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Personal finances can be a “deep mess”

Written by Sam on September 15, 2006 – 2:55 pm -

My friend Clark once introduced me to the concept of the “deep mess.” A deep mess is one that gets worse before it gets better. Cleaning out a closet is an example of a deep mess. To get it cleaned out and organized, you first need to take every thing out. Then, once everything has been spread out and you can see what’s there, you can put it back in an orderly, organized fashion.

Starting a new personal finance or budgeting system can also be a deep mess. It will usually get worse before it gets better. But it WILL get better with consistent effort.

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Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Budgets, Finance, Finances, Money, Personal Finance | 2 Comments »

Budgeting on a self-employed or irregular income

Written by Sam on September 6, 2006 – 10:05 pm -

Since I wrote my post about “How to create a zero-based budget,” I’ve had a lot of feedback asking how to budget if you’re self-employed or your income is irregular or unpredicitble. For the most part, the process is the same regardless or how regular or irregular your income streams are. However, there are a few tips that will help take the bumps out of budgeting an unpredictable income and may even make budgeting a pleasant experience.

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Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Budgets, Cash, Emergencies, Finance, Finances, Money, Personal Finance | 22 Comments »

Start budgeting today! It’s a new month

Written by Sam on September 1, 2006 – 8:27 am -

Just a reminder that today is September 1st and a perfect time to get your budget up and running. My wife and I start our budget officially on the 5th of every month because that’s when I get paid. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect! Getting started is the main thing. Each month you’ll improve a little and after a while, your budget will be easy to maintain.

If needed, review the following posts and start TODAY!

Please post a comment with thoughts, questions, and experiences.

Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Budgets, Uncategorized | No Comments »

6 ways a short-term emergency fund can help save your budget

Written by Sam on August 24, 2006 – 2:07 pm -

In my previous post “How to create a zero-based budget” I addressed the basic steps for starting the budgeting process, but I didn’t talk much about how to prioritize your allocations. Most financial planners agree that having an emergency fund is the first step in a sound financial plan. If used properly, an emergency fund can act like a shock absorber for financial bumps and pot-holes. Rather than letting these events throw your budget off course, you can take them in stride. A short-term emergency fund will help eliminate anxiety about having enough money in your account or the timing of inflows and outflows. The goal is maximum peace and control with minimum effort.

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Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Emergencies, Personal Finance | 18 Comments »

How to create a zero-based budget

Written by Sam on August 12, 2006 – 1:41 pm -

In my last post, I covered why most budgets don’t work and how to fix them. One of the ways to make your budget work is to create a zero-based budget. Today’s post outlines how to create your first zero-based budget. Over the next few weeks I’ll be addressing various aspects of creating and managing a budget. Let’s start with the basics. Some of these steps may seem obvious or simplistic. But for those who just can’t seem to get a budget started, I hope to give you some step-by-step detail that will help make creating a budget easier.

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Posted in Budget, Budgeting, Budgets, Finances, Money, Personal Finance, Tools | 73 Comments »

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