Another Finance Blog You Should Check Out

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Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a great week.

Today, I wanted to do something different.

I am going to share with you a personal finance blog I adore. I am sharing this blog with you because I think you might be interested in reading it.

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This blog is called Pro Finance Blog (http://profinanceblog.com/).

It covers the following topics:

  • Personal Finance
  • Money Saving Tips
  • Investing

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The author of this blog is Tina Roth.

Here is more information about her:

  • She is in her 30’s.
  • Tina is married with two kids.
  • She lives in Florida.
  • Her expertise on finances comes from being a financial planner and learning from her own mistakes with finances.
  • She wants to help people be successful with managing their finances wisely.

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Below are reasons why I like reading her blog:

  • I like that the information she gives in each article is very clear. When I read her article on car insurance terminology, she broke it down in terms I understand (http://profinanceblog.com/the-beginners-guide-for-buying-car-insurance.html). My insurance companies have not taken the time to explain car insurance like she does. Now I know what to look for when I shop around for car insurance again.
  • I like that there a lot of articles to read on her blog. Because of this, I won’t be bored when I am on her blog. I like always having something to read.
  • She knows what she is talking about. She knows a lot more information about finances than I do. Compared to her, I’m an amateur.
  • I like that she applies what she has learned from her past mistakes to help others. She writes a post where she tells college students how they can control their finances while they are still in school (http://profinanceblog.com/how-to-manage-your-money-while-studying.html). In the post, she advises students not to spend money on items they don’t need because she stated in her About Me page (http://profinanceblog.com/about-me) that she got into a lot of debt because she did some “impulse shopping”.
  • Her experiences are similar to mine. From the example above, I had financial issues in college because I went on shopping sprees at the mall to get items I didn’t need (and it put a dent on my finances). I wish the article she wrote on her advice with that was posted when I was in college. I would have gotten that issue fixed a lot sooner than I did.

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Here are 6 of my favorite articles from her blog (Keep in mind that some of these articles are guest posts):

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Please go check Pro Finance Blog out and let me know what your thoughts on it are.

If you like her blog, please subscribe to it.

If you liked this post, please like, subscribe to my blog, and share this post with your friends.

Thank You and Have A Great Weekend

Millennial Dude

 

5 Ways To Save Money This Halloween

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Hey everyone,

As many of you know, Halloween is only a few days away.

However, Halloween can put a dent in your budget if you are not careful. It might prevent you from putting money towards Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Today, I wanted to share with you 5 ways you can save money on Halloween this year.

Here we go:

  • Pay attention to sale flyers this week for Halloween candy. This week many stores are having their Halloween candy on sale because they know they will have a lot of people buying candy (so they can lower their prices a little bit and still make a profit).  When choosing bags of candy, find the one that has the most pieces of candy for the lowest price (usually lesser known brands). I got a bag of 200 pieces of candy for $2 at my local dollar store. They were selling brand name bags of candy with 30 pieces for around $3 to $5.

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  • Consider taking your kids trick-or-treating at a community event. Going to a community event will usually save you money because you’re not wasting gas money driving from neighborhood to neighborhood to get candy. It’s all in one area. Downtown areas and churches usually offer these types of events. Pay attention to media and social network outlets (e.g. Newspapers, TV and Radio stations, Facebook) for when these events are.

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  • Don’t spend money on an expensive costume. Try making a simple costume yourself (if you have a creative edge). One year, my mom made me a Lego costume out of a sweatsuit set (sweatshirt and sweatpants) and plastic cups. It was a lot cheaper than spending $10 to $20 on a licensed character costume set. For adults, I would recommend re-wearing the same costume you wore the previous year. I ended up wearing the same leprechaun costume set I bought for 2 straight Halloweens.

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  • If you do a Halloween party, keep the food simple. I would recommend doing finger foods and snacks (especially for kids). To me, they are a lot cheaper than having to make a ton of entrees and sides. You could also have other people coming to party bring food and you won’t have to buy as much food (e.g. You make the punch and have someone bring a finger food).

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  • Watch horror movies. You can rent a few classic horror movies for less than you would going to a haunted house (With the price of gas money and admission to get in). You might not have to spend money if you find some streaming on your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime account. Here is a list of websites where you can watch horror movies for free (and are legal to watch): https://www.thebalance.com/where-to-watch-free-horror-movies-online-legally-1357650

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Please let me know if you have any other ways people can save money this Halloween or have any questions.

If you liked this post, please like, share this post with your friends, and subscribe to my blog.

Thank You and Have A Happy Halloween

Mr. Budget

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Organizing My Closet

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend.

I wanted to share with you all what I did this weekend.

I worked on cleaning out and organizing my bedroom closet.

