The Everything Budgeting Book: Practical Advice for Spending Less, Saving More, and Having More Money for the Things you Really Want

Overview

Do you reach the bottom of your checking account before you reach the end of the week? Are you looking to have "more" with less cash? Budgeting doesn't have to be drudgery. These days, everyone is looking for smart, practical ways to make every dollar count. The Everything Budgeting Book is for anyone who is trying to save for the future -- whether it's for a house, a child's education, or something on your wish list, such as a new car or a dream vacation. Filled with practical tips and advice you can use ...
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The Everything Budgeting Book: Practical Advice for Spending Less, Saving More, and Having More Money for the Things you Really Want

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Overview

Do you reach the bottom of your checking account before you reach the end of the week? Are you looking to have "more" with less cash? Budgeting doesn't have to be drudgery. These days, everyone is looking for smart, practical ways to make every dollar count. The Everything Budgeting Book is for anyone who is trying to save for the future -- whether it's for a house, a child's education, or something on your wish list, such as a new car or a dream vacation. Filled with practical tips and advice you can use immediately, The Everything Budgeting Book can be used time and time again as your life -- and financial picture -- changes. Whether you need to restructure debt, save for retirement, or are just looking for ways to trim everyday expenses, this book will help you get in the black fast. You'll be able to balance your checkbook without acrobatics, free yourself from prepayday panic, and have money for the things you really want.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580627863
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: Everything Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.02 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Chapter 1 What Is Budgeting--And Why Do I Need to Do It? 1
Realizing What a Budget Is 2
Recognizing What a Budget Isn't 2
Understanding the Financial Goals 3
Determining Whether You Need a Budget 4
Looking at a Sample Budget 4
Thinking About Your Long-Term Goals 9
Chapter 2 Prioritizing Your Spending 15
Understanding Why Not Spending Is the Key to Budgeting 16
Totaling Your Daily Expenses 16
Categorizing and Prioritizing Your Daily Expenses 20
Assessing Your Monthly Expenses 21
Categorizing and Prioritizing Your Monthly Expenses 34
Prioritizing Which Items You Want to Spend Money On 34
Chapter 3 Assessing Your Current Financial Situation 35
Understanding Why Your Financial Situation Is Important 36
Determining Your Income and Other Assets 36
Calculating Your Financial Obligations: Debts and Living Expenses 39
Putting Income and Financial Obligations Together 44
Identifying Potential Cash Flow Problems 46
Taking a Break if You Need It 47
Chapter 4 Creating a Livable Budget 49
Making Your Financial Goals a Reality 50
Spending Less than You Make 51
Spending Money Only on Budgeted Items 52
Saving for Unexpected Expenses 53
Revisiting Your Goals and Priorities 55
Generating a Budget You Can Stick To 57
Chapter 5 Freezing Your Spending for the Short Term 65
What Freezing Really Means 66
Reducing Temptation During a Freeze 66
Establishing What's Really a Need 67
Putting Away Your Credit Cards 70
Tucking Away Your Debit Card 70
Creating a Wish List 70
Chapter 6 Saving Money on Groceries and Incidentals 75
Preparing Your Own Food 76
Not Letting Perishables Go Bad 78
Brown-Bagging It 78
Using Coupons 79
Getting the Lowest Food Prices 81
Avoiding Extended Warranties 82
Buying Reliable, High-Quality Products 84
Not Buying Trendy Items 85
Shopping Tag Sales and Resale Shops 85
Chapter 7 Cutting Your Expenses at Home 87
Turning the Thermostat Down (or Up) 88
Reducing Your Long-Distance Phone Bill 88
Getting Rid of Cable, Phone Extras, and Cellular 91
