Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Beginning Challenge!

So, the first thing I want to challenge everyone to do for 2010 to help get a hold on your finances is to start tracking your money. EVERY PENNY including debit card and cash should be tracked... this way, you can see how much of your money is going where!

There are a couple of ways you can choose to do this, but how far you go with it is up to you. The old fashioned way is to keep a small notebook in your wallet and write down every time you spend money. For example:

1/1/09 $2.97 Starbucks Hot Chocolate
1/1/09 $54.75 Groceries at Smiths
1/1/09 $32.38 Gas at Chevron
1/1/09 $1.29 Icee at Chevron

You get the hint! Tracking your money this way helps you see what you are spending on and at the end of a month you can divide it into categories, add it up and see how much you spent on each thing. You would be really surprised how much money you chose to spend on frivolous things!

Now, the extra mile works even better. Most home computers come with some kind of money tracking software. You may have Quicken or Microsoft Money. Any version will work... and it doesn't matter if it is an old one! What I love about this kind of software is that you can set up categories such as gas, mortgage, groceries, eating out, etc., (the more specific the better), and at the end of the month you can run reports where it shows you how much and what percent of your income you are spending on each category.

An important thing about using this software is to first set up how much you have in each of your bank accounts and then to record every deduction and every expenditure. Just knowing you are going to be accountable will sometimes help you spend less! Anyway, this will be a great start to 2010 because it will help you keep it on your mind and be more responsible for your money.

If you don't have any software on your computer, Quicken offers a free online money management tool. It has been rated a top pick on Money Magazine, received an Editors Choice Award from PC Magazine, and was picked the best budgeting site by Kiplingers Magazine. Just click HERE to get started on Mint.com. They can "download and categorize your balances and transactions automatically every day--making it effortless to see graphs of your spending, income, balances and net worth." Give it a try!

Do you have a favorite way of tracking money? Please comment and share. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Here Comes The New Year!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! How did you do? Did you manage to stay out of debt? Did you resist last minute impulse buys? Did you make little cut backs that saved you here and there? Did you find fun, free things to do with your family? Most of all, did you savor the true meaning of the season? Did you enjoy every minute with your family and friends?

Hopefully the answer to all those questions is a resounding YES! :) Christmas may be over, but your quest to be more frugal should not be. 2010 is almost here and THIS can be the year you can finally take a hold of your finances and work in little ways to put money aside to help you get out of debt or just save.

If you are relatively new to Frugalityville, or even if you have been here for a while, take a few minutes over the next week or so to review the introductory posts listed HERE. They will give you a good general knowledge on frugality. Then come back regularly and participate in setting goals each month and learn some new tricks of the trade. If you haven't said hello, start now by leaving a comment and introducing yourself! I look forward to a year of saving with you here at Frugalityville! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

$10 Coupon For Tinker Bell & The Lost Treasure Blu-ray DVD Combo Pack...

Disney is giving you $10 off the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack of Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure. You must have a Disney Rewards Account to print this coupon, but signing up is free and they will just send you other offers like this occasionally.

Just click HERE to sign up and get instructions on how to print your coupon. Apply the coupon somewhere where it is on sale, and save even more! Coupon expires Dec 24th, 2009. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Danger Week!

So this is it... we are counting down the last days before Christmas. Did you know this can be the most dangerous week as far as your budget is concerned? Lots of things can tempt you in to spending extra money this week. There are super bargains out there that don't take a lot of looking for to be found... it can be tempting to purchase extra gifts for people on your list because they are so cheap. It can also be tempting to purchase more gifts for your kids because you suddenly feel like you don't have enough for them. You also start thinking of other people you could buy for... (no need to spend money more money, just bake them some banana bread or a plate of cookies. They will appreciate the thought.)

These feelings can wreck havoc on your wallet. When you start to feel this way, take a deep breath, and step away from the store! You have had this planned for 5 weeks now. You will not be paying off credit debt in the new year. You will not have a drained bank account because you have been smart. Find some cheap or free activities to do with the family to take your mind off of shopping and get in to the true spirit of the season. Bake, be festive, and have a very Merry Christmas. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Barnes & Noble Coupon... 25% off one item...

Click HERE to get a coupon for 25% of one item at your local Barnes & Noble store. Coupon expires 12/17/09. Read the fine print for any exclusions. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bath & Body Works Coupon... now with a working link :)

Yikes, sorry about the link people! Please click HERE for the coupon for a free item (up to a $13 value) with any $10 purchase at Bath & Body Works. (Excludes 3-wick candles, Scentbug and Gift Sets.) Coupon is good through Dec 24th. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kohls EXTRA 15% or 20% off coupon... 3 days only...

Click HERE to get this weeks 3-day shopping pass for Kohls that gives you an extra 15% off the already low sale prices at Kohl's if you spend under $100 and 20% off if you spend $100 or more! This means it is worth doing one big transaction rather than a few separate transactions to get the extra 5%! The coupon is good for every purchase you make between December 10th and December 12th. Don't forget they have extra sales Friday 3pm to midnight and Saturday 6am-1pm. On top of all that, you will earn $10 KOHLS CASH for every $50 you spend in your transaction. (Kohls Cash is yours to spend at a later date.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Free Wall Calendar... Just pay shipping!

