Tag Archive for 'personal finance'

Spend less on your bills

We’ve all got bills to pay. If we hadn’t, we would have a lot more money left over at the end of the month. This sounds good!

But if we don’t pay our bills, we don’t have electricity. Or Internet. Or TV. Or Water. Or insurance. That doesn’t sound so good.

If only there was a middle way…? And there is!

We don’t often look critically at our fixed expenses, perhaps simply because we’ve become used to them, or because we don’t want to face reality. But it’s a healthy thing to do: shave your expenses and save a little every month – forever.

money bill cut into pieces Continue reading ‘Spend less on your bills’

Do the batteries last long enough?

Here’s a simple tip that could save you just a little bit of money and stress. When you replace the batteries in home electronics (like this smoke alarm), write the date on the battery:

Smoke detector with battery

Next time you replace that battery, this date helps you determine whether the batteries lasted as long as you expected.

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Paying unexpected bills without stress

My wife and I maintain a family budget. Yes, we actually sit down once a month and talk about what we think our expenses might look like next month. There are various categories such as Clothing, Groceries, Mortgage, Fuel, etc. Some of these are pretty predictable: our Groceries expenses only vary 1-2% from month to month. Other categories are hard to predict, like Car repairs: We normally don’t know of any upcoming repairs being needed, but we expect that something will crop up eventually. So we have been putting a small amount into that every month.

This works well for us: A short while ago, some electronics started acting up and we knew: uh oh, this problem is going to cost a few hundred to fix. How fortunate that we have nearly a thousand set aside for things like this: we could just pay the bill without hesitation and without having to shuffle money around and without getting stressed about where to take it from! Continue reading ‘Paying unexpected bills without stress’

Spend less than you earn

The mantra to good finances is simply “spend less than you earn.” You want to increase the gap between income and expenses, obviously. The more you have left at the end of the month, the more you can save. How else are you going to get rich, right?

So how do we do this? You can earn more, or spend less, or both. Spending less is the simplest and gives you immediate results, so let’s take a look at some ideas.piggy-bank-accountant

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How to install MS Money 2004 on 64-bit Linux

Want something better than MS Money? Use YNAB instead! YNAB means you need a budget, and yes, you really do. Rather than just tracking and forecasting in MS Money, YNAB lets you be really smart with your money by helping you to focus on funding your priorities. YNAB has a free trial, very good documentation, and awesome user support.

Do you run Linux? Do you miss MS Money, the personal-finance application? I can answer yes to both questions, but I’ve found a solution. It’s possible to run Windows software on Linux, but sometimes it’s tricky.

This is a guide to overcome those traps. Perhaps I’m the only one to ever benefit from this installation guide, but there’s a slim chance that others might benefit too, so I’ll publish this instead of keeping it for myself.

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