CalendarBudget Blog

Personal finance matters as they pertain to saving money, living within your means and using CalendarBudget to solve your personal finance problems and to manage your money online.

What part are you playing in the consumer debt?

What part are you playing in the consumer debt?

Here is a video clip from CBS News that I watched about the high level of consumer debt. It is concerning to see the debt path that a great number of consumers are going down. You start to feel overwhelmed, trapped, and the longer the debt is there the greater the feelings are.

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Relative Earnings

Relative Earnings

I've been reading the book The 4 Hour Workweek. Aside from some unneeded expletives, the ideas in the book so far are great. One example given is similar to the following:

If you were presented with the following 2 jobs, which would you choose?

Job 1: A lawyer earning $160,000/year working 80 hours/week.

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Being blinded by money?

Being blinded by money?

It is very easy to get caught up in dreaming big and envisioning all the dollars that will come in with an awesome plan. "If I was able to work 70 hours a week, then I'd be able to have $xx of extra savings and be able to buy that dream item I always wanted!" But if you sit back you see the reality of the situation. Working 70 hours a week for a long time will put a large amount of stress on your body and so you may end up spending all those extra savings on the health care now needed.

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Free Alternative Software

Free Alternative Software

Software packages can be expensive and trying to meet all of your software needs can add up to a very large expense.

Here are some reliable free alternative software that we have found useful:

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What I learned about money from my parents

What I learned about money from my parents

My parents have had an affect on the way I manage money and those lessons will stick with me throughout life.

Here are a few things I've learned:

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First Comes the Work then Comes the Fun

First Comes the Work then Comes the Fun

My Dad is a man who loves quotes. "First comes the work, then comes the fun." was one I heard often.

The work involved with getting money is not only the making of it through your employment, but other work is involved too.

Here is some other work we have done to "make money":

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Keeping Up With the Joneses

Keeping Up With the Joneses

Today's technology brings so many luxuries for us. We have become so accustomed to all the gadgets that we have come to feel we can't live without them. But having all of these luxuries adds up to a large ticket price.

Before you purchase these luxuries, consider how it will affect your budget or savings/debt level. Some of my wife's favorite simple luxuries are the quick pre-made meals that give her more time, but she avoids them most of the time (if not equal or cheaper in value to the home-made version) to save on our grocery purchases.

Follow these steps to spend your money wisely:

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Use Your Budget to Reach Your New Years' Goals

Use Your Budget to Reach Your New Years' Goals

Your budget can help you keep your New Years' goals in sight by giving you extra motivation to reach your goal by seeing the dollar value involved with each goal. This is best achieved by using CalendarBudget since it shows you exactly where all of your money is going, but any budget will help somewhat.

Some different areas where knowing the dollar value can help motivate you to reach your goal:

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Managing your money as a student?

Managing your money as a student?

A career as a student often begins with a loan from the government, parents or some other generous friend. If not they may have been one of the lucky ones that have a scholarship or have been able to plan ahead and save for their education. Either way, money is tight during life as a student and quite a large thing to wrap your head around while trying to keep up with studies.

Managing your money right from the beginning will give students a step ahead financially when their student career is complete.

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Pre-approved for a big loan amount, I'm rich!

Pre-approved for a big loan amount, I'm rich!

When my wife and I were starting to consider buying our first house we decided that we should do our own evaluation first to see what we thought we could afford (based on our income and expenses at that time, with future plans in mind)...We had created CalendarBudget at that time for our own use and so we were able to figure this out more easily by looking forward in our budget calendar to see what our maximum monthly balances were showing as affordable. We decided on an amount and then went to the bank to let them know that we would be looking for a mortgage and know what they would pre-approve us for.

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Can Your Money Tool Import Data From My Bank?

Can Your Money Tool Import Data From My Bank?

For CalendarBudget, the short answer is kind-of, but not automated, at least not yet. But some tools do... in a dangerous way.

"But lots of tools import automatically from my bank, whats wrong with that?"

Good question. Your bank has a security policy which probably reads like this one from my bank:

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New Years Revolution

New Years Revolution

That's right... a revolution. Resolutions are so easily made and forgotten. Now, a revolution... that's a whole different kind of change. Its a change of character, habits, and outlook.. a whole paradigm shift.

