Category Archives: Financial Stress

How to Save Money Without Being Gross: Unusual Budgeting Tips

It’s possible to save money without being disgusting, gross, or so cheap people make jokes about your penny pinching ways for years to come…

Unusual Budgeting Tips
Unusual Budgeting Tips image courtesy of Pixabay

This article is dedicated to a cheap woman who used to save leftover oatmeal after breakfast and then serve it again and again, day after day, until someone finally choked it down or dumped it in the trash when she wasn’t looking.

Everyone already knows the usual tips about cutting costs and tracking your income and how much you spend. (By the way, those are important!) But, these tips from Intrinsic Vicissitude are designed to point you in the direction to get started with a budget.

Easy and Unusual Budgeting Tips

These easy and unusual budgeting tips can be helpful to anyone.

If you are not careful, you can land yourself in lots of trouble when it comes to money. When dealing with a budget, you want to take control of your finances, and create a budget that will help you reach your financial goals.

These unusual budgeting tips are easy and simple to try. Creating a new budget and getting out of debt can be accomplished. Budgeting tips are important, to keep good credit and stay out-of-debt.

Listed below are five unusual budget tips:

  1. Less Checking accounts- to avoid maintenance fees and transactions
  2. Use Coupons- They help you save money
  3. Set Up Automatic Transfers
  4. Turn Down your heat
  5. Turn Down your Air Conditioner

Avoid Bank Fees

When it comes to checking accounts, it’s hard to keep up with one account, let alone many others. Fewer accounts save you more money.


Everyone loves to get a bargain. When you cut coupons or print them out, you can save money on your monthly grocery bills, personal shopping, and personal care. You can go to, where you can print-out lot’s of savings.

Bundle Up

When it’s cold outside, winter bills can be daunting. To save money and keep warm, turn down your thermostat a few degrees and wear warmer clothes, and you will see the savings.

Lose a Layer of Clothes

Just the opposite of bundling up to keep warm, lose a layer of clothes to keep cool. You can save when you keep your air conditioner set around 73 degrees. This is a comfortable setting will save you lots of money.

Creating a budget is worth the time investment. It’s the first step in successfully maintaining a budget, and saving money. It’s also a perfect way to scrape together some money to invest.

Five Tips For Practical Frugality in Modern Times

Although Benjamin Franklin is well accredited for being the Father of many different ideals and processes, one of the most underrated practices that he developed through his youth and practiced throughout his life is the idea of staunch frugality. Lest we forget that he is the man who championed the phrase, “A penny saved, is a penny earned!”

Burning Money and Practical Frugality
Burning Money and Practical Frugality image courtesy of Pixabay

While the idea of thrifty spending may have been a bit more simple in the 1700’s as purchasing access was nothing like what we have today, the principles of thrift have not entirely changed all that much. In this blog we will look into five techniques that are more inline with today’s world and reveal how to trim the fat around your budget to save more of those precious pennies!

Define a Goal and Budget

Saving will always be easier if you have a defined goal for why you are doing so. Principally, your goals should be based on clearing any debt that is currently keeping you from building a nest egg. If your goal is to become debt free then set a clear amount that you will need to save each month and build your budget around that. If you are fortunate enough to be clear of debt than physically sit down and bluntly define why you want to save.  As you parcel out your ‘why,’  your ‘how’ will become that much more important and achievable.

As for budgeting, I can not stress enough how useful the phone and computer applications make this in our world (oh how Mr. Franklin would love the convenience!). Define an upcoming month as your ‘strict observation month’ as you need a starting point for your financial analysis. During this month, track where every single dollar goes in your spending the second after you spend it. I use an app called Spending Tracker that allows me to easily categorize spending into things like, ‘Grocery,’ ‘Utilities,’ ‘Rent,’ etc. once you have a whole month to examine it makes for an easier platform to see where you can cut back on overspending. If you don’t know where your money is going how can you possibly expect to keep more in!

Online Shopping and Cell Phones

Resist the urge to online shop! There is a reason that it is so easy to just click a button and have something delivered to your door – the companies want you to spend more money! As you find yourself opening your browser of choice to shop for new online goodies ask yourself these two questions:
1) Is this really something that I need right now?
2) Do I want this thing more than I want to achieve my financial goal?

Another important technological suck on the budget is the cell phone bill. Overages, specifically with data, can double or even triple your original cell phone bill and leave you with an empty wallet. Utilize the data tracker that is available through most of the service applications to know exactly where you are in your usage and do not go over. If you find that you are getting close each month, see if there is useless usage that can be cut out throughout your normal day and eradicate the waste.

