Family, Frugality

Frugal 51 Weeks A Year

I’m on vacation with my wife and our kids.  The weather is glorious – 85 degrees, sunny, slight breeze.  The beach is beautiful and the kids are really enjoying the pool. When I’m on vacation, I’m ON vacation.  I try not to check my email or worry about work.  Instead, I focus on hanging out with the kids and enjoying the week off.  The past few months – years really – I have been very, very busy.  (You have probably noticed a drop off in the number of articles here on the blog.)  The truth is, I need this vacation.  The rest of this summer is jam-packed with work, much of it stress-inducing, so this week is a time to…

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The Day It Clicked

I had a very interesting conversation with a good friend yesterday.  We were talking about our finances (he reads No Credit Needed and I asked his permission to share a bit of our conversation with you guys) and he said – I think that the most important thing, no matter the system that you use for managing your money, is that you have to have a day where it just “clicks” – a day when you decide to take control of your finances.  After that, it’s all a matter of finding a system that works for you. I think there is a lot of merit to what my friend said.  For me, it clicked more than four years ago, when…

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Budget, Money Management

10 Things To Do Before Creating Your Next Budget

Before you create your next budget or monthly spending plan – 1.  Track your spending for one month. Use a spreadsheet, pen and paper, or online software, and track your spending for one month.  Track all payments – including those made by check, debit card, cash, (and credit card, if you choose to use one).  Remember to also include any payments that are automatically withdrawn from your checking / savings accounts. 2.  Create a detailed list of non-monthly bills / expenses. Remember, for a budget to really work, you need to plan for non-monthly (irregular) bills and expenses.  For instance, you may need to pay annual life insurance premiums, twice-yearly automobile insurance premiums, and property taxes.  These bills do not…

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