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junebugz

Anyone have a good budget builder?

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Got to thinking while reading the Saving thread about different types of budgeting ideas. I know there are some cheesy ones on MS's website you can use in Excel ... MSN Money has some (as I am sure programs like Quicken do also).

 

Anyone used any that they think are worthwhile? If so, is there a cost associated?

 

Or if you happen to use the old pen and pad ideas or sliderules (for the older gents) ... or whatever you may have, post here as I would like to see some of the ideas.

 

Thanks in advance.

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start a IRA asap.

Give to your 401k up to the amount your company matches.

Pay yourself 10% of your paycheck first

stop using ATMS that you don't belong too, they charge you that $2 and your bank will charge you $2 as well some times

Pay off your credit cards first starting with the highest interest rate, if you can get a CC with one of those 0% interest the 1st year and transfer all of your balances over to it.

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start a IRA asap. 

Give to your 401k up to the amount your company matches.

Pay yourself 10% of your paycheck first

stop using ATMS that you don't belong too, they charge you that $2 and your bank will charge you $2 as well some times

Pay off your credit cards first starting with the highest interest rate, if you can get a CC with one of those 0% interest the 1st year and transfer all of your balances over to it.

 

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Definitely play the 0% credit card game. This makes a huge difference as you try to pay down debt. The wife and I maxed our 1 credit card as we were tryingt o save for a downpayment on a house in a short period of time. It took us over 4 years to rid ourselves of the 15K on that card. However, because of the 0% game (you can always find a 0% card to transfer that balance to) we didn't pay a dime of interest on it. Saved thousands of dollars over that period of time.

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Got to thinking while reading the Saving thread about different types of budgeting ideas.  I know there are some cheesy ones on MS's website you can use in Excel ... MSN Money has some (as I am sure programs like Quicken do also). 

 

Anyone used any that they think are worthwhile?  If so, is there a cost associated?

 

Or if you happen to use the old pen and pad ideas or sliderules (for the older gents) ... or whatever you may have, post here as I would like to see some of the ideas.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

1287974[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

My wife and I subscribe to Dave Ramsey's school of finance. Our only debt is our house. It took us ten years of marriage to get there however. It is imperative that you pay off your debt first using the "debt snowball." Start by paying the most money out to your highest interest debt, and as you pay off bills, apply the money to lower interest debt and son on until it is all gone. He also says to carry a 15 year mortgage and not spend more than 25% of your income on your house payment. No money down loans and no interest loans are going to come back to bite folks in the ass. The main thing is discipline..this is why equity loans to pay off CCs are a bad idea in most cases since the person will likely just run up the cards again anyway and have double the payments. It takes time and energy to stick to it, but it is well worth it. Its nice having only utility bills show up in the mail every month.

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Definitely play the 0% credit card game. This makes a huge difference as you try to pay down debt. The wife and I maxed our 1 credit card as we were tryingt o save for a downpayment on a house in a short period of time. It took us over 4 years to rid ourselves of the 15K on that card. However, because of the 0% game (you can always find a 0% card to transfer that balance to) we didn't pay a dime of interest on it. Saved thousands of dollars over that period of time.

 

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I did exactly the same thing. Using this device to get rid of CC debt is a no-brainer. However, people doing this so they can maintain a high balance, or continually using the same trick, get nailed in their credit rating.

Edited by Ursa Majoris

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Question about the 0% CC idea. I currently have 3 CC. Two have balances and one is used only for my internet service (which is paid in full every month). I have about $6-7K on the other cards total. When I get those 0% offers in the mail I call up to make sure I can transfer my whole balance but they say they can't tell me until I signup. If I go over my limit with the transfers I get a high rate. Do you recommend spreading the balaces over multiple 0% cards?

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Question about the 0% CC idea.  I currently have 3 CC.  Two have balances and one is used only for my internet service (which is paid in full every month).  I have about $6-7K on the other cards total.  When I get those 0% offers in the mail I call up to make sure I can transfer my whole balance but they say they can't tell me until I signup.  If I go over my limit with the transfers I get a high rate.  Do you recommend spreading the balaces over multiple 0% cards?

 

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No. The more cards you have, the worse your credit hit can be. Open up one of the 0% ones that has at least 12 months where your balance won't attract interest. Usually you can put $5,000 on it. Transfer the money from the biggest card and get rid of that one.

 

That leaves $2,000 on the other interest bearing card - tackle this first. Your finance charges will already be way lower. Get rid of the outstanding debt as fast as possible, all the while paying down what you can afford on the 0% card (you will need to make a minimum payment).

 

Once you have the old card to zero, get rid of it. Now focus on the 0% card. If you don't manage to clear it all, you will only be charged interest on the portion you didn't clear off.

 

You'll need to adjust the above figures to suit your own circumstances, of course. You can transfer balances from multiple cards to one card, but the 0% card will likely max at $5,000 for transfers.

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start a IRA asap. 

Give to your 401k up to the amount your company matches.

Pay yourself 10% of your paycheck first

stop using ATMS that you don't belong too, they charge you that $2 and your bank will charge you $2 as well some times

Pay off your credit cards first starting with the highest interest rate, if you can get a CC with one of those 0% interest the 1st year and transfer all of your balances over to it.

 

1288019[/snapback]

 

 

 

Good advice here. I want to emphasize paying off the credit card first. Saving money and getting a 8% return in the market is great and all, but it's nothing when you have thousands on a credit card with 18% interest. It's a killer.

 

Take advantage of those government saving opportunities such as the IRA (Roth IRA if your household income is less than 160k filing jointly, I believe it's 110k for a single person, but I may be off on that one). If you work for compnay that has a 401k and especially one that matches (free money!!!!), take advantage of that as much as possible.

 

I mentioned this book in an early post, but pick up The Number by Lee Eisenberg for an interesting read, but one that's not too financially minded. It should scare you into saving now. The Automatic Milionare by David Bach (correct last name?) is a simple, more financial read for those looking for a place to get started in saving during your daily life.

Edited by TDFFFreak

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