Budgeting Feed

Coupons, digital deals and promo codes can save you money, but only if you stick to a budget

QuikTrip Coupon Card
A free slice of pizza and a free QT Big Q drink

Editor's Note:  Originally posted on October 8, I've since enjoyed $53.80 worth of QT Kitchens food & beverage, with a lot remaining on that coupon card.  That coupon card cost me $20.  That's a win-win, a win for a high school fund raiser and a win for my wallet.

By Mike Thayer

I've never really been much of a coupon user.  Sure, there are those once-in-awhile times when I see an advertisement for a great deal and I'll take advantage of it.  Usually though, if I do clip a coupon from a mailer or see a digital deal online, I either forget to take the coupon with me to the store or fail to break out the phone at the register.  I also tend to let coupons/deals/promos expire before I remember to use them.  In fact, I may be kind of anti-coupon.  Ex-wife #2 was a big time 'couponer' when we first got married.  While I appreciated the savings, she would make me drive her around to three different grocery stores taking advantage of the various store deals.  That drove me crazy!  Pun intended. "Why can't we just get all our groceries in one store?" I would ask.  The ex didn't have a driver's license at the time and with our work schedules grocery shopping had to take place on Sunday's, which interfered with football...  Perhaps that's the root cause for my anti-coupon stance.

A danger in using coupons and taking advantage of digital deals/promo codes is justifying the purchase of additional items because you just 'saved.'  Hello ex-wife #2.  Another downside is you buy something you really don't need at the time or wouldn't ordinarily purchase but you bought whatever anyway because it was 'such a great deal.'  Hello ex-wife #2 and a couple of ex-girlfriends.  There's a legitimate thrill in saving, but the problem is, you may spend money on something you didn't budget for.  Buying a countertop deep fryer because you've always wanted one and it was on sale doesn't 'save' you any money if you had to short yourself on the grocery budget to purchase it.  Never mind you won't use the fryer nearly as much as you thought you would, it's a pain in the ass to clean and the whole house smells like fried food for a couple days after use. 

But coupons, digital deals and promo codes do have their place, as long as it's something you've already budgeted for.   I'm learning to get over my 'coupon bias.'

Here's an example, I recently purchased a QuikTrip coupon from a friend of mine - shout out to Ashley C!  Her daughter's school was doing a fundraiser for band and with these QT cards at just $20, how could I refuse?  I helped fund the school band and I get WAY more than $20 worth of food at QT, which is a pretty routine stop for me.  I do like a Big Q drink of Mountain Dew!

This comes out of my monthly restaurant budget.  So today for lunch, I had a free slice of pizza, regular price $3.49 (4 more of those freebies left on my card), a free Big Q drink, regular price $1.09 (four more of those freebies on my card) and I bought a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos for $2 and some change to go with.  I pretty much can't prepare a meal for myself that cheap unless I'm in the mood for Ramen or a bologna sandwich.  I'll take the pizza please.  So with a hypothetical figure of $200 to eat out with for the month of October, I now have $197 and some change remaining.    Now if I didn't eat out so much and have a restaurant budget, then this coupon card wouldn't make sense.  That would be like going out for dinner at a nice seafood restaurant just because you saw and clipped out a "free appetizer with the purchase of a 'select' entree'" coupon.  Translation:  Buy one of our higher dollar meals and we'll comp you the appetizer.  If you don't normally eat out at tablecloth seafood restaurants and budget for it, you're not saving any money.  If you don't normally eat appetizers when you eat out and you typically go for the lower cost items on the menu, you're not saving any money.

Saving money is a very good thing and you can do it with coupons etc., but that only works if it fits within your budget and routine.  Stick to your budget, stick to the shopping list!

Oh, and the pizza was pretty tasty!

Related: QuikTrip Bargain!

Related: Associate Appreciation Day October 9 at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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The cheapest place to buy gas is at a wholesale club

By Mike Thayer

Gas PumpThe price of gas these days is OUTRAGEOUS!  

We had it good a few years back, when the USA had become THE global leader in oil production.  In May of 2019, our country became a net oil and gas exporter, the first time since 1953.  That production lead to a national average price for a gallon of gasoline in 2020 of just $2.17.  

