GF¢ 034: I Hate Budgeting. YNAB to the Rescue!

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In case I have not made this abundantly clear on the blog – I HATE budgeting.

Did I make that clear enough yet? :)

Seriously, I would rather change 24 poopy diapers than to sit down and hammer budget.

Luckily, there are guys like Jesse Mecham who aim to make budgeting cool.

Is that really possible?  Jesse would like to think so.  :)

Here’s an interview with Jesse that further explains what YNAB is and how it can help with your budgeting needs.




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15 {Surpisingly Simple} Money Saving Tips for Families

Before we had our first son I was terrified on how much it was going to increase our monthly expenses.

We were decent at managing our finances, but I suddenly felt that I holes in all my pockets and all our money would just fall off into the new baby abyss.

I’m sure other families feel this pinch and are constantly looking for ways to save money.

While it’s rare that you can eliminate a single expense that will give you control over your finances, you can usually save a lot of money by combining savings from several different directions.

Money Saving Tips for families

Try some of the following money saving tips and use them to take charge of your budget.
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5 Financial Lessons I Learned from CrossFit

This post come to you from Ryan Michler from www.wealthantomy.com. Turns out Ryan is just as obsessed with Crossfit as I am.  I’ve been doing Crossfit since 2005 when I was deployed to Iraq and absolutely love it.

It has helped improve my overall fitness and also carried over positive influence into other areas of my life.  When Ryan offered to share how Crossfit has improved his fitness as well as teach him important financial lessons, I couldn’t wait to share it on the blog.

Enter Ryan…..

financial lessons I learned from crossfit

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52 Week Money Challenge – How to Easily Boost Your Savings to $1,378

Raise your hand if you know you should have more in your savings account.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Bankrate earlier reported that over 75% of Americans don’t have enough cash savings to cover their expenses for 6 months.

27% don’t have any savings at all!!

#ouch

Before I got married, I had very little cash.   I was (and still am) a spender.

After my wife and I tied the knot I think we maybe had a whopping $500 cash in the bank.

52 Week Money Challenge

While I was deployed to Iraq we made a conscious goal to boost our savings.  Our 1st goal was $1,000 inspired by Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.
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30 Financial Rules That Every 30 Year-Old Should Know (or risk going broke)

The BIG 3-0. 

The age that you’re really an adult.  In your 20’s, you could still swing being a bit immature.

Once 30 comes it’s game over.   And now that I’m 35….

Dang! Am I really 35?   <sigh>

Halfway through my 30’s and I’ve been rocking it the best way I can.

As a result, I’ve had some time to reflect on the things I’ve done right — and things I’ve done wrong  <<— trust me… there’s been plenty of wrong.

Living as a 30-something brings a lot of new and interesting financial challenges.

financial rules for 30s

You are probably making more money now than you ever have before, but you also have more challenges.

A couple of things we’ve dealt with is having more kids, building a home, changing careers, starting new businesses, and dealing with loss.

And this decade is one in which the thought of retirement and other financial issues becomes a little more “real.”

Whether you are about to turn 30, or whether you are heading into your mid-30s, now is a good time to review the following 30 financial rules for your 30s:
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100 Ways to Make $100 Fast

Free cash rocks!

Walking through a parking lot I one time stumbled upon a $20 bill.

Before I snatched it up I looked up around almost waiting for the hidden camera crew to jump out from the bushes to yell “Gotcha!”.

They didn’t and I was $20 richer. Score!

That is the only time that I’ve ever came across some quick cash.

Everyone needs some cash in a hurry from time-to-time.

Knowing that, I thought it would be fun to put together a post that outlined 100 ways you can make $100 fast.

100 ways to make money fast
Out of the 100, you should find at least a few that you can do any time you need extra cash.

Bookmark this page so you can refer to it anytime you need money!

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – Selling your junk

One of the best and easiest ways to make quick cash is by selling what you have – or that you can acquire on the cheap. It also has a secondary benefit in that it keeps the clutter in your life to a minimum.
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Beyond a Budget: How To Accelerate Your Wealth

how to accelerate your wealthYou see a huge cache of financial articles centering around the importance of frugality and everyday saving habits.

You also see a large number of articles touting the importance of establishing larger financial goalsretirement, investments and emergency funds.

The necessity of bridging the two? Now that’s another story.

Going from smart saver to financial guru doesn’t happen overnight. Overload of information can send people running for the hills rather than running towards their bank account with open arms and an open mind.

