Designing a Per Diem Expense Budget

As a small business owner, you may find yourself spending most of your time “doing the business” instead of planning and preparing. In fact, most people I know who start their own home businesses have learned how to plan and budget as they went along, picking up business skills and organizational details “on the job” so to speak. You may find that in addition to your overall budgets and bookkeeping that you need to learn how to design a per diem expense budget. If you travel to conferences or workshops, or find yourself traveling at all in the line of … Continue reading

Why Isn’t My Budget Working?

There are so many people that sit down at the beginning of each month and write out a budget. Then they go on about their lives and wonder why they run out of money mid-month. This can be very frustrating for many people. They think that because they have written everything down that it should work. The problem is that they haven’t committed to living the budget. Here are the five things you can do to commit to living the budget. 1) When you finish the budget you should sign it. This may seem silly, but it symbolizes your commit … Continue reading

Monthly Budget and Biweekly Paychecks

It can be difficult to make a monthly budget when you are paid on a weekly or biweekly basis. You may find that you have difficulty paying all your bills that are due at the beginning of the month or that you do not have money for food the week that rent is due. Here are a few ways to deal with this dilemma. 1) First you should divide all your bills by four and then set aside that amount each week. The envelope system or envelope system software works really well for this. If you are on a cash … Continue reading

Budgeting Software Options

When it comes to money management and computer software two programs quickly come to mind: Microsoft Money and Quicken. While these programs are good, I have used both of them, I still find that there are things that I wish I could change about the programs. If you feel this way it may mean that it is time to start thinking outside of the computer budget box. One option that you can do is create your own zero dollar budget online using Excel. If you do this you should have a basic understanding of spreadsheets and what you can accomplish … Continue reading

Are You Experiencing Budget Burnout?

It is very easy to become burned out when it comes to budgeting. This problem magnifies when one spouse is a budgeter and the other is not. This can create a tension in the relationship, because one spouse is constantly asking the other if there is money to spend this or that or even worse just randomly spending the money on unexpected things. So how do you deal with budget burnout? One way to help avoid is to have both spouses plan the budget. It is important that you set up a realistic budget that you are both comfortable with. … Continue reading

Budgets and Diets

For me, a budget is much like a diet. You start off motivated with a new plan and then it loses its luster and you are back off of it. Some call it yo-yo dieting, in this case, we will call it yo-yo budgeting. Whether it is a diet or a budget, the general concept is to control calories or spending enabling you to lose weight or manage your money. One of the reasons so many diets fail is the initial excitement wears off and the process becomes too time consuming. This can also be true of a budget. The … Continue reading

Budgeting Time Savers

One reason many people hate budgeting is because it is time consuming. It can take an hour to balance your checkbook each month, especially if you can’t find the one mistake that you made. It is more difficult than just balancing your checkbook, since you need a constant running total of what you have spent where. It usually falls on the shoulders of one spouse, who then becomes resentful about having to deal with it all the time. While the initial planning and setting up of your budget may take awhile (sorry there is no way around it), here are … Continue reading

Mid-month Budget Crisis!

When you first start a budget, you may end up overspending in some areas. If you have an accident, lose your job or another catastrophe, then you may find out that there is no way that you are going to make your budget for the month. You really have three options available to you. The first is to not spend any money at all, since you have overspent for the month. You can make do with the groceries in your house, and stay home since you do not have any money to buy gas. You may just be hoping that … Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions: Evaluating Your New Budget

It is the end of the month, and time to evaluate your budget. Did you manage to stick to your budget? Were there areas that needed some adjusting? Is there a category that you went way over the amount you had planned? If you really want to stick to your New Year’s Resolution of sticking to a budget, sitting down now and tweaking the budget is really the key to be successful. Here are five things to consider as you tweak your budget. 1) Are there specific areas that you underestimated the cost of the category? Many people struggle with … Continue reading

Finding and Plugging the Leaks in Your Budget

Do you have a leak in your budget? You have sat down and assigned amounts to each category. You are doing great and should have a couple of hundred dollars left over every month. But when you come to the end of the month, the money that should have gone into savings is gone and you may owe money on your credit card. If this is happening, your budget has sprung a leak! So what can you do to find the leak and fix it? First you need to find the leak. It is important to track your spending through … Continue reading