Personal Finance 
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5 Things to Do Before You Start Working

HandIf you’re graduated in May (congrats!), I recommend reading David Griner’s post about five things he’d do if he were graduating in May. They contain five solid tips that can help you in your career.

If you haven’t yet joined the workforce but are planning to in the next few months, I wanted to give you five things you should do before you start working.

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 Personal Finance 
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Stupid-Proof Budgeting

One of the first things you will hear from anyone who is helping you with your finances is about budgeting. A budget is usually the difference between someone who has their finances under control and someone who doesn’t. The problem is that budgeting is often on the to-do list right up there with “going to the dentist” and “cleaning the toilet.” You know you should do those things but really don’t want to.

If you are like me and hate budgeting, I’ve got a stupid-proof easy way to do your budget. After getting setup, it requires about 10 minutes or less per week to maintain and will help you develop a fully functional budget.

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 Personal Finance 
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Easy Budgeting for Non-Budgeters

Clever Way to BudgetBudgeting isn’t fun. Very few people look forward to tracking all of their purchases, cutting back when they’ve overspent, and adjusting their budget from month to month to meet changing conditions. However, it’s a necessary chore, like cleaning your house or apartment, that you should do because it’s good for your financial health. But so is exercising and according to the Department of Health & Human Services, we as a nation aren’t doing such a great job at that.

When I first started working, I was a very diligent budgeter. I recorded every single expense in a document called a Budget Bible, built from a template my friend Melinda sent me. I budgeted to the penny, the most labor intensive of the five budgeting systems I once wrote about. I kept it up for about six months but eventually I grew tired of it. It was important to budget to get a better handle on my finances, but once I had a handle the daily routine was unnecessary. I went from the most diligent of budgeters to a non-budgeter!

So how do I get back on the wagon? How does a personal finance blogger reform?

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 Personal Finance 
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Take Control of Your Financial Situation

This article is part of the series, The Summer of George- The Most Productive Summer a College Student Will Ever Have.

Do you think that you don’t earn enough money have to worry about managing your finances? If so you are dead wrong. If you get into the habit of properly managing your finances at an early age then these habits will hopefully follow you into your 30s and so on. Let this summer be known as the time where you finally took control of your financial situation.

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 Personal Finance 
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BVC #10 – Psychological Money Games [VIDEO]

If there’s nothing else you learn about personal finance, remember that it’s more about psychology than it is about numbers. You don’t go over your credit limit because you don’t know how to add, you go over because you either don’t know you’re that close or you don’t care. You don’t go into debt because you weren’t capable of doing the math that showed that you were spending more than you earned. In the end, it’s mostly psychology and I talk about some different “games” or tricks you can use to help you be more responsible.

I added three markers in the video for the points where I talk about Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, the 100 Boxes, and the Zero Spend Days. It’ll help if you want to skip certain parts.

Finally, my apologies for sounding all stuffed up, the allergy season is in full force in Maryland and the Loratadine I’ve been taking doesn’t seem to be cutting it.


 Family 
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Do You Need An Adult Allowance?

When you hear the word budget – how does it make you feel? For some of us, budgeting is a welcome concept we employ with great success in our financial lives. But what about you? Do you feel constrained by the idea of budgeting – like it does not allow you to have any fun? Do you hear the word budget and inwardly cringe, and feel sorry for those who live by their budget? Is budgeting a four letter word in your life? If so, an adult allowance might be the answer for you.

The idea of an allowance is one that most of us have been familiar with since childhood, but not in a necessarily positive way. An allowance is the way that someone else in authority exercised control over us and our spending, by allowing us (hence, allowance) a sum of money per week or month from their coffers that we could use as we wished.

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 Personal Finance 
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How to Budget

April is Financial Literacy Month and to help kick off this month of financial education, I thought I’d go back to the basics with this edition of the Foundation Series. This post explains something that I think everyone should integrate into their personal finance routine – budgeting. Budgeting is one of those activities that sounds like a hassle, even if you’re a numbers person, but I guarantee that you will benefit tremendously from learning how to and implementing your own budget.

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 Family 
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How to Battle A Brand Whore

Louis Vuitton SignOr, “Tips to Keep the Clothing Budget in Check When Someone in Your Family is a Brand Whore.”

Just as some people have specific preferences for food, others have preferences for specific brands of clothing. In your family, this person may or may not be the same person. In ours, my husband is the guilty party on both charges – he’s just not that adventurous of a person. He has specific stores he will shop at for clothing, and specific brands clothing he will buy for himself if left to his own devices. He’s worn the same exact style and brand of jeans for all his adult life – he just buys more of the same exact one when one wears out. All his dress clothes for work are from the same exact store, and they are specific cuts and styles he prefers, all of the same brand.

Is this by definition a bad thing? Not necessarily – if you find what looks good on you, you may want to stick to that style, color, or type. But taken to an extreme, or buying brands simply because they are a specific brand, and you fall prey to spending top dollar on your items when middle or low dollar may work just as well. Slowly but surely, I’ve been expanding his wardrobe specificities, and here’s how.

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