How to Make a Budget and Support Your New Year’s Goals

New year, new you—new budget? As a time of reflection, renewal, and goal setting, the new year is a perfect opportunity to start a budget for the first time—or to take a look at your budget with fresh eyes.  Consider what’s worked, what’s changed, and how to make a budget with your annual plan and goals in mind.  How to Make a Budget That Works: Start With Your Goals Some people are spurred to... Continue reading

The Keys to Small Business Expense Tracking

Most small business owners don’t set out to become bookkeepers or accountants, but it’s part of the job when you have to wear all the hats. Whether you’re a part-time consultant, manage rental properties, or are growing a small business, keeping a close watch over your expenses can be important.  You can use your records to better understand your business, and they can be a necessity to back up... Continue reading

Why You Need a Weekly Budget

Do you need a weekly budget in addition to your monthly budget? Here are three big benefits to consider.

A monthly budget is an intuitive default—but a weekly budget might be the better option. Not to say you shouldn’t use months to frame your budget. Most bills are due once a month, you might get paid once or twice a month, and budgeting software often starts you out fresh each month. But if your monthly budget is your big-picture strategy, the weekly budget planner is your tactical plan that... Continue reading

12 Must-Have Features of Budgeting Software

A debt problem at its core is a budgeting problem. This is one of the most important lessons in personal finance: you can’t save your money if you don’t know where it’s going. In other words, you need a budget.  In fact, 74% of Americans now track their expenses with a budget. But just realizing the importance of a budget isn’t the same as properly executing one. Between retirement accounts,... Continue reading

20 Average Monthly Expenses to Include in Your Budget

Whether you’re creating a new budget or refreshing an old one, you’ve probably noticed how important (and difficult) it is to get your monthly expenses right. Underestimating or missing an expense can throw your spending strategy into disarray, so it’s helpful to have guidance on the budgeting norm. To help you get it right, we’ve assembled a list of the most common average monthly expenses.  20... Continue reading

10 Budget Categories That Belong in Your Plan

At its most basic, a budget is really just a spending plan for your money. A well-thought-out budget can help you take control of your finances and use your money with purpose rather than spending it haphazardly—a habit than can quickly lead to problems when it’s time to pay the bills each month.  The first step involves breaking down your regular expenses into budget categories to get a clear... Continue reading

How a Sinking Fund Can Keep Your Holiday Budget Afloat

Personal finance blogger and Quicken user Lauren Tucker shares her secret weapon for guilt-free seasonal spending.

As we head into the last few months of the year, holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas hold the promise of food, family, travel, and gifts. But if you’re not paying attention, those “fun” holiday expenditures can add up quickly, blowing your budget and sending your financial goals careening off-track. “A lot of people panic this time of year because they don’t have enough... Continue reading

Adjusted Gross Income: What Is it and How Does it Impact Your Taxes?

What is adjusted gross income? You’ve heard the term, of course. Perhaps your accountant mentions it in passing whenever you get your taxes done, or you recognize it as a line item on your annual tax returns. But without context, it’s hard to understand just how important it is.  Adjusted gross income (AGI) is your gross income— i.e., the total amount of money you’re paid before taxes are taken... Continue reading

How to Make a Budget That Maximizes Your Money

Want to know how to make a budget that actually works? We'll show you how to create a personal budget that can help you take your finances to the next level.  Continue reading

Disposable Income: What Is it and How Does it Affect your Finances?

The term “disposable income” is something of a misnomer. It sounds like fun money, but it’s quite the opposite. Also known as disposable personal income (DPI) or “take-home pay,” disposable income, is the amount of money available after taxes and other employee deductions have been taken out of your paycheck. It’s not truly “disposable” because it has to cover your family’s most essential needs... Continue reading

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