Tag Archives: budgeting

The Budget Series Pt. 1 – Income and Expenses

The Budget Series Pt. 1 – Income and Expenses

It’s the beginning of 2017 and I know that some of you want to get your finances together this year! If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to grab control of your income and expenses, I’m here to help!

I’m creating a video series called The Budget Series that will go over different budget methods for different types of people. The first video in this series is focusing on your income and expenses. More specifically, how to gather these numbers and why they’re important, no matter what budget method you choose.

Your income and expenses are vital to all kinds of budgets, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced. This series is mostly targeted to budgeting newbies, but I’m sure you’d find this helpful even if you’re more advanced.

Please watch the video below and don’t forget to like/subscribe so you don’t miss the rest of The Budget Series!

What are your budgeting struggles?  How can you improve your income and expenses this year?


Links Lisa Likes – Carnival of Financial Planning

Hi everyone! Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Financial Planning!

Want to be featured in a future Carnival of Financial Planning? You can submit articles at Blogger Carnivals.

Let’s get on to this week’s links!


Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes Financial Decision Making Steps Some Take As A Last Resort – Financial decision-making based on situational circumstances sometimes force people to take steps in their lives that they’d rather not face.

Jerry @ Sooner Finance writes Why Does Getting a Loan Hurt Your Credit Score? – It’s pretty well-known that applying for and taking on a loan can hurt your credit at first, but why exactly?

Natalie @ Debt and The Girl writes A Secret Career Confession – Last week a friend of mine was looking for people that wanted to do a little acting for a video that was being produced for the company he works for.

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Three gifts for men to get your gift ideas factory going – Men are awkward customers. I can say this because I am a man and I empathise with anyone who has ever endured the frustrating quandary of what gifts for men to get for friends or loved ones.

Danielle @ TeacHer Finance writes Why Bargains Aren’t Always Such a Bargain – Here is some sage and simple advice; never purchase anything just because it is a bargain.

Alexa @ Defeat Our Debt writes How to Get Rid of Debt on Your Own – There is no easy way to get rid of debt. You have several options, each come with their own set of pros and cons. Here is how to get rid of debt on your own.

Larry @ KrantCents writes If You Were Boss – What would you do if you were boss? What if you were boss of the company you work for?

Aaron @ Aaron Hung writes Facts you really need to know about your 401(k) – If you have a 401(k) plan through your employer there are a number of things that you really need to know about it in order to take advantage of it as much as possible.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months writes Unemployed Financial Management – Losing your job can be a very difficult and stressful time. It is, however, vital that you take the right steps to secure your finances as soon as you become unemployed.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes 5 Top Apps for Entrepreneurs – If you are a busy entrepreneur you already have your hands full with a million different things that need to be done.

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes Is Data Mining a fair way to set Insurance Rates? – With computer technology advancing by leaps and bounds, it is no surprise that insurance companies have started using sophisticated software to help them determine what rates to charge their customers.

Andrea @ So Over This writes Could You Live on Minimum Wage? – Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past the year it’s hard to miss the ongoing debate over minimum wage!

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes The biggest threat to Retirees’ nest-eggs? Their Mortgage – What is the biggest threat hanging over the head of many older Americans heading towards retirement?

Danielle @ Saving Without a Budget writes Lock Up Credit Card Safety with the coming Card Control App – One of the most vulnerable points that credit cards have is that, since they are always on, they can always be used by criminals who somehow get access to their data.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes Borrowing Money? Avoid using these 2 Methods – While it is certainly true that everyone needs money, sometimes it is rather hard to find if you need extra money quickly.

Evan @ The Smaller Dollar writes Top 3 Tips for a Frugal Road Trip – A road trip is generally more frugal than a plane flight since plane tickets, parking, baggage fees, and rental cars generally dwarf just filling up with gas every several hundred miles but there are some key steps you can take to really make your next road trip a frugal one.



Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes How To Teach Your 5 year Old About Money. – We do a poor job of teaching our kids about money in this country. In order to get my kid started in the right direction I set up the following system.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes 3 Surefire Ways To Get Ahead At Work – Looking to get ahead at work and in your career? At work, think of yourself like a CIA agent. Gather intelligence wherever and whenever you can, and get inside the mind of your boss.

