How To Pay Yourself First This Christmas + Why You Should

pay yourself first this Christmas

Christmas is around the corner, which means many Americans are buying gifts, putting items on layaway, and even getting into debt to afford items for their loved ones. However, in a time where instant gratitude and lots of presents under the Christmas tree is a big deal, you don’t have to fall for the hype. Instead, here’s how to pay yourself first this Christmas, and why you should.

How to Pay Yourself First This Christmas…and Why You Should

This post has been written by our talented staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.

What does pay yourself first mean?

First things first, what does pay yourself first even mean? Basically, paying yourself first means that before you take out money for living expenses, whether fixed or variable, you instead give yourself a portion of the money to save or invest.

This could mean taking out money and putting it in a savings account. . . . → Read More: How To Pay Yourself First This Christmas + Why You Should

8 Reasons Your Credit Score Matters…and How to Improve It Quickly

credit score matters

You’ve heard me say it many times here at LifeAndMyFinances.com – having zero debt is the absolute best way to live! Buuuut, having no credit score certainly isn’t. Believe it or not, your credit score matters – for many reasons actually. No matter how many times Dave Ramsey tells me otherwise, I doubt I’ll ever believe him…

8 Reasons Your Credit Score Matters…and How to Improve It Quickly

Liz and I live a no-debt lifestyle. We have no credit card debt, car debt, or even house debt (we paid off our home in 2014). After living a no-debt lifestyle for almost four years now, we certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. However, even though we don’t plan to dive into debt again any time soon (or ever!), we’re still careful to build and maintain our credit scores.

“Why?” you might ask…

Well….for at least eight reasons!! …as if one . . . → Read More: 8 Reasons Your Credit Score Matters…and How to Improve It Quickly

The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Save Up for a House

save up for a house

Are you getting ready to purchase your very first home? Congratulations! Just be prepared to put in quite a bit of work. Not only to find your perfect abode, but also to save up for a house. Thankfully, there are a few ways to increase your savings rather quickly so that you can get closer to fulfilling your dream of being a homeowner.

The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Save Up for a House

It doesn’t have to take years and years to save up for a house. Follow these four steps and you’ll be socking more money away each month than you even thought possible!

1) Choose the Right Savings Account with an Online Bank

There are a lot of savings accounts that you can choose from. If you want your money to grow so that you can save up for a house more quickly, you should stick with . . . → Read More: The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Save Up for a House

Should You Sell Your Car? 8 Reasons You Absolutely Should…

should you sell your car - mercedes

Have you ever, at some point in your life, thought that you should probably sell your car?? Maybe you just hate it because it’s breaking down all the time, or maybe the payments are just too astronomical for you to afford each month. Whatever the case may be, the question of “Should you sell your car?” has been on your mind. It’s time to figure it out once and for all.

Should You Sell Your Car? 8 Reasons You Absolutely Should

There are seven reasons you should sell your car. If, when you read any one of these reasons and you start nodding your head in agreement, then you should absolutely sell your car. No cold feet, no second guessing, just sell your car.

1) Your car is worth more than 25% of your annual salary

If you earn $50,000 a year and your car is worth $30,000, that . . . → Read More: Should You Sell Your Car? 8 Reasons You Absolutely Should…

10 Ways to Save Money on Sporting Equipment for Your Kids

save money on sporting equipment

A budget-conscious mom of two children, Jessica Samuels, encourages her kids to engage and compete in youth sports. However, that participation comes with a hefty price tag. She needs to look at ways to save money on sporting equipment.

Samuels’ children are on the swim, bowling, golf, softball and baseball teams. Between uniforms, shoes and other equipment, Samuels has to spend a small fortune on gear. One sport alone can cost hundreds. “When they signed up for baseball, they had to get a new uniform,” Samuels said. “That’s easily $100 to $150, and they outgrow them within a year.” But Samuels thinks the sacrifice is worth it. “It’s all about building an active lifestyle, developing a love of sports, being active and being a part of the community,” she said.

