How to Rock Your Budget in 2018

The new year is always full of changes. It is a clean slate, full of new beginnings. Make this the year that you are going to rock your budget and keep your finances in line. Your financial situation is always something you can adjust and improve upon. Think about it – no one is perfect with their money, but 2018 can be a fresh clean start. Use these tips below to find out how to rock your budget in 2018.

How to Rock Your Budget in 2018 | Saving Our Money

5 Ways to Rock Your Budget This Year:

1. Adjust accordingly

If you do not already have a budget, you will begin the year by monitoring your purchases and then setting goals for where your money will be going. What may be acceptable for your budget at the beginning of the year, may not necessarily work towards the middle or end of the year. Perhaps you have changed jobs or or maybe you have found yourself needing to make an unexpected vehicle repair. Regardless the situation, always be willing to adjust your budget when situations arise.

2. Weigh wants vs. needs

Do you really need that super cute pair of shoes that are on sale this week? Even though you already have three other pairs in your closet? The answer is most likely, “no.” Use caution when making spur of the moment purchases because that is how people often go over their budget. Identify your shopping weaknesses and resolve to change your ways. If you can live without it, that item is a wanted item, not something that you need.

3. Explore opportunities to increase your income

Whether it be asking for a raise at work, starting a new side hustle or part-time job, or trying new ways to earn money online from home, every extra dollar earned can be put towards helping you reach your financial goals.

4. Log your expenses

It is important to record each and every purchase you make. There may be a month in which you have somehow spent more than you budgeted for. Having records of your purchases, will allow you to look over your spendings carefully, and be able to pinpoint just where you went wrong. The following month you will be able to prevent making the same mistake again.

5. Find other ways to reward yourself

Sometimes after a long and stressful week it is nice to reward yourself. Usually we do so by taking ourselves for a nice night out. You may normally choose to enjoy a night out with dinner, drinks, and maybe even a movie. Or you may even treat yourself to a weekend of shopping. Instead of rewarding yourself with activities that involve spending money, opt to stay in and reward yourself in other ways. Sit down and spend the weekend catching up on your favourite shows, while your housework sits, or invite a friend to go for a nice hike in the forest with you.

Rocking your budget in 2018 really comes down to having some self-discipline. How will you choose to change your finances this year?

8 Ways to Save Money When Buying a New Car

8 ways to save money when buying a new car. Savings strategies to save you money on your next car purchase.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Cars.com. 

When it comes to buying a new car, there are people who love the process, and there are those that dread it. Some people, like my husband, enjoy spending hours upon hours reading car reviews and comparison shopping, while others find the process a bit overwhelming and intimidating. Whichever camp you fall into, it’s best to follow these tips to help you make an informed decision on your next car purchase and get the best deal on the vehicle that’s right for you.

Tips to Save Money Buying a New Car:

Determine your budget and stick to it

Before you go shopping for a new (or used) car, you should always take a good look at your current budget to determine how much you can realistically spend without stretching your finances too far.

Consider how much of a down payment you have available, what monthly payments you can comfortably afford if you’re planning to get a loan or lease, and be sure to leave a buffer for unexpected repairs. Don’t forget to get a quote on car insurance for the vehicle(s) you’re considering as there can be quite a difference between different models and years of cars.

Do your research

With so many new and used vehicles to choose from, it’s important to do your research before you start shopping for a new vehicle. Cars.com is a great resource to check out when you are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle. In addition to featuring a huge variety of vehicles for sale on their website, the expert reviews and videos help you learn more about what vehicles might best suit your needs.

Shop around

Never before has there been so many resources and ways to buy a new car. The internet has made it so much easier to compare new and used cars available from a variety of car dealers and private sellers. Even if you think you have a great contact at a local dealership, it’s always best to comparison shop so you know what comparable vehicles are selling for. This information is invaluable in helping you to negotiate the best deal.

Compare new vs used

While you may have a strong preference for new vs. used, it’s a good idea to keep an open mind when you’re doing your research. Both offer pros and cons which you will want to consider in making your decision. New vehicles are more expensive, but the warranty coverage, lower maintenance costs and cheaper borrowing costs are definite benefits. On the other hand, it’s more likely you’ll be able to get a great deal on a vehicle if you’re willing to look at used vehicles. Even one a year or two old can save you a significant amount of money over a brand new vehicle. Insurance costs are likely to be lower as well.

8 ways to save money when buying a new car.

Take your time

Try not to rush into a purchase decision. Spend lots of time researching your options, test driving vehicles you’re interested in and shopping around for the best features to meet your needs. By taking your time in the car buying process you will know exactly what you are looking for and when you find a great deal on the ideal vehicle you’ll know it. You’ll be less likely to be pressured into making a quick decision that you might later regret.

Be flexible

You may have your heart set on a certain model or colour of vehicle, but if you keep an open mind and are willing to consider other choices you can end up saving yourself a lot of money.

Sell your old car yourself

It’s more convenient to incorporate trading in your existing vehicle into the purchase of a new vehicle, but you could be losing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process. It’s best to keep the two transactions separate. Online listing sites like cars.com make it relatively easy to find an interested buyer for your old car that will be willing to pay more than a dealer will give you for it on a trade-in.

By using these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to find the best vehicle to meet your needs, and negotiate the best deal on it. You can be confident you’ll make a great car buying decision and save money on your new car.

