Guest Blog: Planning Your Wedding on a Budget

 Wedding - Marriage Day Circled With Heart

 

Wedding season has arrived once again, and the planning has begun for many engaged couples. This awesome guest blog from Nerd Wallet is filled with great tips to keep you from going over budget.

You’ve probably heard the estimate that the “average” wedding costs more than $25,000 — and perhaps cringed. Who wants their Big Day to lead to Big Debt? It’s not the ceremony to blame; usually most of the costs are related to the reception. Let’s consider areas where we save money without losing the magic.

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Guest Blog: The True Cost of Owning an Older High-End Car

 

040714 MAC Guest Blog

This week, we’re excited to share a guest blog from our friends at Members Auto Choice.

Deciding on which vehicle to purchase can be a long, dutiful process. There are countless variables that come into play. Dependability, fuel economy, and easy maintenance are the most common needs for consumers. However, when people do their shopping, time and time again they end up way outside their budget for the sake of extras they want. Suddenly, it becomes more about what they want rather than what they need. Their emotions quickly take over, and they lose sight of what they need, and more importantly, what they can afford.

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Guest Blog: Spring Clean for Extra Green

Courtesy of BALANCE, this week we have an interesting guest blog to share with you:

Spring Clean for Extra Green


Hold a Power Yard Sale 

There’s no shortage of television programs featuring people turning household antiques into piles of money. Even if your basement is not lined with hugely expensive keepsakes, you can still turn your spring cleaning efforts into a few extra dollars in your pocket.

Yard sales can be a great way to turn your clutter into cash. But there’s no reason to limit it to one yard. To attract lots of buyers, team up with other people in your neighborhood to have a multi-family sale. The shoppers who regularly visit garage sales love the idea of having lots of items to peruse in one small area.

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Guest Blog: 6 Tips for an Effective Household Budget

Nerd Wallet Budgeting
 
Courtesy of Nerd Wallet, this week we have a fantastic guest blog to share with you:
 

Halloween and horror movies might not be as scary as you once thought they were—but maybe that’s because something scarier has replaced them: managing household expenses. Whether you’re a twenty-something, a couple living together for the first time, or an experienced homeowner with kids, the lingering concern over your finances might be the ghost that’s haunting you and won’t leave you alone. The way to ward off this ghost, though, is to confront it and create an effective household budget to understand your finances and your limits. Let’s break it down into steps.

1. Shine some light on your spending habits
2. Slash nonessential expenditures
3. Take off the mask
4. Prepare for worst-case scenario—and holidays
5. Review and revise your budgeting strategies
6. Get more help from tools online

1. Shine some light on your spending habits

The best way to start making a budget is to consider what you (and your family) spend your money on, on a daily and monthly basis. Here’s a list of four general categories—the first two consist of inflexible payments and the latter two are variable expenses:

  • Regular Necessities (rent, food, utilities, gas, etc.)
  • Bills and Loans (such as credit card bills, student loans, medical bills, etc.)
  • Long-Term Savings (401k, savings and emergency accounts, etc.)
  • Fun/Recreation (date night, trip with the kids, etc.)

Feel free to do this with others in your household and add on any categories they suggest to help you personalize the budget. Now, take your income and subtract out all those expenses. Include any others’ income and/or expenses in your household. Don’t panic if the result is a negative number – this is why you’re making a budget. Designate a percentage of your income to each of these categories in order to organize your monetary priorities.

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