How to Save Money Without Giving Up the Things You Love

Saving money is an essential part of adulthood for many reasons, but it’s not always as easy as it should be. This is particularly true for the small business owner who needs to cut costs in their personal expenses — staying afloat both professionally and personally is a double burden. When you’re faced with unforeseen expenses such as car issues or appliances breaking down, it’s stressful to have to part with the money you’ve worked so hard to save, especially when you know the setback will cost you several more months of budgeting and sacrifice. 

You may feel as though you’ll never get ahead or that you’ll be stuck in a rut forever. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can budget and learn how to save efficiently, without giving up all the things you love most; the key is to think outside the box and plan carefully. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Utilize the Second-Hand Economy

The second-hand economy has grown in popularity in recent years simply because it’s a great way to save money, but you can also make some quick cash if you know where to start. If you’ve ever shopped at a thrift store or bought an item from eBay or Poshmark, you’ve already taken part in the second-hand economy. Utilizing certain stores, apps, and websites can help you cut costs on clothing, accessories, and items for your home and will allow you to be eco-friendly at the same time. You will be doing your part to eliminate waste from landfills — one of the biggest contributors to global warming according to Greentumble.

Start Small

If you’re unsure of how to get started with saving, go small at first. Clip coupons before you go grocery shopping or look for online coupon codes that will help you save a bit extra. Open the windows around the house to create a nice breeze instead of using the air conditioning. HomeSelfe suggests unplugging appliances to prevent phantom energy use, and use a programmable thermostat to better control how you heat and cool your home. Once you’ve tested the waters, you can move on to bigger lifestyle changes, such as moving to a smaller home with a smaller monthly payment. 

Make Your Own Gifts

If you have a lot of friends or family, you already know the struggle of trying to pay for gifts, gift wrapping, and cards several times per year when birthdays, graduations, weddings, and holidays come around. A great way to get around these expenses is to get creative. Making a heartfelt gift is often really appreciated, and more meaningful than something bought in a store. If you have some artistic skills, you can make cards for any special occasion. There are tons of great ideas online for homemade gifts that won’t break the bank and will make your loved ones happy. 


Many homeowners choose to refinance their mortgage at some point during their ownership. This can lower your monthly payments because you may be able to obtain a new loan with a lower interest rate, which will reduce the amount you have to pay each month. Refinancing can also give you the opportunity to take cash out of your home equity. This can be helpful if you need money for home improvements or other expenses. If you are considering refinancing your mortgage, it is important to speak with a lender to determine if it is the right choice for you.

Time for a Trade-Off?

No one wants to give up something they really enjoy, but sometimes you can make a budget-friendly trade that’s just as good or better than what you already have. For instance, if you’re paying for a cable package you don’t use much, consider switching to a streaming device instead for a fraction of the price. With the right media player, you can still access thousands of programs and movies without spending hundreds on cable. 

Also, think about changes you can make when you plan your travel and getaways. Instead of forking out the extra cash when you stay at a hotel or resort (there are also the “hidden” expenses of taxes, amenity fees, and meals eaten out at restaurants), opt for a vacation rental. These places are truly homes away from home, where you can utilize a full kitchen to cook your own meals, which again can be brought with you on a tiny budget. 

It can really pay off to take a hard look at your expenses to find out where you might be able to make a change without giving up what you really want.

Saving money and cutting costs can be stressful, so take it slowly. Don’t feel pressured to get rid of the things you truly enjoy; simply look somewhere else for an opportunity to cut back on personal spending. Whether you’re refinancing or purchasing items second-hand, there are many ways to stay on a budget, so get creative and plan ahead.

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How Personal Finance Apps Can Help in (Almost) Every Area of Your Life

Managing one’s finances takes a certain level of attention to detail that not everyone is ready for. Furthermore, if you’re not mathematically inclined, this process can even seem like a tiresome exercise — one you’d prefer to avoid at all costs.

However, managing one’s finances need not be at all as stressful nowadays — at least not when you have handy financial apps available to help make life easier in almost every aspect of your life. Here are a few compelling reasons why you absolutely need to try one.

Choosing the Right One for You

When it comes to choosing the right app for your financial situation, you’ll want to choose one that makes the most sense according to your financial goals. Furthermore, deciding on an app that is going to suit your requirements should be easy to do the more specific you are about what it is you want to do with it whether it be to settle debts, stick to more of a stricter budget or just to get a better overall idea of what your income is being spent on. Moreover, a financial app should be credible, secure, clear, and relevant if it is to be of any real benefit, mainly so you can have peace of mind that it’ll do what it says in a safe and secure way. A final word of caution: mixing your business and personal funds can be dangerous, so consider using a separate app (or at least a separate account) for each.

