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Review: “You Need a Budget” Software

YNAB 4 vs. Mint.com

My first successful foray into tracking expenses and real honest budgeting can be credited to Mint.com – a few years back my wallet was hemorrhaging cash, and I hated it – up until that point I had been lazy & basically relied on my frugal upbringing to save me from spending. Unfortunately, as we all know, life’s expenses have a way of “inflating” if we let them, and I let them for a short time.

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Frugal Budget: My Average Monthly Spending

Because this blog is basically a study in my personal accounting & financial life, I thought it’d be good to actually break down my expenses. Over the last year and a half things have been fluctuating a lot as I optimized, downsized, and shifted my spending – but I think everything has finally leveled off to a point where I can identify “normal.” I am sure I will occasionally succeed

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2013 Goal: Spend Less than $7.50 per Day on Food

I really, really love food. I enjoy growing vegetables, cooking, eating, and most anything that has to do with the cultivation and enjoyment of good food. I could easily make food a non-frugal indulgence in my life. Thankfully, I also love the mental exercise of practiced moderation, giving in to temptation only occasionally, and living a healthy life. I want to make sure that my food spending is in line

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Recurring Expenses: The Real Math and Retaining Sanity

I try and think of every expense in my budget as a trade-off: if I buy this now, however small the cost, I will be delaying my financial independence in order to get it.  Additionally, if I allow an expense to become a recurring budget item, my financial independence nest egg will require more savings and passive income to support that ongoing expense throughout my life.  Despite how often I

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