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Make Budgeting Your Hobby

I’ve recently had three experiences that reminded me about the importance of simple budgeting and having a basic knowledge of money. The first occurred here in the library, at the Business and Job Center reference desk. A woman who planned to teach a budgeting class at her church asked for a basic sample home budget to hand out. A short time after that, at a dinner I attended, I spoke to a young man who bemoaned the fact that no class he’d had, either in high school or college, ever taught anything about personal finance. Now that he was on his own, working and paying bills, he was getting an unpleasant crash course. My last experience occurred on my way home from work one evening as I enjoyed listening to my radio financial hero, Dave Ramsey. The guest caller wanted Dave’s advice about whether it would be wiser to have his son live at home and commute the twenty minutes to their local college, or, as his wife preferred, take out a $10,000 loan and allow his son to live in the dorm so that he could participate in the college experience. While Dave was polite, if you’ve ever listened to his show, you can imagine his answer. I believe he was laughing on the inside.

The library has many resources for those wanting to learn about basic budgeting and personal finance. There are also websites like FINRA which will provide you with useful advice and budgeting tools. Just click below.

Subject headings:

Budgets, Personal

Finance, Personal

Home economics -- Accounting

Helpful websites, articles, and tools:

About.com: Living on a Budget

FINRA: Tools & Calculators

FINRA: Weathering Tough Financial Times - The Long-term Costs of Quick Cash

Kiplinger: 10 Tips

Dollartimes.com: Budget worksheets

Books and a YouTube video:


Chick Living: Frugal and Fabulous by Kris Koederitz Melcher
Amazon Says: You’re young. You’ve used up the handful of decorating ideas you ever had and, frankly, it’s time to take down the tapestries and the pushpin-worn posters. You’re livi more...
Amazon Says: You’re young. You’ve used up the handful of decorating ideas you ever had and, frankly, it’s time to take down the tapestries and the pushpin-worn posters. You’re livin’ in the real world now, sister. And, you’re broke. So what if your mom thinks you’re sassy and sophisticated—it’s high time you showed everyone else you truly are. In Chick Living, Kris Koederitz Melcher teaches us how to live frugally while oozing fabulousness. Melcher’s got your back with real-life lessons in necessity such as securing renter’s insurance, getting enough calcium in your diet, and when to take your car and yourself in for a routine checkup. We can all learn a lesson or two from Melcher who, in her first year out of college, paid every bill on time and had funds left over for starting a Grown-up Girl wardrobe and a savings account. What’s a Grown-up Girl Wardrobe, you ask? What’s a savings account? Never fear, oh sweet young dear. Help is on the way. It’s an expensive world out there and this guide is here to tell you what to spend on and when to put your money away. Quit dishing out three bucks for your morning latte and start making your frothy favorite at home. Discover the beauty of a yard sale and have enough cash left over for a monthly dinner-out splurge. Invest in a few classics for your closet but avoid the enticing lure of fad clothing. You’ll find everything here but the kitchen sink (although Melcher tells you what should be underneath your sink). Whether you’re in search of a job, a roommate, a couch, or a recipe, Melcher’s preparedness savvy is the ideal remedy for the just-out-of-college blues or the woes of any fund-hungry chick. You’ll thank your extra pennies that she’s put her hard-won wisdom and experience into a guide for the rest of us. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Start Your Marriage with Money in the Bank, not Bills in the Mail. In a world where the average wedding costs around $30,000, a realistic plan for a dream wedding no matter wh more...
Amazon Says: Start Your Marriage with Money in the Bank, not Bills in the Mail. In a world where the average wedding costs around $30,000, a realistic plan for a dream wedding no matter what your budget. Many couples are unnecessarily going deeply into debt to pay for their own weddings. Pastor Todd Outcalt has counseled hundreds of couples on how to avoid this strain on a new marriage, and now he's bringing his message to brides and grooms everywhere. With costs rising, the economy faltering, and the future uncertain, Outcalt provides an overall plan for cost-saving and dream-building. Unlike other books, Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget creates a plan tailored to your financial reality, not a specific dollar amount. It offers the most flexibility, showing: How to prioritize what's important so you know where to spend $$$ and where to spend $ Planning strategies for realistic costs of each component How to use the internet to save money Couples can now plan the wedding of their dreams, and go on their honeymoon knowing that every expense is paid for! Learn How To: Determine what kind of unique day you can afford: Design your own plan using sample budgets as a guide Have an elegant wedding without the high costs Host a large wedding on a small income Increase the funds for your wedding and spend that cash smartly Cut wedding costs easily and painlessly Prioritize what's important to you so you know where to splurge and where to save Work with parents and others who have a say in wedding money matters Create a debt-free wedding if you're already in debt Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget reveals how to craft a debt-free big day, giving you the techniques and strategies to help you enter into marriage with a bigger wallet and lower stress level. Rather than focusing on a certain dollar amount, Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget allows you to design a plan tailored to your financial reality, whatever that may be. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? The American economy is dragging, with unemployment rates rising and consumer debt hitting $2.5 trillion. Many people are in deep an more...
Amazon Says: Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? The American economy is dragging, with unemployment rates rising and consumer debt hitting $2.5 trillion. Many people are in deep and need help. Here, a Certified Financial Planner explains the mathematics of debt; strategies to deal with credit card, mortgage, student, and other loans; why debt consolidation and taking loans from a 401(k) can lead to problems; truths about bankruptcy; and how to use debt while eliminating it. *Includes essential resources and websites, sample letters and forms, loan forgiveness programs, bankruptcy resources *Author a Certified Financial Planner *Covers every kind of debt, mortgages to credit cards to student loans *National credit card debt is growing exponentially less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Think of sports: a football game, a round of golf, a tennis match. Or think of a play, or an opera. Now think of the halfway mark in that event -- the halftime, the intermissi more...
Amazon Says: Think of sports: a football game, a round of golf, a tennis match. Or think of a play, or an opera. Now think of the halfway mark in that event -- the halftime, the intermission -- when everyone takes a breather and wonders the same thing: What's going to happen in the second half? We have a similar point in our lives, often around our fiftieth birthday, when we begin to wonder about our second half. If you're at or approaching that age, you probably think about how much money you're going to need so you can have the kind of life you want. Charles Schwab, bestselling author of Charles Schwab's Guide to Financial Independence, offers you advice and support for getting there. For more than twenty-five years, Charles Schwab has been passionate about demystifying investing. In a user-friendly style, You're Fifty --Now What? offers a mix of clear and workable advice about how to accumulate and grow your money. Through simple worksheets, understandable language, and a healthy dose of encouragement, you learn how to take control of your financial life. You'll find answers to your questions, including help with estate planning and charitable giving. His message emphasizes that the goal is not just financial security, but also the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're prepared. He takes you step-by-step through a process that will enable you to see where you are financially today and where you want to get so that the second half of your life can be as fulfilling as you hope. One hundred percent of the author's profits from this book will be donated to a charity that benefits seniors through The Charles Schwab Corporation Foundation. Dear Reader, We have a point in our lives when we find ourselves wondering about the second half. The age differs from person to person. For some it comes in their late forties, for others it's in their early fifties. When we reach that age, we feel different. We may sense a change coming and we want to pause and to think about what we've accomplished and what we still hope to do. So what does this have to do with investing? A lot. A sound investing strategy is what gives you the means and the courage to do what you want. The issues may seem daunting. But it can be done. It has to be done, because while getting older isn't a bad thing, being unprepared for it is. And by not understanding the financial part of your future, you sabotage yourself and you limit your choices. Start today, maybe even right now. Take control of the second half of your life. Dream about it, wonder about it, think boldly about what you want. And take the first step, which is usually the hardest. Once you get started, the satisfaction you feel will keep you going. But don't delay in your preparations. The best is yet to come. Charles R. Schwab from the prologue less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Your future is based on the decisions you make now. You don't have to give up pizza or forego driving to find a way to make the smart money moves Lewis recommends. more...
Amazon Says: Your future is based on the decisions you make now. You don't have to give up pizza or forego driving to find a way to make the smart money moves Lewis recommends. Starting with in depth analysis of the current state of one's financial affairs, she shows would be investors how to create the personal and financial goals that will power up the plan. Like an engaging personal friend who is also a financial advisor, Lewis outlines the key issues related to finding the appropriate financial advisor, and shares the results of a survey of actual investors, identifying what they most want explained in the investment planning process. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Get your spending under control and create a budget that will get you on the road to financial freedom. In an age of information overload, many simply don't have the time, more...
Amazon Says: Get your spending under control and create a budget that will get you on the road to financial freedom. In an age of information overload, many simply don't have the time, knowledge or organizational skills to create a simple, functional system for managing personal finances. Now in its fourth edition, The Budget Kit: The Common Cents Money Management Workbook is a best-selling classic that has helped hundreds of thousands of people across America develop effective budgets and gain financial freedom. Even if you are using a financial software program, you will find the concepts in The Budget Kit to be essential to your understanding of budgeting. In the completely revised and updated fourth edition, Lawrence tackles the unique challenges faced in the digital society in which we live. The increased use of debit cards, automatic withdrawals, direct paycheck deposits and online bill payment systems have distanced us from our money like never before. Lawrence guides you through the electronic shift to a cashless society, and keeps you connected to your money. This new and updated edition also comes with budgeting starter software to help you achieve your financial goals. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: With the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. approaching $28,000, many couples are eager to find ways to cut back, particularly in these tough economic times. Who needs to s more...
Amazon Says: With the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. approaching $28,000, many couples are eager to find ways to cut back, particularly in these tough economic times. Who needs to say "I do" to a mountain of debt? Yet, considering the emotions and expectations that come with planning the big day, it's easy to succumb to inflated wedding pricing and spend beyond your budget. But you can have that fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime wedding - the type you've always dreamed of - without breaking the bank. Stylish Weddings for Less by Catherine Sabino will show you how! From finding that knock-out gown at a fraction of its original cost, classy wedding invitations, rings, flowers, and bridesmaids' gowns at reduced costs, to creative ways to save on wedding cakes and reception menu strategies, to locating incredible reception sites at affordable prices, the book offers hundreds of ideas and solutions! It will also reveal how experts get the best deals on photography, transportation and even on honeymoon travel. In an easy-to-reference format, Stylish Weddings for Less is sure to be an indispensable resource for anyone looking to tie the knot with cost-conscious flair and style. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A survival guide for young adults to turn financial chaos into financial order Consider these facts. The average college student graduates owing almost $20,000 in stude more...
Amazon Says: A survival guide for young adults to turn financial chaos into financial order Consider these facts. The average college student graduates owing almost $20,000 in student loans. In addition, nearly 10 percent of undergraduates owe more than $7,000 in credit card debt. Young Americans aged 15-­25 filed bankruptcy at a record rate in 2000, accounting for nearly 7 percent of the nation's personal bankruptcies. Clearly, young people today need help managing their money better. Don't Spend Your Raise, by one of America's leading advocates for personal finance education, offers young people in college or just starting out in the real world practical, doable "money rules" to help them handle their money more wisely and dramatically increase their personal wealth. It does not contain lengthy, complicated charts and equations for financial analysis and planning. Instead, it presents 60 clear, uncomplicated, easy-to-follow dictates­­such as Never have more than two credit cards, never buy a new car, and don't fly first class for the free cocktails­­which, if followed, will guarantee fewer money mistakes and more money successes. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Bill and Mary Toohey are average middle income people from a small Iowa town. Bill has been employed for 23 years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Mary has worked more...
Amazon Says: Bill and Mary Toohey are average middle income people from a small Iowa town. Bill has been employed for 23 years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Mary has worked for 20 years as an Office Manager for a small psychological firm. They started saving and investing in 1991 when their net worth was $63,000. Eight years later their net worth was $467,000. In other words, their assets increased by an average of more than $50,000 per year during that period while their income (not counting dividends and capital gains) averaged about $65,000 per year. But it wasn't always easy. They have three children, Colleen (24), Tim (22), and Meghann (14). Tim has been severely disabled since birth and despite the challenges of helping Tim cope with his chronic illnesses, the Toohey family has been able to achieve financial freedom on a modest income. They were able to build a sizable nest egg in eight years while encountering some of life's biggest expenses during the period. They helped to pay for their daughter's college education and wedding, paid cash for a new car, and made several expensive home improvements. Despite those major expenses the Tooheys still managed to save 46% of their gross income and were listed among the "Best Personal Finance Managers in America" in the December 1994 issues of Money magazine. The Tooheys' story, in an article written by Bill, appeared in the April 1997 issue of Money magazine. Mary co-authored an article published in the February 1998 issue of McCall's magazine. In May, 1997 Bill was invited to speak at Money magazine's Elgin Project seminar series. Money magazine "adopted" Elgin, Illinois and brought in speakers with expertise in personal finance. Former President Bush kicked off the event. How did they do it? How do they think? How do they live? Is it possible to save so much and still have a decent life? Can my family do this? Get the answers to all these questions and more in a book written specifically for families with children who don't earn big bucks. less...
Amazon
Household Budgets : How to Make a Personal Weekly Spending Budget
YouTube Says: In order to make a personal weekly spending budget, make sure to first be able to offset expenses with income. Find out how to make the process of planning a budget a visual e...
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