Manage Money

Joseph Meyer
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Top 9 Best (and Free) Online Budgeting Tools

Do you have trouble managing your money? Do you find yourself overspending more than you should, or constantly going broke?

This is not something to feel guilty about. Money is something that can be quite difficult for people to master.

If you want to master your finances but you aren’t sure how to start, the best place to start is by making a budget. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a budget you keep for yourself. Then, you’ll be more motivated to control your expenses, reduce your debt, and even save money for the future.

So, how do you do it? Here are some tips for making your own budget.

How To Make A Budget (And Actually Stick To It Every Month)

If you’re like the majority of America, your current budget is probably not working out. Most people will admit that they don’t really have a budget. Yet many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, owing more than they own, and financially stressed to boot.

However, taking the time to create a budget and sticking to it can turn your financial life around. The key is to pay yourself first, rather than waiting until the end of the month to see what’s left.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Track Your Spending

The first step is to determine what you spend money on every month.

Take your bank statements from the last one year. You will want to look at the last 12 months’ worth of statements because people will change their spending habits over time.

Start by jotting down what you pay for on a regular basis, such as rent or mortgage, utility bills, groceries, insurances, and credit cards. Include the smaller expenses like gas, restaurant meals, or internet. Leave out one-time purchases like vacations, furniture, and electronics.

Once you have recorded your regular monthly expenses, look for bigger expenses that repeat every year, such as car or home repairs.

Personal Capital vs. Mint | The Two Best Financial Services App on the Web

You have a ton of money apps at your fingertips. The question is, which one do you trust to help you manage your finances and which ones do you ignore?

When we set out to answer that question we found one service that consistently got high marks from users. But there was one slight problem: it didn’t offer tools for managing your budget. Let’s look at the two best online money management systems and which one we recommend.

The 11 Best Personal Finance Software to Get Your Money Swag On

With the rise of the Internet, frugality has become a mainstream concept. No matter what your financial situation, you can make conscious decisions to live a financial life of purpose.

And coming from someone who’s struggled with money management, I can tell you that it’s hard. Even I, with a personal finance blog and a background in economics, still struggle with money on a daily basis.

Computer software that helps you make better financial decisions is a huge asset. It’s hard to know where to begin when you have so many options on where to store your money, pay bills, and pay off debt.

I’ve selected eleven of the best personal finance software that you can use to manage your money.

Most Recent

When it comes to scientific research, the biggest predictor of success it almost certainly money.

There’s little question that a lot of research goes on that amounts to little more than curiosity projects. But the idea that curiosity-driven science is unsalvageably inefficient and that there must be a more “businesslike” approach simply doesn’t stand up to the historical evidence. It’s a particularly poor fit for fields that can easily fall prey to hype and irrational exuberance – like nanotechnology.

Our legislators have forgotten these lessons from history. In the current budget, funding for scientific research suffers. When researchers look to the future, they are greeted with more of the same: a future in which they are expected to do more with less, and in which the greatest “investment” is squeezed from the most workable, proven ideas. This is a false economy.

Ultimately, it is science policy that is broken here. And waiting for another “program review” or “collaborative forum” to fix it is no answer at all.

How to Buy a Reliable Used Car

As long as you do your homework, getting a reliable used car could be your best move. Here are the things that you have to know before making the big step.

You don’t know what you don’t know! This is the first lesson that you have to learn. When you’re looking for a used car, you don’t have to know every little thing about it. But, you must be comfortable enough with the information that you do have. You can’t bear the responsibility for all your car’s maintenance without knowing how to change your oil and replace a tire. And, you should also be eyeing the budget for future expenses like new tires!

You must know the proper market value. The only way to determine the market value of your desired car is to determine the fair price range of a car with the same features and in the same condition. Of course, some cars will always near the upper limit of the fair price range for certain reasons. Whatever it is, give these used cars a pass.

10 Financial Steps to Take Before Having Kids

If you think that one of the benefits of having kids is that you suddenly earn extra money, think again!

The money that you saved can either go into building a savings account or into a trust fund. If you already have a child, the money can be set aside for their future need.

Do This Now

Make a list of the things that your child is going to need.

Are you sending them to college?

Do you plan to give them an allowance or pay for extra lessons or materials?

Do you want to help them with their down payment for a home?

Are you planning to help them make an investment that you know will be appreciated in the future?

It’s important to write out a plan and set some money aside so that you can be practical when the baby comes.

If you don’t have enough savings to cover everything, make sure you prioritize the most important things first so you don’t end up having to delay your savings plan by a few years.

How to Pick the Right Financial Advisor

Over the past few years, many people have experienced financial difficulty. And as a result, many people are in the process of recovering from poor financial decisions. This has created a niche in the marketplace for financial advisors who can help customers improve their financial situation.

Given this, it’s not surprising that many people are looking for financial advisors. However, even though there’s a lot of competition, not all financial advisors are the same. Finding the best financial advisor is an essential step for anyone looking for a financial plan.

The Best Apps to Save You Real Money

As we enter 2015 and have time on our hands to start taking stock of all the areas of our lives we can improve, it’s time to turn the spotlight on your finances.

Factors beyond your control have played a major role in the economic downturn we’re still struggling to recover from. But that doesn’t mean you have to be held hostage by the economy. We found apps, tools and tricks for you to implement immediately that will help you save on your next trip to the store, avoid impulse buys and influence others to save more.

How to Build Financial Resilience in An Economic Downturn

Millions of Americans saw their wealth wiped out in 2008 along with the near-collapse of the U.S. financial system early last decade. The Great Recession hit people in different ways, with some losing their jobs, their homes, and their confidence all at once, while others watched their net worth shrink from day-to-day as their 401(k)s and IRAs dropped by double-digit percentages.

Private businesses were similarly hit by the meltdown, whether or not the businesses themselves were bankrupted. Everyone from large American companies like General Motors to smaller businesses that went belly-up is still feeling the recession’s repercussions today, even if those who are suffering the most are the least forthcoming about it.

The coming years offer new opportunities for those interested in learning how to build financial resilience in an economic downturn. Here’s what financial planners say you can do to overcome the effects of the recession and keep your finances in the black.

Here are the Best Options for Hosting Your Website

Things keep getting easier – the days of having to input hours of code just to get your website up on the web are over. With today’s wide range of easy-to-use, affordable web hosts, there’s never been a better time to get started with your own website.

With so many web hosting services available, choosing the best one for you and your website can be a confusing – or even overwhelming … unless you take your time and do your research.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best web host for you. Things like price, speed, support, and space can be important, but the number-one priority when choosing a web host should always be reliability.

A reliable web host will not only make sure your website is online and accessible at all times of the day, but will also ensure your content stays safe and secure – even when your web host needs to update their servers.

Earlier, I explained the various types of web hosting that are readily available to website owners today, and the different levels of support each of them offer. However, just to keep things extra clear for you, I’ve listed below a few of the most popular web hosting choices, something you can keep in mind as you start your search.

Meal Prep 101: How to make 20 meals for $25

How to Meal Prep 101:

  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Pick a recipe.
  3. Shop for the ingredients you’ll need based on the recipe.
  4. Prepare everything for cooking.
  5. Cook up all your meals at once.

STEP ONE: Gather materials

Gallon Ziploc

Step Two: Pick a recipe

Step Three: Shop for the ingredients you’ll need based on the recipe.

Step Four: Prepare everything for cooking.

USING the GARLIC PRESS

Step five: Cook up all your meals at once.

STEP ONE: Gather materials

Here is a list of pantry items that are worth stocking up on. These specified items can be lifesavers when you find yourself with nothing to eat. If your pantry is stocked with these items, you’ll be prepared when you want to make a quick meal.

Over 85 Super Easy Ways to Save Money

Money doesn’t grow on trees and neither does it come out of your butt. We all know someone who spent his first paycheck on a new TV, so yes, money seems to disappear too. So how to save systematically?

Here are 85 super easy ways to help you save money.

How to Use Quarantine to Your Financial Advantage

Most people have had this experience at some point: You have to make a purchase, but you’re not quite sure that you have enough money. So you make the purchase, and then you “manage” your money by borrowing from your next paycheck to pay for the purchase.

Over time, you probably realize that this scenario is not a safe way to manage your money. You can easily fall into a cycle of borrowing and repaying, and you end up either not having enough money to make a purchase or having so many debts that you can’t afford any of the nice things you want.

The key, then, is to break yourself out of this cycle by “quarantining” the money you use for specific purposes. Here’s how:

Step 1: Take all the money you need for one of these purposes — groceries, gas, clothes, entertainment — and give it to yourself all at once.

Step 2: Put this money into a separate account and specify that it’s for that specific purpose.

Step 3: Don’t take out any of this money until you have to.

How Much Does it Really Cost to Rent a RV?

Here’s How To Find The Cheapest Internet in your Area

For those of us that live in the country, there’s not a lot we need.

And if you’re lucky, your parents already have the necessary set up, including a solid internet connection. But for those of us that are in the market for a new Internet provider, there’s a lot to consider.

A few years ago, we got the Internet for half the price as our neighbors that were in same area.

Later, I found out the grass wasn’t that much greener, and in fact, we were paying a lot more than we needed to.

Luckily, now I am on a plan that is hundreds less expensive than what we used to pay.

Recession Proof: How to Prepare for the Next Recession

While the recession of 2008 may still be fresh in your mind, it’s important to understand that recessions don’t just happen overnight. Contrary to common belief, recessions have a history of repeated occurrences, with the average recession happening every 8 years. To be recession proof, you should begin budgeting and saving for the next recession before it occurs.

If another recession hits, here’s how to prepare for it in order to keep your finances and stress level manageable:

Reduce Debt

Prior to a recession,credit availability loosens and interest rates are lowered. During this period, it’s common for companies to take more loans so they can invest current earnings to increase future profits. But what many businesses fail to take into account is that they may not be able to pay back this debt if the economy takes a turn for the worst.

I remember the recession of 2008/2009 predicted a recovery of 12 to 15 quarters. It was predicted to be longer than the recession of 1995, which lasted 10 quarters. But now, five years later, people are still feeling the effects of the recession. In the next recession, it’s likely to be much worse.