first budget http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16123/all en-US The Freedom of a Debt-Free Life http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4441155157_d10e8d7b21_z.jpg" alt="arms reaching up" title="arms reaching up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="185" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For some people, living a debt-free life is just a dream, but for others, it's a reality.</p> <p>It takes commitment, self-control, and discipline to move from a life full of debts to one free of them. Although the process of becoming debt-free may not be luxurious, its end results are worth all the pain and sacrifice it may require.</p> <p>Debt-free individuals experience financial freedom that allows them to live life more fully, since they do not have to be held back or stressed by burdensome debts. This is definitely a nice place to be at, and all it requires is personal commitment and determination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-false-assumptions-about-debt-free-living">6 False Assumptions About Debt-Free Living</a>)</p> <h3>Why Debt Is Bad for You</h3> <p>One of the biggest problems with debts, especially large ones, is that they prohibit you from spending your earned money the way you want to. For example, your may want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-need-to-retire">save money for retirement</a> or invest to secure your children's future. However, your obligations to pay back your mortgage, a personal loan, or any other loan may hamper your efforts to reach these life goals.</p> <p>When you accumulate many debts and are unable to pay them, it can also greatly affect your credit rating. Such a situation may occur due to late payments or defaulting on your monthly obligations. In addition, you may also have to pay hefty fees and penalties, which can further destabilize your financial status.</p> <h3>Getting Rid of Debt</h3> <p>When your money is unable to work to your advantage because of debts, it means you need to take the necessary action to eradicate the debts. Failure to address the issue will only slow your efforts towards achieving your goals.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-step-to-budgeting">Creating a budget</a> is one of the simplest, yet most effective means of getting out of debt. Cut down unnecessary expenses in order to create a surplus in your finances. Direct the extra savings towards loan repayment. Remember that sacrifice is necessary when trying to get rid of debt. Once you have the budget in place, stick to it to the best of your ability and strive to make your loan repayments in time every month. In time, this budget should help you pay back your debt and meet all other financial obligations while giving you a clearer picture of how you use your money.</p> <h3>Benefits of Living a Debt Free Life</h3> <p>A debt free life means more money. Since you will have less monthly expenses, your cash flow will definitely increase.</p> <p>More cash flow will enable you to have greater financial freedom. You might even be able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">go on that vacation</a> you have always desired or comfortably pay for your child's tuition in a good school.</p> <p>Not having to deal with debt will also allow you to invest your money for greater returns. You will therefore be able to generate more wealth and increase your financial status. You can also effectively fund your retirement to secure your future.</p> <p><em>What are your reasons for getting out of debt?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-false-assumptions-about-debt-free-living">6 False Assumptions About Debt-Free Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-debt-free-getting-by-in-the-new-economy">Beyond Debt-Free: Getting By in the New Economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Debt Management Lifestyle college savings debt-free first budget Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:00:17 +0000 David Ning 942674 at http://www.wisebread.com Create Your First Shared Budget Without Blowing Up Your Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/create-your-first-shared-budget-without-blowing-up-your-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/create-your-first-shared-budget-without-blowing-up-your-relationship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7450127122_7fdaa24c07_z_0.jpg" alt="couple sharing" title="couple sharing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sharing is hard.</p> <p>When I was growing up, my parents would often only buy a single toy for me and my two brothers. That forced us to do something that we found very difficult &mdash; share. In my early 20's, my wife and I got married, and I was quickly thankful that my parents forced my brothers and I to share, because marriage involves a lot of sharing.</p> <p>Sharing doesn't come naturally. Sharing money is especially hard. Here are five steps for creating your first shared budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-perks-of-marriage">10 Financial Perks of Marriage</a>)</p> <h3>1. Determine Your Net Spendable Income</h3> <p>Your <a href="http://www.crown.org/Tools/Calculators/Budgeting_SpendingPlan.asp">net spendable income</a> is how much money you bring home each month after all taxes have been removed.</p> <p>Your first budgeting task is to determine how big the financial pie is that you'll be sharing. Both partners will need to be completely open about income and fixed financial obligations (like alimony). It's going to be impossible to create a successful budget until you have a sense of your spending limit.</p> <h3>2. Hoard Financial Paperwork for a Month</h3> <p>While there are faster ways to set up your first budget, the most effective method is to slowly start getting all your paperwork in one place, so that you'll be ready to put together an actual budget. For an entire month, both partners should keep every receipt they get. If it's not easy to remember what you bought, then just write the item on the top of your receipt. Purchase a small notebook, and if you buy anything for which you don't get a receipt, write it in the book.</p> <p>Designate a single place in the house where you'll conveniently keep the receipts.</p> <p>During that month, get the totals for some of the bills you regularly pay. If it's something like power bills, try and get at least the last three statements, so you can have a fair idea of how much you pay.</p> <h3>3. Track Your Spending Using a Budgeting System</h3> <p>Most folks prefer to use budgeting software or a budgeting program, as they require the least amount of work. Some of the most popular software includes <a href="http://www.youneedabudget.com/">You Need a Budget</a>, <a href="http://moneydance.com/">Moneydance</a>, <a href="https://www.mint.com/">Mint</a>, <a href="http://quicken.intuit.com/">Quicken</a>, or any number of budgeting apps.</p> <p>If you'd rather set up an Excel spreadsheet or track things on paper, that's fine too.</p> <p>As you're collecting your receipts, take some time at least once a week to enter all your purchases into your budgeting program.</p> <h3>4. Set a Budget</h3> <p>It's not the most romantic thing you'll do, but you need to set aside a few hours one evening to evaluate your spending for the month and determine how much money you should budget for each category.</p> <p>This is where things can get sticky for some couples. One partner may want more money for decorations, and the other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">more money for a hobby</a>.</p> <p>Give priority to the items that you both agree are necessary expenses &mdash; things like housing, electricity, vehicles&hellip; Once those items are in place, you'll need to find a fair system for alternating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/refactor-your-budget-categories">how much you budget in categories</a> of personal preference. It seems fair that both spouses should be willing to sacrifice some of their wants for the other for peace in the relationship. When you learn to share, you'll be sure that your budget fits within the cap of your net spendable income.</p> <h3>5. Maintain the Budget in Small Time-Blocks</h3> <p>Take 2-3 minutes every day to enter your expenses. I've always found that when I budget in these <a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/scheduling-time-blocks.html">mini blocks of time</a>, it is easier then trying to find a few hours in the month. Both partners ought to be clear about their responsibilities. (Who enters the expenses? Who pays the bills?) At least once a month, both of you should look over the budget to see how your actual spending compares to your budget. If you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-to-make-do-with-less">spending more than you earn</a>, it's time to take the red ink and start cutting out those unnecessary expenses.</p> <p><em>What tips do you have for creating a first shared budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-your-first-shared-budget-without-blowing-up-your-relationship">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-a-debt-free-life">The Freedom of a Debt-Free Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage">6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-costs-that-could-ruin-your-wedding-budget">7 Unexpected Costs That Could Ruin Your Wedding Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting first budget marriage sharing Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:00:14 +0000 Craig Ford 938118 at http://www.wisebread.com