Monthly Budget Spreadsheet!

Hey Guys, Coordinate Kate has done it again. Check out her extremely organized budget breakdown! Thanks Kate!!!!

Coordinated Kate

I know, I know, the word “spreadsheet” often sends chills up my spine and I break out in a cold sweat, but I promise, this is soooo simple! And if you follow any suggestions from any of my posts, it should be this one. Seriously!

(You may need to click to enlarge)

Isn’t it beautiful?! This is a sample of a budget sheet I had prepared for someone and I rounded the numbers a little just to make things a little easier. This spreadsheet is GREAT if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure what you can afford or not. It’s even great if you’re not just starting out and you’re just looking to cut down in some places and save more money! I’m going to break it down for you so that it’s a little easier for you to make your own. It’s easy, just be…

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{When Is The Best Time to…?} Buy International Plane Tickets

Travel- InternationalIn a post last year, I researched the best day of the week to get the best deals on plane tickets. Based on my research, I concluded that Tuesday at 3pm is the best time to buy. A few weeks ago, I tested out this theory with the Mr. as we were stalking international flights to Europe. While I know the savings rules can be a tad bit different for international flights, we still went with the tried and true paradigm that Tuesday was the best day to buy and fly. We waited and waited and researched stalked travel sites and airlines for weeks and then picked the “perfect” Tuesday to make our move with airline of choice- Delta. Perfect Tuesday came and (insert cricket sounds here) nothing. In fact, the price of the ticket went up almost $200 since the last time we checked and then consistently stayed there. So we waited a week for the next Tuesday…same price.

Did we make a mistake and miss our savings fate?

No. Like most companies, several factors influence the price of goods. The state of the economy, international relations, and my favorite…good ole competition. My Mr. called on a Wednesday to tell me that another airline was offering deals to Europe and to check it out. My first thought was oh well and my second was bye-bye frequent flyer miles. Instead of giving up, I gave myself to the end of the day to find a great deal; but being the impatient person that I can be, I hit the refresh button on the computer about ten minutes after the call. I mean, if one airline lowered their prices, others are sure to follow, right? ABSOLUTELY!
The moral of the story is that good things come to those who wait and research. If you have the luxury of time, it is worth the extra effort to comparison shop. This method helped us save money and it can help you save too. I still believe Tuesdays and Wednesday s are the cheapest days to buy international tickets, but if something is out of your budget, stop….breath…and press refresh.

If You Could Travel Anywhere in the World…

Where Would You Go?


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{Watching for Spring Update} Good Things Come to Those Who Wait…& Save!

In the post, Watching for Spring, I discussed how to make money from cleaning out your closet. Beyond getting my closet neat for spring, I was inspired by this picture.

Pinned Image
 Not only am I very much into the layered look, I love me some Michael Kors!  I am slowly learning that a watch is a good investment and while we have been conditioned to check out cell phones, I’m sort of drawn to the idea of a watch.  S/N, I couldn’t really tell you the last time I even wore a watch, so this is very much a “big girl” move.  So, after much searching, saving,and purging, I am glad to introduce you to MK31311!

Let’s Connect!


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10 Simple Ways to Be Green and Save Money in the Process










Change All Your Light bulbs to Energy Efficient CFLs
CFLs use almost half the energy as typical light bulbs. That adds up to be a lot of power. CFLs also last much longer than other light bulbs. This switch can easily save a small house $100 dollars a year or more.
Bike or Walk
Gas is over 4 dollars a gallon now and biking or walking someplace can save you loads of cash. If you commute 20 miles to work every day you will spend approximately $2000 on gas a year.
Eat Less Meat
It’s much cheaper to eat plant-based foods rather than meat. Meat also has a huge ecological impact because large amounts of grain must be grown to feed livestock.
Do Not Buy Bottled Water
A lot of plastic bottles end up polluting in landfills. Plus bottled water costs are…

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{Eat on the Cheap} Can You Feed a Family of Four for Under $10? She Can…

Love Bytes!!!

I wanted to take a quick moment and tell you about a blog I came across while blog surfing one Sunday called Budget Bytes. First of all, ALL of the food looks yummy, but what I LOVE the most is how Beth breaks down the recipe step by step, with pictures I might add, and how much it costs to make…especially compared to dining out. She reminds me of Sandra Lee from the show Semi Homemade on the Food Network.

