Alan Fraser Houston
Budgeting, Money Etiquette

50+ of the Best Debt Free Quotes to Motivate You to Finally Dump Your Debt

Sometimes the best motivator is a hug, and sometimes it’s a swift kick in the butt from some cold hard truth! Here are the best debt free quotes to do just that!

I love a good underdog story! Seriously, I love it when a person is down on their luck, and they spend all their time crying. Then they decide to kick a little butt and then swing out in front at the very end of the story. Everyone cheers, moms cry, and good game butt slaps for everyone!

Is this the point where Queen sings We Are the Champions?  I hope not.

The point is that it is so dang motivating to see people overcome their past, their fears, their own ideas about who they are, and decide to kick all that to the curb and put their game face on! I love the determination, the promise that hard work pays off, and the achievement they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.

The true magic isn’t in the movies; it’s in real life. Let me tell you, I am moved to tears (almost) every time I listened to the Dave Ramsey podcast and heard people yell out their debt-free scream. True story. I’d be driving to work at 7 am with tears in my eyes, as I could just feel their excitement and their pride in taking control of their lives and getting out of debt.

Now we can’t all be on the DR podcast, spilling the deets of our debt payoff story. So I’ve rounded up some of the best debt quotes and debt free quotes to help motivate you to take charge! So you can either start on your debt-free journey or help crush the last little bit of debt that you’ve been working so hard to dump!

50+ debt quotes to inspire you to finally dump your debt

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America the great (debtor)

It’s common knowledge that Americans are deep in debt, yet it’s staggering when we see the actual amount. As of Sept 2020, Nerdwallet found that the average US household held debt of $145,085, to the turn of $14.35 trillion nationwide.

That figure includes all debt, but when people talk about debt, they are mostly talking about credit card debt. According to the same study the average household carries $7,027 on their cards, and they’ll pay an average of $1,155 in interest this year (2020).

Can you imagine, taking $1,155 and flushing it down the toilet? Ugh!

Now, I do want to say that some credit card purchases are a must spend, things like car repair when it’s your only mode of transportation to get to work. A new HVAC system, when yours died in the middle of winter. Those things are necessary, and I understand and support those that need to do it.

But debt that is frivolous makes my heart hurt – new iPhones, excess clothes, eating out 5 nights a week, those things are what is dragging Americans down.

So what do we do? We change! It’s the only option, yet people don’t change when they’re comfortable, they change because they are either inspired or they’re forced to. No one wats to be forced to do anything, so instead let’s inspire! I found some of the best debt quotes to do just that!

Debt quotes

“Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.”
– Gloria Steinem

“Overspending while trying to raise one’s status is a condition of economic materialism which hurts people financially, because it usually results in unnecessary debt. One does not raise social strata by buying things but instead by acquiring enough wealth to qualify for the next category of wealth.”
– Zachariah Renfro

“When you buy a bigger house, another luxury car, or a fancy boat, you are showing people that you used to have money.”
– Christopher Manske

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.”
– Zig Ziglar

“[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”
– Charles Dickens

debt quote from bejamin jowett

“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”
– Nathan W. Morris

“A Debt Problem Is, At Its Core, a Budgeting Problem.”
– Natalie Pace

“The basic thing with frugality is: IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, DON’T BUY IT.”
– Harken Headers

“Know what you own, and know why you own it.”
– Peter Lynch

“Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.”
– Ogden Nash

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.”
– Noam Chomsky

“A good name is still to be preferred over great riches. Especially it is to be preferred to the appearance of riches, acquired with nothing down and nothing to pay for 2 months.”
– Ezra Taft Benson

debt quote from richard armour

“To grasp why people bury themselves in debt, you don’t need to study interest rate: you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.”
– Morgan Housel

“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”
– American Proverb

“No man’s credit is as good as his money.”
– E.W. Howe

“Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them.”
– George Herbert

“Creditors have better memories than debtors.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.”
– Rutherford B. Hayes

debt quotes from robert kiyosaki

“Debt can turn a free, happy person into a bitter human being.”
– Michael Mihalik

“Debt on anything that depreciates is disastrous.”
– Orrin Woodward

“The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.”
– James Lendall Basford

“Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.”
– George D Prentice

“Debt is one person’s liability, but another person’s asset.”
– Paul Krugman

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”
– George Lorimer

“In God we trust; all others must pay cash.”
– unknown

debt quote from ralph waldo emerson

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
– Proverbs 22:7

“Ten million dollars after I’d become a star, I was deeply in debt.”
– Sammy Davis Jr

“Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.”
– Samuel Johnson

“A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.”
– Victor Hugo

“One of the greatest disservices you can do a man is to lend him money that he can’t pay back.”
– Jesse H Jones

“Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.”
– Josh Billings

debt quotes from unknown author

“Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.”
– Ezra Pound

“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash, son.”
– Charles Portis

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting out of debt.”
– Dave Ramsey

You can’t talk about debt without have Dave Ramsey be a part of it! He is the debt payoff king, and for good reason! He has helped tens of thousands of people payoff debt and build wealth with his baby step process.

“Debt is a prolific mother of folly and of crime.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

“Debt basically enables people to live a lie.”
– Rachel Cruze

“Words pay no debts.”
– William Shakespeare

debt quote from thomas tussar

“Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift… The hangover comes the day after.”
– Joyce Brothers 

“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.”
– unknown

“Rich people believe ‘I create my life.” Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me’”
– T. Harv Eker

“Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt.”
– Henrik Ibsen

“The decision to go into debt alters the course condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.”
– Dave Ramsey

Being “debt free” quotes

Some of these quotes talk about the peace that freedom from debt can bring, while others are more “motivational quotes” to inspire those on their debt free journey!

“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”
– Adam Smith

“Out of debt, out of danger.”
– Jerry Voorhis

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“His brow is wet with honest sweat; he earns whate’er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.” 
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“It always seems impossibble until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela

debt quotes - unknown author

“Pay off your debt first. Freedom from debt is worth more than any amount you can earn.”
– Mark Cuban

“A healthy and debt free living person is the richest and the happiest.”
– Sushmitha Maddula

“Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.”
– unknown

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
– unknown

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”
– Roy T Bennett

“Perseverance is teh hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
– Newt Gingrich

“Learning is never done without errors and defeat.”
– Vladimir Lenin

At the end of the day

Yes, clichés are so cliché. But that doesn’t stop them from being right/true! People for centuries have been talking about the negative effects of debt; not one talks about how great it is. Yet, in today’s age, so many of us find ourselves in debt, looking for a way out.

I hope you found a little bit of inspiration on this page of debt quotes, maybe a new mantra to help you when times are hard. Either way, know that other people have struggled with debt, and many have overcome it. You will too! Soon enough you could be sharing your own story, writing your own debt free quotes to inspire others!

  • Budgeting Quotes to Inspire You and Your Bottom Line!
  • 5 Tips on How to Stay Motivated While Saving Money (just like a Pro)!
  • Debt Payoff – This is How You do it!
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Which of the debt free quotes are your favorite?

The post 50+ of the Best Debt Free Quotes to Motivate You to Finally Dump Your Debt appeared first on Money for the Mamas.


Budgeting, Money Etiquette

4 Reasons Why Creating a Budget Can Increase Your Wealth

Building wealth isn’t necessarily second nature to anyone, but you have to start somewhere.

Budgets aren’t simply a means to keep track of whether your bills are paid and which accounts are due. They’re your tool for managing money in a way that builds wealth. Wealth might seem like a far-off concept, but almost everyone has to start somewhere. Unless you were born into it, the only way to have a comfortable financial profile is to build it yourself.

Here are four reasons why a budget can increase your wealth, and ways to make it happen:

Budgets Reveal Income Deficiencies, Which Lets You Fill Them

One of the first steps in creating a budget is determining exactly what your income is and recording it. For people who earn a regular, dependable paycheck, this part might be simple. For freelancers and those with more sporadic income, it’s not so easy.

One recommended method is to review your income for the past year and determine a monthly average income based on the lowest amount earned in one month. You could also take an average of lower months to find a conservative monthly estimated income. This is a cautious way to estimate, but it’s also safer when income isn’t guaranteed.

Once you see what you’ve got, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not as much as you thought. Insurance, taxes, and other deductions make your hourly wage or yearly salary a bit smaller. If your income is less than you need, there’s only a couple of things to do about it – earn more, perhaps with a part-time job or by seeking different employment, or spend less.

Keep an eye on spending, and help your money work for you.

