Why It’s Important to Include Sinking Funds as Part of Your Budget

Why It's Important to Include Sinking Funds as Part of Your Budget

If you are wondering, “What is are sinking funds?” and “Why do I need to include it in my budget?” then here is some beneficial information that will help you to become more financially prepared for upcoming expenses.

What are Sinking Funds?

A sinking fund is a fund where you set aside money for expenses that are predictable. You know the expense is coming up and instead of waiting until the expense is due and there isn’t room in your budget to pay for it, you plan ahead for the expense by creating a sinking fund within your budget and set that money aside until you need to pay for that expense.

Many times when people start budgeting, there may be some expenses that they don’t anticipate such as an item in the home breaking that needs to be replaced or the car needing repaired. By creating a sinking fund, you’ll be able to spread out large expenses, or even smaller expenses, over time.  For many people this can be difficult to do because it requires patience and self control to plan ahead and to not spend money on other purchases immediately because they want those items right now.

Here is a list of expenses that you may want to create a sinking fund for and to consider including in your budget:

  • home repairs
  • new car or car repairs
  • family vacations
  • kids sports and activities
  • insurance
  • medical expenses
  • Christmas
  • subscriptions and dues
  • birthdays and gifts

 

How to Get Started on Sinking Funds

To get started on sinking funds, determine what expenses are coming up and which sinking funds you need. Calculate the total amount of money you will need in one sinking fund and what date you will need it. Then break it down into how much you need to save each month before the expense comes due. Begin saving that amount of money each month for the allotted time frame. For instance, if you know you want to save $1,000 to spend on Christmas and you begin saving in June, which leaves you about 6 months to save, then you need to put aside $166 each month (or $42 each week) to reach that goal before Christmas comes.

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How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget Video

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget VideoRecently, there has also been thousands of people affected by natural disasters. Because of this and since September is national preparedness month, I want to share with you a video on how to build a 72-hour kit on a budget. In this video I share with you items I’ve added to our family’s 72-hour kits and tips on how to do it on a budget.  You never know when there might be an emergency and you need to leave your house quickly. And having a 72-hour kit that can be quickly picked up as you walk out the door could be a life saver.

This video is to encourage people to get their 72-hour kits ready by starting out simple. Start off by gathering the basics, which include food, water, light, warmth and personal hygiene, then add to it little by little every year. Compiling a 72-hour kit doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. When I first started our 72-hours kits, I found many of the items around the house and placed them in a backpack to create 72-hour kits for each member of our family. Then I slowly added to it, as well as regularly rotated through items each year. Check out the video below on How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget:

 

 

What tips do you have to build a 72-hour kit on a budget?

If you can’t see the video above, head over to my YouTube Channel here. And please subscribe to my channel while you are over there.

 

How to Compile a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget

You can also watch my ABC4 News segment here where I share tips on how to build a 72-hour kit on a budget.

 

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget

And also head over to my post here where I list all of the items I mention in the video.

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13 Tips to Teach Children to Save Money

Teach Children to Save Money

When I was young, I learned from my parents to save money and be frugal. I watched as my parents would save for an item, then purchase it when they had the money. Even though they may have wanted an item right then, they usually they did without, made due with what they had or purchased an item at a second hand store because it was less expensive. They taught me and my siblings to save most of the money we earned and put it into a savings account. And they said that if we saved money, it would help us to be able to pay for some of our college education. Because of their encouragement, I almost paid for my entire college education without taking out a student loan. You can read more of my story, My Financial Life Journey and the Lessons I Learned by clicking here.

Now that I’m a parent, I want to teach my kids how to budget, save money and stay out of debt. I’ve seen many times where a child grows up and moves out of the house only to start buying everything he or she wants with a credit card. They see what their parents have, and they want all of that now. Some of them don’t realize that it takes years to acquire the items that are in a home. Teaching children to save money isn’t easy. They usually want to spend money they receive immediately. Below are ideas to teach young children and teens how to save money.

