Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches

by Andrea Deckard

These cookie ice cream sandwiches are easy to make whether it’s semi-homemade or full-on homemade cookies. 

Easy ice cream sandwiches are on the menu all summer long! I love them – with chocolate chips, M&M’s, or any other candies mixed in. I really don’t think there is a bad combination at all when you’re marrying ice cream and cookies.

I used to buy the M&M ice cream sandwiches way more often than I care to admit. As you can imagine it can get pretty expensive. This easy ice cream sandwich recipe helps meet my cravings and save some money!

 

How to Make Ice Cream Sandwiches from Scratch

The ingredients and directions listed below walk you through making homemade cookies for your sandwich. You can obviously use pre-made dough to save time. If you’re feeling energetic, you can even churn some homemade ice cream.

This recipe will make around 48 cookies. If you don’t need that many you can cut the ingredients in half as you prepare.

 

How to Freeze Ice Cream Sandwiches

As you prepare your ice cream sandwiches, wrap in parchment paper and store in an air-tight freezer bag. If you don’t need all of the cookie batter, scoop out individual cookies and flash freeze on a baking pan. When frozen, place in an air-tight freezer bag.

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Easy Ice Cream Sandwich

  • Author: Andrea Deckard

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups, Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup, Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup, Salted Butter, softened
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 TBS, Vanilla Extract
  • 5 cups, Flour
  • 1 tsp, Baking Soda
  • 4 cups, Chocolate Chips
  • Ice Cream (any flavor works)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In an extra large mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to mix together the brown sugar, sugar and butter.
  3. Mix in your eggs on low.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and slowly mix into your wet ingredients.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop out your cookie dough into golf ball sized scoop, roll into small balls and place on your baking pan.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes and freeze for about an hour.
  8. Add a scoop of ice cream to the bottom center of one cookie and press the bottom of another cookie onto the ice cream.
  9. Smooth out the sides of the ice cream, wrap and store in an air tighter freezer bag.

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Other Easy Summer Sweets

These cookie ice cream sandwiches are easy to make whether it's semi-homemade or full-on homemade cookies.  via @AndreaDeckard

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Selling Gold for Cash

by Andrea Deckard

Selling your cash for gold can be done near you or through a few legitimate sites. Get the rundown in this post!

Who doesn’t love making extra money? I know many of us enjoy making extra money, but sometimes we’re at a loss for how to make this happen. If you have extra gold lying around your house, then I may have a solution for you. Sell gold for cash. That’s right. There are local places in which you can sell your gold for cash and there are some online options.

How to Sell Your Gold Locally For Cash

Most of us have a business in town that is willing to buy our gold. What does that look like? Well, I’ll walk you through this process, so that you know exactly how it works. It’s important to know your options when you are going to sell your gold for cash. You are the one that gets to make the decisions, so why not know EVERYTHING you can about selling your gold locally for cash.

Do a Quick Local Search

Head over to Google and search for “local places that buy gold in my area.” You will get a few hits on companies that are willing to buy your gold for cash.

Call Each Place First

Before you head into the establishment, make sure you call beforehand. They could not be accepting any gold at that time. You also need to ask what they are paying per ounce of gold. Make sure you ask questions before you head in, so you don’t waste any time.

Bring In Your Gold

You’ll need to bring your gold into the establishment to sell it to them. They will take a moment to evaluate the gold and make you an offer.

Types of Local Places That Buy Gold

You may be wondering what types of places will even buy your gold locally. I wanted to dive into a few places that I know will buy gold!

Pawn Shops

One place that is guaranteed to buy your gold is a pawn shop. If you live in a city or town, you most likely have several places that will buy your gold. These pawn shops are most likely going to pay you the least amount of money. You can always call ahead to see what they are offering.

Jewelry Stores

Not all jewelry stores will buy your gold, but some will. Usually, it just takes a quick phone call to see if your local jewelry stores accept gold. They may be able to offer you a little bit more money for your gold because this is what they are in the business of doing.

Always make sure you check with reviews of the company before you send any gold into them. It’ll be well worth the wait!

