Budget, Cash, Money Management

Structure And Freedom

Over the years I have learned the true value of creating structure and following a routine.  My wife and I use the following structured systems to control spending, plan for saving, and manage our finances. Monthly Calendar – Each month we sit down and plan out that month’s events and scheduled activities.  We brainstorm and try to be thorough.  We list doctors visits, school functions, church events, etc.  Out goal is to know where we’ll be and when we’ll be there.  This helps us know two things, vital to all other systems – how we’ll spend our time and where we’ll spend our money. My wife is old school – and uses a simple spiral-bound day-planner.  I prefer the calendar…

Continue Reading

Getting One Month Ahead

One of the things that I disliked the most about life pre-No Credit Needed was the pressure of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Prior to getting serious about managing our finances, I struggled, always living on that fine line between just-enough and flat-broke.  One of the joys of my current lifestyle is that I have broken the cycle of paycheck-to-paycheck. Before I proceed, let me point out the following:  Our annual household income, as compared to five years ago and adjusted for inflation, is roughly the same. Most (if not all) of the progress we’ve made has resulted from changes in behavior and better planning. Here’s how I managed to escape paycheck-to-paycheck and get (at least) one month ahead of our financial obligations…

Continue Reading
Budget, Frugality

Firmly Standing On The Middle Ground

As I sat down tonight to work on our budget for February – using the awesome You Need A Budget – I noticed something:  I stand rather firmly on the middle ground.  Allow me to explain – There are some folks who choose to live without television.  There are some folks who pay for every possible channel. I have basic satellite service, with no premium channels. There are some folks who do just fine without cell phone service.  There are some folks who have the very latest in cell phone technology – and the most expensive data plans to match. I have a basic cell phone with a family share plan. There are some folks who make everything they eat…

Continue Reading