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Frequently Asked Questions about Budgets

Answers to Some Common Budget-Related FAQ's

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If life were predictable, budgeting would be a piece of cake. But life often hurls unexpected events in your direction - and that can derail even the best of budgets.

Here are answers to three of the most common questions about how to make your budget apply to the real world.

How Do I Budget for One-Time Expenses? Not every bill will fall neatly into your "monthly expenses" category. You'll need to budget for occasional costs, like holidays and dentist bills, as well as emergencies and unexpected events.

How Can I Track My Many Savings Goals? You might find lots of reasons to save: you're simultaneously putting money away for retirement, for paying your annual property taxes, for a trip to California and for your children's college fund. How can you track your progress towards all these different goals?

Does It Cost Anything to Make a Budget? There are so many spreadsheets, software programs and tools designed to help people make personal budgets -- how much can I expect this to cost?

How Much Do I Need To Retire? Are you unsure of how much money you'll need to save in order to retire? This article can help you figure it out. Also, these two rules of thumb -- the Multiply by 25 rule and the 4 percent rule -- can help you plan for your retirement.

What's an Emergency Fund? If you read money management books or websites, you've probably heard the term "emergency fund" thrown around. What's an emergency fund, and why do you need one?

What Are The MOST IMPORTANT Items I Should Budget For? If you feel overwhelmed by the number of things you ought to save for -- a wedding, a new refrigerator -- then take a deep breathe and focus on these few, critical, top-priority items.

How Can I Earn More Money? Job not paying you enough? Trying to earn a few extra bucks while you're still in school? Check out these side-income opportunities that you can do on the evenings and weekends.

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