5 questions to ask yourself before starting a budget

5 Questions to Ask Before You Prepare a Budget

Sometimes, when people finally decide to take charge of their finances -- to stop winging it and prepare a budget -- they think of a budget as a restriction, depriving them of the nicer things in life. In reality, it can be liberating to chart a path to financial freedom. Before you start, you need to ask yourself at least five questions. What Are My Goals? How and what you budget depends on the... Continue reading
Breaking bad budgeting habits with Quicken personal finance

Breaking Bad Budgeting Habits

Habits -- Bad Ones A habit is like an ancient decision -- you replay the same behavior that originated from a conscious choice you made in the mists of the past. Now you are on autopilot, repeatedly acting out the same behavior with nary a thought. Habits can be bad or good. Bad budgeting habits often involve spending too much, saving too little, ignoring your budget or failing to track your... Continue reading

How to Save for Long-Term Goals

Whether you're dreaming of sending your kids to college, having a comfortable retirement, or buying a new house or car in several years, you need to save to reach your long-term goals. "Long-term success comes from tying your cash flow to your goals," according to to Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner in Boston who works with young professionals across the country. "Cash flow is... Continue reading

Build Your Budget

Think of your budget as a planning device, a means of setting and reaching your personal finance goals. You project future expenditures (including savings), record them when they're made, and see whether your projections were any good. If they aren't, you adjust your planning or your spending, whichever is out of line. Use budgeting software like Quicken. Make sure you are thorough when entering... Continue reading
Essential questions before creating a budget

Essential Questions to Ask Before Creating a Budget

What's Your Cash Flow? You can't create a budget if you don't know how much money is coming in and going out. Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner in Boston says, "The first step in making a budget is to create a personal income statement." He recommends looking at your previous month's spending and then continuing to track your spending for the next few months so you can see where your... Continue reading
personal budget

How to Create a Personal Budget

/*-->*/ /*-->*/ If you want to control your spending and start achieving your finance goals, you must create a personal budget. Learn how to build a budget from the ground up. Continue reading

How Merging Assets Affects Your Credit

You may want to share everything with your new spouse, but you'll each forever own separate credit scores. Nonetheless, merging assets can affect credit reports going forward and can influence access to credit. When spouses with widely different credit scores apply jointly for purchases like a car or house, one spouse's credit history might help the process while the other's might cause... Continue reading

Take a Financial Inventory

If you're on top of your regular income and outgo, then maybe you can safely skip this section to personal budgeting. But if you're barely making it from payday to payday, or have the distinct feeling that you're treading water while others swim merrily by, then here is where you'll find the means to get moving. One thing you need to do is take a financial inventory. That means sorting out the... Continue reading
Save Money for a Wedding

How to Budget for a Large Event

Whether it's a wedding, a family reunion or your church's Easter festival, big events cost money. You don't want to base your decision on price alone, though, according to Katie Wilgus of Gather Event Planning. It's important, for instance, that your vendors can deliver the level of quality and fit the type of event that you have in mind. Be Clear On What You Want Before you draw up a budget,... Continue reading

Taking Inventory of Your Personal Finances: How Do I Start a Household Budget?

However hard it may be to believe, "budget" is not a dirty word. A budget isn't supposed to be a set of handcuffs to keep you from enjoying life. A properly designed budget actually helps you get more out of life by allowing you to control your money, rather than letting your money control you. Setting up a household budget isn't complicated, but it will take some time and attention to detail. Continue reading

Pages