Tag Archives: Budgeting

10 Ideas For Living a Satisfying Life on a Modest Budget

A modest budget doesn’t mean you can’t live a full and happy life, engaging in all of the activities you enjoy. The problem is that people have become to dependent on money for life satisfaction. It’s been said many times over that money doesn’t equate happiness. If you are making a modest income but you can easily pay your bills and still have a tidy amount of funds left over, there’s nothing wrong with this lifestyle. You can even save a little every month–that’s the wise thing to do. In fact, when you live on a modest budget in Canada (or anywhere) you need to have several expenditure and savings accounts, those like:

  • Emergency savings
  • Vacation savings
  • Holiday savings
  • Everyday expense account
  • Personal savings

This might seem like a lot of accounts to handle and manage, but it’s easily organized. When you live on a specific budget it is even more important to have something such as this established. In fact, this type of living style will help you feel more in control of your finances. We want to share 10 tips on how you can also live on a modest income and still engage in activities you really want to be involved in. Let’s get started.

You Can Enjoy Life on a Modest Budget

Below you’ll find many ways you can enjoy time with the family, or if you’re single, just doing those things that you enjoy doing. Money isn’t an obstacle when you practice the right kind of financial habits! While entertainment can be expensive in Canada (as can dining out) there are strategies to still be a part of that grand life!

  1. When you want to go on vacation but are worried about what you can and can’t afford, how about looking up that college buddy you chat with online? It’s probably been awhile since you visited, so connecting with old friends like this just might gain you free vacation lodging and maybe even some money savings on food too! It’s not taking advantage either, so don’t feel like you’re just being a burden. Just once a year or so is perfectly acceptable. 
  2. Have you ever considered a staycation? It is very likely there are multiple charms in your very own area that you’ve never visited. A staycation allows you to take a rest and enjoy the local arts and crafts in your city. You can choose to do what you want. Some stay in an isolated cabin just to rest and recuperate from the past years stresses. You’re proactive and decide what you’ll enjoy the most, but better yet, you don’t have to spend anything. 
  3. Fine dining doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to think you can never enjoy the higher end restaurants! Go during lunch hour or happy hour and you’ll spend the same amount as you would at a modern middle class joint. Don’t you think you should enjoy the finer things too?
  4. A  movie out costs more than ever today, especially if you’re a family of four. But, the matinee is far cheaper than after 5! Also, some theaters offer concession discounts one day out of the week. 
  5. Instead of signing up for an expensive gym membership, consider starting an exercise routine outdoors. It is totally free and spring is the perfect time to refresh the mind and body!
  6. If you spend a great deal commuting to work, consider bicycling if it is within a 5 to 7 mile radius. You’ll not only save on gas but you’ll get in shape at the same time.
  7. You can sport the latest hair trend without paying a lot! Beauty schools often offer hair cuts, color and style fairly cheap, but you still end up with amazing results. 
  8. If you want to obtain more affordable housing in a nice area then you have to be willing to relocate. A little bit of investigating and word of mouth can help many find a home of their dreams at an extremely affordable value.  
  9. Clothes can be expensive, but everyone wants to look nice. A clothes swap is a great way to freshen your wardrobe and someone else’s at the same time. You can have a whole weeks worth of incredible clothing without paying a penny. 
  10. If you’re looking to fly somewhere on a getaway, take the redeye! It’s cheaper, less crowded and to most, far more convenient. 

These little tips and tricks can help everyday Canadians enjoy a modest life with the same privileges as most anyone else, but most importantly, with supreme satisfaction.

What to Do If You’re Having Problems Paying a Payday Loan Back

There are many people who take out a payday loan in good faith, with the full intention of paying it back as they should. However, there are just as many who have something happen that prevents them from meeting that obligation. Then there are a few who feel they’ve been treated rather unfairly due to high fees and other expenditures in regards to the loan. Now, the worst thing a consumer can do is try to ignore the loan. You took it out, so you owe it. If you’re having real financial struggles, then you need to talk to the lender and seek out a resolution that will work between the two of you. There are other steps you can take as well, and we will discuss these for you below.

Steps to Take When You Can’t Repay Your Payday Loan

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While everyone’s situation is different, the following advice can keep your situation from worsening. Remember, ignoring a debt isn’t going to solve your problem, it will only worsen it and can actually lead to legal troubles as well. Allow these strategies to be your guide and don’t be afraid to follow through on one or several of them.

