Benefits Vs. Drawbacks of Automatic Payments #payingoffdebt #payingbills #creditcards

So you’ve decided to enter into the world of Automatic Payments. What do you do now? First you have to make the choice of which way you want to enter this new, exciting world. One way is through the “Bill Pay” option most of the nation’s banks offer for free. The other is setting up the payments from the utility or Credit Card Company on their websites. Either way has the same set of benefits and drawbacks so the choice of which to pick is inevitably up to you.

BENEFITS

While there are many benefits to setting up your bills on automatic payments I am just going to focus on the main ones.

  • NO LATE FEES – This benefit is pretty much self-explanatory. Since the bills will be either deducted from your bank account by the company, or a check will be mailed by your bank, you are guaranteed your payment will not be late.
  • WORRY FREE DUE DATE (This is only a benefit if you go through the company to make the payment, if you use your bank bill pay, you will have to change the due date) – One credit card company changed the due date on my credit card. Normal fluctuations by a day are usual, depending on the card agreement or monthly billing cycle. This credit card company, however, changed the due date by five days. While I completely admit that the error was my fault, I should have paid attention to the bill, I was caught off guard by the change and ended up with not only late payment, but a late fee and jacked up interest rate. Even after several attempts of talking to numerous managers, they still would not lower my interest rate.
  • SAVING TIME – The amount of time spent on writing checks every month varies for all families. No matter the number of bills, each week or bi-monthly time is spent writing checks, filing out payment slips, and addressing and stamping envelopes. Paying bills takes time, no matter how many or little bills you have. Automatic payments free that time allowing you do something you might actually enjoy.
  • SAVING MONEY – Not only will you be saving money by evading late payment fees and high interest rates, but you will also save money on checks and stamps. For my family I used to buy a book of 100 checks at $34.95. I wrote 20 checks a month and the book would last 5 months, costing my family $83.88 a year in checks. Now that I have almost all my bills on automatic payments, I only write 6 checks a month. The book now lasts around a year and four months, saving me around $50.00 a year in check costs. I’m also saving $5.74 a month in postage, which makes a grand total of saving over $100.00 a year.
  • PAYING OFF DEBT FASTER – In the world of everyone’s interest in paying off their debt more quickly. Setting up your credit card payments on automatic payments actually helps you do just that. When I was writing checks, it was really easy for me to skim off the top of a payment and just send in the minimum. Using that extra money for something I really didn’t need. With automatic payments, however, I have specified the dollar amount I want the payment to be. Since that is what they will take, I’m not left with any room to skim off the top.

DRAWBACKS

While sitting down and really thinking about what the drawbacks of automatic payments really are, I could only come up with three. Since I’ve been in accounting for the last thirteen years it is easy for me to be meticulous with my money. My budget and check register are balanced daily and I am aware of every single penny earned and spent.

  • RECORD KEEPING – If you think that automatic payments do not require attention then Auto Pay is not for you. Even though the money is taken out without you having to lift a finger, it doesn’t mean you can slack on keeping track of your money. You still need to be responsible and make sure the money is in the bank account to take.
  • OTHER BILLS – Another problem I have come across is that I’m not used to “having to pay the bills”. If I get in a, once in a blue moon, bill in the mail, I have to keep reminding myself about it. Usually I end up paying it the same day, only to avoid forgetting about it. But I have come upon a month or two where I couldn’t and I’ve had to create a system to make sure the bill doesn’t get forgotten.
  • FLUCTUATING DOLLAR AMOUNTS – Credit card and loan companies are almost guaranteed a set dollar amount each month, but utility, cable, and phone companies are not. Unless you plan for a little extra each month in your budget, the fluctuating amounts can throw you for a loop—especially if you don’t pay attention.

Reasons to Brown Bag Your Lunch #mom #mommy #mommyblogger #savingmoney

In this economy, families all over the US are looking for ways to save money every month. From groceries, to gas, to extras, cutting down the amount of times you swipe your credit and debit cards have become a daily part of our lives.

One of the ways families can save money is to brown bag their lunch. Whether it’s for school or work or both, taking your homemade lunch has many benefits and can save families hundreds of dollars a year.

While the idea works, there can be snags, so here are some helpful tips on how to overcome those snags and start saving money and eating healthier today!

SAME THING DAY AFTER DAY ~ One of the biggest problems with taking your lunch to work is you run the risk of packing the same thing day after day—a sandwich (usually the same kind), chips, and some piece of fruit or vegetable. Even if you switch up deli meats, having that particular lunch everyday will become boring. Instead change up the routine.

ALLOW YOURSELF A TREAT ~ Allowing yourself once or twice a month to go out for lunch will help keep you motivated to take your lunch. While I would not suggest once a week, because that can get expensive really quick, a couple of times a month would be perfectly acceptable.

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR IDEAS ~ Take leftovers from the night before, or a frozen dinner and cook in the microwave. In the time it takes to make lunches for everyone you could even cook something.