Then Joe Biden got elected President.

His administration has been on the attack against domestic oil and gas companies since moving into the White House.  Biden has killed pipeline production and drilling, pulling permits and denying new requests.  The national average price for a gallon of gas is now $5.10!  An update took place as I was writing this article, taking the price from $4.94 to $5.10.

So with that high average price in mind, a lot of folks use those grocery store and/or convenience store loyalty cards to buy gas at a discounted price.  Now more important than ever, those cards do come in handy and depending on your shopping habits can benefit you with saving 10 cents a gallon on gas for example.

But that loyalty card gas discount doesn't guarantee you're getting the best possible price for gas.

There are also those gas buying apps, where purchases at big box stores can provide discounts or turn into money for gas or better yet, cash back.  One of the more popular gas apps is GasBuddy, which even claims to help you find the cheapest place to buy gas in your part of town.  According to GasBuddy, you can save up to 25 cents per gallon using their app, but their list of gas prices is only as good as the users who provide that input to GasBuddy and their list isn't always accurate, nor does it necessarily reflect the cheapest place to buy gas if GasBuddy doesn't have a partnership with a particular vendor. 

20220623_124022The average price for regular gas in Kansas as of this writing is $4.62 a gallon.  The Wichita area tends to run a little cheaper than the state average.  But we're 'lucky' here in Kansas, the national average price is now $5.10!  How is that Trump era $2.17 per gallon looking now?

If you're a grocery store or convenience store loyalty card user and you filled up today at a listed price of $4.44 per gallon for regular here's the breakdown.  With your loyalty card, you would pay around $4.34 a gallon, a savings of 10 cents per gallon.  Some days it's more, some days it's less - it does hinge on your shopping habit - but a savings of about 10 cents a gallon is the consistent average. You swipe your loyalty card, then swipe your credit/debit card or pay cash at the window.  If you put 15 gallons in the tank you saved $1.50. That's not bad, but you shelled out $65.10 to fill up and you're restricted to that vendor for gas, not necessarily the cheapest in town.  Dillon's typically runs around the area average in price, they're not the cheapest, but they're not the highest.  As for convenience stores, Casey's tends to be the least expensive, QuikTrip runs on the high end and Valero is THE highest in town at $4.60 a gallon for regular as of this writing.

If you're an Upside app user, you have to buy gas from one of their recommended 'offer' locations to get cash back and the amount of cash back depends on the grade of gas you buy as well as the vendor you choose to buy from.  Your discount could be 3.5 cents per gallon if you don't read the fine print but could go as high as 21 cents per gallon.  Keep in mind the cash back rate also correlates with the price per gallon.  The cheaper the gas, the lower the cash back per gallon amount is.  Higher priced gas, means a higher amount in cash back per gallon.  You also have to 'claim' the offer on the app before pumping, so if you forget to claim before pumping or don't pump the gas in the time frame provided (once you claim the offer you have four hours to upload the purchase receipt) you lose out on cash back.   So today, if you bought gas at an Upside 'offer' location, say, Kwik Shop for $4.47 a gallon for regular and you put 15 gallons in the tank, you could get around $1.95 cash back after your uploaded purchase receipt is approved (4-24 hours later).  You shelled out $67.05 to fill up.

If you're a GasBuddy user, you swipe your GasBuddy card at one of their recommended gas vendor locations, then the discounted price is withdrawn from your linked checking account in 1 - 3 days.  So if you buy regular gas at their recommended QuikTrip location for $4.43 a gallon and pumped 15 gallons, you would get "up to" 25 cents a gallon off in discounted gas taken from your linked checking account 1 - 3 days later.  But you might not get 25 cents a gallon, it depends on the deal GasBuddy has with the vendor you chose from their list.  You might get $62.70 pulled (25 cents off) from your checking account, you might get $64.95 taken (10 cents per gallon off) from your checking account.

Wholesale clubs pricing on gas is consistently the cheapest place in town.  If you put 15 gallons of regular in your tank today at Sam's Club it would cost you $4.39 a gallon, or $65.85.  Your membership card serves as your 'loyalty' card giving you what is typically the lowest listed price for gas in town and that goes for any town the club does business in.  A plus to having a membership is you also enjoy the cheapest gas in town benefit when traveling, whether you buy it in Kansas, Iowa or any other state.  Bonus:  You can use the Upside app at wholesale clubs!  Get cash back on the cheapest listed gas around by using the Upside app, today's per gallon cash back amount at Sam's Club for example is 15 cents a gallon, or $2.25 going into your bank or Paypal account.