Revolutions don't come with 1 day's thoughts about how to make simple goals to improve your life. They come from built up experience, usually are met with resistance but when embraced, make the course smoother, easier and leave you wondering why it took so long to arrive.

Its time to stop simply earning an income, paying your bills and making some random purchases and wondering where all your money went. Its time to be preparing for your future, starting today. Its clearly time for more than resolutions, its time for a revolution.

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Whats for Dinner?

Whats for Dinner?

Do you take for granted what you eat? How about the money you spend on that food?

All of us have this in common: We eat food. We all have to buy (or make) food to survive. Its interesting to note that we can scale up and down the amount and cost of food to suit our incomes, tastes and cultures. I found this VERY interesting slide show of pictures of families from around the world and what they eat for 1 week, along with the cost of that food. Its startling. Take a look!

Food For a Week

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A New Beginning

A New Beginning

In a few days we will begin a new year. With that comes reflections on many things... on the past year's ups and downs, on evaluation of whether or not you've accomplished your goals for the year and what you could have done better. How do your year's achievements hang in the balance? Do you feel you have progressed? Are you drawing closer to reaching your end goal?

Some questions for you to ask yourself as you are preparing to set goals for the new year:

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Time Savings of a Live-in Cook

Time Savings of a Live-in Cook

 

At least temporarily. One of my friends from Mexico is staying with us for a number of months while he searches for work. We invited his cousin here for the Christmas/New Years vacation period. Since he's been here, he's been cooking for us every night. Mmmmm... authentic Mexican food. He used to work for his parents in a food preparation business, so he's good :) Not only is the food great, but he has given us a precious gift. This week, we haven't had to think about what to have for dinner or prepare the food (he's even gone to the store to purchase some ingredients). Plus we haven't had to spend the time doing the those things, allowing us to do other things with our time.

While he's given us more time, he's grateful for the opportunity to have some company and fun at this time of year, and to practice his English. In truth, I'm also finding my Spanish is not as bad as I thought it would be, not having used it fluently for about 7 years. Its all coming back :)

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7 Dangerous Financial Examples Set By Parents

7 Dangerous Financial Examples Set By Parents

Parents have such an important role to play in the financial education of their children. The way you live, your lifestyle, and how you deal with money, particularly with them and what they can see, will directly affect behaviors they adopt as their own. The greater the number of dangerous examples parents set for their children, the lower probability of their and their kids financial success. Below is a list of 7 of these bad examples to avoid.

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How Many Gifts Did I Get?

I read an article recently about a child who judged how much they were loved by how many gifts they got. Even when the mom would show this child the receipts and show that the money added up no matter the number of gifts, the child thought that the quantity of gifts was more important.

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Wealthy People Set Goals

Wealthy People Set Goals

A study was done in 1953 at Yale University where they interviewed the graduating class just before they left school.

They were asked amongst other things, how many of them had a clearly defined set of goals with written plan for it's attainment. As the story goes, 3% of them pulled out of their wallets a 5x7 card whereon was written their specific short and long term goals. They had a plan for their future.

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The Rich Are Getting ____ and the Poor Are Getting ____.

The Rich Are Getting ____ and the Poor Are Getting ____.

"Richer" and "poorer", as the saying goes.

You may also be familiar with the follow sayings:

  • Money does not grow on trees
  • Money cannot buy happiness
  • You have to pay your dues
  • Wealthy people are unhappy
  • It takes lots of money to make money
  • Wealthy people never enjoy happy relationships
  • You have to be born into money

Do you believe any of these these kinds of attitudes about the wealthy? Perhaps you even pass these thoughts and attitudes along to your children.

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If I Only Had More Money, Then My Problems Would Be Fewer

If I Only Had More Money, Then My Problems Would Be Fewer

Alas, if only that were true. Most people believe that the answer to all of their financial problems is simply to have more money.

The reality is that as people earn more money they manage to dig themselves further into debt, which ironically makes them poorer!

Its my own theory, but I believe life, in many ways, works like a SINE wave.

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