From the category archives:

Money Management

Let’s say you have $5,000 available to purchase a car, and you need it right now. You can technically afford to add a monthly payment to your finances, but of course that will take away from the amount you’re able to save each month. You need to decide whether you want to use that $5,000 […]

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How a tight budget can be a blessing

by Karen on February 1, 2010

Three years ago, we moved to North Carolina with a small nest egg but no real plans. Tony had a job waiting for him (an extremely low-paying teaching assistantship), but I spent three months looking for a full-time job in my field before I starting working part-time. We were frugal out of necessity. it’s scary […]

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Learning to jump right back on the wagon

by Karen on January 26, 2010

This post originally ran on January 22, 2009. A year later, I’m still struggling to stay motivated, especially after temporary setbacks. Besides, I think we can all use a little encouragement as the novelty of New Year’s resolutions fades. These days, I’m thinking as much about fitness as I am about finance. I’m still working […]

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Using ING as our primary bank

by Karen on September 30, 2009

Yesterday, I wrote about our money management dilemma: when we keep extra money in our checking account, we’re more likely to overspend, but without a cushion we’re vulnerable to overdraft fees. We only keep enough money in checking to cover our living expenses, so I’d like a safety net to avoid fees if I make […]

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A little over a year ago, we moved most of our money into our savings account. We didn’t want to keep very much money in our checking aside from what we need to cover our monthly expenses. I decided to leave a $1,000 cushion in our checking account. The idea was that $1,000 would serve […]

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Why I’m happier on a tighter budget

by Karen on September 24, 2009

Yesterday I confessed that we kind of blew our budget this month. After a summer living on cash, we went a overboard once we started using our debit cards again. It wasn’t that we went completely nuts and totally disregarded our budget. It was much sneakier than that. It was a few things here and […]

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The beauty of a monthly budget

by Karen on September 23, 2009

When our no spend summer ended in August, I told myself we weren’t going to go overboard. I told myself we were going to keep our budget just as tight. I was wrong. Just as I feared, we went a little overboard for the past month. So overboard that it’s only the 23rd and we’ve […]

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Lessons learned from our no spend summer

by Karen on September 1, 2009

Is it really September 1st? It seems like just yesterday when I started no spend summer, but it’s been three months. Tony received his first paycheck of the school year at the end of last week, which means our experiment is over. But I have to be honest, it feels like it ended at the […]

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Tracking spending on a cash budget

by Karen on August 10, 2009

One of the top complaints I hear about cash budgeting is that it’s harder to track spending with cash. When you’re swiping a debit card, it’s easy for to track spending electronically. When you’re spending cash, there’s a little more work involved. I use Mint.com to set and track my budget. The idea of changing […]

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