Saturday, December 17, 2011

Under 20,000

Today is a great milestone for me. I just made a couple of debt payments, and we've finally got our debt under $20,000. This is a great motivational boost. The 20,000 number has always felt huge, nearly insurmountable. It really makes me feel good to see it shrinking. It's taking a lot of time, but it'll be worth it when it's all done. I'm hoping that my tax return will be the next big boost that we need.

It's hard, especially around this time of year, to put extra money onto debt. We've been traveling, and we have Christmas Gifts to pick up, but a little can go a long way in the end. Even though we're only putting a little extra onto debt at a time, it's going to make a big difference. Right now, we're overpaying on all of our minimum payments. Not, by a lot, sometimes, but it's these little dents that help. When I have a bigger chunk, it goes on our Prosper loan. Thats the big goal right now, getting that one paid off.

But that number having a 19 in front of it instead of a 20 is an awesome sight.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas with the Frugals: Guest Post from Melanie at Think Money

Rather than blowing your bank balance this Christmas, why not have a frugal festive season? Although this doesn't actually sound possible - it is! Christmas can cost you a fraction of the price, and you can do just as much as you normally do - parties, celebrations, etc!

And here's how…
Shopping list
Ever go to the store not knowing what you're going to buy (or just having a rough idea), and end up coming back with loads of things you didn't need?

The chances are, the answer is yes. So to stop this from happening again, and to stop you from wasting your money, you should create a shopping list.

To create a shopping list, you should search through your cupboards and fridge before you go shopping and note down what you really need to buy.

By creating a list of the things you actually need, you can avoid walking out of the store with things you don't need!
Discount vouchers
If you haven't already discovered the pleasures of using discount vouchers, I suggest you start now!

Discount vouchers are readily available online and can often offer you money off at your favourite retailers. New vouchers are constantly being uploaded to voucher websites - you just need to search for 'discount vouchers' on a search engine and take a look at the results.

If you can't find a voucher for the store you are shopping at, don't worry - your local paper may have some in.
Party guests can contribute
If you are holding a Christmas party this year, and are having a few guests over - why not ask them to contribute to the festive celebration?

So, instead of you having to go to the store and buy everything in, you could ask them to bring along some cakes, drinks and other snacks to save you money!

Guest article by Melanie Taylor from financial solutions company Think Money. For guides, help and information on money saving, debt management and financial tools click here now.