Tagged With budget

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Do you feel as though your social life is out of control? Maybe you (or your kids) have events every evening, when all you want to do is spend a quiet night at home. Maybe you feel like you're spending too much time "touching base" and "picking brains" with people you aren't close to, and not enough time with your friends. Maybe your in-laws want you to spend every Sunday having dinner with them, and you... don't.

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The holidays cause some anxiety in my house: My husband and I are both somewhat undisciplined in our spending, and previous Januaries have arrived with credit-card bills so disturbingly large that I've wondered if we were in the grip of some kind of eggnog-induced mania. This holiday season is different, however: Last January I vowed to get my financial life in order and teach my kids about sensible money management, and it's gone pretty well. For the first time, this Christmas we've actually budgeted a sensible amount for gifts and festivities.

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The holidays are an expensive time for everyone - holiday travel, gifts, food, booze and festive clothes can break the bank for even the most frugal. But December can be especially financially brutal for single people, says Carey Purcell, writing for the Washington Post. This is in large part because single people are generally shouldering their living expenses alone, rather than splitting them with a partner, which obviously reduces their disposable income at holiday-time. But, as Purcell points out, it's also due to differing expectations for singles than for partnered people.

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Being broke sucks, and it's even worse when the world thinks you're broke because you spend too much on luxuries. When you're struggling to get by and you've cut your budget to its bare minimum, avocado toast is the last thing on your mind. You are, however, often tempted to just give up and spend frivolously. Here's a tip on how to keep your spirits up.

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Last night, the Federal government unveiled their budget for the coming year. The old days of "smokes are up, beer is up" are well behind us with the government's economic centrepiece now a collection of promises and wishes that are meant somehow to make us feel better about today and have confidence in tomorrow. This year, there were plenty of tech angles in the budget. Here are my five highlights.

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Australians toss out thousands of dollars in unused food every year. One of the simplest ways to save money on groceries is to make sure you're not wasting food. To avoid this problem, personal finance site Clark.com suggests keeping a list of stuff you toss.

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Last month we challenged you to haggle everything, and some of you saved hundreds. We're impressed. This month, we have a guest. Jim Wang of Wallet Hacks joins us, and we challenge you to use his "Upgrade and Save" strategy.

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From the day I got my first job as a cart pusher at a supermarket, I spent years living from one paycheck to the next. I hovered around the poverty line, hoping that I would last until next month's rent. At the time it felt normal. It wasn't until after I started making more money that I realised the psychological scars that living the poor life left on me.