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Don’t Waste “Budget Leftovers”! Thanksgiving is over and the end of the budget month has come again. The refrigerator holds remnants of last weeks feast while the bank contains what little remains of your last paycheck. Its a shame to throw the "leftovers" away but what choice is there? Whats left is enough to keep but not enough to go very far. Big or small, there are definitely ways to use "leftovers" without wasting them. These questions will help you ... Setting a Holiday Budget For longer than I would like to admit, my holiday budgets have consisted of buying gifts now and figuring out how to pay for them later! I have always STARTED my holiday shopping with specific spending limits in mind but I have not stayed within those limits very well. Even the most disciplined and conscientious money managers can fall behind during the holiday season. Let's face it, the period between mid-November and the New Year is full of holiday ... Will YOUR Account Be “In The Black” on Friday? If you have managed to miss any of the "Black Friday" marketing efforts aimed at getting people in stores early and often on Friday, count yourself lucky! That is not to say that their are not some good deals to be had but at what cost - dealing with crowds, sitting in traffic, searching for parking? All so that RETAILERS can get THEIR accounts "in the black" before the end of the year. What about YOUR accounts? Who is ... It’s All Cash For Christmas! For the first time in our 10 year marriage, my husband and I will purchase all of our Christmas gifts this year with cash. There will not be any huge credit cards bills arriving in January and we will not have regrets about spending too much money (that we didn't really have to start with) on gifts that our friends and family don't really need. An "ALL CASH CHRISTMAS" is a goal that we have been working toward for a ... Paperless Payments For Just About Anything! Most, if not all, of us are familiar and comfortable with some form of electronic payments, even if we don't always realize it. Credit and debit transactions are electronic payments and rarely a day goes by when we don't make at least one of those! In truth, ANY non-cash financial transaction is an electronic payment. From paychecks to pensions, electronic payments are replacing the traditional methods of paying with cash and checks and they affect anyone with a bank ... Go “Outside The Box” for Great Holiday Gifts Somewhere on almost every holiday shopping list, there is a name of someone that is difficult, if not impossible, to find appropriate gifts for. Maybe they already have "everything". Maybe they don't have hobbies or interests with associated gifts. For these people (and anyone else), a little creativity and imagination will go a long way when shopping for holiday gifts. Try these ideas for some great gifts that will definitely stay "outside the box"! GIVE YOUR TIME, SKILLS and/... Q & A: Does Your Budget Have Breathing Room? Just having a written budget does not guarantee that all financial issues will be easily controlled. Even with a well-built budget, stretching those last dollars until the next paycheck can be a struggle. These questions and answers highlight effective techniques for creating a little "breathing room" in any budget. 1. Is it possible to organize a budget so that it is not "fragmented" into too many spending areas? If so, how? An effective budget is a "financial snapshot". In other ... Carnival of Smart Money #3 Welcome to the October 19, 2007 edition of carnival of smart money. teaspoon presents Zen and The Art of Personal Finance in 4 Steps posted at www.TeaspoonFinance.com - Financial wisdom, one teaspoon at a time..., saying, "Explore applying some of the principles of Zen to personal finance." Katrina presents Cash vs Plastic: Which do YOU spend more with? posted at DebtFREE-Revolution, saying, "There is quite a debate over whether it is better to use cash or plastic." FitBuff presents Brain ... Handling Debt Collection Harassment Have you ever been harassed by debt collection agencies? If you have, you know that being behind on debt payments adds stress and late charges to bills that, for whatever reason, are not current. No one WANTS to be in that situation. Debt collection agencies use a variety of methods and tactics to collect money owed to the creditors that hire them. If you are behind on payments, you are still obligated to pay the debt but you do ...