So there you have it, the best way to fight Joe Biden's attack on your wallet is to buy gas at a wholesale club, using the Upside app.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Tuna Salad is a quick, easy, satisfying snack or lunch

By Mike Thayer

TunaTuna is a diet friend, a budget meal, it's cheap, easy to prepare and can be used in a number of 'Carb-Check Friendly' recipes.

Today, it's tuna salad.  Needing only a five minute preparation - if that - you can make a quick tuna salad in the morning before work to be eaten for lunch, or make it the night before for a snack or lunch the next day, five minutes in the kitchen, that's it.

This salad only contains about 3 grams of carbs, most of those from the sweet pickle relish.  If you use dill relish, it's even lower in carbs.

Ingredients:

  • One 5 - 6 ounce can of tuna (I like tuna packed in oil, better flavor)
  • One heaping Tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite seasoning salt
  • A few shakes of black pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce or Cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

This isn't rocket science, in a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.   I like to make this hours ahead of time and refrigerate to give that dried minced onion time to absorb some moisture and let those flavors marry.

This quick  tuna salad is great all by itself, or you can slap it on a leaf of romaine lettuce.  You can change things up by sprinkling some shredded cheddar cheese on top, or get out the bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce and doctor it up with that.  Enjoy!   And enjoy the fact that all ingredients together costs about $1.50 - that's Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly!

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Turkey salad - VERY satisfying in every bite!

Chopped turkey
Making Turkey salad with leftover Thanksgiving turkey

By Mike Thayer

Of the meats, turkey is pound for pound a relatively inexpensive protein compared to the others and can be prepared in a number of delicious ways.  Turkey is actually an under-appreciated meat, being popular really, only during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  But there are all those possibilities aside from the typical holiday leftovers, all kinds of tasty offerings that can include ground turkey, grilled turkey, roasted turkey, pan seared turkey, white meat, dark meat, the diversity of dishes is impressive!  Don't ignore the turkey next time you go grocery shopping, turkey is quite versatile and can be used in a number of food applications.

Today, it's turkey salad.  Needing only a five minute preparation - if that - you can make a quick turkey salad in the morning before work to be eaten for lunch, or make it the night before for a snack or lunch the next day, five minutes in the kitchen, that's it.

This salad only contains about 4 grams of carbs, most of those coming from the sweet pickle relish.  If you use dill relish, it's even lower in carbs.  The best part - besides being tasty - is turkey is PACKED with high quality protein, about 8 grams per ounce!

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of leftover Thanksgiving turkey
  • One heaping Tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

This isn't rocket science, in a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients together.   I like to make this hours ahead of time and refrigerate to give that dried minced onion time to absorb some moisture and let those flavors marry.

This quick turkey salad is great all by itself, slap it on a leaf of romaine lettuce, grab some Hawaiian rolls and make sliders.  You can change things up by sprinkling some shredded cheddar cheese on top.  Mozzarella cheese works well too.  Enjoy!   And enjoy the fact that all ingredients together costs around $1.50 - a savings bonus!  Turkey salad is delicious, low carb, high in protein and Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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The best time to buy your Christmas turkey or ham is after Thanksgiving

By Mike Thayer

Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham off the smokerLooking to save a few bucks on that Christmas meal/party/shindig?

Don't put off buying the meat for the main course until a week before December 25th, look for the sales at your local grocery store just after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here's why:

  • Grocery stores typically over-order what they truly need for Thanksgiving sales and a surplus at the meat displays is NOT a good thing for the store.
  • Grocery stores will discount hams, whole turkeys, turkey breasts, pork loins and even beef roasts in the days just past Thanksgiving.  They need to move product to make room for incoming shipments. 
  • Prices for hams, turkeys, pork roasts, beef roasts, etc., in the days leading up to Christmas will go up.  Stores WILL manipulate your procrastination.

