Category Archives for "Living on $30000 or Less"

Fun Things to do on Valentines Day when You’re on a Budget

Fun Things to do on Valentines Day when you’re on a budget

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that you either love or hate. When you were young child you either loved receiving a ton of cards in your box or you dreaded opening your box to see if you got any. As a teenager you either loved of the spectacle surrounding the new feelings you were experiencing or all you felt was angst about the entire mess that is adolescence/young adulthood. In your 20s Valentine’s Day can mean so many things depending on where you’re at on your journey. By the time you are a parent it can take on a whole new life. The roles of “Husband” and “Wife” are now blurry with the roles of “Father” and “Mother”. After many years together it can also be difficult to think of something new and exciting to show that you care. The cynical view that some corporation is just trying to get you to use your hard earned money to buy love and affection practically has you wearing a tin foil hat. Inevitably, this once intimate occasion has now become a Pinterest nightmare.Continue reading

November 21, 2015

Frugal Living Tips this Christmas Season

Frugal Living Tips this Christmas Season

Living Under $30,000 During Holiday Season

It’s no secret that it is getting to be that time of year… Christmas is coming soon! As a person who lives a frugal lifestyle, it is hard to get excited about events that inevitably make me step outside of my financial comfort zone. While it is a lovely thought to believe that you can be immune to the inevitable push to spend money during the holidays, it is impossible in this day and age did not find yourself pulling out a credit card at every turn. Looking realistically the holidays you must prepare yourself for two things: 1) You WILL spend more money than you should, and 2) You may think you are prepared, but you are not. So taking those things into account, what can you do to truly be ready for Christmas while living a frugal lifestyle? Here are my tips for you:

1) Get to know who you are giving gifts for. One of the easiest ways to overspend on a gift from is to either give a gift card, or continue to add to a present because you don’t feel it is good enough. One of the areas that I find hardest to buy for every year is your family. Especially your parents and siblings. You have been buying gifts for them your entire life and you probably run out of ideas. Try taking a step back and think about who they really are. Think about some of the little things that they like. Has your mom always dreamed of going to Paris? Is your sister a big Disney fan? What about your dad? Get creative with your thinking. One of my favorite places to look for unique personalized gifts is ETSY. Maybe you get mom individual photos of letters that spell out “F-A-M-I-L-Y” and frame each letter? Even better, maybe you get your camera out and take those pictures yourself? I’m sure there are plenty of signs around that have different fonts that could be used! And the sister who loves Disney? Have you checked eBay lately to see if you can find any fun vintage Disney memorabilia on there? Guaranteed she doesn’t have it already and she’ll love it! You don’t have to break the bank to get her something fun and unique that speaks to her personally. What about dad? Does he love to read? Maybe a couple magazines subscriptions would be a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year for him.

The flip side is also true, buy generic gifts throughout the year as you find them on clearance. Most of my non-perishable stocking stuffers were bought the year before on after-Christmas clearance. I also keep a well stocked gift closet that is almost always full of items purchased throughout the year at 70% off or more. That way no matter who springs a gift or party invite on me, I will not have to break the bank to give a gift.

Finally one of the biggest changes in our household after we had kids was instituting this giftgiving criteria: NEED it, WANT it, WEAR it, READ it. Each of us asks for one gift in each of the categories. The kids often ask for several in each category, but only receive one gift per category. Not only does it create a way to talk about conscious consumerism with your kids, it makes each gift special and appreciated. Part of living a frugal lifestyle is learning not to spend money outside of your means, but the other side of that is knowing that some things are more important than money. Is having another toy (or 10 more toys) more important than having Mom and Dad be able to watch you play baseball or be home for dinner? Is it more important to spend family money on more than you need to get more than you want when the money could be spent on those who don’t have the things they need? It is hard for kids to understand the bigger picture because their worlds are smaller, but getting them to view money in a smarter more conscious way at a young age is one of the best gifts you can give them.

The matter how you choose to spend your money during the holidays, making frugal money decisions will always come from a place of thought and planning. Avoid spending at sales for just the sake of getting great deals. While I am all for getting a great deal, it is very tempting to buy things that you do not truly need just because you’re getting a good deal. Also, try to avoid using credit cards if it all possible. There are clever ways to use credit cards to achieve better financial results, but during the holidays commonsense to it seems to take a backseat to consumerism. Think before you spend! At the end of the day, it is better to focus on the things that are most important at the holidays. When it comes to giving gifts, a plate of warm cookies and a up of coffee shared with a friend can be just as wonderful as anything you find on Black Friday.

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Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!

