Thursday, June 5, 2008


Here is an allocated spending plan for a zero balance budget, Just put in your paycheck amounts in the top, and any beginning balance. In the first slot for allotted amount, put in your budgeted amount for that category or "envelope" and then in the greyed area you can put your purchases. It will then tell you how much is remaining in that envelope and show in red if you've gone over. You can change the categories as needed, then feel free to save a copy to your desktop.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Opening Your Eyes to the World of Money

Being blinded by money schemes no more. When you become awakened to the world of marketing and banking, you notice the hypocrisy of it all. Rejecting the idea of credit is the start. Once you have determined to live a life without credit you notice a few things about marketing for credit. You see commercials that show fathers dancing with daughters at her dream wedding in Hawaii, or kids graduating college while giving them keys to a brand new vehicle, picking up baby items with pregnant mom and flashing your credit card. You see people buying "green" friendly products at a time when gas is at an all time high and credit cards marketing with cents off gas incentives, while all the while charging you 29.99% interest. Playing to your wants, instead of your needs. When you consider the average American owns at least two credit cards, carry a maxed out or almost maxed out balance, paying only minimums and being charged more for finance charges than their actual minimum payment, we should all think twice about charging up our next television set. By the time you've paid for your $4200 dollar flat screen television plus interest over the average two years of aggressive payments (seven years of minimum payments) it will take you to pay the television off, you've paid twice that amount and it is time for a new television set. Really be careful too, when paying just minimums. When your finance charge is more than your minimum payment, your balance can go up instead of down. Many Americana's credit payments (including loans, vehicles, student loans, lines of credit, and credit cards) is as much as their entire mortgage put together.
In the time of our great grandparents, it was looked down upon to borrow money. In the time of our grandparents, it was only OK to borrow money for major things, like a home. In the time of our parents, credit became a way of life. Now this generation, we are so much in debt that we cant claw our way out. Wake up to the hypocrisy of it all. We get excited that they "accept" us as customers, when we are paying them thousands upon thousands to loan us hundreds. Save up your money and pay yourself the interest. Move forward from the credit vortex.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spending Only What You Make

Here is a money tip, spend only what you make. If you only spend the money you have and no extra, you will not have a debt crisis. For many "keeping up with the Jones'" is a real problem. By the time you accrue all the toys that they have, you can't pay your light bill. Remember, living like no one else now so you can live like no one else later is the best route you can go. If you can wait until you can afford to pay for a Lexus with cash, you are much better off than if you must sell your first born for it. If you are in a debt crisis, you may consider selling that Lexus and driving a used Kia you paid cash for. An extra $400 dollars a month (moderate average on car payment) for five years will buy you a $24,000 cash car, put that into a 12% mutual fund for five years, you are looking at 34,000 and some change. I think you could afford that Lexus then. By the time you have $34,000 dollars cash, that Kia may look pretty good!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baby Step 3

3-6 month emergency fund Once you have a $1000 emergency fund, you are debt free, next you should save 3-6 months of expenses for a fully funded emergency fund. Total all your utilities, food, gas, other expenses and save that much in an interest bearing account. If you are out of work for any length of time, this will keep it from being an emergency and keep you from living off of debt until you get to go back to work.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

tips on car burglaries

Just this month alone, the county I work for has had 107 vehicle break-ins. Here are a few tips on how to avoid being a victim.
1. LOCK YOUR CAR -many times simply locking your car will deter a criminal
2. PARK UNDER A LIGHT OR IN A GARAGE -theives don't want to be where people can see them committing the crime, parking in a well lit area may help the criminal move on to someone else.
3. ALARM SYSTEMS -a simple alarm system installed can help, that little blinking light is like a force field.
4. DO NOT LEAVE PERSONAL BELONGINGS IN YOUR CAR - many people are victims to their own comfort level. When a theif sees a purse in the floorboard or a wallet in the door, you are assuring you will be a victim. THIS INCLUDES LOCKING IT IN THE TRUNK. If a theif gets in your car, they will surely go through the trunk as well.
5. DO NOT LEAVE CASH OR CREDIT CARDS IN YOUR GLOVE BOX. If a theif gets in, they will check this and the center console for just these type of things. THEY WILL TAKE YOUR GUNS TOO. Many people keep a pistol in their vehicle, if you dont take it inside with you, it will be gone too. FACE PLATES ON RADIOS ARE PRIME. If you have a removable face plate, take it with you.
These will not assure you will not be a victim, but it will assure that you will surely be able to get your life back together without further crimes happening to you, such as identity theft or credit card fraud.

