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Budget

By |November 6th, 2018|

A realistic guide to creating your first budget

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Let’s be honest, creating a budget for anything does not sound like a fun activity. In fact, anything that might impose a limit just makes people steer away from it. But if you look at the bright side, it will actually free you from worries about suddenly finding yourself short on funds, having made lots of unnecessary purchases and ultimately, regretting the fact that you did not plan your finances well – if at all.

Like most things that we’re shying away from, all we have to do is get started and don’t overthink things. Get your journal or any piece of paper that you want to write in – maybe your phone if you want to go paperless, a pencil and a calculator. Write down your monthly income on top, then list your bills below that, utilities, mortgage, your kids’ school tuition, etc. Now that you have the basic stuff, break it down a bit more.

Fixed Expenses

Any expenses that do not vary month over month are your fixed expenses. These would include your mortgage or rent, insurance costs, as well as your internet and phone bills. Enter these into your budget list first.

Calculate Average Bills

Check your utility bills over the last 6 months, or if you can, include the year prior and get its average. Do this with any other fluctuating bills.

Prioritize Debts

Payables like car payment, credit card bills and student loans should be listed under debts. Prioritize which ones should be paid off the soonest.

Grocery Budget

Be realistic about this one. Check your grocery receipts and you’ll see that you always spend more on groceries than you think you do. This is especially true when you don’t make a grocery list and even more if you go grocery shopping while you’re hungry. If you don’t have your grocery receipts anymore, just take whatever you think you are spending and add 20% to it.

Occasions
It’s always someone’s birthday in your circle of friends or in your family – especially if you have a big family! Every year is an anniversary and there’s always Christmas every year. So if you think about it, there might be at least one occasion each month. Some might pass by with you just sending out warm greetings, and some you show up to empty-handed. Check your expenses and set a limit on how much you should spend on birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts.

Self Love

Set aside a few dollars a week or a month if you really need to be on a tight budget for entertainment. Just pick one of the things one might consider a “luxury” spend as your weekly or monthly treat.

Check out our blog (link to the blog about saving money) about some small changes that you can make to help you save money and be surprised at how much faster you can increase your savings!

Need extra cash? Call 1(844)651-5144 and get funded TODAY! Only from the best in car title loan, Sabre Lending, LLC.

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How to go on a no-buy month

By |October 18th, 2018|

How to go on a no-buy month

Going on a no-buy period basically means giving your wallet a rest from all the unnecessary consumer products that you just to be “needs” rather than wants. Some are actually considered a luxury to some people. An easy way to start is by doing this practice for a whole month. Once you’re eased in, you might find yourself wanting to do it for a longer stretch of time. Now how would you begin to go on a no-buy month? Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.


 

Don’t buy anything that is NOT a necessity

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Daily lattes, new shoes, purses, makeup and skincare products that you want to “try out” when you still have stuff that you need to go through, fancy manicures, weekly bar tabs are not a necessity. They’re more of a luxury.

 

Back to basics

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Spend your money on what is necessary to go about your day, like groceries, bills, payment for the babysitter, gas money, business expenses and the like.

 

Getting cash

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Make a budget and figure out how much cash you really need for the week. Go to the ATM only once a week. You’ll also find that you save on fees by doing this, so you’re more likely to retain this habit even after your no-buy month.

 

Spread the word

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You’ll be easily tempted to spend on what you don’t need if you don’t tell people about what you’re trying to do. It won’t be that hard – just tell friends, family, and co-workers that you’re going on a no-buy if they ask you why you didn’t buy anything from the new collection released by Colourpop or why you didn’t join them last week for a night out. They’re more likely to join you in what you’re doing once they learn about how much you’re saving.

 

Go Green!

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Recycle, upcycle, reuse and repurpose. Take one or two reusable shopping bags with you when you go to the grocery store, separate recyclables, repurpose jars as containers so won’t have to buy new ones, and do DIY projects every week. You’ll serve as a great example to your kids, friends and your community.

You’ll be surprised by how your habits are changed for the better. You’ll learn to prioritize your necessities more, curb cravings (probably lose weight), have better self-control, and save money overall.

Need extra cash? Call 1(844)651-5144 and get funded TODAY! Only from the best in car title loan, Sabre Lending, LLC.

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What not to buy at a thrift store

By |October 16th, 2018|

Thrift Store No-Gos: Things you shouldn’t buy at thrift stores

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While thrift stores are great for finding good deals on valuable and useful items, there are just some items that you should stay away from. The reason why could be for your health, safety and overall, to avoid overpaying for used items.

