If you missed the first installment on this series, you may want to read it first. You can find it here.
The most important step in learning to live on a single income is finding out what you are currently spending and set up a budget. If you keep good financial records, you should be able to look back and see what your basic bills are and how much they cost each month. Start a list of your expenses. Be sure to figure in the occasional things as well, such as hair cuts, oil changes, etc. We personally use a program called Money Map for our finances, but there are probably quite a few good ones available online as well. But, a simple spreadsheet can do the job easily as well.
While you are looking at your past expenses, note the due dates on them so you can balance which bills you pay from each paycheck. Sometimes it is necessary to set money aside from the first paycheck of the month, in order to have enough to pay the bills that are due from the next paycheck.
Once your budget is set up, you need to start tracking all expenses. When you stop and get a coffee, write it down. Every purchase should be tracked for at least a couple of weeks in order to give you a reasonable idea of where your money is being spent. Once that is done, you can start looking at where you can cut back. Are you going out to eat often? Do you really need that new shirt? It will be much easier to determine necessity over a “want” once you really see where your money is going.
To help you get started, you might want to check out Easy Envelope Budget Aid, or I’m sure you can find many others available online. I have not used this, as I’m very happy with the Money Map software we currently use, but it looks like a very helpful program, and it is free!
Good luck on your budgeting journey! You can do it!
Now for some other goodies:
All You Magazine February 2012 Coupon List – Fabulous Deals and Steals has been kind enough to provide a list of coupons that are in Walmart’s All You Magazine for February. You can check it out here to see if you want to stop by and pick up a copy. I believe it retails for $2.49 per issue if you buy it at Walmart, but you can get a subscription for $1.66 per issue here. However, I will tell you that sometimes the subscription version has fewer coupons than the newsstand version.
Walmart Deals – If you’re a Walmart shopper, I highly recommend checking out Iheartthemart.com for the best deals.
For local calendar events:
For Delray Beach, click here.
For Boynton Beach, click here.
For Boca Raton, click here.
Now, on to the deals this week!
Know the Lingo
BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription
Whole Foods: Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.
Publix Greenwise: Click here for their weekly ads.
Many thanks to IHeartPublix for their great tips on shopping at Publix!
For Publix “super deals” for 2/9-2/15/2012, please click here.
For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups 2/9-2/15/2012, please click here.
For Publix Advantage Buy Flyer sales, please click here.
Renita's Favorite Money-Saving Sites
E-Book now available!
I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book! For more information, please click here.
Kindle book now available!
My book is now available for the Kindle! Please click here!
Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com.
"Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration (excluding the weekly deals) if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place."http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com