Archive for the ‘Money/Budget/Saving’ Category

With Christmas just around the corner and like most couples we are all trying to figure out where we are going to get the money to pay for all the gifts you need to purchase for family and friends. Well before you go out and start to use your credit cards watch the Today Show Video below.

Author, Mary Hunt, who wrote “Debt-Proof Your Christmas” and the Today Show Financial Editor, Jean Chalzky discuss how to avoid holiday debt.

Debt Proof Your Holidays:

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Good sound advice by two very wise women.

Debt is the number one reason for divorces today. So let’s not become a marriage debt statistic! Sit down with your sweetheart and write a list of people you need to get gifts for and how much money you can afford to spend for each person.

Look over your list and decide who you can cut out. I am sure if you call that individual and ask them not to give you a gift and that all you want from them is a card. They will be relieved also.

My girlfriends and I stop giving gifts to each other years ago. We usually will go out to dinner together sometime during the holidays and give each other a Christmas card. The best gift of all for us is our special girl time.

Make a plan that in January you will open a savings account for Christmas gifts only and every payday put aside some money so that at the end of the year you won’t be tempted to use your credit card. Your marriage will be less stressful and happier if you spend less and stay debt free.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Last week I told you how I am able to always pay my bills on time and still have some money left over to have a little fun with my husband.

Today we are going to talk about our credit cards. What do you do with your credit cards? Should you close them out or keep them open when you are trying to pay them off?

The Today Show had financial expert, Sharon Epperson, talk about what to do with those credit cards and how it affects your credit.

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Sharon gives you great advice on what to do with your credit cards but not how to stop spending. Decide which ones you want to stop using and put them away where you can’t easily get to them. That way they aren’t in your wallet and even when you are tempted to use it you won’t have it with you.

So grab those credit cards out of your wallet and stash them in a place you can’t easily get to. Before you know it you will be on the road to paying your bills down and being debt free.

No money hassles and no money fights with your sweetheart.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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In my last blog I ask you if you and your sweetheart are in control of your money or is your money in control of you.  How did you answer my question? Did you say what money? There is never any funds leftover and we are struggling every month to pay the bills. We don’t understand where it all goes!

One way I try to stay within my budget and still find money to have a little fun is to separate out my monies. I have 2 banking accounts at the bank I do business with.

• One bank account is for our monthly bills, i.e., house payment, gas, electric, water, trash, gas card, credit cards, car payment, doctor bills, savings, etc.  I call this one our Household Account.

• The other bank account is for the things we can control in how we spend our money each month. This is used for groceries, clothing, gifts, going out to dinner, etc. I consider these expenses things we can control and change as needed. If we run out of money before the next payday then we make due with what we have on hand. This one is called Personal Account.

• Most importantly, the last thing I do and this is something I realize most couples don’t do is balance both bank accounts every week. If you are depending on the bank to do it for you then you are letting your money control you. You will never have a complete overview of your budget and you will never be able to figure out how to live within your means.

I know you are asking “Which account do I pull my $5 a week from for our romantic weekend away”.  Well it is taken from your personal account.

What Larry and I do is to have one paycheck deposited into the Household Account and the other paycheck is deposited into our Personal Account for the things we can control and change as needed every week.
 
Something as simple as getting 2 bank accounts at your bank/credit union can get you on the road to being in control of your money and your life.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Over the weekend I was at a specialty store buying something I needed when a couple with 3 small kids walked in and you could tell the husband was not happy about being there.  The wife went down the aisles and quickly grabbed the items she needed and then stood in line to pay for everything.

I was in front of her and her husband grumbled something to her and she told him “It is only money, don’t worry the money always comes.”  It wasn’t that I was trying to listen to them she was just close enough and said it loud enough for me to hear.

For some reason it didn’t settle well with me. I began to think “Is it only money and does it always come?” Money doesn’t grow on trees and it doesn’t miraculously appear.

As we know money is and will always be an issue with most couples. We all have different spending habits and values on how we should spend and save. How do you and your husband handle your money?

Are you always running out of money before your next pay check comes in or do you budget and keep track of your spending so you don’t run out of those hard earn dollars. Is money controlling you or are you controlling your money. I got the sense the wife was letting the money control her.

Then there are the couples who save and budget to the point of ridiculous. Their budget doesn’t allow for a little fun and frivolous spending. You could say they are also letting money control them.

Larry and I do a little of both. We save but we also enjoy life and spend a little too. We enjoy going out to dinner once a week and most of the time it is at a nice restaurant not a fast food or coffee shop, someplace where we feel like we are going out on a date. We get dressed up in a nice pair of jeans and fancy top; enjoy a drink or two during our leisurely dinner while enjoying the atmosphere of our surroundings.

I have taught you how to save for a romantic weekend away with just $5 a week. My next blog will be about how we budget and manage our money. It will help you to get on track in living a life where you are in control of your money not your money in control of you.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Are you finding you and your sweetheart arguing about money more than you used to? With the sagging economy couples are finding it is adding to the stress in their marriage.