Budgets Expose Excessive Spending, Which Lets You Stop It

Everyone spends, but building wealth depends on spending less than you earn. Simple enough, until you try to implement those changes. That’s where a budget can help you sort out your needs from your wants, which lets you make better choices. When you track your spending, including cash purchases, everything is revealed

Excessive spending is a wealth destroyer. Impulse buys at the checkout, new gadgets at every release, and even grocery items that aren’t on your shopping list take money from where you want it. And where you want it is in the position of earning more.

Think of it this way. When you spend on something you don’t need, you gain an object that’s worth less (or even worth nothing) the day after you buy it. Instead of your money earning interest or dividends for you, it’s lining someone else’s pocket.

Budgets Help You Make Investments and Track Them

Investing isn’t just for the rich. Sensible investments can put you on the same path to wealth, and a comprehensive budget helps you find money to allocate in that direction. Saving money is important, but savings accounts traditionally earn pitifully poor interest. According to Forbes, Ally Bank, which is one of the top-rated internet banking institutions, offers only 0.87%. That’s not much of a return. Your money is safe, but it’s not growing fast enough to suit anyone’s taste.

If you’re just starting out, mutual funds might be a great way to ease into investing. U.S. News and World Report Money explains that while there’s never any guarantee for a return, and past performance is only a gauge, mutual funds are something that the everyday investor might consider.

Compared to the interest earned on a savings account, mutual fund returns averaging between 3% and 14% are hard to ignore. With budgeting software, you can keep track of those investments any time you like.

Budgets Help You Set Goals and Reach Them

Budgets are goal-setting tools. Used wisely, small steps lead to big advances over the months and years to come. Some people view their budget as an unpleasant, difficult, and sometimes depressing requirement. That’s missing the point, which is empowerment.

When you know what you have, how you spend, and how well your money is performing, you can make conscious choices that improve your current situation. Start small, if you must. Set one goal. Let nothing stand in the way of reaching it, even if it takes longer than you realized.

Maybe you need to start an emergency cash fund. Or perhaps you want to pay down some debt. Whatever your goal, a budget helps you get there. And when you get there, you are on your way to building wealth. offers a comprehensive suite of products that put you in control of your money. Sign up for a free account today, and start building wealth to last a lifetime.


The post 4 Reasons Why Creating a Budget Can Increase Your Wealth appeared first on MintLife Blog.


Budgeting, Debt, Market News

Struggling with money anxiety and finding balance

On Saturday evening, I had a chance to chat with my friends Wally and Jodie. You might remember them from a reader case study from last August. They’re the couple that wants to get their finances in order but they’re worried because they’re starting with less than zero.

When we chatted in August, Wally and Jodie had over $35,000 in debt. They had variable incomes, but somehow seemed to spend exactly what they earned — about $3000 per month after taxes. Worst of all, they were behind on some payments.

Now, eight months later, their situation has improved.

Over smoked German sausage and beer, Wally and Jodie told me about their progress. (My dog, Tahlequah, was eager to take part in the conversation. Or maybe it was the sausage she wanted?)

Jodie, Tally, and Wally

Taking Baby Steps

“Based on your advice, we’ve worked hard to increase our incomes,” Jodie told me. “We’ve both been picking up extra shifts whenever possible. And I started a second job that pays pretty well.”

“So, you’ve been able to get a gap between your income and your spending?” I asked.

“You bet,” said Wally. “By working more, we don’t have time to spend much money. In August, we didn’t have any gap between our earning and spending. Our gap was zero. Now our gap is almost $2000! And we’ve been using the debt snowball method to get out of debt. We’ve already paid off a bunch of smaller stuff and now have $438 extra per month for debt payoffs. Plus, we have an emergency fund.”

“This all sounds amazing,” I said. “Great work!”

“It is amazing,” Wally said. “This is the best shape I’ve ever been in financially. But we’re struggling to figure out what to do next.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well,” said Jodie. “We’re getting married in September. We don’t know how much to budget for that. Meanwhile, we still have a lot of debt. We owe about $10,000 on Wally’s car. We had to replace my Mini Cooper last winter, and that brought us another $10,000 of debt. Plus, I still owe on my school loans.”

I did some mental math. While the couple’s cash flow has improved, I was a little nervous that they hadn’t actually decreased their debt since the last time we talked about money. That said, I know Jodie’s old car had been a thorn in their side. And they have paid down nearly $10,000 in miscellaneous debts.

