budgeting

Emergency belt-tightening

Typical personal finance advice would have you divide your budget categories into two groups: Your fixed expenses and your discretionary expenses. I generally don't like that dis

Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis

While this might be the biggest economic disaster of our generation, it might not be the big bad wolf that we all think it is. Quite the contrary, this little financial lesson migh

Financial Peace in Hard Times

Six months ago, I had plans. Lots of them. Career plans. Vacation plans. Financial plans. Then everything fell apart. My mother became ill. She had already been ill, having been di

Refactor Your Budget Categories

Use the budget categories put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help you better understand your spending.

Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style

Growing up, I stayed with my grandparents during the day on summer breaks from school. Our mid-mornings were usually spent casually watching The Price is Right. Maybe those Showca

Join America Saves Week February 24 to March 2nd

This week is officially America Saves Week 2008. This is a campaign started in 2007 by many government agencies and private entities to encourage Americans to save because the per

What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?

My goal has always been to work for ten years and then have enough financial freedom to do whatever I want to do. Whenever I tell people this they seem to be rather incredulous an

Keeping The Budget In Budget Travel

To save money for your vacation you crafted a detailed budget and stuck to it. Now, with your bags packed and ticket in hand, you are ready to put all the of preparation and planni

A better way to create a budget

The only easy way to create a budget is to start with what you spent last month (and last year) and copy the numbers forward. If you don't do that, you're going to miss so

Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget

Feel like you're just living payday-to-payday? Having trouble figuring out where all your money goes? Then a zero-based budget just might be for you.

Raise your standard of living by focusing your spending

Are you tired of reading the same frugality suggestions? I'm talking about the repeated exhortations to eat out less, turn off your cable, and stop buying expensive coffee dri

How often do you get your paycheck?

One of the BlogHer featured posts talked about a mis-match between pay dates and credit card due dates. It reminded me of just how much I used to agonize over this issue, back bef

How to Find Money for Charity

You're trying to delight everyone on your Christmas list, and then the guilt sets in. What about those in more need than your family? Here are 10 ways to find money for a donat

The Quiet Millionaire: Part 2 – Major Obstacles to Financial Success

Want to have the wealth you need to follow your dreams? Brett Wilder, Certified Financial Planner and author of The Quiet Millionaire suggests that there are 7 major obsta

The Retirement Latte

My introduction to David Bach was when I saw him speak at a financial conference a few years ago. He told an interesting story about a couple who came in for a consultation with hi

Choosing Between Apples and Oranges

My family lives a fairly simple lifestyle. We live in a rural area, drive older cars, and rarely go out for dinner. But we also like to enjoy life. Given that we know approximat

Debt repayment is not an expense

Over and over again, in budgeting articles and even books on personal finance, I see sample budgets that include debt repayment as if it were an expense. This shows a fundamental

Your budget: envelopes or a plan?

When I was first introduced to budgeting, the model used was the envelope method. Every payday you'd take your cash and divide it up among envelopes labeled "Rent," "Groceries," "Electric Bill," etc. [more]

Start with recurring monthly expenses

I tend to divide spending up into four categories. [more]

A Budget is Not a Constraint

When people resist the idea of budgets, the most common reason is that they view the budget as an unwelco