5 Easy-To-Achieve Personal Finance Resolutions For The New Year

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I’m a big fan of change. That being said, when I try to change too many things at once, I get overwhelmed and start to flounder. Like many people around this time of year, I start planning for too many “resolutions” and often don’t follow through on any of them.

This year, I’m taking a new approach. Instead of going “cold turkey” and attempting large, sweeping changes (like no sugar … I mean, come on), I’m making small, practical changes and paying special attention to my personal finances.

Here’s what I’m planning and how you can do the same.…

3 Surprising Financial Results From Living In NYC A Month

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I made it, SALT™ Blog. It has been a whole month in New York City, and I haven’t been mugged or gone broke yet (*knocks on wood*). And thanks to a stringent budget, some piddling Excel skills, and a general willingness to skip dinner from time to time, I’ve managed to meet my savings goals for the month! Woohoo!

That being said, there were definitely a few close calls. They were surprising close calls, too. Living in a city comes with a whole bunch of different expenses that you don’t really run into as a student or a suburb dweller. So, if you’re planning to make the move to an urban-landia in the near future, check out some of my budget results below—I think they may surprise you.…

Creating My First Excel Sheet Budget: Is This Growing Up?

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The other day, I was chatting with a coworker who has been freelancing for 10 years. Like the 20-something I am, learning as I go, I word vomited something like the following at her: “How do you handle taxes as a freelancer? Do you itemize?”

She now handles taxes differently, being married and having “dependants” and all, but when she started, she tried the whole itemizing thing. How’d she handle it? With two things, she said: receipts and an Excel sheet.…

3 Final Pieces Of Advice For SALT Blog Readers

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A couple posts ago, I talked about the importance of having a side hustle. Mine, my website (Money After Graduation), has given me opportunities I never imagined when I started blogging—including a new one with a financial start-up.

I’m excited about this new opportunity, but it comes with more changes to my life. Sadly, this will be my last post for the SALT™ Blog.…

How To Build A Back-To-School Budget

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I remember making the big Target trip the summer before my freshman year of college to get everything I thought I needed for school. I went up and down every aisle, generally looking like this guy.

I ended up with a lot of things that I never used (including several (!) lamps), so sophomore year, I started making shopping lists. Each year, I’ve gotten smarter with my spending, but this year, I want to take charge—that means making a budget and shopping on my own for the first time.

I broke my spending into four main categories, allocating a percentage of my money to each. If you’re getting ready to go back to school, consider this a starting point for your budget—with bonus tips on saving money.…

Even More Lessons For A Big DIY Project At Home

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In one of my first SALT™ Blog posts, I wrote about a rather hefty DIY project: stripping and replacing my roof. Now, a year later, that project is more or less complete and I’m on to DIY part deux (admit it, you secretly love that movie).

What was on the agenda this time around? A finished basement—kind of like this one, except not nearly as nice. We started in late February, and with lots of assistance from family, we are about 75% done.

So, what did I learn this time around? Here are a few tips if you’re thinking of undertaking a big DIY project on your home as well.…

Can You Afford To Get Married?

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You may not be able to afford the wedding of your dreams. You may not be able to afford the wedding of your mother’s dreams. You may feel like you can’t even afford to be a guest at someone else’s wedding.

But you can afford to get married—even if you have student loans.

A marriage license and a trip to City Hall or the chapel don’t actually cost that much. It’s the big party that goes over budget. But there are ways to do it on the cheap without feeling like you’re cheaping out.…

3 Unexpected Expenses That Go With Moving Off Campus

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This fall, my daughter is moving off campus with her friends. Of course, this process started in the spring, when they went on a waitlist for an apartment complex they wanted to live in.

When they reached the top of the list, they had 24 hours to accept the available unit … or drop back to the bottom of the waitlist. So yes, “we” started paying rent on May 20—three full months before she’ll actually move in.

And while those extra months of rent proved to be an unexpected expense, they were far from the only one students moving off campus face.…