“The real issue is that we can’t seem to find balance,” Wally said. “We’re burned out. We’ve been working so much that we never have time for ourselves. Or each other. It’s affecting our moods and our attitudes.”

“Yeah,” I said. “That’s tough.”

Wally nodded. “Now I have a friend who wants us to fly out to his wedding,” he said. “We’ve done the math, and we can’t afford it. He’s offered to pay for the trip, but we don’t know how we feel about that. We want to go, but even if we do accept his help, it’ll cost us a few hundred bucks — plus whatever income we lose while we’re gone.”

“What should we do?” Jodie asked. “We thought saving more would reduce the stress, but we’re just as anxious as ever. Well, maybe not anxious in the same way, I guess, but still. We’re worried about money — even with a $2000 gap each month.”

“Trust me,” I said. “The money worry never goes away. Everybody has money anxiety, no matter how much they earn, no matter how much they have saved.”

Worrying About Money

“Do you worry about money?” Wally asked.

“Yes, of course,” I said. “I’m basically financially independent, but I still have money anxiety. In fact, I’m so worried about it that this year I’m tracking every penny I earn and spend. And, just like you, there always seems to be something that comes up for me to spend on. There’s my heart-attack scare, which now looks like it’ll cost me $7500. I just paid a huge tax bill. And there’s all of this travel I’ve committed to this year. It’s always something.”

“Should we fly to my friend’s wedding?” Wally asked. “I haven’t seen him in a long time. I can tell it’s important to him for us to be there.”

“That’s a tough call,” I said. “And it’s an example of how personal finance isn’t just about the numbers. There are relationships and emotions to consider too.”

“From a financial perspective, I don’t think you should go. But it’d be hypocritical of me to tell you that. My cousin Duane is still fighting cancer, but he wants to make another trip to Europe next month. At first, I was reluctant to join him. Like I said, I’m trying to cut expenses this year because I feel like I’m spending too much. But you know what? I’m going. So, you see, my advice and my actions are at odds here.”

I didn’t know how to tell Wally and Jodie, but my biggest concern with their situation is that it seems like they’re getting ready to stop the race when they’ve barely begun. They’re not out of debt yet. They’ve made some excellent progress, but there’s still a long way to go.

They’ve spent eight months on this project. From the looks of it, they have another eighteen months to go — but that’s if they use the gap they’ve created to accelerate their debt payments. If they don’t choose this route, it’s going to take them even longer.

At the same time, I get where they’re coming from about feeling cramped. Sure, there’s a finite amount of time until they get the debt paid off, then they can loosen up. But when you’re in the thick of it, eighteen months can feel like eighteen years.

Finding Balance

The key, of course, is to find balance. And I think that’s what Wally and Jodie are trying to do.

They’re not trying to quit the race early. They don’t want to get behind on payments like they used to be. They don’t want to spend their emergency fund or to stop their debt snowball. What they want is to find a balance between today and tomorrow.

I didn’t mention it to them at the time, but I think they should look at the balanced money formula from Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi’s excellent All Your Worth.

The Balanced Money Formula

Warren and Tyagi argue that in order to achieve financial balance, your after-tax spending should be allocated like this:

  • At least 20% should go to Saving (which includes debt reduction).
  • No more than 50% should be allocated to Needs (which includes housing, utilities, healthcare, basic food, and basic clothing).
  • The rest — around 30% — should go to Wants (which is everything else).

Warren and Tyagi are adamant that less than half your budget should go to Needs. If you pour too much toward necessities, you don’t have room in your budget for fun or the future.

The authors are just as insistent that you should build room into your budget for Wants. “You should ask yourself,” they write, “are you making enough room for fun?”

Wally and Jodie aren’t spending much on Needs at the moment, but they’re not spending much on Wants either. They’ve been pumping most of their money into Saving (in the form of debt reduction). This is a Good Thing. But maybe it’s too much of a good thing?

Making a Plan

On Sunday morning, Wally sent me an email. After meeting with me, he and Jodie formulated a plan:

  • Until their wedding in September, they’ll keep their debt snowball where it is today: minimum payments plus the $438 they’ve freed from satisfied debts.
  • They’ll use an envelope-like budget for entertainment, travel, gifts, dates, and personal items.
  • With the rest of their monthly gap, they’ll create a dedicated savings account for their wedding. After the wedding, they’ll throw this money at debt.

