Finance & Budgeting Self Improvement Wise Budgeting

Wise Budgeting Begins With Being Empowered with Self-Awareness

My last post was how so many of us are driven by the impression they want to leave. It told how you have to be true to yourself and don’t worry about impressing others. Fact is, they may not even now you. But you know yourself, and you need to realize the only one you need to impress is YOU! Unless you get off that need to impress others, you will always be lost in the journey of your life.

Wise budgeting begins with being empowered with self-awareness. From this point you gain your strength and confidence where good things happen. Let’s begin…

Where Are You Right Now Financially

I thought I was either doing okay or not really sure, I now realize I was lost and no matter how hard I tried to get out of debt – I kept digging myself in deeper. I was living at home with my parents and siblings, afraid I would never really be able to ever live on my own and experience life. In 2008, I remember getting a call from somewhere saying there was a warrant for my arrest and if I did not do as they said they were coming for me. It scared me, and I wrote a note to my little sister before heading out to work that night saying I did not know what was going to happen, but I wanted her to know and share that I loved everyone very much.

A few days later I was out shovelling snow, and my stepdad came out to join me, but not to shovel. He wanted to talk about the note and offer some valuable advice that changed my life that day forward. Years of struggling, I finally realized I needed to get my financial act in order. Today I have my own place, and I owe it all to my stepdad’s wisdom. The one line that stands out today is “of all people, I always thought you and Christa (my youngest sister) would make it in this world.” To hear this really made me take another look at everything I was doing.

Where Does Your Money Go?

Honestly, I had no idea where my money was going or what it was doing. I was letting it run amuck all by itself. I was trusting it, which many of us I think do and realized in doing so, my money got me lost. That night I took out all my bills and receipts and made a list of everything I had bought or paid for to date that month. From this list I was able to assemble my first category of expenses and what I was spending for that month in each,

Then I took and made a list of income I was receiving for the month – I suddenly realized I was living on credit. Credit is future money. This was future money already spent now and it was growing. What was I to do now, I had already got a loan and refused the second time I applied, so I borrowed from my stepdad and to pay him off, I had taken a job waitressing back in October of 1989.

Do You Have a Basic Starter Emergency Fund?

Over the years since I started budgeting I have learned so much about myself. One thing I encourage everyone to have is an Emergency Fund. I am an avid follower of Dave Ramsey, and if you don’t have this – get that basic starter emergency fund in action FAST! He says $1,000; I say you have about $2000-2500 in this fund. Open a special savings or IRA and work on funding this as soon as possible. The feeling of having such an account with cash in it is so incredibly refreshing.

Once you have that in progress, you need to begin framing your basic beginners budget. Understand that a budget is NOT cast in stone and flexible, as you will learn.

Framing Your Basic Beginnners Budget

As you set up the four basic categories for your budget not which accounts are current and which ones are not current. You must bring everything up to current status. This means noting current payments and past due statuses on all your expenses. I recommend starting iwth four folders- each representing on of the four categories of expenses. These categories are:


Wise Budgeting: Are You Ready? Let’s You Do It!

This is the basic journey to wise budgeting that begins empowering you with self-awareness. Knowing exactly what you have and where it is going all the time. Being focused with a new understanding as to who you are and what you want to accomplish for your family and yourself down the road. Wise budgeting lets you do it and follow the right road to financial success to true happiness.

Budgeting in Tough Times Finance & Budgeting Handling Our Finances

3 Great Ways To Budget Your Way to Prosperity

If only I knew back in my earlier years what I know now, it doesn’t matter how much money we make or have to spend that counts – it is more simply that you need to budget your way to a prosperous future. Hopefully by the end of this article you will have a better turning point that will get you there. Right now you may be feeling stressed stuck at home, no work and collecting unemployment – you are wondering, how are we going to make it? Well, dear, don’t blame the current situation and get stressed. Use your time to reorganize and reshape your family’s pocketbook.

Let’s outline four steps that will definitely help you take back control of your finances and help you breathe easier:

Take A Good Look At Your Household Finances

You have heard you should never put all your eggs in one basket. Same for your budget – you need to see it from different perspectives. I have come to rely on YNAB (short for, You Need A Budget) for my general monthly budgeting and management. It has helped me to take back control and see where my money has been wandering off too. I have tried other programs and keep coming back. One thing bothered me however, my current expenses are being paid and minimum debt. Retired now, this scares me seeing debt and realizing I may never see -0- debt until I am well past eighty.

Don’t Let Frustration Get the Best of You!

So now I had to come up with a plan for the debt portion. My goal to eliminate as quickly and painlessly as possible. One thing the pandemic did was give me time on some debt by taking a forbearance on my student loans. Some days I ponder if that was the right move, but when I tried to work out a deal with Home Depot I was met with much resistance, It was when they hit me with a walloping interest in the middle of this crisis I decided I had to find another way,

Before You File Bankruptcy – STOP AND TAKE A BREATH!

