Tag Archives: Inspiration

How to Budget for a Baby

The concept of opportunity cost alluded to above is extremely important in financial management; in fact, some commentators would contend that it is the single most important concept.

– Jim McMenamin

This post is not going to be a general guide to baby related expenses. Instead, this article will be just a simple warning to prospective parents not to miss what might be one of your biggest expenses, and yet ironically, the one you might totally overlook.

How to Budget for Retirement

Before you spend, earn.
Before you invest, investigate.
Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.

– William Arthur Ward

The Magic Number

Whole books have been written about how much money is needed to retire. Many websites have retirement calculators that will tell you how much you need to retire. This is the so-called magic number – the net worth you will need to retire. Based on this number, many calculators will even tell you how much you should be saving for retirement or how much you should be contributing to your (subsidized) savings plan. Other apps will calculate your retirement risk. They may calculate the odds that you will run out of money in retirement by a certain age, or they may tell you what investment mix provides the optimal risk for you. In order to properly discuss the magic number, we will need a little background information.

How to Budget for a Wedding

Perfection is attained not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The average cost of a wedding is now about €25,000. Many couples spend significantly more. Clearly this is a large sum of money and a good candidate for a budget review. Yet unlike a vacation, it is not quite so easy to restrict wedding expenses into a tight budget. First of all, most people expect (or at least hope) that their wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which is worthy of a once-in-a-lifetime expense. Second, wedding expenses involve a diverse set of emotional items, from childhood dreams to family traditions to social expectations.

Learning Budgeting from Children

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.

— Haim Ginott

A few years ago, we were vacationing for two weeks. At the end of the first day, we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The weather was great, the coastline was beautiful and meals were delicious. However, there was one big problem.

All About Choices

Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.

— Robert Bennett

Every single day of our lives, we are faced with a barrage of spending decisions. Sometimes it can be almost overwhelming. Are we in control of our spending? Or is our spending in control of us? Even those of us who do not feel like we are “out of control” nonetheless often feel like our spending decisions are not always explainable. Why do we say “yes” to certain purchases one month and then “no” to the same purchases the next month? Why do our choices on some occasions seem almost arbitrary?

Create a Framework for Budgeting

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations.

— Charles Kettering

In the first part of this series on budgeting, we discussed the importance of starting the budget process by looking at the big picture. Now let us try to bring those lofty ideals down to earth. When we asked ourselves significant questions about life (listed in the previous article), we found that some of the things that were important to us were the follwing.

Three Things we do not Learn in School

They did not teach us the most important skills in life. There are three areas which are completely overlooked by all western public teaching systems. What a pity that those areas are the ones that are most likely to determine your success, fulfillment and happiness in life.

Start Budgeting!

Budgeting awakes many negative associations. No wonder that one-third of people do not budget at all and two-third say they are unsuccessful at budgeting. Household budgeting often stands for fantasy, guiltiness, irrelevance or negativity.

Why Delay Spending?

Starbucks Coffee
Yesterday we were reading one typical blog post where someone discussed how he had exit the consumerism. As proof, the blogger does not purchase daily morning coffee at Starbucks for €4 like his colleagues anymore. The article was mainly about how the money saved from not buying coffee will produce gobs of money that will eventually enable him to retire early. Is this the right way to think about delayed spending?

Education & Earnings

Starting Point
To be financial independent, you must accumulate wealth to let is work for you. Obvious way to do this is to save money by spending less money than you earn. That is not the only way to do so (eventually not even the best way). But, it is the most straightforward method. Based on that, main focus should be on income.