A topic frequently covered by personal finance bloggers is “budgeting.” (I’ve already commented on another dominant yet misguided topic: “How to improve your credit score.”) I read a post last week by a blogger who claimed to have a budget while saying that she hated budgeting. I think her “I hate budgeting” feeling trumped the “I have a budget” pronouncement because the numbers she reported were budget busters, both wide and deep. I’m not going to call her out by linking to her post. There isn’t much worth reading over there anyway unless you are the type that likes to stare at accident scenes. Read more
We all have monthly bills to pay. It can be an emotionally painful ordeal to pay those recurring obligations for months on end. Sometimes we have to reach and stretch to make the money last the full month.
What do you feel and say to yourself after you have paid all of your monthly bills? Read more
This post is about simple things that a not so rich person can do to feel wealthy. Read more
Being frugal, particularly in times of economic stress, is certainly a common and effective strategy that many use to achieve a financial goal. In my opinion, frugalism should not in itself be a financial goal. Others seem to think that it is. Mr. ToughMoneyLove is learning that when consumers view being frugal as a goal, they sometimes take extreme actions that cause me to question their sanity. Case in point: Steve and Diane Moore of Cookeville, Tennessee. Read more
Are you making plans for your year-end bonus? Please don’t.
Christmas decorations and holiday sales promotions are already appearing in malls and stores. For many employees, awareness of the approaching holiday season and calendar year-end triggers an anticipation of receiving a bonus. Many employers have traditionally handed out bonuses at year end, either as a celebration of the holiday or as a merit bonus for year long performance. Read more
Bankruptcy Filings are Way Up Across the Board
In case you were wondering why you should be reading the hard truth on money and personal finance from Mr. ToughMoneyLove, you need only soak in the sobering news released today about U.S. bankruptcy filings:
Total filings rose to 967,831 from 751,056 for the period ending 6/30/1008, a 29% increase.
Chapter 7 filings rose 36% to 615,748. (Chapter 7 is for individuals who are liquidating their assets.)
Chapter 13 filings rose 17% to 344,421 (Chapter 13 is for individuals who are on re-payment plans)
Businesses fared no better as Chapter 11 filings rose more than 30% to 7,293 Read more
This article is for consumers who may be living in a bubble of an inflated standard of living. The economic data indicates that there are many of you out there. To find out if that could be you, please read on. Read more
One of my favorite financial writers – Scott Burns – spoke in his column this week about the power of “attentive spending.” He pointed out the factors that most of us cannot control in our financial lives because of the precarious and volatile state of today’s economy. These include stock market losses, low interest rates on savings accounts and CD’s, falling home values, rising oil prices, inflation, and uncertain job security. This leaves a lot of folks feeling helpless and hopeless. Mr. ToughMoneyLove is sympathetic. Read more
This post is about money that is lost (and that can be saved) just by being more disciplined in deciding what and how you are going to eat lunch in the workplace. Read more
It is amazing to me how people who are strapped for cash or just plain broke continue to purchase products and services that can cumulatively play a significant role in busting their budget. Somehow, people have mentally morphed these items from the “things I want” category to the “necessary” category. Here are some budget buster examples that really bother me when I see them in a broke person’s financial breakdown: Read more