Being Never one to go forward with a bankruptcy mark on my head, I decided to look at my debt and come up with a plan. I saw an ad for Freedom Debt Relief and decided to call. I instantly felt a calm come over me as the lady told me that they could take 6-7 cards off my plate, and still leave me with four to manage on my own. I held my breath a moment as she got ready to tell me what I would have to pay and when she asked me how $278 a month sounded I let out a big sigh. I could afford that, and the best was yet to come – she told me to pay that every month and I will graduate from the program in four years – DEBT FREE! Yet, I would still have four cards available to help rebuild my credit on the right foot,

If you are struggling with debt, call Freedom Debt Relief at 800-655-6303 and speak with an agent. Follow the plan they set up for you, and focus on that celebration at the end of the program when you are debt free and in control.

Reach out to the Albert Geniuses to Help You Save More

Well I got to thinking further and one night I was checking the apps on my phone, and realized I was not using one to what seemed like its full advantage. I had downloaded this in the Spring of 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. I have come to trust the staff that is behind the scenes there to give advice to its members with the Albert App, Now, not only am I current with my monthly bills – but getting rid of 6-7 cards, AND realized that Albert is helping me SAVE an extra $200 a month in an Albert savings account.

Relax Now! Your are on the road to Financial Freedom!

I am delighted to think that due to the pandemic something good is coming out of it – I will have $1,000 saved with Albert in an emergency fund that only took six months, and that I know will be possible to double that in a years time. It is possible I will have not only my debts under control – but also, I am hoping to have saved $10,000 with Albert. I am delighted I have finally learned how to budget, pay my bills and save – now I have one more hurdle to master, and it scares me.

As the New Year dawns on 2021, I am making a resolution to utilize the investing option on Albert and learn how to be a smart investor without losing all I am working hard to aspire, I am learning what young people need to realize before they get too old; but also realizing that we are never too old to learn and change the patterns of our life to better ourselves, .

I’m closing in on my financial goals with help from the geniuses at Albert. Now try it for yourself! Sign up with my link and you’ll get free cash.













Finance & Budgeting Home-based Businesses Self Improvement

Home-Based Businesses Are For Everyone

You are the steward of the life God gave you. You need to work hard to identify what expenses you have and what you have coming in. Categorize it into categories – current monthly bills you need to pay to keep a roof over your head, food in your stomach, clothing on your back, and heat to keep warm. Next your true bills and these are all the other bills you pay either monthly, annually or one-time. Lastly you add in all your debt smallest to the largest balance owed. Once you get those all together, put Tithing at the very top over it all, followed by YOU!

Reality is not always as we think it should be                                                                                                                  

You can retire on and collect a pension the rest of your life. If that is all you have, you will struggle for the remainder of your life. You need to have a home business to supplement your income. Listen to this video and your will understand the secret to success. Dr. Lynn Richardson understands from her personal experience just as I have, and we are continually working on our financial education to get better.

You need to make YOURSELF a home-based business                                                                                       

Small businesses are the essence of rebuilding the economy. Home-based business are small businesses that anyone can get involved in – there is not age limit, it’s not sexist, and it does not discriminate. One thing I have come to realize during this pandemic is how we need to learn to get better at managing our finances no matter how old we are. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, freelancers make perfect home-based businesses that everyone can do who want to learn and follow the rules from document everything. Bet you didn’t know that you can get back all their money you put out just by being a home-based business.

Ask yourself the question, and give it purpose

What do I do? I am a financial consultant, doing business as Wise Budgeting with Donna, to help you take better control of your personal finances and help you to take control to make every dollar work for you. When you subscribe to my website here, you support my endeavors and are willing to be coached to learn more about your money and spending habits. This is a great time to help you learn to move forward in this pandemic that will help you do better when we go back to our new normal normalcy.

Now it’s your turn…

Now go watch the video here. Subscribe to Wise Budgeting with Donna, and be willing to learn from the best – we will have classes here eventually, but for now why not check out all Dr. Lynn Richardson’s classes and resources at –

Finance & Budgeting Personal Financial Advise

Change Your Ways to Saving with CHANGE

Time to Change Your Ways

I have heard people say they don’t like to collect a lot of change. Perhaps they find it too cumbersome, however it can change your life and add more value to your bottom line. Starting today we will begin making all that loose change your new best friend for life. It is time to change your ways and realize though small in value individually, collectively it can mount up to Saved change vessela good size savings or emergency account.