1. Metal Utensils and Bakeware – Let’s keep this one simple, you don’t want rust in your food.

2. Electronics – While there are some electronic items, like small kitchen appliances are considered good finds, others like old DVD players are usually overpriced for what you get and aren’t worth the repairs down the road. Don’t get swayed by the computers or laptops there either – they are there for a reason. It is very likely that there is some issue with it that might not show up right away when you test them before paying for them. Don’t risk it. It will cost more to fix it than what it’s actually worth.
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3. Underwear, swimsuits, socks, and lingerie – No amount of washing could make purchasing these items okay.

4. Used mattresses and bed linens – Buying used mattresses and bed linens are at high risk for bringing home bed bugs, lice or ticks. Plus, used mattresses and beddings are mostly worn-worn down anyway, so why not just spring for a new one? This goes the same for sofas, pillows and couch cushions.

5. Blenders – Their motors tend to die easily and blades get dull over time. It would be way better to buy a new one.

Bonus Tip! If you already frequent a particular thrift store, might as well find out their sale days as well as when they restock. This way, you always get the best deals and the first pick of the stuff that they put out.
Visit The Thrift Shopper to know which ones are the major thrift stores in your area.

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Energy savings

By |October 16th, 2018|

Energy Saving Tips: Save Your Money, Save Our Planet

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Who doesn’t want to hit two birds with one stone? Making simple changes in how you utilize energy in your household will not only help you save money by lowering your bills, you will also get to do your part in helping the environment.

Unplug

Most electronics and appliances continue to draw electricity even when they’re turned off. Yes, what your mom has been saying all these years is right. Make it a habit to unplug electronics and appliances when they are not in use, not just when you’re leaving the house.

Use Power Strips

It’s easy to forget to turn off electronics when leaving the house, never mind unplug them. Plug similar appliances and chargers into a power strip so you can shut off several devices at once.

Use LED Light Bulbs

This is not a drill. Incandescent bulbs really are a thing of the past. And yes LED light bulbs really are energy-efficient. They use about just a quarter of the energy consumed by incandescent ones, plus, they last 25 times longer.

Put Lightweight Clothes in the Dryer First

This tactic helps build up the heat in the dryer for heavier fabrics.

Use the Toaster and Microwave Oven

Cooking or heating up food with a toaster oven or a microwave oven saves more energy than warming them on the stove or in a conventional oven.

Don’t Stock Up the Fridge

Your refrigerator and freezer operate most efficiently when not crammed with food items. Leaving room inside the refrigerator as well as leaving enough clearance behind it allows air to circulate freely.

Air Dry Dishes

Remember that any appliance that emits heat uses up more electricity. Airy dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle. Just open the door after the rinse cycle and let mother nature do the rest. If you run your dishes in the evening, you can wake up to dry dishes without a single kilowatt being used.

Full Loads Only

Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes. Using the washing machine with a few clothes versus a full load uses up the same amount of energy. This goes the same for the dishwasher. Sort your clothes in hampers so they’re ready to be washed when you’ve accumulated enough for a full load. As for the dishes, make it a habit to just wash them in the sink if you’ve only used a few pieces.

Let the Light In
During daylight hours, switch off artificial lights and use windows and skylights to
brighten your home.

Turn Off the Water Heater
Turn off your water heater if you plan on leaving home for a few days. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.

Bite the Bullet – Replace Old Appliances

Older appliances are often less energy efficient. Your best bet is to replace them with Energy Star appliances or inverter-type ones.

If you need fast funding for transitioning into a more energy-efficient home, call 1(844)651-5144 and get a car title loan today!  fast approval, easy payment terms, and you get to keep your car. Only the best at Sabre Lending, LLC.

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Thrift store gems

By |October 10th, 2018|

Thrift Store Gems: What should you keep an eye out for at your local thrift store?

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Thrift stores hold a lot of amazing finds, but the choices can be very overwhelming to some so they tend to either turn their nose up at thrift stores or end up buying things that they don’t necessarily want or need. The key to shopping at thrift stores is knowing what you need to look for. Things that are of value, household staples and those that obviously steals.

Clothing

There are lots of brand name, high-quality clothing items at thrift stores. The trick is knowing which ones are authentic and which ones are fake. So if you know how to spot a real dolce from a fake one, you’re golden! You can also find great deals on winter clothes if you live in a warmer area. People who used to live in colder location mostly donate their winter clothes when they move to warmer places.

Leather Goods

Leather belts, bags, and wallets can surely cost you a pretty penny. Check around for these items at your local thrift shop.