Electricity, Water, and Air Conditioning

Inside the home, as lights and televisions are left on, water is left running, and AC is cranked, there are dollars flying out the window constantly. Set new rules in your house to turn off lights unless the room is being used and to turn the television off unless someone is watching it.

As for water use, try to limit your showers and also turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth as it was estimated recently that leaving it running wastes more than one gallon of water every single night (that’s 30 gallons over the course of a month – 360 per year!).

Air Conditioning can also be a major drain especially for those who live in the South and have poor insulation. Try to turn the AC up every time you leave the house and up as much as you can bear it at night. If your AC unit is constantly whirring this is a good indication that the wallet will be hurting when the utility bills come.

Shop Store Brand

When you are doing your grocery shopping, do your due diligence to inspect the ingredients of every product you buy as there is almost always a cheaper alternative. The ingredients are what you are buying, not the name on the box, so pair your favorite foods with the store brand alternatives to see that you are in fact paying more for the exact same products. With one of the major budgetary strains being the grocery store, this small oversight can lead to all kinds of money waste over the long term.

Shop Used

If you find yourself answering yes to the question of, ‘do i really need this,’ then see if there is a better alternative to the purchase. If you live in a major city then chances are your local thrift store has more higher end clothing than most of the brick and mortar stores where people spend money on new threads.

If you happened to be in more of a rural area there are still hidden gems to be found, although you may have to look a little harder. Do not let the cultural stigma of ‘used’ taint your desire to spend money and achieve your goals. Often times the hunt for finding what you want used can lead to the discovery of new cool, interesting, and cheaper things anyway!

There is money to be found in every budget and with a few easy thrifty steps, even the tightest of budgets can be happy. Sit down and define your goals and then create the habits that help you to accomplish those goals that leave you with a plentiful wallet full of pennies saved!

Why Personal Finance Software Is Important

Why Personal Finance Software Is Important
By John C Watson

Personal Finance Software
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Why personal finance software is important

These days, technology has really revolutionized people’s way of life, including their financial life. Back in the day, most people used a pen and paper to document their earnings, spending, and finances.

What is personal finance software?

Home finance software refers to a financial tool that enables you to prepare a budget, track your expenses, and check your overall finances. These days, there is no valid reason why you should be disorganized and mired in debt because there are many good personal finance programs that you can use to keep track of your money, plan your future, and completely control your finances. If you have a PC or laptop, you are lucky because you can easily find good home finance software at little cost. Application programmers have now catered for the high demand for these applications as they now come with all sorts of functions and capabilities that can save your money, time and effort.


You can now analyze your finances unaided. However, this kind of analysis can be much easier if you have some accounting background. Finance software will analyze your important financial details. Details such as your monthly expenses will stick out. Many personal finance applications also allow personalization. If there is one particular aspect you want to know about your finances, you can simply create a specialized analysis. Many personal finance programs can also give you a monthly analysis – an excellent way to see how you actually spend your money on a monthly basis.

Budget creation

We all know the importance of a personal budget. But creating a real budget that you’ll stick to is easier said than done. You can find a personal finance application that creates a realistic budget for you. Simply enter your basic information into the software and quickly create a simple budget.

Checkbook balances and bill payments

Sometimes you’ll fail to pay bills on time. When it happens, interest rates are more than likely to shoot up. Fortunately, you can avoid this mistake once and for all. Look for a personal finance application that’ll remind you when to pay your bills. Likewise, you can accomplish balancing your checkbook by just ticking a box. Sum up any amounts withdrawn from your account and check carefully anything that seems suspicious. Once you have everything on record, it becomes much easier to know how your finances are faring.

Trust yourself and no one else

When it comes to finances, it is best to keep track of all you have carefully. You may trust your finances with your financial adviser, but it is still important to know where every cent is at, always. With a personal finance application, your money will never be far away from you. Whether you are paying bills, balancing your checkbook, tracking your paycheck, or creating a personal budget, you should not live without personal finance software.

Whatever your financial lifestyle needs are, downloading the free 30 day trial of Home Accountz for Mac and Windows will help you budget properly and plan for your future.

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Let’s Talk About the Science of Getting Rich

People have been struggling with issues of poverty and wealth since money became a part of our culture, and The Science of Getting Rich was written by Wallace Wattles in the early 1900’s as an answer – to help people struggling to overcome money problems.

