September 1, 2022

How to Start Budgeting and Saving Money

 
How to Start Budgeting and Saving Money
©Shutterstock.com


When pandemic hits the world, a lot of people realized the importance of having a savings or an emergency fund. This is because many people lost their jobs due to  economic disruption brought by lockdowns.

If you are one of those people who have learned a lesson the hard way, then maybe it's time to start budgeting and saving money. Budgeting and saving money is not easy for obvious reasons that buying nonessentials is easier. But  sure thing is, it is possible and doable.

Budgeting is the process of creating a plan to spend your money and that spending plan is called a budget. Creating a budget can help you feel more in control of your finances and make you save money easier. A well-laid spending plain can help you reorganize your finances, spend wisely and prevent having debts.

Below are the steps to help you to start budgeting and saving money.

Put together all your record of income and expenses

First of all, you need to gather all your financial statements, which includes electronic or paper bills, receipts, pay slip, bank statements and all the record of income and expenses for at least a month. This is to create a monthly average for your budget-making.

Calculate your monthly income

To create an effective budget, you must know your net income. Net income is the your take-home pay or total wages less deductions like taxes, loans and employer-provided programs like health insurance and social security plan. If you're a freelancer, self-employed or business owner, make sure to have a tracking list of your contracts, pay and earnings to be help you manage an irregular income. 

Determining your net income is important. Because focusing on your total or gross salary and/or earnings can lead to overspending since you’ll think you have more available money than you do.

Track your expenses

Once you calculate your net income, the next step is to determine your expenses. Track and categorize your expenses to know what you are spending the most and help you save easier.

List down all the expenses you expect to have during a month. Start by listing fixed expenses, which are the mandatory expenses that remain the same from month to month, such as:
  • House amortization or rent
  • Insurance
  • Retirement fund
  • Education plan
  • Car amortization
Then list down the variable expenses, where you might find opportunities to cut back and save. This includes:
  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Entertainment
  • Personal care
  • Dining out
  • Child care
  • Travel
  • Transportation costs (fare, gas, etc.)
  • Savings
Have a record of your daily spending. You can write it down on a handy notebook, mobile financial app or on spreadsheets.

Set a realistic financial goals

Make a list of your short- and long-term financial goals to give you a direction and clarity when making decisions about your finances. Short-term goals should take around one or three years, which include setting a budget, reducing debt, and starting an emergency fund. While long-term financial goals may take a decade like saving for your children's education or your retirement fund. These goals will show you if you’re moving in the right direction.

Review your income and expenses

Total your monthly income, and your expenses. If your income is higher than your expenses, you are off to a good start and have extra money to put funds towards other areas of your budget. However, if your expenses are more than your income, that means you are overspending. You need to make some changes and find areas in your variable expenses where you can cut down.

But if your expenses are far above your income, reducing your variable expenses may not be enough. You may need to increase your income and cut down your fixed expenses to balance your budget. Remember your aim is to have your income and expense column equal, which means all of your income is accounted for and budgeted on a specific expense or financial goal.

Implement your budget plan

After reviewing your income and expenses, it's time to take the necessary steps to put your budget plan on works.

Monitor and continue to track your expenses everyday to avoid overspending and to help you identify unnecessary expenses. Make it a habit to record your expenses daily rather than delaying it until next week or next month.

Include saving in your budget

Include a savings category in your budget. Aim to save an amount that is comfortable to you then increase your savings up to 15 to 20 percent of your income.

Cut down debts and loans

Cut down unnecessary credit card expenses and learn to use your credit card wisely. If you need to make a loan or cash advance, make sure you really need it. Choose an online cash advance with lower interest and easy term payment. Just be careful not to be tricked with online cash advance scam.

Reduce expenses

Cut down your expenses on unnecessary things. Like instead of dining out every week, reduce its frequency to every month, every other month or to just when there's an occasion. Always think that even small savings can add up to a lot of money and you might be surprised at how much extra money you accumulate by making one minor adjustment at a time.

It is important that you know your priorities but not necessarily depriving your self. Review your budget and check your progress regularly. This will help you not only stick to your budget plan, but also identify and fix problems quickly.

Having knowledge on how to budget and save money may even inspire you to find more ways to save and hit your financial goals faster. 



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August 6, 2022

Online Web Games You Should Try

 
Well, I grew up playing board games. My favorite as a kid is Snakes and Ladders and  Minesweeper Classic, which I learned to play on a computer when I started working.