Spaghetti is quick and easy if you just make the pasta and sauce. Cooking a turkey burger in a pan can take about fifteen minutes, and can be reheated. Grilled chicken tossed in a salad is great twist, or some homemade stew you cooked in a crock pot the night before.

Make extra for dinner each night so you have something, either for the next day or the day after and always make extra meals on Sunday night. Last but not least, try different and new types of sandwiches using different meats, cheeses, vegetables, and condiments.

KNOW IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SAVING MONEY ~ While I mostly stressed in this article the money benefits of taking your lunch to work, there is another benefit as well.

Bottom line is it’s healthier. Unless you are going to a restaurant and eating a healthy meal, or going to a healthy sandwich shop – which if you are doing that you are spending even more money – making a healthy lunch is going to win over a fast food meal.

GETTING OUT OF THE OFFICE ~ It’s true that when you bring your lunch you run the risk of staying cooped up in your office all day. Getting out of the office even if it’s for only 10-15 minutes is essential for maintaining a level of sanity while in the work place.

Even though you bring your lunch, that doesn’t mean you have to eat it at your desk. Finding a nice park to sit in can be more relaxing than a busy restaurant or sandwich shop.

Above all, have fun with taking your lunch to work. Buy yourself a nice cooler type lunch bag. Leave notes for your spouse and kids, or make sure everyone gets a surprise everyday. Doing little things really does help, and in the end you will eat healthier, save money, and feel better.

BOkhRL4XAngela Christina Archer is a wife, mother, author, and blogger who is ridiculously addicted to coffee. Currently, she has four Historical Romances available on Amazon. For more information visit her WEBSITE.

Want join the Write. Blog. Connect team? To sign up FOR CONSIDERATION, click HERE.

 

5 Grocery Store Sins #mom #mommy #mommyblogger #savingmoney# #grocery #groceryshopping

thDAZ0KU1HEach week many of us fall prey to the hazards of grocery store sins—the bad habits, if you will, that most American’s don’t realize they even do until it’s too late.

As you watch the grocery store checker scan each item and the dollar amount climbs and climbs, you begin to recount everything you placed in your cart. Was every item needed? How did this happen? Or more importantly how can it be avoided?

What are the top five grocery store sins? And how can you stay clear of them?

SIN # 1: NOT USING COUPONS

You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save money using coupons. Most people think cutting coupons takes too much time—time they don’t have. Certainly, scouring through the paper each Sunday, searching online, and printing and cutting coupons does take effort. But who wouldn’t want to take an hour out of their day to save some money? On average for every hour spent cutting coupons, $100 is saved at the grocery store.

SIN #2: NO LIST, NO MEAL PLAN

Going to the grocery store without a clear plan of the meals you wish to prepare for the week and a list will end up busting your budget. Buying products and items you don’t need will only cause you to have to return to the store for the things you do.  Making a meal plan for the week that uses not only the same ingredients, but uses items on sale will save you money and allow you to enter the store with an organized list.

SIN #3: SHOPPING HUNGRY

You’re starving and walking through isles and isles of delicious food. What else would a person do except load up the cart with everything your eyes fall upon? Before you leave for the store eat a snack or even a meal.

SIN #4: SHOPPING WITH FAMILY

Shoppers who shop alone spend less money than if they shop with their spouse or children. When shopping with others your attention is distracted and leaves your cart at risk for being filled with purchases you didn’t plan. So hire a sitter, enlist a friend or relative to babysit, and leave your spouse to do something they want to do while you go shopping.

SIN #5: IMPLUSE BUYING

Nothing, repeat nothing, will bust your budget more than impulse purchases. Even if it’s just one item, allowing yourself to indulge with one item has the potential to become two, three, or more. When faced with the temptation, instead of putting it in the cart, leave it on the shelf and when you are done shopping return to the purchase. Nine times out of ten you will forget about it, which only means you really didn’t need it in the first place.

BOkhRL4XAngela Christina Archer is a wife, mother, author, and blogger who is ridiculously addicted to coffee. Currently, she has four Historical Romances available on Amazon. For more information visit her WEBSITE.

Want join the Write. Blog. Connect team? To sign up FOR CONSIDERATION, click HERE.

 

How to Save Money at the Grocery Store #groceries #savingmoney #mom #mommy #momslife #mommyblogger

You’re standing at the credit card machine across from the cash register at the grocery store. While the checker is busy scanning each item, your heart begins to pound as you watch the dollar amount on the screen climb and climb.

You begin to think about each and every item you put in the cart, thinking that you really didn’t buy everything you did. You wonder how the bill can be that high. Your palms start to sweat as you realize that you are way over your budget and you start to think about where you were going to come up with the money to pay the rest of your bills.

th1IADUSHUFinally, the checker hits the total button, and as you gape at the number, you want to cry. Is there any way to actually save money at the grocery store? Or is shopping every week nothing more than a vast sea of high prices and overspending?

Yes, of course, there are ways to save and to make sure the catastrophe never happens in the first place.

COUPONS ~ You’ve heard it a thousand times, but the fact of the matter is, coupons work. With multiple coupon resources it’s easy to get coupons galore. So grab your Sunday paper, get online, and start cutting.

