3. Determine Your Needs as a Couple

We each have our list of individual necessities when it comes to life. It could be the type of food we like to eat, the activities we enjoy and the type of lifestyle we practice. In a couple, you have to begin to assess the shared needs as well, especially once you begin to live together. 

Considering items rent, utilities, transportation and debt can help to determine the size of budget you need to live the life you need as a couple.

4. Talk About Your Individual Wants

You may think you have a lot in common with your partner, but everyone wants different things. Despite being individual in nature, like gym memberships, hobbies, and home improvements, with a shared budget, individual desires become shared.

There needs to be give and take, or compromise, when it comes to what the individual wants and how it affects not only the shared budget, but also the other person in the relationship.

5. Outline Your Shared Financial Goals

The goals we have for our futures are directly connected to our finances. Talking about each other’s goals, as they relate to finances and life in general, will help you get a better idea for how to budget as a couple. You may check these money apps to achieve your financial goals.

Ask questions like:

  • What does retirement look like?
  • Are children part of your future?
  • What travel plans or dream vacations do you have?
  • Would you like to buy a house?

With answers to questions like these, and by taking a few other tips to heart, you will begin to flesh out differences and commonalities that can help prepare your budget together moving forward.

Related Reading: 8 Healthy Financial Habits You Should Start Today

Top 4 Money Hacks for One Income Families

Money Hacks for One Income Families

In the world we live in today, everything is getting more and more costly. As a result, most families need numerous or more than one earning member. In the case of families having a single income source or earning member, things are quite different. 

Starting from the source of income, to expenses and budgets, a rigorous planning is necessary. Even if the source of income is huge, proper money handling is very important. Here are some effective money hacks for one income families. 

Hack 1: Proper budgeting and expense tracking

The first thing to do as a one income family is create a budget. The budget must be according to the level of income. While making a budget, it is sometimes important to cut corners. The budget should primarily focus on the daily needs and expenses. Make sure you do not add anything unnecessary to the budget.

To make sure that you don’t spend out of budget, tracking or keeping records is crucial. You must keep a record of every single expense. In addition to that, keep track of every bit of money, whether it is earned, saved, or spent.

Hack 2: Savings are always helpful

After spending according to the budget, there is a good chance of having an extra amount of cash in hand. In such cases, the wisest thing to do is save that money. However, it is not wise to consider leftovers as savings. 

The smart thing to do is setting aside a certain amount from the monthly income. As a result, some cash automatically builds up. However, upon acquiring large savings, the chances of spending on a frenzy rise in many. In such scenarios, the issue of emergency expenditures must always be considered. Savings can be great blessings in times of emergency. For example, in cases of medical emergencies and huge-scale debts, savings can remove the burden of expenses.

A very significant form of saving is investing in life insurance. It ensures the security of the non-earning members of the family, in the event of the earning member’s death.

Hack 3: Sort out major expenses

Like daily needs and expenses, the major expenses require severe attention. Major expenses can comprise debts, taxes, mortgages, or any form of debt. If a person having loans is the only earning member, his or her death will put the other family members in a huge problem.

As a result, paying off debts is a great issue for one-income families. In addition to that, expenses such as school fees, and medical bills also fall in the category of major expenses. However, major expenses vary from one family to another. 

Hack 4: Be tactical while spending

Spending according to a budget is not the only way of reducing expenses. Being tactical makes it much easier. Avoiding home deliveries is a good way of reducing costs. Instead of being lazy and ordering online or via phone, getting the parcel yourself is a good way. However, there are always exceptions.

Avoiding credit cards is also an effective method. Credit card charges and debts can easily cause a person to run low on cash. Completely avoiding credit card usage is not mandatory. As mentioned earlier, tracking is crucial here. As for credit card debts, one must treat them as a major expense. 

In day-to-day expenses, you have to be very strategic. For instance, instead of buying vegetables, and dairy products from a super shop, you can go to the farmer’s market. This way one income families can afford the same things, but fresher and at a lesser price.

The Bottom Line

One income families do not necessarily need to lead a very strict life. All it takes is to be strategic and cautious. Pre-planning and these money hacks for one income families can help family live a more disciplined and comfortable life.

