Saturday Morning Hustle: Links we Loved this Week

Saturday Morning Hustle: Links we Loved this Week - Fun on a Budget Blog
1. Here are 10 tips for better skin to add to your current routine. (www.laurenconrad.com)

2. This mashup of the most memorable dance scenes in Hollywood is good for a little Saturday morning pick-me-up. (www.thatericalper.com)

3. Check out this food typography series in which the foods let you know which vitamins they are filled with. (www.brit.co)

4. Why you should be writing down your goals. (www.forbes.com)

5. You might want to read these 20 secret Amazon shopping tips to save yourself some money and time. (www.buzzfeed.com)

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♥ Brittany & Sam

Tax Time: Refund or No Refund?

Tax Refunds - Should you go BIG or Small

It’s hard to believe that taxes are due in just over a couple months! Last year we discussed our personal–and completely opposite–views and philosophies about tax returns and how much money we count on getting back from the government each year. Here we are one year later, and we both stand strong in our tax-filing approach:

Sam prefers to have more taken out of her paycheck thus receiving a bigger refund each year (find more about Sam’s tax preferences here) while Brittany prefers to walk the line of underpaying her taxes on a monthly basis so that her money is gaining interest in her bank account throughout the year. Read more about her style here.

We want to know what your views are on paying taxes and getting a tax refund each spring. In the great tax refund debate, do you go BIG or do you keep it small?!?!

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Follow on BloglovinSam & Brittany

This post can be found along with other great posts at Alex and Cassie’s Thrifty Thursday Link Up, Frugal Friday, and *Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich and Invest with Vi*

Weekend Survival Guide for the Girl on a Budget

Issue 63

Every Monday we provide you with our past weekend’s agenda to show you how you can continue to do what you love on the weekend while using your common cents!

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FRIDAY

Day 6 and 7 pic assI had an exceptionally exciting Friday night ending with an 8:30 bedtime. I enjoyed one drink at my typical Friday afternoon Happy Hour with co-workers, grilled chicken and veggies on the grill with my fiance, and watched a couple episodes of lost (fighting my drooping eyelids the entire time) before heading to bed.

Friday Spending Stats:

  • Happy Hour                                                                             $6.00
  • Dinner (grill at home)                                                             $0.00
  • Continuing my obsession with LOST                                     $0.00

Total Friday Spending: $6.00

Estimated Total Friday Savings: $10.00

SATURDAY

WSG Saturday 1.23.15I enjoyed some more R & R, wedding planning, a few errands and a date night. I woke up late to a rainy morning and decided to enjoy some coffee and, of course, LOST while checking some items off my To Do list. I finally decided to pry my booty off the couch to finish my wedding registry at W & S and get my ring fixed. We had some leftovers but after spending most of the day at home (and on the couch), I was itching to get out for dinner. We decided to try a new pizza place and head home for some more LOST…exciting!

Saturday Spending Stats:

  • Morning R & R                                                         $0.00
  • Wedding Registry                                                    $0.00
  • Dinner                                                                      $43.00 (for both of us)
  • Nightlife                                                                   $0.00

Total Saturday Spending: $43.00

Estimated Total Saturday Saving: $30.00

SUNDAY

WSG Sunday 1.23.15Meal Prep Sunday! Today is my catch-up-with-as-much-as-possible-before-the-week-starts day. AM dog walk and run, phone meeting with a new coach on my team, breakfast, meal prep, laundry, miscellaneous to do list items, and blogging took up most of my time on Sunday. Enjoyed a meal of leftovers from the previous week and guess what?! Some more LOST!

Sunday Spending Stats:

  • Meals                                                             $0.00
  • Sunday Stuff                                                  $0.00

Total Sunday Spending: $0.00

Estimated Total Sunday Savings: $30.00

Total Estimated Weekend Spending: $49.00

Total Estimated Weekend Savings: $70.00

I enjoyed some much needed R & R after visitors, two weeks of holiday travel chaos, more visitors, an out of town wedding, and a crazy couple of weeks at work…phew! What positive changes have you been making to keep your budget on track on the weekends?!

