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Budgeting 101

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Are you a budgeting beginner? Learn the basics of planning your personal finances.
  1. Budgeting 101
  2. Budgeting Worksheets
  3. What's a Want and What's a Need?
  4. Money Through Your Life
  5. Budgeting for Big-Picture Thinkers

Budgeting 101

Learn how to create a paper-and-pencil budget. Discover how you can plan for expenses that pop up occasionally -- like once a year, once a decade or once-in-a-lifetime.

Budgeting Worksheets

Let's get interactive! These worksheets will help you track your income and expenses and save for future goals.

What's a Want and What's a Need?

One of the toughest aspects of budgeting and financial planning is distinguishing "wants" from "needs." Is home internet a want or a need? What about pet-related supplies?

Even within spending categories, the wants vs. needs line is fuzzy. "Groceries" seems like a need, until you start scrutinizing the receipt. Then you'll see that bread is a need but cookies are a want.

How can you distinguish between wants and needs? And how much of your income should be spend on wants vs. needs? Learn here.

Money Through Your Life

Learn how to make big-picture money decisions that guide your life. The articles in this section deal with conceptually creating a vision about your life, rather than nitty-gritty planning.

Budgeting for Big-Picture Thinkers

You're not a detail-oriented type of person. You don't like the idea of having a strict, line-itemed budget. You get a headache when you look at budgeting worksheets that ask you to break down your spending into dozens of categories. How can you effectively manage a budget without creating a line-itemed, detail-oriented list? Here are some budgeting tips for people who tend to be big-picture thinkers.

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