How to Sell Your Gold Online

If you don’t want to sell your gold locally, then you can sell your gold online. Selling your gold online is a little different than selling it in person. You may be a little nervous to just hand over your gold without any immediate money in your hand.

Choose a Reputable Company

You don’t want to go with just any company when it comes to selling your gold online. Pick a company that has good reviews and that you know is good on their word. Once you pick out the company, you can start the process of selling your gold.

Choose a Way to Send it In

Most reputable gold companies have different options for sending in your gold. It’s truly however you feel most comfortable. Choose a way to send in your gold.

Choose How to Be Paid

Another part of selling your gold online is choosing a way in which you will get paid. You no longer have to wait at home for a check. There are other options for being paid.

Check For Guarantees

You don’t want to send your gold off into the sunset without any sort of guarantee. Always check with the online company to see what guarantees they offer you. What if you’re not happy with your appraisal? You’ll want to make sure you’re going to get your gold back ASAP.

Legit Online Places to Sell Your Gold For Cash

What places can you trust these days to sell your gold online for cash? One online business that I trust is Cash for Gold USA. There are several reasons I’ll use this company to make money off my gold.

One major reason I use Cash for Gold USA is that I can choose the following ways to send in the gold:

  • Request a Free FedEx shipping
  • Request a Free Safepak®

Once I decide how I want to send in my gold, I can request electronic payments. This means that I can get paid through PayPal or through Direct Deposit. If you do get a check in the mail, you can just deposit it with your banking app, which makes getting cash so much easier.

How Online Gold Buyers Process Your Gold

If you’re wondering the process in which companies use to buy your gold and send you cash, here it is.

You Request Shipping

The process starts with YOU requesting them to buy your gold. When you know you want to sell your gold, you request shipping. You’re then sent a free shipping label.

Receive Gold Pending

Once the shipping label is sent out, the company waits on you to fill it. Once you put your gold in it and then send it off, they wait for it. You don’t have to pay anything to have the gold shipped to you.

Company Determines the Value

Once the gold is received by the company, the value will then be determined. Most places will have a value within 24 hours for you. The quote will then be sent to you.

Payment is Sent to You

Once you approve the amount, payment is sent to you. If you decide you aren’t happy with the amount you’re offered, you can always decline the offer and your items will be sent back.

Have you ever sold your gold for cash locally or online? What was the experience like for you?

Selling your cash for gold can be done near you or through a few legitimate sites. Get the rundown for what to look for with someone local or an online company to sell your gold.

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

Selling your cash for gold can be done near you or through a few legitimate sites. Get the rundown for what to look for with someone local or an online company to sell your gold. via @AndreaDeckard

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Sangria Recipe

by Andrea Deckard

This Sangria Recipe is easy to make and truly hits the spot when you’re craving a refreshing adult beverage!

I am so ready for warm weather to arrive! We had a stamped patio poured earlier this year, and I am itching to enjoy the outdoor furniture (that I got on clearance at the end of last season) with a glass or three of wine!

I love Sangria and don’t normally make it unless I know friends will be coming to visit. Our local winery has a great red Sangria that we enjoy a lot (even more than usual being in quarantine – HA!). It’s a good one for me to enjoy on my own with some cut-up fruit.

I’m normally not a fan of white whines unless they are made as a Sangria. I’m a Moscato lover, but depending on what brand you get and what part of the country the grapes were harvested, those can be dryer than I prefer.

I sound like such a wine snob, and I promise you I’m not. I just know what I like and have learned more in the last few years about why my palette prefers a certain brand over another. I also prefer my local winery and support them frequently. :)

Sangria Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (750 ml), White Wine
  • ¼ cup, Lime Rum (or other flavor)
  • ¼ cup, Limoncello
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Club Soda or Ginger Ale

How to Make Sangria

  1. Cut fruit and add to large pitcher. You can muddle the fruit to release the juices and pulp a bit.
  2. Add the Rum and Limoncello to the pitcher.
  3. Add the white wine.
  4. Stir and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

To serve, just add whatever cut-up fruit you prefer to the glass. Fill with Sangria to about 3/4 the way full and then top off with club soda or ginger ale.

