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Got 10 seconds? That’s all it takes to monitor your budget on FitFin!

Time is precious these days.  While technology has made life easier, it also gives us a lot more distractions (I’ve already checked my phone once while writing the first two sentences of this blog!).

The good news is that FitFin is designed to minimize the amount of time it takes to track and review a budget.  That’s great, right?  But let’s be honest here:  Would you rather look at your budget or watch the latest cat video on YouTube?  Or even the Oakland Raiders?  There are literally hundreds of things you’d rather do than look at your budget.

Black Friday blues? Start thinking about next year right now!

According to the National Retail Federation, the average person spent $407.23 during Black Friday in 2013.  Think about your situation in 2014:  Did you spend more or less than the average?  Grab your receipts if you’re not sure.  Don’t be afraid.  And if the thought of going through your receipts and adding up what you spent gives you anxiety, then read on.

Three money mistakes I made right out of college

A penny saved is a penny earned.

You know the rest of the saying.  The popular phrase goes back hundreds of years, in various forms.  Benjamin Franklin is most famously associated with it, though it pre-dates him by nearly a century, and it’s not clear whether he ever really said it.  Regardless, you’ve heard the phrase.

But how well do you live by it?

Does Santa have a budget?

Christmas is quickly upon us.  I’ve already seen stores packed with toys and decorations.  If you haven’t done so, it’s a good time to make your holiday budget and lists.  You can do both with FitFin.

I’ve got three kids who are getting older, as they tend to do.  And with older kids comes expensive toys.  Two years ago was the first Christmas where we started to see this with our then-eight year-old son.  Here is how the conversation went down:

Me:        What do you want for Christmas?

Son:       An iPad Mini.

Me:        Really?

Don't let Facebook ruin your pocketbook

Show of hands . . . how many of you have felt the Facebook envy before?  I’m raising my hand, too.  I see all the check-ins at the fancy restaurants, the pictures of a friend’s new car, the constant updates from the championship game that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for tickets.

What we never see is someone posting a selfie while holding their credit card bill.  We never see posts bragging about a large car payment or outrageous insurance costs.

When dining out, consider these things to save money

Most of us love a greasy-delicious burger and fries once in a while.  Or a slew of tacos.  Or an endless salad bar.  Whatever your fast food poison (pun sort of intended), one of the biggest hazards is that to your wallet.  According to the DailyFinance.com, the average fast food meal costs $5-7 versus $1.50-3.00 for a home cooked meal—double that cost if going to a moderately-priced sit-down restaurant.  So knowing that, if you still can’t fight the urge to eat in restaurants, at least consider these things to help both your wallet and your waistline:

The price of status

The iPhone 6 came out last week and I saw several stories about people camping out for hours or days so they could be among the first to on Apple’s latest and greatest.  As I watched them on TV, I couldn’t believe their rabid devotion.  Little did I know that I’d be among them the very next day, but there I was on Saturday, spending an hour in a line that was actually just to reserve a spot in the real line outside the Apple Store. 

Do you pay for things you don't use?

A fitness chain in Denmark had a radical idea a few years ago:  Charge a single up-front fee and then only charge patrons if they didn’t work out.  Those who came to the gym on at least a weekly basis got to come for free!  The idea got me to thinking about whether or not I’d be one of the people paying each month for not going.  I actually do pay quarterly dues to my community association that includes access to four gyms, but I rarely go these days.  When my wife and I talked about this very subject, we agreed that we’d try to go as a family at least once a week to let the kids run around

The psychology of living paycheck to paycheck

I just read a great article by Nancy Mann Jackson called "How To Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck" Dailyworth.com.  She talks about strategies one can use to stop living paycheck to paycheck.  According to the article, 38 million Americans do just that every month.   As someone who has felt this pinch and the stress it produces, I read to see if there were any novel strategies.  I wasn’t disappointed.

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