Shopping Around for Car Insurance and Reducing Your Deductibles 94
Growing a Garden, Even a Small One 97
Reducing Gift Expenditures 98
Avoiding Dry Cleaning 98
Getting Your Books and Videos from the Library 99
Chapter 8 Cutting Your Biggest Expenses 101
Moving to a Smaller House 102
Buying a House Instead of Renting 104
Renting Instead of Buying 106
Selling Your Car 106
Changing Jobs 108
Taking Cheaper Vacations 112
Chapter 9 Restructuring a Heavy Debt Burden 115
Understanding How Debt Is Restructured 116
Getting Credit Counseling 116
Consolidating Your Debt 118
Selling Some Assets 120
Using Your House to Pay Off Your Debts 124
Declaring Bankruptcy 124
Chapter 10 Refinancing Your Home and Tapping Your Equity 125
Finding Money in Your Home 126
Refinancing Your House 126
Understanding Equity 127
Refinancing Your Home and Taking Out Equity 128
Qualifying for Refinancing 130
Understanding Home Equity Lines of Credit 133
Chapter 11 Adding Income 137
Recognizing What Additional Work Can Mean for You 138
Changing Jobs 142
Getting a Second Job 143
Working Overtime 144
Freelancing for Your Own Company 145
Starting a Small Business 145
Chapter 12 Surviving Unemployment 151
Sorting Out Severance Packages and Unemployment Insurance 152
Locking in Your COBRA-Defined Coverage 153
Seeing to Your Other Insurance Needs 154
Paring Your Expenses Down to the Bone 156
Looking for a Job As Soon As Possible 157
Starting a Consulting Firm or Small Business 160
Holding Down a Couple of Part-Time Jobs 161
Considering Another Geographic Location 162
Chapter 13 Sticking to Your Budget in an Emergency 165
If Your Car Breaks Down 166
If You Incur Extensive Household Expenses 168
If Family Medical Bills Overwhelm You 171
If You Become Sick or Disabled--Even Temporarily 173
If You Lose Your Job 173
If a Friend or Family Member Has a Special Need 174
Chapter 14 Getting Government Help--There Actually Is a Free Lunch! 175
Using Government Food Programs 176
Locating Housing Opportunities 178
Applying for Insurance 179
Getting on Welfare 181
Applying for Government Loans and Grants 182
Requesting Bankruptcy Protection 182
Chapter 15 Changing Your Budget for a New Baby 187
Making Time to Think About Your Future 188
Estimating Expenses for Your New Baby 188
Creating a Nine-Month Savings Budget 194
Choosing a Daytime Care Provider 194
Living on One Income 199
Creating a Budget for Your New Family 200
Chapter 16 Changing Your Budget to Include a New House 203
Figuring Out the Financing Details 204
Choosing Your Mortgage Length 204
Deciding on a Down Payment 207
Reviewing Your Interest Rate Options 208
Shopping for Your New Home 209
Selling Your Existing Home 211
Understanding Closing Expenses 213
Managing Unexpected Household Expenses 215
Creating a Budget That Includes Your New Home 216
Chapter 17 Saving Money for College 219
Understanding College Costs 220
Determining How Much You Can (or Want to) Help Out 221
Seeing How Much You Can Save 222
Taking Advantage of Government-Sponsored Savings Plans 223
Finding Other Ways to Pay for College 226
Creating a Budget That Includes College Expenses 229
Chapter 18 Changing Your Budget After Age Fifty 233
Determining How Much You Want to Assist Your Grown Children 234
Taking Care of Your Aging Parents 238
Helping Your Grandchildren Financially 240
Doing More for Yourself 241
Assessing Your Retirement Income and Expenses 243
Creating a Fifty-Plus Budget 245
Chapter 19 Saving for Retirement 249
Figuring Out How Much You'll Need 250
Finding Ways to Set Money Aside Now 251
Looking at Tax-Deferred Ways to Save 253
Letting Your Employer Help You 256
Investing on Your Own 258
Starting Young 259
Making Up for Lost Time 259
Chapter 20 Staying Motivated 261
Sticking with Your Budget Through Thick and Thin 262
Making Motivational Signs 262
Getting Back on Track When You Blow Your Budget 263
Finding Sneaky Ways to Spend Money 264
Building a Support Network 267
Reviewing Your Budget Periodically 268
Appendix 1 Debt-Restructuring Resources 271
Appendix 2 Budgeting Web Sites and Online Tools 275
Index 279
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