Archive | Budgeting/Planning

Getting Started With a Budget
Using a budget is one of the smartest money management moves you could make. For guidance on using a paper & pencil system, read the Budget Quick Start Guide and make use of the Cash Flow Plan, Cash Flow Tracker, and Recommended Spending Guidelines, all found in the Resources section. For help using the online tool, watch my tutorials here, here, and here. And for help with the Envelope system, read this article.

Remember, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5

Budget Software Going the Way of the Dinosaur

Microsoft Money, a longtime player in the budget software space, will no longer be available for sale after this month. In a news release, Microsoft cited the “range of options for managing personal finances” now available–from free online tools like to those offered by banks. The makers of Quicken, the other main budget software […]

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Online Tool Reviews

The Internet is making personal money management easier. I recently wrote a guest post for U.S. News & World Report, looking at the pros and cons of various online budget tools. I’m using and enjoying it for the most part, but I plan to switch to Yodlee next year because it offers a few […]

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Moving Forward by Backing Up

How’s this for a subtle reminder of the importance of backing up the data on our computers? “You have a 100% chance of the data on your hard drive becoming corrupting, degrading, or disappearing.” That wake up call comes courtesy of the Suburban Dollar blog. I bought an external hard drive a couple of years […]

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Your Own Financial Stress Test

With the nation’s banks now having to submit to stress tests to determine their financial health, CNNand Money magazine decided to create a free online personal financial stress test. By working through a handful of mostly easy-to-answer questions, you can get a quick read on the strength of your household’s finances. While I like the […]

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New Retirement Realities

Our economy has left very few people feeling confident about retirement. Just 13 percent of current workers say they are “very confident” about having enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, according to the latest annual retirement study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). That’s the lowest level since the organization began […]

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Be Prepared

News of the devastating earthquake in Italy prompted Consumer Reports to remind readers about the importance of having and safeguarding certain financial documents. It put together a helpful list showing where to keep various documents. A comprehensive, easily accessible list of emergency phone numbers should be part of every household’s emergency preparedness plan as well. […]

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Online Budget Tools Put to the Test

Last month I mentioned that I was planning to switch from a traditional version of Quicken to one of the newer free online “financial aggregators.” The traditional software version ties you to one computer, whereas the online tools provide access via any computer. While I’m not done with my evaluation, here are a few things […]

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Calculate Your Financial Comeback

If you’re like most people, your investment accounts took a beating in 2008. Wondering when you might recover from those losses? The New York Times has a free online calculator that’ll help you estimate an answer to that question. Of course, no one knows what future market returns will be. And a wise person once […]

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