According to TD Ameritrade’s survey on parents and sports, 37 percent of survey respondents said they spend $500 . . . → Read More: 10 Ways to Save Money on Sporting Equipment for Your Kids

Cheap vs. Frugal and How Not To Be A Cheapskate

how not to be a cheapskate - money

Sometimes, people consider themselves frugal, when in reality they’re just cheap. If you’ve watched shows like Extreme Cheapskates or Extreme Couponers, you know the ones I’m talking about — they’ll go on and on about how they like to save money. They’ll do almost anything just to save a dollar or two. There is a huge difference in the terms cheap and frugal, but how can you tell which one you are? Here’s the difference, and how not to be a cheapskate if you find out you are one.

Cheap vs. Frugal & How Not To Be A Cheapskate

This post has been written by our talented staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.

What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between being cheap and being frugal is that:

a frugal person likes to get the most value for their dollar, and a cheap person doesn’t see the value, just the dollar sign.

For . . . → Read More: Cheap vs. Frugal and How Not To Be A Cheapskate

10 Year-Round Ways to Reduce Your Utility Bill

reduce your energy bill

No matter if you live in a house or you’re renting an apartment, it’s still in your best interest to reduce your utility bill each month. In this article, we’ll certainly teach you how to save money on your home utilities, but many of these suggestions can be used in your apartment too! Then, your savings can be used to pay off debts, save for a vacation or maybe even increase the savings for your emergency fund.

Related: The Absolute Simplest Way to Become Wealthy

10 Year-Round Ways to Reduce Your Utility Bill

Study these strategies, implement them, and start saving some serious moolah!!

1. Paint Roof and Home Exterior White

If you have a home in a sunny climate, you can reduce the amount of energy needed for cooling the house by painting the house white. Make use of an elastomeric coating that is readily available in a hardware . . . → Read More: 10 Year-Round Ways to Reduce Your Utility Bill

3 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Finances After a Traffic Accident

right time for car loan refinancing

Protect yourself and your finances in the case of an accident. Accidents happen all the time. It’s life’s way of telling us that sometimes, we can’t always expect the best from everything it throws at us. An accident can deal a serious blow, not only to our bodies, but our finances. This is not to say we shouldn’t do anything about it because there are ways to protect yourself. Coming out on the other side just takes determination and planning.

3 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Finances After a Traffic Accident

In the US, traffic collisions have cost around $6.3 million from recorded fatalities, injuries, and property damages in 2015 alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using its own estimates, found that road accidents have cost almost $1 trillion in losses productivity in 2010. As the US is a country with a high person-to-vehicle ratio, it’s no wonder . . . → Read More: 3 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Finances After a Traffic Accident

Why (and How) Every Family Should Learn to Live on One Income

live on one income

Money is an important part of our lives because of the opportunities and possibilities that it presents. Learning to live on one income can have a huge impact on you and your family – more so than many will ever realize.

Reduced stress, more flexibility, better use of your money, and possibly even early retirement!

…These are all potential benefits when you learn to live on one income.

In today’s society most families live on two incomes. However, there are significant benefits to reducing your dependency to just one of those incomes. This article isn’t about why your family should give up one income, instead, this article is about living expenses and flexibility. Regardless of whether your family is a one-income or two-income family, using only one of the incomes to cover living expenses can be a great move.

Why (and How) Every Family Should Learn to Live on . . . → Read More: Why (and How) Every Family Should Learn to Live on One Income

The Cost of Owning Cats Versus Dogs

cost of owning cats versus dogs

Getting a pet can be a life-changing and exciting decision. The cost of owning cats versus dogs can be an expensive one. In addition to love and affection, your pet will need food, supplies and regular healthcare. All of these costs can stack up, making pet ownership a financial decision with lasting impacts.

The Cost of Owning Cats Versus Dogs

In most cases, the joy of owning a pet can be worth it in the long run. However, it’s still important to understand how much pet ownership costs. This can help you be sure you can give your animals the care that they need. If you don’t already have your heart set on a particular furry friend, start comparing costs. Consider the costs of owning cats versus dogs before welcoming one or more of them into your home.

Cats vs. Dogs

The cost of pet ownership varies according to many . . . → Read More: The Cost of Owning Cats Versus Dogs