The Dog Ate My Wallet

The Dog Ate My Wallet

Personal Finance in a World of Excuses

Category Archive: Getting Started

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A Budget is NOT the first thing you need

Lets start with the very basics. Everyone always says you need a budget, and you need to stick to it. Which isn’t bad advice, but not if you don’t have the tools to create a realistic budget.  Without the right information, people end up creating budgets that won’t get them where they want to go or they can’t stick to. And that’s if they even create a budget in the first place. So what do youread more…

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A budget is not the second thing you need

You’ve been tracking your spending now for over a month. Have you recorded all of it? Even the credit card spending? Yes, you need to pay attention to that too. After all, you’re still paying for it. In fact, if you’re carrying a balance on your card, your paying more for it that you otherwise would. Still, you’re not ready for a budget yet. Now, you need to know your goals- and not just your moneyread more…

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Budget vs Cash Flow

This came up in conversation with a friend who’s  very good at budgeting, is totally on top of her savings, etc – cash flow is different than a budget. And it really is pretty important that you track them both. In the sense of not getting overdrawn, cash flow is more important that a budget. A budget is simply a goal- a desired amount that you want to spend on certain activities for the week/month/year- howeverread more…

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Creating Your Budget

A little over two months ago, when I started this blog, I talked about how a budget wasn’t the first thing you needed. Instead, I said the first thing you had to do was to start tracking all of your expenses. Then, in late May I talked about how a budget was not the second thing you needed. Instead, I said, you needed to know your money goals. A couple days later I talked about theread more…

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Creating a Crash Budget

Budgets are like diets. The concept is exactly the same. The purpose is exactly the same, to fundamentally change your relationship with food/money. There are some differences, though. I would never recommend a crash diet because of the effects it can have on your health. Crash budgets, though, can be a handy way to re-evaluate your finances and meet short term goals. A crash budget should never be in place longer than 6 months, and 3read more…

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Budgets Put You in Control

The point of budgeting is not to save every single penny or even to pay off debt, though those are both options. The point of budgeting is to give yourself control- control over where you spend your money. Placing yourself on a budget does not mean that you can never buy brand name again, or even that you have to clip coupons and only shop the sales. It means that you have determined your priorities andread more…

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The Thing About Budgets

I am very excited to be participating in Women’s Money Week 2012. I am breaking from my usual posting schedule to post everyday this week in support of this project. Today’s post is about Budgeting. Click here for more posts on this topic.   There is a part of me today that just wants to cheat and point you to my earlier posts A Budget is NOT the First Thing You Need, A Budget is Not the Secondread more…

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Start Your Emergency Fund

If you read financial boards or articles about personal finance, a concept that you’ll come across over and over again is the Emergency Fund. This is a stash of cash that you put away to cover emergencies, or at least unexpected expenses. The EF is not for routine car maintenance, but it is for the day you timing belt slips. Its not for vacation, but its there when there’s a death in the family and youread more…

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The Basics

I got a call this weekend from a friend of mine who wanted to share some good news. On Friday, she was called in for an unexpected interview and then offered a new position- one making more money than she’s ever made before. This friend has been underemployed for quite some time. She’s been working as a manager at a comic and games shop (funny, when we were teens, that seemed like a dream job), butread more…

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Why You Need An Emergency Fund

I know, I know, you are reading a personal finance blog. You probably already know the myriad of reasons you need an emergency fund, you don’t really need me to give you another. And yet, this one experience, besides being an actual emergency, touches on so many of the reasons you need an emergency fund, that I cannot help but share it with you.   Last week, my admin woke up one morning with her faceread more…