Primerica

Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Dec

09.15

Dinners, parties and gifts … oh my! The holiday season is upon us and that means for most, spending will be at an all-time high. While some may have saved throughout the year for this special season of giving, many will break out their credit cards and dig themselves into debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can still make it a holly, jolly Christmas — without going into debt. Here’s how:

 

Folly: Buying whatever strikes your fancy at the time and not keeping track of what you spend or buy.

Jolly: Making a budget and sticking to it. This way, you don’t end up with too much stuff or a lot of filler that doesn’t have meaning.

 

Folly: Buying random gifts and then figuring out who to give them to.

Jolly: Take note from old Saint Nick. Make a list of recipients, gifts and what you want to spend. Then check them off, one by one!

 

Folly: Waiting until the last minute to do your shopping.

Jolly: The early bird not only gets the worm, but gets the best prices, too! Shop around and do your homework so you can take advantage of sales and get more bang for your buck.

 

Folly: Spending too much on entertainment for you and your family.

Jolly: Some of the best experiences in life can’t be bought. Why not host a Christmas movie marathon, go caroling or drive around your neighborhood to see everyone’s decorations? Sometimes the simple things are the sweetest.

 

Folly: Getting too caught up in the buying season.

Jolly: Giving back to those less fortunate. There are tons of ways to give your time or money to those who need help this season. Forgo a few gifts and reallocate that money to charity. Tis the season for giving … back to your community!

 

Folly: Breaking the bank on decorations.

Jolly: Have any holly bushes outside? Cut off a few branches to use in a display or put in a vase. Have pine trees or evergreens in your backyard? Make your own garland with some twine or ribbon! String together popcorn and cranberries or make a paper chain. Thrifty (but beautiful) decorating ideas are endless!

 

Folly: Buying your kids everything on their wish list.

Jolly: Starting a new tradition like “want, need, wear, read.” Buy four presents, one for each category. Not only will it make the gifts more meaningful, it will save a lot of money, too!

 

Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. There are countless ways to save money this holiday season. Make your holiday a jolly occasion and head into 2016 without a bunch of extra debt weighing you down!

15PFS535


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Nov

19.15

pri-blog_thanksgiving art

Tis the season for parties and giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend too much money along the way. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the occasion without breaking the bank. Here are five:

  1. Decorate with nature. Hosting a get together or simply want to spruce up your home? Look outside. There are plenty of decorative fall finds in your backyard! Gather pinecones and put them in a bowl as a centerpiece. Use the beautifully colored fall leaves as place cards or to spread along your tablescape. Acorns littering your yard? Dip them in gold paint (a couple of dollars at any craft store) and add them to your festive scene.
  1. Make it potluck. Instead of hosting a dinner party and preparing everything yourself, ask guests to bring a dish to contribute. Not only will it make it a more memorable “sharing” event, it will save you time and money!
  1. Go to a farmer’s market. Looking to save money on fall vegetables? Go to your local farmer’s market to stock up. You can’t beat the variety — or the price!
  1. Make a list and check it twice! A great way to save money is to jot down what you need on a piece of paper or your handheld device and stick to it when you’re shopping. Try not to deviate from your plan and get caught up in buying “extras” you really don’t need.
  1. Keep it simple. Thanksgiving is all about spending time with people you care about and showing them how much you appreciate them, not over-doing it. Keep it simple and you’ll be thankful you did!

15PFS536


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Nov

13.15

10-ways-to-save-this-fall

10 Ways to Save This Fall
Holiday events, gifts and grand meals are just around the corner! Unfortunately for most, that means overindulging and overspending become the norm. It’s fun while it lasts, but who wants to live with that kind of regret? Not you!

There are tons of super fun things you can do, make and see that won’t break the bank. So this season, don’t “fall” into bad habits, “fall” into savings, instead. You’ll be glad you did!