But understanding what happens with your money, and what actions you should take to begin or continue building on your financial stability are essential if you want to secure your present and future financial security.

This is true even if – no, especially if – you have debt, whether it be student loans, credit cards, or a mortgage.
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How My Grandmother’s 1998 Chevy Lumina Made Me Over $2 Million Dollars

She was my pride and joy.

A champagne colored 4 door ’98 Chevy Lumina Sedan that was suitable for a grandmother to drive.

In fact, one did – mine.  My “Nanny” to be exact.

The Lu

Before the Lumina I drove a 4 door ’96 red Pontiac Grand-Am. (Guess I had some weird obsession for 4 doors, huh?)

I bought the car when I first moved back to Illinois to attend junior college.   It was the first car that I was actually responsible for the payment.

Either way, I was ecstatic.  I was driving a car and it was my mine.

I was lucky enough to have an awesome grandmother who offered to pay it off as a graduation gift.

Not having a car payment was huge for me.

Although I constantly visioned myself driving something A LOT cooler, it was still nice having extra cash to enjoy life.  I was supporting myself all through college (with the help of the National Guard) and shelling out $250 a month for a car payment just didn’t feel right.

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Raising Kids These Days Ain’t Cheap

helping your children financiallyKids these days! They can be so expensive!

Raising a child gets more expensive every year.

Not only does inflation take its toll, but there always seems to be another activity to do.

The older your children get, the more they are likely to cost (well, once you get them out of the initial “baby” stage where diapers can be a killer cost).

The USDA says that children are getting more expensive as well. I recently plugged my information into the Cost of Raising a Child Calculator offered by the USDA, and found that my 10-year-old son is expected to cost me $28,350 just this year.

We’re not on track to actually hit that mark so far this year, but the results have me thinking. I’m sure there are those in other places who spend that much on their kids — or spend even more — each year.
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Are You a Financial Cheat If You Find Ways to Treat Yourself?

“I’m tired. I’m hungry. And all day, I’ve followed my budget to a tee. To a tee. Hmm… tea. Now, that sounds good. Or maybe coffee. While I’m at it, why not make it a special one. And what’s more special than adding chocolate to it? And whipped cream. It costs extra? Well sure – why not? I’ll take an extra shot too! And yes, throw in a scone. Heck, I deserve it.I’ve been good, so I should treat myself.

Sound familiar?

treat yourself

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used ‘treat myself’ as a workable excuse for spending extra money that’s not entirely within my budget. The trouble I get into isn’t necessarily that I’m putting myself into debt over these rewards, but rather that I’m spending money I could be saving for more worthwhile goals — for example a more comfortable emergency fund or a more comfortable retirement plan.

More and more it seems that a job well done equates to a job well rewarded. We are always treating ourselves for even the smallest victories. Small scale (think chocolate bar), or on the larger scale (think iPad) — it’s a habit that’s more than hard to break. [Read more...]

Do You Display Proper Tipping Etiquette?

tipping etiquetteMany of us engage in activities that result in receiving some sort of service from others.

However, it can be difficult to know how much to tip — and when it’s considered a social requirement to tip.

Tipping etiquette is different from industry to industry and country to country.

Tipping too much is usually not a problem; where most people struggle is not tipping enough or at all in a situation that requires it.

What is Proper Tipping Etiquette?

If you are concerned about tipping etiquette, here are some guidelines from the Emily Post Etipedia:
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How to Master the Art of Delayed Gratification

delayed gratificationWhen it comes right down to it, what is the true key to financial success?

You could argue that the key is getting enough marketable skills to be able to earn a decent income.

Or that the key is to consistently track your monthly spending in a budget spreadsheet. Or you could even argue the key is to learn the ins and outs of investing.

But really, while all of these things are very important to your long-term financial health, each of them is based on upon one particular characteristic: the ability to delay gratification.

Above all else, I would argue that it’s the art to delayed gratification that is the true key to financial success.

While many external factors can cause financial hardship, one of the common internal factors that can result in financial difficulty is an inability to appreciate delayed gratification. If you’re buried under debt, struggling to pay your car loan, or even having trouble paying your mortgage, then it’s possible you might benefit from a different perspective on long-term goals.

So what is the art of delayed gratification, and how can you obtain (or enhance) it yourself? Let’s explore this in depth: [Read more...]