The Science of Getting Rich

The Science of Getting Rich

Wattles explains in The Science of Getting Rich: The Original Classic,
that ownership of money and property are always the result of doing things a certain way, whether on purpose or by accident, and that those who do not do things in the manner described will never be rich no matter how hard they work.

What Won’t Make You Rich

While every advantage you can acquire is a positive thing, this inspirational self-help book explains that getting rich isn’t  based on environment, talent, thriftiness, or even doing things better than your competition does them.

So, What Is The Science of Getting Rich?

Now that you have been given the information that  getting rich isn’t based on where you live, what you know how to do, how good you are with money, or being better at things than someone else is – I bet you’re ready to hear what this classic book says will make you rich, right?

Using Science and Your Brain to Attract Prosperity

In a manner very similar to Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, which was published about 26 years after Wallace Wattle’s book, the science behind getting rich is using faith and the power of your mind to create and draw riches to you – using what is now commonly called the law of attraction to make yourself into a magnet for good things and prosperity.

This short review of The Science of Getting Rich gives you an idea of the book’s contents; though to fully understand the concepts explained by Wattles you should invest the time to read and study the book, put the concepts into play in your daily life, and then form your own opinions of the book’s value as a learning tool.



6 Inspiring Napoleon Hill Quotes From Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich is an inspiring book that teaches the value and techniques involved in changing your way of thinking in order to change your financial situation for the better.

Think and Grow Rich was written by Napoleon Hill and published in 1937 when the American economy was struggling from the economic blows of the Great Depression.

Who Was Napoleon Hill?

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was among the first of the “new thought movement” authors to write about personal success and the law of attraction being powered by the way we think and what we believe.

According to the bio in Think and Grow Rich, a meeting with Andrew Carnegie was the catalyst behind Hill’s search for how to use the power of thinking to change one’s fortune.

6 Inspiring Napoleon Hill Quotes From Think and Grow Rich

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”

“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.”

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.”

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

“The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.”

Personally, I loved Think and Grow Rich, and I found information in it that led me to change far more than my financial situation for the better, and I wish I could quote the whole book to you – but that would be pointless since Napoleon Hill already wrote it.

4 Financial Tips for Starting a Money Saving Plan

At its core, a money saving plan boils down to setting some money aside and saving it for a rainy day, but it’s not as simple to do as it is to say that.

Life gets in the way, and not putting enough thought and detail into your money saving plan to make it actionable can set you up for failure.

“No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.”  – Suze Orman

Financial Tips for Starting a Money Saving Plan

The One-Page Financial Plan: Setting Up a Money Saving Plan
Click here to see this book on Amazon!

Start by thinking of a money saving plan as a long-term goal.

Sure, you can save a bit of cash here and there with no plan and spend it when you get in a pinch, but having a plan in place, and sticking to it over the long term can make a difference in your future – not just in your current situation.

“If you want to reap financial blessings, you have to sow financially.”  – Joel Osteen

Figure out your budget (if you don’t already have one.)

In your budget, include what percentage of each pay you want to put in long-term savings, then add a percentage for short-term savings – that you can use for emergencies without wrecking your long term plan.

Set up an automatic savings plan.

Through your bank, credit union, or employer, set it up so the percentage you select to save long-term goes automatically into an account you can’t easily access – then either handle the short-term savings deposits on your own or set them up for automatic transfer, too.

“No complaint… is more common than that of a scarcity of money.”  – Adam Smith

(Automatic transfers reduce the likelihood of spending your savings without thoroughly thinking it through first because, while it’s always your money, it never passes through your hands to tempt you to spend it.)

“A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.”  – Joe Moore

How to Find a Trustworthy Financial Planner

Consult a financial planner or investment specialist if you need help.

If you really struggle with the  concept of saving money, consult a professional financial planner for some help and direction – just be sure to check the planner’s credentials so you don’t get scammed.

(I really want to stress this part – check credentials if you need help with this type of planning – you cannot be too careful when it comes to your money.)

When the Holidays Crash Your Budget…

If you’re already on a tight budget, the holidays can really give your finances a kick, especially if you are trying to make things seems better for the kids than they really are feeling to you, but there are some things you can do.

Celebrating the Holidays Without Wrecking Your Budget

If gift-giving is an important part of your holiday celebration, but your finances are tight, first, give yourself a break.

