Setting and Maintaining a Budget.

 

In today’s times it can be increasingly difficult in maintaining a budget you set. Prices are increasing at an alarming rate on almost everything we purchase and frequently. This is why it is more important than ever to utilize an online budget calculator to follow and maintain so we are not fully decreasing our finances. Throughout this article we will explain to you how to set a budget and actually be able to stick with it.

 

One of the ways to look at a budget is that it is a necessary evil, we don’t like having one, but we must have one to survive and not become broke. A budget is the best and only way to get a handle on your spending and have it be used how you actually want it to be.

 

In order to create a budget you must follow a few steps completely.

  1. Figure out exactly how you are spending your money now
  2. Take a look over your current spending trend and set realistic goals that will also take into account long term financial goals.
  3. Find a good software program for budgeting that you understand how to use. Don’t go too fancy, the simple programs can help you greatly.

 

Once you have taken the first few steps in creating a budget there are a few other things you may want to consider. First because you will be constantly monitoring your spending habits, it is important not to drive yourself crazy with watching where money is coming and going. Take a look over how many times you are hitting up the ATM. The ATM generates and added fee that can end up adding up.

 

Now it’s time to review more of your spending habits

Maybe not the funniest part of a budget, but you really need to address your spending habits. If you find that you are going over more than your income covers, then chances are you are spending some on luxuries, rather than necessities. Take a look over what you really need versus what you can actually live without, and try eliminating the unnecessary luxuries in your life.

 

Tithing

One of the least talked about aspects in setting up a budget. Try tithing yourself to help save money. Set a goal to spend no more than 90% of your income, this way you can put 10% of your own income in savings to save up for future purchases or emergencies.

 

Last but not least, set realistic budgeting goals

Don’t expect yourself to start off with unrealistic expectations. It’s just not that simple with budgeting. It is important to learn how to set realistic goals for yourself and cut corners where you can cut them. Don’t try to strip yourself of all your entertainment as well, just keep it simple and affordable. Knowing where you stand financially is a gift. It allows for all sorts of great things to happen, such as buying a property off the plan (or in the pre-sale stages) and getting a discount.

 

Having a budget can help many people drastically in the end. However it is always not so easy and simple to stick to in the beginning  but in time with determination and motivation you can have a realistic budget that works for you and your family.

Sightseeing New York City- The Frugal Way

I am a traveller and New York City is probably one of my favorite places to visit. The “big-apple” is arguably one of the most famous cities in the world; ask anyone around the globe to list which city they know outside their home country, and sure enough, New York will be on the list. Its pretty obvious; New York City hosts the headquarters of the United Nations, hosts some of the most iconic structures such as the empire state building, and the statue of liberty. In addition, the images of this city have been imprinted into millions of people because of the depiction of New York by Holly wood through its epic movies, and television melodramas.

New York is a very big city, and thus to visit all the listed sightseeing sites in the city, it takes time, and money. Since I am on a frugal tip, I focus on cheap sightseeing places in New York.

New York City

How to get to your favorite site

I do want to point out that anytime I drive to NYC, I opt to get a hotel in New Jersey. The rooms are half the price and it costs me a total of $20 for the toll and parking to spend the day downtown. Once I get downtown I hunt down a cheap all day parking lot and either wander the streets on foot or get a metro pass.  Ironically enough I have been on the subway in 10 countries, but not once I have stepped foot in on a subway in my hometown.

Before exploring some of the cheap sightseeing places in New York, it is prudent to explore some of the ways through which you can get yourself around the city. Travelling by Metro buses ranks high on the list, these buses are very comfortable, and affordable, in addition, they have wide city coverage. If you plan to travel round the city for a week, it will interest you to know that you can only travel at a flat fee of just $27 by purchasing a Metro card that expires after seven days. Alternatively, you can move round the city using a bicycle or just walking around.

Some cheap sightseeing places in New York

With your camera ready, the following sites are best place to visit when running on a low budget;

  • The Empire state building

As the adage goes, “visiting New York City without a visit to the empire state building is doing a great injustice to the city of New York”. This building is one of the most famous in the world; it has been immortalized in movies, magazines and great epic tales.  To get a bird’s eye view of the city you only need to pay $22 that will assure you a ticket to the building observatory.

  • The statue of Liberty

The French people gave the statue of liberty to the American people as a sign of appreciation for the support of the American people during the French revolution. The statue of liberty symbolizes the American people freedom.  By the way, it is way cheaper to visit The Statue of liberty from New Jersey than it is from New York.

 

  • The American museum of Natural History

If you like history, I definitely recommend stopping in here. You will have to allot a few hours as there is a lot really interesting exhibits. I can easily spend ¾ of a day in here. But then again, I am a history nerd. The entrance fee for an adult is $19 while for a child it is only $10.50. The American museum of natural history is one of the world best museums with respect to content displayed. If you want to know the history of anything natural, this is the best sightseeing sites to visit.

  • Central park

Admission is free. To the residents of the New York the central park provides the much-needed breather away from hustles, and bustles associated with New York streets. The park has several lakes, tennis courts, playgrounds, baseball fields. Famous personalities have visited this place for sightseeing including pope, and many others celebrities.

  • Grant’s tomb

This is the largest mausoleum in the United States of America. It houses the remains of the former two-term United States of America president Ulysses S.Grant and his wife. This tomb is modeled after the mausoleum of the former great general Napoleon. Ulysses S.Grant artifacts and memorabilia. This is a great piece of American history, if you are a history buff.

  • Times Square

Times Square is one of the most vibrant and loud places in the world. We normally get a pizza and some drinks and sit on the steps to people watch. You will never see a more eclectic group of people in one spot. We normally grab food and site on the giant staircase and people watch. This is one of my favorite places in New York City.

  • The United Nations headquarters

The United Nations is one of the cheap sightseeing places in New York City. Here you are assured of meeting all country representatives of the United Nations. It a great way of learning on the history of the United Nations while to relax, and take photos, of an institution founded at the end of the second world war to promote world harmony.

Just a thought

To visit cheap sightseeing places in New York, it is advisable to make your journey away from holiday seasons, and public holidays where prices are high, otherwise take a big bite of the big apple, and enjoy every piece of it…in a frugal manner.

 

What are your favorite places to visit in New York City?

 

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Is being overweight costing you more?

Has anyone seen Super Size Me? That movie made me never want to eat McDonalds again. There are quite studies out that are states that being overweight is not only unhealthy physically, but its unhealthy financially as well. Yes, I realize that joining a gym can cost money, but the excess costs of food, health insurance, transportation etc out weighs all of that.

 

I came across this great infographic on Frugal Dad and I really wanted to share it.

diet

Source: frugaldad.com

Thoughts?