Here is one recipe that I have been dying to try:

It has been in “my favorites” on my iPad for the longest. Maybe this could be a fun alternative to the traditional Memorial Day hot dogs and hamburgers?

Total Recipe cost: $7.98
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Cost per serving: $2.00
Prep time: 15 min. Marinate time: 4-24 hrs. Cook time: 15 min. Total: 30 min. (after marinating)

2 lg. (1.25 lbs) chicken breasts $2.48
1/2 cup plain yogurt $0.25
1 Tbsp minced garlic $0.36
1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.32
1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.03
1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.03
1/2 tsp salt $0.02
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg $0.03
1/4 tsp ground cloves $0.03
YOGURT SAUCE (for sandwich) COST
7 oz. cup plain greek yogurt $1.59
1/4 tsp minced garlic $0.03
1/4 tsp dried dill $0.03
1/4 tsp salt $0.02
4 homemade naan, pita, or flatbread $0.64
1/2 head romaine lettuce $0.80
1 medium cucumber $0.69
2 medium roma tomatoes $0.63
TOTAL $7.98

STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade (yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, salt, nutmeg, and clove). Add chicken to the marinade, coat well, cover and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. If desired, slice the chicken into strips before marinating to maximize the flavor.

STEP 2: Prepare the yogurt sauce for the sandwiches. Open a 7 oz. container of plain greek yogurt and stir in the garlic, dill, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

STEP 3: After marinating the chicken, grill until cooked through (I use a George Foreman, cooked for about 7 minutes).

STEP 4: Prepare the vegetables for the sandwich. Chop, rinse, and drain the lettuce in a colander. Wash and slice the cucumber and tomato.

STEP 5: Build the chicken shawarma sandwiches. Spread the yogurt sauce on your flat bread, top with the chicken and vegetables. Roll the sandwich closed. You can wrap the sandwich in foil to help it stay closed as you eat.

Check out Beth and all her wonderfully yummy recipes on her website Budget Bytes!

Let’s Connect!

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The Envelope System Saves $$$

Someone pinned this picture on Pinterest of them dividing their money into different envelops as suggested by financial expert, Dave Ramsey. His explanation of the envelope system was simple and made cents/sense, so I thought I’d share it. My thoughts are in PINK, of course. I hope you enjoy!


Get on a Simple System

The key component to Dave Ramsey’s, “Total Money Makeover” is the envelope system. What is the envelope system, you ask? Well, according to Ramsey, its “way to handle money still works. People used to always use cash envelopes to control their monthly spending, but very few do in today’s card swiping culture”. I will say that it works and the comments to post prove it. Check out Ramsey’s simple basics for starting a cash envelope system.

  1. Budget each paycheck. Budget is a dirty word to most people, but you must budget down to the last dime if you’re going to successfully implement the envelope system. While I know plenty of people who budget a certain percentage of each check, I budget specific figures.
  2. Divide and conquer. Of course, there will be budget items that you cannot include in your envelope system, like bills paid by check or automatic withdraw. However, you can create categories like food, gas, clothing, and entertainment. I usually work off three main categories: groceries, restaurants/entertainment, personal maintenance (hair, nails, or anything that will help me feel “pretty”). I chose these categories for myself because these are the areas I could be tempted to overspend. I pay my bills off the top and then I budget each paycheck into these categories, which were listed in order of importance.
  3. Fill ‘er Up. After you’ve categorized your cash expenses, fill each envelope with the money allotted for it in your budget. For example, if you allow $100 for clothing, put $100 in cash in your clothing envelope for the month.

From Ramsey

When it’s gone, it’s gone. Once you’ve spent all the money in a given envelope, you’re done spending for that category. If you go on a shopping spree and spend the $100 in your clothing envelope, you can’t spend any more on clothes until you budget for that category again. That means no visits to the ATM to withdraw more money!

Don’t be tempted. While debit cards can’t get you directly into debt, if used carelessly, they can cause you to over-spend. There’s something psychological about spending cash that hurts more than swiping a piece of plastic. If spending cash whenever possible can become a habit, you’ll be less likely to over-spend or buy on impulse.

