The next time you check into a hotel, look around carefully. It is amazing the number of branded elements that are in guest rooms, public areas and even behind the scenes. But what is truly interesting to understand is the story about how those branding elements arrived there in the first place. When you reserve...
Ramsey Qubein is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article Here’s What It’s Like When a Hotel Switches Brands originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
Downsizing — what exactly does it mean? Smaller house, fewer bills, less stuff? Yes, yes and yes. Many think of downsizing as moving to a more compact house after the kids have grown and gone. And it is. But let’s not stop there. Downsizing makes sense in other ways, too. Following are other areas of life where downsizing can yield serious financial savings, not to mention save you... [...]
There is no need to shell out big bucks for an expensive holiday centerpiece when you can make a DIY version for less than $6 using materials that are easy to find. Start by finding a glass canister as a base. You can probably get one at a retail or craft store for less than $2. Fill it with any number of holiday-oriented goodies. Your options include: Aaron Freeman / Money Talks News Fill the... [...]
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Need a new jacket? This is a great deal on this Columbia Men’s Robinson Mountain Jacket for a GREAT price!
Right now, Columbia has this Men’s Robinson Mountain Jacket for just $39.99 when you use the promo code SAVEONCOL at checkout (regularly $100)! And shipping is FREE if you’re a Columbia Rewards Member (it’s free to sign up)!
Choose from three colors in sizes S through XXL. This is SUCH a great deal for Columbia brand!
Thanks, Hip2Save! [...]
I would love to see a post on adjusting your budget. How do you know when you need to increase your budget or when you need to decrease your spending? I LOVE your posts that give us questions to consider when making decisions. I would love to see questions to help me know if I should increase the budget amount for groceries or auto repairs whatever it is, or when we should cut back our spending. Thank you so much. -Melissa
This is such a great question, Melissa! I don’t think there are any 100% cut and dry answers or one-size-fits-all systems when it comes to when to raise or lower your budget. But I do think there are some general questions to ask before you overhaul your budget.
Here are five questions I recommend asking before you tweak your budget:
Questions to Ask Before You Tweak Your Budget
1) Are we struggling to make ends meet every month?
This is one of the most important questions to ask. If you are barely making ends meet every month (or they are not meeting every month) then it’s time to do a serious look at your budget.
Where is every dollar going every month? (If you don’t know the answer to this question, I highly recommend you check out Total Money Makeover from the library and follow the steps outlined to set up a budget. We’ve found that using software to track all of our expenses and income is so helpful to know exactly where we stand at any given moment of the month.)
If you do know where every dollar is going and you are struggling to make ends meet, it’s time to look carefully at whether there is anything you can cut, cut back on, or shave off. Don’t see anything you can change? What about looking into ways you can increase your income?
If you do know where every dollar is going and you aren’t struggling to make ends meet, then move on to the following questions.
2) Is it a causing stress and contention to stick to our budget in this category?
If you are finding that you are feeling stressed by a budget category every month, it’s time to take a hard look at that category, what you are spending, and why you’re feeling stressed about it.
For those of you who are married or who have other people who are involved in your budgeting, is this contributing to the stress? If so, why? Can you have an honest conversation about it without being frustrated or accusatory?
3) Why did we choose this budget amount in the first place?
Truth be told, I think this is possibly the most important question to ask.
Did you just pick a number out of the sky? Is this number the number you spent 5 years ago when you only had one child and now you have three but you feel like you shouldn’t change your budget because it’s what you’ve always had it set at? Did you choose this number because a friend (or someone online!) spends this on groceries or eating out and you wanted to prove that you could?
Take a hard look at the why behind your budget categories. Is the why in line with your priorities?
4) What does my spouse think?
If you are married, please do not be making budget changes without having a heart-to-heart conversation with your spouse. Budgeting is a team effort! It requires communication and compromise.
The less you can point fingers and instead lock arms and get on the same page, the stronger your budgeting success will be!
5) Could we find an easy way to spend less?
Do you need to be spending as much as you are spending in this category? Is there something simple you could change or tweak that would allow you to spend less? If you are thinking of raising your budget in one area, is there another area where you could lower it? (Check out this post for 30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money.)
As always, I think it’s important to remember that the goal of a budget is to serve you, not the other way around. A budget is a tool to benefit your life, not a slave master to make you miserable! (Psst! For more encouragement, read my post on We Need to Have an Honest Conversation About Budgeting.)
What questions do you ask before you change your budget? I’d love to hear!
photo credit [...]
Koldunov / Shutterstock.com Everyone wants to save a buck. But in our pursuit of savings, there are some areas where we shouldn’t skimp. Following are seven items for which spending more cash can be worth every penny. [...]
A sweet points offer for staying at Courtyard by Marriott properties is bringing a new opportunity for Marriott Bonvoy members to boost their earnings. Members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program can earn 2,000 bonus points per night for stays at Courtyard by Marriott hotels. What’s unique about this promotion is that there’s no limit...
Randy Diamond is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.
The article Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for Courtyard by Marriott Stays Before 2020 originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com Investing can be a great way to build wealth over time. The trick is figuring out where those investment dollars will do the most good. There are no sure things, but it’s possible to add a little growth to your portfolio by looking a sectors that are doing well, have future potential or even just have some good buzz. One way to take advantage of current and... [...]
If you have a little one that loves building, this would be a great gift idea to grab now and use during the holidays. You can get the Scientific Explorer Young Architect Building Set for only $45.00. You will be saving 51% on this purchase because it is usually $91.99. Be sure that you grab ... Read More about Scientific Explorer Young Architect Building Set
The post Scientific Explorer Young Architect Building Set appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
Want to add more movies to your collection? This would be a great trilogy to add and it would also make a great gift idea! You can get The Mummy Trilogy for just $12.99 right now! You will be saving 35% on this purchase because it is normally $19.98! Be sure that you grab this ... Read More about The Mummy Trilogy
The post The Mummy Trilogy appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom. [...]
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Whoa!! Do you have elementary or middle school aged kids who love online gaming? Be sure to check out this great deal on an annual subscription to Adventure Academy!!
You can currently get an annual subscription to Adventure Academy for just $59.99 — which is like paying $4.99 per month!
This is regularly priced at $110, so this is a HUGE savings! It’s like getting 5 months for free at the regular price.
Adventure Academy is a brand new MMO game created specifically for kids in elementary and middle school. It features thousands of enjoyable learning activities that kids can discover on quests through an interactive virtual world.
Developed by the top video gaming designers and crafted by a team of curriculum experts, Adventure Academy is a highly engaging and creative platform that focuses on building critical knowledge and skills in language arts, math, social studies, science, and more!
Adventure Academy features thousands of educational learning activities, such as videos, reading experiences, games, quizzes, and many other interactive elements— all within the frameworks of U.S. (and international) curriculum standards.
I checked it out and it plays a lot like an adventure game (think Zelda!) but within an educational framework. It’s really cool!
Go here to take advantage of this RARE deal on Adventure Academy.
Psst! If you’re not quite ready to take the leap and pay for a subscription, you can instead get a FREE 30-day trial! [...]