Basic Home Budgeting

Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting

How to Budget Monthly

Part 3 – How to Budget Monthly Finances Wisely

How to Not Spend Money

Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money

Smart money saving tips to get your debt under control.

Part 5 – Smart Money Saving Tips to Control Your Debt

Money Management Skill

Part 6 – Money Management Skill

couple money talks

Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?

Find out the secret on How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

Budgeting for a New Baby

Budgeting for a New Baby

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Angie Rumpf

I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.

For more Best Frugal Tips, read these:

get rich

How to get rich in 5 minutes a day

frugal ways to save money

Frugal Ways to Save Money: Getting Out of Debts

30,000 image.jpg

How to Save Up Money: Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Family of 6

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Large Family

How to Start Building an Emergency Fund?

How to start an emergency fund

Healthy Living While Living Under $30,000

Healthy Living While Living Under $30,000

Healthy Living While Living Under $30,000

Living a frugal lifestyle by living healthier?

Is it possible that living frugally and being healthier go hand in hand? They sure do! Being frugal doesn’t mean living on less. It means making smarter decisions with what you have, including healthy living. Here are three big ways to live a healthier lifestyle while keeping your budget in shape:

Healthy Living While Living Under $30,000

Drop the gym! The weight of your bill from gym membership will probably outweigh the weight it can take off of your body. There are so many free ways to work out. Play tag with your kids for half an hour at the park. Talk about some cardio! Do 30 day challenges. Check out Pinterest for great ideas on how to get started on some awesome workouts. What about YouTube? There are plenty of free workout classes on YouTube available to you anytime, day or night. What’s even better is you don’t have to change out of your yoga pants or brush your teeth to go to the gym right there in your living room! Get creative, it will keep working out interesting.

Switch to water. This sounds simple, but cutting juice and soda out of your life will do you and your wallet a ton of good. Not only will you see incredible health benefits by cutting out unnecessary sugars from your diet, you will see incredible benefits to your bank account too. Why not try cold brewing iced coffee or tea at home? What about making your own juices or sodas with recipes like this sparkling watermelon lemonade? There are plenty of other things to drink that will taste just as good and cost so much less that your body will thank you for.

Girl/Guys Night Out? Happy hour can be not-so-happy on your budget. For most people the idea of a perfect guys night out or girls night out is at a bar with good food, good drinks, good music, and good friends. How about rethinking that idea? Have you considered a night out at a tea house with your girlfriends or playing basketball with the guys instead of hitting up a bar? This is an all around better quality way to nurture your friendships, your finances, and your health.

Frugal living is about more than the cheapest alternative to any situation. It is about living smarter so you don’t work harder. Rethink the way you look at health as a priority in your life and you will reap the benefits in more ways than one.

Best Frugal Tips

Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!

Basic Home Budgeting

Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting

How to Budget Monthly

Part 3 – How to Budget Monthly Finances Wisely

How to Not Spend Money

Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money

Smart money saving tips to get your debt under control.

Part 5 – Smart Money Saving Tips to Control Your Debt

Money Management Skill

Part 6 – Money Management Skill

couple money talks

Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?

Find out the secret on How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

Budgeting for a New Baby

Budgeting for a New Baby

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Ways to save money on Car Insurance

5 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

How to Save Money for a Car

Find out How to Save Money for a Car

Angie Rumpf

I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.

For more Best Frugal Tips, read these:

get rich

How to get rich in 5 minutes a day

frugal ways to save money

Frugal Ways to Save Money: Getting Out of Debts

30,000 image.jpg

How to Save Up Money: Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Family of 6

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Large Family

Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

Whether you are the sole driver on your insurance or you are preparing for a teen driver, these Ways To Save Money On Car Insurance are going to make your budget easy to manage!

Don't miss these Ways To Save Money on Car Insurance with our great tips!  Learn how to get your premium lower while also keeping it up to date for needs!

Many times I write about ways to save money and “cut the fat” when it comes to expenses in your monthly budget, but there are times when being frugal is not always best. When it comes to your car insurance policy, using your head before factoring in cost is pretty important. A car is a very important part of any family’s financial structure. Ensuring your investment is also very important. It is one of those “immovable objects” in your monthly budget. Not properly taking care of your investment can set you on a path to a different kind of unexpected pitfall. Often I talk about financial freedom, but ensuring the investment in your family’s vehicle will also lead to financial freedom. Not having the proper coverage in case of emergency or accidents can be catastrophic to the financial foundation of a family. The trick to making sure that you are properly protecting your assets and not wasting your assets is to do your proper research and due diligence.