Pay yourself first

Be sure to pay yourself first. When you are paid, take 5-10% of your earnings and transfer it to a interest bearing savings account, money market account, or mutual fund. Most money markets and mutual funds have a $500 to $1000 minimum balance, but they will earn more per dollar. Meanwhile, while getting your minimum balance, you can put it in a interest savings account, such as ING Direct (, which charges no penalties for transfers, has no minimum balances, and will even let you open accounts for specific sinking funds such as christmas or a new bicycle for your kid.

Does your gas work for you?

In order to get every drop you pay for fill up in the mornings when it is cooler outside. The hotter gas particles are, the more they expand. By filling up your tank in the morning, you get more gas because the particles are closer together and each gallon of gas will hold more gas particles. You may not notice a big dent in the bill, but you'll be able to get more gallon for your $3.45.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Creating a budget

Spend every dime on paper before you spend it. That is what a budget is. Put your expenses into categories, need a good software, try excel spreadsheet or Dave Ramsey's gazelle intense software. Spend all your money in these categories until you reach zero. When you hit zero, stop spending money, you dont have anymore. Try these categories and a suggested percentage of your money.
charity 10%
savings 5-10%
transportation 10%
clothes 2%
entertainment 4%
utilities 10%
debt 0% (hopefully)
food 20%
personal 4%
housing 25%
by the way if your mortgage is more than 25-35% of your income, you might want to sell or refinance, otherwise, you are what Dave calls "house poor and you could struggle getting the four necessity payments in (utilities, clothing, food, housing)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

baby step 2

Getting rid of debt Dave says begin with your smallest debt and begin to pay it off, paying minimums on everything else first (provided you are current on all your bills, if you are not get current first.) Allot an extra amount a month you can afford to add to this debt. If you must, work an extra job, sell something on craigslist or ebay, have a garage sale. Anything extra should go to this. Suggestion: have a car payment that is 25% or more of your bring home pay? Save up some money, buy an old car with cash if you have one car, if you have two and are able to sell one, sell your most expensive car and pay off that debt. That will give you 25% more to put towards your other debt. Then start a fund for a car replacement.


GIVE GIVE GIVE When you give to a charitable organization or donate items, you receive tax credit up to givings equalling 5% of your yearly Gross Pay. (which is the amount before taxes). If you have an old car you are planning to trade in, think of donating it instead. You may only get a few thousand for your trade, but you can claim the full value of the vehicle on you donation, and you will be helping out someone without a car. If you have clothes or toys you are going to throw out, give it to a thrift store or a local shelter, you can claim it as well, just remember to write it down.
Remember a closed fist cannot receive anything back, but an open hand can give and receive equally.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

scared to have cash

Many people are scared to follow Dave Ramsey's advice and start carrying cash. They are scared to have $1000 liquid cash in their home, thinking someone will break in and take it or rob them of it. People, no one knows you are carrying cash except you. Also, if someone is to break in your home, you should want them to only take cash. People are foolish to think it is better to have credit cards or check books taken. Banks have given a false sense of security that if this happens, your money will be refunded to you. This may be true, but in the meantime, you have bounced checks, overdraft fees, ruined credit. An affidavit of forgery must be filled out before any of this is restored and this may take years to fix your credit (if it ever does). Plus you run the risk of further identity thefts. If cash is taken, it can still be refunded to you. A simple police report and a call to your home insurance provider can take care of this. Then that's it, no other fees or feelings of fright because a stranger, a theif knows your name. Save yourselves the trouble, buy a safe, bolt it to the floor in your home out of the way and lock your things up. Reinforce your home security by installing a "texas deadbolt" (which goes deep within the door frame, that way if someone is going to kick your door they have to kick in the whole frame) Install an audible alarm (don't bother signing up for monthly alarm service, in six minutes you'll be cleaned out and the police won't get there any sooner and the damage will be done). Lock all sliding glass doors and reinforce them with a bar to keep them from sliding open. Keep all ladders unavailable to upstairs windows and keep your hedges cut down low. Purchase flood lights set on motion, an inexpensive camera system at your front door would be nice. You can get one at Lowe's or Home Depot for as little as $100 dollars. A case is more likely to be solved with id of a theif. Probability of the theif being known to the police is high and many times they are recognized by the Investigator, and often times, even by you.