10 Fun (and Easy!) Ways to Save

  1. Cook hearty meals. Fall is all about feeling cozy, so break out those comfort food and soup recipes! You can cook in batches and freeze them for convenience. Plus, cooking in a larger quantity (i.e. for 6-8 instead of 3-4 servings) saves you time, too. Want to up the ante? Use your handy crockpot instead of the oven for energy efficiency savings, too!
  2. Enjoy the great outdoors. It’s not too hot and not too cold. That means it’s the perfect time to get out and explore! Most parks are free, so lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and make exploring nature a family affair. Another way to make it special and save? Pack a picnic and eat al fresco!
  3. Take advantage of special sales. Stores and shopping sites are ramping up for the holiday season. Make a list of what you need to buy and keep a lookout for the best price. Sales aren’t just on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Stores will be having sales weekly (if not daily!) for the rest of the year.
  4. Make some gifts. With so many online resources, it’s easy to find simple, affordable and adorable handmade gift ideas for the ones you love. Get a head start on making gifts now so you don’t feel overwhelmed later.
  5. Adjust your thermostat. Fall is a perfect time to turn off the AC and open a few windows. Also, if it gets chilly, simply light a fire in the fireplace or add a sweater to your outfit. These are easy ways to save money on your heating bill.
  6. Light a fire. Fun is about being together, not fancy outings. Have a fire pit and a backyard? It’s a great time of year to roast marshmallows or hot dogs and make s’mores. Kids love simple luxuries like that and it’s relaxing for adults to sit back and gather around the fire. Plus, you can find affordable fire pits at your local hardware store for as little as $30.
  7. Weatherproof your home. Simple things like weather stripping, adding extra caulk and changing the direction of your fans to push warm air down can cut down on expenses in the winter.
  8. Get out of dodge. Airfares and other modes of transportation are cheaper in the fall and winter months. Treat yourself to a getaway and you could save!
  9. Put your gym membership on hold. The weather is nice outside, so why pay to exercise indoors? Ask your gym if you can suspend your membership for a couple of months and save!
  10. Look for free stuff. Tis the season for all kinds of fun outdoor activities and mini celebrations. Check your local paper and local discount websites to see what’s happening in your area for free (hello, lighting of the Christmas tree!) or for a reduced price.

Remember, you can still have fun this fall and save along the way. Just be creative and look around you. Savings are everywhere!

15PFS528


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Oct

23.14

 

fall-into-fun

20 Inexpensive Ways to “Fall” into Fun
The days are getting shorter. The weather is becoming cooler. Leaves are turning and peak holiday season is right around the corner. The fall season is made for family fun—and it can be easy on the wallet, too! Check out these 20 cheap ideas to have fun this fall:

