Monthly Archives: February 2009

The No Credit Needed Notebook

The No Credit Needed Notebook is a collection of free personal finance management spreadsheets.

All spreadsheets are available in versions compatible with Open Office and Microsoft Office.

List of Creditors – List of Monthly Expenses – Pages 1 and 2

Use this page to create a list of your creditors, how much you owe each creditor, and contact information for each creditor.  This page is very useful when setting up a debt reduction plan.  Click to read more about how to use this page.

Use this page to create a list of and analyze monthly expenses.  This page is useful when setting up your initial budget and it is a great brainstorming resource.  Click to read more about how to use this page.

List of Creditors and Monthly Expenses – Pages 1 and 2 – Open Office Version

List of Creditors and Monthly Expenses – Pages 1 and 2 – Microsoft Word Version

Inventory of Financial Accounts – Page 3

Use this page to create a list of your financial accounts, contact information for each account, and online information for each account.  This page is very useful, especially if you need to create a list of accounts for your spouse.  Click to read more about how to use this spreadsheet.

Inventory of Financial Accounts – Page 3 – OpenOffice Version

Inventory of Financial Accounts – Microsoft Office Version

Printable Grocery Store Price Book – Page 4

Use this page to create your grocery store price book.  This page is useful if you want to track the prices of items that you regularly purchase at the grocery store.  Click to read more about how to use this spreadsheet.

Printable Grocery Store Price Book – Page 4 – OpenOffice Version

Printable Grocery Store Price Book – Page 4 – Microsoft Office Version

Average Daily Balance Calculator – Page 5

Use this page to calculate the average daily balance of your credit cards.  This page is useful for determining when to send your additional credit card payments and how timing your payments can save you money.  Click to read more about how to use this spreadsheet.

Average Daily Balance Spreadsheet Calculator – Page 5 – OpenOffice Version

Average Daily Balance Spreadsheet Calculator – Page 5 – Microsoft Office Version

Feel free to download these spreadsheets for personal use.  The above mentioned spreadsheets are provided for free, and do not constitute financial advice.

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Diagramming The Flow Of Money

For the visual-learners in the audience, I have diagrammed the flow of my money.

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Regular income is deposited into my primary checking accountScheduled monthly payments are made, and allocations for non-monthly scheduled payments are then deposited in my online savings account.

Irregular income, such as it is, is deposited into my primary checking account, and used, if needed, for scheduled monthly payments.  If not needed for scheduled monthly payments, money will be transferred from my primary checking account to my online savings account.

Business income is deposited in my business checking account.  All business income is then transferred to my online savings account, set aside for non-monthly payments and long-term savings.

Any non-monthly scheduled payments are made from my interest-bearing checking account.  Money necessary for non-monthly scheduled payments is transferred from my online savings account to my interest-bearing checking account, as needed.

Contributions to Roth IRAs and Education Savings Accounts are made from my interest-bearing checking account.  Again, these contributions are first transferred from my online savings account, to my interest-bearing checking account, and then a check is written for each contribution.

I have it set so that I make all of my scheduled monthly payments on the first day of each month.  As soon as payments clear, I can then transfer remaining money to my online savings account, leaving a cushion in my checking account for unforeseen-expenses.  Not included in this diagram, but very important, is my envelope system, which I use for managing my cash, to pay for budgeted items like groceries and gasoline.

I am a big fan of the The ING Direct Orange Savings Account and I use it as my online savings account. I also use ING’s Electric Orange as my interest-bearing checking account.  Having both accounts with the same company, it’s very easy for me to make instant transfers.

For more about scheduled monthly payments and scheduled non-monthly payments, please see this recent article about how to create a zero-based budget.

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How We Changed Our Family’s Financial Future

My wife and I have been debt free for more than three years.  Here’s how we turned our lives around and changed our family’s financial future.

We began to spend less than we earned.

Brilliant, no?  It sounds so simple, but the reality is, many Americans spend more each month than they earn.

We put our credit cards in our wallets – and just left them there.

We stopped using our credit cards.  We didn’t cut them up or freeze them in a bowl of water – we simply made a decision to stop using them.  This might have been the single most important thing we have ever done.

We began to live on a budget.

Following a zero-based budget, we were able to control our spending and maximize our savings.

We began to dream of a debt-free future.

Within the first week of our financial turn-around, we were already convinced that, one day, we would be debt free.  This confidence, though tested by circumstances, never changed.

We created a system for organizing our financial documents.

Organization is so important.  In the past, we might forget to pay a bill or we might lose an important document.  Now, we have a system for organizing our documents, scheduling payments, and balancing our accounts.

We worked together.

I am the nerd and I like spreadsheets and calculations.  My wife is practical and she specializes in household management.  We combined our strengths, encouraged one another, and refused to argue, ever again, about money.

We created a specific goal.

Our first goal?  We wanted to be debt-free.  Having this specific goal, something to aim for, really motivated us.  We gave ourselves a specific goal, and a specific date to achieve it.  Surprisingly, even though we missed our original goal date, instead of being discouraged, we were further motivated.  The goal itself, the dream of being debt free, really kept us going.

We began to think long-term.

This was key.  Instead of living month-to-month, we decided that we wanted to live decade-to-decade.  Making the decision to be forward-thinking, we were able to give up temporary wants, and focus on long-term plans.  We matured, you might say.

We read.

We read, and continue to read, all that we can about personal finance.  Inspired by the success of others, we press forward.  We are not where we want to be, but we are confident that we are headed in the right direction.  Even surrounded by the negative news of the day, we have great hope for our future.

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Midnight Meanderings – Slight Site Redesign

Site Redesign -

I have made a few changes to the look and feel of No Credit Needed.  I hope these changes improve the sites usability.  If you subscribe to No Credit Needed via RSS or email, you can click here to view the new look of the site.

From my other sites -

No. Calories Needed - Hit My First Stall But I Am Still Going!

No Credit Needed NetworkDebt Reduction Celebration

From around the web -

Bible Money MattersHow The Emergency Fund Makes For A Better Life

Blunt MoneyTries To Define Financial Independence

Tough Money LoveKilled Those Mortgage Payments

Five Cent NickelHow To Choose An Online Savings Account

Chief Family OfficerCooking With The Toaster Oven

About the Midnight Meanderings -

The Midnight Meanderings are published two or three times a month and highlight articles I like from across the web as well as the most recent articles from my other sites.

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