Tag Archives: problem

Prepare to Die

Okay so admittedly the title of this post is extremely morbid for a personal finance blog. However I really wanted to draw attention to this subject and have the title hit straight at the point. Over this past weekend I went to a memorial service for a family friend that was 43 years old when he passed. He choked on some food that he was eating one evening. That’s it. That’s how simple and quick it was. He left a 24-year-old son and many family and friends. Seeing all of this got me thinking about what it takes to prepare for death. It is very important that you realize you need to get things in order for the day that you are no longer a living member of our world. This applies to adults of all ages and family situations. If you do not make preparations, you leave it in the hands of grieving friends and family or worse yet, the government.

Zero Based Budgeting - Prepare To Die (image from Flickr by pasukaru76)At least you should have the following items in order:

  • Your will and testament
  • Life insurance
  • A listing of all your accounts
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Variable Expenses

I recently posted how to budget for variable income. Now I want to discuss a related subject, variable expenses. Budgeting for variable expenses frustrates people just as much as inconsistent income.

I have noticed since starting zero based budgeting that my fear of variable expenses has dramatically decreased. I attribute most of this anxiety decrease to gradual learning about where I spend my money. Each budget that I go through teaches me a little more about my routine finances and gives an idea where to make adjustments in future budgets.

Free Zero Based Budget - Variable Expenses. Image from Flickr by basykesA few examples of variable expenses:

  • Groceries
  • Medical
  • Gasoline
  • Electricity

There are of course many others, but those listed above apply to a large amount of people.

Groceries are probably the easiest to control. You know exactly how many mouths you have to feed and you typically know how many days you do that for. In my case, it’s 5 mouths and a two-week pay period. What you do not know are the variances in price, what’s on sale, etc.

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Variable Income

Zero Based Budgeting with Variable IncomeWho is this post for?

  • Salesman on commission
  • Business Owners
  • Anyone who doesn’t get paid on a regular schedule

A common problem in personal budgeting is dealing with variable income. Variable Income makes budgeting a really confusing and frustrating topic for people trying to get a handle on their personal finances. Whether you are in sales receiving commissions or you run your own business where your pay varies, zero based budgeting can still work for you.

However you won’t budget by month or every two weeks. You will only be able to budget as far ahead as known.

This is precisely why our budget tool does not need you to enter a pay frequency or select a pay period. We simply have a pay period date. This allows you to choose when the budget starts. You could literally make a new budget every morning when you wake up (if you were so inclined).

If you know you are receiving pay tomorrow and know how much, sit down that night and work out the zero based budget for that income. If you don’t know or have time to do the budget before you receive the income, then do it as soon as possible after receiving the money. The key is to make the decisions before the money and time decide for you.

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