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Emergency Fund and $20 updates

April 15th, 2007 at 08:03 am

I finally have my EF back up to over $500. I took a good hit back in early March and it took me more than a month to get back on track. That's why my policy about saving and investing is this: Once a dollar goes into those accounts it has a job and does not get taken out of those accounts.

So my EF is the only way for me to absorb some pain here and there. I have no credit card debt so things can only get so painful. Be encouraged...it took me 8 years (and a divorce) to get completely debt free but I am and you can do it too!

How much is in your 2007 Challenge?

April 11th, 2007 at 07:09 pm

Right now I stand

My Emergency Fund Number$$$

April 7th, 2007 at 06:02 pm

Well, it turns out I need approximately $3,950 according to the "calculator" I got from a "Grown Azzed Woman"s web site. It's at http://gaw3000.blogspot.com/2007/04/emergency-fund-five-year-plan.html

My number seems to be pretty low but it's probably because I don't have a car note or any credit card debt. What's your number?

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Update on my $20 challenge

April 6th, 2007 at 07:08 am

I am up to $41.01 in my challenge. It was a tough two last weeks but i made progress (see my blog site) that will help me make some big gains later this month. Cutting my landline was huge. Today is day 12 of my 365 day challenge.

I added $.50 to A Grown Azzed Woman's site. She's at http://gaw3000.blogspot.com/ I really like her blog. She has a great entry about figuring out how much you need for your emergency fund. I'm calculating mine now! Have a great weekend everyone!

Amazing tip to save taxes on cell bill!

April 2nd, 2007 at 06:25 pm

A buddy of mine saved about $8 a month switching his cell phone number from a Florida number to New Hampshire. That's because every state and local community levy their own taxes on your cell bill. Check it out. I wrote more extensively about it on my blog. It's at http://20challenge.blogspot.com

Let me know what you think! Thanks.

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?!