Mark Ross @ Money Saving Dude writes 8 Ways How To Make More Money In Your Free Time – The good thing when it comes to making money today is that you can do it in your free time, and you don’t even have to get a second job. Here are eight different ways you can do today that can help you make more money in your free time. Check them out now!



Don @ Money Reasons writes When Debt is a Good Thing – Borrowing rates are low, and in this article I’m going to demonstrate that sometimes debt is a good thing! I’m only half way through, and already I win!

TW @ Tightwad Travelers writes Liquidating Visa Gift Cards – Find out how to be a travel hacker with Visa Gift Cards

Mr. 4HWD @ The Four Hour Work Day writes The Fastest Way to Increase Wealth: Want Less – Personal finance often serve as great resources for those seeking to build wealth and improve their financial standing. The best bloggers offer practical advice and actionable tips while creating a welcoming community for anyone interested in money matters.



Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes 4 Ways To Save On Internet Costs – The internet is considered a need for many people. But, the internet can cost a pretty penny.

Dominique Brown @ YourFinancesSimplified writes Your Financial Relationships: Should We Have Separate Bank Accounts? – This post is part of our Your Financial Relationships series. This series is designed to help you discover the financial topics you should discuss with your significant other in order to have a financially healthy relationship.

Michelle @ The Shop My Closet Project writes You might not have a job problem but a life problem – This post was originally going to be called -A funny thing happened on the way to quitting my job.- For those of you who have read my blog for awhile (and thanks for being patient while I took a long needed break) you know that I have expressed for awhile a deep rooted dissatisfaction with my job. I had written about my disturbing longevity in my job, my loathing of my commute (it’s a long one), and my lack of a social life.

JP @ My Family Finances writes Where can I collect Avios? – Joining the Avios reward scheme may be the perfect way for you to treat yourself and your loved ones, without having to break the bank too much.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes The Inverted Pyramid Model – Managing finances is a skill that takes time and experience to master; the inverted pyramid model allows you to prioritize your finances.

PK @ Don’t Quit Your Day Job… writes A Dividend Reinvestment Calculator for Any Stock – This calculator has the nifty ability to calculate what 15,000 different stocks would have returned, if all dividends were reinvested. We also added a mode for you to calculate returns with dollar cost averaging!

Kurt Fischer @ Money Counselor writes Investor Sheep to Slaughter Again? – Many swore off stocks after the 2008 calamity that cancelled retirement for millions. Now Wall Street’s siren song is luring investors back into the market.



JP @ My Family Finances writes 5 Reasons That Your Employer Should Have Group Insurance Benefits – Everything from attaining a group insurance quote, to establishing insurance and deciding on good insurance policies is relatively easy and the benefits of group insurance far outweighs any of the perceived negatives.



Crystal @ Married (with Debt) writes 5-Year Progress Check – I have made decent progress over the past several years in managing my finances better. How much better you might ask? Let’s take a look.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes Financial Aid Tips for the Uninitiated – If you are the parent of a child in high school that is rapidly approaching college age, chances are that you have just been introduced to the numbers game that is financial aid.



IMB @ Investing Money writes Is France Totally Bankrupt? – Is France a bankrupt country? Examining the pros and cons of the economy of France.

Erastus @ Sprout Wealth writes What Investments Should I Invest in My 401k? – Are you in the position of not knowing where to start with your 401k? Your 401k can be a great way to save money for retirement. I hope this post will help get you started investing in your 401k.

Happy Friday the 13th, y’all! Have a wonderful weekend 🙂


Links Lisa Likes: Carnival of Financial Camaraderie

Hey y’all! Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Financial Camaraderie!!! This is actually the very first Carnival here on LvtL and I’m incredibly excited to host today!

For those who don’t know, a blog carnival is a platform where bloggers can submit their latest articles to be included in a weekly roundup.

This carnival is hosted every second week by My University Money and you can submit articles at Blogger Carnivals or Blog Carnival HQ.


This Week’s LLL – Editor’s Choice

Harry Campbell @ The Four Hour Work Day writes Is it OK to Want to be Rich? – A lot of the articles I read around the personal finance sphere have to do with spending less than you earn, investing wisely and not buying lavish things. If you’ve read more than a handful of blogs you probably know that the formula to financial success is not all that difficult. Bloggers like Mr. Money Moustache actually make it seem pretty easy: want less, save more, downsize your home, etc.

Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes Getting Your Life in Order For the New Year – Set goals to improve each aspect of your life in the new year!

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Who said New Year’s resolutions don’t work? – New Year’s resolutions do work; you just have to chose ones that really excite you.

Mario @ Debt BLAG writes Don’t make New Year’s resolutions; set smart intermediate goals instead – Don’t waste your time by making another vague set of resolutions this year; make smart, intermediate goals instead to take action and keep yourself motivated.

Matt Becker @ Mom and Dad Money writes Traditional vs. Roth IRA: Some Unconventional Wisdom on Which is Better for Young Investors – The Traditional vs. Roth IRA decision is a big one for young investors. While conventional wisdom almost unanimously pushes young investors towards a Roth, we show you the math that suggests that a Traditional IRA may often be the better choice.



Jason @ The Money Makers writes Monica Wright Gets Engaged: How Much Ring is Too Much? – If you are a true basketball fan, then you have already heard of the recent engagement of NBA star Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the WNBA star Monica Wright of the Minnesota Lynx.

Oscar @ Money is the Root writes Need to binge shop? Your local dollar store has bargains, but maybe not all of them – Many people love their local dollar store because it is usually filled with great deals and, like the name, you can get most of them for 1 dollar. Surprisingly however it is not exactly the cheapest place on all items and there are better places for bargains out there.

Jay @ Daily Fuel Economy Tip writes Hypermiling – 5 Tactics to Reduce Gas Consumption – With gas prices averaging $4 around the country, the average person is always looking for a new way to save money on gas and get the most mileage out of every tank. Many today are trying something new called hypermiling, a driving technique that many believe squeezes every last mile out of every gallon of gas.

Alexa @ Defeat Our Debt writes 7 Ideas for Saving Money on Food – If you want to speed up the debt payment process you need to make budget cuts. Here are seven ideas to save money on food.

Danielle @ Saving Without a Budget writes Boost your Productivity with these 8 Excellent Tips – Why is it that some people seem to be able to get an amazing amount of tasks done in the same time that other people get practically nothing accomplished?

Holly @ Club Thrifty writes Bracing for the Spend – Ugh, we are getting ready to move….and I am already bracing for the spend. Read about the huge purchases we are going to make in the next month.

Jack @ Money Saving Ethics writes Holiday Travel Tips 2013 – If you are planning to travel this holiday season? If so, you definitely should start making plans as early as possible because, as most of us know, traveling during the holidays can be expensive, tiring and stressful.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes Benefits of a Budget – Budget. It is a dreaded word, not one that instills ideas of grandeur and immense fun. It is also a word that’s often neglected, an idea that most of us would rather not think about.

Lily @ Paying Debt Down writes Have Financial New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s how to keep them – If you are like us you can’t believe that another year is already over but the fact is that 2013 has about a week to go! While you are busy looking back over the last 12 months we believe that one of the best things to do is also look forward to 2014 and start setting some financial goals for yourself right now.

Christopher @ This That and The MBA writes Tips for Organizing an Effective but Frugal Home Budget – Making a frugal home budget is an art and to accomplish this art, one needs to have an insight to the capability of handling the finances. Organizing a frugal budget will not only be helpful to maintain a stable financial situation, but it will also indicate your financial prudence for the near future.

Mr.CBB @ canadian budget binder writes LIfe event: Preparing your baby budget – First time parents are not going to be shocked to learn that bringing their baby into this world is going to cost them some money. Think of everything that you use to care for yourself in a day, then keep adding to that list diapers, formula and so on.



Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Book Review – Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies – A review of the book Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies, a guide to creating an online business and making it profitable and functional.

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes How To Expand Thinking Outside the Space of a Small Business – Want to know how to expand outside the small business? Small businesses are important but clever thinking can grow it into something substantial.

Aaron @ Aaron Hung writes Top 8 concerns for Small Business in the Coming Year – Anyone who has been in business for any length of time will tell you that the only constant in business is simply this: change.

Lenny @ Best Money Saving Blog writes Prepare yourself for Small Business Success in 2014 – as a small business owner, preparing yourself for success is something that should never stop. The thing is, there’s really not much of a difference between the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

Gabe @ Accountant 101 writes Taxation Issues – If you’re looking to find ways to save money on taxes before the upcoming IRS filing, come read and learn.