Through the years, board games have emerged. From being table top games to pre-install computer games, and now online web games that you can play via computer or your mobile phone.

Playing online games can kill boredom and if you are working, it can be a good break from work stress. So now, let me share some online web games that you should try.



I used to play this game as a kid. Together with a friend we play this on a piece of paper where in we drew a table and write the X and O. But now you can play Tic-Tac-Toe online using your computer or mobile phone. As mentioned, this a popular game for kids where each player tries to get 3 in a row. You can also play in a larger grid sizes where you must get 4 in a row instead. You can also choose to play against each other or the computer.



Uno is another classic board games for kids and also adults. In this game, players can select to play against 1 to 3 competitors where the players dealt 7 cards each and goes clockwise. The goal of the game is to lay down all your cards first.



Similar to Uno classic game, each player tries to run out of card first. But the cool feature in this version is you can play against friends all around the world directly in your web browser, rather than playing against the computer. You can select how many friends you would like to play against, then create a room and share with them and play.




This is a popular three dimensional puzzle in which the players try to match colors on each side of the cube. You can see the left, right and top sides of the cube. You can click can click on and drag any of the three rows or columns of the cube to rotate them and move color pieces around. Also you can place their finger or curser outside the edge of the cube in order to rotate which sides of the cube they are viewing. There's a timer that appears above the game and time will begin as soon as you rotate a section of the cube.



In this online board game, you can choose to play against the computer or a human opponent using the same computer. This game has 3 levels of difficulty and also timed with points reduced for taking a long time to make a play.

Those are some online web games that you and your kids should try. Let me know your experience and what other online games you have tried and enjoyed playing.

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June 13, 2022

5 Advantages of Having a Car During COVID-19 Pandemic


Three years since the pandemic started, our life is starting to get back to normal. Most people are back to work now, kids are going to school again and travelling is now allowed. We call this as the "new normal". 

Life goes on for everyone. And with the recent pandemic experience, many people who have no vehicles or cars before are buying their own.

Having your own vehicle or car has a lot of advantages and this is especially true during the pandemic. Here are the advantages that come with having your own car.

5 Advantages  of Having a Car During COVID-19 Pandemic
GettyImages

Self-reliance

Having a car is having your freedom when travelling. Using public transports could be detrimental. When you have your own car, you don't need to worry about reaching your destination on time or missing your bus.

Having your own car means you don' t have to adjust your schedule to others or your don't need to rely on others to get to your destination. You can go to places you want, anytime and any day you want to travel. You don't need to worry about the availability of trips and public transports in that particular place. You are sell-reliant in that way.

Freedom to take long drives

If you are a traveler then buying your own car means investment. Because having a car means freedom to take long drives. Planning a trip alone or with your family is easier when you have your own car. 

Having your own car is especially remarkable during unplanned trips. You have the freedom to go to places anytime you want. So if you love to travel, consider buying your own car. You may want to check the auto calculators to know what car fit your budget.

Safety

One of the advantages of having a car is control over the driver seat, which gives your more control over the driving. Unlike when you ride public transports when you rely your safety in the hands of other drivers.

Also, during pandemic travelling with your own car means being safe from germs and viruses found in public transports. Taking public transportation can make you more at risk of infection. In public transportation, you may meet potential carriers but if you have your own a car, you can control of who gets in and out of it. 

Save time

Having your own car means not relying on the availability of public transports. This is especially true for those living with a hectic life who need to get use of their time efficiently. Having your car helps reduce downtime by avoiding congested highways or main road and taking short routes to school or work.

Emergencies

When you have your own car, one of the advantages is easy access during emergencies. Moreover, you can avoid health exposure when riding ambulance and the cost of it. Thus, you can save on medical expenses and get you to where you need to be in case of emergency when you have your own car. 

Getting a car is a practical thing to do especially of our growing population. Public transports get easily crowded and congested, which is not a good idea at our current health situation. Having your own car gives you freedom to go anywhere you need to go. If you live a busy life then having a car can make your life so much easier by making better use of your time. 

Having your own car offers more flexibility especially during Covid-19 pandemic. But since we are in pandemic, you may want to check what you need yo know when buying a car.
 
But always remember that having a car means you need to be financially prepare. Because spending money does not ends with buying a car. You need to consider after sales service, repair and maintenance.

So that's the advantages of having a car during pandemic. I hope these helps you decide if you are still undecided to buy.