Lisa shared a wonderful link in the comments section. If you didn't see it, you can get a FREE customized photo wall calendar right now, (you just pay shipping), by following this link to Vistaprint. This would make a lovely gift for Grandparents or even for yourself. I would hurry if I were you! This offer probably won't last too long!

Thanks Lisa for sharing, and welcome to Frugalityville! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Close To My Heart Scrapbooking...

Do you have a scrapbooker in the family you need to buy for or do you scrapbook yourself? I wish I was creative like that, but as of yet I haven't taken the leap. :( It's on my list for 2010!

However, if you DO scrapbook, you need to check out the Holiday Heyday Clearance Sale going on at my friend Brandie's site. You can get items for as low as a dollar, but you better not wait, it is while supplies last through Dec 17th. Just click HERE to check it out.

Kohls EXTRA 15% off coupon... 3 days only...

Don't you love Kohls sales over the holidays? I DO! I LOOOOOOOVE the Friday Night Owl and Saturday Early Bird Sales especially. But what makes it EXTRA wonderful is when they send out a 3-day shopping pass that gives you and EXTRA 15% off the already reduced sale prices! Woo Hoo!

So click HERE to get your shopping pass. Just print and use Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week (Dec 3rd-5th) on ALL your purchases. That's right, don't let them take that coupon from ya... you can use it the WHOLE three days. Enjoy! :)

FREE Christmas Music From Amazon...

Who doesn't love Christmas Music? As a special treat for holiday shoppers, Amazon is offering 25 Days of Free... A new free holiday song every day through Christmas. Yesterday I downloaded Joy to the World by Casting Crowns. Today it is Snow Angel by Tori Amos... can't wait to see what song they give tomorrow! Just click HERE to get in on the fun. :)

This Week at Smiths...

Some nicely priced items I will be picking up at Smith's this week:
  • Sara Lee Homestyle Pies & Breyers Ice Cream $2.29/each when you buy a combo of THREE

  • Coca Cola 2 liter Products $0.79/each

  • Bananas $0.39/pound

  • Fresh Selection or Dole Garden Salad $1/each

  • 24 pack Kroger Water (16.9oz bottles) $2.50

  • Hot, Lean or Croissant Pockets $1.89/each

  • Kroger Orange Juice, gallon $1.99/each

  • Ritz Crackers $1.99

  • Kroger 8oz cream cheese or 16 oz cottage cheese, sour cream and dips $0.88/each

  • Cross rib roast $1.89/pound

  • London broil $2.49/pound

  • Boneless pork chops $1.99/pound

  • Pork loin roast $1.79/pound

  • Fresh boneless, skinless chicken breast $1.99/pound

  • Betty Crocker Cake Mix $0.79/each

  • Kroger Flour 5lb bags 4/$5.00

  • Kroger Granulated Sugar 4lb bags $1.99/each

  • Betty Crocker Brownie Mix $0.99/each

  • Hershey's Baking Chips 3/$5.00

SATURDAY DEC 5th ONLY 7am-midnight: 50% off Kellogs, Keebler, Kashi or Sunshine regular retail. Combine this with coupons and you could be taking home some stash!

Choose From... * Keebler Chips Deluxe Cookies, 14.5 - 18 oz. * Keebler Club Crackers, 9 - 16 oz. * Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies, 8.5 - 12 oz. * Keebler Graham Crackers, 14 - 32 oz. * Keebler Multi-Pack Tray Cookies, 11.5 - 16.8 oz. * Keebler Sandies Cookies, 9.5 - 16 oz. * Keebler Vanilla Wafers, 12 oz. * Keebler Zesta Saltine Crackers, 15 - 16 oz., * Keebler Town House Crackers, 9.9 - 16 oz. * Kellogg's Cereals, 20 oz. Raisin Bran, 11.4 - 14 oz. Special K, Select Varieties, 17 oz. Frosted Flakes, 12 - 12.5 oz. Froot Loops, Corn Pops, Apple Jacks, Rice Krispies, Crispix, 16 oz. Frosted Mini Wheats or 24 oz. Bite-Size Mini Wheats * Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal, 12 - 13.4 oz., * Kashi TLC or Heart to Heart Crackers, 8 oz. * Kellogg's Fruit Snacks or Yogos, 4.2 - 9 oz. * Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Bars, 10.4 oz. * Kellogg's Pop Tarts, 22 oz. * Kellogg's Rice Krispie Treats, 5.9 - 12.2 oz. * Kellogg's Special K Bars, 3.8 - 4.7 oz., Select Varieties * Sunshine Cheez-It or Party Mix, 9 - 21 oz., Select Varieties

(*Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any misprints by the grocery store chains OR by me. Check your mailers to confirm prices, or go here to the Smiths website to look at your local AD's for yourself.)