Related Reading: 7 Types of Income and How They Can Change Your Future

8 Healthy Financial Habits You Should Start Today

Healthy Financial Habits

Finance is one aspect of your life that’ll affect every other part. Financial security and freedom can make every other facet of your life, including your health and personal relationships, significantly better. And for that, what you need are healthy financial habits.

The earlier you get serious about your personal finance, the better off you and your loved ones will be. To help you with that, here are eight financial habits for financial security and freedom that you can start today.

1. Make a budget

Nothing else will fall else in place unless you make a budget. Calculate your income and expenses based on your financial statement from the past few months. If you want to change your financial situation, you should know where you really stand. And there are so many budget apps available that can make budgeting easier.

2. Limit your expenses

Now that you know how much you spend every month, put an upper limit on your expenses. Unless it’s a healthcare or family-related unavoidable expense, you shouldn’t go beyond this limit.

3. Automate savings

With automatic withdrawals, you can start setting up a savings fund. Setting up one will take a few minutes and once you’re done, the system will automatically deduct it from your salary. When you don’t have access to that money, you’re less likely to spend it.

4. Pay credit cards in full

Credit card interest rates are among the highest in the industry. Keep that in mind whenever you use your card and make sure that you pay your monthly payments in full. Any leftover will carry exorbitant interest rates.

5. Reduce your rent

Rent is one of the biggest expenses that most of us have to make. Ask yourself whether you need a big apartment, especially if you’re starting out. Move to a smaller apartment or get roommates.

With remote work getting regularized, you can also move further away from your office, if it’s possible.

6. Imagine paying in cash

Here’s a neat little trick to help you cut down on your spending. The next time you’re about to buy something, imagine paying it in cash. That will suddenly feel heavier.

If you’re already paying in cash, imagine someone offering you either that product or service or that much cash. What would you choose?

7. Start investing

Earning makes you comfortable, investing makes you rich. Most people can’t comprehend the power of compounding but know that the earlier you start investing the bigger your returns will be.

Spend a couple of hours every day for two weeks to learn about index funds and retirement savings. Next step? Talk to a financial advisor.

8. Develop a secondary source of income

You can only reduce expenses to a certain extent. With an extra source of income, you’ll have more to save and invest in. If you can offer a service, you can find a market through the internet.

You don’t have to start all eight on the list immediately. Pick any two for the time being and focus on them. The rewards will encourage you to stick to every other financial habit.

8 Unique Ways to Spend Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Activities

When Mother’s Day arrives on May 9 will you be ready?

Will you be presenting mom, grandma, your wife, or whoever is the most important woman in your life with the same old gift of breakfast in bed, or a fuzzy bathrobe?

While these things are wonderful presents, maybe it’s high time you do something a little different, something off the beaten path, out of the ordinary, unique, unusual.

Yes, make this Mother’s Day super memorable for your mom who has had an impact on your life.

Like what? What’s unique? What’s cool and different?

Well, here are 8 unique ways to spend Mother’s Day this year to help you get started in your efforts to make Mom’s Day truly remarkable.

1. Take her hot air ballooning

Most cities have hot air balloon companies that would be more than happy to take your mom along with you and other family members high above the clouds on a sunny day. Be sure to start checking around now as these places get busy fast.

2. Take her to a DIY ceramics place

Here she can make a plate, a mug, a sculpture, and paint it herself the way she wants.

3. Cooking

If you want to be unique hire a personal chef to come into her home and prepare a full feast or show her some cool cooking skills she’s wanted to learn over the years.

4. Wine

If your mom likes wine pick her up and take her for some wine tastings in your neighborhood.

5. Flowers, fruit more

Ask mom if she’d like to go pick flowers, fruits, and veggies. Most cities have “u-pick ‘em farms.”

6. Be creative, be a wordsmith

Sit down and write mom a long letter (or sit her down and tell her verbally) as to why you love her and what she means to you. Either frame it or hand it to her on a pretty piece of stationary. It’s coming from the heart so it truly will be a one-of-a-kind gift.

7. To the Moon

For $29.99 you can buy her an acre on the moon, and she’ll feel like she’s just gone to outer space without ever leaving the house. Put up some outer space-themed party décor in her house to complete the theme.

