It’s All About the Budgeting

The Controversial Latte

Half of the personal finance pundits rail against it. It is the evil of our generation. It is the reason why so many are in debt. In fact, its the main reason why so many people have so much debt, have so little savings and will either retire to live on their social security checks or work until they die. 

The other half of the personal finance pundits take great offense to this. They point out the other large money issues that people face. It’s not the lattes they cry! It’s the student loan debts, the sky-high cost of healthcare, housing and daycare. It’s the fact that wages have remained stagnant for years and minimum wage is not a livable wage. Drink your latte, they urge, drink and enjoy! It will make you feel good as you drudge through your bleak days.

The Latte Factor

My opinion?

It's not about the Lattes. Its about the BUDGETING. Click To Tweet

 

First of all, what it your goal?

If your goal is to become RICH, then cutting out lattes (or other spending) is not going to do it for you. Jeff Bezos didn’t become RICH by cutting out lattes. Neither did Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. There may be news articles written about how Bill Gates never spends money or how Warren Buffet has a flip phone but if you take even 2 seconds to think about it you know that those articles are total click bait. they became rich because of a combination of a great, innovative idea or product, luck, and circumstances. and chances are, (yes, statistically speaking) you will never be really RICH.

 

So what does building wealth mean?

It means having financial security on a smaller level. It means a house (paid for), it means a car (modest and paid for), it means a comfortable retirement. 

But getting there doesn’t happen only by cutting out lattes or take-out. it takes savings and no debt.

Continue reading “It’s All About the Budgeting”

Celebrating Purim on a Budget

Holidays are important. Spreading joy is important. Holidays are not a time to skimp or be unnecessarily frugal. They are a time to celebrate and enjoy…. and not go into debt.

 

Purim

One of the most important ways to be able to celebrate any holiday without going into debt is to budget all year. I take a 5% of each paycheck and place it in a separate bank account (modern envelope system) to save up for all the holidays. I only spend as much as I was able to save. I sometimes will take bonuses or part of my tax refund to bulk up this account as well. It is important to me to be able to celebrate appropriately. It’s important to me to be able to participate in holiday traditions and activities at the same level as others in my community. It is also REALLY important for me NOT to go into debt. It is a balance between participating the way I want to, and not blowing my money on things that are not essential. Saving money beforehand helps me with that balance. I spend the money I have and I don’t have to “guess” how much I can afford. The money is budgeted BEFORE I start planning so I have a dollar amount that I know I have to stick to.

Purim is about joy. It is about celebrating with friends and family. It is about thanking G-d for the good He has given us. It is not about going into debt in order to impress or show off. It is not about spending more that we can. It is about taking what we have and using it to increase our joy and our friend's joy WITH WHAT WE WERE GIVEN. Click To Tweet

Purim, one of the funnest Jewish holidays of the year and one that is actually pretty expensive. I always feel that since Passover comes right after with all it’s huge expenses, that Purim sort of gets overlooked when it comes to the budgeting.

Luckily there are some ways to make Purim a little easier on the wallet.

Read more about what Purim is here.

Purim Money-Saving Tips:

Mishloach Manos- (read here if you have NO CLUE what this is). I do something homemade every year. While store-bought items are much easier, the savings with something homemade cannot be beat. You can still do something classy and nice even when you are making something homemade. Don’t forget that the point of Mishloach Manos is not to impress everyone with your creative and flawless creations but to increase joy to the receiver. Some ideas that are budget-friendly and appreciated: fresh bread, muffins, vegetable platter, or cake. As Passover is right around the corner, none of these items need to be too large or else it will just get tossed. I find that most of the money goes towards packaging so I try to find packing ideas that will need less. For example, a simple bag will usually end up costing less than a basket, cellophane, label and ribbon. Gift bags are also easier to assemble and transport. They can also be reused. Please note that I am not bashing or criticizing anyone who goes all out for Purim. I love getting some of those elaborate and creative mishloach manos but its just not worth going into debt over. If you can afford it and enjoy it, then go right ahead! If you can’t afford it then think hard about why you are determined to make such elaborate concoctions.

Kids Mishloach Manos- Kids like candy. It’s pretty universal. I am not going to make my kids give a healthy or cheap michloach manos if they want otherwise. The older they are, the more opinions they have. What I do try to do is compromise by having one fun candy item and then something like fun cookies. This year we are doing a candy stick from Cracker Barrel ($.10 and OU) and then 2-3 colorful cookies (recipe here) in a bag. The whole thing will probably be less than $.50 each. This also allows me to make a whole bunch so they can give whomever they want without having to ration. The parents also appreciate that it’s not too much sticky and messy candy!

Meal- Simple and hearty is the theme. I try to do a main dish that goes with easy starches like rice or another grain. Simple side dishes like potatoes and coleslaw will fill up a hungry crowd pretty easily. (Read more tips on how to make a feast on a budget). One of my splurges is to only use paper goods for the meal. But I find that simple, colorful paper goods look so nice and festive without costing too much.

What are some things that you do to make Purim more affordable?

Basic Guide to Budgeting and Personal Finance

Are you clueless when it comes to Budgeting and Personal Finance?

Do you want to learn about Budgeting and Personal Finance but don’t even know where to start?

Are you just starting out and want to start Budgeting and Saving properly the first time around?

I wish I had someone to teach me basics of budgeting and saving when I was just starting to work. I would have saved myself so much heartache. This is not a blog about getting out debt (thank goodness!) or about Pursuing Financial Independence or Early Retirement (FIRE). There Basic Guide to Budgeting and Personal Financeare plenty of great people talking about those.

 

This is a blog about the  basics of personal finance and my own journey towards financial security. I am a “millennial mom” who is doing her best to give my family financial security all while living on a low income. No high-earner here!

 

How do you start getting your financial life in order?

It's actually very easy. There are no secrets or get-rich tips. It comes down to proper budgeting and saving properly. Click To Tweet

If you read the following posts (I suggest in order but you can do whatever you want!) it will give you the basic foundation to start getting your financial life in order. Its simple and straightforward.

Budgeting with the Modern Envelope System– a basic budget with a modern twist.

Budgeting on an Uneven Paycheck– What if you don’t get a set paycheck every month? This posts helps you set up a budget to fit your uneven paycheck.

Setting up Your Savings Ladder- Where do you put your savings? How do you know what to save for? The Savings Ladder will tell you exactly where and how much to save.

Emergency Fund: A Primer- The emergency fund is part of your savings ladder. Why is it so important? Why do you need it?

Why I put $5 a Month into a Retirement Account- Creating good financial habits is the key to successfully getting your financial life under control.

3 Tips to Boost your Savings-Looking for tips to boost your savings? Here are 3. No shortcuts though! Just good, old-fashioned savings.

 

Happy Reading and Good Luck!