the cable monster

Cable - A "utility"? Unneccesary in this day of the internet. Cable can run out the roof expensive. Try to unplug yourself. Start by simply reducing your costs, or go cold turkey and cut it off completely. It can save you hundreds of dollars a year. There are many shows that you can watch on the internet for free. At, there are tons of episodes, extra clips, movies to watch. Youtube is also a good site. Watching an episode here and there off the internet and cutting yourself down to DVD's or old VCR tapes can make a world of difference.
Our cable bill was $66 dollars a month; basic expanded cable, plus internet, cutting the cable at $40 dollars and only paying $26 for internet, I will save $480 this year. If I were to go real cheap and cut our internet, or change it over to dial up, I would save $792 this year.

Learn to balance your checkbook

In the day of Debit cards and automatic transfers, learning how to balance your checkbook is a must. Many believe that online banking has replaced balancing your checkbook but contrary to this belief, it is still an important role. Writing down you starting balance at your next pay, automatically subtract all automatic drafts you may have during the month, including bank charges and fees, then continue to subtract and write down any debits, cash withdrawals, atms and fees. Never let it get past zero.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Baby Step 1

Dave's baby step one: Save $1000 emergency fund (if you make less than $20,000 a year, save $500) make this a liquid fund, which means make it readily available. It may take a while to build this up, that's ok. It will save you in the long run. Never use credit cards for this, emergencies on credit cards turn in to excuses to live beyond your means.

Money Tip

Pay your car insurance in full instead of monthly, you will save yourself money in the end.

If your car insurance is $703 every six months and you pay $125.00 every month plus convenience fees, you will end up paying $750 plus those extra fees instead. If you have a convenience fee of $3 a month you will have a savings of $83. Thats $166 a year. What could you do with an extra $166 dollars?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Member of Generation Why

Everyone has the cool generation except mine. There's the baby boomers, the generation x, and then there is mine - generation Y which really should be generation why. It seems everyone I talk to was an accident, un-loved or not shown love (why me why me) I'm owed so much, my mommy and daddy separated and I just cant take it... let me give my child everything so they will never want for anything. Troubled american society... we are losing our children America, not because of anything our parents did but what we are doing. We are teaching them to live outside their means, spending more than they have (like the US Government does), when they are out of a "good job" we give them economic stimulus with money we dont have to give them just so we feel better about our economy and will spend more money that we dont already have. There are illegal aliens in this country who get up every day go stand in line to do what? WORK. not stand in line for hand outs at our local food banks, but work. Americans, our generation is ruining things. We teach our children that they can have whatever they want (and show no respect while they get it) and we are getting into debt to do it. Generation Y, I work where everyday I get reports from elementary schools where gang activity is going on, gangs in elementary school, it is popular to take what you want no matter whom you hurt in the process. They have handbooks on gangs they pass out to these kids, HISTORY OF GANGS, they are books that our children read! Take back your children. Teach them the value of a dollar, teach them respect and love. Dont whine that you didnt have anything or the love you needed to be a good parent, forget generation why and teach our generation X's a thing or two about a life of commissions, not allowances. Teach them to work, earn their money, spend only what they make, never take from others. Train up a child in the way he should go and he shall follow in your footsteps.

Tax Tips

Tax Tip one: Write everything down! Save every receipt. When you begin to keep an accountability log, you know where your money goes and if you get rewarded for it through your deductions. Keep a log in a journal notebook. Write down every doctors bill, mileage to go see your doctor, prescriptions, charitable givings (including items donated), items not reimbursed for your work, mileage traveled for work not reimbursed (except your normal daily drive), cell phone bills and home telephone bills if required for work and not reimbursed, (basically anything required that they dont pay you for), tax preparation and books about taxes, health insurance premiums, and day care expenses.

Starting The Dave Way

When I got married, my husband had debt, no I mean serious debt. It was now up to me to try and fix it. At 22 you haven't a clue about money, so I tried everything, including getting into a lot of debt to try to pull us out. Five years later, a three year old later, thirty two thousand down, and sixteen thousand back up, I found Dave Ramsey. I'm on my way to losing my debt. I must live a life of accountability, every dollar accounted for. I have started a budget and am sticking to it. In my first month with Dave, I had saved a thousand dollars for emergencies, no credit cards for emergencies but cold hard cash. I had saved another 1500 for when I knew our money would be tight. Now here I am, going on a journey of money redemption, please join me. Check out Dave on his website, you'll find it in my supported links, it will change your life.