Ideally you would mix it all up and let it sit longer, around 2 hours, so the fruit’s essential oils can flavor the wine and can get nice and boozy if you want to eat it afterwards. :)  If you can’t wait that long, I would try to wait at least 15-30 minutes before serving (or enjoying alone – no judgements) so it’s chilled and the flavors blend.

You can also substitute the rum for another liquor like brandy. Play around with the recipe to get the perfect mix that your friends and family enjoy!

Print

Sangria Recipe

This Sangria Recipe is easy to make and truly hits the spot when you're craving a refreshing adult beverage!

  • Author: Andrea Deckard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bottle (750 ml), White Wine
  • ¼ cup, Lime Rum (or other flavor)
  • ¼ cup, Limoncello
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Club Soda or Ginger Ale

Instructions

  1. Cut fruit and add to large pitcher. You can muddle the fruit to release the juices and pulp a bit.
  2. Add the Rum and Limoncello to the pitcher.
  3. Add the white wine.
  4. Stir and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

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Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

 

This Sangria Recipe is easy to make and truly hits the spot when you're craving a refreshing adult beverage! via @AndreaDeckard

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Homemade Granola

by Andrea Deckard

This homemade granola recipe is easy to make and is a go-to if you want to make granola from scratch (in less than an hour)!

I love homemade granola. Especially with a yogurt parfait and in my easy granola bar recipe. Depending on your preferences, your mix-ins can be different. I tend to load ours up with healthy proteins and natural sweetness with dried fruit.

Since our boys have nut allergies, they don’t eat this version with the tree nuts. They only really like chocolate chips or M&M’s in their granola anyway so it’s easy enough to make separately.

Homemade Granola Ingredients

  • 3 cups, Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 2 cups, Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1/2 cup, Pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup, Almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup, Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup, Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 TBS, Oil
  • 2 TBS, Vanilla Extract
  • 4 tsp, Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp, Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup, Cranberries, dried
  • 1 cup, Apricots, dried, or other dried fruit

Make Your Own Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine oats, and nuts.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour about 1/2 of the syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat, add remaining syrup mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Spread evenly onto cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and add back to a large bowl, stir in dried fruit (or chocolate chips and M&M’s if you add those instead).
  7. Spread evenly onto foil, paper or a towel to cool.
  8. Store in airtight container.

If you are making a large batch, separate them in mason jars and share with friends and neighbors. Just make sure you include a warning on the container somewhere if it has nuts in case there are allergies. Since our kids are allergic, I am extra paranoid about that sort of thing.

I always have these wide mouth mason jars on hand since I use them for the homemade lunchables in mason jars.

FAQ’s on Homemade Granola

Is homemade granola good for you?

Yes, it can be. The ingredients you mix-in will affect the overall nutritional value.

Is it cheaper than make your own granola?

Yes, way cheaper to make your own granola! You can grab the oats for a few dollars. Depending on what ingredients you add to the mix (dried fruit, candies) will depend on the final price. Overall though, a granola with the least amount of processing will cost you over $5 for a bag around 16 ounces.

What are some ingredient substitutions I can make?

Instead of maple syrup, you can use honey. Use a healthier oil like coconut oil instead of a vegetable oil. Of course, change the mix-ins to your family’s preferences.

More Pantry Staples Recipes

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Bread Machine Bread Mix

Homemade Royal Icing

Homemade Onion Dip

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Homemade Granola

  • Author: Andrea Deckard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups, Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 2 cups, Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1/2 cup, Pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup, Almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup, Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup, Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 TBS, Oil
  • 2 TBS, Vanilla Extract
  • 4 tsp, Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp, Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup, Cranberries, dried
  • 1 cup, Apricots, dried, or other dried fruit

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine oats, and nuts.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour about 1/2 of the syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat, add remaining syrup mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Spread evenly onto cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and add back to a large bowl, stir in dried fruit (or chocolate chips and M&M's if you add those instead).
  7. Spread evenly onto foil, paper or a towel to cool.
  8. Store in airtight container.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

This homemade granola recipe is easy to make and is a go-to if you want to make granola from scratch (in less than an hour)! via @AndreaDeckard

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DIY Face Moisturizer

by Andrea Deckard

DIY face moisturizer with just 3 main ingredients that are natural and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth!