Cindy @ MidLife Finance writes Can You Afford It? – A once-in-a-while decision like this isn’t bad when you do it, well, once in a while. If it’s really important, go ahead.

Justin @ Edward Antrobus writes The final 2013 $3k Challenge Update – The year is now over and with it comes the close of the 2013 $3K Challenge. And I have some great news. For the first time ever, I have completed the challenge! As of today, I have earned $3067.32 for 2013. Actually, I passed the $3000 mark on November 6 when I received final payment for the sale of this blog.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months writes The Joys of Freelancing – One of the things that I really enjoy doing is mentoring freelancers. I work in the start-up world, and freelancers are a big part of that. I get to see the ups and downs of that world every day. It is fascinating to see how people price their time, and creative abilities.

Glen @ Glennalicious.org writes How To Do Well In College – College is expensive, not just in terms of finances, but also with your time and energy. So how do you get the most out of your college education and do well? Check out our guide to exceling in college.

Dollar @ Easy Extra Dollar writes Finding a Real Writing Job – Being a freelance writer, I am always looking for writing opportunities wherever I can find them, and one thing I have discovered over the years is that they present themselves in many ways if you keep your eyes open.



Jerry @ Motive Finance writes Myth-Busting Late Payments and Their Impacts – Even a single late payment can do significant damage to your credit score–everybody knows that–but beyond that there are tons of myths on the topic…myths we’re out to bust!

Daniel @ Make Money Make Cents writes It’s time to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses – More than likely you have heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” more than a few times in your life. What it refers to is the phenomenon of using your neighbors as a standard for which to compare your own life and material goods.

Chuck @ Tortoise Banker writes How Do I Get Rich? – What if I told you getting rich was SIMPLE. Well, it is… but its not easy. Take a look at this post to make sure you’re taking the right steps to achieve your goals, and review my 16 principles for building wealth.

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Would You Use an Alternative Currency? – One of the first rules of investing is that you need to have a degree of diversity in your assets. That way, if something goes wrong with one asset class, you will have another asset available to pick up the slack. But how does that work if most of your assets are denominated in a specific currency?

Graham @ Moneystepper writes 2014 Goals – December update of my 2014 goals – December is a tough month with Christmas and the related costs. Here is my progress for December related to my 2014 goals.

Alexa @ Single Moms Income writes Beginner Investing: 12 Investing Books to Read This Year – Since the start of the New Year I have decided I need to kick my personal finance skills up a notch. I have been just coasting by the last few months but I am ready to hustle, learn, and make 2014 a good year financially.

Marissa @ Finance Triggers writes The Perks of Living in the Suburbs – More and more people are moving are looking to move out of the city core, find out The Perks of Living in the Suburbs.

Sam @ The New Business Blog writes How to Build a Brand People will Adore – Many people outside of marketing think of a brand as sort of this false cover that is given to a product or service in order to con them into buying something that they do not actually want or, even worse, do not need.

Bob @ Dwindling Debt writes The Secret to becoming a 401(k) Millionaire – We recently came across an article from Fidelity Investments where they had analyzed the savings habits of approximately 1100 investors with 401(k)s. All of them were people who earned less than $150,000 a year but still had managed to accumulate more than $1 million in their 401(k) savings plan.

Jerry @ Wolverine Finance writes How Does it Work When Trading in Your Old Car? – If you’re planning to trade in your existing vehicle at the dealership, you could easily be taken advantage of. We give you the knowledge you need to get the most out of your old workhorse.

Adam @ Money Rebound writes Don’t Let Money Take Over Your Life – How can you tell when your focus on money is starting to be detrimental for you?

Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence writes Financial goals for 2014 – Today I will share my Financial goals for 2014. That was a fail for last year, but I am always the optimist and will put that goal back again for 2014.

Pauline @ Make Money Your Way writes Make money with New Year resolutions – It is almost the New Year! With a new year come new resolutions. Today I lists down some tips on how to make money with New Year resolutions.

Pauline @ Savvy Scot writes New year financial boot camp: refinance your mortgage – Today, let’s see how you can reduce one of your biggest expense: your mortgage. You can save a LOT of money just by lowering your mortgage by 0.5%.

