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Archive for March, 2007

Anyone up for a charity challenge?

March 31st, 2007 at 09:06 pm

I was fascinated by the $20 challenge when I first read about it about 8 days ago now. But immediately I thought about how cool it would be to do a philanthropic challenge.
I suppose the concept would be to find unique and creative ideas to give away as much as you could this year to non-profit groups (e.g., charities, humanitarian groups, ministries, church, your community etc.) What do you guys think about that? I think it would be neat.

$20 Challenge up to $36 -- after first week

March 31st, 2007 at 09:00 pm

I was trying to think of what my $20 challenge goal should be. What other goals do you guys have?

I just started mine one week ago so I have quite a bit of time. I save extensively in my retirement accounts already so squeezing what I can into my challenge fund is quite a trick I believe.

That said, I'd like to "find/create" about $60 a month as a minimum to add to the fund. To me that'd be pretty amazing.
That said I guess my one-year goal will be -- a somewhat nonimpressive -- $750. But hey, that's just a baseline. If I can crack $1000 that would be great. I updated my site today too. It's all about the $20 challenge. It's at http://20challenge.blogspot.com. Please comment if you come by. Thank you!

My $20 Challenge

March 27th, 2007 at 09:46 pm

I made my own website to track my $20 challenge. It's 20challenge.blogspot.com please check it out.

I want to hear more original ideas for increasing my $20 challenge? I'm 30. I have four children. I am a Soldier. Thanks.

Best budgeting and financial software

March 25th, 2007 at 01:24 pm

First of all, DO NOT use Microsoft Money or Quicken. These two programs, which happen to be the most sold in America (notice I didn't say popular) are a train wreck waiting to happen. If you want to read all the negatives simply look at Amazon's page for the products and read the stinging reviews.

So what do you do then? Well I have created my own budgeting, checkbook and investment tracking software in Excel. I think spreadsheets are excellent for this purpose. They are definitely easier to use (and cheaper!) than mass-market software alternatives. But my sheets are tailor-made for what I do and how I make my money. That leaves you, the unlikely Excel expert to fend for yourself right? Well, not exactly.

I found a really good Excel based program online a few years ago and they have continued to refine the product. I recently checked back in with the company and was excited to see they added many more great features and tweaks to their program. Unlike, the Microsoft and Quicken programs theirs is cheap, $19.95 and easy to use and set up. In fact you just order it online and then download it. You can have your budget, debt reduction and investment plans going in mere minutes. I highly recommend them. It's called, "You Need A Budget."

The program can be found at www.youneedabudget.com. Oh and they have a 60-day money back guarantee. See if the big boys in Silicon Valley will give you that with their latest $49.95 offering?!