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December 28, 2021

Fun Kids Food Games


Although kids are already allowed to go out, many parents like me are still hesitant to let them go outside. Almost two years of staying at home, they are surely bored spending most of their times at home.

To kill their boredom, let them learn new skills like cooking. Teach your kids to cook the fun way by playing kids food games at Culinary Schools.org.

You can teach your kids how to boil eggs with The Boiled Eggs game.

The Boiled Eggs 

In this game, players boil eggs in multiple different pots at the same time by tracking the temperature of different pots and adjusting it as needed. It's a simple but exciting game because you need to keep track of many things at once just like when someone is working in a kitchen during hectic periods.

Here's how to play the game.



You can also teach your kids how to bake through this  Sweety Cooking Chocolate Cake game. 

Sweety Cooking Chocolate Cake

Sweety Cooking Chocolate Cake is also a simple game. Here the children are familiarizes with the kitchen and how to follow a recipe. 


You will be instructed to click the items pointed to follow a recipe.


Try the Merge Cakes too.

Merge Cakes

This is a simple merging game where you obtain pastries to create better pastries and earn more. Level up by unlocking delicious new recipes.


If your kids love pizza, like my eldest son, they will surely enjoy this Pizza Party.

Pizza Party

In this game you will make and serve pizzas using ingredients like tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, mushrooms, basil and pepperoni as per customers' choice. It will be a bit boring at first but as you go to higher levels you can choose between making advanced pizzas like quattro stagioni to go with basic margherita, marinara and pepperoni pizzas.

By the way, there are holiday themed games too like this Christmas Candy bubble shooter game. Just shoot 3 or more of the same type of bubbles to remove them from the playing field.

Christmas Candy

I just find the game too small in my computer screen and it's hard to see the design. But overall, I enjoyed this game.

Here's another holiday themed game, the Candy Cane Hit.

Candy Cane Hit

This game is patterned after the popular mobile knife throwing games. All you need to do is hit the apples on the spinning wheel and avoid hitting the candy canes already on the wheel.

Those are just some of the kids food games you and your kids can try. They will surely love to learn how to cook or bake after playing these games.

Please tell me your favorite games.




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November 11, 2021

Fun Games On Solitaire.org

There are many ways that we can play cards, either with opponents or alone. In the absence of physical cards, we can play using applications installed on gadgets. A playing cards can be also enjoyed through online means.

When we speak of playing cards online, Solitaire.org offers various choices. It does not only offer different solitaire games online but other card and fun arcade games too.

 

There are bunch of choices but here are the major categories and few games under each group. Browsing and playing games on Solitaire.org is absolutely free.


Common Card Games 

Card games include some of the common games like Hearts , Vegas Poker, Crazy Eights, and others.

Hearts

 

Hearts is actually one of my favorite default games in personal computer way back years ago.


Mahjong Solitaire Tile Games

Mahjong Solitaire category includes China Mahjong, Black and White Dimensions, and even the cute Panda Mahjong.

Panda Mahjong

In this game, all you need is to eliminate all the Mahjong tiles by removing a pair of tiles with the same characters until all of the tiles have been removed.

 

Hidden Object Games

The Hidden Object Games will exercise your eyes in finding objects hidden in the picture. The faster the better. Beware of clicking the wrong picture because points will be deducted for every mistake.

China Temple

There are different landscapes to be pick like China Temple, The Palace Hotel, Hidden Kitchen, Hidden Princess, and Garden Secrets Hidden Objects,

Garden Secrets Hidden Objects

 

Match 3 Games 

This category is inspired by Candy Crush and Zuma.

Candy Fiesta


You can choose from the list of games like Candy Fiesta, Treasures of Atlantis, Zuma Ball, and Zuma Legends.

Zuma Legends

 

Logic Puzzle Games 

Another group of online games in Solitaire.org is the Logic Puzzle.

Sudoku


The Classic Minesweeper, Chess Grandmaster, Tetra Blocks, and Sudoku are just some of the logic games. 

Tetrablocks

Tetrablocks is the well-known tetris.

Word Games

To enhance your vocabulary, Word Games can be a great category to browse and pick a game. Crossword Puzzle, Letter Scramble, and Word Search are just some of the choices.

Daily Crossword Puzzle

 

There are other Fun Arcade Games  available like Cookie Monster, Merge Cakes, and Tennis  are also a great choice when doing online games.

Tennis

 

With the above list of online games, Solitaire.org can be concluded that it does not only offer various solitaire card games but it also has many fun games to choose from.

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