Give it time. It will take a few months to perfect your envelope system. Don’t give up after a month or two if it’s not clicking. You’ll get the hang of it and see how beneficial the envelope system is as you dump debt, build wealth, and achieve financial peace! See … simple! Truth… I sort of fell of the wagon for a while. I actually, couldn’t remember what purse I put the envelopes in until today, when I found them, and I had $20 in my restaurant fund. I started back on the system TODAY!!! It takes work but most great things do….

photo credit: Tales From the Coop Keeper | content: David Ramsey

What are your categories for your envelopes?


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High-Low: Starbucks Hack!

I think this will be me and Denia’s next project… pictures to follow.

This looks so awesome! Kerry from Squawk Fox provides a step by step that looks so delicious. Think is will taste as good as the original? For $.32, it is worth investigating from the She Makes Cents team. We will let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, check out the post here!!!

What do you think? Fab, right?


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inform and inspire ways to use your “cents” to live a fab life

5 Benefits of Thrifting


Thrifting is not only a great way to save money, but it also provides you with the opportunity to attain rare pieces that set your wardrobe apart from the next person. Aside from creative pieces, thrifting is comparable to diving in a fashion time machine, if you will. I say this because when thrifting, you get to see how trends have changed and how our clothing has not only evolved, but also repeated itself.

Thrifting is great for…

  1. Broke College Students (that would be me).
  2. Costume + Performance attire.
  3. Home Décor
  4. Passing the time without breaking the bank
  5. Gag Gift Shopping

TOP THREE trends I’m seeing in thrift shops now that are trendy even today!

  1. High-waist denim shorts
  2. Patterned Tops
  3. Boyfriend Blazers

A few TOP thrift shopping destinations in the greater Atlanta area:

  1. Rag-O-Rama
  2. Goodwill
  3. Psycho Sisters
  4. Plato’s Closet


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5 Ways to Make Outlet Shopping More Enjoyable

On Tuesday, I took a trip to the North Georgia premium outlets with visiting family from out of time. My intention was to enjoy girl time with my cousin and Aunts and not to blow my budget.  Maybe a shirt or two, at most.  Certainly, I didn’t anticipate the goodies I would walk away with. Good thing, I knew a few ways to save even more when outlet shopping. Here are some of my tricks.

Bring cash

Bringing cash reduces my chances of overspending. Unlike a card, you can physically see your cash stack dwindle down with every purchase you make.  When people make purchases with cash, they take longer to ponder the value of what they are buying as opposed to mindless shopping.

Begin at Customer ServiceCustomer Service

Customer Service is not only full of pamphlets and maps, but also information regarding sales and special offers. Go here first and pick up a booklet. It should include a list of all of the stores and coupons/special savings to particular stores. I saw a coupon for $15 off, unfortunately it was for a clothing store that I don’t shop.

Don’t Spend All of Your Money in the First StoreShopping

Remember the girl from Confessions of a Shopaholic? She spent ALL of her money on shopping and did not take care of her financial responsibilities. Don’t be like her!! True Story- Once we got to the outlets, my little cousin wanted to stop in a teen clothing store. She was picking up items and I told her, “Don’t spend it all here. Now that we know what they have and what you like, let’s see if any other stores have anything better or for less. If not, and you remember that shirt after we have hit up the other stores, we will come back”.

Use your time wisely

While shopping, one of my aunts pulled out a map of the outlet and highlighted all of the stores she was interested in visiting. The outlet was set up in color-coded zones and paralleled the map provided at customer service. She then wrote down each color section that had stores that we were planning on visiting and then wrote down how many stores were in each color zone. The whole process took about two minutes but it saved so much time in the end. I find that people are extremely excited when they get to the outlets and quickly become overwhelmed and exhausted. This way, you can ensure that you hit the stores you absolutely love and you don’t waste your time randomly looking in other places.

Only buy what you love

Don’t waste money on things you like when you can buy things you love. Often times, I have found myself spending MORE money just because it was a good deal. A good example of this would be the red Jessica Simpson pumps I bought for football season. First of all, I had NOT intended on buying anything. Secondly, I went into a store that was not on the list; although, I am super pleased that I did. Thirdly, I found myself searching for another pair of shoes just because the sales associate kindly mentioned that I could save 50% if I bought another pair for equal or less value. I spent about 5 minutes searching for another pair when it hit me, why would I spend extra money for something that is not in my budget and that I don’t love? Just because it is a good deal does not mean that it is the best deal for you!

What’s Your Go To Shopping Tip?


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