5 Money Myths Debunked

What Money Myths Do You Believe? Many of us have some preconceived notions about money; whether those beliefs have been passed down to us by family, are clichés we’ve heard along the way or simply our own assumptions. My guess is, some of these beliefs are actually money myths. “Easy come, easy go” is one that immediately comes to mind. Is money really easy to come by? I suppose in the sense that money comes from work and there’s plenty of work to be done out there. But we all know that hard work isn’t necessarily rewarded with a commensurate amount of money, nor does there seem to be an adequate number of high-paying jobs available nowadays. So no, I wouldn’t definitively agree that money is easy to come by. As for the easy go part, I think most of us have heard, or…

5 Best Grocery Apps for Cutting Food Costs

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and recommendations are 100% mine. Using the Best Grocery Apps to Cut Your Food Budget   Saving money on food is one of the most impactful areas of the budget to cut back. After housing and transportation costs (includes auto loans, maintenance and fuel), food comes in third as the biggest portion of the American household budget; if you own your cars outright, it’s likely that your food costs then come in second. Food costs, including both eating out and at home, comprise about 10% of the average family’s pretax income. So, it should come as no surprise that the desire to cut those costs back as much as possible has led to a rise in the popularity of grocery apps. And there are lots of them to choose from. Here are the 5 best grocery apps that I use…

Hitting Rock Bottom and Getting Back Up Again

  It was 2001 and I was a senior in college when I hit rock bottom financially. I was waitressing full-time, living alone in an off-campus apartment, carrying a car payment, $6000 in credit card debt and nothing to show for it but some Tommy Hilfiger clothes (he was big back in my day, I swear), a pager (I can practically hear you laughing at me!) and a pantry full of ramen noodles. I was adulting—hard, and at first I had been successful at it, but the more I lived my life on credit, the more I realized I was failing. I was drowning fast and I looked high and low for a life raft. Now $6000 might not sound like a lot of money or a deep hole of debt to you. But you have to put things in perspective and realize that I was a…

6 Tips for Combatting Lifestyle Inflation

  It’s a war out there on your money and lifestyle inflation is public enemy number one. Lifestyle inflation is just a fancy term for the phenomena of spending more money as your income rises. Or as Biggie would say (yes, I’m a closet rap fan who loves me some Notorious BIG and Tupac), “I don’t know what they want from me. It’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” Preach brother! We often feel like more money will solve all of our problems, and certainly a rise in income should provide you with a more comfortable quality of life. But if you’re raising your lifestyle above your needs and it’s causing you to live paycheck to paycheck or impact your ability to save for the future, then you’re in over your head with lifestyle inflation. So, how…

Beginner’s Guide to Price Hacking

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and experiences are 100% mine. I never recommend something that I haven’t tried and used myself.   I absolutely love a good bargain. There’s not much I enjoy more than the thrill of hunting down the best possible price on something that we want or more importantly, need. And let me tell you, I have it down to a science, especially when it comes to those large purchases that take a big bite out of the budget. One of the most important factors in the hunt—patience. Sometimes it’s an emergency and you can’t wait, but having the flexibility and patience to wait for the right price and pair it with some price hacking maneuvers can save you a great deal of money. Let me teach you my ways: Late last spring, our 12-year-old GE…

Basics of Budgeting

  I am a natural born saver. I was always the kid who had Halloween candy left over months after the holiday. Once I got a job, my parents would borrow money from me so they didn’t have to make a trip to the ATM. So, it’s obvious to assume that I enjoy budgeting, and you would be correct. But I know not everyone does. Some of us are savers and some of us are spenders. So how do you get a spender on board with a saver to make a plan that works for everyone?   Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Behaviors One of the easiest methods is simply psychological. It’s all about perception and semantics. A budget is simply a plan for your money. It’s not meant to be a straight jacket restricting your freedom. Call it a spending plan. Call it your money…

How One Innocent Question Saved My Kids from a Lifetime of Debt

So, the title is a mouthful and maybe a little over the top, but conversations with your kids about money is so important. Especially today, when everything is paperless and cashless, money is more abstract a concept than ever. You never know the impact of what you teach them now, before they have a chance to leave the nest and make some really big mistakes with money! You can make these concepts easy for your kids to understand by using real world examples and language they’re comfortable with. I share one of those examples in tonight’s post that I wrote as a guest contributor on Stop Being Dumb. So pop on over via the link below, check out the post (and his blog–good stuff!) and say hi to Jeff (follow him on Twitter @jeffleonard12). Tell him Amy sent you…and you’re…

How We Made Big Cuts to Our Utility Budget

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and experiences are 100% mine. I never recommend something that I haven’t tried and used myself.   Have you ever sat down and figured out how much it costs to run your house for an entire year? I do this every year at tax time (speak of the devil!) so that we can write off a percentage of our usage for running a business from our home office. I’m always amazed at how much it actually costs to power our certified “energy-efficient” home. I have a few ways that we’ve made some big cost-cutting changes to help our utility budget. And I’m not talking about LED bulbs, programmable thermostats, faucet aerators and shorter showers (though all of those things are great and you should look into them)… Let me start by saying, if you…

How I Feed My Family of 6 on $125 a Week

  Maybe $125 a week sounds like a lot to you depending on your situation, but it’s not much for our family of 6, especially considering the size of my son’s appetite! 😊 Getting all that we need for that amount does take some work and it all begins with two little words that may cause some dread: meal planning. I fought against it for a long time, but then I discovered the Home Headquarters kit from LoveandMoney.com (they also have a storefront on Amazon if you have Prime!). It’s a command center for your home to keep you organized, which helps you save money. The kit includes frames to place templates behind so you can use dry erase markers to make and change plans, a wall calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules, a jelly jar and hardware to hold writing utensils, and a chalkboard…

You Don’t Need to Spend Money on These Things…Really

  Many of us spend money on things that we needn’t simply because the perception is that most everyone else does and/or we should. I may ruffle a few feathers here, but my hope is that you will really look at the motivations behind some of this spending that you may do and absolve yourself of any guilt should you decide to say no (or just scale back) next time you’re presented with the opportunity.     Fundraising: As a mom of a Girl Scout, this may be tantamount to blasphemy to say out loud, but I really do not like Girl Scout cookies. Gasp, I know! I don’t buy them off my daughter and when she ages out of Scouts, I’m perfectly capable of saying no when approached by others. Now, if you’re not comfortable saying no to a child who’s just…