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Budgeting 101

Budgeting is the key to managing your personal finances. Learn how to create a realistic budget. View a variety of sample budgets, learn how to track your income and expenses, budget for goals and become more aware of your spending.
  1. Budget Worksheets (3)
  2. Tax Budgeting (12)

How to Create Your First Budget in 9 Steps
Budgeting is the cornerstone to being on solid financial footing. Budgets help you save for goals, pay off debt and feel more confident about your financial direction.

3 Ingredients of a Successful Budget
What are the key ingredients of a successful budget? What qualities cause some budgets to succeed and other budgets to fail?

How Many Budgeting Techniques Can You Choose From?
There are dozens of different budgeting styles and techniques that suit a variety of tastes.

Budget Worksheets
Want to create a budget? These worksheets will walk you through making a budget with detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Don't Like Tracking Expenses? Try the 80/20 Budget
The 50/30/20 budget is popular, but it demands that you track your expenses. Don't want to do that? Try an even easier approach: the 80/20 budget.

Frequently Asked Questions about Budgets
Curious about managing your money and making a budget? Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked budgeting questions.

Eleven Solid Financial Rules to Help You Build Wealth
There's a lot of money advice floating around. What's the most important? This article outlines 11 rules for building wealth.

Try the Simple 5-Category Budget
Want a budget that's not too specific, but not too broad? Use the 5-category budget.

How Do I Budget for One-Time Expenses?
Irregular expenses are always emerging: you'll need to visit the dentist, buy gifts for your cousin's wedding or replace the tires on your car. Some of these you can predict, but some you can't. How do you budget for this?

Jean Chatzky Discusses Budgeting, Retirement, and Nearing Her 50's
Today Show financial editor Jean Chatzky picks up the phone to share her thoughts with About.com on retirement planning, paper-and-pencil budgets, and nearing age 50.

The Single-Envelope Budgeting Method
Looking for a simple way to budget? Tired of how traditional budgeting methods allow you to overspend? Try the single-envelope strategy, which prevents you from spending beyond your means. It's also virtually effortless -- no complex classifying required!

What’s a Want and What’s a Need?
The 50/30/20 Rule says to spend 50 percent on needs and 30 percent on wants. But what's a want? What's a need? Is internet a want or a need? What about fixing a dent in your bumper? This article looks at the fuzzy line between "wants" and "needs."

How to Budget for Occasional Expenses
Don't get caught off-guard by unexpected expenses. Learn how to anticipate once-a-year, once-a-decade and once-in-a-lifetime costs.

Intro to Financial Planning
Are you a budgeting beginner? Learn the basics of financial planning.

Use Different Accounts for Each Major Purchase Category
You don’t like the idea of documenting every penny manually. Is there an automatic way to track expenses, other than software or websites? Yes. You can use different credit/debit cards and bank accounts for various types of purchases.

Are There Multiple Ways to Budget?
There isn't a one-size-fits-all formula for creating a budget. There are plenty of options for how to track your money; your job is to learn about a variety of tactics so that you can select the strategy that best suits your personality, taste and financial position.

Here's a Highly Unusual Approach to Budgeting ...
Most people create a budget by culling their spending habits to fit their income. But here's an unusual approach: decide how much you want to spend. Then force your income to match your spending desires. Learn the pro's and con's of these two methods.

The ABC Budgeting Method: A Simple, 3-Step Plan for Money Management
The ABC budgeting method is a simple, three-step plan to help you manage your money, pay your bills, set aside savings, and stick to your budget.

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