Tuesday Tips for Budgeting [026]

Happy Fall!  It’s time to prep those October budgets!  Knock them out tonight if you haven’t already!

– Some utility companies will allow you to do “budget” or “balanced” billing, where they bill you an average of one year’s worth of bills.  We don’t do it, but if you’d like to build in some additional regularity in your budget, it’s fine to do.  Just make sure they don’t charge extra for it!

– Your REAL priorities should come FIRST.  How much are you going to GIVE?  How much are you going to SAVE?  Then, how much do you have to live on?

– I suggest budgeting around three percent of your take-home pay for blow money in most cases.  If you’re getting out of debt, gotta have priorities!  If you’re out […]

By |September 30th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

8 Places to Save Money in Your Budget Right Now

When looking to cut some things in your budget, the first place I suggest people look is the variable categories – the things that change month-to-month.  These are the categories that you can save money on simply by changing your behavior.  You don’t have to call anyone, get any quotes, or sign any papers – you just act differently.

Look for another post soon about how to save money on your other, fixed categories.  For now, here are eight budget categories you can start saving money on right now:

1) Groceries – This and #2 are by far the most inflated categories I see on most people’s budgets.   I get it, food is expensive!  But you can start saving money this month by using coupons, shopping sales, buying […]

By |September 29th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Wave – My New Favorite Resource for Small Businesses

You want to know how to ruin a creative person’s day?  Make them do accounting work.

I work with a good number of creative entrepreneurs, and while that statement isn’t a universal truth, it can be a constant struggle for small businesses of any stripe to keep their finances straight.

Hundreds of transactions to track, dozens of clients to serve, multiple accounts, and lots of other things to worry about can add up to headache for small businesses.  Add on top of that the complexity of many accounting solutions out there, and you’ve got a recipe for a financial disaster – tax troubles, cash flow confusion, and problems achieving profitability.

What do you do then?  In the past, you would go to the store and buy expensive accounting software.  The […]

By |September 25th, 2014|Money|1 Comment|

Tuesday Tips for Budgeting [025]

- Heads up!  Christmas is coming in December this year!  If you’re not going to finance your kids’ plastic plastic on plastic, now is the time to start thinking and planning for it.  We’re beefing up our gift envelope in the next few months so that Christmas doesn’t follow us into the New Year!

– September and the change of seasons is the perfect example of why we do a budget every month, not rely on one budget to work for us every month.  Bills change, and new things come up!  My power bill is about to be significantly less than it was last month, since we’re not blowing the AC every day, thank the Lord.  But that’s why we revisit the budget every month.

– The partner who is less […]

By |September 23rd, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

You Won’t Get Out of Debt Without This

It’s so easy to get into debt.  Credit is one of the most marketed products out there today.  But you know what, it’s hard to get out.

It’s easy to wander into trouble with debt – whether credit cards, vehicle loans, student loans, medical debt or any number of other things.  The challenge?  Getting out.  You can wander in, but you can’t just wander out.

You won’t get out of debt in any reasonable amount of time without one thing: Energy.

Yeah, you gotta get fired up about it!  Get a little mad at it!  Attack the debt with some passion!  Go after it.  Break through it with some power and energy!

You gotta be like the guy in the video above, put some energy into it!  Use all your momentum, […]

By |September 22nd, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Budgeting [024]

- If you have a variable income, budgeting is a slightly different process, but that doesn’t give you a pass!  Still gotta do it.  Start with your expenses, and determine the base-level expenses to pay your bills.  Then make a prioritized list of what you do after that – pay down debt, put money in savings, extra spending money, vacation savings, etc.

– With a variable income, as you have a good month and have extra above standard living expenses, use that prioritized list to guide what you’re going to do with the money.

– It’s wise for everyone to have a prioritized list of what you’d do with extra money.  What would you do with it if I gave you $500 right now?  What’s your number […]

By |September 16th, 2014|Money|2 Comments|

5 Ways Clarity can Empower Your Small Business

Early on in Nancy’s photography business, we had a medium-sized stock photography outlet approach her about using some of her work in their stock-photography offerings.  They would compensate us, and it was tempting, considering the additional cash flow would have been helpful in a very young small business.

We thought about it, and came to the decision not to work with them.  We didn’t dislike the company; but after some discussion it became clear that the business, her business, was wedding photography, not stock photography.  That decision saved us lost time, frustration, and possible usage rights issues with her work.  It kept us from working on something that would not contribute to our ultimate goal – building an excellent wedding photography business.  If you’re been in business or leadership, […]

By |September 15th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

The Key to Wealth

I’m afraid you may be disappointed at my answer.

The key to wealth, for the vast majority of people, is not something shiny, sexy, or secret.

It’s not an investment scheme known only to the wealthy.

It’s not a secret house-flipping plan that only real estate moguls know.

It’s not in becoming a rapper or a pro athlete.

It’s not in some business idea your cousin wants you to go in with them on.

And it’s not in the lottery.  Definitely not in the lottery.

No, the real key to wealth is in something much more simple.  It’s rather un-sexy, and a little old hat.  Ready for it?

The key is in self-control.  

That’s right, if you can get you to do the things that you know are going to be good for you, then you can […]

By |September 12th, 2014|Money|2 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Budgeting

- Blow money doesn’t just cover your “fun” – it covers incidentals as well.  Maybe you had some parking expenses this month, but that doesn’t mean you need an entire “Parking” envelope next month in your budget.  Your blow money can cover the miscellaneous little things here and there that come up.

– A budget meeting’s purpose is twofold – it looks back (How did this month go?), and it looks forward (What are we going to do this month?)  So you look back at the past month, and look forward to the coming month.

– This has come up a few times, but the spouse who is less inclined to make the budget should change something on the budget when you review it together.  The “numbers […]

By |September 9th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Living (and Giving) Like No One Else

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I’m going to share something personal with you today.

The young man in the picture above is Horacio Giovani Vilchez Zamora (quite the mouthful).  He’s from the small city of Diriamba, Nicaragua, so his name is pronounced in Spanish “or-AH-see-oh.”

He lives in a poor community outside of town, and goes to the Donna Holland School there in Diriamba.  When we visited Nicaragua last year, we went to the DH School and saw the great work they were doing, educating and feeding large numbers of impoverished children, all because of supporters and sponsors.  We found out you could sponsor a child to go to the school, cover their tuition, a uniform, a backpack, and a pair of shoes.  All for […]

By |September 8th, 2014|Faith, Money|0 Comments|