Tech Stuff

You can find USB extender cables, HDMI, charging cables, converters, and adapters of all sorts for less than a couple dollars, which would cost a lot more if you buy them brand new.

Holiday Decor

Holiday decor prices at malls and department stores are pretty steep. Why buy new ones every Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and Thanksgiving when you can find amazing deals at thrift stores? Who knows? You might even find vintage Christmas baubles there!

Books

For avid readers, you can get books for less than $1 at thrift stores. It’s a great place to find nice children’s books and textbooks too! Textbooks would cost higher, but it’s still better than paying $100 for a new one. These places are also where you can find vintage, first edition and signed books, so be on the lookout for those!

Small Kitchen Appliances

Looking for a waffle maker, panini press, toaster or a deep fryer? Thrift stores are a magnet for these types of appliances since most people end up only using them a couple of times and then get bored with them so they will be in great shape and a fraction of the retail cost.

Frames

If you’re tired of the same cookie-cutter frames that you see in malls and department stores, maybe it’s time to check out what your local thrift store has in store for you. You can find a unique and ornate picture and art frames for just a couple of bucks.

Glassware and Cast Iron Cookware

Such good buys! Vintage Pyrex, glass pie and baking dishes are always elegant and timeless. As for cast iron, they’re probably older than you! They last forever and are very easy to clean.

Antique Home Decor

Decorative candle holders, platters, vases and the like are always wonderful thrift store finds. Have them checked for their value or restore them if you want to keep them in your collection.

Lamps

There are some nice lamp bases at thrift stores for less than $10. If you don’t like the shade, you could always replace it fairly cheap. You might find a vintage tiffany lamp at the thrift shop around the corner. Who knows?

Happy shopping!

Need extra cash? Call 1(844)651-5144 and get funded TODAY! Only from the best in car title loans, Sabre Lending, LLC.

Photo Credit: La Tienda Thrift Store

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How to build an emergency fund

By |August 17th, 2018|

How to Build an Emergency Fund: Tips and tricks to get you started!

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What is an emergency fund? It’s money that you have set aside to use for unexpected events and circumstances that life throws at you so you won’t take a big hit for it and you can still maintain your normal lifestyle. Here are some tips on how you can get started on building your emergency fund.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed: Start low on your initial target amount
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Setting too high of a goal can easily make you disheartened to continue saving up. Start on a more reasonable amount of just $500 or $1000.

That’s a goal that you can reach in just a few months (or even less if you’re in a good income situation) and yet it’s an amount that can make a huge difference when you have an emergency. Having you get to that initial goal will make you feel like you can continue saving up and feel even better about the idea of setting money aside.

What you’d want to do next is to break that goal down into smaller pieces. Set aside money on a weekly basis. This is money that you are not likely to miss, or money that you have extra from cutting back on splurges like lattes and other unnecessary purchases. You’ll find yourself with an emergency fund with a bigger amount without you even noticing it. Say you save $25 a week, you will then have a $250 emergency fund in just ten weeks, so you can set that as your overall goal, or increase it to $40 a week, which would bring you to the $500 goal in three months.

Bottomline is, your goal amount should challenge you just a bit, but should not be a number that’s simply unreachable.

Where can you get extra funds?

Request a rate reduction on your credit cards

If you’re carrying a credit card balance, getting your interest rate reduced will directly save you money each month. Call the number on the back of your credit card, ask to speak to a supervisor, and simply request that the rate be reduced. Suggest that you’re considering transferring your balance off of your credit card. You might also want to consider transferring that balance to a card with no interest for transfers, which can help you pay off that debt faster.

Make a Shopping List

Make a list before you shop. This is most commonly applicable when going to the grocery. When you go rogue and shop without a list, that is when you typically end up making impulse buys – stuff that you don’t actually need and will eventually go to waste.

Give Up or Transform one splurge per month

Instead of going out for an expensive dinner once a month, turn that dinner into a meal prepared at home. You’ll save more by preparing your own fancy dinner, you get to control the salt, sugar and fat that goes into your food, plus you learn and master new recipes. More feathers on your hat! Instead of going to an expensive coffee shop, why not brew yourself a cup of coffee in the morning, and take another cup with you when you go to work. You’ll save more money and rid yourself of the temptation of buying something that’s more sugar and whipped cream than real coffee. You could still maybe treat yourself to a cup once a month, if you really miss it.