Look for the sales at your favorite local store, but don't be too anxious!  Exercise a little patience.  Most stores will typically reduce prices by 10 - 25 percent in the first few days after Thanksgiving.  But that won't eliminate all the Thanksgiving surplus meats.  Stores will then reduce prices even further, 40 percent, 50 percent off, perhaps even more going into the first 10 days or so of December.  But if you don't take advantage of that, watch, as the prices for those main course meats start to go back UP in price for Christmas and New Years!

Don't procrastinate, save yourself a few bucks and get your Christmas ham, turkey or whatever, on sale after Thanksgiving!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Buying in bulk is wallet friendly

By Mike Thayer

I've heard friends and co-workers over the years throw out a number of claims on why they don't buy in bulk to save money:

  • You really don't save much money doing that, it's not worth it
  • You have to buy so much stuff to get the savings
  • I can't afford the membership to places like Sam's Club or Costco
  • I don't have the freezer/fridge/cupboard space
  • I'm too busy, I don't have the time to repackage/re-wrap stuff for storage
  • I'll never eat a 5 pound bag of cheese

That's all horse manure.

Portioning out a 5 pound bag of mozzarellaIf you have time to watch an episode of Big Bang Theory, you have time to break down some meat, cheese and vegetables for the freezer and you'll be glad you did because you'll save a surprising amount of money.  And a side benefit, your food gets portioned out they way you like it.  That saves time in dinner preparation and your freezer will be more organized, easier to pull items from. 

Tonight I spent some time stocking up my freezer with pork chops and a couple roasts by breaking down a 10 pound boneless pork loin, portioning out shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, as well as a brick of sliced American cheese.  I'm doing this as I watched, you guessed it, Big Bang Theory.

Buy some food in bulk at a wholesale club, portion cheese out for example in smaller bags and stash them in the freezer until needed. It's WAY cheaper than paying $3 each or more for those 12 - 16 ounce bags at a standard grocery store or Walmart.

I portioned out a 5 pound Kirkland brand (Costco) shredded mozzarella bag into 6 smaller bags. Price per pound - $2.37. *Weigh* that (yes, pun intended) vs. the typical everyday price for a 12 - 16 ounce bag at the standard grocery store.... $3 and up.  By breaking down a bulk bag, I saved approximately $3.15 vs buying 5 separate 12 - 16 ounce bags.... In Cheech & Chong terms, that's like a free bag of cheese man!

Portioning out shredded cheddarI did the same thing with Kirkland Brand shredded mild cheddar, a twin pack of cheese, 2.5 pounds each.  I won't eat 2.5 pounds of cheddar cheese in a week, heck even two, and keeping that amount of cheese in its original bag runs the risk of spoilage before it's all eaten.  Hello freezer!  Bachelor on the cheap savings by shopping in bulk at Costco: $2.57 per pound for shredded cheddar vs. $3 and up for 12 - 16 ounce bags at your standard grocery store or Walmart.

The brick of sliced American cheese I bought contains 120 slices.  At $10, that's just over 8 cents a slice and this is deli quality sliced American cheese, not that processed, plastic wrapped singles stuff.  I portioned the brick out into 9 smaller 'bricks', wrapped them in heavy duty foil and put them in the freezer.  The same amount of deli quality cheese like in say, Kraft's Deli Deluxe American Cheese Slices will cost you about $18.

Giving you even more savings is becoming your own butcher and it's not hard to do at all!  My savings today by cutting up my own chops and pork roasts was getting all that meat for $1.89 per pound, vs. $2.49 a pound at a place like the local grocery store.    Buying in bulk - under $19.  Buying the same amount of meat at the local grocery store - $25.  

So to sum, I saved about $3 on portioning out mozzarella cheese, another $3 or so portioning out some cheddar, about $8 with the American cheese and saved about $6 being my own butcher....  All while enjoying an episode of the Big Bang Theory!   Now I've got $20 I can use for gas, or maybe a bottle of wine to share with a date on date night.

Being your own butcher

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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The key to smart budgeting is learning how to tell yourself, "No"

By Mike Thayer

BudgetBudgeting can mean a variety of different things to different people.....

For some folks, budgeting means pay yourself first by putting 10 or 15% away in savings every paycheck, leaving the rest for bills and living.

