Love day on a shoestring; From peasant to millionaire; Budgeting on an irregular income; Staying on track; Saving yourself first

Love day on a shoestring; From peasant to millionaire; Budgeting on an irregular income; Staying on track; Saving yourself first

By Amanda Morrall

1)  Love day

I have two young sons who cringe at the idea of the pink hearts, flowers and poetry as expressions of love at Valentine's Day. In fact, the very idea of a dedicated love day makes them stuff their heads under couch cushions and howl. If they fancy a certain gal at school, they'll rather die than admit it. Mum's an exception though. I expect they'll present me with a very sweet card on Valentine's Day telling me I'm terrific, or at least I hope they will.

Last year I recall polling my office mates, all of them blokes, to see whether they'd be expressing their affection to their loved ones with material goods of some kind. I believe all, except one, (you'll never guess who) said yes. Whether it was because they felt obliged to or wanted to is another question.

Rest assured all you lovestruck Romeos (and Juliettes), Valentine's Day not does have to be a commercial holiday. Here's some low cost ways, from a Website called genxfinance.com, to celebrate. And for more, see my column from last year here with Amanda's suggestions. Poetry is the poor romantic best friend I reckon.

2) From peasant to millionaire

One of my wealthy retired-at-40 friends scoffs at the idea that you are rich if you're a millionaire. Factor in inflation, requirements like car upgrades, longevity and it's true a million won't go too far, not at least if you're an unrestrained spender. Here's Monevator's take on what it takes to go from peasant to millionaire. This guy's good with numbers and words. A great blog especially for serious minded DIY investors.

3) Save yourself first

As most of you regular readers know I'm a big proponent on giving and charity. Does that mean you should give at all costs, especially when your personal financial situation isn't all it could be? Personally, I think there's always room for a little more give than take and if it's not money then service, gestures, or gifts in kind also work wonders. Of course, there is a difference of opinion out there. Here's one of them from sustainablepersonalfinance.com on the importance of getting your act together before you get involved with someone's else's.

4) Tracking along

Setting goals is easy. It's making them happen that's the hard bit. Here's some helpful tips from retirehappy on how to keeping tracking toward your financial goals in 2013. 

5) Budgeting through uncertain times

For those like myself who don't have a regular income, budgeting can seem like a pointless exercise. While the incomings may be uncertain, the outgoings are usually fixed, at least the essential ones so it's still important to have one in place so you'll know what income you need to target. For more on how to budget on a irregular income, here's some tips from moneycrush.com.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall or at www.amandamorrall.com

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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I have two young sons who cringe at the idea of the pink hearts, flowers and poetry as expressions of love at Valentine's Day. In fact, the very idea of a dedicated love day makes them stuff their heads under couch cushions and howl

In my 40's, still at that stage. Fortunately I have an understanding GF :-)

"Financial education to become compulsory in schools. Draft curriculum will require all children to be taught financial skills in maths and citizenship lessons"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/feb/07/money-skills-secondary-school-curriculum
Toddlers will be expected to learn that being deeply in debt is good for the UK...and what's good for the country is decided by the 'grey hairs' who failed utterly to display any citizenship qualities at all, while stuffing their wallets with other people's munny.
Teachers will be expected to use the skills and knowledge of classroom visiting bankers, especially the ones who took bloated bonuses on top of abusive salaries.
What a farce coming to every class.

One of my wealthy retired-at-40 friends scoffs at the idea that you are rich if you're a millionaire
 
Well the world is short of them (millionaires) - ever tried to knock up a $million in short order? I have with a bank's money and it's not that easy.