Cut back on unnecessary monthly bills
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Netflix and magazine subscriptions? Check if you’re really using them. Otherwise, cut them out of your monthly spending budget. Are you paying for premium cable channels that you never watch? Are you subscribed to five monthly subscription boxes but only get good stuff out of two of them? You know what to do.


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Saving for Christmas

By |August 8th, 2018|

Start Saving for Christmas Today!

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You might think that it’s too early to worry about Christmas right now. But if you think about it, Christmas is just around the corner. Most people end up cramming and do their Christmas shopping in December. Are you one of those people? That habit is a recipe for disaster, especially when you’re on a budget. Here are a few tips to help you start saving for Christmas and cut back on holiday expenses altogether.

 

Set a Christmas budget now

Take a look at how much you spent on Christmas gifts last year. Where did you overspend? Where can you cut back this year? Set a budget for this year’s Christmas presents and more importantly, stick to it!  Got the number? Next, divide it by the number of months left until December, or whatever your goal is for the month when you will ideally be done with Christmas shopping. So if your budget is $1,000 and you have four months left until November or December, then save $250 a month for four months. This is way easier than shelling out the whole lot in one go.

Make a list

Make a list for friends and family, officemates, or whoever else you want on your Christmas list. Write down what you’d like to give them for Christmas. This way, it will be easier for you to know how much you will likely spend on presents for the holidays.

Start shopping now

Make it a habit to buy at least one or two presents from your list when you spot a 50% off sale on the department store or an online sale event. Two major perks will come from this technique. One, you’ll avoid overspending on last-minute items that nobody actually wants but that you buy because you feel you can’t show up empty-handed. Two, your gifts will actually be good.

Cut your budget on Christmas decor

Freshen up some of last year’s decor and they will be good as new. If you really need a few additions to this year’s Christmas decor, consider using pre-loved holiday decor. You’ll good ones in garage sales, spring cleaning sales, and moving out sales. It’s too late for scouring post-Christmas decor blowout sales now, but you’ll find great deals there, not to mention, more current decor, so save this tip for next time too.

Give up a little luxury

A make-up item bought every month, those daily lattes, or cigarettes. You’ll have to agree that they are somewhat unnecessary. Cut back on these kinds of luxury for a few months, and you’ll see yourself saving a little easier and reaching your holiday budget a lot faster!

If you didn’t get to read this earlier than you should have and you’re short on time to save, you can always get a car title loan at Sabre Lending, LLC. No credit checks, get fast approval, easy payment terms, and you get to keep your car! Call 1(844)651-5144 now and get funded Today!

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Saving Money

By |July 11th, 2018|

Making these small changes can actually help you save money faster than you think

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It’s always possible to turn your financial life around. All it takes is making small changes to get things moving in your favor financially. Learn self-control, make wise decisions and start saving money today! Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Don’t give in to the power of marketing

One big way to save money is to drastically cut down on the amount of television and YouTube videos that you watch. You’ll notice that when you constantly expose yourself to ads and sponsored content, you’re at high risk of eventually giving in to the temptation of making more unwanted and unnecessary purchases. That’s the power of marketing. Less exposure to these will result in a lower electric bill (and perhaps a lower cable or internet bill if you downgrade your subscription), a huge cut-back on unnecessary purchases and more time to focus on other things in life — such as a side business — and so on.

2. DIY Gifts

If you want to save money while also giving generously, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to accomplish both goals. It’s the thought that counts anyway. Make mason jar sewing kits for your girlfriends, knit or crochet cute hats for their babies, mix up a mean barbecue rub for your guy friends, the list goes on!

3. Wait 30 Days

Avoiding instant gratification is one of the biggest game changers in saving money and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule. You’ll find that after a month or maybe within a month, the urge to buy something has already passed. This is especially true for bigger but still unreasonable purchases. If you’re on the fence about a purchase anyway, waiting a while can give you a better perspective on whether it’s truly worth the money.

4. Make a list and stick to it

Make a list before you shop. This is most commonly applicable when going to the grocery. When you go rogue and shop without a list, that is when you typically end up making impulse buys – stuff that you don’t actually need and will eventually go to waste.

5. Clean out your closets

Go through your closets and weed out stuff that you haven’t used in the past year. You can have a yard sale with the things that you find or sell them on eBay or Facebook buy and sell groups. You can also take them to a consignment shop, or even donate it for the tax deduction. You’ll have instantly decluttered a major portion of your home while turning in some profit.

Save yourself from money problems too! Need extra cash? Call 1(844)651-5144 and get funded TODAY! Only from the best in car title loan, Sabre Lending, LLC.