Just pick up the phone and call your credit card company!

As you might know, I am slowly getting my finances into order. I am slowly trimming the fat (canceled Netflix, Starlooks) and am looking to cut my credit card annual fee. Yes. I pay $19 (used to be $29 I think) per year to Wells Fargo in order to have cash back on my credit card purchases. Every bit counts so I called Wells Fargo with the intention of cancelling my rewards program.

Be nice! Remember, you catch bees with honey and not vinegar.

After 20 mins of phone wait, tag time, etc…… guess what? The Wells Fargo representative was able to transfer me to a FREE rewards program while keeping my current points.

Since I am on the phone, I asked for a lowering of my APR (currently at 12.65 which is pretty good). Unfortunately, the rep was unable to lower my APR. But she offered me 0% APR on purchases made in the next 6 months. Now I don’t know how often I will take advantage of that since I will be on Dave Ramsey’s cash system. But the point is…… YOU DON’T GET IF YOU DON’T ASK!

And if you don’t get anything, don’t be discouraged. Just pick up and call again. The next rep might be willing to go the mile for you. Again remember to be nice! The reps are humans doing their jobs just like you and me 🙂

* Just my experience

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What is your monthly grocery bill? USDA Food Costs and how do you compare?

About a week ago, I was agonizing about my budget for groceries. I cook from scratch and my family’s philosophy is that you don’t scrimp on food. Afterall, it’s always going to be cheaper than eating out!

While the latter is true, I intend to trim my food expenses until my finances are in good shape. So I looked over my expenses for the last 5 months and set what I thought was appropriate and doable.

Then I came across this article today and thought it might help you in planning your food budget for July! 😀

USDA Food Cost for May 2013

If you’re interested to see previous year’s numbers, you can access the link here.

Previous USDA Food Costs

I went back and looked at the year so far and this was how it was:

Jan: Liberal

Feb: Liberal

Mar: Under low cost

Apr: Under thrifty

May: Liberal

Looks like for the most part, I am on the liberal side for groceries. And I planned for a number that is fairly close to the low cost plan for July prior to seeing this data. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Have you budgeted for July? If yes, how will seeing this change your figures?

If you haven’t budget for July, here are some of my thoughts.

– Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set a number that is realistic and yet stretch your restraint.

– Consider the envelope system for your grocery money and keep to a figure per week.

– Meal planning. The hardest part is starting. Once you have a system going, it will get easier.

Good luck!

Dave Ramsey – Have you started your budget for July?

If you are in total control of your money and am in an excellent financial situation, please go on and skip this post. Otherwise, read on! 🙂

 

Like many people, I dread the B word. Yes, budget. To me, it’s all about restraint and a life of lack. I went on my merry way and like so many others, am now in debt. Having heard of Dave Ramsey, I decided to order his book (second hand off ebay) and start reading. I got so inspired that I made a budget for July!

 

You can access a free pdf on how to get started here! It’s only 23 pages and it’s worth reading. In addition, you can get free budget and cash flow forms here.

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Here is my budget on a clip board at the fridge 🙂

We have a few more days till July and I urge you to create your July budget today! 🙂

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This will be my cash envelope for July. As you can see, I made my budget and set aside money for various categories (Groceries, Household, Eating out, Entertainment, Personal, Clothing and Gas). You can categorize however way you want 🙂 For example, although my tab says gas, parking comes from that envelope too. As for personal, I decided to loop beauty and toiletries as well as books in there.

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There comes a time when you have read all that is to know about a subject and it’s time to just do it. Plunge in. I’ll be there beside you!

 

* Found the last picture on the internet. Please let me know who it belongs to so I can credit it.

* My personal views.