I am a huge fan of a good DIY. While I do love the cost savings, I love even more when I can DIY something to be even healthier and natural than what many packaged products contain.

Before I get into the process for this DIY face moisturizer, you should know that I am a health and beauty junkie, as well as a bit of a snob. I don’t mind spending the money on something that I know will deliver results.

Through the years I have tried so many formulas when it comes to face moisturizer. I’ve spent a lot of money, as you can imagine. This recipe is a keeper! It doesn’t leave your face greasy or heavy feeling, and no breakouts either. It also doesn’t cause any cosmetics to slide off like some natural moisturizers tend to do.

Also, you can purchase all organic ingredients making it even better for your face. So many of the face moisturizers on the market are full of chemicals and preservatives. No thank you! I’m trying to age gracefully and toxins don’t help with that!

DIY Face Moisturizer Ingredients

I use the Plant Therapy brand of essential oils as linked above, but any therapeutic brand will work (I have tried and used several MLM brands as well)!

DIY Face Moisturizer Instructions

  1. In a small sized microwave safe bowl, heat Cocoa Butter Wafers for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Caution: it will be very hot!
  2. Add in your Coconut Oil and whip with a hand mixer, place in the fridge or freezer until it turns back into a solid.
  3. Use a hand mixer to whip the solid for 1-2 minutes, mix in the Almond Oil and essential oils and continue to whip for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Scoop into a clean small container like an 4 oz mason jar.

With morning and evening application, a small container will last about 6-8 weeks. If you would like additional fragrance, try use Ylang Ylang or Rose essential oils. They smell dreamy and have so many amazing therapeutic benefits. I use sparingly in any homemade blends because a little goes a long way with these two oils.

Other Self Care DIY Recipes

Coffee Sugar Scrub

Vanilla Orange Bath Salts

Lemongrass Bath Salts

Coconut Bubble Bath Salts

Easy DIY Yellow Sun Bursts Bath Bombs Recipe

Print

DIY Face Moisturizer

This face moisturizer leaves you skin smooth and non-oily after application.

  • Author: Andrea Deckard

Ingredients

Scale

I use the Plant Therapy brand of essential oils as linked above, but any therapeutic brand will work (I have tried and used several MLM brands as well)!

Instructions

  1. In a small sized microwave safe bowl, heat Cocoa Butter Wafers for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Caution: it will be very hot!
  2. Add in your Coconut Oil and whip with a hand mixer, place in the fridge or freezer until it turns back into a solid.
  3. Use a hand mixer to whip the solid for 1-2 minutes, mix in the Almond Oil and essential oils and continue to whip for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Scoop into a clean small container like an 4 oz mason jar.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

DIY face moisturizer with just 3 main ingredients that are natural and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth! via @AndreaDeckard

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Homemade Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

by Andrea Deckard

Yogurt parfaits are simple to make and perfect for an easy breakfast, quick snack or a healthy late-night treat!

I’ve been a bit obsessed with parfaits lately. Anytime we go through Chick-fil-A, I substitute a parfait instead of the fries. It’s healthier so I justify the additional cost that way :)

As I was licking the spoon off of my last fast-food purchased parfait, I realized I should just make these myself. And, I have ever since.

You really only need 2 main ingredients to make yogurt parfaits too. While this recipe lists out the specific fruit needed for the parfaits pictured, you just need any type of fruit. It can be fresh or frozen too!

Yogurt Parfait Ingredients

  • Greek Yogurt, or your favorite flavor
  • 1 mango, cut into small bite size chunks
  • 1 pepino melon or other melon, cut into small bite size chunks
  • Pomegranate seeds for top
  • Shaved coconut, optional
  • Honey, optional

Yogurt Parfait Prep Instructions

  1. Clean and prepare fruit.
  2. Layer yogurt into glass.
  3. Add mango and melon  on top of yogurt.
  4. Top with more yogurt.
  5. Add more fruit on top.
  6. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, coconut and a drizzle of honey.
  7. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator overnight.

