What Is A Budget Retrospective And 3 Reasons You NEED It

    Budgeting is essential to successful money  management. You have to know how much money you have coming in, and what you’re going to do with it. Without doing that, you may forget about expenses, overspend, and accumulate debt. The tracking of income, expenses and spending is what most people think of when they hear the word budget. However, there’s another aspect of budgeting that many people don’t do. It can be called many things, but I like to call it a budget retrospective. A budget has a duration, although the length of a budget cycle may vary by […] Read more »

Using The Envelope Budgeting System On Vacation

Vacation can be a dangerous financial proposition, even for the most dedicated budget savvy family. One might be diligent in planning out their spending in day to day life, but going into vacation mode can lower a person’s guard. It’s easy to justify not wanting to put in the effort, to just want to relax, not worry about money, and believe everything is going to OK. This kind of lapse in financial judgment is exactly what I’m hoping to avoid. My family and I are headed out on a cross country road trip to Florida later this week. We’ll travel […] Read more »

A Wine Sale, A Blown Budget, and Lessons Learned

Even the most diligent of the financial savvy have an occasional lapse in monetary reason.  I don’t claim to be in the first category, but I can certainly identify with the latter.   When these scenarios play out in life, it’s important to identify what went wrong, what led us down that path, and how we can do better next time. Over the weekend my wife and I stopped by a liquor store that was having a wine tasting event.  The plan was to stop in to taste some new wines and picked up a bottle or two.  We did taste […] Read more »

Bad Things Happen and We Better be Prepared: How I Battled Cancer and Took Charge of Our Finances

On November 21, 2005, my life turned upside down. Just three and a half  months before that day I had given birth to my first and only child, my daughter Lily. My husband and I waited six years to start a family, planning so we would be ready.  But no matter how hard you try, sometimes all the planning in the world doesn’t prepare you for the unexpected. After Lily’s birth, my health started to fail. I finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I was told I had a mere 15 months to live […] Read more »

Will Boredom Bust Your Budget?

Has the unthinkable happened to you? You created a budget, even talked about it with your significant other. You determined the amount of discretionary funds available and how much you wished to spend, and carefully matched those funds to wants and needs. Yet end of the weekend analysis reminded you that somewhere along the way a decision was made to use funds outside the spending plan. How could that possibly be? The answer is simple; you spent out of boredom caused by lack of planning. This exact thing happened to my wife and I this weekend. We wanted to have […] Read more »

How to Become a Stay at Home Mom (or Dad!)- 16 Tips to Get Started

How to Become a Stay at Home Mom (or Dad!)- 16 Tips

Becoming a stay at home mom ( SAHM ) or dad is an important decision a lot of families struggle with.  Making the decision to stay at home with the kids while the other spouse works takes plenty of consideration and planning if you really want to make it a blessing for your family. If you don’t consider the advantages and disadvantages of staying home with the kids, you can very quickly end up stressed, unhappy and broke! How to Become a Stay at Home Mom (or Dad)! That’s where this post comes in! Below I’ll show you everything you […] Read more »

The Zen of Budgeting

zen of budgeting

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from my good friend Pauline of InvestmentZen.com. Pauline is a ‘budgeter extraordinaire’ and an investing maverick with considerable reputation in the personal finance community. Budgeting has always been like watching paint dry to me. My brain can’t get around it. I understand the main concept: spend less than you earn, and am pretty good at putting it in practice. But who really enjoys writing down they’ve been spending $0.47 on a stamp and $2.19 on celery? Not me, that’s for sure. And I don’t blame you either if you have been postponing budgeting […] Read more »

Why Being Frugal Is Pointless Unless You Crush Your Mortgage

I’m sure I’m not the only one around here that gets a lot of benefit reading the great tips and insightful behavioral issues that we all have with money here on Enemy Of Debt, however over the course of many years I’ve talked to a number of friends and family in confidence as well as read a lot about how people handle their finances and there is one HUGE pitfall that I’ve noticed almost everyone has. They all have tunnel vision. Most people are so busy, so concerned, so consumed with the immediate things in front of their eyes that […] Read more »

How Are You Wasting Your Money?

I like to re-evaluate all our expenses every couple of months to make sure we’re getting the most value for our money. Priorities and interest change over time, and therefore how we choose our money will change over time. Weeding out those monthly expenses that don’t add any enjoyment or use to our life will free up funds for activities that do. I went through one of these exercises over the weekend, and found several monthly expenses that we will should discuss whether continuing them is in our best interests: Magazine Subscription I had a subscription to Runner’s World for […] Read more »

Manage Your Finances: 5 Financial Lessons to Teach Your Younger Self

manage your finances

It is surprising that one of the most important life-skills every young adult needs – ho to manage your finances – is still not taught in school. Young people leave college with shiny new diplomas in fields like technology, marketing, medicine and law but start out in their careers without any financial management knowledge. As a result, many of these people enter their thirties and forties on a financially shaky footing, full of regret at the great number of financial mistakes they made, while wondering what could have been if they had made a few correct decisions earlier on in […] Read more »

My Daughter, A Shopping Mall Trip, and A Scary Situation

I had a scary situation with my teenaged daughter over the weekend with what happened during a shopping trip to the mall with her friends. It was touch and go for a few days, but I’m now confident that everything is going to be just fine. One of her friends asked her to go to the mall shopping on Friday afternoon. Between her allowance and Christmas gifts she had amassed a tidy sum of money.  She thought a shopping trip to get some new clothes would be a fun way to spend time with her friend. When she returned home […] Read more »

Nailing My Finances One Week At A Time

“When you are great you don’t focus on a week, When you are great you don’t focus on a month, When you are great you don’t focus on a year You focus on the 24 hours that are in front of you, and you NAIL it!” -Eric Thomas Or maybe focus on the weekend in front of you….? My wife and I went to a party supply store on Sunday morning to look for some wanted items for a wine and painting gathering she’s hosting next weekend. We purchased a number of items, and on the way to our van […] Read more »

How To Avoid The Monthly Payment Trap

The monthly payment trap is easy to fall into. I lived and breathed it for years. Analyzing whether we could afford something based upon whether we could make the monthly payment, not the actual price of whatever we were contemplating purchasing. I was reminded of this trap over the weekend when I was shopping for an iPad for my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law has been thinking of purchasing an iPad for quite some time, and last week she finally decided to make it happen. She texted me asking if I would do the shopping for her, since I’m familiar with the […] Read more »

Marriage And Finances: Compromise and Delayed Gratification

My wife is coordinating a ladies night out to take place mid-November. The original plan was for the group of women to start at our home, have dinner at a nearby restaurant, then head downtown to an art activities place to paint and drink wine. Since there will likely be alcohol involved, there was some discussion about safe transportation. My wife began investigating the option of renting a party bus. After talking to several party bus companies and comparing services, options, and prices she gravitated towards one specific services. Even the cheapest service was rather expensive, but my wife was […] Read more »