 

Tutorial: Easy Salt Dough Ornaments for Christmas

The holidays can certainly be a drain on your wallet. From Black Friday shopping to expensive entertaining, it can be stressful trying to fully enjoy this season without constantly worrying about your bank account.

One simple way to save money and get in the festive mood is to do a Christmas craft. But if another run to the store isn’t in the cards, don’t worry. You may already have at home all the supplies needed for an easy and inexpensive craft.

Salt dough ornaments are an easy Christmas craft that’s fun for all ages. You only need three ingredients – flour, water and, of course, salt. Decorate the ornaments however you like. You can use them to decorate your Christmas tree, attach them to your gifts or pair them with a beautiful Christmas card as a thoughtful gift for family, friends or neighbours.

See below for a quick tutorial by Shutterfly as well as decorating ideas to spark your inspiration.

Easy Salt Dough Ornaments Tutorial:

Ideas for Personalizing Your Salt Dough Ornaments:

There are so many things you can do with salt dough ornaments, so get creative! Use different shaped cookie cutters, paints, glitter, buttons, ribbons, stones and other materials to make your creations truly a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Get creative with these easy DIY salt dough ornaments. Use them to decorate your Christmas tree, gifts or give them away to family, neighbours and friends.

For step-by-step instructions, visit How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments with Just 3 Ingredients.

Which ornament decorating idea is your favourite?

5 Tips to Save Money on Holiday Entertaining

5 tips to save money on holiday entertaining. | Saving Our Money

It’s that time of year again, full of holiday cocktails, parties and gatherings. For those hosting, there is always the added stress of what to serve and how to impress your guests without going over budget.

Fortunately, there are a few tips that will help you throw the ultimate holiday gathering without breaking the bank.

Here are 5 ways to save money on holiday entertaining:

1. Check weekly flyers.

You should start checking weekly flyers in the weeks leading up to your get-together so you can stock up on a variety of essentials. Grocery stores are in tune with holiday must-haves and will have sales on products throughout the season.

2. Organize your pantry.

This might sound really obvious, but the pantry is one of those places in the home that most of us don’t go through often enough. Many times, you find yourself having to run out at the last minute to pick up a certain spread, only to realize months later, you had stocked up on this item earlier.

3. Pay for what you eat.

Did you know that fancy grocery stores with musical entertainment and extravagant displays are all frills that show up on your bill? Choose a store like No Frills, where you can pick up your turkey, produce and all the great fixings without paying for extras.

4. Do a potluck for appetizers.

No, your guests won’t be disappointed if you ask them to bring a dish, because everyone knows how much work goes into hosting. You can still put together the main course and dessert, but asking for a hand with the appetizers or beverages is no big deal.

5. Use a smart rewards program.

A great example is the PC Plus Program, which creates personalized offers based on what you like to buy.  The more you shop your offers the more points you earn on those items. These points can then be used to save money on your future grocery bill at participating stores.

How to save money on holiday entertaining.

www.newscanada.com

What are your favourite tips to save money on holiday entertaining?

6 Tips to Save Money on Gas

 

6 Tips to Save Money on Gas

Saving money on gas is high on most people’s priority list. Gas prices have been rising for several years and even those people with a short commute to work are noticing a hit to their wallet. Hybrid cars and electric cars have become very popular, but you can still save money on fuel with a standard vehicle. There are driving techniques and shopping techniques that will help you save money on gas for your vehicle.

Plan Your Journey

Plan your daily routine so that you combine errands. Using your car less is the best way to save money on gas. If you can stay home for one day, that’s a little less fuel consumed. Combining errands and planning your route in advance is a simple way to conserve fuel. Carpooling and taking public transit are also very effective in reducing your gas expenses.

Turn off Non-Essentials

The first tip for saving fuel and money is turning off the air conditioning in your car. The compressor that runs your air conditioner causes the car to burn more fuel. Turning off the A/C will cause you to use less gas. In some situations, having no air conditioning is just not practical, but if you are able to drive with your windows closed and the air conditioner off, you will get the most out of your tank of gas.

Eco-Driving Tips

Driving a car with a manual transmission is also a gas-saver. You are your best tool when it comes to driving. You can determine where to change gears without revving the engine up too high. The higher the engine revs, the more fuel your car consumes. Using your cruise control will also save fuel. A car burns less gas when it runs at a steady pace. Cruise control is a perfect way to keep the car moving steadily.

Choosing Your Gas Station

Pick a gas station that has the lowest prices in your area. If you have a discount gas card, use that card. There are many savings programs available to drivers these days. Some grocery stores offer gas cards as a bonus when you purchase a certain amount of food from the store.

Many credit card companies offer gas card bonuses instead of frequent flyer miles. Check with the local area stores and see if you are missing any of the deals that might help you save money on gas. Many gas stations offer discounts to customers who purchase gas regularly. Using their gas card might save you a few cents per gallon on your next fill-up.

Reduce Idling Time

Remember to turn off the car when you are idling for more than a minute. While you idle, fuel is being burned. Turn off the car and you save gas immediately.

Keep up With Vehicle Maintenance

No matter what type of car you drive, keeping it in tip-top shape is also a great way to conserve fuel. Check your tires and change your oil and any problems that might arise will be handled before they cause damage to your engine.

Saving money on gas can be easily done with these small changes in your driving habits.

6 ways to save money on gas for your vehicle.