Harry Campbell @ Your PF Pro writes Get $400 and 2.2% Cash Back with the Barclaycard Arrival – Now that my credit card total has reached a quarter century, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest deals. Since I’ve already applied for a lot of the major cards, it takes a little more creativity these days to get the big spending bonuses but they’re definitely still out there. I recently did a small credit card churn for my fiancee and the Barclay Arrival was one of the first cards I did for her.



Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Savvy Shopping Throughout the Year – There are certain times throughout the year when items go on sale, whether it’s seasonal or holiday-sales related. Like most people, I’d prefer buying them on sale! Here’s a clever infographic that breaks down the best time to purchase items by month.



Dominique Brown @ YourFinancesSimplified writes What is a SEP IRA? – The SEP IRA, or the simplified employment pension IRA, allows business owners to provide retirement funds for their employees as well as themselves…

Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes 3 MORE Ways to Free Up More Cash to Invest in 2014 – In the last article we looked at three easy ways to find more cash to sink into your best investments next year. Now we have three more ways for you to get you into the saving and investing mood in time for 2014.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes First Time Home Buyers? Watch Out for These Scams – Buying a home for the first time is exciting and terrifying at the same time but fret not, low deposit mortgages are helping first time buyers to get on the market.

Moneycone @ Money Cone writes Laziness is my vice and I put it to good use! – If I were to meet my 20-something year old self, I would probably punch him in the face! Among other questionable activities, for not signing up for a 401k,

Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes 3 ways to get your financial house in order – Hi and welcome to another episode of everything finance blog. I’m am Susan and today we are talking about three ways to get your financial house on order for 2014.

Ryan @ Cash Money Life writes Is Medical Tourism a Viable Option? A Look at the Pros and Cons – Medical tourism has grown recently as the cost of medical procedures and health insurance has increased. Here are some pros and cons of medical tourism.

Matt @ Budget Snob writes It’s time to Review your 401(k) – A 401(k) plan is, for many people in the United States, the very keystone of their retirement plan. Now more than ever, especially due to the fact that defined benefit plans are disappearing, many Americans have the responsibility of making their own decisions about their finances and, in most cases, doing so with very little professional assistance.

Amy @ Money Mishaps writes What are the Contribution Limits for your IRA in 2014? – Preparing for retirement means exploiting tax advantage investments like IRAs but, in order to get the maximum advantage, knowing exactly how much you can put into them is vitally important. To that end, this blog has all of the info on 2014’s IRA contribution limits including traditional and Roth IRAs.

Hadley @ Epic Finances writes Investing in ETFs? Don’t forget to Consider The Total Cost – While many investors are quick to praise the cost efficiency of ET’s as well as seeking out the cheapest options, what many focus on is simply the expense ratio. The problem with this is that the expense ratio is only 1 of number of vital elements that should be taken into account when investing in ETFs.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Cycles in the Night: Processing of a Mutual Fund Transaction – Although I’ve been retired for several years now, and can’t give out details or client names, I can share with you at a high level, what happens to your mutual fund transaction.

John @ Frugal Rules writes Motif Investing Review: A Unique Approach to Investing – Investing in the stock market is vital to building wealth and with the variety of options available of where to invest it can be confusing. Choosing a good brokerage that has good offering and low fees can be a great way to help grow your retirement portfolio and get your investing on the right foot.

Jacob @ Cash Cow Couple writes Investment Choices – If you’re looking at possible stocks or ETFs in a portfolio, read this first



Irfan @ Being Investor writes Effective Money Saving Tips for 2014 – Starting a new year is exhilarating and challenging at the same time. If you are one of the many people who consider 2014 as an important year, then you will surely exert extra effort to meet your goals for the year. To help you kick off your plans, here are some great money saving tips for 2014.

Monica @ Monica On Money writes How I Saved $6718 On Home Renovations – As my readers know, I have been searching for a better flooring option. But the problem is that home renovations are expensive!

KK @ Student Debt Survivor writes You Need an Emergency Fund When Your Furnace Dies – Big emergencies happen when you least expect them. $5k spent, but we’re very thankful in the long run.



Lindy @ Minting Nickels writes Use Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Small Business in 2014 – A shaky economy and job insecurity has increased the interest in entrepreneurship.

