Resource Center - Budgeting

Choose from the resource categories below to discover and learn more about personal finance across the topics of budgeting, debt, income, insurance, investing, and retirement.

Managing Money - Budget Basics

For most people, the word “budget” conjures up thoughts of penny-pinching and the unpleasant task of crunching numbers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A budget is at the cornerstone of a solid financial foundation, regardless of your situation, and it isn’t that hard to do. What is a Budget? A budget is nothing more than a breakdown and plan of how much money you have coming in and where it goes. Could you imagine a business becoming successful if it didn’t keep track of its income and... Read More >>>

How To Create a Budget

Creating a budget may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world to do, but it is vital in keeping your financial house in order. Before you begin to create your budget it is important to realize that in order to be successful you have to provide as much detailed information as possible. Ultimately, the end result will be able to show where your money is coming from, how much is there and where it is all going. Difficulty: Easy Time Required: 30 minutes to 1 hour... Read More >>>

3 Traits for Budgeting Success

Creating a budget isn't incredibly difficult, but where most people fail is trying to maintain the budget. It usually starts with good intentions, but just like dieting, it doesn’t take much to derail your entire plan. Here are three traits you must posses if you want to create and maintain a successful budget. If you think of budgeting as a chore, or that you are sacrificing something, you’ll find it is extremely difficult to keep at it. Don’t think of the negative aspects of a budget... Read More >>>

Examine the Roots of Overspending

To build wealth and reach financial independence, you simply need to spend less than you earn. It is an easy concept to understand, but why is it so difficult? To answer this question, you need to examine the roots of overspending. When you know what factors drive your spending, you can fight back and save money so that you can spend less than you earn. Easy Access to Credit For most people, this is the biggest reason for overspending. Just take a look in your mailbox and you’ll quickly see why.... Read More >>>

Try Using Cash to Keep Spending Under Control

If you are struggling to stay within your budget or seem to spend more money than you should, it might be a good idea to go back to using cash for daily purchases. It is no surprise that most of us are beginning to move away from cash for everyday spending; the convenience of debit and credit cards is very tempting. Some cards actually offer rewards or cash back that makes the use of cash even less appealing. The problem with this convenience is that you can begin to forget the true value of the... Read More >>>

Try the Simple 5-Category Budget

You want to create a spending plan, otherwise known as a budget, but you don’t want to make an intricately detailed line-item budget, like the type that could be facilitated through these budgeting worksheets. Instead, you just want a budget that represent a "broad overview." At the same time, you don’t want to make a budget that's as broad as the type we outline in the 80/20 budget or the 50/30/20 budget. You want a budget that's a little more specific and structured. You want the Goldilocks... Read More >>>

6 Ways to Spend Less on Landscaping

If you’re a homeowner, landscaping might consume a significant portion of your budget during the spring and summer months. It’s not necessarily one of those expenses that people think about very often, either. Many people overlook this expense entirely when they are creating their monthly or annual budget. I’ve seen many written budgets that don’t have any line items dedicated to landscaping. Of course, if you live in a condo, apartment, or townhome, you don’t need to worry about this expense... Read More >>>

4 Ways to Cut Costs as a College Student

You’re a college student struggling to maintain a budget. You don’t earn very much money. You may only make minimum wage or slightly above it. You may also find yourself frustrated with the financial advice that you see online. Most of it is geared towards people who are earning a decent full-time salary and have expenses that just don’t apply to you -- like window treatments and lawn care. What can college students do to cut their expenses and better manage their money?... Read More >>>

Three Financial Lessons We Can Learn from These New Homeowners

This is a case study of an ordinary couple making smart financial decisions. It's meant to highlight how everyday people can become masters at budgeting and financial planning. LaTisha Styles and her husband, newlyweds living in Tennessee, recently bought their first home -- a huge step in their young lives. How did they budget for this expense? How clear of a financial plan did they have? What were the numbers – and what can you learn? Let's find out, by looking at the case study of this... Read More >>>

How to Choose Financial Aid, Budget and Plan for College

Getting accepted to college is one of the most exciting times you’ll experience with your child. It can also be one of the most overwhelming, especially if you’re going through the process for the first time. Not to worry – we have a step-by-step checklist you can follow to ensure your child will be ready for the first day of the semester. If your child is just starting to receive acceptance letters, here’s exactly what you need to do to start preparing. The tips below cover both budgeting and... Read More >>>