Tagged With: budgeting

Why is the budget monthly?

Our system of budgeting is pretty arbitrary. I recommend that everyone make a spending plan based on the calendar month. Twelve months a year: twelve plans a year. Could we do things another way? And are any of them better?

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The arbitrary nature of a month, or does it really matter when you spend?

Last month was a little challenging for me, money-wise. While every month I separate my allotted spending money into categories ($300 for Groceries, $60 for Transportation, etc.), it’s really just a best guess. The month had a number of expenses (in my Fun/Misc category especially) such that, by mid-month, I was effectively done with that … Continue reading »

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What to do when your account balance is different than expected

Balancing your household budget might be difficult to do, but it’s not complex. You just make sure that the money you have going out is the same amount that is coming in. (In this way, Charles Dickens’ Micawber was only half-right, though we agree in spirit.) In this way, the money you have in your bank … Continue reading »

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A photo finish is a good thing when budgeting

If you’re like me, you may procrastinate, but you don’t like it. You don’t enjoy waiting until the last minute to get things done. And in general, it feels better to have some leeway, rather than cutting things close. However, when it comes to making a plan for your money, you actually do want to … Continue reading »

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Is it a good idea to have an “Adventure” expenses category when traveling?

If you’ve read this site for any length of time, you know how about you can obtain best results with your money by tracking your expenses. Moreover, if you categorize your expenses, you can learn even more about how you spend your money, which can lead to making better, more informed choices. (And most likely … Continue reading »

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How to succeed at your first month of budgeting

  Let’s say you finally decided to make a change and create a budget for your finances. Perhaps you’ve become suitably inspired, or, like the parable of the burning building, the alternative had become that much worse. So what do you do? Do you sit down, create 25 different spending categories, look back on five … Continue reading »

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How to combine finances when you’re non-monogamous

  So, if you’ve been following along, I talked about commingling finances for couples, and the importance of talking about dreams to get on board together. Then I hedged a bit and talked about how speaking solely of couples is inadequate, that the focus on just two people rules out people whose lives contain more than … Continue reading »

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The importance of a shared financial strategy for couples

  In my post about how couples can combine their finances, I ended by stating that if there was any wrong answer on the many ways that such commingling was possible, it was to not talk about your strategy. If two people are working in opposite directions, they are going to get nowhere. If one person … Continue reading »

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How couples can combine their finances

  So, you found that special someone, and decided to take the leap, either toward cohabitation, or civil union, or marriage, or anything that merits the phrase “take the leap“. Congrats! I bet one thing you’re not thinking about in all of the excitement is money. Unsurprisingly, I believe that’s a mistake. Because talking about your … Continue reading »

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Low-tech alternatives to using an online budget-tracking service

  I admit that when you’re new to something, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. “Just tell me what to do” is a common refrain in this situation (which explains diet books, and I’m not saying this in a bad way). I recommend everyone track their spending (specifically their Expenses, … Continue reading »

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