8. Get her a pet

Go to an animal shelter and let mom pick out a dog, cat, or rabbit. She’ll love the idea of having a new four-legged friend she picked out herself and saved at the same time. Look up your local animal shelters or humane society and make an appointment before you go.

Do It Up!

Mother’s Day only comes once a year so be sure you honor mom with something that means a lot and a gift she can savor year-round.

5 Affordable Easter Basket Ideas

Affordable Easter Ideas

Children love Easter and some of us never grow out of this yearly joy. Easter is not just a holiday where people wear fun pastel colors or attend a dawn service. It’s also the first real spring holiday where kids run around, share candy, and generally have a great time. We all remember our own wonderful experiences decorating eggs and doing the yearly egg-hunt, and many families also have an Easter basket gift tradition.

So how can you make this Easter just as delightful without financially splurging on Easter baskets? Don’t worry, Easter is one of the most DIY-friendly holidays on the calendar.

 Where to Get the Baskets

  • Garage Sale Baskets
  • Construction Paper Basket Weave
  • Bunny Bag or Bunny Box
  • Hot Glue Basketry
  • Garden Planter Basket

First, get yourself a few fun Easter baskets. They don’t have to match. In fact, traditional easter baskets rarely match and make for delightfully chaotic decor when stacked together. You can find baskets in garage sales and thrift stores for cents on the dollar if you want wicker or wire baskets. Or you can make your own by getting creative. Make a bag or box into a bunny with homemade ears for a bunny-basket. Or hot-glue things to a bowl to make it into a basket when it wasn’t already. Or repurpose a plastic garden planter that you decorate for Easter.

 Affordable Easter Basket Fill Ideas

Now let’s quickly dive into a few awesome affordable ideas to fill your Easter baskets.

1. Homemade Easter Cookies

Never underestimate the joy of iced cookies. A box-mix or tube of cookie dough, icing, and food coloring are all you need to fill every Easter basket to the brim with adorable Easter-themed cookies.

2. Wildflowers and Seeds to Grow at Home

Easter is all about spring and renewal, so bring some of that springtime joy to the easter baskets. Include packets or shaped ‘bombs’ of wildflower seeds and then stuff your baskets with beautiful locally picked wildflowers for the nature-lover in your family.

3. Dollar-Store Prizes in Plastic Eggs

Plastic eggs are THE tradition for Easter joy, especially for children. If you’re planning an egg-hunt or just to fill a basket with plastic eggs, fill them with dollar-store prices. You can go all-out with candy, but most kids love the discovery of whether there’s a quarter, a parachute-man, or a bounce ball in every one of those little eggs.

4. Make Rabbits Out of Everything

Short on time, supplies, and stuffed animals? No problem! Find creative ways to make rabbit ears with cardboard, paper, and cloth to turn everything into an Easter surprise. If you’re adept at hotel towel folding, you might even make a towel-bunny for the giggling delight of your young relatives.

5. Hand-Decorated Easter Eggs

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget egg decoration. For normal hard-boiled eggs, all you need is crayons, food dye, and your ceramic mug collection. But you also don’t have to stick to real eggs. You can personally decorate anything egg-shaped and non-perishable eggs might even become precious keepsakes to remind your loved ones of the special Easter you spent together.

Easter doesn’t have to impact your finances this year when it’s one of the most DIY-fun holidays to share with your family.

Best Household Pets

A household is typically defined by the individuals who inhabit the home. However, a pet is often overlooked and not included when members of a household are listed. Pets in a home can be prominent members where some owners treat their pets like humans! Some animals are easier than others, so we wanted to explore the options available when it comes to household pets. Each one requires different needs, wants and expertise. 

Dogs

Dogs are probably the most common household pet. They are the most domesticated animal and can be found all around your neighborhood and town (especially after the pandemic where the at home time made them popular). Different breeds require different needs but for the most part they are like babies that need you to take care of them and can’t do much for themselves. Some require more attention and exercise than others, some have more medical concerns, some eat more than others and some do well with families and other dogs while others don’t. Depending on your situation, it is good for you to research and see what dog breed would be nice for you. You can get dogs either through a breeder or through a rescue. Regardless of where you are getting your dog be sure to do your homework on where they are coming from. You need to be sure you can afford a dog as well. Not only do they require food but their medical upkeep can cost a pretty penny. You can try bestunitedstatescasinos.com to earn a few extra bucks.

