Where does all of the money go? 

Try out this calculator, to help develop a monthly budget!  Itemized Living Expenses Calculator

Have you tried the Three Gift Christmas?

What is it, you ask?  The “Three Gift Christmas” can take on double meanings, depending if it is for religious
reasons, financial reasons, or a combination of both.  Religiously speaking, Jesus received gold, frankincense, and myrrh from the Three Wise Men.  Some parents believe their children should receive three gifts as well; often using the gifts Jesus received as models to guide their children, as they create their Christmas list.

Financially, many of us live well beyond our means, for the sake of gifting.  We max out credit cards, pay bills late, and simply spend too much on Christmas gifts.  Purchasing only three gifts per child, helps typical ‘big spender’ curb their spending at Christmas time.

According to a “Three Gift Christmas” poll from the TodayShow, the majority of parents/guardians purchase 4-8 gifts per child. 

How many gifts did you purchase for your children? 

The Furlough: Could you Make it?

If you were furloughed at the beginning of the month, would you be able to make it, to the end of the month?  If you rent, your rent would be due, mortgages are typically due by the end of the month.  Then there are car notes, school related bills for your child, childcare, bills that keep your house running (electric, water, etc.), and let's not have to eat!

As a nation, we are currently at risk of debt default!  (Hopefully, a deal will be reached in time!  There's plenty to be said about the situation, but I'll stick to the money).

In life, there are things that will be thrown our way, that we will have absolutely no control over.  However, the current situations with the government shut down, and the threat of default, are reminders of two things: 1.  We must strive to save 3-6 months of our expenses.  2.  Always maintain a side-gig!  Or shall I say, multiple sources of income!  Easier said than done, but both are possible!

If you can't relate, to the hardships of missing a paycheck, or simply can't understand how to survive for a month, on a limited income, I invite you to play Spent!  This interactive, realistic game will help you to understand the challenges faced by many on a limited income.  It's also a great economics lesson for all ages.

Click the following link, to try it out:
Leave a comment, let us know if you made it to the end of the month, and what you learned.

Adjusting to One Income

Transitioning from a two-income household to a single-income household can be a very difficult adjustment...especially with kids!  Here are some pointers on how to save money and still enjoy things in life that are not free, while saving money in the process!

  • Movies-Either go to a matinee, or buy popcorn and snacks, and turn your living room into the theater!  With options to rent videos, netflix, and pay-per-view, this option can save you more than $30 for a family of two.
  • Grocery Shopping-Visit your area Farmer's Market to purchase fresh produce for a lower price.  Also, visit stores that sell meats in smaller packaging-for smaller families.  Wegman's sells packages of chicken that are perfectly sized for two, for under $3.00 a pack!  Also, don't forget your coupons!
  • Credit Cards-Try calling your credit card company, to negotiate your rate.
  • Trips-You can save money by taking the kids on short road trips opposed to purchasing flights and vacations further away.  Some ideas for roadtrips within a three hour radius are: Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Ocean City, Shenandoah, Camp Yogi, Camping at Virginia State Parks, Baltimore Harbor, Amish Country, and Hershey Park to name a few!  Don't forget about daytrips to local museums! 
  • Own your house?  There's always the option to refinance!  Give your lender a call, and see if you qualify for a lower rate.
  • For most options above, don't forget to visit,, and, for discounts!

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