Hidden Costs of Vacations and How to Minimize Them

hidden costs traveling

Recently I went on an amazing vacation. It was a 5 day cruise with stops in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas and Key West, Florida. (It also had my favorite band of all time on it!) A large portion of it was a gift from a friend but I was still responsible for some expenses and I set a budget early to deal with them. However, I realized very quickly that there were a number of expenses that I did not account for when I was making plans. Most of us budget for vacations and we plan for travel expenses, hotels, […] Read more »

Budget Friendly Gifts for Teachers

The end of the school year can be a very expensive time. Yearbooks, costumes for school musicals and plays, field trip costs, end of the year parties, prom, graduations and gifts for teachers can all add up to a lot of money. In the month of May, I had to shell out money for two kids to be in musicals (I was able to pull costumes together for less than $20 thanks to the thrift store.), one field trip that included me (admission combined was $10), Teacher Appreciation Gifts and food for an end of the year party. I know […] Read more »

Lessons Learned in Financial Literacy

financial literacy

My financial education has come at a very slow pace. I have not been a fast learner. I have failed tests, repeated classes and expressed a general sense of apathy. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn. Initially I never even knew I was supposed to be looking for financial education. No one told me about it. I wasn’t given the tools I needed early on in life. And therefore, in my adult years I simply learned as I went. The problem with this method is that I learned a large number of lessons incorrectly. This caused me to […] Read more »

The Four “P’s” of Debt Reduction

The process of getting out of debt is as much physical work as it is mental. Making changes in our life style and our mindset is such a difficult but important step. I have found that there are four very important aspects to this process that need to be remembered and achieved in order for you to reach the level of success that you strive for. Those aspects are the four “p’s” of debt reduction Positivity Planning Practicality Perseverance Like many of you, I am in a great deal of debt. In fact, I am in more debt now that […] Read more »

Inexpensive or Free Outdoor Family Fun

summer fun for free

Last week Team EOD member, Jana gave you some great ideas for free or inexpensive indoor activities that you can do this summer. Today I want to give you some activities to do outdoors that are budget friendly and super fun! Keep with What Works The traditional outdoor activities should definitely not be over looked. A trip to the park for a picnic and romp on the playground will never get old. You can take the fun up a notch but being a kid yourself. Nothing gets those kids laughing more than watching their grown-ups acting silly and having a […] Read more »

Debt Freedom Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

debt freedom

So you are in debt (I am too!). Are you following a plan like something that Dave Ramsey lays out? I know Brad followed it and it was super successful for him. I have a problem following Dave’s plan for a number of reasons. Number one being motivation. I am definitely motivated to get out of debt. However, I lose that intense, uber-addicted-to-debt-reduction feeling from time to time. I do a lot of thinking about the psychology behind debt and money. I’m very intrigued by the differences in how people relate to money. I think there are many different ways […] Read more »

Do You Have the Mentality to be Wealthy?

Winning the lottery

You may have heard that the Mega Millions Lottery has a HUGE Jackpot tonight! You did hear that right? It’s not really talked about all that much. If you are anywhere near the television, internet, radio, a store or people in general then you’ve heard. The internet is full of blog posts where people talk about all the things they would buy if they won. I wrote a post today too. I didn’t focus on what I would buy because I found out something about myself. I’m not mentally ready to be wealthy! I know it sounds weird to say […] Read more »

Is It Better to Donate or Sell Your Car?

Sell or donate marquis mark

I have a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis (His name is Marquis Mark!). I purchased it from a friend a year and a half ago for $500. Since that time I have put about $1,500 into it. This was done about a year ago to keep it safe and to fix a couple of oil leaks. I have been saving money for another car once this one dies. But given my situation (living in a fairly rural town without any friends or family nearby), I am worried about being stranded should it break down on me. Therefore I have been thinking […] Read more »

Finding Teachable Moments in Your Day-to-Day

teaching kids about money

One of the main driving forces behind my own blog, The Debt Princess is to stop others from going down the dark path that debt took me down. I want to remind people of the dangers of debt and encourage them to take care of their own finances. I also try to encourage my readers to speak to their own children about money. I am working diligently with my own kids to make sure that they are not following in my footsteps. Offering allowances in exchange for chores, is one great way to teach about money. I like to be […] Read more »

Expensive Hobbies and Habits and Their Cost-Saving Alternatives

cost saving alternatives to expensive coffee

Scrapbooking. Spa Days. Golf. Sewing. Travel. Gourmet Coffee. Smoking. Clothing. Dining Out. Hobbies are meant to be a time to relax, release some stress and have fun. Hobbies are enjoyable because they are always something you enjoy. Habits are formed for similar reasons. They can help you relax, help you release stress and occasionally bring fun to your life as well. All of the activities mentioned above are either habits or hobbies. And all can be budget busters when allowed to be. Some people may feel that they have to give up the things they love in order to save […] Read more »

10 Small Ways to Increase your Emergency Fund Without Noticing

Making Extra Money for Your Savings Account

For many of us, myself included, squeezing money out of your budget takes a lot of fancy footwork. Finding ways to save the money to build up your emergency fund or save for a new car when things are already tight requires numerous income streams. Often times you can not make room for a second job and that is when using your imagination, your dedication and the few minutes of free time you can carve out of your day to make extra money. This list, when separated, may not bring a lot of extra money (accept for the first one) […] Read more »

3 Ways You Are Holding Yourself Back and Tips for Changing Them

don't understand money

Are your finances a mess and you know it? Do you know what you SHOULD be doing but haven’t made any changes? Are you avoiding logging into your accounts to see what damage you are doing? If you are anything like I was and at times, still am, then you are setting yourself up for further failure. Something, or maybe more than one thing is holding you back, do you know what it is? Here’s 3 potential ways you are roadblocking yourself from being in control of your finances. Fear Fear can be crippling. It can hold you back from […] Read more »

Are You Prepared for a Sudden Windfall?

unexpected money

Whether it is a tax refund, a lottery win or an inheritance, a sudden increase in funds can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have been in debt but have not taken the time to evaluate your habits, an unexpected increase in your checking account could cause a number of problems.  Surprise, you’ve won! What do you do first?  If you have a history of impulse spending, the first thing you need to do is put that money into your bank account and step away from the cash. Take the time to really think about the best […] Read more »

Under Pressure: Teaching Our Children a Lesson in Wants vs. Needs

“Mom, can I have a DS? Please! Everyone else has one.” I have heard this off and on for a couple years. My son really wants a Nintendo DS Handheld game system. He has asked for one for every holiday and birthday for years. I have been reluctant to purchase one for a few reasons. First, he doesn’t need it. He does have an older model Gameboy that was given to us for free. Second, I would rather he spend his time reading, playing outside, interacting with his family and using his imagination. Also, I just don’t have the money. However, […] Read more »