Amanda Stanhaus

Tag: budget

Groceries are a must

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Food, a true necessity.

But, Brie with truffles is not the same as Kraft singles.  So, how much do I budget for groceries?

Wasting food makes me feel like a waste of space.

Pre- grocery list creation I try to think about the upcoming week.

How many lunch meetings? Potlucks? Will I be brunching? Cupcakes for a birthday party?

I used to have to make a budget according to food group. Fruits/Veggies and I were not besties. But we’ve reconciled our differences.

Now I budget according to meal time.

Breakfast=

Lunch =

Dinner=

Dessert=

I sometimes have to cheat and make some foods count for two meal times to stay within my budget.

I make it up to myself by filling my lunch box with my eggplant parmesan leftovers. Yum! I approve of only this kind of cheating.

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(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Mint

Mint. Approximately the best thing since bread was sliced…for personal finance.

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy vocab blog: XO, Bettie Vocab.)

Buckets

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Mint created a budget for my bestie, Babe. But, it became a “it’s not you, it’s me…” situation. Babe likes her money where she can see it!

(click on the bold-faced vocab words:))

She’s now into JARS. She used the mint budget and literally put the $ budgeted into a mason jar labeled with the corresponding category.

JARS only lasted a week, till she found an even better catch.

Her niece wanted a piggy bank for her birthday.Babe proceeded to buy out the store.

Yep, now Babe has a herd holding her $$.

This little piggy for groceries, this little piggy for hair, this little piggy for drinks (out & about), this little piggy for drinks (at home), this little piggy for babette (her cat)  etc.. Once a piggy is empty, she is out of luck until paycheck time.

Meow :(

Always wanted a herd of piggies (sans manure)? Visual like Babe? Want a hard core budgeting system?

Try it! Keep me posted on your piggies’ progress!

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(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Modern Money Management

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Meet the frugal and fabulous Bettie – just another quarterlette out there enjoying her life and trying to make responsible financial choices in the process.  Her mission is to help other women wise up when it comes to their finances, and we’re thrilled to have her guest posting here. Join Bettie’s frugal and fabulous journey at her blog, XOBettie.

I like my hair beehived (à la Jackie) and my musicians long gone (j’adore Buddy Holly).  But, my fabulous & frugal journey has taught me that new is not necessarily a negative. Time is money. And with my go-go-go life, only up-to-the-minute budgets and automatic biweekly investments will do.  Below are my top tools and resources.

Mint is my constant companion. It fills my every financial-tracking need. Mint reminds me when bills are due. Mint discretely messages me when my account balances are low. And Mint keeps my spending in check with a beautiful budgeting feature. I’ll spare you our sappy story, but see Mint’s magical website for yourself here!

Automatic investing. Automatic–I like! Investing–only intimidating at first, I promise!

The magical math of compound interest motivated me to invest. Just like how a snowball rolling down a hill gathers snow, my money can grow exponentially when earning interest.  Shopping is my cardio (à la Carrie Bradshaw), so I wanted my money to be invested even before it had a chance to be spent on shoes.

Now, a portion of my paycheck is automatically invested in a mutual fund. Honestly, it was a bit of work to set up. I had a few hermit weekends spent researching which mutual fund was best for me, my timeline and my objectives. My friends laughed at me for staying in Saturday night, but now I’m the one laughing…to the bank!

Bonne chance with your fabulous & frugal journey to become financially literate! I know, it’s a semi-ginormous project. That, on top of navigating my quarter life, is not easy! But, I realized I could not afford to be a dumb money bunny any longer.

To get you started, you’re invited to join me for Sunday Brunch with Bettie (a.k.a. my weekly newsletter). Every Sunday morning I’ll recap the latest and greatest moments of my fabulous & frugal journey and answer my brunch buddies’ questions.

Hope you join me on my journey!

XO, Bettie Signet

(Originally published on one of Forbes’s Top Ten websites for Millennial Women, Quarterlette.

Creating a Budget

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How much $$ to budget for music per month?

(click on the bold-faced vocab words:))

Of course, there is no right answer to this question.

But actually, I need to know. Because I am painfully talented at justifying musical purchases.

Last night’s train of thought…I must support the hot, bearded guitarist, who has been playing just for me all night, by buying his cassette tape. Fun fact: I don’t have a tape player…

Mint has cleared up my confusion! It created a budget FOR me, based on my previous months of spending.

PLUS, I could compare myself to the average american’s spending habits.

Dream=Reality.

I was able to create an actually realistic budget with the help of my fellow citizen without awkwardly asking anyone. Rock on, Mint! See for yourself here.

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(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Mint

When I need to make a change to my diet, I write down my meals every day for a week. Maple cream cookies… they are so tiny, yet add up so quickly!

Same now goes for my spending habits. It’s shocking how little things like magazines, gum and espresso add up. Now I know where my loose change goes because I track my spending on Mint.

(click on the bold-faced vocab words:))

Once you create an account (do it now), Mint does the dirty work for you. Whenever you use your debit or credit card, it automatically records the $$ in your own confidential cloud based notebook.

Cash lovers can manually add expenses through the Mint App!

Mint presents your expenses in automatic categories. Problem areas will be crystal clear.  Great?!

For me, it was my work week lunches. I have since invested in a lunchbox adorned with my initials. Currently, one of many trends in my office—attributed to me!    

See Mint’s magic for yourself in their 90-second overview video here.

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(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)