  1.  Visit an apple orchard. It’s apple season and that means it’s a perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and pick some apples! Find an orchard near you, gather a bushel and try out some yummy apple recipes. Caramel apples, anyone?
  2. Frolic in the fall leaves! The leaves are turning (and falling!) so make raking in the leaves a fun event for you and your family by playing in a pile of leaves. Sometimes good old fashioned fun is the best of all!
  3. Have a pumpkin-carving contest. Gather family and friends and get to carving. You can have various categories like spookiest, best design … you name it! Tell your guests to BYOP (bring your own pumpkin!) and all you need are some carving utensils and newspaper.
  4. Get a head start on your Christmas photo. Fall is a perfect backdrop for a cozy Christmas photo opp. Get a friend to take the picture and have fun posing!
  5. Make a Halloween or fall festival costume. Sure, you could pay big bucks at the store, but odds are you have the makings of a costume in your closet already! Check out Pinterest for ideas and stop by the dollar store or Goodwill for the extras.
  6. Go to a pumpkin patch or corn maze. For just a few bucks, you could have a fun family outing. Check your local listings for a pumpkin patch or corn maze near you… and don’t forget about the hayride!
  7. Be thankful. Fall is a time for family and giving thanks. Who do you want to give thanks to? Write a quick letter or make a card to let them know you care.
  8. Play at the park. Whether you’re flying a kite or getting up a game of flag football, fall is the perfect time to have some good — FREE — fun!
  9. Pick pine cones. Create a beautiful and natural display with handpicked pine cones! Spritz some festive essential oils on them or toss in some cinnamon sticks for a wonderful holiday smell.
  10. Show Betty Crocker who’s boss. Tis the season for baked goods! Try out some new recipes and smother your loved ones in home-baked goodness!
  11. Have a cozy movie day. Gather your family, put on your pajamas and make some popcorn! Movie day is a great, inexpensive way to spend quality time together the whole family will enjoy.
  12. Take a hike! It’s the perfect way to get exercise and “ooh and aah” over the changing of the leaves.
  13. Collect or donate food to your local food bank. Part of being grateful for everything you have is giving to those who aren’t as fortunate. Grab a few extra staples at the store or clean out your pantry and offer it to someone in need.
  14. Purge before the holiday surge. The holidays—and gift-giving season—are right around the corner. Now is the optimal time to clean out toy boxes and closets. Take your items to a donation center so that others can use them.
  15. Make a wreath. Add a little something special to your door and adorn it with an inexpensive homemade wreath! Whether you choose fresh foliage from the great outdoors or silk flowers and ribbon from a craft store, there are tons of curated ideas to choose from online!
  16. Get a jump start on homemade holiday gifts. Whether you’re knitting a scarf or decorating ornaments, fall is the best time to get your craft on!
  17. Host a chili cook-off. Nothing says fall like a big bowl of chili! Have your friends over and sample different recipes!
  18. Create a thankful tree. Cut out some tags or pieces of paper. Ask your friends or family to write down what they’re thankful for. Hole-punch one end, tie a loop of ribbon at the end and place it on a tree or plant.
  19. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Fall is a great time to be outdoors. Up the fun factor even more by creating a nature scavenger hunt!
  20. Have a soup swap. Invite friends and family over for a soup swap. Each person brings 4-6 pints of soup, made from their favorite recipe, with a recipe card attached. Everyone swaps soup and takes it home to their freezer. Not only is this a great way to stock up, but you’ll also have new soup recipes for the ones you really like!

It’s easy to have fun without breaking the bank.
Focus on the things that made your childhood special and pass them on. Create new traditions and memories. No matter how you spend the time, you can definitely Fall into fun this season!

14PFS502


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Apr

24.14

primerica-save-money-with-warm-weather-saving-tips

After one of the coldest winters in decades, many people are looking forward to warmer months ahead. Rising temperatures might be a welcome change, but rising energy bill costs aren’t! Many people assume high utility bills are only common during the cold winter months, but spring and summer months can be costly when it comes to your monthly household budget. Weatherproofing your home isn’t just for winter – a few easy fixes and actions on your part could lead to big savings in the summer, too!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these simple tips could lower your home cooling bill and lead to some big savings:

  • Use your windows to gain cool air and keep out heat: open windows at night and then shut them in the morning to close in the cool air. Use window treatments to block out sun and keep your house cool.
  • Operate your thermostat efficiently: get a programmable thermostat and keep it turned up while you’re away.
  • Use fans and ventilation strategies to circulate cool air: Use ceiling fans and other forms of spot ventilation – like in laundry rooms and bathrooms – to push warm air out of the house.
  • Keep your cooling system running efficiently: schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning unit and keep your air registers free of dust and obstructions like furniture.
  • Don’t heat your home with appliances and lighting: keep lights off and cook outside on the grill to avoid turning on the oven or stove on really hot days. Use energy efficient bulbs and only run appliances like dryers and dishwashers with full loads.
  • Keep hot air from leaking into your home: consider more energy efficient windows or use caulk and weather stripping to seal up leaks.
  • Turn down the thermostat on your water heater: turn it to the warm setting – 120 degrees.

14PFS179


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