Clothes on the shelves of my closet looked like I just slung them on the shelf. Some clothes were sticking out.

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My sock box looked like a tornado hit through it.

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Shoe boxes and bags were slung around my closet.

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Here’s what I did:

  • I organized all of my socks. I put the long socks in my sock box and put my short socks in the big container (where I put my summer clothes).

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  • I refolded the clothes on the shelves.

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  • My ties and belts were put back in their proper places.

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  • I reorganized the clothes on hangers.

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  • My shoes and shoe boxes were put back where they are supposed to go.

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  • I put my bags in the big container.

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Also, I decided to put away some of my polo shirts in the big container and start taking out my winter clothes.

I am in the process of washing all of my winter clothes. I will hang my sweaters and jackets on hangers once they have been washed.

What did I get out of doing this?

  • I won’t need to buy many clothes for this winter. I will only need to buy long johns (I will order those next month on my online shopping run).
  • I also have enough clothes to wear to church. I won’t need to blow any money on clothes for that.
  • I also found a nice laptop bag I don’t use anymore. I will donate it to my church’s yard sale they are having next month.

Where will I clean out next?

  • My kitchen
  • Garage

I hope you all enjoyed this post.

If you liked this post, please comment, subscribe to my blog and share with your friends.

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to share any Organize October stories.

Thank You

Millennial Dude

My Review of the Thrifty app

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Hey everyone,

I found a way to keep what I’m spending a little bit more organized and efficient (where I don’t have to spend a lot of time digging through receipts, credit card and bank statements). The only thing I don’t like about reconciling my budget is that it can be time consuming and I’m wanting to cut some that time in half.

This app is called Thrifty.

I have tried several other apps and I wasn’t as satisfied so far as I am with this app.

Here’s what this app can do:

  • It will record your income, taxes, and expenses (based off of what you type in).
  • It will add up your total income and expenses for each month.
  • It lets you categorize your income and expenses (so you can have totals for each specific income and expense you have).
  • This app will analyze what money is coming in and out each month. It will give you a savings percentage and charts at the end of each month.

Below are pictures of the app on my account.

What are the benefits to using this app?

  • It helps determine where your money is going each month and gives you totals on each category.
  • Categories created on this app are simple.
  • The app tells you how much you are saving each month.
  • It has a big button with a plus sign on it (that is visible) where you can add income and expenses easily.
  • You can use the totals created at the end of each month to compare to your budget when reconciling your budget.
  • It’s free. You don’t have to pay anything at all to use it.
  • You can use it on your computer, tablet, or phone.

What are the pitfalls to using this app?

  • It won’t link to your bank accounts (like Mint does).
  • You have to remember to record each income and expense as it comes in (especially the expenses that get automatically drafted out of your bank account each month).
  • This app doesn’t add room for specific categories (if you need a specific category). You will have to record the specifics on a memo. For example, I had to record my cell phone bill under utilities and put on memo that it was for a cell phone.
  • This isn’t available to download through an app store. You will have to use your internet browser on your computer, phone, or tablet to access this app.

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What is my overall view on this app?

To me, the pros outweigh the cons.

I like being in control of how my money is recorded. The issue I have with apps such as Mint is that I have no control over where my money is recorded to and it doesn’t consider if some purchases I make are for the long term or not. Let’s say I had to bought a $500 washing machine because the one I have currently is torn up. On Mint, it would automatically record it as an expense (and would show that I am losing a chunk full of money that month if only $300 had come in so far). On Thrifty, I wouldn’t have to put that in that app because it is not something I would be paying for every month. I consider expenses as items I pay for every month (e.g. Car Insurance, Water, Electricity). I don’t consider expenses as items I pay for one time and use for a long period of time. I put whatever I save each month towards those long term purchases (if I need them). For yearly taxes, I create an account I put money into each month to cover those taxes.

I also like that all of the expenses and income are added up and totaled for you. I don’t have to dig through several receipts and bank and credit card statements at the end of the month to find out what I spent on each expense each month. I can just record the total on my budget spreadsheet.

I like the savings percentages they calculate on there because it helps me determine if I am staying on track financially each month or not.

I don’t recommend using this app if you don’t want to record each transaction each month; if you need very specific expense categories; or if you need an app from app store to use this app.

To me, those issues don’t bother me at all. This app has helped me save a lot of time and money.

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What if you are interested in trying this app out?

  • Go to https://www.keepthrifty.com/
  • Click on Tools at the top part of the website. (Click Tour if you are more interested in learning about this app before signing up).
  • Click on Join Thrifty Free
  • Give them your time zone, name, email, and a password (Don’t lose your email and password information. You will need that to login next time).
  • Record your income and expenses.