You don’t have to layer it but it just looks nice that way, right? :)

I purchased all of my ingredients at Aldi. I think their nonfat vanilla yogurt tastes the best of all store-brand varieties. They were all way cheaper than purchasing store-brand at any other store. And, I love shopping at Aldi to save without coupons!

As I mentioned I took these to my MOPS group recently. Putting them in the little cups as shown above worked out great as individual servings.

Yogurt Parfait Questions

Are yogurt parfaits healthy?

Yeap! But they can also contain a lot of sugar depending on the ingredients in the yogurt. I always prefer to go with a greek or nonfat vanilla to save on the calories and the additives.

Can yogurt parfaits be made ahead of time?

Yes, I do it a lot! You could add these to a mason jar and store in the fridge. If going to a gathering, I will make the night before and cover. I actually just cut up foil squares and place on the top of each since lids aren’t always available for these smaller disposable cups.

Will granola get soggy in yogurt parfaits?

Yes, it will. I would suggest waiting until serving before adding any granola. If you are taking these to a gathering, just take a bowl of granola with you as well so people can add themselves.

Are fresh or frozen fruit best in yogurt parfaits?

As I mentioned above, you can use fresh or frozen fruit. I will purchase frozen fruit a lot when making these for a few reasons. I want to have the fruit on hand whenever I get the craving. Blueberries aren’t in season in the dead of winter so paying for fresh would mean spending around $4 a pint…NOT! Plus, frozen fruit serves as refrigeration if/when you need to take these to a gathering like I did recently with my MOPS group.

Print

Yogurt Parfait

You can use fresh or frozen fruit to make yogurt parfaits. Frozen works well if you want to make ahead of time and keep chilled in the fridge longer.

  • Author: Andrea Deckard
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • Greek Yogurt, or your favorite flavor
  • 1 mango, cut into small bite size chunks
  • 1 pepino melon or other melon, cut into small bite size chunks
  • Pomegranate seeds for top
  • Shaved coconut, optional
  • Honey, optional

Instructions

  1. Clean and prepare fruit.
  2. Layer yogurt into glass.
  3. Add mango and melon  on top of yogurt.
  4. Top with more yogurt.
  5. Add more fruit on top.
  6. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, coconut and a drizzle of honey.
  7. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator overnight.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Yogurt parfaits are simple to make and perfect for an easy breakfast, quick snack or a healthy late-night treat! via @AndreaDeckard

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Free Budget Spreadsheet

by Andrea Deckard

Free budget spreadsheet template to help keep your finances on track! Download this customizable budget template to your computer, edit and modify for your personal budget.

Since I wrote about ways to find your money drains earlier in the week, I wanted to share a budgeting spreadsheet with you that we personally use.

Since I’m a lover of excel and google drive, you can open the FREE Budgeting Spreadsheet and download in either of those programs. I personally prefer google docs because I can access the document from anywhere. Just enter your information in the form below and you will get the link to the spreadsheet immediately.

I will never send spam or give away your email address. Promise!

With the Budgeting spreadsheet, my husband and I can monitor and edit together as necessary too. Let me walk through the spreadsheet so you can see how we personally use it.

Budget Template

Budgeting Spreadsheet - Monthly Income

I know there are many free budget spreadsheets available but I wanted to personalize mine in order to help us achieve our financial goals. As you will see in the very top, I have two line items where you add your Monthly Income. I deliberately have these separate in case you and a spouse are working but want to eventually become a one-income family. More on that in a minute.

How to Budget

The bulk of this spreadsheet are your expenses and getting a good picture of what you are paying out each month. I’ll explain as follows:

Bill Name

List the name of your bill. I keep mine as generic names rather than saying “XYZ Bank.” The names listed are purely for example and that’s why a spreadsheet you can download yourself is much nicer than a PDF or printable since you can customize it for your family.

Category

I list a category. This isn’t really necessary but it’s interesting to get a picture of what categories are hogging up your money much like the online program Mint does for you. I use this mainly for planning.

