Ever year during the holiday season, billions of dollars are spent on gifts to give to loved ones and each person buying gifts knew that they would be buying gifts for others much earlier in the year. At the beginning of the year, set a specific budget for holiday shopping for a total amount or for an amount to be spent on each person. Throughout the year, set some money to the side to cover the cost of your holiday gifts so that you are not scrambling to find the money in your budget at the last minute.
Vehicle Licensing And Registration
Another expense that many people forget to budget for is the cost of vehicle licensing and registration. To drive a car legally, you must have a valid driver’s license and the car must be registered with the state. These costs can be considerable, especially if you are living on a fixed budget that does not allow for a great deal of additional spending. You know that you will need to spend this money shortly before your birthday each year, so budget accordingly.
Medical And Dental Checkups
For most people, it is recommended that you get a medical and dental checkup at least once per year. This allows serious problems to be spotted early and hopefully corrected easily with a minimum amount of discomfort. Some people are lucky enough to have insurance that covers these wellness visits with a small out of pocket co-pay, but others who do not have this luxury can find that their out of pocket costs for these visits can be pretty expensive. Do not sacrifice your health because you were not prepared for the cost of a checkup. Put money aside each month so it will be available when it is time for your annual checkups.
[The following is from Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. That’s where she writes about her bills, saving for the future, and making sure to fit in fun stuff along the way.]
Earlier this week, someone asked what I would do if I had to spend $50. So I wouldn’t be allowed to save it or invest it. I’d just have to spend it within a day or two.
Leftovers from My Christmas List
Our parents and a few friends ask me for a Christmas list each year. So I put together a list of every affordable thing that I would want. This keeps them from spending on something that I rather not have, and it keeps me from filling up my house with stuff that I never intended to own.
This year, my list had a few garden gnomes left on it – specifically “Battle Gnomes”. The one I own looks like he is sneaking up on someone with a battle axe. I positioned him to go after another garden sculpture. The two that I have left to collect have different weapons and are in different poses and would cost just about $50.
I live in Texas, so my gambling options are limited within the state. But if I wanted to take the shot to turn my $50 into something more, I could buy some lotto tickets or play bingo. The Powerball gets up to over $100,000,000 pots pretty often now, but I prefer something that takes me longer to play. So would bingo be the answer? There are several bingo halls in my area, and $50 would cover quite a few cards, maybe even over a few sittings. I’ve even heard of websites like Gala Bingo Online, so I could take a chance in my pajamas from the comfort of my own home computer. Keep an eye on their Twitter account too and you’ll see they regularly post offers and promotions to help the dollars go even further. Maybe giving you chance to try the games you usually wouldn’t bother with.
If I don’t want any more stuff, and I don’t want to gamble, I could look into paid activities that are in my area. A new indoor rock wall was just built 10 minutes away. I think I could afford one go on that and a couple of tickets to the downtown zoo for $50. Or my husband and I could do dinner and a movie. That usually falls into that range. Heck, we could just order pizza for the group and do a movie marathon at our place. That actually sounds like the winner to me.
How would you spend $50?
[The following is a guest post]
Filing bankruptcy may feel like the last resort for many individuals or businesses. To file bankruptcy, the individual, or business, is usually under a large amount of debt that they cannot consolidate. Some types of bankruptcies will clear most of the debt, whereas others will require the individuals to pay back some of the debt that they owe.
There are several types of chapters of bankruptcies that can be filed. In order to know which option is going to work best for individuals or businesses, it is important to know what each chapter is for and the terms.
- Chapter 7– Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is for individuals, partnerships, and corporations. Any debt that cannot be repaid through liquidations will be discharged. The individuals do not have to pay back for any of the debt that was discharged. Liquidations are non-exempt assets that have to be sold in order to help repay back the debt that is owed. Businesses try to avoid Chapter 7 Bankruptcy so that they can still operate their business.
- Chapter 11 – A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is a popular choice that businesses will use. This way the business will still be able to operate their business and will not lose any assets that they have. The business will have to organize a plan in order to pay off all the creditors they owe money to. Chapter 11 helps businesses get on track to stay in business and pay off the money they owe.
- Chapter 12 — Chapter 12 Bankruptcy is for farm owners only. The farm owners will still own all of their assets and are not required to sell them. A repayment plan will need to be organized in order to pay off all the creditors they owe. This will ensure they can still operate their farm and use the assets to help them operate.
- Chapter 13 — Chapter 13 is for individuals and works the same way chapter 11 does. The repayment plan that the individual has to make will need to be organized over a three to five year plan. This will ensure that their creditors will be paid off in the three to five years they set. The individuals will not lose any of their assets and are not required to sell their assets when they file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Now, some of the debt may be able to be discharged. This will be determined on the amount of debt and whom it is owed to. The debt that is involved in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be limited depending on the individuals circumstances. A bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise if this is going to be the best option for the individual that needs to file bankruptcy.
Once an individual or business has looked over their options, they will be able to decide which type of bankruptcy chapter is going to work best for them. The next step is to have a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. This will allow them to know the next steps they will need to take in order to file for bankruptcy, and they will learn the costs that will be associated with it. After bankruptcy, the individuals or businesses will be able to try to rebuild their credit for a fresh start.
Save Energy To Reduce Your Bills
One of the best ways to cut costs and save more money is to reduce your energy usage, which will reduce your utility bills. The utility bills for your home will eat up a significant portion of your income and any reduction in the cost means more money available to save for your future. Simple actions such as turning down the thermostat in your home a few degrees, not allowing water to run unnecessarily and making sure that the things you are not using are turned off can reduce your energy bills by a considerable amount. Running appliances like dishwashers and washing machines during off-peak usage hours will also help you reduce your energy bills.
Preplan Your Meals
While planning your meals ahead of time may not seem like it would save you a considerable amount of money, you would be surprised at how much less you will spend on your food purchases simply by thinking ahead. When you go into your kitchen for a drink or a snack, look over the contents of your refrigerator, freezer, cabinets, and pantry to get a rough idea of what you already have available. Planning your meals around what you already have in your kitchen will prevent you from going to the store unnecessarily, wasting money on things that you already have, and wasting food by not using it before the expiration date.
Buy Items That Last A Long Time In Bulk
It is not a good idea to purchase everything in bulk, especially if you live alone or it is just you and one other person in your home, but there are some things that you should try to buy in bulk whenever you can. Any item that is used frequently that can sit on a shelf for a long period of time should be purchased in bulk because you will pay a lower price per unit and will not have to worry about the item going bad before you have had a chance to use it all. Some of the best items to buy in bulk are paper products, trash bags, laundry detergent, soap, and deodorant.