Money Saving Links: 3/22/07

03.22.07 | Money | 0 Comments | by junger

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Budgeting is huge.

It's the number one way to immediately start saving money. It gets you organized. It gets you thinking about money.

But most of all, it really shows you where you are in terms of your spending (it's the power of context.) Once you know where you are, you better know what you need to do to get where you want to be.

To show the importance of budgeting, today's links all have to do with tracking your money.

Consumerist's 9-Step Beginner's Budget
- The Consumerist

Are you a budget novice? Constantly overdrafting? Never have enough money to buy what you really want?

After trial and error, we developed a pretty good Excel system. We never overdraft. We can plan ahead for big-ticket items. Our savings are in the five digits.

Inside, we're sharing with you what we learned the hard way. And in 9 easy steps, you'll be managing your money instead of your money managing you — without spending a dime on a fancy-pants a counting program…

Oh Nos! Not The B-Word! - Make Love, Not Debt

Since we know we have a lot of this cash in the bank, we've tended towards laziness and a false sense of security. We both sat down and agreed that our spending was getting a little out of control, and came to the conclusion that The Force wasn't working for us.

So this past weekend I sat down with Microsoft Money 2005 (obtained for free two years ago when I bought TaxCut), used maybe a half a dozen times since we obtained it. I'm still learning it, and hope that it can be the budgeting tool that works for us.

Nickel-and-Diming Your Way To Riches, if That's Your Thing - The Wall Street Journal (via AllFinancialMatters)

Consider Dan Goldzband, a cost accountant in San Diego. He has his paycheck deposited directly into a high-yield savings account, where the money sits until he transfers it to his checking account to pay bills. His reward: $35 to $85 in interest each month.

"My checking-account balance rarely exceeds $100," Mr. Goldzband says. "If it does for more than a couple of days, I am doing something wrong. Of course, only a compulsive like me could make this work. But the general idea, less rigorously applied, would still work for many people."

Don't have much money in your savings account? No problem. Maestros will borrow from credit cards with 0% introductory rates and then use the money to earn a little interest, often stashing the cash at EmigrantDirect, HSBC Direct or one of the other banks with high-yield online savings accounts.

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