14 Retro Date Night Ideas That Will Save You Money

I’m a huge proponent of dating your spouse long after the march down the aisle. This is especially relevant when it comes to finances due to the volatile money problems that arise between couples. If you’ve used a lack of resources as an excuse for not going on dates, I’m here to share some retro date night ideas that are designed to get you back out there and save you money.

“Retro” as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “Relating to, reviving and being the styles and especially the fashions of the past.”

So, what is a retro date night? Imagine you’re 16 again and you’re heading out for a date. What kind of budget did you have? Did your dad hand you a $20 before you left? Perhaps you saved up from your minimum wage job of flipping burgers, earning $6.25 per hour (or less – that was minimum wage . . . → Read More: 14 Retro Date Night Ideas That Will Save You Money

How to Save Money on Quality Gifts This Year

save money on quality gifts

Whether you’re preparing for Christmas, a wedding, a baby shower or your spouse’s next birthday, gift-giving happens all year long. I believe the three most practical ways to live a frugal, yet generous life are to budget, save up, and find discounts. We’ve discussed the power of budgeting before. Now let’s talk about real ways to save money on quality gifts.

7 Ways to Save Money on Quality Gifts This Year

At the time of this writing, the pumpkins are on the scene. The air is turning cool. And the infinity scarves have yet to don each and every millennial’s neck. But, if you’re like me, you have that person in your life who always makes sure you’re aware that Christmas is, in fact, still coming. He or she posts memes that say things like “100 Days Til Christmas” or “12 Sundays Left.”

I consider this passive aggressive torture. And . . . → Read More: How to Save Money on Quality Gifts This Year

4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money

4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money

If there is anything that had a powerful effect on how I handled money, it was becoming a parent. When are the stakes ever higher than when your decisions and actions directly influence the most precious people in your life? The irony is, I learn just as much from my kids as they do from me. That is why I’ve put together a list of ways parenthood will teach you about money.

4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money

If you already have kids, then you know the truth: We appear to the world as teachers, but when it comes to life with kids, we’re students.

Parenthood offers free, daily lessons (whether you want them some days or not) in things like:

Patience Problem solving Intentional living The ABC’s according to Dr. Seuss Mending ailments How to communicate feelings How to talk your child out of watching anymore . . . → Read More: 4 Ways Parenthood Will Teach You About Money

Grandma’s Top 10 Frugal Habits That Were Right on the Money

frugal habits

Many of our grandparents were born between 1910 and 1925. This is what Tom Brokaw dubbed “The Greatest Generation” when America was developed and defended on the backbones of its hard-working citizens. Anyone with silver hair, no matter their birth date, has spent an entire lifetime making choices and reaping consequences. It is our choice whether or not we will learn from our grandparents’ experiences and advice. That is why I’ve comprised a list of frugal habits I’ve learned from watching my own grandparents as a child.

It only just dawned on me that I’ve been learning from their example all of my life even though they’ve all passed on.

Even my grandpa “Big John,” who passed away from a heart attack when I was four, left a legacy in his community as a reliable and trustworthy man others looked to for business advice. Things like that, 25 years later, . . . → Read More: Grandma’s Top 10 Frugal Habits That Were Right on the Money

How Low Can You Go?

spend more money

In the heat of this summer, you may expect to hear “How low can you go?” during a heated (yet friendly) cookout limbo game. While that sounds like fun, we’re here to talk about a slightly more serious matter: budgeting.

How Low Can You Go?

True, budgeting is not nearly as fun as a neighborhood cookout or a limbo competition against the guy who always tries to one-up you with outdoor holiday decorations…but I digress. Budgeting is the cornerstone of getting your finances into tip-top shape; without one, it is easy to fail at making your finances work for you (which causes you to incur debt). And even the cavemen knew they had to settle up on their debts in order to survive.

Budgeting truly is a game of, “How low can you go?” While hoping to include categories in your budget that account for everything you’ll need to spend . . . → Read More: How Low Can You Go?

