Have you visited your local Dollar Tree recently? Angie and I realized that there are several things that we purchase there that help us to save money and we wanted to share those with you. (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
I bought a bargain headboard from Craigslist! I am working on updating my guest room and did not have a headboard for our queen size bed. I recently moved our oak filing cabinets into the guest room to use as night stands. They are the perfect size to use as a nightstand and I already had them… so the perfect re-purpose of something we already had! Then I started watching for a new headboard. (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Angie and I have added some new additions/sections to our Happy Planners. They help us in our daily routine and we would love to share them with you! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Below I will elaborate on the three new sections I added to my Happy Planner.
- Blog: This section contains information for this blog such as post ideas and updates we would like to make. I love having this because anytime I can grab my planner and record it so I don’t forget!
- Financial: This is where I keep my Budget Sheet and my Focused Debt Payoff Sheet. I previously wrote posts on those, just follow the links!
- Fitness: Right now, I am trying to get back into a fitness routine. I have written out the workouts I want to perform and have blank sheets of paper where I record which ones I do and what day. I will share a new exercise log printable that can fit into the Classic Happy Planner later this week.
I have added or expanded a couple of sections! I am really trying to do better at meal planning and grocery shopping to cut down on how much we eat out! Here’s what I have added:
- Grocery/Food: I keep my on-going grocery list and coupons in my planner… if I think of something that we need, I can add it to my list! I also shop for my mom and daughters occasionally so it is really nice to be able to just add things to their lists as needed. Also in this section, my “Other” section – for stores like the Dollar Tree, Sam’s, Kohl’s, etc. I just keep a list of things we may need at these stores… this sure saves me time in the long run! I also have my meal planning and freezer inventory in here as well!
- Dining Out Coupons: I have been experimenting with ways to keep restaurant coupons with me… so that I will use them! Just yesterday, we were out at lunch time and we used our Subway coupon! This was because I had it with me and … remembered to use it! Score!
- Christmas: It’s not too early to add information for Christmas 2018! I track gift ideas, made a note that I found wrapping paper super cheap after Christmas, and other things that I will need when we get there again! I did move it to the back of my planner… my favorite thing is to be able to move things as I want to!
If you haven’t tried this planner… it is definitely my favorite! I have tried many other types of planners (see post here) but the flexibility in the Happy Planner just can’t be beat!
Are you like me and have always carried a check register from the bank to record all your debit transactions and checks written? Well, recently I decided to become a little more digital by using a check register in Excel on my smart phone and I am loving it! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Why I Decided To Use Excel for My Check Register
I am a big fan and user of the cash envelopes system (see here). However, most of us still use a debit card with our checking account even if we don’t write many checks. In my case, I wanted to separate a buffer amount in my checking account without using a separate manual register to record it. Angie has long been using Excel in a similar system on her computer, however, I needed a simpler version on my phone.
Since I have been using this new checking register, I have found these benefits to make my life easier:
- My check register is created in MS Excel and located in One Drive, so it can be accessed by my computer and phone. Any spreadsheet application should be sufficient, however, I like MS Excel.
- I have a link on my phone to access it directly.
- My extra sheets in Excel are like digital cash envelopes!
Financial Organization Benefits
My checking register is created from MS Excel free templates in Office (Checking Register with Transaction Codes). In Excel you can have multiple sheets which allowed me to add a ‘Buffer’ sheet. So, my Excel Checking Register allows me to separate out my money to fit my needs:
- Checking Register sheet: This sheet is my main check register. I add my debits, credits as usual. The Transaction Codes included in this particular template are editable. I added a few and removed a few. One of the Transaction Codes I added was for adding money to the Buffer and pulling money back from the Buffer
- Buffer sheet: Now I know I have been talking about a ‘Buffer’ sheet, so let me explain. I have always tried to keep money in my checking account that is not seen in my check register. This is my ‘buffer’ money. It gives me a cushion in case my checking account gets overdrawn for unforeseen reasons. I am able to handle the ‘overdrawn’ amount without involving the bank at all!
These are the only two sheets that I use at this time, however, there is potential for so many others! Some additional sheet ideas are:
- Christmas Budget
- Home Remodel Budget
- Car Insurance Budget
- Grocery Budget
- Car Maintenance Budget
The ideas are endless and can fit whatever need you have! Please share with us what you think about this system and if you have done anything similar!
The new year is a great time to make a goal to pay off debt faster. If you are like me, you like to visually see the results of your efforts. We came up with the idea of a Focused Debt Payoff sheet to accomplish this. As a Happy Planner fanatic, the sheet, when cut on the guidelines, will fit the Classic size Happy Planner. This is what I am currently using and I am loving it! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Not all budgets are created equal. That is why I created a set of four specialized budget sheets that I think will help you out! These are my first designs. I would love to hear your feedback if you use any of them and how to improve them.
One of the things Angie and I are passionate about is budgeting. We are always looking for ways to improve how we do it, where we track it, and how we can improve it. I would like to offer a free a set of budget sheets I created that can be downloaded and printed. They can be printed out on a regular size paper, but they can be trimmed down to fit a Medium sized Happy Planner (see our previous posts on the Happy Planner here and here). Even better, if you have a Happy Planner Punch you can punch the sides to fit perfectly in the planner! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
The following are four types of budgets that are included in this free download:
Discount Gift Cards are a great way to stretch your budget further! First, it’s important to choose a reputable website, such as giftcardgranny.com. As with any money saving tip, it is best to purchase gift cards for stores where you normally shop. (This post contains affiliate links in which we may be compensated without any additional cost to you.)
Here are a few ways that discounted gift cards will help your budget go farther:
No matter how much we love our pets, vet costs can be stressful. Especially for those of us who love to rescue animals! If I could, I’d rescue all homeless pets, but that is another post for another day!
Every year, each of my pets gets their regular shots and checkups that keep them healthy. On top of that, I have a few with special needs that require additional visits throughout the year. Several years ago, I came up with the following plan that helps me immensely:
Today we want to offer our custom Cash Envelope template! You can make your own long lasting cash envelopes. Below is a picture of a few that we have made. Below are the material list and instructions! (This post contains affiliate links, see our disclaimer).
Saving money on pet food has been an ongoing journey for years for me. I can tell you that being a PetPerks Rewards member at PetSmart has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years. I currently budget $60 twice a month and am able to purchase prescription cat food, prescription dog food and a higher quality non-prescription dog food within that budgeted amount each month.
As I wrapped up my last purchase at PetSmart, I realized that the shopping trip would make a great example to show off how much I save! Now, I do not save this much on every pet food shopping trip, but I save quite a bit each time.