Plan for the present

10 Annual Expenses Missing From Your Budget (& how to fix it)!

One of my favorite Dave Ramsey quotes is, “A budget is telling your money where to go so that you are not wondering where it went.”  The first step to creating a budget is to look at your monthly expenses and subtract those from your monthly income.  However, it gets complicated when you get those one-time expenses or even annual expenses.  I have outlined 10 annual expenses that may be missing from your budget and the steps on how you can fix your budget to incorporate the expenses.

10 Annual Expenses Missing From Your Budget

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How to Enjoy Christmas without Going Broke

Can you believe that is already October? That means we have less than 3 months until Christmas. Believe it or not, it is time to start preparing financially for Christmas already!

According to a Gallup survey, in 2015 the average shopper spent $830 on Christmas presents!  Unless you have been preparing for some time, that is a big financial hit to take at once.

Check out these awesome tips on how to enjoy Christmas without going broke:



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The Ultimate List of 75+ Budget Categories

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.  One of the biggest issues with most budgets is that they are not realistic because they are missing certain categories.  When these budget categories are missing, it is easy to forget about those expenses.  In order to make sure your budget doesn’t miss an important category, I created this ultimate list that includes over 75+ budget categories!  Yes, you read that right, over 75 budget categories!

Use this as a guide while you create your own budget or update your budget.  Of course, no two households are alike and, therefore, no two budgets are alike.  In addition, every month is different.  For example, during August you may have additional back to school expenses for yourself or someone else in your household.  During October you may have additional expenses related to Halloween.

Overall some of the budget categories may not apply to you; however, I hope it jogs your memory to expenses that you have forgotten to include in your budget.

If you have never created a budget before, these posts will give you a jump start:

The Ultimate List of 75+ Budget Categories

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Budgeting Made Easy for Beginners with the 50/20/30 Rule

There are so many different budgeting methods to try.  There is the cash only method, zero-sum method, and even the 50/20/30 rule.  If you are just starting to create a budget, then the 50/20/30 rule is a great place to start.  Instead of thinking of all categories which your spending and savings go to, allocate your after-tax income three main categories.  Those three main categories are:

  • essential expenses
  • financial priorities
  • lifestyle choices

The 50/20/30 budgeting rule is especially good for recent college grads or those that have never had a budget before for a few reasons.  Many recent college grads are determining what they can afford in terms of housing and a vehicle (if necessary).  When you aren’t sure of how much rent you can afford, the 50/20/30 budgeting rule will give you a rough estimate.

Now, let’s dive deeper into those three main categories that are used when setting the 50/20/30 rule.


Budgeting with the 50/20/30 Rule

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The Ultimate Guide to Money for Recent College Grads

Congrats to all of the 2017 graduates!  It is awesome to scroll down social media and see all of the beautiful family pictures.  Now that you have walked across that stage it is time to welcome you to the real world.  By real world, I mean the world of additional bills and responsibilities.  Although personal finance is typically not taught in a traditional school setting, you are in luck.  I have created this ultimate guide to money for recent college grads.


The Ultimate Guide to Money for Recent College Grads

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9 Ways to Cut your Budget (When There Is Nothing Left to Cut)

Check out the latest post which is a guest post by Elena which gives you tips when attempting to cut your budget.  Please see her bio at the end of the article.  

When you are barely making ends meet, it is critical that you implement a strict budgeting system to manage your expenses and, ideally, save money at the end of the month. Like all other plans, financial planning requires some homework. That is why you need to keep track of your expenses even before you start controlling them. Get to know about all your expenses and your spending habits for at least one month. Monitor where the bulk of your money is going apart from your mortgage, rent and grocery bills.

Include all purchases big and small and take them into account at the end of the month. Carry a small notebook with you to jot down every detail so that you don’t skip anything. You can also benefit from several mobile apps to have a financial budget app right in your pocket. This way, updating your expenditure list will be trouble-free.


9 Ways to Cut your Budget

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Budgeting Your Way to Financial Freedom

Check out the latest guest post from Andy Hill over at Marriage, Kids and Money.  Make sure to read his bio at the end of the post!

When my wife Nicole and I started our marriage, we were $60,000 in debt and spending money like it was our full-time job.  I, for one, had no issue with going on vacations, driving cars and updating our home all on credit.

When we started thinking about having kids, Nicole and I knew it was time to break our addiction to debt.  We knew we needed a plan to master our money.

We heard that developing a monthly budget could help us in eliminating debt, saving more money and reaching our goals.  So, we gave it a go.  In was rocky at first, but soon it became a habit.

Fast forward six years later, we’re debt-free and our net worth has increased by $500,000.  In 12 months, we will own our home outright and we’ve never been happier.

The catalyst for this major change in our lives was creating and sticking to a monthly budget.

Here are the steps we took to our own future through budgeting.

Budgeting Your Way to Financial Freedom

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5 Half-Truths of Financial Fitness Exposed!

Check out the last guest post from a fellow personal finance writer, Mr. Compounding.  Stay tuned for his bio at the end of the post. 

A lot of us want to make the right decisions when it comes to our money.  At the end of the day, we all want to have more of it, right?

Where is gets tricky is when it’s actually time to take action.  There are a lot of universally accepted money principles that are downright false.  As a result, many people think they are better with money than they actually are because they follow these half-truths we all grew up hearing.

If you think you are doing the right things but can’t seem to gain any traction with your finances, or if you are like me and think of your financial success strictly in terms of net worth, here are some of the false and way too common assumptions you want to avoid.

5 Half-Truths of Financial Fitness Exposed!

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5 Actions to Take When You Receive a Raise

For most of us in corporate America, it is review season! Review season is a chance for you (and your manager) to reflect on your performance over the past year. If your review fairs well, you may receive a raise or a promotion.

A raise is one of the best feelings in the world.  It means that your hard work has been noticed and your paycheck will be a little (or a lot) larger.  Per Bloomberg, the best employees can expect a 5% raise and the average employees can expect a 3.1% raise.  Whether the raise is 1%, 5%, or more, you can still put that extra money to work.

Congrats if you received a raise and/or promotion this review period. Now, what do you do with all that extra cash? Check out these 5 actions to take when you receive a raise at work!

5 Actions to Take When you Receive a Raise

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5 Money Management Misconceptions about Women in Society

Today we have a guest post by Tina Roth regarding money misconceptions about women in society.  Check out her bio at the end of the post.

Women have always been discriminated against. Women have been denied several rights – the right to vote, the right to work outside the home, and more. Time has changed now, we live in a gender neutral society where men and women are considered equal.

But distasteful stereotypes about women still exist. Women lack driving skills, women are bad at STEM – these are all stereotypes. It’s time we debunk them – once and for all.

But before debunking them, let’s have a look at them. Here are the 5 money misconceptions about women.

5 Money Management Misconceptions about Women: Exposed!

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