Budgeting Articles List

Best Inexpensive Places to Cash Personal Checks Without A Bank Account

Writing a check with a gold pen.

Have you ever wondered how to cash a personal check when you don’t have a bank account? Or where you can cash a check right now and what the charges would be?

You might need to cash a check from a friend because you’re traveling out of state, or you could have an online bank or you may simply not have a bank account at all.

If someone writes you a check and you don’t have access to your own bank, you may have a problem.

Don’t fret, there are several ways you can cash a check without a bank account.

Here’s how you … Read more »

21 Winning Tips for Job Searching After a Pandemic

How to Find a Job During a Pandemic

Are you trying to find a new job? Does your job search seem different than other times?

Hunting for a job in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and in life after it has changed significantly. In this article, we’ll help you understand what’s changed, what’s new, and what has stayed the same for job seekers.

Job Seeking During the Pandemic and Afterward

No one expected the arrival of this pandemic. For some, it meant the absolute collapse of their start-up or established business. For others, it meant job cuts and reduction in pay as businesses struggled to keep operating.

Due to social distancing … Read more »

22 Best Trusted Survey Apps: Earn Cash from your Phone

A girl holding a cell phone taking a survey.

Would you love to find the best mobile survey apps that could earn you money? We’ve done all the work for you by researching and testing them.

Do you enjoy sharing your opinion about things? Most of us do.

We’ve researched the 22 of the most popular survey apps that pay you for sharing your views.

The promise of making some money for answering questions might sound too good to be true. And there are some instances where it is.

It’s true that some survey companies might be less than ethical. But the list below only includes legitimate survey companies with good reviews.

These survey … Read more »

8 Secrets to Survive an Economic Downturn or Personal Financial Crisis

How to Survive a Financial Crisis and Economic Downturn.

Are you going through a financial crisis or cut in pay? Has the Covid Pandemic created financial hardship for you?

If your income were to dramatically drop tomorrow, would you survive?

Would you spiral into a financial crisis or would you be able to keep your head above water?

Types of Economic Downturns

Over the past 40 years, we’ve seen a huge number of economic downturns. How many of these do you remember?

9 Economic Downturn examples:

Energy Crisis (Gas prices soared 50 percent) July 1981 – November 1982

The Savings and Loan Crisis in the 1980s – … Read more »

5 Required Emergency Fund Examples to Protect Your Future

Emergency fund Examples for building emergency fund savings.

If you’re building an emergency fund, you’ll want to set some savings goals based on the five-category examples in this article. We’ll give you emergency fund examples, amounts and categories.

If you’re managing a budget and have extra money available each month, you’ll want to take note of our emergency fund examples.

We took several years to accumulate our 5 category Emergency Fund Savings account. We’ll tell you what the categories are, how much we saved and where we keep it (it’s in a special high-yield bank account).

We’d love your input on our Medical Coverage Poll below – if you have … Read more »

Plastic Surgery for Paying off Debt: 9 Steps to Being Debt Free!

How to Destroy Debt forever - You can be debt free

Do you want to get out of Debt? Have you been trying to pay off what you owe, but keep getting hit with unexpected emergencies.

Keep reading – we have 9 things you can do to kill your debt. And several things you can start applying today.

How is Debt Like Being in a Car Crash?

Have you ever come across an auto accident where a battered, bloody victim was walking around in a daze? Asked if he’s all right, he stutters, “Y-Yes, I’ll be fine.” Obviously hurt, in shock, and needing immediate attention, he still refuses help. “I’m all right,” he … Read more »

7 Financial Decisions that Your Parents Need to Make

Helping Parents Make Financial Decisions

Your parents cared for you for years, and now it’s your turn. As you parents start to reach an older age, there are several financial decisions that they will need to make. By not making some key choices now they could leave you and your loved ones with some difficult decisions later.

Talking about money and death is never a fun topic, but it’s important that you have those hard talks with your loved ones before it’s too late. It will save a lot of pain and frustration in the future.


1 1. Life Insurance2 2. Will … Read more »

How to Manage a Financial Windfall: What to Do with Sudden Money

Financial Windfalls - How to manage them.

What is a financial windfall?  Is managing a windfall something you are prepared to do?

Winning the lottery, a TV game show, a large inheritance or sweepstakes are all windfalls. What about smaller windfalls – like a tax refund? Have you ever been faced with managing sudden money?

How could this money help you? How would you manage it?

Have you ever thought of creating a plan for a financial windfall?

Will a Windfall be Coming Your Way?

What if you won the lottery? What would you do if you have $50 million dumped in your lap? Many of us would be able to quickly … Read more »

54 Productive Things To Do When You’re Bored

Productive Things to Do When You're Bored

There are LOTS of blogs written about fun things to do when you’re bored.  So, we wanted to put a new twist on that, and offer you a list of productive things to accomplish in this season of staying home more than normal.