Cats

Besides dogs, cats are the obvious next common pet. Cats are great for certain people just like dogs are great pets for others. Cats are different from dogs in that they are pretty self sufficient and don’t require exercise or human attention. They keep to themselves and are trained to go in the home and do not need to be taken out to do their business. They can also be left for longer periods of time when dogs can not. Similar to dogs, you can go through a breeder, rescue or even a pet store to get a cat. 

Reptiles

There are many uncommon pets for a home, but reptiles may be the next in line for household pet popularity. Animals such as lizards, chameleons, snakes, and turtles are able to be held as pets but require a lot of care and attention. Most need to be kept at certain temperatures and fed particular diets. Be sure to find a high payout online casino to afford their upkeep.

Birds

Some people like to have birds in their homes as pets. Birds, unlike most household pets can live long lives. Their lifespan ranges from 20-100 years, so if you want to enjoy a bird in your home then be sure you are in it for the long haul and have beneficiaries lined up after your passing!


Small Mammals

Small mammals like guinea pigs, hamsters, bunnies, mice and rats are popular household pets. They are relatively easy to take care of but have a particular diet. They also tend to require frequent cleaning to avoid smells.

As a reminder, animals are animals so they do have different instincts then humans and should be monitored at all times. This is another factor into choosing your pet. Look at all of the animals listed above to see what would work best for you and your family. 

Things To Do With Kids On New Years Eve

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When you have small children, New Years Eve seems to be much different than when you were younger. You may possibly find yourself exchanging nice dinners for pizza or fancy dresses for sweatpants. You may not even make it to midnight to watch the iconic ball drop in times square. But ultimately, New Years Eve can be fun for the whole family when the time come if you find the right events. Often time local events can be found on online calendars and facebook events. Otherwise, look at your local children’s venues to see if they have any special events planned for the holidays. If you are stuck, here are a few ideas to get you on your way to planning you and your kids fun New Years Eve. Don’t get me wrong, you could be looking forward to online casinos in Pennsylvania from the comfort of your own couch, but if you want to get out and about or even a social gathering here are a few suggestions.

Cost

What you do on new years also needs to correspond with your budget. Do you want to spend a lot of money? Do you want to do it up big or keep it low key? Both need to be considered before deciding on what you want to do. Fancy dinners and partys can cost a lot of money. Tickets and outfits can cost a pretty penny. Even food and alcohol add up regardless of what you do. If you decide to travel this time of year it gets pricey as well. This isn’t a suggestion or idea on what to do but rather a suggestion on what to think about before you make plans.

Home Party

The easiest thing to do with kids is to stay home. You can stay home with just your family, invite people to join you, or be invited to join others at their house. If you decide to stay home with just your family you can always do your own countdown. There are countdowns offered on some streaming services that allow you to do it any time of day so that your kids don’t miss it. To make it a little more special you can always get some hats and noisemakers and add in a little dance party to be festive. This can be done if others are invited as well. You can even ask your guests to dress up in fancy attire, buy nice food or make a fancy dinner to make it different than most nights. 

Kid Venues

There are a lot of options locally for New Years Eve. Check with your closest bowling alleys, movie theaters, trampoline parks, bounce houses, fun zones, music venues to see what they have planned. They often offer kid friendly events that happen during the day or even earlier in the evening. Libraries are a great source for family fun. They may have a countdown to noon or other festive activities that are great for kids. Another good thing with libraries is that they are free!

Kids are typically easy to please, especially during this time of the year. Just try to think outside the box a little bit to make it enjoyable for both you and the kids. YOu can still have your champagne with your friends, just invite them to come with!

Online Casinos in Pennsylvania

If these don’t work out you can always enjoy a virtual hang with online casinos in pennsylvania. This allows you to get your kids to bed on time and not spend money on cover charges or expensive food. Who knows, maybe you will win yourself some money even!

Kids are typically easy to please, especially during this time of the year. Just try to think outside the box a little bit to make it enjoyable for both you and the kids. YOu can still have your champagne with your friends, just invite them to come with!