For others, budgeting means using an accordion file or the envelope system, putting dollars in segmented categories for bills, clothes, rent/mortgage, food, entertainment, etc.

For still others, budgeting can mean "I'm going to go on a diet of Ramen for awhile so I can afford to buy that new couch."

But there's something all these budget approaches have in common that make them work....

Discipline, the ability to tell yourself "No" when tempted to purchase that delivery pizza for dinner or buy that item of clothing just because it's trendy or on sale.

That's no easy task.  But as finance guru Dave Ramsey so aptly puts it, "When you see planning a budget as simply spending your money intentionally, you can actually find more freedom to spend! Once something has been budgeted for, you’ll be able to spend that money without feeling guilty."

It's a frame of mind.

Always keep your goals in mind when tempted by impromptu and/or frivolous satisfactions like a convenient fast food meal or buying a new fishing rod that you really don't need.

The ability to say "No" leads to success.  Never mind that telling yourself "No" is WAY better than saying, "Oh Shit, I don't have enough money for the electric bill!"

Once you've covered the basics in a monthly budget, food, transportation, utilities and shelter, it becomes easier to tell yourself "No" on other things, those feel good or impulse buys. 

Here's another way to look at it, ask yourself three things before buying something that really isn't in your budget or what you haven't saved up for:

What do you have?

What do you want?

What will you give up?

Asking yourself these three questions help you think through making a purchase you may regret later. 

If you have some food in your refrigerator, but you want to order that delivery pizza, are you willing to give up that $20 you need to put gas in your car to get back and forth to work next week?   Oooops, don't get the pizza, don't go digging in the couch cushions for gas money later....  Just don't....  Eat the leftovers in the fridge.

Or how about:

You have $1,000 in savings.

You love to fish and want to buy a fishing kayak.

Will you give up the comfort of having some money in the bank should some kind of emergency pops up?  What if you need some kind of car repair?

And don't think about putting a car repair bill on plastic, that only compounds your problem.

Learning how to tell yourself "No" is WAY better than accumulating debt.

Budgeting a.k.a. planning ahead, isn't a bad thing, it's simply smart money management.  Learning how to tell yourself "No" however is the hardest part of budgeting to master.  Once you get that down though, you'll enjoy financial success.   To quote Dave Ramsey again, "Once something has been budgeted for, you’ll be able to spend that money without feeling guilty."

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Au Gratin Potato Battle: Name Brand vs. Store Brand, Betty Crocker vs. Kroger

Bachelor on the Cheap Update - 06/28/2022This article was originally posted back in 2018.  Today, the Betty Crocker Potatoes will cost you $1.89, a 50 cent increase.  The Kroger brand now runs $1.39, a hike of 60 cents.  I haven't seen Dillon's put these on one of their 10 for $10 sales lately.

By Mike Thayer

Potato, PotAto...

Who doesn't love potatoes?

I've always got a bag of potatoes in my pantry and an assortment of boxed potatoes to choose from as well.  The boxed versions are both convenient and tasty.  They can be rather inexpensive too, but do you focus on buying name brand foods when you grocery shop?

Why?

Even with most coupons, name brand foods are still more expensive than the store brand and a taste difference is non-existent, negligible perhaps.

Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes
Au Gratin Potato Battle: Betty Crocker vs. Kroger

In another food battle, today I put Betty Crocker Au Gratin potatoes against a store brand, Kroger Au Gratin.  I compared price, weight, the look and most importantly, the taste.  I prepared each according to the package instructions, adding only black pepper and some chopped up ham.  Yes, Ham & Taters for dinner!

Au Gratin Potato #1, the name brand - Betty Crocker:

Betty Crocker has been a trusted name in food and recipes since 1921.

Price: $1.39 for a 4.7 ounce box

Note how much larger the Betty Crocker box is compared to the Kroger box, also 4.7 ounces.  It's a marketing gimmick, the name brand box is taller, thicker and wider.  Betty Crocker is betting you're like most people, who don't read the details of the labeling.  Some people think they're getting more value with a 'bigger box' of potatoes. 