5 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

1) Know your policy.
This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but you would be surprised to know how many people do not know or understand what is on their insurance policy. Most of the time you have an insurance agent that you can call with any questions. Why not use them to find out what you want to know? Have them work you through it simply and explain the different points on your contract. Know what your money is going towards, and know what your responsibility is in the case of actually having to use your policy.  This is one of the most important ways to save money on car insurance.

2) Know what is out there.
There are many companies out there competing for your business. Why not look around? Keep an open mind and look everywhere. Turn to your social media and get references from your friends. They may have a friend or relative in the business would be more than happy to help you find a great policy that meets your needs and keeps the cost out-of-pocket low.

3) Know the value of your car.
This is one that requires that you actually keep up with your vehicle history. You should familiarize yourself with the website Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com). From the moment you drive your car off the lot, it starts to depreciate in value. Why are you renewing your policy constantly on out-of-date information? A lot of times if you are trying to keep your monthly costs low you will choose a higher deductible. If your vehicle is worth less than your deductible, you are essentially paying for a policy that will not help you at all in the case of an accident.

4) Know the discounts.
Look into what things will help you save money on your policy in regards to the state of your car. Did you get a new paint job? The color may affect your policy price. Did you get a new antitheft system installed? It too could affect your policy price. This your house would have more than one vehicle? Are there any young drivers? Are you a student getting good grades? Do you only use your car for work purposes only? Again, talk with your agent and they can walk you through finding these discounts and keeping track of what information will raise and lower your policy every month.

5) Don’t coast by.
Due diligence. Some people like to pay for their policy all at once. Once a year or twice a year. In a way that can be great because you know that you’re covered and it is one less bill to stress about. But, it will sometimes lull you into a sense of complacency when it comes to keeping track of your policy. I would say that for most people who are trying to live a frugal lifestyle, reevaluating your policy every 3 to 6 months is probably a better solution. I would write in your calendar the month before your policy is due to be paid for and/or renewed to start the journey of researching your policy all over again. Certainly every six months at the very least the value of your car has changed based on mileage. Being on top of things like that really add up in the long run. Personally, I would not change policies too often unless the value was really there. Customer loyalty can be rewarded in an insurance world. Build up a rapport with your agent so that they are always on the lookout for discounts to keep your business.

At the end of the day, it is important that you keep in mind that your car is just as important as an investment in your family’s financial future as any stock or savings account. Treat it as such.  These tips for how to save money on car insurance are a great place to begin.  Don’t miss out on our other great savings tips below!

How to Save Money for a Car

Find out How to Save Money for a Car

Read these other tips:

Donate Used Cars: Where to Donate My Car
5 Tips for Paying off your Car Quickly and Lower your Car Insurance!
How to Buy New Car

Best Frugal Tips

Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!

Basic Home Budgeting

Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting

How to Budget Monthly

Part 3 – How to Budget Monthly Finances Wisely

How to Not Spend Money

Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money

Smart money saving tips to get your debt under control.

Part 5 – Smart Money Saving Tips to Control Your Debt

Money Management Skill

Part 6 – Money Management Skill

couple money talks

Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?

Find out the secret on How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

Budgeting for a New Baby

Budgeting for a New Baby

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Angie Rumpf

I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.

For more Best Frugal Tips, read these:

get rich

How to get rich in 5 minutes a day

frugal ways to save money

Frugal Ways to Save Money: Getting Out of Debts

30,000 image.jpg

How to Save Money for a Car

Whether you need a replacement for your current car, or you are working on buying for your teen, these tips for How To Save Money for a Car are a must! Check out our top tips and learn how anyone can manage a new car, despite their budget!

How to Save Money for a Car

This week I wanted to talk about one of the biggest expenses in a monthly budget… Your car (or cars). When you are starting to plan on living a more frugal lifestyle, one of the biggest contributing factors to success is to being able to minimize how much money is going out of your budget every month.

How to Save Money for a Car

Car payments are a huge chunk of your budget. As with almost anything in your adult life, owning will be more cost-effective than leasing. There is are very few scenarios where a lease is a frugal option. Making payments is another pitfall to try avoid. The reality is that sometimes things happen and purchasing flat out in cash will not be an option. But if you consider that a loan will cost you more in the long run, perhaps you will make some wiser choices with that loan.

Carpool: What about sharing a car for a month or two while you save? This will be harder but could pay off down the line.

Check out Public Transportation: Is public transportation an option while you save? Does anyone you know at work carpool and would be willing to help you with rides to and from work for a few months while you save?

Buy the used car instead: Perhaps you don’t really need the newest, nicest car for just driving back and forth to work. Maybe you could get a safe, reliable, albeit less attractive car to drive back and forth while you save?