This seems like a good, purposeful plan to me. It balances today and tomorrow. And you can be sure that I’ll follow up with them in the fall to make sure they’ve stuck to the plan — that they’ve remembered to prioritize their debt snowball again.

In the meantime, I sent Wally this Reddit post in which a young guy realized that by pushing for a 65% saving rate, he was miserable. He writes:

I’m currently shooting for a 55% saving rate and I cannot tell you how much more I enjoy life. I went from feeling like I couldn’t spend a dollar that wasn’t strictly budgeted, to travelling with friends, going to concerts, and enjoying the pleasures of life. That 10% made all the difference in the world

As for me, I still feel anxious. I’ve done a good job of controlling my small, everyday expenses this year, but the big stuff is still stressing me out. I need to heed my own advice and find better balance. That will come, I think, as I consciously make better decisions about future large expenses — and as I work to increase my own income.


Budgeting, Loans

Dear Penny: My Rich Boyfriend Worries I’ll Burden Him if We Marry

Dear Penny,

I’m a 35-year-old female who’s divorced, and my boyfriend is 38 and never married. We’ve been dating for two years, and it’s been wonderful. Recently, we’ve been having talks about our future, but money is a bit of a hang-up for him. 

He makes significantly more than I do (between four to five times as much), and he worries that my low income means I’ll be a burden on him when we get older if we decide to marry. The way I see it, I am very responsible with the money I do make. I don’t have any debt, and I pay all my own bills. 

I’m not asking him for anything, although I do understand that at this rate my retirement savings will be meager while his will be substantial. That could lead to problems if he wants to travel and not feel bitter about having to pay for me for everything later on. 

Do you have any advice for us? This is one neither of us knows how to navigate.


Dear R.,

It’s been a wonderful two years. You’re talking about growing old together. Then the conversation turns to how little money you make and how you might be a burden to your boyfriend later on.

That doesn’t sound wonderful to me. That sounds cruel.

Discussing how you’ll split the bills is a vital conversation if you’re merging lives. Some couples choose to keep their finances completely separate, and that’s OK.

But you’re not ready to have that conversation yet. That’s because of a problem that, at least as you’ve described to me, exists entirely in your boyfriend’s head. It doesn’t sound like there’s a concern about whether you can afford a life together. He has no reason to worry that you’ll run up debt or drain his bank account. Is he seriously worried that the bitterness he’d feel over money would overshadow his happiness should he build a life with you? You really need to establish that now so that you can move on if the answer is yes.

Most couples encounter this situation to at least a degree. Few people will marry someone whose salary is identical to theirs for their entire careers. You’re marrying a person, not a paycheck.

Paychecks change. There’s no guarantee your boyfriend will always be a high earner. And just because you have a low income at 35 in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t mean you’ll always have a low income. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with not having a high salary. But I don’t want you defining your potential by what you earn right now.

Life can also change. What if the two of you married and he got sick, so you had to become his caregiver? Would you think of him as a burden then?

Ultimately, this is your boyfriend’s hang-up. You’re living within your means. There’s nothing wrong with you just because you can’t afford to live within his means.

Is he willing to shoulder a greater share of the bills for the privilege of building a life with you? Or is he willing to adapt to your more frugal lifestyle so he can have the peace of mind of knowing he never contributed an extra cent? His call.

But the control factor also worries me here. If you got married and he paid most of the bills, could he still approach this as a true partnership of equals? Or would he make you feel like a child asking a parent for allowance money?

One thing I have to wonder about based on what you told me is whether this is about money at all. Imagine your salary were to quadruple tomorrow. Do you think your boyfriend would be enthusiastic about your future together? Or do you think he’d find another hang-up?

For some people, money is very much a dealbreaker. But other people get really antsy when they start talking about the future. So they look for a dealbreaker — any dealbreaker — to make you think that you’re the one with the problem, not them. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case here, but it’s fodder for you to consider. You need to know if you’re dealing with a cheapskate or a commitment-phobe dressed in a cheapskate’s clothes.

It sounds like this is a topic the two of you have been dancing around for some time. This is going to require a brutally honest conversation. Your boyfriend needs to decide whether he  can treat someone who makes way less than he does as an equal partner and back it up with action. Until then, any discussions about how to handle finances are premature.

This may be a painful discussion. You may not like the answer you hear. But I suspect a likelier outcome is no answer at all — just a bunch of hemming and hawing. If that’s what you get, then you have your answer.