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6 Tips How to Save Money on Groceries without Price Matching Video

how to save money on groceries without price matchingDid you hear the news that Walmart will be discontinuing its price matching? My local Utah Walmart discontinued price matching on May 3, 2017. I made a video for you with 6 Tips on How to Save Money on Groceries without Price Matching. Since filming this video, I found out that Walmart stores in Utah and surrounding states have discontinued price matching, but there are Walmarts in some states that still do price match. Call your Walmart to see if they are going to discontinue price matching. As this continues to trickle out nationwide, there is a good chance that eventually all Walmarts will discontinue price matching. Leave a comment and let me know if you have any questions or what tips you have to save money on groceries.

 

 

If you can’t view the video, head over to my YouTube Channel here to watch it.

 

save money on groceries without price matching

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4 Important Steps to Get Out of Debt

get-out-of-debt-final-jpg

Living with debt can be stressful, and once you are in debt, it’s hard to get out of debt. The average household has about $132,000 in debt, which includes mortgages, and the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling about $16,000, according to the American Household Credit Card Debt Study.

When you don’t have enough money to pay the bills and you continue to accumulate debt, it becomes a heavy burden. Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is not an easy thing to do. If you want to get out of debt, it’s going to take sacrifice, discipline and hard work, but in the end it will be worth it. Once you get out of debt, that burden of debt hanging over you will be gone, and you’ll have a financial peace of mind. You’ll also be able to take that money that was once going toward debt and instead use it to do things that are important to you and your family, because life is about enjoying things that matter most.

Here are four important steps to help you get out of debt so you can put yourself in a better financial position. This is your year to get your finances in control!

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6 Tips for Going Back to School on a Budget

6 Tips for Going Back to School on a Budget

It’s almost time for kids to be going back to school, and back-to-school shopping can be hard on your wallet and can be a huge expense when it comes to spending money on the kids. Buying new school supplies, clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and electronics adds up quickly and can be expensive. Here are 6 tips on how to budget for back to school.

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5 Tips How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck & Start Saving

stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving money saving tips

When I was going to college full time, I had a part time job and wasn’t making a lot of money. I didn’t want to take out a loan, so I tried to be as frugal as possible by managing my paychecks and paying for rent and food each month, and then saving as much money as possible so I could pay for each semester. You can read more about how I almost paid for college without taking out a loan here. It wasn’t easy. And there were months where I was barely scraping by from paycheck to paycheck and wasn’t able to put money into savings.

After I married my husband and we had our first child, that first year when I was a stay-at-home mom was challenging as we went from two incomes down to just one. We had to figure out how to make it work each month to solely live off my husband’s paycheck, and there were some months where we barely had enough from our paycheck to cover all of the bills. Even though those were hard months, we luckily weren’t at the point where we were living paycheck to paycheck. If for some reason my husband was suddenly unemployed, we would still be able to meet financial obligations for a short time because we had savings. We didn’t want to touch that savings unless it was for an emergency because we knew that if we had to regularly dip into our savings each month to pay bills, we would soon find ourselves in an extremely stressful and difficult situation. So we found ways to live frugally.

If you find that you can’t sustain yourself a few days without a regular paycheck coming in and you have to rely on each paycheck to manage your day-to-day life, then you won’t be able to plan ahead for unexpected situations that might occur, like a trip to the doctor’s office or a broken down car. You’ll end up using a credit card then have to work hard to try to pay it off. There are a number of reasons someone may end up living paycheck to paycheck. It could be an event outside their control or it could be a result of their own financial choice they made. Either way, it’s a stressful way to live.

I want to share with you some tips on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving money. It won’t be easy. It will take dedication and determination, and you’ll have to make sacrifices along the way, but in the end it will be worth it. You won’t have the stress of debt or trying to come up with money for the things you really need or those unexpected situations that might arise. Here are 5 tips to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

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7 Ways to Help You Become Financially Fit This Year

Financially Fit

One of the top new year’s resolutions for many people each year has to do with their finances and spending less, getting out of debt and saving money. Here are 7 articles to help you with budgeting, saving money and becoming financially fit this year.