Sound familiar? Then listen to the short video from the Today Show with Financial Editor, Jean Chalzky and Psychologist, Betsy Schur. They have good suggestions on how to bring your money woes into perspective.

 

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The only thing I didn’t agree with in the video was to go out on a money date to discuss your financial situation. As we all know couples don’t always agree on how to save and spend money. It is so easy to point a finger at the other person and blame them. Now that doesn’t even sound like a relaxing night out!

My recommendation is to get together at least once a month to talk about your financial goals but do it at home when the kids aren’t running under foot trying to get your attention. Wait until they are at friend’s house or they are asleep. Then sit down and go over the bills and determine where you can cut back and how you can pay off your bills even faster.

What do you think about the video?

Have you and your sweetheart figured out a way to live within your means?

What are you doing to pay off all those bills?

Your recommendations could help other couples.

Don’t let this be the number one problem with your marriage. Sit down and decide together how you are going to handle the bills and then stick to the plan.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Now that tax time is over it is time to get back on track by putting your $5 a week away for your romantic weekend. Are you getting any money back from the state or federal income tax? What are you planning on doing with the money? Hopefully, it will be put to good use.

Here are some suggestions on what to do to help improve your relationship:

• Deposit the money in your savings account for emergencies. (Helps to keep a stress free marriage for those unexpected emergencies we all have in life)

• Pay off an outstanding bill (Have a plan this year to live debt free)

 Put it toward designing a romantic bedroom for you and your sweetheart

• Plan a romantic getaway

Whatever you decide to do be wise with the money you do get. Try to put some money away for a rainy day and put some towards romance with your sweetheart.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Did you know Friday, January 13th is “Make Your Dream Come True Day”? What a great day to think of something special you and your sweetheart would like to do together.

Is there something you would like to do with your sweetheart but it is too expensive? Is it a special trip? Whatever your dreams are, make plans, pick up flyers, research the internet and then on Friday night order pizza, have your favorite drink, grab a calculator and your computer and start to make plans. Calculate how much it will cost to make your dreams come true and start to put money aside to make it happen.

Another thing you could do is if you know there is something really special your sweetheart would like to do and it is within your budget then surprise them on “Make Your Dreams Come True Day”. What a special way to say I love you.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Do you want some good advice for 2012 on your money, health and relationship? Then you will need to watch the video below and hear what financial expert – Jean Chalzky, nutritionist – Joy Bauer and psychiatrist – Dr. Gail Schultz has to say.

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If you have been saving your $5 a week you have learned how easy it is to save $260 a year. I really liked how Jean Chalzky said if you got paid every two weeks and you put away $100 every payday your will have saved $2500 by the end of the year. Don’t think it is possible to do? If you are both working and agree to have $50 taken out of each of your paychecks every payday then you will have saved $100 per pay period.

Joy Bauer has some good, easy advice on how to stay healthy. Sit down with your sweetheart and decide together what you both are willing to incorporate to have a healthier lifestyle for 2012.

The one thing I would take away from listening to Dr. Schultz is to take 15 minutes every day to connect with each other. You will feel more like a couple not like roommates.

Good simple advice we already know about but need to be reminded of from time to time.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Did you survive Black Friday? Hopefully you didn’t run into some of the incidents we heard about in the news.  I hope you and your sweetheart found a way to enjoy the Black Friday shopping craze by following the suggestion I made last Thursday.  See Black Friday Date.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday over with there are still ways you can save and you don’t need to keep an eye on all those ads. There is a free mobile shopping app and website that lets you know if there is a price reduction on an item you recently purchased. It makes it simple for you to get some money back after you have paid full price.

Check out:             Savvy.com 

As you know if you purchase something and it goes on sale shortly after you bought it most stores will refund you the difference.  At Savvy.com you take a picture of your receipts with your smartphone or you can email them the electronic receipt and they will let you know if the item(s) price has been lowered. Currently they have 40 stores listed on their site and more are being added.

With times being tight these days for most couples, sites like Savvy.com can help to ease the burden of spending too much money on Christmas gifts. Just one more way to stretch those hard earned dollars.

If your budget allows and you are getting money back for an item you recently purchased because it went on sale put the extra money away for your anniversary weekend to do something special together. Remember it is money already spent.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2011, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Are you looking for some extra money you can add to your romantic weekend away besides the $5 a week you are already putting aside? Well today I am including 2 websites you may not be aware of that can help you find some extra cash.

1. Learn Vest – This website helps find ways to cut cost and living expenses so you have more money to pay off bills.

2. Bill Shrink – This website helps you to compare the companies you currently are using to money-saving alternatives.

Taking the time to use these websites can help you find the extra money to pay off your bills and put aside for an extra special romantic weekend away with your sweetheart.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2011, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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