Set a New Routine

The first thing you must do is set a new routine to help you do this and manage all that change that gathers around, especially in the bottom of our pocketbooks for you ladies out there. Go find some old container now that would make a perfect thing to collect your loose change every day and put it where you will remember to unload your coinage every day. Here I have chosen an old pitcher that is chipped at the top, and put it on the back of my counter or laundry shelf or somewhere you will be reminded to stop and drop in your change for the day.

Reap the Benefit of Saving with Change

Once a week, or every other week, dump the contents into something like a money bag that is sturdy and can withstand the weight of a lot of change. Put the money bag away, perhaps in an underwear drawer away from temptation to dip into it. Now you have made room to collect more change in that pitcher for the remainder of the month.

Make Monthly Deposit to Your Savings

The last day of the month, empty the pitcher once more into the money bag to leave it empty and fresh to start the next month. Find a bank near you where you can open a “savings only” account and gives you some interest to build up as you put more and more change in. Also, one where they may have a coin counter to count the change for you and then deposit it into your new account.

Tracking Change is a Measurable Goal

Like anything we attempt to change, always make sure it has a measurable benefit. To change your ways abo

ut saving Change is just that – very measurable and rewarding. Get a check register from the bank and start with your initial monthly deposit, adding the amount of change and calculating the current new balance with every monthly deposit. If you collect and deposit just $50 a month, and deposit it into your new savings, that is $600 a year. In ten years you will have $6,000 in your savings change fund. So you see, change is more valuable as it collects with other change.

While you are at it, why not make it a family affair and see who can save the most in a year. The winner may get $5-10 from each of the other members funds to add to theirs; and the process then would begin a new year. Make it a fun challenge for all members of your family.

What a fun way to start saving for your emergency fund and just see how high you can get it – all simply by saving your loose change every day.

Now, let’s hear your thoughts and progress on the subject of saving loose change.


Finance & Budgeting

Homeownership For Low Income Persons Is Possible

Honestly, when you are struggling financially and living at home still with your parents owning your own home is just a dream you hope to attain but feel will never be reached. Budgeting helps you improve your score. It makes life a lot brighter and you begin to see that homeownership for low-income persons is possible, but takes some work to achieve. If you haven’t pulled your credit score and report yet, do so – pick one of the reporting bureaus to check and review. Only do one every three to four months. Be sure to get your score with the report.

First, Know your Credit Score

Your score must fall into one of the following levels:

  • 720 and higher = very good
  • 680 to 719 = good
  • 640 to 679 = fair
  • 580 to 639 = poor
  • 579 or lower = badIf you fall between 640 and lower, you have some work today – grab your credit report you just pulled up and copied and begin reviewing. Make sure you have a highlighter to mark anything on your report that looks suspicious or problematic. I pulled my Equifax report first, and the score was slightly below 640 – so I know I have some work to do scrutinizing the report very closely with marker and pen in hand.


Second, Know the Home Loan Availability to Your FICO Score

Here is a list of loans available and the FICO score estimate attached for the best results. However, no guarantees – you must be pre-qualified to receive one of them:

  • FHA Loan – 580+ credit score (500-579 score is possible but unlikely)
  • VA Loan – 620+ credit score (some lenders require 580)
  • USDA Loan – 640+ credit score FHA 203K Loan – 620+ credit score
  • Conventional Loan – 620+ credit score

Then, Get Pre-Approved before Looking

Most all real estate agencies have a loan agent on staff or know of one, who you can use to get started. When you are pre-approved you know what your price range is and are aware of your limits. When I graduated from High School I had a goal in mind, if I had not married and had children by 40 I would get my first home. Well, I never anticipated the damage credit cards can do back then, so when I hit 40 I was a prisoner of debt. Sadly I had to accept the fact that I may never get my own place, but at least I had my mom there – her faith and love for her children was what kept me going.

After her untimely death in 2001 due to diabetic complications, I went into my third and thank God final (I hope) down turn. It was my stepdad that gave me the inspiration to find a way for ‘he always saw me ‘as one to achieve’ and now had I let him down? Well, I couldn’t let that happen and found a way, for which I am now trying to help others.

So, now that I have digressed here – make sure you get pre-approved and know what you can and cannot afford.

Finally, Yes! There is a Home Out there for you too!

Now almost 20 years later, I have that home of my own and all the worries that go with it. Loving it though! ;} My only regret is I wish I had done it sooner while mom was still alive – she would have had fun helping me fix it up. Today I own my first real home – a manufactured one but I love it, in the town of Kingston, Massachusetts. So, you see it is possible – but you always need a budget and hard work to keep things going. Oh yes, and have a close walk with God.


Now, Let’s Hear Your Story! Are You Still Struggling?

I hope this has given some hope and inspiration to never give up on your dreams. They are still possible, but like anything take a lot of work and endurance, as well as patience. Now maintaining the budget, well that ensures it will never be taken away. If you have any questions, please leave them with your comments below.