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How To Make Budget Decisions

Budget DecisionsMaking Budget Decisions

When was the last time you made budget decisions? Changing your budget is important. A good budget makes a difference between financial success and crisis.  This isn’t just making sure your extra money is moved into the right investment vehicles.  This could also be dealing with a loss of income or other financial setbacks.

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A Delicious Balsamic Salary Reduction

Our Recipe for Successfully Losing an Income

In a previous post, I provided some insight into a big change in Sarah and I’s financial world.  In 2016 I was given a working notice for the job I had been at for the past decade.  This meant that we had to prepare for the possibility of going down to one income for 2017.  It was a scary situation.  Sarah and I have had comparable salaries for several years.  We both considered ourselves lucky to have solid incomes. We had worked really hard to get to where we were.  The potential loss of my pay meant that we’d have to prepare to cut our expenditures in half. Read more

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Why It Is Perfectly Normal To Stress About Money

Money Stress – The Human Reaction

Money can be a huge source of stress; that is a truth that is very hard to get away from.  Money causes fights, can split up couples and can truly make or break you.  Having a budget is a great way to reduce the stress about money.  Even with a budget, if something goes wrong inevitably that will lead to stress.  But money hasn’t always existed so why is it a natural reaction to get stressed out when money gets tight?  Why does logic escape us leaving us fighting back freak outs and dealing with migraines?  I have a theory.

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Adulting 101 – You Can Do More Than You Think

adultingAdulting 101

I lived at home until we got married.  After I got married and moved out the first 6 months were rough. Like super rough. It was difficult to work 50 hours a week, cook, do laundry and keep our tiny basement apartment looking presentable.  Cleaning the apartment always lost BTW.  It looked presentable but I’m very lucky that people had to call us before they could come over since there was no direct access to our apartment from the outside.  We basically perfected the 5 minute clean up.  But I did struggle with the basics of adulting even though Scott had lived on his own for over 4 years before I moved in.

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What’s Your Motivation?

Financial Motivation Through an Actor’s Eyes

motivationIt is time to ask yourself, what is your motivation?  After several months of blogging I have finally decided that it is time to put my University degree to some use!  As I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts and in the Couple of Sense Podcast – I majored in Theatre when I went to University.  I didn’t have aspirations of being an actor, or an acting teacher.  Theatre was just something I was good enough at to make it into the program.  It was that or Computer Science, I chose Theatre.  I doubt my degree has helped me in my career to date, although the extra practice in public speaking can’t hurt during a sales presentation.  When it comes to personal finance though, theatre is what taught me the importance of motivation.

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Tracking What We Bought at the Grocery Store for 2 Months

Grocery SpendSpending at the Grocery Store:

I haven’t mentioned it before but our grocery budget is one of the more difficult to keep under control. It didn’t seem to matter how much money we had in there we would over spend.  Recently we needed to re-do our budget and looking for some places to trim. In order to get the grocery spending under control we knew we needed to try something else.

For a long while we were frustrated by 2 things:

  1. Spending at least $30 every single trip to the store
  2. Doing all the things “right” but still overspending

When I say doing all of the things right I mean that we had a meal plan, we price matched and went to budget friendly stores.  Even though we did that and we were never able to really move the needle.

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Cutting The Cord – Saving on Telecommunications

How We Cut Our Telecommunications Bills by Over 40%

cuttingthecordRecently Sarah and I sat down and had one of our standard saving check-ins.  Our financial situation was stable but there was a potential hiccup coming down the pipes and we felt it was better to be proactive and make some changes.  We went line item by line item with precision until we hit our telecommunications line item.  This one was going to be tricky.  Sarah and I see eye to eye on the big picture stuff, we both knew we needed to cut this bill down for some extra savings.  Where we needed to talk it out was on each area of our service and how we were going reduce costs I’m not going to discuss our particular carrier, but if you have their services you’ll probably be able to figure it out.

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5 Ways to Spend a Raise

What To Do With a Raise

raiseYou got a raise! Or you got a new job with a higher salary! Good for you – you totally deserve it.  I bet you worked your butt off for it or went in like a BOSS to ask for it.  You’re super awesome!

But what do you do with the extra money coming in?  You could take all of it and add it back to your cash flow.  I would recommend that if you have been living a little on lean side paying off debt and stuff.  Living bare bones is not always fun so I get adding a raise back into your cash flow to give yourself some breathing room makes sense.

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Bro Do You Even Budget

The Couple of Sense Guide to Macho Budgeting

weightliftGrowing up in the 80’s and early 90’s I was in what I can kindly refer to as an unenlightened atmosphere.  I noticed at a pretty young age that my peers had a significant divide in maturity between boys and girls.  Girls had a clear advantage in being more responsible.  There was nothing “manly” about saving money or a budget; it was quite the opposite with my group of classmates.  I look back on it now and have to see this as a good thing though – let me explain.  This may not apply to your school or social circle – but it was a very obvious trend in mine so I wanted to share.

The Gender Gap – Phase One

There is still unfortunately to this day an issue with gender equality; men are paid more for the same job as a woman.  It is utter crap, and is fragments from a previous generation.  This started to shift in the past 30 years.  Girls are now not being raised to be someone’s wife, in fact they are being raised and educated to be someone’s boss.  Full equality can’t come soon enough.

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The Purrfect Budget – Budgeting For Your Pet

How & Why We Fit Our Pet Into Our Budget

PetSarah and I have a family of 3; it is her, myself and our cat (see picture).  We adopted our little kitten, in December of 2014.  She instantly became a valued member of this household.  While she isn’t an earner (she’s cute but not “Cats of Instagram” cute), she provides us with companionship and love which we can never really have enough of.  Having a pet is amazing, but it comes with responsibilities that need to be made a priority.  Our pet’s budget is variable in that we can have some control over how and when we spend money.  It is also fixed in that we have to prioritize having money for her food, litter and vet appointments over any “wants” we might have.

How We Budget for our Pet

We both love cats and we know that cat is a lot cheaper than a dog.  Cats aren’t without costs, but in comparison to dogs their food is relatively cheap and they are pretty good with self-grooming.  Making a budget line item for our kitten was a pretty easy task, but many of the same steps can be taken with any pet.

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