Of course you are not going to use every coupon you come across, cut them all anyways and swap the coupons with your friends and family. Want additional savings? Shopping at stores that that automatically double coupons will save even more.

WEEKLY ADS AND PLANNING MEALS ~ Along with your coupons check your local grocery store’s weekly ad for additional savings. Using the weekly ad, plan meals a week in advance. If ground beef is on sale, plan to eat more beef that week than chicken. Only buy the fruits and vegetables that are on sale as well.

MAKE A LIST ~ After you have made your meal plan, create your list. The most important thing about your list is sticking to it. Do not start buying items that are not on the list and do not change your meal plan while you are in the store. If you see something you would love to make for dinner, make a note and plan it for the next week.

PAY WITH CASH ~ Leave the credit cards and checkbook at home and shop with cash. If you know you won’t have enough to pay for it, you won’t put it in the cart.

KEEP TRACK AS YOU SHOP ~ With either a calculator of piece of paper keep track of the cost of each item going into your cart. Keeping the list will also give you a reference when making future lists and meal plans because you will be able to see when items go on sale how much you will save.

BUY GENERIC/STORE BRAND ~ I’ll admit that I am one of those people that with certain products I refuse to buy generic or the store brand. But the list of items is short, and I find that a lot of the generic brands actually have better ingredients than the name brands they copy, and they do it for a lot cheaper!

DO NOT SHOP HUNGRY ~ Eat before you go to the store. Going grocery shopping while you are hungry is like letting a kid loose in a toy store. If you are hungry, you will buy more.

SHOP ALONE ~ If possible leave the family at home. Kids can be a distraction and if they keep bothering and pestering for items, you will find after awhile you give in just to keep them quiet. Let’s face it; the cost of groceries is at an all time high. But with diligence, you really can save at the grocery store, but still feed your family.

Happy Savings!

Angela Christina Archer is a wife, mother, author, and blogger who is ridiculously addicted to coffee. Currently, she has four Historical Romances available on Amazon. For more information visit her WEBSITE.

Want join the Write. Blog. Connect team? To sign up FOR CONSIDERATION, click HERE.

Call for Sign-Ups! Call for Sign-Ups!

Calling all bloggers! Calling all bloggers!

It’s official! Write. Blog. Connect. is jumping back into the blogging world and is calling for bloggers to join our team!

Currently, we want all types of bloggers with all types of blogs. WBC isn’t only for novel writers, but for any type of writer and style of writing. We are not only looking for fiction, non-fiction, and genre fiction writers, but want blogs written about parenting, step parenting, adoption, homeschooling, crafting, photography, natural and farm living, finance (business and personal), health and fitness, food and cooking, and pet blogs too!

Below are the guidelines, so please read before signing up! Thank you for being apart of what we hope is a wonderful and fun place for writers and readers!!!

To sign up FOR CONSIDERATION, click HERE.

Profile LogoTeam Blogger Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in signing up to join our team and be a regular blogger for Write. Blog. Connect.

We are always looking for unique and relevant content that would be beneficial to our mission and inspiring to our writers and readers.

Bloggers will be responsible to post on their date every week or month depending on how many bloggers we have. A schedule will always be available.

Before signing up, please note the following guidelines:

  • All bloggers will be vetted before allowed on the schedule. Once you are added to the schedule, you will be contacted through email and given your posting dates/days. Signing up does not guarantee you a spot. Owners reserve the right to chose the bloggers who will represent WBC in the quality manner in which we wish to provide for our readers.
  • Posts will be reviewed for content by the Admins (Regina Walker and Angela Christina Archer) of Write. Blog. Connect. before publishing. Date of publication will be determined by the schedule established which will be emailed to the bloggers.
  • Bloggers are responsible for making sure their posts are done and scheduled to post on time.
  • If a blogger is unable to fulfill their scheduled time slot, they must notify the Admins (Regina Walker or Angela Christina Archer) as soon as possible. While not punishable, repeated missed posts will result in your removal from the schedule completely.
  • While the ultimate goal for Write. Blog. Connect. is to get your name out there as a blogger and writer, posts that are overly spammy with “visit my site” or “check out my product” feel will be edited A simple link at the bottom of your post, along with a short bio and a headshot is enough.
  • Posts must be high-quality, original content, not published anywhere else online (including personal blogs and websites).
  • We encourage a variety of topics.
  • We will not publish any adult/mature content. Our goal is to remain family friendly here at Write. Blog. Connect.
  • Write. Blog. Connect. will promote your guest post on Twitter and Facebook.
  • We encourage our authors to promote their posts their website, Twitter, and Facebook (along with any other social media sites you use) to direct traffic to your post. Since each contributor has a page, drawing people to our site is our main goal.
  • Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation is important to Write. Blog. Connect. Please make a concerted effort to edit your posts. Posts which require excessive editing will be sent back to the author for additional editing.
  • Write. Blog. Connect. does not offer monetary compensation for guest posts at this time.

Thank you so much and we look forward to having you join our team!