4 Ways To Lower Your Family’s Back To School Budget

  By: Anna Is what to buy for Back To School on your mind? Yes it’s that time again when the beautiful and blissfully relaxing summer comes to an end. The leaves start to change colour and you know it’s time for your children (or you if you’re an adult learner!) to go back to school, but at what cost? For many children, back to school usually means that they get a new outfit, new backpack, new pencil-case, new stationary, or *gasp* even a new electronic gadget!  The back to school budget can easily be busted with the rising cost of goods and inflation, and how these days, high school children want the best of everything. In fact, this year in 2012, 63% of parents plan to spend an average of $500 (Source) for the back to school budget for their children, this number is more inflated than last year likely because of the same parents polled, 40% plan to buy gadgets and electronics for their kids this year. Back to school can be a great opportunity to engage your child and teach your children about money. Here are some ways in which you can lower your family’s back to school budget […]

Newlyweds: How We Avoided Debt on One Income

Although we avoided debt on one income it certainly was not easy as Newlyweds. By no means would I consider my husband and I “rich”, conventionally speaking, but we have been able to stay debt free, from paying for our wedding to buying a new car. With the exception of a mortgage, which we’re paying off at a crazy fast pace, we live debt free, on a single income. We don’t have a wallet-full of credit cards, we avoid financing anything, and we always have an emergency fund. My husband and I are very fortunate, in that we chose to live on one income, instead of being forced into this lifestyle through job loss. My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that I would be a stay-at-home wife, and he would be the traditional bread-winner. It was definitely difficult, a newlywed couple in their early 20’s trying to live on one income. There were times I considered getting a job, thinking how easy things would be with a second income. Eventually, I caved and took a job at a local shopping mall, getting home each night when my husband was just getting ready for bed. We might have […]

Going to Private School Affected My Financial Life

Private School, Yes I attended and it’s a different view from the inside. Money…..It was just something we never talked about. We never had to talk about it but it was everywhere. It was a presence when I went to public school filled with kids from the underprivileged mill community and it was an even bigger monster at the private school I attended later on. I’m not trying to paint with a broad brush and say that all private schools are like mine, but based on the popular novel “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfield and my experience I can tell you that a lot of the time was spent grouping kids into the “Haves” and the “Have- Nots”. My Dad was a successful optometrist and we always had plenty but not the kind of wealth the kids at my school had. I never had the name-brand clothes or the designer purses or the glitzy vacations to ski-resorts and yacht clubs.   I considered myself normal, lucky even to have basic needs met and then some-but at school guess which group I was in? It wasn’t as blatant as I’m making it out to be-but I believe a lot of my insecurity that manifested itself in college […]

Why I’m A Stay At Home Parent And Our Budget Compromises

PARENTING MEANS MAKING DECISIONS THAT ARE FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY FITTING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY   Deciding to be a stay at home parent was very nerve-wracking process for my husband I but happy we took steps to understand it. Don’t for a second think that you are alone when trying to figure out if being a single-income family is right for you. There is no definite right or wrong answer but a couple of things you need to consider.   Lifestyle choice   Having a parent stay home full-time with the new little bundle(s) of joy is a lifestyle choice, some parents are quite happy putting their kids in daycare/in the care of family for work hours as soon as their parental leave is expired and that’s fine. Initially when I found out I was pregnant the first idea that we agreed on was that we wanted me to be a stay at home mom until our little guy was old enough to be in school part-time. And after throwing around various numbers, costs and logistics of getting to and from work/daycare, we discovered that financially it would work for us.   Money, money and more money!   Most of us are really not […]

Money Fights and Money Problems

Money Fights and Money Problems It’s been said that “money fights and money problems” are one of the top causes of divorce. And as someone who went through a divorce myself, I can tell you those things are very stressful — especially if you have problems with debt, overspending, income, or even just very different points of view about how money should be handled in general. Yet I don’t believe that relationships actually fail because of money issues. Instead, I think that money fights and money problems are more often symptoms of something deeper that may be wrong within the relationship — especially when they happen on a regular basis. Some examples Let’s look at budgeting, for example. If one partner is really into creating a detailed budget, and the other nods and smiles and agrees to the budget but then refuses to follow it in reality month after month, you’ve got a problem. And it’s not about the budget. Yet the resulting fights often are. The one who blew the budget justifies their actions (maybe by stating that the budget is too strict, or by accusing the other person of trying to control them) and the one who stuck to […]

How To Help Your Wedding Party Save Money!

WEDDING BELLS COST MONEY   Weddings are expensive events and they are not getting cheaper any time soon for the couple and the wedding party. Some couples want a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles, and some want to wed as frugally as possible. When we got married, we tried to aim for something in between – and yes, we saved for the entire wedding up front. While the bride and groom certainly should consider their own costs ie: the wedding dress, suit, flowers, venue, food, accommodations just to mention a few they should also be mindful of the costs of those very important folks – the wedding party. Accepting the role to take part in a wedding party can really add up these days, but there are ways to keep costs down. Below are some ways that may help the wedding party and which we used when we got married.   Wedding Party Clothes   Don’t ask your wedding party to buy Italian lace dresses that cost $500  or strange coloured suits that happen to match your tablecloths unless you plan to pay for them. I let my bridesmaids select their own dresses (I went with black since […]

Just Married! We’re Newlyweds And Need A Budget

Were you Just Married or planning to tie the knot soon? Get yourselves on the right financial track with a little preparation today. It’s that time of year Wedding Bells are ringing all over the world. Bliss is happiness until all the hoopla fades to the background. I sometimes get panic emails from newlywed couples looking for tips on budgeting or tips to help them out of a financial mess they’ve created. I do however always suggest they seek professional guidance as I am merely a man who understands money and budgets. None the less they want answers or anything to help them see a ray of light. I typically ask them some questions right from the start. 1-Why do you want to budget? 2-How much debt do you have? 3-Are you both committed to budgeting? 4-Have you ever used a budget before? 5- Do you know your credit scores? These questions help me to get a better understanding of their budgeting knowledge and a small picture of their debt and spending habits. It also helps me to understand who is in charge and whether or not they keep any money secrets. I’m a firm believer that couples should understand their finances before […]

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