Research all options before you enter into a loan: If you must get a loan, there are a lot more options than just going to a car lot and working with their financing. Do you have a credit union in your area? Most have car loans at extremely low prices with short repayment schedules. Then you will also walk onto a lot with “cash in hand” you will not only end up paying less in interest but will also have the upper hand if there is room to negotiate.

Consider using credit card loans: What about a credit card company? On occasion, this may be a smarter route. There are cards that will offer you a small amount (usually less than $10,000) for 48 or 36 months interest-free. If you can stay on track with repaying quickly, this might be an exceptional option.

Get creative with financing. Google those big advertised sales and see what that fine print is. Know your options. Shop for the best deal. Always get an outside mechanic’s opinion on a car before the return window ends. Don’t be blinded by wants versus needs. Always look at your bigger financial goals to keep that bigger picture well within view.

Learn how to save money for a car and avoid extra debt when possible with our great tips!

More Frugal Living Tips:

Donate Used Cars: Where to Donate My Car
5 Tips for Paying off your Car Quickly and Lower your Car Insurance!
How to Buy New Car

Best Frugal Tips

Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!

Basic Home Budgeting

Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting

How to Budget Monthly

Part 3 – How to Budget Monthly Finances Wisely

How to Not Spend Money

Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money

Smart money saving tips to get your debt under control.

Part 5 – Smart Money Saving Tips to Control Your Debt

Money Management Skill

Part 6 – Money Management Skill

couple money talks

Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?

Find out the secret on How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

Budgeting for a New Baby

Budgeting for a New Baby

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Angie Rumpf

I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.

For more Best Frugal Tips, read these:

get rich

How to get rich in 5 minutes a day

frugal ways to save money

Frugal Ways to Save Money: Getting Out of Debts

30,000 image.jpg

How to Save Up Money: Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

Cleaning Up Your Credit Report

Cleaning up your credit report

Congratulations on taking the first steps towards cleaning up your credit and getting your finances back on track! Reclaiming your credit score is one of the best things you can do to ensure a brighter financial future for you and your family.

When you hear back from the credit agencies, you will be told whether or not your claim is accepted and changes will be made or not. If you’re having a hard time getting something fixed, it might be because of several factors. First, if the bank or lender disagrees with your claim, you will have a hard time convincing anyone else that the claim is legit. If you lack enough proof or information, or discover something that you can build a stronger case you should file another claim. There is no limit to how many you can file. If you are denied, you can refile with more information that lends credibility to your claim of an error. Remember to deal with the credit agencies first and foremost. It may seem easier to go straight to the source (bank, credit card company, phone provider), but it may undermine your chances of resolving things in the long run. If you bypass the credit bureaus’ dispute system, you may be forfeiting your right to fight back if the lender fails to resolve the issue.

Cleaning Up Your Credit Report

If your account has been confused with someone else’s, whether because of a clerical error or fraud the path to resolution is different. If you suspect fraud, you need to contact the credit bureau right away to have them put a fraud alert on your file to limit any more damage to your score. Always start with the credit bureau when dealing with identity fraud. If you decide to take legal action, then this is the path you will need to have started on.

If something appears on your credit report that is more than seven years old, by law it should be dropped of your credit report and you are entitled to fight it. A bankruptcy may stay on the report up to ten years. You have every right to fight back against any expired debt and demand it is removed. Beware restarting the clock by speaking to debt collectors though. It is a slippery slope if you agree to anything over the phone in regards to repayment of debt. Any debt collector who is threatening legal action on a debt older than seven years may be trying to scare you as the debt it past its statue of limitations.

Speaking of legal action, if all else fails you may need to seek out a lawyer who specializes in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. At the end of the day, a lawyer knows the ins and outs of the system and may be worth the time and money to have this issue taken care of.

Find out how to clean up your credit report

Read Cleaning up Credit Report Score Tips Part 1

Best Frugal Tips

Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!

Basic Home Budgeting

Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting

How to Budget Monthly

Part 3 – How to Budget Monthly Finances Wisely

How to Not Spend Money

Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money

Smart money saving tips to get your debt under control.

Part 5 – Smart Money Saving Tips to Control Your Debt

Money Management Skill

Part 6 – Money Management Skill

couple money talks

Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?

Find out the secret on How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

Budgeting for a New Baby

Budgeting for a New Baby

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Angie Rumpf

I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.

For more Best Frugal Tips, read these:

get rich

How to get rich in 5 minutes a day

frugal ways to save money

Frugal Ways to Save Money: Getting Out of Debts

30,000 image.jpg

How to Save Up Money: Tips for Living on $30000 or Less