Sep 12

Babies are expensive. They go through a lot of diapers, baby wipes and clothes. These expenses can be a lot to handle for young parents or those that are already on a tight budget. You can be frugal and still enjoy life. Saving money is important, especially when you have a fast growing newborn that is going to require new clothes and bigger diaper sizes frequently.

Make your Own Baby Wipes

Using items that are already in your home, you can make baby wipes which will save an average of $30 per month. To make your own, simply use a good brand of paper towels and separate them into a stack. Make a mixture of one cup of water, a tablespoon of baby wash and 2 teaspoons of baby oil. Soak the paper towels just one at a time when you need them or have a few that are ready to use in a plastic baggie.

Use Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are reusable and washable. This saves over $100 per month on the cost of diapers. It does take a little practice to get the hang of putting them on but you will find that it is far more cost efficient to buy cloth diapers once and wash them.

Consider Eliminating Cable Television Service

With the availability of streaming services and some major networks offering prime time television on their websites for free, cable television is not necessarily a necessity in this day and age. The expense alone cuts an average of $60 per month from the budget. This frees up money for items that the baby needs such as formula, bottles and specialty products.

Start Couponing

If you don’t use coupons, you are missing out on a lot of savings. There are several ways to obtain coupons including online, manufacturer websites, on products in a store and in the Sunday newspaper. The savings can help make it possible to afford everything that your new baby needs. Many stores double coupons or make their value an even dollar when they are less than one dollar.

Saving money can be done when you have a newborn if you work at it. This may mean missing drinks with friends once in a while or not going to dinner on Friday night, but making sure that your newborn has what he or she needs is far more important. Date nights and entertainment will return once the baby his or her growth plateau, but be forewarned, it won’t last long. 

written by Joe \\ tags: , ,

Nov 03

A guest Post From Crystal –

As we move into winter, many people are concerned about how they will stretch their budget in order to cover the basics. So it pays to look into your options before the dark nights draw in.

Switch to a Fixed-Rate Tariff

News surfaced this week in relation to the large energy companies, such as British Gas and npower hiking up their prices. This breeds fear into families, who are already struggling to pay bills, and pensioners who are resorting to missing meals in order to keep warm. In response David Cameron urged people to move to a fixed-tariff deal.

By switching to fixed-price tariffs you can choose the best deal to suit you. By shopping around you can look for options dependent on your location and usage, with some of the deals available you can have a price freeze until the end of January 2016.

Prepare Substantial, Low-Budget Meals

Food is extortionately priced these days, and it can be hard to think about how you are going to stretch the weekly budget to make ends meet. To start with, allocate yourself a food budget and shop online, so you don’t get tempted by any extras that you don’t need on the way round the supermarket. Contrary to what people believe, traditional butchers and grocers are actually very competitive with their pricing, use much less packaging and have better quality food in many cases. For example: if you are buying a pack of value sausages they can actually serve as a false economy as they do not fill you up and are full of nasty bits and processed reconstituted meat. Buying from butchers will mean that you get decent cuts of meat that are filling and better for you and your family.

Look online at recipe ideas, freeze meals if you make bulk, so there’s no waste and take packed lunches. Check out some of the online recipes that are low budget and good quality, that can help to feed your family healthily.

Be Shrewd with Your Finances

Everyone is familiar with the process of swapping credit cards to ensure 0% interest deals that enable you to pay off your balance quickly. And many people with mortgages are actually missing the opportunity to find the best rates for repayment that will work to their advantage. You could save a large chunk of money every month. It helps to work with a company who have experience in this area, such as Quick Move Conveyancing, who can guide you through the process to make it as swift and simple as possible.

So, there are many ways you can approach this winter, minus the usual dread financial dread. Take some time to look at the opportunities you have available and you could save your family money.

written by Joe \\ tags: ,

Oct 06

Given the recent events in Washington, it’s appropriate to start this week with Roger Wohlner’s Some Stock Market Perspective amid the Government Shutdown. Roger talks about the long term, and how short term bits of news or craziness in Washington get lost in the noise when we look at decades of data. Check out his article for the beautiful charts he’s posted, but stay to read his insightful commentary.

A Thank-You to J Money, my McDonald’s Budget article was featured at Budgets Are Sexy this week in J’s Rockstar Roundup: Billionaires, Weirdos & Drug Dealers. (Disclaimer – I am not, nor likely to ever be, a billionaire, nor am I a drug dealer. At times, I’ve been called weird. I plead, no contest.)

At Get Rich Slowly it was time to Ask the Readers: What’s the best way to prepay your mortgage? The reader asked about making bi-weekly payments on her mortgage. I have no objection to setting money aside to make extra payments if that’s what you’d like, but I advise never to pay extra to service the bi-weekly payment. Just send in the extra funds as they accumulate.


Who Really Needs Your Social Security Number? This was the question that was answered at MoneyNing this week. It’s not a number you should give out to anyone that asks, there are really a few select times it’s actually required. Emily explains when to just say “no.”

Just when I thought I’d never reference Soylent Green again, posted Soylent: The Future Frugal Food Source. It seems a company has appropriated the name Soylent and is manufacturing an inexpensive source of nutritious food under this name. To be fair, the Soylent website offers a discussion of food waste and cost. This product has the potential to reduce the issue of starvation in the world. If you visit the site, you’ll note the founders of the company are young, too young to have seen the movie in the theaters. It’s we who are 50 and over who will be a bit grossed out by the name of this product.

And from Time Management Ninja – Why Being Right Isn’t Always the Most Productive Answer. I offered my own comment, agreeing with Craig that time is important, and sometimes moving on is far more important than being right. The debate can be a productivity killer. I’ve seen it happen time after time.

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Sep 15

Let’s start this week’s roundup at Mighty Bargain Hunter’s blog. He posted Money Smart Guide’s scariest money mistake. It’s great to learn from someone else’s mistakes and avoid making your own.

Next, Kristina at Dink’s Finance just saved me $10. In her Weekly roundup: Sugar Daddys, Apple and Unwinding for Free, she explained that the movie Jobs was just awful, and I’ll take her word for it. Too bad, it had potential. I guess I’ll catch it on DVD.

At Surviving and Thriving, Donna Freedman wrote Termination Dust, a piece on how she lost her writing gig with MSN money. It wasn’t personal, so did all the other finance writers, but I liked Donna and her writing. looking forward to finding her works at other sites.

Money 101: How to Measure and Track Wealth was the subject at Free Money Finance. People tend to focus on income, but as FMF points out, wealth is the key number to determine if one is rich or not.

At My Personal Finance Journal, Travis asked How Much Should Children Know About The Family Finances? A great question, one I often ponder, myself. How much do your kids know about your finances?

And we’ll wrap up the week with How Much to Budget: Do Household Budget Percentages Work, I like Andrea’s line “The only “rule” you should be following is that you do not spend more than you make.  All other budget decisions are up for debate” A budget is a tool to help guide but not so rigid that it can’t be adjusted along the way. A nice article which offered a sample budget that makes a great starting point.

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Aug 31


It seemed interesting timing that I caught this political cartoon soon after my article on the McDonald’s budget was written. For what it’s worth, I was in NY a couple weeks back and those asking for money are still happy to get a dollar bill.

written by Joe \\ tags: , ,