Your value goes way beyond your salary. Please don’t waste your time trying to build a future with anyone who doesn’t recognize that.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


Budgeting, Home Ownership

Mvelopes Review: Digitize the Cash Envelope Method With This App

The cash envelope budgeting method can be a very effective way to control your spending.

The premise is simple. You come up with spending limits for your variable expenses, like groceries, eating out or entertainment. Next, you fill up envelopes with cash to match what you’ve budgeted for each category.

As you shop throughout the month, you can only spend the amount of money in your envelopes. Once you’ve run out of cash, you’ve got to freeze spending until it’s time to fill the envelopes again.

There’s one significant flaw in this budgeting method though: What if you don’t shop with cash? Many people opt for online shopping or use a debit or credit card rather than dollars and coins.

Fortunately, there are ways to adapt the cash envelope budget for cashless shoppers. One of the solutions is to use a budgeting app, like Mvelopes.

In this Mvelopes review, we’ll explain how this app works to help you keep your spending in check.

What Is Mvelopes?

Mvelopes is a budgeting app from Finicity, a fintech company owned by Mastercard. It’s based on the cash envelope system, so all of the categories you set up in your budget are essentially your digital envelopes.

Mvelopes syncs to your financial accounts, so whenever you pay a bill, shop online or swipe your debit card, that transaction shows up in the app. The app uses bank-level encryption to keep your information safe.

Once you assign the transaction to its appropriate envelope, you’ll automatically see how much money you have left to spend in that category. And if you do happen to use cash for something, you can manually enter that info in the app.

Pro Tip

New to cash envelope budgeting? Here’s how the cash envelope system works.

How to Get Started with Mvelopes

You can download the Mvelopes app for your Apple or Android mobile device — or you can create an account and manage your money straight from your computer.

Mvelopes offers three tiers of service. Mvelopes Basic costs $5.97 per month or $69 per year and lets you set up your budget by syncing to all your financial accounts. The next step up is Mvelopes Premier, which costs $9.97 per month or $99 per year and includes access to the Mvelopes Learning Center and Debt Reduction Center.

The Mvelopes Learning Center has online video lessons on topics like mastering your spending, creating an emergency fund, insuring your future, home buying and how to have stress-free holidays. With the Debt Reduction Center, you get support to create a tailor-made debt payoff plan.

The app’s top tier of service is Mvelopes Plus. This plan connects you with a real-live personal finance trainer for one-on-one virtual sessions four times a year. You’ll also get higher priority customer service support. Mvelopes Plus costs $19.97 a month or $199 a year.

Although there is no free version of Mvelopes, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Mvelopes Premier — the app’s most popular option — to test out the service with no financial commitment.

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The Pros and Cons of Mvelopes

Mvelopes can sync with over 16,000 financial institutions, so most users can track their spending with minimal effort. Keeping your spending in check means you can free up more money to go toward saving or debt.

According to the company, Mvelopes has helped users save an average of $6,175 and pay off an average of $17,425 of debt.

One disadvantage of this app, however, is that it’s not free, like the budgeting apps Mint or Clarity Money. Also, if you’re looking for a tool that tracks more aspects of your financial life, such as your net worth and where you stand with your investments, you might want to consider an app like Personal Capital.

Still looking for the perfect app? Here’s our roundup of the best expense tracking apps. 

Who Is Mvelopes For?

The Mvelopes app is a great option for fans of the cash envelope method who are looking to digitize their money management.

It is also a good choice for people looking to nix overspending, because the app keeps you up-to-date with how much funds you have left to spend in each budget category.

Additionally, Mvelopes can help you boost your personal finance knowledge via online courses or pay down debt with a tailored payoff plan.

By signing up for the free 30-day trial, you’ll have a month to decide whether Mvelopes is the right choice for you.

Feeling overwhelmed? Create a budget that works for you with our budgeting bootcamp!

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


Budgeting, Food Budgets, Frugal Living

How to Budget Groceries: 11 Easy Tips

Have you ever sat down to go over your budget only to find out that you’ve outrageously overspent on food? Local, organic, artisan goods and trendy new restaurant outings with friends make it easy to do. With food being the second highest household expense behind mortgage or rent, our food choices have a huge impact on our budget. Using this monthly budget calculator can also help guide how to budget for food. 