  • Stop and think about the gifts you gave last year.
  • They probably felt really important and special at the time – but do you remember them now – and more importantly – do the people you gave the gifts to remember what they got for Christmas last year?
  • If they are young children or even teenagers, it’s not very likely that they do.
  • Depending on the child’s age, if we’re talking about holiday gifts for children, one or two special gifts will do, because it’s really your time and the traditions you create that make the season – not the gifts.
  • Think back to your own childhood – do you remember what you got for Christmas?
  • Or, do you remember baking cookies with your Mom or maybe you Grandmother?
  • I remember gluing strips of newspaper ads into a chain and decorating the tree when I was very young. I don’t remember the gifts that year – just the traditions – and it’s like that for most people.
  • It’s also OK to make at least some of the gifts you give – it shows more thought and affection than store-bought gifts – and all but the most materialistic will appreciate that personal touch and care.
  • If you absolutely feel you have to spend, spend, spend for Christmas, then, at least, shop sales – research prices online, and if buying online, use coupon codes and sites that offer rewards.

Getting Back on Track if You Overspent at Christmas

Overspending can make you feel like you have done something really horrible – and it can leave you feeling desperate and upset, and even like a failure.

Again – give yourself a break – what’s done is done and there’s no better time to start picking up the pieces of your shattered budget than right now.

Money Saving and Budgeting Tips
Money Saving and Budgeting Tips

My book, Personal Finance for Women: How to Stop Struggling and Making the Best of Starting Over, will be marked down through the holiday season and the early part of 2016 to help you start the year out right.

So, hey, if you got a new Kindle or tablet for Christmas, or if you just want to get your budget under control and want some inexpensive motivation and tips, check it out and be sure to let me know what you think of it.

How to Live Cheaply Without Feeling Poor

Prices seem to go up every day, driving the cost of living higher and higher, but wages rarely jump higher for most people. So, if you’re wondering how to live cheap without your quality of life dropping, you don’t have to try any of these that feel wrong to you, but check to see if any of these tips might work for you and your family.

How to Live Cheaply Without Feeling Poor

Money Saving Tips
Click here to buy this book!

So, if you’re wondering how to live cheaply without your quality of life dropping, note that you shouldn’t try any of these that feel wrong to you, but browse through them to see if any of these tips might work for you and your family.

Money Saving Life-Hacks

  • Thrift Stores: Thrift stores offer used clothing and goods, often name brand items, at a fraction of the original price.
    • If buying at a thrift shop, check things like zippers to make sure they work, and check for stains and unpleasant scents.
  • Couponing: Couponing takes a lot of time if you want to really save money, but many couponers claim their per hour savings are equal to per hour earnings of $30 and higher.
    • I have on occasion saved that kind of money, but I don’t tend to stick with couponing very long because it is – to me – a bit tedious.
  • Clearance Racks: Take the time to check end-of-season clearance racks.
    • Buy larger sizes for young children prone to growth spurts, or regular sizes for adults who are done growing.
  • Online Auctions: Sites like eBay and Bidz sometimes offer deep discounts, but just like anywhere, you can also get gypped.
    • Check seller ratings and make sure you shop around to know you are getting the best price before you bid.
  • Discount Food Stores: Stores like Save-a-Lot and Aldi’s offer what is basically a generic line of food at discount prices, some of it better than brand names, others of it not so great.
  • Bulk Food Coops: These can be hard to find, and are often local groups of residents working together to get better prices by buying in bulk.
    • If you can’t find a local food buying coop, consider getting together with some friends and starting your own.
  • Cooking in Bulk: This takes some extra planning and freezer space, but you can buy in bulk, make a large amount of food, and freeze the food in the size portions you need.
    • It actually saves you time later. The only drawback is the extra planning time required.

Creative Ways to Save Money

We would love to hear your favorite creative ways to save money, so please, if you have any unique money-saving techniques share them here, or if you have written about the somewhere online, feel free to leave a link to the article.

How to Save Money Fast

There is a short answer to the question of how to save money fast, and you might not like hearing it, but if you will, stick with me for a few minutes because if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to manage on a non-existent budget, and you might find a tip or two that will work for you.

Money Saving and Budgeting Tips
Money Saving and Budgeting Tips

Here comes your answer – at least the basic part. Cut your expenses, make a budget, and stick to that budget.

Now, here come some tips on how to do those things without feeling like you have to mess up your life and do something drastic.

How to Save Money Fast

Here comes your answer – at least the basic part. Cut your expenses, make a budget, and stick to that budget. Now here come some tips on how to do those things without feeling like you have to mess up your life and do something drastic.

