Valentine’s Day card tip

If your children will need Valentine’s Day cards for the entire class, pick them up at a dollar store.

From: kidmoney.about.com.

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Budget for emergencies

Cars break down, pipes wear out and break, and kids get sick. Don’t forget to build an emergency fund to pay for these unexpected events.

From: theDigeratiLife.com Opens in new window

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What to budget

After figuring out how much you have to budget, you need to spend every dollar on paper and give it a purpose before it even makes it into your checking account.

Your budget should go in the following order: Food, utilities, housing, transportation costs, clothing and health costs.

From: theDigeratiLife.com Opens in new window

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Get rid of Private Mortgage Insurance

If your down payment was less than 20%, you are probably paying PMI. Once you have a 20% cushion through reducing your debt and home appreciation (yes, prices do go up from time to time), contact your mortgage company to start the process of removing the PMI.

From: doughroller.net Opens in new window

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How to begin a budget

When beginning a budget don’t budget for “the perfect month” and don’t use your monthly average over the past year. A budget should reflect what is happening currently.

From: theDigeratiLife.com Opens in new window

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Establishing a budget

When establishing a budget get the whole picture.  Start by collecting all checking account and credit card statements for the last year. 

Collect all cash receipts for the last month (or next month if you don’t do this).  Don’t forget cash spent on co-payments, mocha’s, haircuts, etc.  Now collect all receipts for financial contributions to charity, including Girl Scout cookies, etc.  Collect all pay stubs, deposit receipts, etc.

From: way2hope.org Opens in new window

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Send away for and follow up on rebates

Send away for and follow up on rebates.

After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day. Then mark your calendar to remind yourself to follow up with the rebate company if the check hasn’t show up.

From: doughroller.net Opens in new window

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Family Budgeting

When putting together a budget the best way to get started is to put together a very basic list of your monthly income (i.e. your paycheck) and expenses. Just give it your best guess.

Stick to listing things you can easily identify: rent, car payment, insurance, utilities (you get the picture). As time goes by you can add more detail.

From: personalbudgeting.com Opens in new window

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Save money on electricity

Lighting is responsible for about 11 percent of a home’s energy bills, and those continue to march up across most of the country, at a time when home prices are falling and job growth is soft.

It’s true that a compact fluorescent bulb uses about 75 percent less electricity than an incandescent, but the most energy-saving bulb of all is one that’s turned off.

From thedailygreen.com.