Author Archives: Daniel Packer

Simple Ways to Save Money on a Low Income

An unfortunate truth in life is that there will be times when there doesn’t seem to be enough money. Whether you are devoting the majority of your income to paying off debt for the short term or you are adjusting to living on a single income so one parent can stay home with a new baby. There are numerous things you can do to still save money.

If you adjusting to a lower income or just happen to be on a lower income, make sure you take advantage of grants and benefits to help pay bills and ease the costs of living. In addition to taking advantage of benefits, try some to the below money saving tactics as well.

Cut the Cable: A study by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics ( shows that the average Americans spends about $2,800 a year on entertainment. That translates to just over $200 per month. Considering that a cable bill can set you back close to $100 dollars per month, you could easily save $1200 a year by getting rid of the cable bill. Instead of paying for cable, get a monthly subscription to a DVD service (like Netflix) for less than $10 a month and hit up the library for books and movies. Better yet, head outside for some free outdoor activities like hiking or walking.

Eat at Home: You can save money, and keep your waist line in check by cooking your own meals at home and packing a lunch to work. One of the biggest killers to a house hold budget is food. Both in terms of the amount of groceries wasted each month, as well as the amount of money used eating out and purchasing daily items such as coffee.

Reconsider transportation: If you are really struggling with cash, consider selling your car and buying a bus pass or a bike. If this isn’t an option, possibly down grade your vehicle. In addition, make sure you have a maintenance budget set up for unexpected costs and review your insurance policy on an annual basis.

Switch Life Insurance Plans: Don’t get rid of your life insurance, as it provides a safety net for your family. However, if and when your circumstances change, make sure you update your insurance policy. In addition, you should review your policy on an annual basis to make sure you are on the best deal for you and your family. It’s funny how companies will do anything in terms of deals to get a new client and yet they neglect loyal customers.

Plan ahead and lower expectations: Christmas, birthdays, Halloween and school pictures happen every year. You know (at least approximately) when these events are going to take place which means you can start saving for them early. A $400 Christmas budget seems a lot less daunting when you save $40 a month for 10 months. Use envelopes or create separate accounts and set aside a little money each month so that you aren’t scrambling last minute to come up with the cash you need.

Additionally, start simplifying things. Instead of throwing a huge birthday party, consider a smaller party at home with a homemade cake. Play games, watch movies and enjoy time as a family, and you can save a lot of money.

How to Create a Household Budget

Making a household budget is challenging implying breadwinners should use the following tips to make useful budgets for their households. The first step to making effective budgets is to consider expenditures from all members of the household because knowing all their expenditures enables you to plan.

Other Expenses

It is notable that identifying additional family expenses is useful when planning for a household budget. Thus, breadwinners should write down all their expenses before deciding to make a budget. While doing so, it is advisable to identify unnecessary expenditures and eliminate or reduce them.

Sources of Income

Identifying all sources of income to a household is an imperative element when developing a household budget. It is because knowing the household income enables breadwinners to plan for their expenses against their income. After identifying sources of income, set aside cash for unplanned expenses and emergencies.

Basic Accounting Skills

It is critical that having basic accounting skills enables breadwinners to plan for their budget. Basic accounting skills aid in identifying where how you spend your money and how to generate more income. If you do not have such skills it is time you consult a professional who can help you with basic accounting tips.

The GVK Group

Since it is important to have accounting skills, the GVK Group – Accounting Vancouver, is an excellent organization that can help in obtaining basic accounting skills. The GVK Group is an accounting firm that provides management advisory, consulting services, accounting, and tax services. It follows that approaching the organization for basic accounting skills is useful when planning for a household budget.

The Final Steps

Add up household expenses, additional expenses, and set aside cash for emergencies. Eliminate all unwanted expenses and compare it with the household income. Make sure the income surpasses the expenses by at least 40 percent. If not, identify expenses the household does not need and remove them from the budget.

The Best Times To Ask Your Boss For Vacation

Just about everyone with a normal 9-5 job looks forward to their precious weekends and vacation days. It’s not that we hate our jobs, but we have a work hard, play hard mentality. We want to spent time with friends and family, so we work hard all week to have those opportunities.

While we usually have weekends all to ourselves, planning vacations is a bit more difficult. Asking for a day or two off is fairly easy as it doesn’t disrupt projects and short periods of time out of work should not cause big issues. There’s the guilt aspect of asking for vacation, too: your coworkers will have to cover for you.

Asking for a week or more of vacation time, however, can be much more problematic. You have to compete with project deadlines and coworkers schedules to find a time that’s convenient for you. It’s often very stressful asking for more than a few days of vacation at once because getting turned down can feel like a big letdown. Here are some of the best times to ask your boss for vacation.

Ask About Planned Vacations Before You Accept The Job

If you’re planning a vacation before you begin a new job, this can be the best time to ask about pre-planned vacations. Yes, you may want the job desperately, but employers also want you and understand that we’ve made commitments prior to getting an offer. Once they offer you a job, you can bring up commitments you’ve already made and ask if they can accomodate you. If they think you may not take the job if they say no (and they want to start off the relationship on a strong foot the same way you do), they have more to lose than to gain.

Ask For Vacation After A Successful Project

If your performance has been solid and you’ve gotten positive feedback about it, you’re more likely get your vacation request approved. It will be in the front of your boss’ mind just know how valuable you are to the team, and he or she will be more likely to accommodate your request.

Make It Easy For Your Boss To Say Yes

There are a few things you can do to give you the best chance for your boss to accept your vacation proposal. If you have been slacking off or your work hasn’t been up to snuff, put off asking until you’re in good standing. Ask far in advance, before your coworkers get a chance so there are no other competitors for your preferred vacation dates. And offer to work during popular vacation times, like Christmas week, and you coworkers will be more willing to pick up the slack when you’re out of the office.

Lauren and I are taking a big vacation starting this week, and I let my employer know before I even started. After being offered the job, I asked if they could accommodate the vacations I had already planned. One had already been booked, while the other I was still planning, and tried to find a time that worked well for everyone. They graciously allowed us to go, and we scheduled it partly during Thanksgiving so I won’t miss as many days.