Tushar Mathur @ Everything Finance writes What to Do with Gifts You Don’t Want – Unless you very explicitly told people what you’d like for Christmas gifts AND those you told listened to you and bought what’s on your list, chances are y

Cat Alford @ Budget Blonde writes For Everyone Who Wants to Buy a House in 2014 – I’ve been seeing a few New Year’s Resolutions from people who want to buy a house this year or people who really want to whip their finances into shape.

IMB @ Investing Money writes Trading Like a Pro – Many persons go trading the markets and make a comfortable living. yet many more fall. What makes the difference? Here are a few ideas that may help you.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Bonds and Younger Investors (Are Bonds for Kids?) – There is some debate within the investment community about whether bonds are a wise investment for children and young adults. Here are my thoughts.

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes The Timeshare Trap: 5 Facts and 5 Fibs on Timeshares – Timeshares might sound like a great idea. You pay a little bit to “own” part of a getaway. However, timeshares are often not what they appear.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Satellite Radio: Is it Worth the Cost? – Looking to subscribe to Sirius/XM or other satellite radio stations? We give you some of the pros and cons.

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes How To Get Ahead At Work And Become Filthy Rich – Do you want to know how to get ahead at work? How to become invaluable to your company and start earning more money? Here are 4 tips to accomplish just that.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes The 5 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in 2014 – Welcome to 2014!! Like every year, the holidays did quite the number on both my bank account and waistline. Bah. I definitely can’t help you with the waistline (and it’s -4 today in Maine, so there’s no chance I’m going to start working on mine today).

Bargain Babe @ BargainBabe.com writes How I Saved Money This Christmas – How I saved money this christmas, spending only $300 so I can save for my trip to Europe this summer.

Minimalist @ Minimalist Finance writes Cash or Card? – Cash or Card? has been published on Minimalist FinanceBelieve it or not, but the way you pay for something can have a fairly large affect on how much money you spend, where you spend your money, and your overall financial health. This sounds far fetched, but it’s actually more impactful than you may think.

Eva Baker @ TeensGotCents writes Obligatory New Year’s Resolution Post – I can’t help myself. I must jump on the New Year’s bandwagon. Even if I have never made any resolutions myself so far. For those who do – good luck!

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes The Dangers of Credit Cards – It’s easy to get into credit card debt. I am testing out the envelope budget system to see how effective it really is in controlling my spending.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes A Completely New Life 4 Years Later – How many of you have been reading BFS from the very beginning – way back in early 2010? Read how my experience has been in the past 4 years.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Preparing Your Budget for the New Year – 2014 is coming up fast! Don’t forget your budgeting! Here are some of the budget items you need to look at before the new year arrives.

Suba @ Broke Professionals writes Position Yourself for Career Advancement – Position Yourself for Career Advancement is a post from: Broke Professionals if you enjoy it, please visit us and subscribe to the Feed.

Tushar @ Earn More and Save writes 3 Options for Using Unwanted Gift Cards – I’m sure that many of you received your fair share of gift cards as presents. As an adult gift cards seem to be the most frequently given gifts. The only problem is that you often receive gift cards for places you never shop.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes 5 Types Of Emergency Loans To Help You Get You Back On Your Feet – Knowing your options when you need emergency cash is important. Depending on how long you have to find money, some options for emergency loans work and others don’t.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes How To Maximize Your Holiday Gift Cards – Ho! Ho! Ho! It appears that you’ll need Santa’s sleigh to get around town to return the clothes you didn’t like and the mountain of gift cards you received…

Dee @ Color Me Frugal writes Mortgage debt: good, bad, or ugly? – Mortgages are often touted as “good” debt- but they are still DEBT. Can there really be such a thing as good debt? We dive into this question here.

Natalie @ Debt and the Girl writes Ahhhh, 2014. Its Good to Meet You – I have been the equivalent of a lazy sloth lately and have been putting everything off except for my staff writing commitments as I refuse to be unprofessional on those.

Larry @ KrantCents writes My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions – Review – I decided to take a different approach when I formed my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions. As I reflect on my results, I am disappointed with some of the results! The results were mixed at best!

Andrea @ So Over This writes Movers Destroyed My Belongings – Saga Continues – You may remember that I wrote a post a few months back about my recent move to a new home, and some issues I experienced with the destructive moving company I hired.

Hope y’all are having a wonderful weekend!


April 2013 Net Worth

Hey everyone!