Monthly Due

Enter the monthly total due to this bill name. You can see in the example, I have several items listed that most likely you use each week (Groceries, Gas, Allowance, etc). You want a monthly total here so you can understand how much you have to work with after all of your bills are paid. The site Mvelopes does something similar too.

This is another reason a spreadsheet is nice to have for a budget. You can easily see where the “fat” is and make adjustments quickly all while the formulas do the math for you.

Due Date

Kind of nice to know when things are due. This could be helpful to sort by if you get paid bi-weekly and want to make sure you have the funds in the bank to pay your bills on time.

Use Cash

Now this is one that I added 2 years ago when Paul lost his job unexpectedly. I wanted to use cash for some purchases but not go entirely cash-only. That’s where I don’t agree with Dave Ramsey’s model. :) I’m not going to walk into a gas station and pay for my gas. That actually takes me time. Since I believe time = money, it’s costing me by doing so. We use our debit card for these types of purchases so in my world, it’s just like cash.

For those categories that I really want to stick to the budget though, cash is perfect! For example, our boys are motivated by cash so they like to have that versus and IOU (although I have done that before). Also, with entertaining and a bazillion sporting events to attend, we need cash. I use this column to help me total up how much cash I need to withdrawal from the bank each month so I can make one trip.

Notes

Just enter anything you may want to remember about this bill. Perhaps you are paying off a credit card and you want to add your balance here as motivation. Use it as you see fit (or you can delete it if you want too – up to you!).

Budgeting Spreadsheet - Monthly Expenses

Cash Flow Budget

After you enter your bills and totals, you will see the Monthly Expenses total update to reflect all of the totals listed in the Monthly Due column. That’s the beauty of excel since this formula does all the work for you :) This gives you an accurate picture of how much you are paying each month so it’s really important to list every single expense you can think of during this process.

The Net Difference column right beside will show you what the difference is between what you are making (Total Monthly Income) versus what you are spending (Monthly Expenses). If you are negative, it’s time to look at the expenses and see what can be cut. There is no easy way to say that. Something has to get cut now in order to live within your means. You can find ways to earn additional income but I would work with what you have now and figure out how to spend less.

Zero Budget

OK, now going back to my initial statement about your Monthly Income and the two line items. When we were trying to figure out if we could be a one income family many years ago, I would use this same spreadsheet so we had a good picture of what we were spending. I would then delete one of the monthly income entries so we could see how things looked with just ONE income.

Our goal was to have me stay home at the time and we needed to make it work. I then started to rework the spreadsheet with a different viewpoint and deleted “my” Monthly Income line item. I needed to see if one income could cover all of our expenses. Since we were paying off our debt at the time, I also wanted to ensure we had money “left over” so that we could apply additional payments to our debt payoff goal.

Mint.com Free Money Management Site

Cash Budget Example

Perhaps you want to make a copy of the tab in the spreadsheet to do this for your own circumstances so you aren’t making edits to your actual budget. But maybe not? If you can cut cable when you are a one income family then what’s stopping you from cutting cable today? The same goes for lowering your Christmas budget, finding a new cell phone provider or reducing your grocery bill? They all add up! Do those things BEFORE you make the official change to live on one income and you will have that much more saved. I sure wish we would have done that!

I will never send spam or give away your email address. Promise!

I hope you find this spreadsheet as useful as we have in managing our finances. Whatever your financial goals are this year, and beyond, it is smart to have it written down and plan for the future. I plan to add more resources like this to the lineup of what we share here. My goal is to provide tools and information to help you live a lifestyle of saving!

I should add the disclaimer that I am NOT a financial planner and don’t play on one the internet either. However, we HAVE paid off a LOT of debt (nearly $200k when we were in the thick of debt payoff mode) and have paid cash for a few cars. All of that to say that even though I’m not a professional, I know how to manage our family finances well enough to get something positive done and YOU CAN TOO! :)

More Articles on How to Budget

52 Week Money Challenge Excel Template

Envelope Method of Budgeting: The Cash Envelope System Explained

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

Free budget spreadsheet to help keep your finances on track! Download this customizable budget template to your computer, edit and modify for your personal budget. via @AndreaDeckard

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