When should you consider shaving back on expenses?

Of course, if you are struggling to pay on your payday loan then you need to cut back on what you’re spending. You need to figure out if what you’re spending your money on are necessities or just wants. You have to learn how to pinpoint priorities to keep yourself on track and avoid pitfalls. If you see a financial problem looming that is going to impact your ability to pay on a loan, then of course you need to immediately speak with someone about changing your repayment date, or doing a deferment.

When should you think about cancelling your recurring payment?

If you reach a stage where you can’t afford to pay for groceries, or keep the lights on because you have a payday loan you’re trying to take care of then it is time to consider cancelling the payment. You need to be able to get the essentials for daily life, like:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Medication

If you took out a payday loan at your credit union then the process of cancelling it isn’t as complex as it is if you go to a unknown payday loan lender. A financial institution offers more flexibility. You do need to call a few days ahead of the scheduled payment, and make sure you have a new date and time to offer to start the repayment back up again. Some lenders will continue to charge you interest though, so there are several areas to look into. Still, a reprieve like this can really help a lot.

When should you consult with a free debt adviser or counselor? 

When you’re struggling with bills and you’re trying to develop a proper budget plan to live more wholesomely a free debt adviser can help. There are many who are more than willing to help guide you and put you on the right path. If you follow the advise given then you can begin to get control of your debt and gain relief from financial pressures. You’ll learn how you can start a savings plan, though it might be small at first. You’ll also learn how important it is to build an emergency fund. Your debt adviser will work with you every step of the way until you feel more secure and capable.

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The main things you should learn from a debt adviser involve developing a debt repayment strategy and a savings plan. You should be able to easily map out a plan after several meetings with a financial counselor. The bottom line is sticking to it so you can continue developing the proper financial habits.

 

Are You A Poor Money Manager?

We would all like to think we are good at managing money, but unfortunately–many of us are not! Good money management is a process, it’s not something you are just good at. Now, even if you want to become proactive and become a good money manager, you’re going to have to do more than just read a bunch of articles. You have to be willing to take accountability and take that responsibility.

You shouldn’t wait until your drowning in debt to begin to be a responsible money manager either. If you don’t begin to pay attention to your habits and especially, your spending habits–it’s easy to end up in a nightmare situation you can’t get out of fast enough! So, how do you know if you are a poor money manager? Well, there will certainly be signs.

Let’s examine some of the characteristics of a poor money manager right now and see if we can find solutions to correct these traits.

How You Can Avoid Becoming a Poor Money Manager

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  1. Not keeping or maintaining a budget is a sure sign you’re a poor money manager and this will always set you up for failure. Setting a budget and managing it well is the only real way you can begin to take control of your financial life. Also, don’t think because you have few bills you have more reason to spend. The wise thing to do is save your money and plan for the future. Here is a fact–if you don’t know how much money you have how can you properly establish and set up a budget? You can’t! So, get smart and start making a plan for your money today.
  2. You don’t have to buy everything new, but there are so many Canadians who fall into this trap. You also don’t have to buy name brand either. If you visit a second hand shop, you’ll see the quality is still there. You don’t want to go broke trying to keep up with every new gadget or clothing fad that materializes. So, don’t! New items do cost more, and staying in this bad habit is just no good!
  3. Stop spending more than you make! Too many Canadians use credit for personal expenses and other unnecessary spending. You don’t need to try to pretend you’re something you’re not and then end up financially blind-sided down the road. Be happy with what you have and start enjoying life without endless shopping! You’ll be far happier and live with minimal stress too.
  4. Are you saving for emergencies? This is also an area that many people don’t pay enough attention to. Emergencies arise at one point or another in life–the question is “Are you ready?” Being financially prepared for the unexpected really demonstrates proper money management!

If you follow just one of these tips you can improve your financial situation and become a better money manager as well. Don’t follow the crowd and end up with the same problems. Be independent and be ready to make a difference in your financial life! As you grow older you’ll be glad for making those smart choices now!

How To Go Broke

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Learning how to go broke is an odd topic, isn’t it? Well, we felt it was a smart one too. It’s important what NOT TO DO if you don’t want to go broke. Too many people today keep making the same financial mistakes over and over again. The same excuses are used. Canadians claim to have no time to budget, and no time or money to purchase software programs to help them manage their money better. While there are improvements across Canada, there is still a huge problem. Still, today, there are more than enough families learning how to go broke. They are one paycheck away from eternal loss. It’s sad, but as we’ve always said–choices lead to consequences.

