What is 3-6 Months of Expenses and Which Should I Have?

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings20 Comments

The traditional emergency fund is 3-6 months of expenses. Most people don’t have it and some have way more. The one thing most people can agree on is that they have no idea what their 3-6 months of expenses should look like. The first step to having a solid emergency fund is knowing why you need it and what it’s for. If every time you save $1000 you have an “emergency” haircut, you’ll be battling this vicious cycle of emergencies forever. Why do I need an Emergency fund? An emergency fund is for unexpected emergencies. You know they’re coming but … Read More

12 Best Personal Finance Podcasts for Millennials

Jen SmithPersonal Finance16 Comments

best personal finance podcasts for millennials

I used to not consider myself a big podcast person. While everyone else was hopping on the Serial train I was calling NPR like “Can I just have some Justin Beiber?” And I’ll admit I listen to whatever’s on the radio when I get in the car. I’m too lazy and usually running too late to decide what I want to listen to, which album/episode, AND plug it into my broken aux plug. But in the last six months, I’ve been addicted to podcasts. I got into them by writing this blog post. It started out as a list of … Read More

Are You Ready to Buy a House?

Jen SmithPersonal Finance23 Comments

Buying Your First Home

Today I have a guest post from JT over at JustMakingCents.com. He writes about how he went from $15,000 in college loans to financially retiring in his 30s, drawing on lessons learned from over 15 years on Wall Street. He also shares his experience teaching his children about money. Enjoy!   Your kitchen looks great. You wiped that countertop down to a sparkling gem and picked the perfect Pandora station to play. Since your friends will be over in half an hour, you dial up your favorite takeout and order 5 large pizzas. After you order, you check how many … Read More

Throw a Holiday Party on a Budget!

Jen SmithFrugality, Personal Finance7 Comments

Low Cost Holiday Party Ideas

We don’t get much cold weather here in Florida so when it dips below 70 I’m in full winter mode. Having friends over to listen to music, watch movies, and drink warm bevs is the highlight of my year. While those of us in our 20’s and 30’s usually dodge the bullet on hosting big family gatherings, we love our Friendsgivings and Ugly Sweater Parties. Holiday party hosting can get super expensive if you don’t plan ahead and set a budget. Fortunately, there are a ton of low-cost holiday party ideas out there. Some of you may be wondering, “Jen, … Read More

5 Ways to Save Money Online

Jen SmithFrugality, Personal Finance13 Comments

Save Money Online

With 2 weeks to go until Cyber Monday, it’s a good idea to start planning online purchases so you can take advantage of as many deals as possible. I’ve never been a big Cyber Monday shopper but I strongly prefer shopping online over in-store at this time of the year. Actually, any time of year. If you do your due diligence you can find dozens of ways to save money online. And I don’t even mean haggling or timing your purchases. There are really simple ways to get the stuff you need and pay less for all of it. Also … Read More

My New Favorite Planner For my Money & my Life

Jen SmithBudgeting, Debt, Personal Finance9 Comments

Personal Finance Planner

Want a peek into my life? I am notorious for having a separate monthly and weekly calendar, notebook for to-do lists, meal planning, and grocery lists, and that’s just what’s at my bedside. I also have a scrap piece of paper with our debt pay off goals/progress and I am constantly scribbling on whatever I can get a pen on. The Struggle is Real And I’ve never been into big, beautiful, personalized planners. They sound nice, but with everything I’m trying to keep track of, I’d still need my scraps of paper to keep everything recorded. But when Lauren Greutman … Read More

How to Lift the Weight of a Heavy Debt Load

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance11 Comments

Crush Debt

Despite our best intentions, personal debt sometimes grows beyond comfortable levels. Unexpected expenses, holiday shopping, a family vacation, and other spending obligations can cause financial imbalance, calling for changes to the way you manage your household finances. If runaway debt has you looking for a way out, restoring financial stability starts with your commitment to smarter spending and a balanced budget. With discipline and minor lifestyle changes, your debt will start shrinking, but don’t expect it to disappear overnight. It took time growing card balances and accumulating your debt load, so a slow and steady approach will turn things around. … Read More

November 2016 Budget

Jen SmithBudgeting, Debt, Personal Finance8 Comments

November 2016 Budget

I’m on a financial high going into November. It’s my favorite time of year; the weather is crisp, people are happier, and my favorite holiday, Black Friday, is right around the corner. I’m on cloud 9. And I have one more thing making my money-saving heart flutter (or palpitate, I can’t tell the difference lately.) My student loan is now 4 digits. I’m finally under 10 grand! I didn’t see this day coming anytime in my 20’s and it’s here. You guys, hard work and perseverance pay off! And I’m really excited to have you to share this moment with. … Read More