Au Gratin Potato #2, the store brand - Kroger:

Price: $.79 for a 4.7 ounce box

Au Gratin Potato Battle
The look is the same

Look how much cheaper the store brand is, a savings of $.60 and remember, even though the Betty Crocker box is taller and wider making some folks think they're getting a better value, both boxes weighed in at 4.7 ounces.

So how does Kroger compare to Betty Crocker in look and taste?

Preparing and baking the potatoes in totally different baking dishes, I couldn't see or taste a difference.  The size and shape of all potatoes was virtually the same, the added ingredients the directions called for in measuring out water, butter and milk was the very same and the final products were equally Au Gratin cheesy.  The list of ingredients on the box had no remarkable differences either.  Each made for a tasty dinner and plenty of leftovers too!  If you have been a buyer of the name brand, there's really no reason to continue doing so. Save yourself some money and get the store brand.  The ONLY edge Betty Crocker had in this battle is marketing... and why pay a premium price for THAT?

Leftover Au Gratin potatoes make for a convenient microwaved lunch the next day.  They're also great for breakfast topped with an egg, over easy.  These leftover potatoes freeze well too!  You can also portion the potatoes out for future meals and/or the freezer by baking them in a jumbo muffin tin.  That's what I did on this occasion, giving each portion a nice crispy edge.  It was another dose of YUM!

Next Up:  A pizza roll battle!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Recording your expenses and tracking your spending

By Mike Thayer

How do you keep track of your spending?  Do you reconcile your checking account or do you depend on the bank being accurate?  Do you know how much you spend on a given day?

There's a lot to track, the grocery budget, bill budget, vehicle budget, house/apartment budget, entertainment budget, savings goals and more.  

I use an excel spreadsheet to stay on top of my finances and spending, logging every expenditure, be it a cash, debit card or credit transaction.  On average, I know how much I spend every day, on what and how often.  My buying habits are documented and I don't ask myself, "Where did that $20 go?"

For example I try to keep my grocery budget between $200 - $300 per month.  For most of my home cooked meals, I can fix something that tastes great but costs just $2 or $3 to prepare and doing that allows me to splurge sometimes, maybe spending $10 for a 'Chef Mike' cooked meal once in awhile.  For a single guy that likes to play in the kitchen or at the grill, I eat pretty well. 

Truck Spread Sheet
Knowing how much your vehicle really costs to maintain

Another example in how tracking your spending can help you budget and more importantly plan for future expenses and savings goals, is a vehicle budget on a spread sheet.  Currently, my truck costs me an average of $104 a month to maintain.  I don't have a truck payment, so that $104 a month is oil changes, preventive maintenance, the occasional repair, etc....  That figure does not include gas or insurance.  But yes, all other costs, to include any accessories I might purchase - yep, even the air freshener dangling from the rear view mirror - is logged on a spreadsheet.  When the spending on my truck gets up to the $200 a month to maintain mark, it's time to start shopping for a new one.

Here's without question the best reason to track your spending, whether you do it with an excel spreadsheet, QuickBooks, an accordion file or a good old fashioned journal - Tracking your spending on a daily basis can help you avoid living paycheck to paycheck.  I've been there and done that and it sucks.

The best way to understand your spending habits, is to document them and doing so only takes maybe five minutes a day.  Decision making with the bold facts right there in front of you, becomes much easier. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Put some gold or silver in your monthly budget

By Mike Thayer

Gold and silverYou budget for food, housing, utilities, a vehicle, etc., but are you including the purchase of gold or silver in your monthly budget?

You should.

It doesn't matter if your motive is retirement, a hedge against inflation, or just a defensive financial asset decision, the purchase of physical gold and/or silver is a prudent thing to do.

Owning physical gold or silver means you have a real asset, not a piece of paper or a digital certificate.  It's more practical to sell, there's no three-day waiting period for a transfer, there's no default risk and perhaps most importantly in today's world of digital transactions, there's no hacking.

You can go online and find 10 or more reasons to be buying physical gold and silver and only one of those is because the price will rise.  The key to remember is that physical gold and silver is the ultimate form of money. 

So if you haven't already done so, find yourself a local, reputable coin/precious metals dealer and start including the purchase of gold and/or silver in your monthly budget.

I do my shopping at  the Heartland Coin Gallery in Wichita

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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