on sale
I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. Even though I’m a self-proclaimed frugal, I think it’s definitely worth the cost to pay a little more sometimes. I use to buy anything and everything that was on sale, but I quickly learned that you get what you pay for.

With that said though, there are certain things I will never buy at full price. Why spend more money when you don’t need to? With online shopping and constant sales in stores, there are some things you can always find a good deal on. Whether it’s buying used or waiting for a promotion, you can save a good chunk of money. Here are 5 things you should never buy at full price:
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YNAB Budget App Review

by Jessica Sommerfield · 4 comments

My husband and I have tried a few different budget apps the last few years, and the latest one we’ve settled on is YNAB: “You Need a Budget.” In light of our recent cross-country move and job changes, we decided to make the switch from free platforms such as Good Budget (which offers a lot for a free app) to a paid service that would allow us more options for fine-tuning our new budget. So far we’re happy with its performance and are learning more about the available features as we go. Here’s the lowdown on YNAB, and why you might want to check it out for your own budget needs.

How it Works

YNAB operates very similar to other budget apps, with a few extra perks. Its Cloud Sync technology connects with your bank accounts to maintain to-the-second accuracy on your balances, and instantly adjusts your budget categories based on the transactions you enter. As with any budget app, entering transactions is still necessary, and the sooner you enter them, the more accurate your categories. Entering transactions immediately is by far the best habit to get in to.
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being broke
I noticed my son’s checking account was hovering dangerously close to zero. He has a teen account which means I have access to his information through our bank’s online portal, so I took a peek at what he had been spending his money on. After having a conversation with him to make sure something fraudulent wasn’t going on, and that he was aware he would be broke for an entire week until he got paid again, I started thinking about what that meant for him.

I had mixed emotions about the situation. On one hand, he wouldn’t be able to do anything socially with his friends like go to the movies, bowling, or to the high school football game. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity for him to learn some valuable lessons.

Appreciate What You Have

Not having any discretionary funds may not be the ideal situation for a social high school student, but it will give him some time to reflect upon his situation. He still has a roof over his head, clothes on his back and a kitchen full of food. Being broke would give him the opportunity to think about how much worse it really could be, and think about how good he has it.
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Do you have your costume and your child’s costume yet? Halloween is only a few weeks away, and things can get expensive if you have to buy everything last minute at the store. After all, dressing up can set you back $50-100 depending on how many children you have and if you are dressing up too. Here are some easy solutions to save money on costumes this year.

Shop from What You Have

I scored two adorable dog Gymboree costumes for my two girls this Halloween on super clearance. The only problem is that I shopped while I was pregnant, and even though I bought a 6-12 month costume for my would be 8-month old, the costume is too small. Buying the same costume on eBay would cost me over $40. It then hit me that I had the perfect alternative already sitting in my children’s closet. I had a Dalmatian print dress, which is a little too big for my baby, and a homemade black tutu from last Halloween. Bam! A free alternative to my costume problem. I bought Dalmatian dog ears and a tail from a seller in China through eBay for $3.

Think about what you already have on hand before you go shopping. An old prom dress can be turned into a great costume, such as zombie prom queen. Last year, I dressed my toddler in a black dance leotard and the homemade tutu and a string of my faux pearls, and she was Audrey Hepburn. It’s Halloween, anything goes.
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It’s been a crazy five months in my life. Since my husband asked for a divorce, I’ve had to re-evaluate my life and my priorities and try to figure out how to rebuild. While I don’t have everything figured out yet, I do feel like I’m on the right track. Here’s how I’m working to rebuild my life:

Move to a New Place

The first thing I decided to do after my now-ex-husband asked for a divorce was move to a new town. I moved across the country. Moving to Idaho from the Philadelphia area wasn’t my first choice, but I thought a clean break would help my son and me make our fresh start. Plus, Idaho has the following benefits:

  • My family nearby for support
  • Lower cost of living
  • Smaller population and land area allowing us to settle in and be more involved to help with the transition

I’m fortunate I have the income to allow me to make a big cross-country move and resettle. My career as a freelancer allows me to work from anywhere, so I’m not constrained by geography. Additionally, I am also fortunate I have good credit, so getting a rental in the neighborhood I had my eye on wasn’t a problem.

It’s not always possible to move to a new place, but if you can manage it, a new location can help you adjust your mindset so you can rebuild your life.
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meal planning
Aside from rent, food is one of the biggest expenses in our budgets. From celebratory dinners to hosting guests, a big part of our lives center around eating. Add it all up and the money you spend on food can easily be 20% of your income. That can be as much as the money you spend on rent. So how exactly do you cut back on food expenses? The obvious answer is cooking more at home. But that’s only half of it. Making homemade meals can still be quite expensive if you’re getting all your groceries at Whole Foods. So what is the one thing you can do that will cut your food budget in half?

Simply, it’s meal planning.

Many people I know laugh at the idea of meal planning. At one point, I did too. I thought it was such a tedious task that would only save me pennies. But let me tell you, I was completely wrong. I decided to give meal planning a try and while it’s taken some time to get use to, it’s cut my food expenses in half. Literally. If you want to save money too, take a look at these tips to help you effectively meal plan:
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