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My Product & Service Reviews

I cannot recommend anything I have not tried myself or looked into thoroughly to give a good recommendation for or against something, so all reviews here are from my heart.  Whether it is a positive or negative experience, it is mine – and you could very well have an alternative experience.  I hope you will leave your own review and comments on your experience.

In this way people visiting get a well-rounded look to make a better, and more educated decision for themselves.

You Need A Budget Review – 4 Simple Rules Is All You Need

Product: You Need A Budget (AKA – YNAB) Price: Free fir 34-day Trial Period; then pay a small annual fee Where Can You Try it Out: https://www.youneedabudget.com/

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Product Overviews:

When I was at my lowest, I realized I needed a way to keep track of my finances that was simple and easy. I have tried many and seem to always come back to Jesse Meecham’s program, “You Need A Budget”. program as it works best for me.

You learn the four simple rules of budgeting.

  1. Give Every Dollar a Job.
  2. Embrace Your True Expenses.
  3. Roll with the Punches
  4. Age Your Money

Benefit of the Software

  • It gives you structural support 24-7 via their website.
  • Online training is always available 24-7 for any situation that could come up.

YNAB5 is a stop up in the web-based online application making it easy to sync your accounts ao you always now where you are. Some banks may not work, but you can still enter them manually. They have also added an Inspector to the budget to further make it easy for you to use the software. Nice clean layout.

I hopeyou enjoyed this review and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or your own personal review below.  

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Affiliate Policy

In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission released their new rules for Disclosure Compliance. These rules are set in place to ensure that readers or viewers of web media (blogs, Youtube videos, etc.) know if the blogger/presenter is sponsored, endorsed, or partnered with a different company. In blog terms, the readers need to know if the blogger is making money by sharing a link or product.

In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site: Any/all of the links at “Wise Budgeting with Donna” are affiliate links of which I receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.

What are affiliate links?

Purchases are made on external affiliate company websites: When a reader clicks on an affiliate link located on .com to purchase an item, the reader buys the item from the seller directly (not from Wise Budgeting with Donna) Amazon and/or other companies pay Wise Budgeting with Donna  a small commission or other compensation for promoting their website or products through their affiliate program.

Prices are exactly the same for you if your purchase is through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link. You will not pay more by clicking through to the link.

I use two main types of affiliate programs:

1. Amazon affiliate links.

Wise Budgeting with Donna is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

If a blogger links to an Amazon product (with a special code for affiliates embedded in the link), and a reader places an item in their “shopping cart” through that link within 24 hours of clicking the link, the blogger gets a small percentage of the sale. Amazon links are not “pay per click.” If you click on the product link and stay around Amazon and purchase something else, however, I will get commission on that sale.

Anytime you see a link that looks like a store.com/… or amazon.com… it can be assumed that it is an Amazon affiliate link.

2. Product affiliate links.

These affiliate links work the same way: if you click the link and buy the product, then the blogger gets a percentage of the sale or some other type of compensation. Things like e-book bundles, e-courses, and online packages are usually affiliate links, as well. Again, prices are not different if you use these affiliate links. You will not pay more by clicking through to the link. These links are not “pay per click”, unless otherwise denoted.

What about sponsored content?

I do not write sponsored posts. I want to bring you real, unbiased information. However, if a post is sponsored by a company and it is a paid sponsorship, I will disclose this clearly in the beginning of the post.

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Budgeting in Tough Times Master Your Budget

Preparing A Zero-Base Budget for September

The bills have been paid for August – it’s now the 29th. Pension check will be received in another day or so. To prepare s zero-base budget for September you enter the balance you are carrying over from the previous month (August) and any monies you receive on the first of each month, if any.

Retired? Start with Your Pension Amount

In my worksheet I start with my pension amount at top of the income portion of the sheet, then I post payments for the current (fixed) costs which I make it a point to pay each month for basic essentials. These fixed costs I need up to date include, but are not limited to, mortgage, property rent, utilities, food, etc. This way I ensure my basic needs are met as the new month commences.

Supplementing Your Income

However, other incidentals come along and you need to account for those as well. DO NOT rely on credit to meet these needs. In doing that you set yourself up for stress and frustration, sometimes even tears, fortunately I still hold a part time job as a waitress. Just a day or two a week can make a lot of difference.

