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Friday Finances: July 2014 Week 4

July 25, 2014 by Lulu in Finances with 0 Comments


Every Friday I post about my finances for the week in an effort to monitor my income and expenses. I used to post all of the actual figures but I have recently decided to stop doing this.

I will now post SOME of my actual expenses and leave the rest to your imagination.

This week my expenses were:

$19.15 on pantry staples like milk and eggs. I try to buy a stash of these items to last a couple of weeks but then I always need to replace them before I run out. It was not a big shopping trip but for some reason it feels like I spent a lot and only walked out of the store with very little.

I will also have to spend about $40 later today because I lost a bet. I have been on the receiving end of the win a few times and this is my first time to have to pay out. This money will come out of the ‘Fun Fund’ so it is not part of my regular monthly budget.

The ‘Fun Fund’ and any other funds that I have are all replenished on a monthly basis from small transfers that are accounted for in the budget. The transfer amounts range from $2 to $7 for different accounts but once the fund reaches a desired level I can pull any amount that I need from it.


Check Out My Interview on Mint.com’s Blog

July 22, 2014 by Lulu in Save Money with 0 Comments

So I was interviewed by the staff at Mint.com and they have just put up the results of that conversation. I love Mint and use it obsessively daily.

I like it so much that I even incorporated using Mint into a class that I taught recently. All my students had to sign up for it in order to complete a big part of their assignments for the semester. As you should already know, Mint is a site that helps you manage your finances and does so in a very cool way.

Mint Check Out My Interview on Mint.coms Blog

You can add all (or just some) of your accounts to Mint and it automatically tracks and updates your income and expenses and organizes them into categories. Mint lets you check all of your balances in one place instead of having to log into multiple sites. If you have multiple credit cards and bank accounts like I do this a great way to keep track of your finances.

Even if you do not have multiple accounts, Mint is also great for budgeting. You can set up a simple budget to keep track of your finances and Mint categorizes your spending and lets you know where you stand with your budget. If you are on track with your finances then Mint will show that budget category as green. If you are getting close to the set amount for the budget then that category will turn yellow, and if you go over budget then Mint shows it as red. These are just some helpful visual reminders to get back to taking a closer look at your finances so you can manage them better.

You can also track asset values like Cars or investment values like retirement accounts. You can create goals and monitor your progress towards paying off those goals every time you log into your Mint account.

If you don’t already have a Mint account you can go ahead and create a FREE account in a short amount of time. It is quick, safe, and best of all EASY to do.

I do not get any payment or kickback from them…I have just been member for about 5 years now and I love it so much that I tell EVERYONE to join!

Go over to Mint and check out my interview Paying Off Debt Even When You’re Poor at the Mint.com blog. And remember, broke is a state of mind while poor is a state of money!

Friday Finances: July 2014 Week 3

July 18, 2014 by Lulu in Save Money with 0 Comments

Every Friday I post about my finances for the week in an effort to monitor my income and expenses. I used to post all of the actual figures but I have recently decided to stop doing this.

I will now post SOME of my actual expenses and leave the rest to your imagination.

This week my expenses were:

$45.81 for gas this week. I was almost down to a quarter tank so I filled up all the way. I also spent $5 for a car wash this week to get rid of all the bird droppings.

I did not have any income this week…but then again I don’t count on having anything.

VAT reform – what eServices are actually affected? (Guest Post)

July 16, 2014 by Lulu in Daily Links with 0 Comments

As the deadline for the introduction of the EU’s new VAT on eServices nears it is about time businesses realize whether or not they are actually affected.

First, the nitty gritty. The rules change how the VAT on eServices will be charged in the EU. To define eServices is a difficult job but essentially if internet access is required to enjoy the service then it will more than likely be affected. As of from January 1, 2015, VAT will revert back to a consumption tax for eServices. The current rules demand the VAT is charged based on where the supplier of the service is located. From January 2015 onwards VAT will be charged based on where the consumer is located. In addition only B2C sales of eServices will be affected.

Vat 300x177 VAT reform   what eServices are actually affected? (Guest Post)

 

But what eServices are actually affected?

Again, if internet access is required to enjoy and consumer a service then that service will most likely come under the scope of the new EU VAT on eServices.

We are using ‘eServices’ as a catch-all phrase. The new rules technically concern the cross-border supply of broadcasting, telecommunications and electronic services. Examples of these services include the download, or streaming, of films and music (therefore Netflix will be affected); the download of images and downloads of anti-virus software.

Other examples include website hosting, remote systems administration, eBooks, automated virtual classrooms, and online gaming.Any broadcast via the internet that is not simultaneously ‘live’ via traditional means via radio or television.

The scope is vast. It is a burgeoning sector and the new VAT on eServices covers a lot of ground.

What services are not affected?

The new rules are careful not to be all encompassing. There are services offered via the internet – such as helpdesk services – that are not affected by the new rules.

Other examples include interactive teaching services where the class is provided by a teacher via a remote link (i.e. not automated).

Telephone services facilitated via the internet are not affected, nor is actual access to the internet.

It is crucial for all businesses involved in providing a service via the internet to understand the new VAT on eServices. If affected then business models will have to change. The above examples are just a sample of the type of services that the new rules cover. The list is not exhaustive.

The new rules – which come into effect on January 1, 2015 – will change the landscape of eCommerce in the EU. By defining what is affected the European Commission is ensuring that businesses involved have no ‘get-out-of-jail’ card. There is also a communication plan underway ahead of the January 1, 2015, rule change. Thus far there have been conferences in Luxembourg and London with further events planned for Warsaw and San Francisco. This is the EU’s charm offensive, the new VAT on eServices is in place and they are engaging with stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition.

Businesses must now prepare for the changes as they will have an impact on the bottom line.

Why I Paid For A Gym Membership

July 14, 2014 by Lulu in Finances with 2 Comments

I paid for a gym membership last week and I am happy that I did. It might seem strange for someone who talks about finding ways to save money talking about paying for a membership to a gym. It might seem like I am being a frugal fraud when there is a FREE gym (well actually it is included in the rent so not technically free!!!) right where I live.

I am taking summer classes and as a graduate student we have to opt in to use the gym. The fees are usually waived for graduate students but since you have to get an ID check to enter the facility here you end up needing to pay to use the gym.

gym Why I Paid For  A Gym Membership

img from money.cnn.com

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