Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Where Did All the Money Go?


An important part of saving is budgeting.  Budgeting means setting savings goals and knowing exactly where and what you spend your money on. There are many ways to budget and track spending including: keeping cash in envelopes and locking up your cards, writing it down on paper, using an Excel spreadsheet, or tracking spending through a computer- based or mobile app. 

I  noticed that Mint always gets lots of attention and recommendations as a personal finance application, but I never wanted to use it because I don't like the idea of one website having access to all of my financial information.

So today I would like to feature a great app that I use called Goodbudget, (formerly known as EEBA Easy Envelope Budget App).

This app uses the idea of putting cash in envelopes without actually going to the ATM and hiding your debit card. What I like about it most is that creating an account and connecting it to your bank account is optional - you do not have to enter any banking information as it is not tied to your accounts in any way. This means that it is up to you to honestly record your transactions, but to me this is preferred over the risk of account information being hacked.

Here are some basic instructions about how it works:

1: Enter your monthly income
2: Select categories
3: Allocate an amount to each category
4: Fill “envelopes”
5: Record Transactions

The app will show you how much is remaining in each category. If you are potentially getting close to overspending, it tells you the number of days you need to stop spending based on an average daily amount.


And of course there’s the cartoon envelope friend who frowns and smiles accordingly.

Have you tried Goodbudget? What did you think? How do you track your spending?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

$1 Cupcakes

   Today after lunch we went to a local bakery for dessert. This week all desserts including classic cupcakes,    gourmet cupcakes, cream horns, and sugar cookies were all  $1. Many of the cupcake flavors are            
   regularly priced $1.75 --> that's a 43% savings : ) 

    The bakery is decorated with beautiful displays in the photos below giving it a "shabby chic" feel.

    And of course the desserts are delicious! 

   Springtime sugar cookie

German Chocolate (left) and Butter Pecan (right)

    What's your favorite unique cupcake flavor?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Getaway


As sad as I was to lose the Style Channel to Esquire Network this past file, one good thing that has come of it is "The Getaway" 

The Getaway is a travel show in which celebrities travel the U.S. and international locales for sight-seeing, experiencing the culture and trying new (and sometimes exotic) foods. While the food part is really not my thing, I am very interested in travel. So far my own travel experience has been a handful of states, Windsor Canada, and a week of Study Abroad in Paris. I hope to see a lot more of the world and in the meantime while I'm saving money, it is fun to experience different places through this show. 

So far the episodes have included:
Hong Kong, China 
Paris, France
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kingston, Jamaica
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
London, England

Where have you traveled? Where would you like to go?