Financial Organization


Life Insurance is a Necessary Expense in Your Budget

Let’s discuss a topic that most people do not think about often enough.  Life insurance is something you should be thinking about as soon as there is someone else in your life who would be affected financially by your death. It is absolutely a necessary expense in your budget. It is always better to be protected to lessen the financial burden that death may cause for your family. While usually I am advocating for ways you should be saving money, this is an instance where I am recommending that you spend money in order to protect yourself financially in the […]


How to File Your Own Taxes with Ease

This may be your first year filing your own taxes or maybe you have been doing it for awhile now.  Regardless, I hope that tax season does not induce large amounts of stress for you.  It really does not need to be that difficult.  The keys to success when filing your taxes yourself are staying organized, starting early, and using a tax software!  I have been using TurboTax online since the first year I started filing my own taxes and I have always found the process easy and even fun (mostly because I am a numbers nerd). TurboTax walks you […]


$1000 Emergency Fund – Why It Works for Us

Ever since graduating college, I had been obsessed with having at least $10,000 in the bank.  I figured it was a good enough of an emergency fund to cover any “emergencies” that were not long-term job loss.  The problem was that I (and then we, once we were married) would either hesitate to dip into this money for “emergencies” and instead put it on a credit card or we would use the cash for something that we deemed important.  But looking back, none of those items were really that important, let alone emergencies.  Saving money is important, but make sure […]


Three Reasons to Organize Your Finances

The first three months or so, (maybe even the first whole year!) of creating and using a budget are going to be a learning experience.  If you have no idea how much money you spend in any given category when you first start out, it will take time to learn your habits, course correct, and organize your finances.  The process of creating a budget and tracking your expenses each month is going to help you tremendously. Funny how the actual practice of making and using your budget will help you become better at budgeting! How To Organize Your Expenses So […]


How Creating Financial Goals Will Help Your Finances

Last year after spending entirely too much on Christmas and putting the majority of it on a credit card, my husband and I decided that it was really time for us to take a hard look at our finances. I received my last paycheck in August of 2015 following our decision for me to stay home with our daughter.  For the next few months, we just spent time learning how to live on one income.  While we were able to do this fairly successfully, we were not being intentional with where our money was going.  As long as we came […]


Why I Create a Monthly Budget Every Month

Once upon a time I thought I was so smart and efficient for spending hours pouring over a spreadsheet and figuring out the PERFECT numbers that would make our budget work for the new year – usually based on our spending from the previous year (spending that was over budget for that year, mind you).  And thus, a vicious cycle began.  The problem was, I was setting the same numbers for each of my expense categories for each month.  So while we had a budget that we were following, we inevitably would go over budget one month because of an […]


How to Not Spend Your Savings

I have been using the best little trick since I can remember to ensure that I do not spend money allocated for savings before I actually save it. If you do not already have your paycheck direct deposited into a checking account, STOP AND DO THIS NOW.  This may seem like a no-brainer but I just want to be sure you have it done as this is key to getting your money to where it needs to be.  I am not sure that most employers even send out paper checks anymore but having your paycheck directly deposited into your account is […]


How to Track and Manage Your Budget

If you are just getting started and do not have a budget created yet, be sure to check out my first post about creating your budget. Now that you have created your budget and started to get organized in the planning of your budget each month, it is time to learn to track and manage your budget.  Getting in the habit of checking in with your budget and your spending on a weekly, or even daily basis, is going to take some practice.  When I was first getting started in tracking my budget, I used a spreadsheet.  I still use a […]


How to Plan Your Monthly Budget

If you have not created a budget yet, or are interested in how I suggest creating a budget, go ahead and check out my first post in the series to get yourself started! Alright, so you have determined your monthly income, listed out your mandatory and discretionary expenses, and balanced your budget to ZERO for your first month.  But how do you keep yourself organized and accountable to creating a new budget each and every month BEFORE the new month begins?  What you will need to follow along is a calendar (preferably one that you can write on), your piece […]


Using the Cash Envelope System

We are following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps in order pay off debt and become more financially secure.  One of his popular suggestions is his cash envelope system.  While we are not currently using cash for everything, we have been using cash only for eating out/fun and groceries.  These are the two budget categories that we were constantly going over budget – sometimes hundreds of dollars over!  Since we implemented the system three months ago, we have only gone over budget for groceries once and we were UNDER budget for eating out one month!  Using cash has helped us control our […]