Category Archives: Works-for-Me Wednesday

Free Photo Fun

photo editing awesomeness

I have just discovered the wonderful FREE resource called picnik!!!

As a photographer, I can’t believe I never knew about this site, but it’s way more than just adding frames and text to your photos, it’s like a preprogrammed Photoshop on the internet for FREE!

For instance, I took this decent photo and changed it …

052607002 into this:

052607002b

or with the click of just a few more buttons, I took this:

0092 and changed it into this:

0092b

So try it for yourself! It’s FREE!

If you want to see more of my photo fun.. visit my flickr page!

This is what Works for me!

To see other Works for me ideas, Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers!

w4mw

siggy1

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Filed under Freebies, Works-for-Me Wednesday

WFMW- Budgeting

Prov. 31:16

She looks over a field and buys it, then with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

I may not apply this verse with fields and gardens.. but the following post explains how I “put money aside” in order to can fulfill this trait!

Ever since I moved out of my parents house… 18 years ago.. I’ve always tried my hardest to keep a budget. When I first started, I was waitressing, and bringing home lots of cash. As a young woman on my own, I knew I needed to find a way to keep my money set aside for paying bills like rent, food, electric, gas etc… but it was so hard to keep track! As a waitress, it was exciting to walk out the door on a Friday night with $200 in small bills in my pocket.. but it was also easy to BLOW almost that much money going out with my friends or on a trip to the mall.

So.. I started budgeting.

I knew what my “fixed” expenses were, so I wrote them down.  Then I figured out what I would typically make in a month.  Then I came up with percentages for each expense based on the formula expense/income.

I wrote these percentages down on envelopes labeled with the appropriate category.

Then, every night, when I emptied my pockets of all that cash… I would sit down with my calculator and put the right percentage into EACH envelope. That way.. I KNEW that when the rent was due… I would have enough money to pay for it!

Over the years… I grew up! (how on earth did that happen so fast by the way?)

I changed from an all cash situation to earning a paycheck, and I also added quite a few “categories” to my expense list as I added people to my family. 🙂

So, I developed a spreadsheet to be my “envelope” system on my computer.

realtimebudgetcapture

For demonstration purposes I've used random numbers in this image.

This “budget” spreadsheet is something I open everytime I balance my checkbook or use my Quicken. It is formatted on one tab to have an easy at a glance summary of how much money I have set aside into each needed category.

There is another tab that looks like this:

)

Numbers used are not real! 🙂

This tab helps me figure out what my percentages are…. AUTOMATICALLY! That way, as my needs change, and my budget changes.. I can easily change and update my “envelopes”. 🙂

I’ve created a version of my spreadsheet that has “comments” on the main page so that I can make it available to you all! The “comments” are like directions for how to use each column and tab properly. But once you get it all set up it’s really simple and really only involves a weekly  copy/paste to accurately divide out your deposits.

Here’s a view of it with the comments attached. Remember, they can be turned off in excel once you get the hang of it!

formulamakerwithcommentscapture

If you’re interested in downloading this excel spreadsheet for yourself, you can get it here:

Deni’s Budget Spreadsheet

It will help if you go ahead and think about the categories that might work for your family budget. Remember to do your Fixed expenses first, and your discretionary expenses last.

After you get everything set up and start using this system, it’s important to make sure you don’t “steal” from a certain category just because you seem to have leftovers. This system really helps keep you organized with your spending. If you find that after a year you have a major surplus in one category, then you can take from it and readjust your budget number to reflect what you actually need. I’ve found that in the “electric” category it seems like I have “extra” for a few months… but if I leave it there.. it really helps during those super cold months when the heat bill goes up or during the really hot months when the AC is running full blast. I don’t even notice that my bill is higher than usual because I left the surplus alone on the months when my bill was lower than usual.

Make sense?

Well, it works for me! 🙂 Let me know if it works for you too!

siggy1

PS- If you want to see some more Works for Me Ideas

Click this picturew4mw

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Filed under Getting Started, organization, Works-for-Me Wednesday

W4MW- Keeping up with the deals

w4mw

I’ve recently had a few people ask me how on earth do I keep up with where all the great money saving deals are. So I’ve decided to share my best time saving secret!

igoogle homepage!

If you go to google.com and you have a gmail account or any google account, click in the top right corner on the igoogle button and you will then be prompted to sign in or create an account. From there you can select a “theme” and save your settings.

On my igoogle home page I have access to my email.. and then the other boxes are reserved for RSS subscriptions of all my favorite deal finding bloggers! Don’t get tricked into adding all sorts of other “gadgets”.. you’ll need all the room you have to see the most Deal Bloggers at a glance.  (although I admit I did add a local news feed to my page too)

Here’s what mine looks like! (click on it to make it larger)

igooglepage

The way I set these up is really quite simple.. you can start off by adding my feed to your page! Click on the green RSS feed icon in the top right corner of my page. (Looks like this: g28 )

It will then prompt you with 2 options: Add to Google Homepage OR Subscribe in a Reader   I use the Google Homepage Option.. and then the RSS feed is delivered right to my homepage every day! Make sure you save your own google homepage as the homepage for you web browser..

Now, as you surf around the helpful sites that many of us money saving bloggers talk about, you can subscribe to all your own favorites!

I love knowing about the latest CVS, Walgreens, Publix and even Target and Walmart finds as soon as they are up! It really helps me plan my shopping trips… and I don’t have to go clicking around in my favorites trying to remember which site talks about which  store yada yada yada…

I also have a few other “tabs” on my google homepage reserved for other blogs I’ve run across that I like. For instance I have one for friends and family… (these aren’t usually updated “daily” so it’s just easier to have them on their own tab, so I can randomly check in to see when they are updated with out going around to each different page)

I hope “what works for me” will also work for you! I also hope I’m not posting about something that everyone else is already using!!! LOL

Let me know! I love getting your comments!

siggy1

4 Comments

Filed under organization, Works-for-Me Wednesday

Wednesday Double Dose of Good

worshipwed2

Today I want to praise God for…

my parents!!! 🙂

Without my parents committment to loving me and teaching me the way I should go, I would be lost and miserable. So, I praise God for choosing the parents he gave me. 🙂

w4mw

I am also joining in with a fellow blogger Called Rocks In My Dryer as she shares ideas that “work for her”. I will be taking part in this challenge along with many other bloggers. Click on the picture to go see all the other “Works-For-Me Wednesday” ideas!

My Works-for-Me Wednesday idea is something I read in a magazine last summer. When I organize my linen closet, I used to have a mess on my hands.. with sheets from different sets ending up mixed together. Now I use those left over Christmas ribbons or even my daughters old headbands.. to bundle each set together in the closet! Makes it super easy to grab the new complete set! No more searching for the matching pillowcase!!! The entire set is securlely kept to gether keeping my linen closet neat and saving me time when changing sheets.

w4mw-007I’ve also found that rolling big comforters and wrapping an old belt around them to secure them is a great way to keep the blankets from falling out when you grab the one on the bottom. 🙂

Please comment and let me know what works for you!

siggy1

8 Comments

Filed under organization, Works-for-Me Wednesday, Worshipful Wednesday