You may be surprised to find out that the most nutrient-dense foods are often the most budget-friendly. It’s not only possible, but fun and easy to eat nourishing, delicious food while still sticking to your budget. Here are 11 ways to help you learn how to budget groceries.

1. Track Current Spending

Before you figure out what you should be spending on food, it’s important to figure out what you are spending on food. Keep grocery store receipts to get a realistic picture of your current spending habits. If you feel inclined, create a spreadsheet to break down your spending by category, including beverages, produce, etc. Once you’ve done this, you can get an idea of where to trim down spending.

2. Allocate a Percentage of Your Income

How much each household spends on food varies based on income level and how many people need to be fed. Consider using a grocery calculator if you’re not sure where to start. While people spent about 30 percent of their income on food in 1950, this percentage has dropped to 9–12 today. Consider allocating 10 percent of your income to food as a starting point, and increase from there if necessary.

3. Avoid Eating Out

This is the least fun tip, we promise. Eating out is a quick and easy way to ruin your food budget. If you’re actively dating or enjoy going out to eat with friends, be sure to factor restaurants into your food budget — and strictly adhere to your limit. Coffee drinkers, consider making your favorite concoctions at home.

4. Plan Your Meals

It’s much easier to stick to a budget when you have a plan. Plus, having a purpose for each grocery item you buy will ensure nothing goes to waste or just sits in your pantry unused. Don’t be afraid of simple salads or meatless Mondays. Not every meal has to be a gourmet, grandiose experience.

5. Keep a Fridge Grocery List

Keep a magnetized grocery list on your fridge so that you can replace items as needed. This ensures you’re buying food you know you’ll eat because you’re already used to buying it. Sticking to a list in the grocery store is an effective way to keep yourself accountable and not spend money on processed or pricey items — there’s no need to take a stroll down the candy aisle if it’s not on the list.

6. Eat Before You Go to the Store

If your mother gave you this advice growing up, she was onto something: according to a survey, shoppers spend an average of 64 percent more when hungry. Sticking to a budget is all about eliminating temptations, so plan to eat beforehand to eliminate tantalizing foods that will cause you to go over-budget.

7. Be Careful with Coupons

50 percent off ketchup is a great deal — unless you don’t need ketchup. Beware of coupons that claim you’ll “save” money. If the item isn’t on your list, you’re not saving at all, but rather spending on something you don’t truly need. This discretion is key to saving money at the grocery store.

8. Embrace the Bulk Section

Not only is the bulk section of your grocery store great for cheap, filling staples, but it’s also the perfect way to discover new foods and bring variety into your diet. Take the time to compare the price of buying pre-packaged goods versus bulk — it’s almost always cheaper to buy in bulk, plus eliminating unnecessary packaging is good for the planet.

Bonus: a diet rich in unprocessed, whole plant foods provides virtually every nutrient, ensuring optimal health and keeping you from spending an excess amount on healthcare costs.

9. Bring Lunch to Work

Picture this: you’re trying to stick to a strict food budget, and one day at work you realize it’s lunchtime and you’re hungry. But alas, you forgot to pack a lunch. All the meal planning and smart shopping in the world won’t solve the work-lunch-dilemma. Brown-bagging your lunch is key to ensuring your food budget is successful. Plus, it can be fun! Think mason jar salads and Thai curry bowls.

10. Love Your Leftovers

Would you ever consider throwing $640 cash into the trash? This is what the average American household does every year — only instead of cash, it’s $640 worth of food that’s wasted. With millions of undernourished people around the globe, throwing away food not only hurts our budget but is a waste of the world’s resources. Tossing food is no joke. Eat your leftovers.

11. Freeze Foods That Are Going Bad

To avoid wasting food, freeze things that look like they’re about to go bad. Fruit that’s past its prime can be frozen and used in smoothies. Make double batches of soups, sauces, and baked goods so you’ll always have an alternative to ordering takeout when you don’t feel like cooking.

Sticking to a food budget takes planning and discipline. While it may not seem fun at first, you’ll likely find that you enjoy cooking and trying a variety of new foods you wouldn’t have thought to use before. Being resourceful and cooking healthfully is a skill that will benefit your wallet and waistline for years to come.


Sources: Turbo | Fool | Forbes | Medical Daily | GO Banking Rates | Value Penguin

The post How to Budget Groceries: 11 Easy Tips appeared first on MintLife Blog.