List out ALL your credit accounts from lowest to highest and post it over your desk where you work on your budget. To the left of the credit name you should put the due date for each one, and then to the right put the total amount you owe. Once you have that done, put the MINIMUM you must pay each month to keep the account current to the right of the total you owe. Total up ALL the minimum balances due for the month – this is what you need to supplement your income to keep your creditors happy.

In Case Emergency Strikes…

Now that your main bills are paid for the month, and the minimum payments have been met on all your credit accounts; take a moment to put cash into a separate account, preferably savings, and RESIST TEMPTATION to touch it. This is an account if you DO touch, you MUST replenish. This is crucial and is the first baby step towards success. Dave Ramsey, the founder of Financial Peace University, says we need to set our initial goal to have $1,000 in this fund for starters – I lean more towards having $2,000 for greater peace of mind.

If you put just $25.00 a month into this account from supplemental income or after all your fixed expenses have been met and minimum credit accounts paid for the month – you will have achieved $300 in this by year-end. Though small, this will get you into the habit of saving. The chart shows how the more you set as your monthly investment in yourself the faster you will get to either $1,000 or $2,000.

Well, It’s Time to Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

As you see it takes time to learn to live within your means, and you will master this skill over time until it becomes second nature. We must learn to do things differently in life, and find new ways to amuse ourselves that steer us away from those deadly credit cards. If you didn’t noticed by purposely managing our funds so you put a little away in savings each month, you are not just living WITHIN YOUR MEANS, YOUR ARE LIVING BENEATH YOURS MEANS.

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Master Your Budget

How Do Budgets Work?

Before credit cards were part of society’s mainstream purchase method, people paid for products and services in two main ways – either they bartered or they paid cash. In both these cases, they owned what they traded for or bought. Here are four things that budgets do:

1. Allow people to be more focused financially

Before I really got into budgeting and focusing on where my income was going, I would pull out my credit card if I saw something just to have whatever it was I thought I needed. I guess you would say I thought of credit as extra cash in my pocket – whoa, was I wrong!

When I really started focusing on my finances, was later in life. Your income and expenses must balance. Credit is an expense. You need to make sure all your current bills are paid FIRST, then the minimums of all your credit cards except for one, the least amount that you work to pay off FIRST – then rolling what you allocate to be paid until paid off for that card you roll the amount into the next one on the list in addition to the minimum you are paying, and so forth down the line.

2. Give your income dollars jobs to do

You don’t have to wait until next year to start budgeting. You should start next months budget at least a week of two before the next month begins. This way you have the current months bills paid, and are now getting ready for the next month, There are several good budgeting programs out there – some even for FREE. One I personally use is called “You Need A Budget (YNAB)” as I find it extremely customizable and easy to use. I have tried others, but always come back to this one.

3. Gives you greater chance to save more

Okay, you are focused and giving your income dollars jobs within your budget to do – one job first aBudgetingnd foremost is to have a savings account for EMERGENCIES only and work on saving $1,000 – 2,000 in this account. Don’t touch it! It is NOT AN EMERGENCY to have your nails and hair done; those are flexible expenses that need to be part of your main budget.

Recently this account came in handy when I had major automotive work done amounting to $900.00 – I did not have to put it on my credit card. However, tapping into these savings you MUST repay yourself every month until you bring the account back up to the $1,000 – 2,000 level. The good part is – it is YOUR money, you won’t be calling yourself if you are late paying it back and you won’t get hit with exorbitant interest charges.

4. Brings you greater enjoyment & less stress in your life

All in all, these are good reasons we all need to be budgeting and using less credit. I personally find budgeting brings greater enjoyment back into life and less stress. I never realized before all the things we can do that don’t cost and arm and a leg to entertain ourselves.

It’s important to communicate with every member of your family

When you are looking for a good budgeting program, easy of use and understanding is key. God forbid something happens to you, your spouse or child or someone else should be able to go in and keep everything paid until you are able to take over again. This is why it is important that you communicate financially speaking with every member of your family.

Well, hopefully this article has given you some good positive ways and answers the question you may be wondering, just how do budgets work. I look forward to hearing your comments and opinions.