Looking For An Online Budget Program for 2010?

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Amber Weinberg has prepared a detailed post and review showing examples how to keep an online budget with the Snowmint Creative Solutions Budget and Graphics Software.

It’s tough enough to budget money correctly when you’re on a regular income, but it gets really tough when your income is irregular and unpredictable.

What do you do with all that money you make, now that you’re a fabulous freelancer? Do you throw it in a bank account and pray there’s enough for that flat screen you’ve been wanting and this month’s rent? Are you saving or always coming up short with your bills?

I’d like to show you a great budget system I use for myself. I’ve tried lots of different budgets, but this one is by far the best. It works great with my irregular income and helps find every free penny, so I have enough for bills, spending and saving. What is this system?

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Check out Amber’s post for the rest of this article: Budgeting for Freelancers

Personally, when it comes to budgeting .. I have always believed that it really doesn’t matter what software or approach you use (in general) .. because a successful budget usually relies on two major variables:

1) your ability to recognize exactly what are your expenditures and receipts and its sources
2) your desire to follow a budget and step closer towards your personal financial freedom goals

At least, that’s the what I believe when it comes to my clients. When I do Pro-Forma statements, it’s nothing like preparing Financial Statements for the past year – which you can’t change what has already happened. Estimating figures for Pro-Forma statements that are realistic always are more beneficial to the client (and their creditors or bankers) because if you can identify your expenditures and forecast your revenues correctly .. you have it made. When you can see results that oppose these forecasts and have the ability to modify your figures and plans to align yourself with reality – you also have it made! Better to be able to get back on track, than wait for me to finish publishing your annual financial statements to figure out what happened to all of your money.

Meanwhile …. How about myself? Does HART follow a budget?

Hmm.. I guess I kind of follow a “super-modified” envelope system. Basically, I have two stickums on my wall over my desk. The first stickum has a list and dates of automatic withdrawals or post-dated cheques that I have to cover, regardless. This stickum is actually taped to the bottom of a shelf, because it never changes. Once, it fell off the wall and fell behind my desk and I didn’t notice how much it affected my budgeting before, when I wasn’t periodically looking at that every day – all day long.

The second stickum is one I just continually create and add bills due (or payments promises or deadline dates or even disconnection notice dates and amounts) at the bottom of the list. Most of my bills are paid online or the post dated cheques are issued well in advance, that they usually clear on the date that they were issued. Being an accountant, I know some find it odd that I don’t actually reconcile my bank account – but I find it just best that I log onto my bank account and just pay the bills. If I need some cash, I will take some off the top after the deposit – whatever I am comfortable with, or need at the time. When I get home from my bank deposit (and post office and Tim Horton) run, I immediately log into my bank account, look at my bank balance, look at my stickum and just pay the next bill that is at the top of the list and often just clean my bank account out until next time. On times that I have larger “hits” or deposits from jobs that have been taking awhile, and have paid off all of this month’s bills .. I just transfer the rest to our line of credit until needed or extra to the higher interest short-term debts not yet due or already accruing out of control.

I think I would be better at budgeting (like a lot of people) if I had more monies coming in and less monies going out. I’m working on that. Hope it will be better in 2010! If anybody wants to help donate to the 1-800-HART 2010 Fund .. um, let me know and I’ll pass along to you my Paypal account 😀

Happy Holiday Season Everybody

HART (1-800-HART)

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