Free 6″ Sub at Subway

Subway has a great offer going on right now.  Get a free 6″ sub with the purchase of a 30oz drink when you sign up for text offers.  Text OFFERS to 782-929 or sign up online.

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Frugality 101

When you finally make the decision to gain control of your money, knowing where to begin can feel overwhelming.  Depression may set in as you envision a life of extreme frugality, filling your pantry with 100’s of Tic Tacs and Hamburger Helper, reusing floss, and dumpster diving for deals.  While those are all ways in which you can save money, you can also painlessly make simple lifestyle changes resulting in more money in your pocket.  Here are some simple ways to get you in the frugal mindset.

Begin with a budget.  It’s impossible to gain financial freedom when you are living in denial of your current money situation.  Be brutally honest, with yourself and with those who share the financial responsibility in your house.  Lay it all out on the line, baring the secrets you have hidden even from yourself.  That’s the painful part.  Now that it’s all out in the open, the fun can begin.  Make a plan.  Begin simply, writing down all your income and expenses on notebook paper with a freshly sharpened pencil.  Something about that will take you back to grade school and make you feel incredibly responsible.  Or use a premade budget form like the one here available from Dave Ramsey.  Bad news, if your expenses exceed your income, you are going to have to make some changes.  You can either generate more income, or look for ways to lower your expenses.

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Stop Eating Your Money.  The first budget my husband and I actually sat down and wrote out (5 years after we got married….) was shocking.  We live to eat.  And love to eat.  A lot.  We were spending almost a house payment on food.  Let that sink in.  A moment on the lips, a lifetime of living in debt.  Spending $15 at Subway, $30 at Applebee’s doesn’t seem like much at the time, but when you add it up to equal a house payment, the financial impact of those smallish amounts slaps you in the face.  Our problem was a lack of planning, every day 5:00 would sneak up on us and I would have no idea what to have for dinner.  Even when I had just spent $150 at the grocery store, all I saw were ingredients and no actual food because I had not made a plan.  Eating out is okay.  Eating out because you’ve not made a plan is not okay.  Begin by writing down your plan for every meal of the day for two weeks, including when you plan to eat out.  Sticking to this for every two weeks will have a huge impact on your monthly budget.  Even if you don’t shop the grocery sales and never clip a single coupon, planning your meals will make a significant difference in your food budget.

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Track It All.  Every last penny should be accounted for.  Since you made a plan for your money when you did your budget, you know if you have enough money to make a purchase.  Whether it’s a $3 coffee at Starbucks or a new Coach purse, you should be aware of a purchase’s place in your budget.  Writing down all your spending, no matter if you use a fancy app or a small notebook, keeps your honest and accountable.

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Most Basic Expense Tracker

These are just a few painless ways to begin to take control of your financial life.  Frugality is being aware of your money and choosing to use it in the wisest ways.  I hope through this blog that I’m able to help make you aware of deals and ideas to make you penny wise and avoid being pound foolish.