Archive | February, 2014

Get real – stop buying stuff you can’t afford

22 Feb

Great stuff. So true!

The Debt Breakup

So here’s a cold hard little debt busting fact:

When you are up to your eyeballs in debt, you can’t afford expensive hobbies. You can’t afford go out to eat at 5 star restaurants every week. You can’t afford to shout rounds of cocktails to your friends at Friday night drinks. You can’t afford that expensive faceceam – even if it on special.

Before I got serious about debt repayment, I played a little (and financially dangerous) game of spending tug of war when it came to the things I really couldn’t afford.

I told myself these things:

  • I deserve it.
  • I’ve had a tough week.
  • It’s on special.
  • The world might end if I don’t get it.
  • It’s not a lot of money.
  • Whats the point in going out for just one drink?
  • It will make me happy.

The last reason is possibly the worst of them all. I…

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Three Things I Learned by Paying off My Car

22 Feb

20140222-211941.jpgI did it! I paid off my car! I’m so happy. It’s one of my proudest achievements. I put it above quitting smoking and graduating college!

So, what did I learn while paying on my car?

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Four Reasons Why a HABA Line Should be a Part of a Budget

13 Feb

eye makeupHere is the second part of the series about important lines on a budget. If you would like to see the first segment of the series, you can see it here.

I don’t spend a lot of money on makeup and beauty supplies. Makeup lasts me longer than it should, as all makeup has some sort of expiration to it. But, I still need beauty supplies. It’s been a line on my budget from the beginning. I’m going to give you four reasons why I think beauty supplies (or HABA) should be in a budget.

1. It’s necessary.

For my HABA line, I include soap, hairspray, deodorant, razors, and yes, makeup. I will always need those items. The people who work with me are thankful that I purchase and use these items. These are not items I can do without.

2. It allows me to buy the items I want to.

Some items I don’t mind using generic. Hairspray and deodorant are two items I go a little cheap on. I have been trying cheaper razors. Not a fan, so I’m going to make sure my HABA budget allows for more expensive razors. And a detailed HABA line allows me to buy the makeup I want, too. I actually use more expensive makeup. As long as I plan for it, my budget stays intact.

3. It keeps me so fresh, so clean.

I’m dating myself there. I still love that OutKast song. I like to keep my hair cut. It helps me feel cute and keeps me professional. I have a wonderful stylist who keeps me looking great at a decent price. Ensuring I stay committed to my HABA line helps ensure I have money to get my hair cut! I love the way a new haircut makes me feel.

4. I can allow myself some extra girl time.

I’ve never been a huge mani-pedi girl. Or someone who wanted to wax her eyebrows. As a matter of fact, I only recently (within the last three years) had my first mani-pedi and wax. It sure is nice, though. I feel great after I get my nails done. An accurate HABA line lets me have some fun!

I say accurate because I haven’t totally committed myself to the fourth point of this blog. I know I need to leave my HABA envelope alone instead of spending the leftovers every two weeks.

So, I really believe a HABA line is important for my budget. What lines on your budget do you think are important that might be “unusual”?

Five Reasons a Car Maintenance Line Should be a Part of Your Budget

1 Feb

car maintenanceOver the next few posts, I plan on discussing important parts of a budget that I’ve neglected in the past. I believe that a detailed budget improves my chances of winning with money.

Today’s post covers a line that may seem insignificant or unnecessary, but I’ve realized over the last few weeks that I need a more detailed car maintenance line. I’ve budgeted for oil changes and chalked that up as the car maintenance line. It’s not enough, though! So here are your reasons why you should have a detailed car maintenance line in your budget.

1. Oil changes
I’ve actually done a decent job of saving for this and using this line in my budget. Buying a different car is never fun, unless the car you’re currently driving is a beater and you’re stepping it up. I want to take great care of my engine so it lasts a long time. So, I try to get oil changes within the 4,000 mile mark.
2. Tires
I’m about to purchase some new tires for my car. It’s needed and I know it! Instead of saving $30 a month for two years, I’m having to use my income tax. I want to buy tires with a good tread life, and I need to estimate how much new tires will cost me based on how much I drive. I currently drive around 25,000 miles a year. I plan on moving soon, and I will drive considerably less than that. I still need to estimate how long my tires will last, and save that much each month to go toward my tires. That way I don’t have to wait on an extra check or a refund to come in to purchase them.
3. Brakes
This is a weakness of mine. I don’t really know how long brakes should last. But they should be replaced. I would find a mechanic you trust and ask them how often the brakes should be changed, as it will be different with each car.
4. Other maintenance
There are other areas in your car that require maintenance. Filters need to be changed, tune ups will be needed every 100,000 miles or so, batteries might need to be replaced, and so on and so forth. The best way to handle a proper car maintenance budget line is to plan for these. If they never happen, then count yourself lucky. Because…
5. Something will happen
A transmission will go out. A motor might blow. An axle could bust. A radiator could crack. There are a myriad of ways that a vehicle could fail. The best way to fight the “something will” is to plan for it. You don’t have to have a separate line for the what if. It’s my belief that by planning for each of these, the what if will be taken care of by the budget line.

Now, if you’re already debt free and have an emergency fund, your maintenance line might not need to be as detailed. I’m not sure because I’m not there yet. If any of you debt free folks have advice, please share in the comments section below. But if you’re trying to get out of debt, I would plan for the worst with your car. The way I see it, if I plan for the worst, and it doesn’t happen, I can apply that amount to my next car!

Ladies, one other note, I would recommend understanding your car and the expenses behind it. It will only help manage our money better and to become informed consumers!

car maintenance 2

How do you plan for unknown expenses with your car?

Some people may look at this sort of planning as an emergency fund before the emergency fund. My previous FAP did, and I understand that stance. I’m not saying to set aside an additional emergency fund for your vehicle. I just think that if you save money for your car and one of the above referenced is needed, then it won’t blindside you. If your spouse or FAP suggests otherwise, please listen to their advice. I’m learning about this as I go!

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