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Accents On Life

 

Goals

January
Knowledge, Your New Best Friend
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February
Creating a Tegdub
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March
Sedan, Convertible, SUV,Coup...on?
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April
Pick a room, any room
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May
Ch-Ch-Ch-Change
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June
When Sitcoms Meet Reality TV
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July
To Do or Not To Do
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August
Send a Letter, Maria
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September
Life in the Cash Lane
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October
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
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November
Ducks in a Row or Organized Chaos?
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December
Say a Little Prayer for Them
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This is a sample of the 'Goal' download file. You will receive 12 goals. The file opens in your web browser and each goal can be printed individually and posted in a prominent area or filed with your to do list.

Creating a Tegdub

Everyone has heard of the four-letter words we should avoid using. But not much is said about the six-letter words that should roll off our tongues with ease. You know, words like please, thanks and dare we say it, budget.

There is a myriad of different software packages and books written about how to write and use a budget. But let's face it, this isn't rocket science. Why spend money on something that is supposed to help you control your money. And that's a fact that we'd like to state right up front. Most people have a negative reaction to the word budget, because the term brings up a connotation of doing without. But, in reality, it is designed to do just the opposite. It will help you to do the things that you want to do. Many people are going through life working for their money. With a proper budget, your money will work for you.

But for the few diehards who are still having difficulty with the word budget, we're not going to use that word again. As a matter of fact, we're going to reverse the word in our ongoing attempt to reverse the emotions generated by the word itself. Let's create a tegdub.

Creating a tegdub can be an exciting, exhilarating experience. And it's not too hard either. So it's time to get started. As with all jobs, we will need a few simple tools to do this one. They are: a pencil or pen, calculator (for those who don't like to do math the old fashioned way) and paper. If you would prefer, you can use the spreadsheet program on your computer, but keep the pen and paper, they will come in handy later.

Now take the pen or pencil and draw a line down the center of your paper (or use 2 columns on your spreadsheet). Label the one column IN and the other column OUT. Under the 'OUT' column, list all of your monthly expenses. Take your time. Come back here and compare your list to ours when you are done.

Hopefully you have all of these on your list:

  • tithe
  • housing
  • car payment 1
  • car payment 2
  • car insurance
  • heating
  • electric
  • phone
  • cell phone
  • cable
  • internet access
  • food
  • gas for car
  • credit card 1
  • credit card 2
  • credit card 3
  • and some things we may have missed

Now list what are known as the tegdub busters. These are the expenses that seem to come up every month, but they seem so small and insignificant that we tend to overlook them. As a congressman once famously stated, "a billion here, a billion there and pretty soon we're talking about real money." Well most likely in our case it's not a billion, but a dollar here and a dollar there and pretty soon our tegdub is out of whack. Once you've completed your list, come back and compare it to ours to make sure you didn't miss anything.

Here's our list:

  • entertainment
  • dry cleaning
  • vet bills
  • Christmas presents
  • birthday presents
  • anniversary presents
  • hair care
  • auto repairs
  • clothing
  • medical bills
  • home repairs/remodeling/redecorating
  • and other things which may be unique to your situation

It's true that many of these expenses do not occur every month, but if we prepare for them, it's not such a shock to our wallets when they appear. For instance, take Christmas presents. We all know Christmas comes once a year. But suppose we decided to spend $60.00 on gifts. We could spend the whole $60.00 in one month or tegdub $5.00 each month for a year. The overall cost is the same, but the impact as a percentage of our monthly budget is much less.

It's time to move on to the fun part. Next to each item, write the monthly amount. when this is completed, total the column. You now have your total expenses for a month. A scary figure, we're sure, but hopefully the next step will make it a little more palpable.

Under the 'IN' column, list all of your monthly income. This would include paychecks, tips, investment income and anything else. When you have completed this, place a dollar amount next to each item and total the column. If all went well (and it rarely does the first time around), the value at the bottom of your 'IN' column is greater than the value at the bottom of you 'OUT' column. If not, it's time to make adjustments. Most likely you won't be increasing your in's, so you'll have to cut back on your out's. Some apsects of that are fixed of course like tithe (10% is always 10%), car payments (most lenders won't let you pick the price you pay each month), so it's best to look at some of the adjustable values. Perhaps, for the time being, entertainment will have to be a little less extravagant. Maybe you can go an extra month or two without the full blown treatment at the beauty salon and so forth. Only you know what you can live with.

We're almost finished, only a few steps to go. Take your pen and paper and carry them with you wherever you go. As you think up more items to add to your budget, jot them down until you have a chance to add them to the master tegdub. It's amazing the things that will pop-up in every day life that we overlook.

OK, we've done the easy part. We've created the tegdub. Now we move on to the hard part, live with it. It's going to be hard at first, but trust us, as time goes by you'll see how nice it is to have a few extra dollars at the end of the month.

Copyright 2007 Accents on Life. All rights reserved.

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