If you have any questions about this app, please let me or Chris Durheim- creator of this app-(chris@keepthrifty.com) know. He also has a personal finance blog that has interesting posts on it (www.keepthrifty.com).

If you liked this post, please like, subscribe to my blog, and share this post with your friends.

Thank You and Have A Great Weekend

Millennial Dude

 

 

Organization October Update

Hey everyone,

I hope your week is going well.

Today, I wanted to update you all on how Organization October is going.

I started to grind it out with the cleaning out and organizing the rooms in my house that were a disaster.

Yesterday, I worked on tackling my office.

I started with cleaning the closet out.

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I got rid of the big box and put all of the notebooks I haven’t used in 2 piles.

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I found some items I am going to donate to my church for their upcoming yard sale.

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I also found a couple more items I am going to sell for Sell September (I am still working on).

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I also reorganized my desk so I know if I have what I need or not before I reorder those items again (or get them at store without knowing if I had those items or not).

Below are the rooms I plan on cleaning out next:

  • My bedroom closet
  • Kitchen pantry and cabinets
  • My two cars
  • Garage

If you enjoyed this post, please like, subscribe to my blog, and share this post with your friends.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank You and Have A Great Day

Millennial Dude

 

Root Beer Chocolate Cake recipe (Less than $4 to make)

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Hey everyone,

How did your weekend go?

Mine’s was great.

After church on Sunday, my church did a meal to appreciate what our pastor does for our church.

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This meant that I had to make and bring something to this luncheon.

I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on making a meal.

Luckily it was a potluck meal (where I could bring what I was able to bring).

I decided to make a cake. I decided to put a twist on it.

I made a cake where you mix cake mix with soda. It was cheaper than having to buy eggs and oil for the recipe.

I pulled the idea from this website (I saw their post picture from a friend on Facebook): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/easy-cake-recipe-use-soda-be-bubbly_n_5717767.html

This cake is called Root Beer Chocolate cake.

Below are the ingredients needed to make this recipe:

  • Box of chocolate cake mix (not any specific kind)
  • Can of root beer or 1 1/2 cups of root beer
  • Cake pan
  • Container of cake frosting
  • Mixing bowl & spoon or mixer
  • Cooking spray

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Here’s how to make the cake:

  • Preheat your oven to what it says on the directions on the back of the cake mix box.
  • Spray your cake pan with cooking spray
  • Open the bag of cake mix and put it in the mixing bowl.
  • Pour the root beer in the mixing bowl (on top of the cake mix)

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  • Mix the ingredients together until all of the powder is gone

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  • Pour the combined ingredients into the cake pan and spread out until it is even
  • If your oven is preheated, go ahead and put the pan in the oven and cook it for as long as it says on the back of the box of cake mix.

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  • Once the cake has been baked, let it cool for an hour.
  • After it has cooled, open the container of frosting and pour the frosting on top of the cake. Spread it out evenly.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. The people at church that tried it sure did.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

If you liked this post, please like, subscribe to my blog, and share this post with your friends.

Thank You and Have A Great Day

Millennial Dude

How To Create A Schedule for Paying Bills

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Hey everyone,

As many of you all know, paying bills can be chaotic at times.

Different companies send their bills at different times of the month.

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As mentioned in a previous post, if the bills do not get paid on time, you will probably have to fork over extra money to for late fees and to get some of your services turned back on (in some cases).

I am creating a schedule that will keep my bill paying organized (to avoid late fees and not forgetting to pay a bill).

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Here’s how I’m doing that:

  • I have to determine how times a month I get paid and organize it into that many parts. I get paid every week. Thus, I have to organize my monthly bills into 4 week slots.
  • Next, I have to figure out when the bills come in and when they are due. For example, I get my mortgage bill at the beginning of the month but won’t pay it until the last week of the month because it’s not due until the end of the month.
  • I will grab a sheet of paper and write down the 4 week slots in a list format.
  • Then, I will put the bills I have to pay that month in the appropriate week slot. For my mortgage payment, I will go in the fourth weekly slot.
  • Anything that automatically gets deducted out of my bank account, I will put on the first week’s slot. This is done, so it won’t be forgotten.
  • I will place it in the area I pay my bills.

If I was getting paid biweekly or bimonthly, I would be organizing my bills into 2 week slots for the month instead of 4. The first slot would cover the bills due on the first 2 weeks of the month. The last slot would cover the bills due on the last 2 weeks of the month.

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Click the link below to see a list I made for my bill paying:

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If you have any questions, please let me know.

If you liked this post, please like, subscribe to my blog, and share this post with your friends.

Thank You and Have A Great Day

Millennial Dude