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Sam

 

Saturday Morning Hustle: Links we Loved this Week

Saturday Morning Hustle - Links we Loved this Week

1. After reading this post, I felt the need to find the new B.F.F.–the Best Foodie Friend. (www.groundedandsurrounded.com)

2. Reasons why women are living longer than men. (www.time.com)

3. Embracing the whole notion of “30 is the new 20” might not be such a grand idea, according to some psychologists. (www.dailymail.co.uk)

4. Here are 10 scientifically proven strategies to help you beat stress. (www.inc.com)

5. Are you unwittingly doing these things that could get you fired at work? (www.stylecaster.com)

 

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 Brittany & Sam

Healthy Habits could Help your Budget

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In general, I like to think that I make an effort to live a lifestyle that is filled with mostly healthy habits. I like to be comfortably active—which to me means enjoying a peaceful jog on a Saturday morning, sun salutating my way through some relaxing yoga, or playing a semi-competitive tennis match. There is no sprinting or “maxing out” included in my workout game. My typical diet consists of mostly healthy foods (God bless that 80-20 mantra), and I make a conscious effort to keep my mind in a healthy, calm state.

Recently I have taken my typical, healthy habits and kicked them up a notch, and what I noticed—aside from me wanting to eat brownies so badly that I second guess the decision of walking past fallen pieces that are laying on the floor without eating them—is that my day to day budget has fattened up a bit. I mean, thank goodness, right? Whenever I am venturing outside of my comfort zone in the world of diet or fitness, aka not eating dessert every day, in order to achieve a long-term goal that is awesome but very abstract and seems like an empty promise in the beginning, I am glad to take any silver lining I can get!

It’s an everyday battle to eat really healthy and exercise , but knowing that my healthy habits are benefiting my budget and bank account in addition to my body is the motivation I need to help me go that extra mile…when what my belly is begging me to do is eat that extra cupcake!

1. Healthy Smoothie Habit: I can’t get my smoothie from a drive through and know exactly what is in it, so I’m forced to make it at home. I get home from work, put my veggies and fruit in my bullet, blend, and drink that down. Now I have a healthy ritual that also saves me money.smoothie habit

2. Regular Workouts: Workouts are good for your body, but Dang! That is a time consuming process. Get into workout clothes, do workout, cool down/stretch, shower, wet hair problems…When all is said and done, I’ve used up at least an hour of time during which I could have been out spending money.

3. Alcohol Abstinence: Refraining from alcohol during this time frame has probably had the biggest impact on my overall health. I sleep better, keep a routine, my skin looks better, and I’m less bloated. To top it all off, I’m not spending money on overpriced drinks!

4. Sound Sleep and Lots of It: When I’m exercising and eating well, I not only sleep better but am able to maintain a consistent sleep pattern as well. Plus, I need that extra sleep to help my body recover from my own personal version of hell—leg days.  More sleepy time means fewer opportunities for exhaustion-induced mindless spending.

sleepy time

5. Packing Lunch: When you are hard core watching every bite you put in your mouth, the very idea of trying to navigate a restaurant menu or convenience store while in a pinch over your lunch break is too overwhelming to take on. I’d much rather throw some tuna and an apple in a lunch box and call it a day. Clearly, I lead a glamorous life.

6. Drinking Water: If I’m hitting my daily water-chugging goals, there is little room for any other beverages, and that means I have ended my 3 o’clock dates with the Diet Coke vending machine at work.

7. Social Activities: Most healthy social engagements also fall into the low-cost category, so that has been double fist-pumping victory for me lately—Here’s to you hiking, biking, going on walks, and having a picnic.

walking

That 1-2 punch of knowing that I’m helping my body and my bank account when I walk past vending machines, skip that second beer, or hit the sack early really helps me stay on track with my healthy habits. Does anyone else feel the same way, or am I really stretching (pun alert!) to find reasons to stay on that healthy bandwagon? In addition to monetary accomplishments, what else motivates you to stay on track?