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck 5 Tips5 Tips How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Start Saving

 

6 Ways to Save Money & Increase Savings This Year6 Ways to Save Money & Increase Your Savings This Year

Get Out of Debt

10 Tips to Get Out of Debt

Set a Budget

5 Tips on How to Set a Budget

Maintain a Budget

5 Tips on How to Maintain a Budget

Finances with Spouse FinalHow to Effectively Talk Finances with Your Spouse

Buying Groceries on a Budget Final

Since groceries is one of the largest monthly bills for families, read How to Determine a Grocery Budget and How to Buy Groceries on a Budget.

Cut Grocery Bill Without Using Coupons

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill Without Using Coupons

And here’s an extra way that I save more money on groceries.

Grocery Apps that will save you money

7 Grocery Apps that Will Save You Money

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How to Build an Emergency Car Kit on a Budget

Emergency Car Kit on a Budget

September is national emergency preparedness month, and it’s a good time to get an emergency car kit together before winter comes. Since purchasing our new vehicle with cash this past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about compiling an emergency car kit just in case anything happened while we were away from our house. We had some of the needed items in our car, but there is definitely more things that would be important to have on hand in the case of an emergency or being stranded by the side of the road.

While looking online, I found pre-packaged Emergency Car Kits ranging in price from $25 to $70 or more. In order to save some money, I decided to assemble my own emergency car kit. Don’t feel that you have to purchase everything for your emergency kit right now. Start out slowly by purchasing a few of the items you feel are most important, then save your money for the other items that cost more. I started out and put together a basic emergency car kit and will continue to add to it as we have room in our budget or we decide we should have that specific item. At least we have some basic items we need for our emergency car kit, and that’s better than not having anything at all.

There were many items on the list that I had around the house that I didn’t need to purchase. I just had to take time to put them in the container in the car. And there were some items I was able to find for a good deal. For those items that don’t go on sale, you’ll want to set aside and save money each month until you can purchase them. Here’s how to build an emergency car kit on a budget.

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7 Grocery Apps that Will Save You Money

7 Grocery Apps that Will Save You Money

This past year I finally upgraded my basic cell phone to a smart phone. I know, I’m a little behind the times, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay more money for a data plan. After doing a lot of research, we finally found a cell phone carrier and data plan that was within the price range we were willing to pay, and that included being able to upgrade my phone to a smart phone. And I will say that I have loved it.

So now that I have a smart phone, I’ve been researching smartphone apps to find more ways to save money on groceries. These grocery apps have eCoupons or pay you money for purchasing groceries such dairy, produce, household items and more. I love saving money with eCoupons and earning money for products that I’m already planning on purchasing. And it’s nice that you don’t even have to hand clip a coupon. I have downloaded and used all of the apps, and the ones I use the most are Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, Checkout51, and Snap by Groupon. I enjoy sharing money saving tips, so I thought I’d share with you these 7 grocery apps that will save you money.

ibotta app1. Ibotta

Ibotta is a smartphone app where you can earn money by purchasing participating products. Ibotta’s product offers range from food and beverages to cleaning products, personal care and more.  Here’s how it works:

  • Register for an account, then download the Ibotta app to your phone.
  • Before you head to the grocery store, unlock Ibotta’s cash back rewards on products by completing simple tasks such as a survey question or watching a short video. The amount of cash back from each product ranges anywhere between $0.25 to $1.00 or more.
  • Head to a store on Ibotta’s list such as Walmart, Smith’s, Walgreens, Target and more to purchase the products you’ve unlocked.
  • Verify your purchases by scanning the product barcodes, then finish by scanning the barcode on your receipt.
  • Within 48 hours, you’ll have the cash deposited into your Ibotta account, and you can cash out via Paypal or an eGift Card once your account reaches $10.

In addition, Ibotta has a Teamwork Bonus, which is a monthly bonus where you and your friends work together to earn more money. Your team will consist of your friends on Ibotta who have connected their Facebook accounts to the app. And the more friends you have on your team, the faster you will earn. Each month, your team will be given a total earnings goal. Once you redeem one rebate and your team reaches the monthly goal, everyone on your team will earn a cash bonus. Join my team here.

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