If you want to win with money, you have to change your actions with money. The way you do that is to make a budget and then stick to it. The way you do that is to track your expenses. Maybe this is new terminology for you—but don’t be intimidated. We can give you the information you need to move forward in your money journey (with confidence!) while moving away from whatever’s been holding you back.
This month, something magical happens. Though summer supporters grieve, fall fanatics rejoice at the fresh splendor of that first crisp breeze and golden leaf. Autumn is arriving!
The days are cooling off, but you shouldn’t give your budget the cold shoulder. Above and beyond your regular monthly expenses, keep these September-specific deals and expenses in mind as you update your budget for the new month ahead.
You’ve stashed $1,000 away. You’ve paid off your debt. (Seriously? Bravo! That’s incredible.) Now what?
You’re ready to start your fully funded emergency fund (aka Baby Step 3). This is the unglamorous, but necessary, super-money-saving stage. Why isn’t it glamorous? There’s no paid in full stamp along the path and no debt-free scream at the end of your goal. But what it lacks in charisma it makes up for in confidence.
Your grandmother taught you to save for a rainy day because guess what? It rains. Once your $1,000 starter emergency fund is in place, you’re in a better situation to handle a financial rainy day, but you aren’t secure against a downpour or, God forbid, a flood.
That’s why Baby Step 3 exists: You’re out of debt now, and you don’t need a downpour to push you back under.
But who, what, when, where, how, and why? Don’t worry—we’ve got those answers!
When you were younger, the only thing that made summer’s end slightly more endurable was the fun of picking out school folders, pencil cases, backpacks, and T-shirts with your favorite characters on them. Armed with these fashionably functional tools, you could boldly go where all students had gone before: back to school.
Today it’s not so simple. There’s a mile-long supply list with brand, color and size specifications on most items. Add to that all the fees for extracurriculars, technology and classroom materials, and you’re beginning to wonder why you didn’t buy stock in hand sanitizer or facial tissue when you had the chance.
It’s stressful. And expensive. But it doesn’t have to be as stressful or expensive—if you’re willing to do some planning before purchasing. Together with your EveryDollar budget and our list of tips, you can take on back-to-school shopping without having a breakdown next to the three-ring binders.
Whether you’re working on a big savings goal or just trying to cut down on your expenses, you’ve probably felt that budgeting belt growing tight. We’re proud of you for getting serious about your finances—but you can stick to your budget and still have fun. After all, fun isn’t a four-letter word. Debt is.
As a starting point, we want to give you a big list of inexpensive adventures to enjoy alone, as a couple, with friends, or as a family. Get ready to stretch your entertainment budget line, because we’re about to have some seriously budget-friendly fun.