We’ve broken this list of productive activities into 9 categories:


1 1) Money Activities (5 ideas)2 2) Outdoor Activities (6 ideas)3 3) Organizing Activities (13 ideas)4 4) Things to do with Your Computer (5 ideas)5 5) Cleaning Activities to do When Bored (7 ideas)6 6) Kitchen Activities (5 ideas)7 … Read more »

How Frugal Living Can Help You Hurdle Toward Early Retirement

Frugal Living Helps You Hurdle Towards Early Retirement!

Can Frugal Living make a difference in how soon you retire or is it just a waste of time? We’re going to give you one example of the power of frugal living as it specifically pertains to how soon you can retire.


1 How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?2 A Retirement Rule of Thumb3 Building Savings is a Huge Hurdle4 How to Clear the Savings Hurdle5 How Fast Can the Savings Add Up?6 Frugal Living Reduces Your Retirement Savings Goal!7 Cut Your Insurance Costs8 Here’s A More Reasonable … Read more »

How to Live On One Income: 5 Tips for Parents Who Want to Stay At Home

Mom with two kids and a dog in the forest. Can we live on one income?

If you’ve ever wondered how to live on one income or whether your family can afford to do it or not, the following 5 email questions should help you get your answer.


1 1. One Income for a SAHM Wannabe2 2. Convincing Your Wife to Live on One Income3 3. Living on One Income When Illness Hits the Family4 4. Living on One Income after Bankruptcy5 5. Living on One Income, Drowning in Debt & No Fun6 One Income Wrap Up

1. One Income for a SAHM Wannabe

First I would like to say … Read more »

4 Places Where You Can File your Taxes for Free

A block wall with a sign that says "Pay Taxes Room 108."

Finding free tax help and filing your taxes doesn’t have to be expensive.

If you’re a lower-income family, just starting out after college, a senior, military or former military family, there are lots of options for getting your taxes filed for free or for almost nothing. We’re hoping that you’ll check out these three options and be able to save a boodle! We’ve personally used two of the three services, and Steve’s dad was a volunteer with the last one.

Filing your income tax return doesn’t have to be a taxing (or expensive) proposition

Filing taxes is an annual ritual that most of … Read more »

Paycheck Mistake? Don’t Wait Get it Fixed Right Now!

Paycheck Problems? A red brick will with large white letters spelling out "Tax."

Did your employer make a mistake on your paycheck? Have you been shorted some money or do you have one of these other problems:

Not enough tax withheld?

Vacation time not correct?

Overtime not correct?

Hours missing?

It’s not fun finding a mistake on your paycheck. But with a little work, most of these types of problems can be overcome quickly.

We received this question from a Free Email Newsletter subscriber and thought you’d find it helpful.

Question about IRS Paycheck Withholding Shortfall

My former employers did not take enough taxes out of my paycheck each time I was paid. Now, I owe the … Read more »

How Does A Budget Work Like a Dam to Protect You Financially?

Hoover Dam provides water to millions of people. We explain how our dam budget helps us survive dry times.

Did you ever ask yourself, “How does a budget work?” Do you like the word “Budget?”

We often hear people refer to budgets in negative terms. Words that imply pain or restriction or deprivation. 

We have a different view of the way budgets work.

We look at a household budget as a positive thing.

It’s a tool that preserves our money and lets us enjoy life and the things we have.  We think a budget is very similar to a dam on a lake. Keep reading and find out why.


1 A BUDGET Like a Dam?2 A Dam Controls Water … Read more »

A Written Budget: The Best Way to Build Financial Confidence

Budget with Confidence. Green countryside with a bright rainbow reaching to the sky.

If you’re looking for the best way to build financial confidence, try setting up a written budget.

We’ve spent the last few weeks describing different spending plans or budget systems.

We’ve described several options for budgeting success and the amazing key to our budgeting success.

Today we’re sharing five benefits to having a written budget like we use. And yes, we do understand that a written budget may sound less tech-savvy than using phone apps or online budget systems.

But honestly, most budgeting apps aren’t as usable as our system and the online (web-based) systems are very difficult to set up.

Our written … Read more »

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early – Mortgage Free in 9 years Calculator

Small brown ranch house with green grass and a maroon car parked out front. Paid off mortgage in 9 years

One of the pinnacles of financial stability and security is to Pay off your mortgage early. Owning your home free and clear may seem like a fantasy. But if you follow the 5 steps we took, it can be your reality too.

Some people pay their home off in 30 years, others 15. But there are a group of people who simply hate having a mortgage pay it off quicker.

We paid our home off in 9 years.

Our efforts to pay down our mortgage debt started with just one dollar extra each month . . . but quickly grew to much more. … Read more »

3 Types of Family Budgets—Which Budget is Best for You

Best Budgets for Families - a man jumping for joy in falling money.