If being able to manage your finances better is one of your main goals in life, then using a personal finance app is the way to go. Here’s why:

It’s Quick and Convenient

Gone are the days when we need a pen and paper to jot down a rough budget on a piece of paper. With a personal finance app, your income and expenditures can be synced with your bank account so incoming and outgoing monies can be tracked automatically. 

The Whole Family Can Be Included

It is never too early to teach your kids the principles of money management. So, why not start now with a finance app to show your kids how their spending affects the budget, too? This is also an excellent way to teach your kids how to spend within their means so they can hopefully avoid getting into unhealthy levels of debt themselves one day. 

You Can Check Your Budget No Matter Where You Are

Since you can access your app on most electronic devices, this means you can check your budget no matter where you are. 

Streamlined Debt Management

While many people have experienced the effects of the tough economic times and now sit with a lot of debt to manage, a personal finance app can help to alleviate some of the stress associated with debt management so you don’t have to be overly concerned about overspending as it should handle this for you. 

It Offers Other Resources, Too

Many personal finance apps offer a host of other resources too, including access to financial educational material for you and the family. They could provide you with access to experienced professionals to help guide you on your financial journey even further. With a personal finance app, you will, without a doubt, be able to plan and prepare better for the future even when it comes to purchasing a home. Together with an online affordability calculator to determine your mortgage repayments based on how much money you can put as a down payment, what location you’re buying in and what the average price of properties are in your preferred location. 

Personal finance is indeed a lifesaver when it comes to taking ownership of your finances and can help spare you the headache of managing your finances all on your own. 

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Young Adults Can Reap These Benefits From the Right Insurance Policies

Which insurance plan is right for me? It’s a question many young people ask themselves as they enter the workforce, buy a car, or start saving for a home, and there are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming to find the best one for your needs. The good news is, once you find the right fit, a good insurance plan can help you save money over time while giving you peace of mind that you and your loved ones are protected. Whether you need a car, motorcycle, home, or life insurance policy, an insurance agent can help you find the right one for your needs and budget. Take a look at a few of the benefits that come with different policies:

Cover your business

If you run a home-based business, you probably have costly equipment, software, and supplies that are required for your daily operations. Are they protected by your homeowner’s insurance? The answer can be complicated, but in many cases, those items aren’t covered by a homeowner’s policy. Business insurance will give you peace of mind about the safety of your important data, tech, and tools, as well as your employees or the home itself. It can also cover you in the event of a lawsuit, especially if clients or customers come to your home for business. Take a look at all the things a business insurance policy will cover.

Protect your personal belongings

Do you rent rather than own? Consider renters insurance, which, as Consumer Reports notes, helps replace your belongings in the event of a flood, fire, or break-in. In most cases, landlords are only responsible for repairing damage to the building itself, which could leave you scrambling if the worst happens. Not only that, but renters insurance also helps you pay for accommodations if you have to vacate your apartment or rental home temporarily while repairs are made. If you don’t have emergency savings, this type of insurance can ensure that you aren’t put into dire straits due to unforeseen circumstances.

Plan for your health

Covering your home is important, but making sure your health is planned for is essential. Whether you want to prepare for an extended illness, a pregnancy, surgery, or an accidental injury, short-term disability insurance can ensure that you have a paycheck coming in even if you can’t work. It can even cover mental health issues as well. There are different policies depending on where you work, how many hours you put in, and whether the issue was pre-existing, so read up on the fine print. Depending on your employer, you may need to take unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act rather than using short-term disability for certain issues.

Prepare for the future

Even if you’re in great health, it’s a good idea to start planning for the future in the form of burial insurance. Many young people don’t think about preparing for their final expenses, but AARP points out that doing so can give you and your loved ones’ peace of mind that your last wishes will be carried out. Create a living will and think about what kind of services you’d like to have if any. Once you’ve made plans, don’t forget to share them with a trusted family member, and make sure they’ll have access to the paperwork in the event of your passing. This will make the preparations much easier on everyone.

Finding the right insurance for various areas of your life can take some time, so try to be patient as you start the process. Keep in mind that you may be able to reduce the amount you pay for certain policies by making lifestyle changes. Be sure to read the fine print, and speak to a professional insurance agent if you need help choosing between policies.

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