5 Ways To Slice Your Meat Budget In Half

meat budget

Growing up in the Midwest, I was raised in a family who loves meat. We read about Pa Ingalls feeding his family in The Little House on the Prairie. Then, our own father would come home from hunting with fresh venison. Not to mention the summer barbecues…or Thanksgiving…or potlucks. Case in point: We like our meat budget. But it can get costly.

To this day, my most expensive purchases at the grocery store are in the meat department. Since my husband is a huge fan of sandwiches and you already know my family history, becoming vegetarians wasn’t much of an option for us.

5 Ways to Chop Your Meat Budget in Half

Instead, I tried out a myriad of ways to chip away at our costly meat budget, finally landing on a few that work great in our home. The more you alternate these techniques – and the ones you’ll . . . → Read More: 5 Ways To Slice Your Meat Budget In Half

How Becoming Debt-Free at 25 Changed My Life

I first learned about using “debt as a tool” in my job at a bank, but there were some major pot holes in my new “road to success.” I used things like credit cards and car loans to “get ahead” and establish my credit. Sounds pretty normal, right? The problem was, I didn’t do anything else. Using debt trumped the importance of saving for emergencies, budgeting my monthly expenses, investing while I was young, and spending less than I made each month. Becoming debt-free was not on my radar. How did things go for me? Well, I spent the first half of my twenties working hard with very little to show for it. I had no budget, no long-term plan, no debt-free plan, almost no savings, and a glowing credit report. I was missing some MAJOR pieces to a healthy financial foundation (basically all of them) and headed for disaster. . . . → Read More: How Becoming Debt-Free at 25 Changed My Life

How to Survive a Loss of Income

survive a loss of income

In 2012, my husband and I both worked full-time with no children. By 2014, we were a family of four living on a single income of less than $2,000 a month. It wasn’t an easy time for us, but I’m going to share with you the lessons we learned and applied to help us make it on our own two feet. By the end of this article, you will have a clearer understanding of not just how to survive a loss of income, but how to thrive afterward.

7 Ways to Survive a Loss Of Income

In the following steps, I’m going to outline what you can do today to prepare for a future income loss or how to survive a current loss. Many of the techniques my husband and I used were lessons we learned from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Whether or not you follow all of Dave’s . . . → Read More: How to Survive a Loss of Income

How I Lost 35 Pounds of Pregnancy Weight On a Budget

lose the pregnancy weight

Written by our regular writer (and now mom), Kimberly Studdard

I gained 65 pounds during my pregnancy. Sure, eight of those pounds were my daughter, but most of my weight came from Chinese food and hot fudge sundaes.

My wake up call came the day of my company’s 2015 Christmas party. I went to Target hoping to find a last minute party dress, only to find that nothing fit me. I knew I hadn’t lost all of the baby weight. In fact, I knew I had only lost about 15 pounds since giving birth to my daughter. But I wasn’t expecting to feel as sad as I did about not being able to fit in the cute clothes on the rack.

On that day I decided that I was tired of feeling bad about not being able to fit into the cute clothes I used to wear. . . . → Read More: How I Lost 35 Pounds of Pregnancy Weight On a Budget

How to Enjoy the Weekend While Battling Debt

debt can make you sick

This post has been written by our amazing staff writer, Laura Harris!

In 2011, my newly wed husband and I decided to get out of debt. It felt counter-intuitive because it was, after all, our first year of marriage. Weren’t we supposed to be having fun and seeing the world, not battling debt in a tiny apartment and a rice and beans diet?

We didn’t understand it fully at the time, but spending our first year of marriage battling debt as a team was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Not only did it help us learn better financial habits, but it helped us change our behavior about money – and that having lots of it doesn’t directly correlate with “having fun.”

Fast forward to November 2012. At this point, my husband and I were living 100% off of his income and putting each of my paychecks . . . → Read More: How to Enjoy the Weekend While Battling Debt