Are you looking for the best type of budget for your family? With so many different types of budgets available, which one will work for you?

We’ve discovered that there are almost as many types of budget systems as there are people talking about it.

Family Budgets can be done with expensive software systems, free systems, apps, websites and grandma’s cookie jar system for budgeting.

With so many choices, it’s hard to know which type of budget will be best for you!

What Type of Budget System Will Work Best for Your Family?

Lots of people talk about having a budget for their money.

Lots of … Read more »

Best Budget Tracking: The Key to the Most Effective Household Budget Ever!

The Amazing Key to Powerful Budget Tracking

Are you ready to learn about an amazingly easy budget-tracking tool? It’s the most unexpected, simple, and amazing key to an effective household budget ever!

We’ve got Budget Tracking secrets to help you become successful financially. 

Lots of people talk about household budgets at the beginning of the year. With the holidays quickly fading in the rearview mirror, we’re motoring at full speed into a new year, full of optimism and powered by new resolutions. While some cruise down that road with apparent effortlessness, others will hit speed bumps or have collisions with unseen obstacles. The road to resolution … Read more »

Why Budget – Overcoming Budgeting Problems Now!

How to overcome budget obstacles. A house made from $50 bills in front of a brick wall indicating obstacles to budgeting success.

Why Budget? We’ve got six reasons why you should overcome your budgeting problems! One of the top two New Year’s Resolutions is to get personal finances in order. Many folks want to get out of debt or set up a budget.

But too often this resolution is made, and then quickly abandoned.

We’ve heard it, we’ve seen it, and we’ve helped many families to overcome it.

Any effort you make to manage your money will immediately start producing positive dividends.

We’ve created a four-part series that covers the benefits and “How To’s” of setting up a realistic, workable and maintainable household budget.

The Four … Read more »

Want to Know What to do with Inherited Money? 6 Smart & 6 Dumb Things

Want to know what to do with an inheritance?

Are you coming into an inheritance in the near future? Or have you already inherited some money? Are you wondering what to do with inherited money?

We’ve been going through the process for the past few years and have learned a lot. We’ve also met with some incredibly wise and experienced estate and investment experts in the process. In this article, we’ve reached out to Attorney Lyle Soloman, the principal from Oak View Law Group in Rocklin, California.


1 How Inheritances Can Be Received2 Reactions to Inheriting Money3 6 Smart Things to do with Inherited … Read more »

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter – Free Winterizing Checklist

Prepare Your Car for Winter

Do you want to prepare your car for winter so you can get where you want to go safely? Do you live in a part of the country with the potential for severe winter weather?

We’ll share some of the best and least expensive ideas for what to keep in your car and how to get your car ready for winter. That way you can go over the hills and through the woods, to whomever’s house you go.

If you winterize your car, despite harsh weather conditions, you’ll still keep yourself safe and you’ll be less likely to be stranded.

Winterizing Your … Read more »

Frugal Pro Athletes? Could You Live Below Your Means Like These Athletes

What does living below your means do for your life?

What does living below your means . . . mean? Does it mean a life of deprivation? Does it mean a life of constant coupon clipping, or a life of regularly saying, “We can’t afford it?”


1 Living below your means – something different.2 Frugal Pro Athlete #1 – NFL Player Ryan Broyles3 Frugal Pro Athlete #2 – MLB player Daniel Norris4 What does living below your means . . . mean?5 How to Set up a Budget to Help you Live Frugally6 Living Below Your Means: Questions to Ponder:7 Living … Read more »

Bills Keep Piling Up: How Can We Earn More & Cut Expenses?

Several envelopes piled up with past due stamped on them.

Are you struggling with your bills piling up?

What can a family do if they’re struggling to make ends meet each month? School, tuition, uniforms, back taxes, rent – the bills just keep piling up?

We’ve got 18 things you can do starting today to get caught up with your bills.

Our Bills are Past Due!

We received this email from a website visitor.

With grocery, utilities and public transportation prices climbing, our family is struggling to survive. We have a large family and do grow a small garden, but the bills keep piling up.

We’re behind on our rent and income taxes.
Our kids attend a … Read more »

7 Ways to Destroy Debt Even If You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck

7 Ways to Destroy Debt - Even when Living Paycheck to Paycheck!

Accumulating debt has become a common occurrence in most families – but paying off debts, even on a low income has become an achievable goal for visitors to our website. If you are looking for ways to destroy debt forever, then this article will encourage, equip and empower you!

Debt Free on a Small Income. On an average household income of less than $45,000, we’ve avoided debt and been able to pay off our home mortgages in record time. To do it, we’ve used many of the methods described in this blog. Follow these 7 Steps and you could be debt-free too!

Accumulating Debt is … Read more »