If you were previously following my blog before my spending fast, you probably remember when I would do a quick monthly update of where I stood with my student loans. However, starting today, I will be giving you all an update on my entire financial picture. I’ll be rounding numbers off, but for the most part I’m going to be as transparent as possible. Why? Because I started this blog mostly to help keep myself accountable. Also, I’ve heard that if you make your goals public and you check your progress frequently (in this case, monthly), the more likely you are to reach your goal!

So, without further ado, here is a quick snapshot of my financials as of April 30, 2013:

April 2013

Before I touch on a few categories, I’d like to point out that if it weren’t for my house, my net worth would be ($5,636) that’s negative if ya didn’t know 😉 Although buying a house wasn’t in my original plan last year, it is definitely making this picture look a lot better. I was blessed to have my mom and auntie help out with the down payment, so I don’t want you to think that I make a lot of money or that I’m rich or anything like that. In fact, I make considerably less than an average financial analyst in San Francisco.

Now on to a few thoughts and action items –

Cash: $3,739
Thoughts – This category will fluctuate over time. This is where my income flows into directly. My income consists of my regular 9-5 job, my side-income as a choreographer, as well as the money my mom and auntie give me every month to help pay for our house and bills. This is also the account that I pay everything out of – my mortgage payment, house bills (cable, trash, water, electricity, etc.), credit card payments, groceries, student loans, and car loan.

Actions – I don’t really have any plans for this category other than the fact that I will begin tithing out of this account in the next month or so. Right now my cash is spread over two accounts, so maybe one day I’ll be able to consolidate it all into one account, but that’s not necessarily a priority at this moment.

Savings: $6
Thoughts – YES, you read that right – I have a whopping SIX DOLLARS saved up for a rainy day. This is so embarrassing. I have always been an advocate of having an emergency fund, but here I am with practically nothing saved up! What will happen if my car breaks down? What will I do if something happens to me or my family? These are the kinds of questions that I think about, and sometimes it’s hard to sleep at night knowing that in case of an emergency, I just won’t be prepared.

Action – By the end of this spending fast, I will have at least $1,000 saved up for an emergency (per Dave Ramsey’s 1st Baby Step). In the long run, I’d like to have somewhere between 6-12 months worth of expenses saved up just in case.

401(k): $4,856
Thoughts – My employer matches 100% of my contributions up to 3% of my salary – a.k.a. FREE MONEY Y’ALL!!

Action – Keep on keepin’ on. I’ll continue to contribute exactly 3% of my salary into this account – no more and no less – to take full advantage of this benefit.

Roth IRA: $6,466
Thoughts – Since my 401(k) houses all my pre-tax retirement dollars, I opened up a Roth for all my post-tax retirement investments. However, I didn’t get to max out this account in 2012 (the max was $5,000) due to lack of planning. 🙁

Action – From this year onward, I will contribute the maximum yearly contribution (for 2013, it’s $5,500). And one of these days, I’ll post an article about the Roth IRA and why I think everyone (yeah, including YOU) should have one!

Credit Card Debt: $1,347
Thoughts – When I first started this blog, I was CC debt free! However, I lacked the self-control needed to stay CC debt free and now my balance is creepin’ up once again. Plus, the interest on these bad boys range from 15.99% to 29.99%! AUGH that just puts a bad taste in my mouth.

Action – By the end of this spending fast, I will be CC Debt free FOR GOOD. Anything that I charge WILL be paid off in FULL so that I can avoid those nasty interest charges.

Student Loans: $16,946
Thoughts – Ah, those student loans. The reason I started this blog in the first place. After successfully chucking away at this balance for a few months, I’ve recently picked up the habit of paying only the minimum per month.

Actions – For now, I’m going to keep paying the minimum. You’re probably thinking, “What? But, didn’t you want to get rid of these as soon as possible?” Don’t get me wrong, I still do! And I still plan on paying these off faster than scheduled. But as of right now, I have CC debt growing at a higher rate and I need to take care of those before focusing on these loans. After my emergency fund is in place, and after my CC debt is gone, it’s back to chucking away at this amount!

Well, there you have it – my financial picture for April 2013. I have a lot of ideas for new posts in the weeks to come. Also, I’m hoping to make this blog look better and I want to make each post shareable. I just gotta do a little research on that… Anywho, I hope you’re having a great week!

1 | 2 |