You can certainly buy nice things and not go broke, it’s all in how you approach your finances. The main goal should be to not live above and beyond your current means–this is where the problem comes in at. Now, if you think living above a standard you can afford is going to make you happy, you’re wrong. This is only going to give you a great load of anxiety and stress. So, if you don’t want to go broke when you spend money you should be aiming to improve your life, not live above your means.

Below is some wise advice on how not to go broke. You can break all those habits that have led you down that path of destitution in the past. Live better–take care of your money and it will take care of you!

Never Go Broke Again

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Let the following tips be your friendly guide to improving your happiness and always having some money in the bank! You can save and still live a fulfilling, satisfying life!

  • Stay out of debt–You should only pay for big purchases you can afford, and that means pay with cash! If you do use a credit card, pay it off in full each month.
  • Use one credit card–If you can manage a credit card stick to one, and take advantage of the points you can earn! Pay it off every month and never exceed what you can afford. Too many dig themselves a hole they can’t get out of. One can be good, but more can be evil!
  • Don’t pay bank fees–If you manage your money properly you won’t have bank fees. Don’t go into overdraft, and if you have bounce protection, try not to use it. You’ll pay excessive fees for minor transactions
  • Stop being an impulse buyer–Pay attention to your purchases and don’t over indulge on shopping in anyway.

This advice really might start helping you make some changes in your spending and your financial habits in general! It never hurts to try!

 

Discover How You Can Budget On A Low Income

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Even if your income isn’t where you expect it to be, you can still manage a practical budget with the right mindset. Lower income isn’t the end of the world, and you can advance from your current financial position too, just as you can in your career.  It can be a strain to try and manipulate your funds to get through the month when you’re living on very little disposable income, but it is possible.  The goal is to find the money leaks and seal those up, or at the very least, monitor the flow of them.  Once you can pinpoint your budget’s weak spots, no matter your income, you can become pro-active and plan more strategically!

We understand that living on a tight income can be extremely stressful as well.  Canadians across British Columbia who are finding themselves on a tighter budget can definitely do much better when they learn new ways to work around this.  Take weekly groceries for an example.  If you begin to keep up with weekly sales and start using coupons you might begin to save $30 and $40 at a time.  Below we are going to share some other ways Canadians can budget and manage a low income.

Tips To Manage Living On A Lower Income

A woman's hand dropping a penny into a half filled piggy bank.

A woman’s hand dropping a penny into a half filled piggy bank.

Of course, the first strategy toward saving money on a limited income should be accountability.  You need to keep perfect track of every penny spent.  This can seem almost impossible, but it is doable.  We recommend carrying a notepad with you so you can document transactions you might ordinarily forget about.  Further, you need to make debt-free living a priority.  There can be no living by a credit card, or having loans for cars.  You have to decide what is most important.  And yes, even the internet and cable are luxuries if you’re barely scraping by.  Let’s look at some other things you can do to save when you’re on a limited income.

  1.  Make the best out of extra cash you might acquire, in fact, be smart and use extra earned income to build up your savings.
  2. Yes, save your pennies!  You shouldn’t feel bad about it either, as every penny does count.  Have a jar for all of your loose change.  If you develop a plan that has you put loose change in the jar every time you make a purchase, you’ll build up your savings faster. 
  3. Sell what you don’t need!  And, thankfully, there are some great ways to do this all online.  Think of all the savings you can bring in when you sale what you know you’ll never use again!
  4. Give up processed food!  That’s right, you need to eat whole, organic, healthy foods.  Pass on all those sweet treats, fast food options and get rid of the sugary drinks!  Taking a healthier approach can save you on medical bills too!
  5. Live frugally–and we understand how tough this can be.  If you’re willing to make sacrifices to start getting ahead financially, pay attention to what you buy.  Stop shopping frivolously and look for bargains when it comes to purchasing necessities. 

Just taking these small steps can help you begin to save money on the most modest of incomes.  As always, when it comes to saving money, you have to have the will-power for the long term benefits.  If you’re hoping to save for short-term goals, then just take the time to check out some savings apps online. Every little thing does count!

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