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 Brittany

 

This post is partying with Sarah Titus and Frugal Friday Link Up,  Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less, and *Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich and Autoimmune-Protocolling Around the World*

Weekend Survival Guide for the Girl on a Budget

Issue 62

Every Monday we provide you with our past weekend’s agenda to show you how you can continue to do what you love on the weekend while using your common cents!

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FRIDAY

Friday kick started what was to become a marathon of wedding-related errands that lasted all weekend long. I am making a conscious effort to do other things and talk about other things (how miserable would I be to be around if I couldn’t do this), but when your wedding is less than 4 weeks away, you have to spend a lot of time just getting it done. Okay, now you have all been forewarned, so if you think wedding talk is at total snooze-fest or some form of cruel torture, you better get your eyes and brain cells out of here. Pronto.

Oh! Some of you stayed—I’m impressed :) So here we go: Friday I ran to the tailor for the hopefully final fitting for my wedding dress, and because it fit perfectly, I got to take it home with me too! All of this was prepaid, so technically on that particular Friday it cost me zero dollars. By the time I finished at the tailor’s, I was hungry for a snack, so dress in tow I went home where I had a quick bite and then squeezed in my workout for the day. It should also be noted that in the height of my snack attack, I also skipped a happy hour–hunger pains of being on a budget, I tell you what. I am planning on spray tanning for the wedding, and a test run on the first day of my 3 day weekend seemed like the best option for me (to avoid displaying any orange or streaky failures at work come Monday), so I showered and exfoliated, ate some leftovers for dinner, and headed to the closest tanning salon to engage in the operation spray tan research and decided that pending results would determine if I wanted to buy a second for the big day.  By the time I was finished getting my spray on, my fiancé was home and we spent some cozy couch time together before heading to bed to get some much-needed rest.

I took this picture early Saturday morning (pre-makeup and pre-shower), so I think it is safe to say that the spray tan will not be taking place the night before! Not my best look, but too funny not to share ;)

I took this picture early Saturday morning (pre-makeup and pre-shower), so I think it is safe to say that the spray tan will not be taking place the night before! Not my best look, but too funny not to share ;)

Friday Spending Stats:

  • Wedding Gown Tailoring (prepaid from savings fund)           $0.00
  • Snack Attack (drove myself home to eliminate)                       $0.00
  • Workout (21 day fix DVD at home)                                            $0.00
  • Dinner (leftovers)                                                                       $0.00
  • Spray tan (paid for with savings fund)                                    $45.00

Total Friday Spending: $45.00

Estimated Total Friday Savings: $20.00

SATURDAY

Saturday was basically my day to get all of my different to-do lists in life (work, wedding, home, food, blog) together and create a cohesive master list, so that I could get my brain working as one unit rather than 854 million different pieces. I started bright and early sending off emails and final payments, creating very well-organized and detailed lists, and doing some research for minor décor details. Once my handsome partner in crime woke up, we went to our recently discovered breakfast restaurant of choice to squeeze in some quality time before business took over. I LOVE BRUNCH!! After our bellies were full of bacon, he went to his part time gig, and I came home to work on the blog. I followed that up with some errands at JoAnn’s and Dollar Tree (big spender, you know me). I finished the night with a trial run of a DIY garland that I’m creating for an upcoming party. That doesn’t sound like much activity for Saturday, but somehow it took up my entire day.

