Budget Savvy magazine is hosting the launch of the Frugal Duchess online book tour. Here's a guest post from the editor and publisher of that online magazine:
Hello everyone. My name is Melissa Tosetti and I am the editor and publisher of http://www.budgetsavvymag.com/. I am very excited about this opportunity to submit a guest post on Sharon's blog. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sharon as we have traded money saving tips over the past three or four years. I devoured her new book, The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save! Unlike many books about personal finance, Sharon's book is an engaging story of how she learned to live "like a duchess" on a working girl's salary. The Frugal Duchess is worth purchasing. Reading, implement her tips and then add the book to your personal library for future reference. Pick up a copy today. It is a worthy investment!
My blog entry is about one of my favorite Budget Savvy habits that I offer in my eBook, The Budget Savvy Lesson Plan: Pay all of your bills on payday before spending a dime of your paycheck. Next, fill your car with gas and buy your groceries for that pay period. With all of your basics covered, you now know exactly how much disposable money you have left to spend as you please.
October 1st was payday. As is my favorite Budget Savvy habit, I sat down and paid my bills before spending a dime of my paycheck. I then filled my car with gas and ran it through the $4 car wash. I had hoped to hand-wash it over the weekend, but opted to bathe our dog Harlan instead. Harlan is a BIG dog, so it felt like the equivalent of washing the car by the time I was done. With no time left over this weekend to wash the car which was filthy, I thought it was worth spending the $4 to clean it. Another one of my favorite habits is to take care of the possessions I own like my clothes, furniture and my car. I try to wash my car at least once a month. Harlan gets a bath every other month. Now that I think about it, it seems odd that my Nissan gets dirty faster than my dog. I digress…
After I gassed and washed the car, I headed to Safeway, my favorite grocery store, and bought groceries. For the past four or five months, my husband Paul and I have been planning our meals around the surplus of food we had in our pantry. Well, the surplus is no longer and we were out of many of our staples. Case in point, I learned the importance of baking powder in corn bread just last week. Having run out of baking powder the day before, I opted to make corn bread anyway thinking that it just wouldn't rise in the oven. I didn't realize it would mutate! The malformed bread was edible, but not attractive. Next time, I'll wait until I replenish my stock of baking powder.
I managed to walk out of Safeway with a trunk full of groceries. The total bill was $108.85 and by making my purchases around their sales, I saved $37.97, or 26% of my bill. This is another one of my favorite Budget Savvy habits – make your grocery list around store sales. This is a trick that frugalists have implemented since the invention of the sales ad and it works! You can save hundreds of dollars a year just with a little planning and flexibility.
Now that I paid my bills, put gas in my car and bought groceries, I know exactly how much money I have left to spend for the rest of this pay period. With two birthday gifts to buy and a camping trip planned, I know how much I can afford to spend on each.
One of the other great benefits of the habit of paying your bills on payday and buying your gas and groceries for the pay period is that three of my bi-weekly chores/errands are knocked off my list in a single afternoon. I don't have to worry about fitting any of those to-dos into the rest of the pay period. I save money and time!
--by Melissa Tosetti, editor and publisher of Budget Savvy.
*Special thanks to Melissa for taking time to participate in this online book tour.
Here's more tour information: I Can't Afford to Go on a Book Tour, But I'll Travel Online
Here's how to buy my new book: