- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Ships from: Wilmington, NC
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Chapter 1 - Why You Might Need This Book
Chapter 2 - But I'm Not an Accountant
Chapter 3 - Getting Ready
Chapter 4 - The Twelve Steps to Pulling It Off
Chapter 5 - The Last Few Steps
Chapter 6 - The Balancing Act
Chapter 7 - Using Credit When Credit Is Due
Chapter 8 - Making Big Purchases
Chapter 9 - Special Budget Scenarios
Chapter 10 - Great Budgeting Resources
Chapter 11 - Living Happily Ever After
Appendix A - Putting Expense Items into Categories
Appendix B - Great Books for Budgeteers
[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]
"Living on a budget": The very phrase conjures up grim visions of takingthe bus to work, suffering through endless meals of beans and rice, and carefullyreusing your vacuum cleaner bags.
But is this what living on a budget is really all about? We, your erstwhile authors,don't believe so (or else we wouldn't be living on one!). We believe that livingon a budget is about wisdom and discipline, not about deprivation.
Living on a budget simply means making a conscious decision to keep a close eyeon your expenses and income and making sure you don't spend too much of one on theother! That, in a nutshell, is what budgeting is all about. It's not about buyingshoddy goods, and it's not about leading a dull life of austerity. It's about masteringyour money and making the most of every dollar you have!
Budgeting works. Regardless of the size of your income, budgeting works. Joinus now to learn more about living happily on a budget.
So, who needs to live on a budget? Everyone who wants to feel in control of theirfinances, anyone who wants to take pride in watc hing their money grow from monthto month, instead of watching their money dissolve, and folks who are trying to dothe following:
Budget A simple financial plan that helps you track your expenses and income.
The bottom line is that living on a budget is for anyone interested in his orher bottom line!
"What I want more than anything is to wake up in nine years and have the ultimate luxury--the freedom to spend my time doing anything I want to do," reads a recent letter to the editor of a popular financial magazine. The letter-writer describes himself as earning a six-figure income, but living as though he makes $25,000 a year. He is 41 now, and by carefully living on a budget, he plans to retire at the ripe old age of 50.
It's a classic scenario, one that has happened to almost every adult at one timeor another: Suddenly, you discover that the checking account balance is at zero,your bills are all due, and your next paycheck isn't coming for another week or so.It is not a pleasant feeling, and not at all conducive to a restful night'ssleep . Many of us face this same situation every month, like clockwork. What to do?Budget!
By drawing up a simple budget plan, vowing to stick with it, and then followingthrough, even folks who face this dire situation every month will be sleeping throughthe night in no time.
By vowing to live on a budget, you can soon get a handle on all your bills--evenpast-due bills--and pay them off in a timely manner. Once you embrace the idea ofliving on a budget, you can also work to overcome the spending habits that got youinto trouble in the first place!
Ahhh, doesn't that sound like a much more appealing scenario? Imagine your pridewhen you open your bills without apprehension, knowing you can meet this month'sbills with ease.
The Macy's bill arrives in the mail...and someone goes ballistic at the sightof the balance. Perhaps a husband is horrified by his wife's shopaholic habits. Couldjust as easily be a wife annoyed by her husband's profligate ways, though. Whoeveris out there doing the spending, there's bound to be a fight when the bill finallyarrives.
What do most American couples fight about? Money. From the tippy-top of the economicstrata and on down through the rest of the classes--almost every married couple fightsabout money.
Here is a quick snapshot from a recent USA Today article. They discoveredthat seven out of ten couples disagree about financial issues. The most common conflictsoccur over the following issues:
How can couples escape all this conflict? Budget! In a later chapter, wealso discuss how to agree with your mate about sticking to a budget. Budgets don'twork unless everyone involved pulls together.
Men and women fight about money for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it is aboutemotions, sometimes about power and control, sometimes about love--and sometimesthose fights about money end in divorce.
However, couples can use money to strengthen their relationship, to grow evencloser. By working together to create a budget that meets their needs, by agreeingto live by the basic budgeting principles, and by focusing on the mutual financialbenefit they are working toward, couples can use living on a budget to enhance theirrelationship. You will soon find that what's good for your relationship is good foryour net worth, too!
Most married couples disagree about money at some point in their relationship. Unless both parties agree to follow the same budget, the effort is doomed to failure. The most common cause of financial disagreement? Credit card spending!
Seems like all you do is wake up, eat, work, eat, work, eat, watch a little television,and sleep. Your life is just an endless cycle of drudgery, and all your money goesjust to support your dull live the way it is. Will you never get to jog on the beachin Hawaii? Will you never feel the wind in your face as you drive the coast in aconvertible? Sigh. You just plain can't afford those kinds of treats. Other peoplecan, but you feel destined to watch from the sidelines. Hmmm...what's the answerhere? Surprise--budget!
Careful budgeting can help you achieve extraordinary financial goals. Vacations,second homes, a really cool car--whatever you set out to save for can be accomplishedby carefully sticking to a budget and watching your special savings grow!
Careful budgeting can also help you rediscover that some of life's greatest rewardscome free. You might well find that your idea of a treat turns out to be a morningwalk in the woods near your home, an afternoon at the public library, or an eveningat home in front of a roaring fire with friends and a battered Monopoly set. Whileliving on a budget and watching your money grow, you might realize that the kindsof treats and indulgences that truly make you happy can't be found in a departmentstore, at a mall, or on the pages of a catalog.
After you wean yourself from some of the spending habits you once had, not onlywill your bills be paid off, but you won't ever run them up again with those kindsof expensive purchases!
Net worth What you own, minus what you owe.
Budgeting and saving sound like something only middle-class folks have to do.The really rich folks just spend whatever they want, right? Wrong. According to anitem in Business Week magazine, the rich squirrel money away much more thanother income levels do. So next time you want to be mistaken for a wealthy person,drive straight to the bank and make a deposit. And stay away from that ATM machinewhile you're there!
Perhaps you don't have a shopping mall addiction or a tendency to live well beyondyour means. Regardless of your careful shopping habits, however, you still find thatat the end of the month the money seems to have disappeared. Where on earth did itgo? Perhaps you simply frittered it away a dollar or two at a time.
What do we mean by "frittering"? You know: the Starbucks Syndrome. Moneycan all too easily be frittered away every time you rush out the door late to workand pull into the cafe drive-through lane for a cappuccino and a low-fat muffin.Money can be frittered away if you buy a new magazine every day to keep you companyat lunch. And then there's the nightly visit to a sports bar for a beer and a plateof Buffalo chicken wings. One dollar here, two dollars there--it can all add up tothe difference between ending the month with extra money and ending the month withzip.
Frittering is sometimes hard to spot. Later in the book, we cover the importanceof writing down all your expenditures to get a real idea where the money isgoing. This way, you can quickly uncover frittering.
So let's get down to business here. Have you recognized yourself in any of thedescriptions we've offered so far? Are you in over your head because of excess shopping?Do you and your mate tangle regularly over financial matters? Are you just "gettingby" on your current salary? Or are you just looking for a more reasonable wayto live? Whatever your reasons for deciding to live on a budget, you've come to theright book.
As we've already hinted, we don't think that living on a budget means scrimpingand saving and buying only the very cheapest stuff. We believe that living on a budgetis a wise approach to handling your money in today's economy, and we plan to showyou exactly how you can use a budget to create the life you want.
But first, you have to look closely at the life you have now. In the next fewchapters, we walk you through a careful assessment of your present financial situation.Why does that matter? Because you can never design a workable budget without firstassessing your life and your relationship to money. If you are spending thousandsof dollars a month more than you earn, designing a budget that reduces your expensesto less than $500 a month is doomed to failure. Realistic, steady goals and objectivesare needed for a budget to succeed. Remember what we all know about weight loss--crashdiets don't work. And neither does a crash money diet.
Learning more about how you use money now is such an important piece of the puzzlethat we don't actually help you design your first budget until Chapter 5, "TheLast Few Steps." (Please, no skipping ahead.) Learn all you can about your familyspending habits and the way you use money now. All the thinking and soul-searchingwill pay off in the long run. You will end up with a renewed sense of what's possibleto achieve on your income--the very thing that seems so impossible now!
Before we let you go on to the next chapter, let's spend some more time thinkingabout just what living on a budget can do for you. The best way to convince yourselfto buckle down and change your money habits is to paint a vivid picture in your mindof just where it's going to lead, so let's do that right now.
If, starting now, you make the decision to begin to live on a reasonable budget,this is what your life can be like:
Sounds darn good, doesn't it? So what are we waiting for--let's get in there andstart to work on a budget!
The Least You Need to Know
Posted April 27, 2003
This book was given to me as a Christmas present by one of my good friends. I actually think he gave it to me as a joke because he thinks I'm cheap. Little does he know the amount of intrinsic value this book contains. I chose to read this book and review it as an assignment for an economics class, and I was pleasantly surprised how much the book related directly to what I'd been learning in class. For example, it displayed and explained diagrams of budget sheets to account for different items you'll be spending on so you can plan ahead know how much money you will be spending. The budget sheets stressed types of income; gross, take home, and available. The book also covered the topics of opportunity cost and marginal utility, discussing how to deal with necessities and luxuries. I found the information concerning credit payment and interest very enlightening as well as the section explaining steps and tips on how to make big purchases. I especially enjoyed the information the book contained for the college bound, such as how to anticipate a rise in tuition and living costs. Oh yes, how could I forget, I enjoyed this book because it explained terms and processes simply, without dumbing it down too much and still not flying miles over my head. I would recommend this book for anyone who is like me and doesn't like to waste money and is also interested in using this information for their advantage.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.