Future DIY link to come, but I don’t want to negate any “wow” factor (hardy-har-har) by spoiling the surprise for any blog readers that are doubling as wedding guests in a few weeks ;)

Future DIY link to come, but I don’t want to negate any “wow” factor (hardy-har-har) by spoiling the surprise for any blog readers that are doubling as wedding guests in a few weeks ;)

Saturday Spending Stats:

  • Brunch                                                                                              $30.00
  • Lunch (home cooked)                                                                       $0.00
  • Joann’s (weekly spending money)                                                    $30.00
  • Dollar tree (paid for with savings fund)                                          $10.00
  • Dinner (home cooked)                                                                      $0.00
  • Nightly Entertainment/Weekend Activity  (trial run garland)        $0.00

Total Saturday Spending: $70.00

Estimated Total Saturday Saving: $40.00

SUNDAY

On Sunday I woke up and did some relaxing yoga followed by 10 minutes of ab work (double time to make up for Saturday’s lack of working out). Then my fiancé woke up with the revelation that he wanted a new wedding band. Yay! (So much sarcasm). That set in motion a day completely dedicated to me making him complete all wedding tasks directly related to him:

His wedding band – Check!

Groomsmen gifts purchased – Check! Check! Check!

Groomsmen attire finalized and purchased – Check!

We also accomplished getting my band dropped off at the jeweler’s to be cleaned and re-sized and made a run to the grocery store to get us set for a week of eating tasty, healthy meals and snacks. Somewhere in the middle of all this, I got hangry, and we stopped at the mall food court to split a Greek gyro salad for lunch. After nearly 6 hours of running all over the place to get our gifts and last minute orders organized and finalized, we were ready for some comfort food and vegging out. Once we were home, I threw some baked potatoes in the oven and premade Copy Cat CPK Tortilla Soup on the stove to heat up for dinner while we watched Castaway on Netflix. Am I the only person who has never seen this movie? I now regret not watching it sooner. :)

Just enjoying ourselves while getting things done! Take note of my tan (2 days post spray)—much better than Friday, right?

Just enjoying ourselves while getting things done! Take note of my tan (2 days post spray)—much better than Friday, right?

Sunday Spending Stats:

  • Breakfast                                                            $0.00
  • Workout (21 day fix DVD)                                   $0.00
  • Wedding Errands (from wedding fund)           *TOP SECRET
  • Lunch (for two)                                                   $7.00
  • Grocery Store (grocery fund)                            $40.00
  • Dinner/Movie                                                     $0.00

Total Sunday Spending (non-wedding gift related): $47.00

Estimated Total Sunday Savings: $25.00

*Total Estimated Weekend Spending: $162.00

*Total Estimated Weekend Savings: $85.00

I am fortunate enough to be celebrating MLK day from home and am taking advantage of this beautiful weather by heading out for an afternoon hike. Happy Monday Y’all!

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 Brittany

*The numbers I’m sharing with you this weekend are less accurate than they have ever been, but unfortunately the majority of our spending was related to some surprise gift items we purchased for our wedding party and guests. To share that information would just be plain tacky, and I can’t. All money used for those items was saved ahead of time though, which is exactly what a Girl on a Budget would do!

This post is linked up with the Let’s Be Friends Link Party. Click the link to check out some new blogs!

Saturday Morning Hustle: Links we Loved this Week

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1. Fifty-five gentle ways to take care of yourself when you are busy. It’s an oldie, but still one of my favorites. (www.thefreedomexperiment.com)

2. Everything you need to know about cleaning and caring for your beloved leather boots. (www.abeautifulmess.com)

3. Just when I thought I had heard it all, I find a few new ways to avoid a hangover. (www.elle.com)

4. Sixteen most consistent habits of wealthy people. Not all are mind-blowing, but some are a little surprising. (www.moneysmartguides.com)

5. An x-ray camera helps us everyday folk understand how hamsters fit so much food in their cheeks–very cool and very, very cute. (www.hellogiggles.com)

As always, we hope you guys enjoy some of the money talk, life skills, and INSANE CUTENESS shared in the Links we Loved this week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a cute hamster video to watch over and over and over and…..

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 Brittany & Sam