Now here come some tips on how to do those things without feeling like you have to mess up your life and do something drastic.

Here comes your answer – at least the basic part. Cut your expenses, make a budget, and stick to that budget. Now here come some tips on how to do those things without feeling like you have to mess up your life and do something drastic.

Now here come some tips on how to do those things without feeling like you have to mess up your life and do something drastic.

Expense Cutting Ideas

I won’t kid you, cutting expenses can be really rough, but almost everyone has something they can dump if they really need to get some money together in a hurry.

Look for the things that aren’t necessary to life – anything that’s not food, shelter, or clothing could technically be cut, and even some types of clothing fall into the luxury category and could be cut.

These things are often the very things that make us feel like life is worthwhile, like cable TV and cigarettes for many folks, but if you need the money badly enough, you can let them go and still survive.

Basic Budgeting

If you’ve never made a budget before, get a book at the library to guide you, use free online budgeting software, or pick up a copy of my personal finance for women book – whether you are male or female – the budgeting part is the same and that’s covered in detail in my book.

Basically, a budget is YOUR plan to distribute your income over your bills.

Make sure to allocate a bit of freedom in your budget for the things you might forget to write down, because the things you forget will be the first thing to break your budget if you don’t leave some cash to cover them.

Figure out how much you need to save each week to meet your savings goal because you need that information in your budget if you want to succeed.

Sticking to Your Budget

Sticking to your budget can be really hard, too, especially if your family works against you by asking to eat out or asking for things you didn’t leave cash for in your budget.

If at all possible, get everyone in your household on board with your budget and savings plan, so you can meet or even exceed your goal and end up with the cash you need by when you need it.

Saving money fast is not the easiest thing you will ever do.

Up to a point, these tips can help, though it varies by how much you need to save in a hurry and how much surplus you can squeeze out of your income.

In a pinch, you can also sell some of your things you don’t need on an auction site, such as eBay or at a pawn shop to scrape together some extra cash to meet your savings goal.

Feel free to let me know if any of these tips work for you, or to share your own money-saving tips to help others who read here.

Choosing a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Choosing a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

By Amit Bhawani

What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

A Good Financial Advisor Will Tell You...: Everything You Need to Know About Retirement, Generating Lifetime Income, And Planning Your Legacy: CFP
Click here to buy this book!

A Certified Financial Planner, or CFP, is a financial professional who meets the requirements established by the CFP Board of Standards.

To become a Certified Financial Planner, the board requires the following:

  •  A Bachelor’s degree, or higher
  • Complete a CFP Board-Registered Education Program.
  • Pass the CFP Certification Examination, a 10 hour exam
  • Have at least three years of work experience in personal financial planning
  • Pass a background check
  • Pay certification fees

Once they become a CFP, financial professionals are required to report Continuing Education requirements every other year, to insure they are keeping up with changes in the industry.

How does a CFP compare to other financial professionals?

There are many different types of financial professionals, and the “alphabet soup” of designations may be confusing.

Private Wealth Management: The Complete Reference for the Personal Financial Planner
Click here to buy this book!

CFPs are trained to develop comprehensive financial plans for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations. It is their responsibility to objectively assess your financial situation, troubleshoot problem areas, and recommend appropriate options. A good CFP should be confident in all areas of financial planning and the way various strategies can be used to create a comprehensive plan suited to your needs.

How do I pay for a CFP’s services?

There are two ways that CFPs can be compensated. First, they may take a commission from a product or service that they sell you. Second, they may ask that you pay a flat or hourly fee for their services. Some financial professionals use a hybrid of fees and commissions. Be sure to talk about this with your planner before agreeing to engage his or her services.

How do I choose a CFP to work with?

You will be working very closely with your financial planner on every aspect of your wealth management, so it’s important that you are completely confident with the CFP you choose to work with. – Talk to your friends and family to see what their experiences are, it’s a good place to get started.

– Feel free to do some internet searches on prospective planners – you should be able to tell a lot by a person’s, or firm’s, online presence.

– Don’t hesitate to check with the various regulatory boards to see if there has ever been a complaint lodged against the planner. You can check, as well as, and

– Finally, give the CFP a call. If you set up a meeting, or even just start out with a long phone conversation, it will give you a good idea of whether this is the planner for you.

Amit Bhawani writes on different topics ranging from technology to Financial Planning and gives advices through different articles on choosing professional financial planners at who can help you make better decisions with your money.

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